This has been a difficult week--a week I did not love. However, with Valentine's Day right around the corner, I have decided that I would change my mindset and take stock of the things I do love. Here's my list.
- I love my husband. He truly loves me unconditionally. It doesn't matter that my hair is gray or that I weigh a lot more than I did when we married almost eighteen years ago. He shows me daily that he loves me no matter what. How lucky am I?
- I love my immediate family. I am fortunate to have three step-children who don't see me as the wicked stepmother, at least not at this point in our life. They see me, not as another mother, but as a part of a familial unit that Bill and I have created. One of Billy's high school teachers once shared that when he talked about Bill and me, he referred to us as his folks. That is what we are--their folks. And as we have added to our familial unit, we continue to feel blessed by our family.
- I love my extended family. I have a large family, especially when you add together our parents, our siblings, their spouses, their kids, and now their grandkids. Then add to that our aunts, uncles, and cousins who love and support us. We are loved.
- I love my job. Even when I think I can't stand to grade another quiz or paper, I know that I have a profession that I didn't really choose, it chose me.
- I love my students, past and present. In my classroom I have pictures of my former students--frozen forever in time as they were as seniors in high school. They look down on me as I teach the next group of seniors. Their presence reminds me of the duty I have to prepare this current group for the next phase of their lives.
- I love my colleagues, past and present. I have been very fortunate to work with dedicated teachers--at Prescott, at Washington State University, and at Waitsburg. They all have helped me to become a better teacher and a better person.
- I love all the adventures I've been on. I've traveled near and far--Seattle to Boston--Lincoln City to Cape Cod--London to Rome. But really, we do live in God's country. There is no better place than the Touchet Valley in the state of Washington.
- I love all the people who had a hand in creating the loving young man named Andrew Groom. From Sunday school teachers to all of his coaches. From school teachers to counselors at church camp, Wyldlife, to basketball camp. Friends, friends' parents, neighbors, community members. There were so many who loved him and helped him become the young man he was. I love you all.
Because I had a son I understand the sacrifice this was for my God. Because I love my son, I understand just what that type of love is. And he did it for you and he did it for me. Some of you who read this may not understand how I can really believe this. But I do. That is what faith is about. How could we have a life with so much in it if that is all there is?
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Now that's love. Happy Valentine's Day