Each new year’s eve when I sit down to write it is typically on the cusp of the incoming year. The kids are normally sleep, I’m peaking over at my husband as he rests and I am trying to draw closure to the popcorn, wine and piece so that I can close out the year. This year, at 4pm in the afternoon, that I am writing with daylight from the last remaining hours in 2017. I have a green Yeti filled with ice-cold Pepsi, a bag of Jalapeno Ranch flavored Ruffles to add a little heat to my liquid sugar and the comfort of ‘my’ blue chair. Times are changing.
In February of this year I talked about being ready to return home to my birth city after 25 years away. I cannot count the number of times that I have recounted that story and the rationale of why both Jeremy and I resigned from our jobs with nothing – in search of the everything that was unseen but definitely in-store for us. One of the hardest things to do is to be obedient to the Word. If obedience itself is not difficult enough, add to Obedience its partner in crime Sacrifice. (Come On. Help me somebody.) Reading the Word is easy. Going to church is easy. But, taking God at his Word and living the Word is something completely different!
The great comeback has been something different for each family member.
January of 2017 Kyle enrolled in school in Mt. Zion. The transition from Madison, MS, to Mt. Zion was not for the faint at heart. By the end of the school year he had settled in and I was school exhausted. In additional to choir at school, this year Kyle picked up swimming and Tae Kwon Do along with a little height. I think about the fact that Kyle is in 6th grade. Which means that we have only six more years of him being at home, it is overwhelming and makes me a little sad. He is such a polite young man, supremely intellectual, curious to new concepts and a bit of a male chauvinist – but he is mine!
I remember looking in the backseat of the car and he had a hoodie on with his head down reading a book. I worry. I worry a bit about the climate of today. I worry about shoot first and justify later. I worry a little about will others see the value of his life. I worry about a young black male in the midst of an education system that is white. I worry that I have not helped him to fully understand that his book smarts must be accompanied by supreme common sense and a strong sense of discernment. Every evening, I kiss him three times on the cheek or forehead and tell him he is loved four times. I whisper in his ear that his mom and dad will always be with him. And, I pray over him while he is sleep that God forms a hedge of protection around him and keep him. Forever and ever. Amen.
Nia’s transition from Madison Station Elementary School in Madison, Mississippi, to Mt. Zion was equally difficult as her brother’s. Nia finds value, strength and a sense of security in relationships, consistency and familiarity. When we moved during the middle of the school year, the change was academically traumatic. But, we made it. She is now a thriving fourth grader finding her way and making new friends. This is her last year with her brother until they meet again in high school when he will be a junior and she as a freshman. I am excited for this transition. I think that it will allow Nia to continue to establish her individual identity separate from – Kyle’s sister.
Because Nia is still very sensitive and soft-spoken, which is who she is, we thought it would be good for her to enroll in Tae Kwon Do as well. While she is not as aggressive as her big brother, she can definitely hold her own. Nia also seemed to enjoy tumbling this year and any art class that we could find. She is an amazing artist, from drawing to sewing to pulling together unique outfits. Her expression continues to be in art and in writing. And, she enjoys a fair bit of cooking with her dad! While I am not looking for Nia to break out of shyness and sensitivity, I am looking for her to continue to grow into the self-secure and independent young lady that she is.
Kyle & Nia are growing and changing every moment of each day. Together they are a force and they bring life, laughter and love each day in our house and in my heart. Because of them I am #homemom. I am home when they leave for school and home when they return from school. They give my days definition and purpose – and for that I am grateful.
Jeremy is the anchor. We are better as a family because of his stability, his commitment, his courage, his ability to lead our family according to God. I have watched Jeremy pack-up and move his family on multiple occasions. This year Jeremy has commuted (drove back and forth every week) from Illinois to Mississippi to complete coursework in pursuit of his own doctorate of philosophy. Only to also move about the highway for consulting. All while managing the launch of J Morris Enterprises, participating in parent-teacher-conferences via phone and catch some swim & TKD practices. I am always in awe of his commitment to our family.
I want so badly to share that this year has been a breeze, but that would be the furthest thing from the truth. I want to share that old statement – we should have done this years ago, but in all honesty, absolutely not. It would be great to say that we have it all figured out and we are up and running on all cylinders – sure aren’t. 2017 has been a tough year. It has been a strong year. Each day brought new battles, challenges and changes. Just when we thought we had everything somewhat under control – yet another curve in the road. 2017 has been strong and un-relentless, unforgiving and non-compromising. There have been tears, fears, bumps and bruises on this journey. Through it all, 2017 has shown us that we are worth more and we are made for more and only together will we become more!
Stay Tuned – There is amazing goodness coming in 2018!