Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Just thinking about how amazing God has been to us. Two years ago I was on my way to Europe to go visit my mom in prison.  The reality of the trip was that this experience might be goodbye, as my mom was going into a very risky surgery to remove her Cancer. Today she is home safe and healthy.  

This year I will be returning to Europe to embark on a different journey.  This trip I get to enjoy with David and some incredible woman that God is put in my life! This memory is a reminder to me of God's promises to work all things out for his good.  

My word of advice to anyone struggling in the mist of a storm right now, would be to hold on tight because God is working out something incredible for your life.  Better than you could've ever imagined! Enjoy the ride and use every opportunity to grow closer to God, because he will carry you through the storm and walk you into your purpose and destiny.

God is so good and so faithful!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

This morning I got a wake up call from the US Embassy.  They wanted to inform us that my mother who's been in prison in Spain for the last 2 1/2 years was being released home tomorrow May 25th.   It's been almost 3 years since this crazy ride started but my mom is finally  returning home healthier than I've ever seen her and Cancer free.

It's been crazy to even think about all that has gone on in our lives over the last three years.  Sometimes it takes our lives spinning out of control for God to be able to step in and show us that he's "got this"!    I'll tell you this, there's not been a trial or challenge in our lives that I haven't seen God's grace in.  Some of us are called to a rougher Road in life than others, but those who have traveled the rougher road often gain a greater understanding of God's grace and unconditional love!  I've had a lot of highs and a lot of lows in the last three years, and every second of it brought me closer to Jesus! Some people think that it is my strength that allows me to survive these challenges. I would like to think that it's the ability to allow myself to be weak in Christ, that has provided us safe travels to the next chapter in our lives.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Today has been bittersweet for many reasons.

First and foremost I will miss my students, they are and have been my sunshine! They have been the light during some of my darkest days and their smiles and courage have pulled me through. It'll be two months until I see them again and when I get them back they will be older and even more courageous than the year before. 

For some of my students School is the one safe place where they can get the love and affirmation that they deserve and need..   Unfortunately for some of the kids we work with they don't have support systems at home to remind them how incredible, worthy, and capable they are.  I have had to learn to put them all in gods hands. I hope for my students who don't understand that the reason for the two-month separation they know that the time and distance between us this summer never changes how much I love and care for them!  

Lastly I'm going to miss the love and support of my second family, our Concho's team. They too have been my sunshine during very dark moments of my life.  Good thing I'm dragging half of them to Europe with me.   To all the families and staff that I have had the opportunity to work with for the 2015/2016 academic year... Thank you!  Thank you for sharing your lives, your children, your support, and this journey with me!  I still believe the best is yet to come! 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

I can't express how much joy this event brings me! I am so proud of each and everyone of my students. I know I'm there to teach them, but the truth is they teach me so much more than they will ever know.  I will sure miss them this summer, but I'm glad we got to go out with a bang.

Monday, May 9, 2016

We will forever miss you baby girl! RIP Cadance

Several people have inquired about our dog Cadance.  I haven't posted any updates because I have spent the last week trying to process the ordeal.  Cadance was David's service dog that was given to us almost 5 years ago.  Two weeks ago Cadance started vomiting and showing signs of heart failure.  We took her into the emergency vet and they found a mass near her heart that was causing the sack around her heart to fill with blood.   This is what was causing her to go into heart failure.

The next day we had her transferred to Cobblestone Veterinary Care.  The family vet was able to find a mass in her Spline.  They biobased the mass and we anxiously waited for the results.  The biopsy results confirmed that what our fur baby was struggling to overcome was in fact incurable Cancer.  Over the next week we spent quality time with her.  We knew her time on this earth would be limited, but we did not know if that would mean days or months.

The following Monday (May 2nd) I got a text from my brother that Cadance had began to vomit again.  I must have instinctively know that the time to say goodbye was drawing near, because it felt like that text ripped my heart out.  I kept my composure through our staff meeting and then rushed home to see what was going on with her. 

I called Brian and we decided to get her to the vet.  Shortly after arriving an ultrasound confirmed that the sack around her heart was filling with blood again.  It was then that I realized I was going to have to make decision.  The vet offered two options.  The first option was to attempt to remove the blood from the sack surrounding her heart again or the lay her to rest.  An Onocologist had looked at her scans and gave her no more than a month to live.  Ultimately our dog had a terminal illness and all I could do is either prolog her death or let her go peacefully.  After selfishly watching my father battle for his life, I knew I needed to be selfless in this decision, and that I had to decide what was best for Cadance. 

That was one of the most traumatic decisions I have ever had to make.  I held her in my arms until she took her last breath.  I weeped as I thanked her for her service and apologized for my shortcomings.  I am so grateful for Brian Daugherty, Shelley Daugherty, and Mom for holding my hand through this process.  I could not have done it alone.

Through it all, I realize how valuable life is and how important it is to cherish every precious moment you have (even on days that life hurts or your heart aches).  It's been rough,  I've been angry, I've been sad,  I have felt tired, and overwhelmed, but I still stand firm knowing our breakthrough is just around the corner.  I will not allow Satan to win this one.  Ultimately I know that this is just a test and there's no way I can fail the test when I have chosen to learn from the master of instructors.

So if you notice I am pulling away, distant, or different in any way please understand that we are grieving.  We have had to face a tremendous amount of loss this year and although I know God is in control, earthly matters still hurt my human heart.

Friday, May 6, 2016

I don't know who was more excited about our field trip today, the kids or myself? LOL Today was incredible! I was blessed to be able to share the experience with all of my students, our ALC program, Student Council, and the promoting 8th grade class .  

Our school does not have a budget for field trips, so field trips are rare for our students. Thanks to a generous donation from AZ Air Time, Conchos students were able to celebrate their success, having some good old-fashioned fun with one another.  Watching their faces light up and hearing their cheers as we pulled in the parking lot of Az Air Time, was priceless!  

It's times like this in my life that I truly appreciate the value of opportunities and experiences like this one.  I'm so grateful for every smile I get to share with each and every one of the students at Conchos.  I hope that I'm having an impact on their lives because they surely have a great impact on mine. 

Reflecting on today, I'm feeling very grateful.  God always shows up for me, with exactly what I need, at the perfect time.  As God promises, he always has and always will supply all of our needs. 

Often, God does so by using willing vessels.  Thank you Jeff at AZ Air Time for showing support and investing in the spectacular students at Conchos.  Thank you for helping us show them that THEY ARE WORTH IT!

Monday, May 2, 2016

I hate the grief process! It seems lately I've had to go through it time and time again. Before I even fully process the previous loss, i'm faced with another. I'm tired! Lord whatever lesson you need me to learn,  PLEASE teach me quickly!