It’s the weekend! I’ve decided that nothing makes you truly appreciate weekends like working in a school. I got to sleep in, take a shower, have coffee with my husband, and now I’m finally going to try to write an update about our move….
We arrived back in Toledo after our week in Kansas City and jumped right into a whirlwind week and a half of seeing as many friends and family as possible (plus packing and taking care of details for my new job in between visits with people). The funny thing was, it felt like one of the best weeks of my life, not because of the busyness (I could do without that), but because every day we spent time with people we care about and who have blessed our lives over the years. It reminded us of just how much we have been blessed by our time in Toledo. We were sent off to Kansas City with countless blessings.
As we prepared to leave, I found myself reflecting on everything God did in my life during my time in Toledo. I felt an urge to bless all the people and groups that touched my life while I lived here, to pray for God’s love and presence and favor to flow over this place, even as we move on to new things. I still love Toledo dearly and as Paul wrote to the Philippian church: “I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you, praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:3-6).
Sunday morning we left for Kansas City, all our possessions packed in the back of a U-haul truck. We hit some rain for a while, but for the most part the drive was fairly uneventful. We arrived in Kansas City at about 10:30 that night after thirteen hours of driving.
I jumped straight into work bright and early Monday morning (bright and early = 6:30 a.m.). It’s been challenging, to say the least. I realized that although I’ve worked with kids a lot before, this is the first time I’ve worked with large groups of preschoolers, much less inner city preschoolers. We don’t have access to individual classrooms so most of the time we have all forty-some preschoolers together in either the gym or the cafeteria, which makes it hard to keep them together and focused on any sort of activity. A number of the kids will make a dash for the hallway every chance I get (and not knowing their names, I have to scramble to figure out their names as I try to call them back). For the first few days I came home exhausted and feeling beat up and defeated by a bunch of four year olds (not to mention being literally beat up by one of them on Friday). I started spending time with the Lord in the mornings after work, though, praying for the kids, the staff, and the program in general. I feel like that shifted things in me so I haven’t been quite as stressed out by everything (for the most part), even though the kids are just as chaotic as before. I’m starting to learn more of the kids names. I’m also researching methods for classroom and behavior management for that age group so hopefully I’ll be a little more prepared when we come back from spring break. And even through all the chaos of this first week, I still believe God placed me in this job for a purpose and I really do love working with these kids.
Work has consumed a lot of my time and energy this week and what’s left has pretty much been spent unpacking and sleeping. I feel like I haven’t really had a chance to even think about settling in our the fact that we’re living in Kansas City now. I’m looking forward to having this coming week off so I can settle and begin to make Kansas City home.
And yesterday, as Derek and I were waiting to take a bus to the Plaza so Derek could apply for a job, we saw a car backing up and honking. It turned out to be Thad May (we stayed with Thad and his wife Mary last time we came to Kansas City). He drove us down to the Plaza and later that evening we went to their house for a Haiti presentation. It made Kansas City feel just a little bit smaller and less foreign.