Back To School (Could different be better?)

I've mentioned before that things are different in this "back to school" season. Much of it is really difficult and I threw myself a bit of a pity party for the first few days this week. Pushing a bald-headed daughter with 2/3 of a leg and a foot on backwards to class in a wheelchair can do that to a mama.  If you let it get in your head and you dwell on the past, it can make you miserable. But something occurred to me the other day...I had one of those moments when you get a lightning flash glimpse of what God is really doing...working...refining...changing hearts. Both Luke and Bailey told me that I seemed like I was in a good mood. To use Luke's words, "Mom, you just seem cheerful." And that is when it hit me. In previous back to school times, I have been completely frazzled. I love our little school, but it is extraordinarily heavy on parental commitment (for very good reasons), and so the first few weeks feel a bit like boot camp - with multiple meetings and activities being loaded endlessly onto my year's calendar. I'm usually sad to see our summer ending. I typically complain a lot about the formidable to-do list. I whine about buying uniforms, carpool, homework, meetings, shopping for school supplies, commitments in the classroom, driving too much, the overwhelming pace, the weather, traffic...really...anything and everything.

But guess what I realized in my ah-ha moment? 

I'm not complaining this year.

Not only am I not complaining, but I am really enjoying everything...treasuring each piece of the mundane. I am sure that last year at this time no one would have described me as cheerful. But after so much sadness, fear, watching Bailey hurt, missing of fun things, disappointments, lack of sleep, spending summer days in dark hospital rooms, shuffling kids around and never being together...I have cherished every bit of normalcy this week. I feel so thankful that Bailey has been able to attend the first four days of school. We are doing homework and piano lessons and signing up for sports...and the routine that I would typically find monotonous and painful...has been absolutely amazing.

Funny how perspective can so quickly change. We are grateful for each moment now. I have also realized that much of what I stressed over before was ridiculous. I am fairly certain that about 85% of what we focus on as mothers doesn't really matter at all - and - is simply our desire to be in control manifesting itself. I have seen my child suffer immensely. I have been immersed in the lives of other kids who are hurting...fighting life or death battles.  It forces you to evaluate everything - and what I have realized is that very little truly matters. I have seen God meet me and give me strength for each day and I had never allowed Him to do that before.

This back to school season is like nothing we've ever experienced. With a child battling a hideous disease, we are guaranteed challenges and hard days. But I am different this year too...I'm not who I was in years past. In just six short months of fighting this battle, God is working in my heart - opening my eyes to things that needed to change...reminding me of what is important. He is meeting me with a strength I could never muster on my own.

Different can be difficult and challenging and painful - in fact, it usually is. But it can also be a really great opportunity for a fresh view, evaluating of priorities, stripping away of idols and for allowing God to work. Different can be okay. What I am beginning to glimpse though, is the answer to a much bigger question. 

Can different maybe...eventually...be better?


AW said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AW said...

Love this post, Tiffany!

Sonja said...

I am so inspired by your posts and your attitude. Thank you so much for your strength and for posting so many pictures of Bailey's smiling face. She is a special girl and she has a special mom. Good luck to your family as you finish up with chemo. You are in our prayers!

Unknown said...

It looks like she is well on her way. I wanted to let you know it does get better. My son had a rotationplasty last year, and is getting closer to playing football again. My prayers are with your family.

Cory Wright


Amy said...

Hello Moody Family! I wanted you to know that I checked this site as it came to my mind this summer. I am so encouraged by Bailey's strength and smiles. I will always think of her as one of my most sincere students who is just full of God’s love. I am confident she will be able to use this time of her life to God's glory. Tiffany, I wanted to let you know that your posts as a mom have been encouraging to me as well. I recently had a baby girl and motherhood has been challenging! Your honest posts and Christian encouragement has been a light for me. Thank you for sharing from your heart. Much love to your family,

Amy Price
Bailey's 2nd Grade teacher