My friend and former coworker, Dana, taught me about "wake-ups". As teachers, we like to count
down to the free days of summer just as much as the kiddos! So she taught me to count down with "wake-ups". Starting about 20 school days out, I start posting on the board, "20 more wake-ups!"…then "19 more wake ups!"…and so on.
This morning I woke up with more intense bittersweet emotions…only "2 more wake-ups here in Michigan".
For starters, today was my last Sunday at Church of the King
. This made me sad, but I was deeply excited that I was going to be engulfed in a kids' gathering this morning, with worship lead by P 8:2 (Psalms 8.2) an inspiring group of kids that lead with JT. Then JT
was preaching, and I hadn't heard her preach in years…so this was a definitely going to be a highlight of the day! (She did an INCREDIBLE job, by the way…and as a side note, her and her husband, Eddie, are THE BEST kids' pastors a parent could ask for, and I've already decided that when I have kids we will have to be at whatever church the Galindo's are at, because I want my kids to learn from them.:)
And as I've reflected on my last couple of weeks spent here, I am glad to have been able to spend as much time with people as I have. I got to go across the state to see my favorite Gocke's, Smiths, my very first teaching friend (Dana, from above….we're like Teaching Comrades for Life!), and the Waterman's-where I got to meet their new baby girl! Then there were so many other fun breakfasts, lunches, dinners, a Cedar Point road trip, coffee dates, get-togethers…I am selfish at any moment to think that for one second I am not valued by people.
Here I am, going into my last two "wake-ups"…tomorrow I will say "goodbye" to a few more friends, have lunch with a Grandma who inspires me EVERY time…the next morning say a few more "goodbye's", but then a couple more "hello's" to friends in Pittsburgh! Again, it's the bittersweet of it all. I am SO EXCITED to see Emily, Jason and Andrea in my travels! Then, it will be wonderful to meet two girls who are looking for a third roommate in Alexandria, Virginia (really hoping this works out!) on Wednesday, after which I will drive up to Roslyn, Pennsylvania and kiss my parents goodnight! The next day I will drive to see my sister-in-law, play with my nephew, Ryder, and scratch Ross' back.
All in all, at the end of this week, my life will have officially changed completely. My address will no longer end in a "48…" zip code, and there will be no more "mile roads" to help me figure out where I am:) No one will know how to spell "Hamtramck" where I'm going, nor will they even care to. I will not readily find a "coney island" on every other block, or "Michigan lefts", or hear about all the construction on I-75-heading towards the tunnel. There will be no more trips to Meijer, Canada, or "up North", and most will have never even heard of Frankenmuth, Traverse City, or even Mackinac. No one will even care that the Lions really stink, or that the Red Wings had a great run this year, or how the Tigers are doing, or what the Pistons will look like next season. (Well….who can REALLY neglect some of the great Detroit sports teams? Perhaps that's an exaggeration :0P) I highly doubt many will care about whether you're an MSU fan, vs. a UofM fan in D.C. 🙂
I will miss the familiarity that life has brought to me on a silver platter these past 7 years. I'm at home right now…in someone else's house, even! BUT I am on the edge of my seat, anticipating this new chapter in my life. I almost think it's a whole new book, and not just a new chapter, but at some point I'm sure there will be a great connection. I'm kind of done crying, and telling everyone about my story…I'm ready to live it. I'm actually ready to move! Imagine that. I'm not saying that I won't shed tears once I'm gone (or even pulling out of the driveway), but I am saying that my time here is done. And while that is hard to accept in moments of weakness, God makes my heart just a little bit stronger.
Oh, this adventure is just beginning…in just two more wake-ups! 🙂