Fall is upon us
Fall is my favorite time of year with leaves changing color and air becoming crisp. I love that I can sit outside in my backyard and view the beauty both day and night. Before returning to Michigan, we lived in Alabama. I would not have thought that I could ever compare the two cities. However, after living in such a beautiful and majestic landscape. I loved the hiking areas of Moss Preserve and the valleys with horse farms and trees for as far as my eyes could see. I loved the heart-warming folks of the South and the way they could put me at ease with a reassuring comment that "it is in God's hands". I loved how worry-free I was and how I was more relaxed and at home then in my true Northern roots. Funny how our perspective can change with the seasons and scenery of our lives.
Now we begin a new season of our home schooling back in MI and loving the new found seasons up here. The kids are finally adjusting to all the change and I am beginning to put some roots down in my church and community. The hardest part of moving, even if it was my childhood home, is the opening myself up to new people and finding those that God brings into this season of my life. I know my youngest loves the new friends and town, but for my oldest this was really a hard year. She is a survivor and leader so from the outside, most people see this confident, bubbly girl who is looking for the next friend to get to know. If you could only see it through a mother's eyes. She is such an energetic, God-loving Christian child who loves everyone and sees everyone as equal in God's eyes. I love the innocence and honesty that she brings to my life. I am grateful that God gifted me such a child that I can see mature and grow as she becomes a beautiful young lady.
My youngest has had a big struggle lately with her own self-confidence and comparing herself to those in her activity circles. She is trying so hard to make friends and do everything perfect that she misses the joy of doing the things she loves. I pray daily that she sees that God is in control and that life will continue to move forward. She gets stressed trying to be perfect at everything and wants to be liked by all. She feels that if she is less than perfect, people will not like her and she will fail. Failure is something we all struggle with but it is very new for her. She is an excellent student, an artist and good ballet dancer. These are areas that take the innocence of a child and turn us into brilliant shinning stars. For me, it was swimming and art was my escape from reality of being a teen. I loved the sport of swimming; the friendships formed, the team spirit and the dedication to striving for my best without comparing myself to others. For Rayne, that is not happening. She moved and was off dance for a year, then tried to be as good as classmates. This is the type of perfection that is unattainable or unrealistic. She failed before she began and then stressed out due to this unrealistic goal. She then compared herself and became sad. I struggle with these moments, seeing my children struggle and wanting to make it all better.
Looking back on our life in Alabama, it seemed serene and humble. I loved the niche of friends and my "family" and the whole home schooling community. My church was wonderful and my connection with God strong. These are the things I hope to find here in MI. I love the scenery and backdrop of my life here and growing up spent many nights outside in peace with nature. My husband and I both grew up in SE MI & NW OH and loved it. We want our kids to enjoy some of the same things we did growing up but we also can't forget that we miss our "new home" in AL. After visiting friends this summer, I can say without a doubt best move we ever made in blind faith was moving down there. I also know that we don't always understand God's plans until years later. I am faithfully walking beside him as he guides us through life in MI.
School has been going well and we are finally getting a groove with our new schedules. Having to be a taxi-driver for all the extra curricular activities and still maintain my sanity has proved to be a challenge, but not impossible.
We have found some great Christian home schoolers to join together with and the groups we have become a part of continue to give me strength for the things to come. I love how the people in Michigan remind me of my own experience and growing up here is unique. I love that my kids can attend a spring Maple festival and fall Appleumpkin festivals, we would not have these experiences in AL. I also love the two perspectives that they can look back on when they are grown with families of their own. So far, Michigan is looking up and I know that the future holds some pretty great things for my girls and myself!
Welcome to fall in Michigan and feel free to stop by to see what we complete this year on our annual Fall/Winter Bucket list!