What I Learned in February

For some people this is the month that shall not be mentioned. It’s smack dab in the middle of winter and most of us are getting cabin fever and we are dog tired of winter and begging for spring once again.

February has always been a mixed bag for me. I have a friend, bless her dear heart, who remembers to pray for me each February. She may know me better than I know myself, that I am prone to despair and discouragement, especially in the heart of winter. But each February I get to celebrate life, particularly, mine. And with each birthday comes a bit of reflection of where I am in life, where I’ve been, and where I’m going. And that’s always a good thing.

So, here’s what I’ve learned in February.

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  1. I’m an old fashioned girl, and I still like old fashioned magazines. I was checking out at my local Sprouts, spied the magazines while waiting in line, and decided, “Hey! It’s my birthday month!” so I thought I’d splurge. Reading a magazine feels a little retro–like reading a newspaper–but I like to hold the paper and turn the pages and dog-ear my favorite articles. I still don’t like all the advertising (really, I’m paying for this?!) but you can read a magazine in the bathtub, and that’s my jam.10-dragon-fruit
  2. Dragon fruit is one of the most beautiful (and yummy!) fruits in the world. I had the pleasure of visiting many of my students in their homes this past month as part of our Parent Teacher Home Visit program in Denver Public Schools, and I learned so much. I heard stories of families moving across the world to Denver, a story of a father who spent seven years in a refugee camp before coming to the US, and a little of what life is like halfway around the world. I ate delicious triangle sambusas, sipped Iraqi black tea with cardamom, and tasted Asian dragon fruit for the first time. For a black & white polka dot-loving girl, this is my new favorite food. It’s the queen of all fruits, in my opinion. I love my job.IMG_5135
  3. Families that braid together stay together. My daughter and I decided to twin one day and do our hair the same. We were instantly besties. (Good parenting move for these crazy emotional teenage days.) I felt like like was 12 again, so I may be braiding my hair more these days. : )
  4. Space. It matters to me. I interviewed for a teaching position for next year, as mine is ending at the end of this year due to budget cuts. So as I am thinking and praying about the students I will teach next, I am also thinking about the place and the space I teach in. The space I teach in matters to me, and as many ESL teachers get stuck in a closet or the hallway, I’m thankful to have had a space that I can call my own these past few years. I’m also hopeful to have a space (and position!) to call my own next year. I care about that, and I think God cares, too, because that’s how he’s wired me. One verse that has stayed with me these past few years is Psalm 18:19: “He brought me out into a spacious place…because he delighted in me.” I’m thankful for these past few years of teaching part time, because it has been the spacious place I’ve needed to grow as a teacher-mom. This month has been a bit stressful as I anticipate where I will land next, but I’m hopeful that God knows and cares and will guide me to my next spacious place.IMG_5136
  5. My first born son looks like Ferris Bueller. Can you believe it? Thankful he’s a young man of greater character than Ferris, and plus, I think he’s much cuter. : )
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