This past school year has been a year of rebuilding and a year of healing for my little family of two. It’s hard to believe how quickly it has all flown by, but with summer just around the corner, I find myself overwhelmed by all of the love and support that has spurred my daughter and I on through this journey.
After teaching ESL for six years overseas, I embarked on my first year of teaching English and Reading to ESL high school students. Anxiety and fear attacked me from every corner of my life in the beginning. I was nervous about teaching teenagers, I was apprehensive about the public school system, and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to juggle this new transition and being a new mom, all while the life I had previously known was ripped out from underneath me.
Fortunately, hope is stronger than fear. Joy and peace can be found in the midst of the greatest storms, truths I was reminded of daily through the encouragement of the amazing women God surrounded us with. From grandmothers, to mothers, to sisters, to old and new friends, we found strong arms to uplift us, soft shoulders to cry on, and words of wisdom to cling to.
As this school year draws to a close, I can breathe more easily. I will painfully miss my AMAZING students that I have grown to love over this break. I can truthfully say that this year has been the most fun I have ever had teaching. For that I am truly grateful.
I am also grateful to be finding my voice again, as safety has slowly replaced the fear in our lives. When I look at my strong, feisty and opinionated daughter, I am so thankful for her resilience and her sweet heart. As we were saying our nighttime prayers this week, I prayed that she would always know how unconditionally loved she is. Suddenly she sat up and hugged me as tightly as her little arms could. Squeezing me she declared, “I love your bones.” I knew then that we would be okay, because we have each other, and because I love LOVE love her bones too.
To celebrate the coming of summer and new beginnings, my little foodie and I devoured this shrimp taco recipe with strawberry salsa. I set aside a portion of salsa for my love, before adding the chiles to mine. We each ate more than our share, and there were plenty of leftovers to make shrimp and strawberry salsa salads for lunch the next day. We will definitely be making this again this summer!