Last night I had the joy of meeting with a dozen of my former students from Brookside Christian High School to begin the planning of a grand multi-year reunion of alumni, students and staff who were such an important part of our lives for over a decade. Some of them I have not seen in almost twenty years, some I am blessed to run into on occasion and others are still a part of my daily life.
Upon ending the meeting a comment was shared with me that one of the team members had exclaimed – “Beth hasn’t changed a bit!”. With several heads nodding in agreement and an interjection of “all she needed during that meeting was a baby on her hip!” (which if I had brought Christiana I could have provided that picture for them), I just laughed. While I would love to think that I look exactly the same as I did in the mid nineties and I am more than willing to pretend that I have not added a few more wrinkles, some gray hair and those extra pounds, I began to contemplate that statement today.
“Beth hasn’t changed a bit”
- When I started my teaching career in Christian education in 1986, I was a single (engaged to be married) young lady of just 24 years old. When I left I was a married 35 year old mother of four daughters.
- During my 11 years of being a part of Brookside Christian I held multiple positions – physical education teacher, volleyball coach, student council advisor, typing instructor (shhhhh…I do not know how to type!),summer receptionist, club advisor, journalism teacher & school newspaper advisor, yearbook advisor, leadership teacher, admissions director, guidance counselor, director of student affairs and director of development. Yes, I was pretty much involved in every area of students lives in some way.
- I was intensely committed to the school and passionate about making an impact on the lives of students through mentoring, training and discipleship.
- I loved the Lord and desired to glorify Him in everything.
In many ways I truly “haven’t changed a bit” –
- I am still married (and still as committed to and adoring of my love as ever) and still a Mommy of many (although to double the number and it was making many of those reunion team members feel a bit old themselves to hear that Michelle was in college and that Amy, Kristen & Rebekah were teenagers)
- I still have more “titles” and wear more hats than perhaps a person should – Homeschool Teacher, Co-Op leader, Creative Memories Consultant, Director of Develpment for JECHS, (which of course encompasses about 5 different jobs), Pre-marital Counselor, Speaker and Blogger (to which I have been very slacking as of late) with grand intentions of becoming a published writer, life coach and spearheading an adoption ministry at my church.
- I am still very committed to the ministry of Christian education and still passionate about impacting students lives (even those who are “all grown up” now)
- And yes, I still love the Lord with all of my heart, still want to glorify my Lord in everything, still believe in absolute truth as found in God’s Inerrant Word. In these things I hope to always be steadfast, unwavering and never change.
However, my dear former students although in many ways you are correct… “Beth hasn’t changed a bit”… there are some ways that I have changed.
- I no longer require the standard of perfection that I did back then. My motto now is “done is better than perfect” and while I always strive to do my best sometimes it is just good enough to get it done. Ahhhh joy…. a recovered perfectionist!
- I am much more patient and long suffering towards those who are not choosing to live a life that reflects the truth of what they know of God.
- I have relinquished personal control of my life (ha! like I was ever really in control anyway). God is in control – He is my provider (not a job or pay check), my strength (I cannot do it on my own power), my counselor (my human mind and wisdom is woefully inadequate), my personal planner who schedules my days and sends many divine appointments my way (which I use to see as disturbances).
- I have become a bit more like my dear darling Dan (one of the benefits of being married for 23+ years)…relaxed and easy going…although my intense, driven personality will always remain at the forefront.
Yes, I have changed as well as remaining the same. I hope that I am a better person today than I was those years ago and I hope that in another decade I will have continued to have become more Christlike in my attitudes and actions.
Reunions are always a good time of reflection on the past – both the good and the bad. Honestly reflecting on the past often motivates us to make changes in the future. In what ways do I want to remain the same and in what ways do I want to change?
I look forward to a year of remembering and reminiscing as well as restoring and renewing past relationships as I am involved in the planning and carrying out of this reunion (not to mention my own 30 year high school reunion that will take place this year…I wonder if they think I “haven’t changed a bit”?).