Changes ahead

This week has been an exhausting one. Nate had a high school concert Monday night, a jazz festival on Tuesday, a middle school concert on Thursday, and a fine arts festival on Friday and Saturday in Minden. Friday was the end of the quarter, so I found myself scrambling to grade essays. The bluegrass band I sing with played last night at a restaurant, so we squeezed in a few practices. Today, two of my English 9 students are hosting the 5k run they've been organizing for the past few months. But this isn't why this week has been so exhausting.

On Monday morning I interviewed for an English position at Gretna High School. The interviews went well; the district is impressive--they have extremely high expectations for both students and teachers. Honestly, when I left my first interview with the principals and headed to meet with the superintendent and curriculum director I felt nervous that I'd not be able to meet the school's expectations, that I wasn't near that caliber of teacher for which they seemed to be looking. As I walked out the door, the principals told me they'd make a decision by Wednesday. On my way home Nate and I talked briefly but excitedly about the interviews, the position, and the district. We agreed to talk more about it this week. As I passed Lexington on the Interstate headed back west, my phone rang. It was the Gretna principal to offer me the job. Of course, I was ecstatic. This was a position I'd been desiring for a few years now. But after the initial excitement wore off at about Hershey, I thought about the roots we've set down here in Ogallala. This is where Nate and I first launched into adulthood, this is where we began our careers, it's where we learned to be independent. More importantly, this is where we've built some of the best relationships we've ever had. As if someone flipped a switch, immediately tears fell and continued until I reached the Ogallala exit.

Nate and I talked on Monday night and agreed that this was a leap of faith we needed to take. I accepted the position the next day, and we turned in our letters of resignation on Tuesday. On Wednesday we told our kids. On Wednesday and Thursday we tried to comfort teary-eyed kids and parents. Today we're exhausted.

It will be hard to leave this place. Not only have we had the chance to work with hundreds of kids (many of whom have taught us more than we've taught them), we've been blessed to meet the most genuine people here. I don't want to leave these people. I've cried a lot this week thinking about it. But I'm confident God is pulling us east. It's time we lived closer to our families. I'm praying and hoping that our family soon grows through adoption. I grew up around my grandparents and cousins and wouldn't trade it for the world; I want our kids to have this same opportunity.

So, now begins a season of change in our lives. In the next few weeks we'll prepare our house to be put on the market (it's a cute two bedroom for anyone interested!). And soon we'll have to pack up our classrooms, our home, and say good-bye to the best friends we've ever had to begin a new chapter out east. If you're the praying type--here are a few requests:
  • Nate does not have a job yet; he has a few leads on positions and an application out, but nothing set in stone. 
  • We need to sell our house in a dismal housing market...'nuff said. 
  • Obviously, we need to find a place. Though it would be an adventure of sorts, I'd prefer not to shack up with friends and family.  
  • Energy and patience to make it through all the upcoming changes; I sometimes struggle with change. 


Amy said...

We are so, so excited that you guys are moving our way!!! Congratulations Danielle on the new position! You are very deserving and Gretna is a lucky school to be getting you!

Stu said...

Wow! Congratulations!

Good luck too!

Kristin said...

I never doubted for a second that they would offer you the job. You are a great teacher and they are lucky to have you.

Anonymous said...

You are blessed. GRETNA is blessed. I'm praying for you guys. Love you, c.