People are already asking me the question… but I think I would be asking it too of someone who just completed a major milestone.
After finishing your university degree, Anna, now what?
Truth is… my next is the same as my was, my is, and my will always be.
When I set out to finish my degree – consisting of classes taken at 5 post-secondary institutions (I was never quite sure what I was up to, and was not very good at finishing what I started) – I had wanted to go on to Teacher’s College and find a job in the school system. I wanted to reach out to the next generation in positive ways and help to guide them into the awesome things they could be.
I live this out every day of my life already – with my two boys.
I also have a beautiful niece and exciting nephew, my friends and family have amazing kids, I volunteer at the school and know lots of kids there, I help out with the kid’s ministry at church, once a year I get to teach during chapel for a week at a local children’s camp, and there are often a few neighbourhood kids found floating around on my front lawn or in my house. I do what I can to pour into the kids right in front of me, every day, however I can. And some days I am certainly more sociable than others.
When I met Josh I was working as a receptionist at a chiropractor’s office. He was a patient. As I remember it (and I may be romanticizing it just a little) he would burst through the door, arms wide open and full of life, have everyone laughing in seconds, and the whole place would light up just from his presence. It was magic – that’s what my I-was-totally-in-love filter does to my memory sometimes. 14 years has matured me and our love, but I know I still want to be that guy’s wife. And he still knows how to make a room full of people smile. Most of all, it doesn’t matter if it’s just me and the boys in the room, in fact some of his best work is done when it’s just the four of us.
And that’s been my What’s Next for the last decade and a half.
It will be my What’s Next for the rest of my life.
The degree is amazing, I loved it, everything I learned has added to my life and (hopefully) to those who know me best. Maybe there’s a Master’s in the future – I really enjoy school. Maybe teaching will still come – maybe in a college or university forum instead of an elementary classroom. Maybe in a foreign land with an interpreter, a mud floor, and a straw roof. I couldn’t tell you.
Life is full, always, and school made it a little more full. The learning never has to stop – I’ve read almost 6 books in the past month since finishing school! Just soaking up some books that have been sitting on my shelf for too long, beckoning me to turn the pages.
For now, there is much to do with ministry and family life.
And maybe the most important thing that school taught me was that I never want to miss more than I have to of this full life I have been given. The blessings are right in front of me, new each morning, I just have to see them, recognize them for what they are, slow down enough to enjoy them, and as always, the thing I must keep on remembering….
LIVE IN THE MOMENTS.