People tell me that my faith and my profession collide because I oftentimes use messages, sermons, or clear signals that I receive to push out to others. And I try not to be burdensome, which is why I don’t rush to post everything that I come across. However, while on Spring Break, I was able to view a message via Facebook Live, which dealt with restoration. It came at the right time because, as a mentioned before, I was on Spring Break, which I was thoroughly enjoying. My family and I left Georgia and headed to Florida the Saturday after we went on Spring Break, and I’d taken three additional bags of “work stuff.” There were six books, two computers, and new set of pens I’d purchased specifically for the work that I would do during this trip, notes for next year, references I needed to check for new hires, and a to do list I needed to tackle to get ahead. My wife didn’t mention anything about these bags, but I did see her raise her eyebrow at the thought of me interrupting our family time with the numerous work items I’d made plans to tackle.
We arrived in Orlando around 7 or 8 p.m because I’d taken forever to pack my belongings, and I had to double and triple check my bags to make sure I had everything. We didn’t have time to do much, and honestly the kids were tired, and so was I from the drive. It didn’t take long for everyone to throw in the towel for the night, but I found myself watching a post on Facebook where the conversation was about restoration. The host said, “What do you need to be restored in your life? Have you ventured away from relatives that need you? Have you dove head first into your work, leaving your family to fend for themselves without any attention or help from you? Have you gotten away from your true purpose? Do you know what that purpose is?” I took a deep breath because I know that a higher power uses other people to communicate important things to me, and it’s always intentional. Always! Here I was on vacation and prepping to plan out my work for the week, when what I needed to be doing was disconnecting from everything and focusing on my family. My mentors have given me different information, but the one thing that’s been consistent was to make sure I spend time with my family and find the time to make sure they know that they are important. The message about restoration fell at the top of my vacation because I needed the reminder that I was in a place where I needed to be restored as a father and husband. Prior to the vacation, our interactions happened for 30-45 minutes at the dinner table, and 30 minutes during bath time, and 10 minutes before bed time. Approximately one hour and 15 minutes each day. In that moment, I prayed to be restored in all the areas where I was lacking, especially where my family needed me, and I hope that the teachers and educators who have experienced their Spring Break were able to do the same.
I intentionally captured a picture while we were out and about throughout the city as a reminder of why we do the work that we do. In the picture, everyone is all smiles because we operated without a true agenda for the week we spent there. I love the picture because you have me posed in front of everyone with my oldest son covering my back and holding on to his mother, and then my youngest son is clinging on to my arm tightly with the biggest smile I’ve seen him give in a while. My wife is standing in the rear, but she is leaning forward, covering the boys. Most people will see a family picture, but what I see is the roles that we play in my household. Prior to Spring Break, I’m not certain that the order of the picture would be the same. If I were to be honest, I’m not even certain I would be in the picture because I haven’t necessarily had the balance with work and family. So, during the week that I spent being restored, I was able to get away from the lists of things and get back to my foundation. I recalled not being able to go anywhere when I was younger because we couldn’t afford it, and I became even more thankful and even wrote the introduction for my life’s story that I’ve been trying to start. I meditated and was able to get a clear view of what the rest of the school year needed to look like, and I was able to set personal goals for all of the different layers of who I am. I can’t say that I got everything accomplished that I wanted to do, but what I can say is that I was restored back to the person I know I am meant to be. I’m back at a level of calm that my family needs and a level of calm and focus that the people I lead need.
I have to be led to lead appropriately, and that alignment is back in place. I have been restored, so I am in a place where I can be used to restore others. There’s a saying that speaks on how much is required from those who are given things in abundance. It’s interesting how one can have an abundance of things but still be empty. It is my hope and prayer that those of us of are in the business of educating young ones have been restored and are ready to reciprocate that restoration. We have seven weeks to fulfill this year’s purpose. Let’s make it a great one. Continue to rebuild. Continue to be restored and build into those around you.
Be great. Be accountable.