Because life is a series of edits

Some Regrets…No Doubts

In Calling, Family, Friends, Marriage, Oklahoma City, Places, Places & Spaces, Young Ones on August 28, 2011 at 6:22 pm

On Friday, the girls and I got home from school around 2 p.m., as Veritas is only in session on Fridays until 12:30. My normal "Daddy's home" routine is to greet Megan (usually with a hug), greet the dogs (also usually with a hug), and then head upstairs, change clothes, and collapse on the bed for a period of time in direct proportion to what kind of day/week it's been.

As we just finished our first week – a very good but exhausting one – my time on the bed went a little longer than normal. After 45 minutes of repeatedly falling asleep but then being awakened by one of four daughters, I gave up the idea of a nap and came downstairs. The girls wanted to watch something, but I was not in the mood for Phineas & Ferb; thus, we pulled up Chariots of Fire on Netflix and enjoyed.

There's a scene toward the end of the film in which Erid Liddell can only watch the finals of the race he was favored to win (the 100-yard dash) because his Sabbath conviction stood in the way of participating in the qualifying heats the previous Sunday. As Liddell is sitting in the stands waiting for the race to begin, a friend leans over to him and asks if he has any regrets. Liddell's response: "Some regrets…no doubts."

I resonated with Liddell's sentiment. Moving to Oklahoma has hardly been an awful thing and I have no doubts we are supposed to be here. But I'd be lying if I said there weren't some regrets that I've been processing and feeling this summer.

I suppose the first source of grief is just the loss of time and money that goes with any major transition. In thinking back through all the hours invested praying and wrestling with the pros and cons, asking questions and communicating decisions, selling a house and buying a house, packing, loading, moving, unloading, and unpacking, and paying for it all, I regret the toll our move required and the burden it placed on our family. A look at my minimal reading list or our bank account confirms that it's been a tough seven months.

Second, I regret distancing the relationships we had in St. Louis (as well as the ones previously distanced in Colorado Springs before we moved from there). We've always been fortunate to have surrounded ourselves with good people, but that fact is not always comforting when you have to leave them behind. I miss those I used to work with, went to church with, laughed with, argued with, and just loved being with. These are wounds that I don't anticipate healing completely.

Third, I miss the simplicity of "just being a teacher" and being able to focus exclusively on the science and art of teaching. I first felt this reality in May, when I finished teaching and started my new role as Head of School ten days later (moving in between), but being around kids this past week really made me miss the classroom and the discussions I got to have with students all day long.

Fourth, I miss the Midwest and the common sense spirit of keeping your head down and your nose to the grindstone because, well, that's what people do in the Midwest. Granted, the Southwest is perhaps not that different, but while I never thought I'd miss the weather in St. Louis, after living through the hottest summer on record in Oklahoma, I confess I miss that as well.

Finally, I regret the potential risks I've exposed my family (and others) to in leaving a well-established, well-respected, and well-funded school in an amazing brand new building run by seasoned leaders who know what they're doing in order to be a first-time Head of School in a fledgling education movement that rents limited space every week in two churches just to have a place to meet three days a week. I won't say the pressure's overwhelming yet, but there is pressure, and I feel it on a variety of levels.

Some regrets, yes. Plenty of them. But no doubts. None at all. I'll write about why in my next post.

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  1. We continue to pray for you, Megan, and the girls. Is it trite and cheesy to say your example is one that we look to in our own lives? Because it is.
    Under the Omnipotence (as my favorite teacher was wont to say)…
    Jake

  2. Not trite and cheesy at all, Jake; just encouraging and humbling. Thank you.
    Looking forward to hearing more about your house-building plans and all the decisions surrounding that. You may not have moved, but we’re excited about your reasons and rationale for doing it.
    Still hoping a San Francisco trip can work out in the future sometime. We missed out last October, but perhaps the opportunity might come around again.

  3. Honesty and transparency–what I’ve come to look forward to in all your communications. Thank you for taking the risks and for coming alongside us. I hope and pray your sacrifices and challenges will bear much fruit. grace to you and peace, sd

  4. It’s been heartening to read of your struggles and successes in recent years, especially in how each have somewhat mirrored our own. But I pray you all are coming into an even sweeter season than those you’ve known thus far.

  5. We are honored to walk this journey alongside of you and your family. We love knowing how we can pray for you. We know, all too well, the feeling of leaving your life behind (we’ve done it 5 times). Thank you for your honesty, your passion for education and children, and for the remarkable job you are doing. We can’t say it enough….we are THRILLED you are here and CAN’T WAIT to see what the Lord does in and through you for our Veritas children! If there is ever anything we can do for you or your family, you know where to find us! – Jen Lafferty

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