Ten Years of Blessings- Gwenda's thoughts

Gwenda Brown on February 1, 2018

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Ten Years of Blessings

Ten years!  How is it so?  I started to work for North Oxford Baptist Church the first Monday in March 2008.  How does time seem to stand still but fly by at the same time?   I have been known to tell others when I think of my 10 years at CLC it reminds me of a two term president… and the before and after pictures are staggering!  Blonde hair is now mostly gray. The only blonde in my hair is chemically treated.  Back then I had never worn glasses a day in my life…now I have reading glasses in every drawer and a permanent pair on top of my head.  I am hard of hearing, although I can’t really blame aging; it has always been bad, but it is at least 10 times worse.  I am certain the CLC staff, especially Beverly, would donate their paycheck to get me a pair of hearing aids.  What was once fresh, bright and energetic as turned into a woman in her 50’s.     

No doubt a lot has changed.  We started small and grew every year till we couldn’t grow anymore.  Our first classes of four year olds are now in high school.  Some of our first babies still come back to us every day for afterschool care or during the summer break.  I like to think it is because they love us that much and coming back to CLC is like coming home.  Sometimes the days are long, but it is true the years are short.  And along the way my cup has run over with blessings too many to count.     

Abundant Blessings

Our Children

Our little joys; they are FUNNY; others are very serious (which is funny.) They are exhausting, but in the best sense of the word!!!  They are truth tellers to fault. If you don’t believe me just ask them. But, at the end of the day, your children, all of them, are the reason we do what we do and LOVE what we do.  Each one as different as a snowflake; beautifully and wonderfully made.  They are God’s image; we know that full well.  If there is one thing that is absolutely true of the last 10 years, that even on my worst days, I have smiled; children have that way with you.     

Our Mothers 

Understandably so our mothers are nervous, anxious, and a little suspicious of us in the beginning; but oh so appreciative, super sweet and thankful when that ball of nerves gives way to trust. It is really magical; once strangers but now more like extended family.  Our moms are our friends, almost like “sisters”   that share all the same joys and defeats of every child. Thank you, Moms.  We love you for all the ways you have loved us through the years with your thoughtful words, sweet gifts and most of all for letting us claim your child as kind of like our own.    

 Our Dads 

Strong and in control…..but watching a Dad fight back tears after dropping off his child for the first time gets you every time.  But even better than that; our Dads who forget their “business side” and act as goofy as a school boy when his child runs to greet him at the end of the day.   Dads, you are best.  WE LOVE YOU!  Stay strong, but we love your tears and your silly side too. 

Our Teachers/Staff

Other than a parent, a teacher has such a powerful influence on a child. That’s a big job. Their days are long, but their patience is longer. Teachers make an impossible job, possible.  Think about it, they are always outnumbered, but can always find room enough for one more child to squeeze in on her lap.  They can read the same book a million times, but is always willing to read it one more time, and  what everyday person out there can get 12 children to go to sleep all at the same time?  Teachers are super heroes!  Their strength is new every day ready to face an impossible job with new possibilities.  All the hard work pays off when at the end of the year a beautiful life has grown a little taller, smarter, and ready for the next year.   I love our teachers and staff.  We are blessed with the best!  When I took the job as director at CLC, I knew I had to be a leader.  But I never wanted to lead just to be a leader; I only hoped to serve our teachers, so that they could serve others better. I count them all as friends; sisters in Christ who are a joy to lead and to love.  Their companionship during this journey of 10 years will always be one of my life’s greatest blessings. 

To continue our 10 year celebration, over the next couple months I will highlight CLC beginning with our teachers and ending with our support staff.  This is my way of letting you know how very proud I am to serve with them. You will probably learn a few new things about them to make you love them even more.  Hopefully, we will end up somewhere around Teacher/Staff appreciation week and we can shower them with lots of love. 

In closing, I praise God for 10 years of His great love, provision and protection over the CLC program and I humbly pray for God’s blessing for many more years to come.      

Much love to you all,

Gwenda       

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