Goodbye, 25 Years

This is it. Today is the day. When my husband leaves work, it will be his final time leaving as administrator of Good Shepherd School and Daycare.

So much has led up to this moment. Twenty-five years worth of events have occurred, each setting another bit of infrastructure in place. Life. School. Family.

You should have done this years ago.

Statements like this have been made and are not helpful. It’s easy to look and tell others what they should have done without knowing the full extent of their story. In our case, there is much complexity surrounding that 21 and 23 year old who moved to Virginia with their 10 month old daughter while expecting their second child in August of ’93 to begin working with family in a newly-opened daycare.

His first project was building bookshelves that still stand. It is the kind of man he is. He can go from solid construction to solid leadership while remembering faces and names along the way. It is the faces he will miss the most, I know that. The names he will remember mostly and boldly risk using them, even if he is wrong. Be forewarned.

25 years is a long time. Our firstborn turns 26 this fall. Our youngest will soon be 10. This has been their life. This career path is what has raised them and provided for them. It brought insurance for medical bills and care when I took trips to Ohio, California, China, the Bahamas, Michigan, Boston, Seattle, and Chicago.

It has provided an education and music instruction. It was a space where we could all be together until the pond grew too small and the needs too great. It’s where we wrestled through how to best serve our own children while serving other people’s.

The school brought dear teachers and friends into our life. 25 years worth. It brought goodness and grief, both given and received by us. There were years of our own small children with their overwhelmed parents trying to figure out how to make it all work. There were sacrifices, not always in the best interest of our family. Sometimes we got it right. Sometimes we did not.

We tell parents that this program isn’t for everyone. I think we have one of those kids.

When I stopped working to stay home with child 4, was one of the right times. That I did not realize I had the power to make that choice with children 1, 2, and 3 still grieves my heart. That we can talk honestly about that with each other now is a gift beyond words.

25 years was the right amount of time to complete the work we were given to do here. To have left sooner would have been to miss the gifts of friendships and growth that the past few years have brought. To stay longer would be to prolong the status quo and stand in the way of others who are ready to step up to the plate.

As for this man, he is on to new things, and I could not be more proud.

10 thoughts on “Goodbye, 25 Years

  1. Virginia

    Hugs! Well done, thou good and faithful servant! Thank you, Steve, for all you put into so many people for so many years.

  2. Kelly Large

    So many conversations I wish I could have with you…….but for now, I will just take the opportunity to express my gratitude. Shane and Seth were both part timers at Good Shepherd in their preschool years. They both have great memories of their time there and we will always be grateful for the people who poured their time, energy, and hearts into all of the children who have entered those doors! Especially Steve McClay! Thank you my dear for being a supporting and encouraging wife and to you both for the sacrifices you made on behalf of your own family to be there in so many ways for all of ours.Time, experience, and age have a funny way of bringing new reflection, wisdom, and understanding. Thank you for sharing your heart, you are a treasure! Praise God for you and your family.

    1. Julie Post author

      Sweet friend, one day we will catch up over more than the aisle at Target when you are randomly passing through town! Our time at Good Shepherd was filled with amazing parents and children like you and your family who made the time rewarding. My desire is to honor all of the good while acknowledging that there is also broken parts. Through it all God is glorified and we were always provided for by him in every way. I am confident that will continue.

  3. Theresa Howard

    Julie, I love your ability to grieve and celebrate at the same time. You and Steve have taken a huge step of faith. Out with the familiar and in with new challenges. I admire you! May this adventure take you to places where you are surprised by God.

  4. Maurita Eberly Hanford

    Julie, I was very surprised by your news and yet, why should I be?! All great things eventually have to come to an end (don’t I know of this all too well??!?!) I have confidence in my heart that Steve and Julie, both of you as a team, are leaving SUCH a legacy at the Good Shepherd School. You have demonstrated love, joy, kindness, integrity, encouragement, persistence, perseverance, wisdom, maturity, understanding, FUN, and the perfume of Christ!!

    I wish you the VERY best for the next phase of your lives together and I have a sense of excitement to hear what it will be. You are BOTH SUCH GIFTED PEOPLE!!

    I love you very much, my friends!


    1. Julie Post author

      It was a hard decision, but it was time. Thank you for your incredibly kind words here. Endings are hard! Valley Roofing is getting a great salesman. And I am open to what may be next for me. But first, Mothering. And we love you back. So much.


Thanks for heart-composting with me! I appreciate your words.

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