Do you believe that God has a plan for your life?
Have you ever seen it unfold before your eyes? I have.
When spring hit and my oldest daughter turned three years old, I realized I needed to find a preschool. I had no clue what went into finding a preschool. I have since learned that people stand in line for hours to get a number for registration that takes place on another day. Some eager moms camp out overnight just to be the first in line. Others begin research into the best preschool environment that will ultimately lead to a degree from Harvard. Some search high and low for a preschool that will provide education, the arts, and creative play. I did none of those things.
I actually have a few memories of when I attended preschool as a child. It was at preschool that I met my first friend, Patty. We are still friends to this day. I remember bunny rabbits in cages. I can picture the long hallway that led to our classroom. There is nothing significant in my memories, except Patty. We grew up together and our moms became good friends, too. Relationship defined preschool to me. I wanted that same thing for my children.
I began searching online for preschools in the area. I found four that looked good to me. Two were co-ops (where the parents are required to volunteer at the school) and two were traditional preschools. My first visit to one of the co-ops resulted in a clear “no” to that school. The other co-op peaked my interest but without childcare for my younger daughter, I didn’t see how I could ever volunteer. I have since learned that parents help one another out on volunteer days. Not knowing this, I decided on a traditional preschool. Sunrise Preschool quickly bubbled to the top for me.
Margo explained to me that the fall classes were currently full. My name would be added to a wait list. Registration had taken place a few months before. I realized I had missed the window … I felt like a failure at my first educational duty as a mom. Instead of wallowing, I prayed. I asked God to open the door of the school that would be best for our family. Then I waited.
On a tour with then Director, Margo Pehlivanos. I walked into one of the classrooms. The room had ample floor space for playing and teaching, and at the tables sat about six kids who were busy coloring activity pages. Cubbyholes lined one side of the room, marked with children’s names. Toys lined bookshelves. Books filled the rest. The brightly decorated walls taught days of the week, numbers, letters and that God loves you. The various teachers I met that day all provided me with the feeling of acceptance, warmth, and love. I discovered that children at Sunrise Preschool learn basic academic skills. However, they have fun while growing in knowledge. God’s love and his teachings from the Bible are a cornerstone of this preschool.
Margo explained to me that the fall classes were currently full. My name would be added to a wait list. Registration had taken place a few months before. I realized I had missed the window and I put my name in at the other preschool as well. I felt like a failure at my first educational duty as a mom. Instead of wallowing, I prayed. I asked God to open the door of the school that would be best for our family. Then I waited.
I remember the call from Margo. She said, “We have room in our Tuesday/Thursday morning program.” She paused, then said, “just a moment.” When she returned to the call, her voice had a tone of disbelief in it. “Yes, we have an opening in our two-day-a-week morning program.” I accepted and registered my daughter. What I didn’t realize was how rare it was for there to be an opening in that coveted time spot. Margo’s pause was to double check it herself.
Once accepted, my husband and I decided we should try the church where Sunrise Preschool campus is located. We visited PazNaz while someone babysat our kids. I remember being greeted immediately by Bev Mimms. She asked us if we wanted to see the children’s Sunday school rooms and nursery. After a brief tour, we entered the Sanctuary. The choir and orchestra filled the stage and God’s presence filled the room. Our hearts were full and we knew we were home.
Our acceptance into one of the top preschools in the area wasn’t “lucky” as many parents told me. To me this was a clear indication of Gods’s plan. God created that space for us. He drew us into the congregation of PazNaz. It was a part of his plan for Sunrise Preschool to be the open door that led us into the family of First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena. We are forever grateful for his guidance.
God’s plans for our family haven’t always been as clear as our Sunrise Preschool acceptance. However, I constantly see his hand in the big and little decisions of our life. I don’t always see the big picture but get glimpses that we are on the path he has designed. Each step we take as a family and each decision we make on behalf of our children is covered in prayer. With that, I can confidently step forward into each stage of life. My daughter is now in high school. All three of my children attended Sunrise Preschool. I even served on the board for a few years. The foundation my children received from attending Sunrise Preschool for two years rooted them in God’s family and his plans for their life. I encourage you to keep your eyes open for God’s plans being revealed in your life.
– Debbie Wong
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