Friday, March 30, 2012

Wasted

I waste so much time on things that don't really matter.

Things like TV, facebook, etc. 
Also things like a clean house. 
And doing God's job for Him. 

When will I learn? Balance. Grace. Forgiveness. 

To love the things God loves and hate the things God hates. 

Like pride and selfishness. 

Rough night tonight and my heart aches with the struggle of wanting to do something but not doing it and wanting to not do something but doing it anyways. 

So grateful that GOD is gracious and merciful. I receive it so I can pass it along with God's help. Tomorrow is a new day!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Life (almost) without facebook

It's been a couple of weeks since I deleted over 300 friends and family from facebook in an effort to waste less time online.

I'm a little surprised by what I'm learning.

First, I kept an account because I have friends literally all over the world and I love seeing photos, following the details of their lives, jobs and ministries. Other than that I got rid of all the locals and the "outer circle" of acquaintances, including my mom, sister and mother-in-law.

What I'm learning is that the people I kept an account for...hardly ever post.

And I'm going through withdrawls. So I'm persevering to see if I really miss it or if I'm just not used to the gapping hole it's left in my routines.

How sad is that. So pathetic.

I'm praying that God grows REAL and deep relationships out of this experiment instead of the "status update" relationships I've grown accustomed to.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The thing about...

The thing about a calling...it's gut wrenching and heart breaking work. I imagine it's also what most parents feel as they raise their kids and how God feels about us. You care so much for these kids and they just. don't. get. it.

Needless to say, today was rough. This week has been rough.

This is turning out to be just as hard as I thought it would be. The job requires far more hours than what I'm getting paid for. I miss G desperately. Two to three hours a night is not enough time for this Momma. And don't even talk to me about time with the hubs. Between grading papers, making dinner, bath-time and bed-time I bet we get less than an hour together a day.

And despite the fact that she has observed me four times, the principal still hasn't said a single word to me in person or via email about her expectations, any questions I might have, how glad (or not glad) she is to have me on staff for the remainder of the year.

And the kids value their education about as much as a fat kid values vegetables.

It doesn't change the truth though. I'm right where I'm supposed to be. God has a plan and he will walk with me, meet all my needs and grow me in the process. My prayer is simple, I hope I'm not the only one changed for the better! (And that God gives me saint-worthy amounts of patience and wisdom! HA!)

Prayers appreciated:)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Calling

I spent a couple hours in my classroom on Saturday reading my student's journals. On my very first day, I asked them to write me a note telling me about themselves. Who they are, fun things they want me to know and important things I need to know. Most of these were really short and actually quite funny. In general the things a 12 year-old finds important are not the things I was thinking about. For instance, although I'm happy to know Sam (name changed to protect the innocent) loves to play Xbox but not the Wii, it would be more helpful to know their parents are in the middle of a messy divorce and I should always email both of them!

Aside from the information I learned from my assignment, I was able to read another assignment that most of them participated in back in December with their "real" teacher. They were asked to write a letter to someone asking for a Christmas present that could not be bought in a store.

Heart-breaking.

Over and over. Stories of broken families and homes. Abuse and addiction. Prison and divorce. Abandonment and neglect.

When I talked about it later with the hubs, I couldn't help but cry. I LOVE these kids. I look forward to going to work everyday. It's a balance to be sure, I hate leaving G but I do love my job. The thought of literally dropping G off at my parent's house and then NEVER going back for him so that when he's in 6th or 7th grade he writes a letter to me asking me why he wasn't good enough.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!! That's for real. I have a student who's mom left when they were 18 months old. Another who's dad tried to literally light them on fire. Another who's dad's in jail for abuse. Another who's dad is in prison. Another who has FIVE (half) siblings who they have literally never met and don't even know they're names. Another who's dad is in in-patient rehab. And this might not seem like a big deal to everyone, but another who has literally never been to any church. Ever.

What made me just as sad but was maybe less shocking was how many of them just feel...unimportant. Ignored. In the way. They want their parents to stop fighting, their parents to listen to them. One student literally asked for their parents to just talk and listen to them. That's all. Just SEE me and HEAR me. Let me know you care. That you want me.

As a new parent my heart broke over and over and over. I can't imagine doing the horribly awful stuff to G but every time I facebook instead of interact with him, every time I choose housework over him, I'm telling him he's not important enough. It's easy to be judgmental towards these dead-beat parents but I don't know their stories either.

I have truly found my calling and it feels so good. I am so humbled and in awe of how God has worked throughout my life to bring me to this point and place in time. On Saturday all I wanted to do was take all these kids home with me and love them and show them what precious creations they are. Obviously I can't do that BUT I can make sure they know I value them and like them and enjoy their company and presence. And maybe, just maybe, one or two will leave my classroom everyday feeling a little bit better. A little bit happier. A little bit loved. A little bit valued and wanted.

And maybe, just maybe, God'd love will be so apparent in me that it will plant a tiny little seed that grows and grows until God's grace and love transforms this student or that student and changes a whole family.

My "job" is giving me the chance to truly change the future for some of these kids. What an awesome responsibility. It's definitely one I take seriously.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Not what I had planned

I feel like the phrase "not what I had planned" can pretty sum up my entire life right now.

Having a kid who still doesn't sleep longer than 2-3 hours at 16 months....not what I had planned.

Buying a house and then promptly "loosing" $100,000...not what I had planned.

Living in aforementioned home for 20+ years...not what I had planned.

Being a middle school teacher...not what I had planned.

Being a full-time working mom...not what I had planned.

Not working out in what feels like forever...not what I had planned.

Being behind in my Bible-in-a-year again...not what I had planned.

All my close girlfriends moving out of state or country...not what I had planned.

But you know what? I'm SO happy and content despite things being NOT what I had planned. Because I see God's fingerprints all over my life, I know things are going JUST RIGHT. Just as HE has planned.

As of yesterday we have been married EIGHT years! Wohoo! And even though this house is not our dream of a little bit of land...it's a great home in a great location and I get to share it with a great husband and the world's cutest most awesome son. And he's so cute and smells so great, I don't really mind the frequent wake-ups, snuggles and cuddles. I've grown used to his smell and warm milky breath cuddled up next to me in bed. When he does finally sleep through the night I think I'm going to miss him so much it hurts.

Also since yesterday, my kids will officially be more than 2 years apart. Another month and no baby #2. It makes me sad. Even though I trust God and HIS plans, I really wanted my boys (because that's what I want) to be close in age and best friends and to play sports together. My sadness doesn't mean I don't trust God...it's just one more not what I had planned. 


But I know that someday I'll look back and be so grateful for how things turned out and I'll see even more of God's fingerprints in the timing...of kids and houses and jobs and everything else. God is good ALL the time. ALL the time, GOD IS GOOD.