Posted in Life

God has a plan

I didn’t get hurt in the wreck nor did anyone else.

My brother lost a job before he started due to the place closing. A few days later he was hired at another which is similar to a place he’s worked before.
Several times I’ve come in to school not knowing what devotional to share but God has directed me daily and the kids have responded.
I had been procrastinating on paying my car registration. Now I don’t have to pay that part.
Another friend found a job in his major with better hours just months after feeling unsure where he was heading career wise.
My brother’s girlfriend took a job across the state from my brother a few years ago. Now he’s moved to the same town to pursue something(s) he loves. Now he’s only two hours away from me as well.
I’ve been blessed this year being at Oneida. It was the only school to give me an interview, but I have no doubt this is where I belong at this season in my life.
When I moved to Oneida, I had an extroverted neighbor who has become a good friend. In fact I moved in at a time when she needed a friend as well.
I was offered an Americorps position when I wasn’t offered a teaching position. Now I’m using the education grant for my Master’s degree.
I had to learn to drive a minivan during college. I was given a minivan as a rental.
Another friend has a source of income after a dry financial year, while another lady from our church has a housemate because of my friend’s dry season.
Every detail of my life has been planned by God in ways I can’t even understand. Every person I’ve met has been put in my life for a reason. I am excited to keep living with my eyes open to see how God will reveal his plans for my life.
Posted in Gratefulness, Life

I’m not superwoman, but I have a super God.

Don’t try to be superwoman: that’s the lesson of the weekend.

I had grand plans of trying to make it back to Oneida for the 11 am service at my church after attending the early service at my brother’s church. I probably could have made it fashionably late if I had been cautious and smart. Instead I was on the side of the road with a defunct car, a policeman, an ambulance, my brother and his girlfriend, and many tears at 11 am on Sunday.

God had his hand on the entire situation though and still does. I wasn’t hurt, and I didn’t hit the car coming towards me. I only spun and hit the ditch a couple of times before I ended up back on the road with a busted tire and quite a bit of damage to the car. Roxie (my car) has been treated kinder, but God used her to shield me from any physical damage.

When I was in high school, I wrote a poem about slowing down. Metaphorically I was speaking of slowing down to enjoy life, but in light of this past weekend, I think slowing down while driving is a good idea as well. If I hadn’t been in such a hurry to be superwoman and fly back to Oneida (good intentions and all), I wouldn’t be driving a rental minivan right now and worrying about Roxie. One lesson I’ve learned is to not rush. If I can’t be part of everything, so be it. God has a plan for each location I’ll be. While I write that last sentence though, I also realize that God has a plan for my accident as well.

It’s hard to say yet what good will come of my accident, but I know God has a plan to take even this unwanted situation and bring glory to his name. Already he’s provided for me through many concerned people and a good insurance company, so I have no doubt he has a plan. For now, I’ll wait on the prognosis, and in the meantime I’ll take life a little slower.

Most of all praise be to God that I am safe and that no one else was involved.

Posted in Life

25 Things Part Two

This morning I posted 25 things for which I’m grateful for; this afternoon I’d like to post 25 things I still hope to accomplish/see in whatever time God allows me.

  1. See all of my family love God again
  2. Get married
  3. Have kids
  4. Finish my Master’s degree (well start…)
  5. Buy a car from this century
  6. Catch up on my reading list
  7. Have a rocking chair on my front porch
  8. Read the Narnia series to my children
  9. Visit England again
  10. Memorize more scripture
  11. Inspire a student
  12. See my first sophomore class graduate
  13. Paint a beautiful picture
  14. Learn another instrument
  15. Learn to dance
  16. Have nieces and nephews
  17. Dye my hair (bravery needed)
  18. Live near family
  19. Crochet a sweater
  20. Drive a stick shift
  21. Write a book
  22. Be a regular exerciser
  23. Hug a sloth (it’d be fun!)
  24. Live each day to the fullest
  25. See Jesus return
Posted in Book Review, Gratefulness, Life

25 Things

On this morning of the completion of my 25th birthday, I would like to make a list of 25 things for which I am thankful God has given me.

  1. A God who shows clemency
  2. The promise of Heaven
  3. A family that supports and loves
  4. Friends who are real when needed and spoil me when needed.
  5. Churches who help me grow closer to God
  6. A cat who adores me
  7. A job that encourages my faith
  8. Students who push me to be better
  9. Books that entertain me
  10. A healthy body
  11. Tea to warm me to my toes
  12. A shelter from the world
  13. An always full belly
  14. Clean water
  15. Electricity (I am blessed)
  16. Blankets (I really hate being cold)
  17. Opportunities
  18. A car that runs (most of the time)
  19. Clothes appropriate for every season
  20. A conscience
  21. Past mistakes and diversions from more fatal mistakes
  22. Discipline
  23. Numerous Bibles
  24. An intelligent mind
  25. 25 years of life
Posted in Life, Remembering

I didn’t fully comprehend God’s plan.

A year and a half ago, I was starting a position in the office where I worked as a college student. Part of me was excited for the work I would be doing, but there was also a small part of me that wondered why I was starting a year-long non-teaching commitment in July instead of seeking teaching jobs.

I didn’t fully comprehend God’s plan.

Fast forward a little less than one year when I started seeking teaching jobs since I knew the end of my time at CELTS was coming. I applied to several public schools because I thought that’s where God wanted me. I had noble plans of being this strong light in the public school system.

Maybe I could have been that light, but once again I didn’t fully comprehend God’s plan.

I was devastated when I learned that the one English position open at that time in Madison County was filled internally. After leaving the career fair (which took enormous courage for me to even enter), I sat in my car and cried. Even though it was only early spring, I felt as if all of my options were drying up.

I didn’t fully comprehend God’s plan.

I kept putting my application out to public schools, and in the meantime I started looking around at other types of schools. My student teaching mentor had just come from OBI, and he had told me all about the school and it’s mission. I had briefly looked at it immediately following graduation, but nothing had come at that moment. On a whim, I sent my application to the school even though no jobs were posted at the time.

I didn’t fully comprehend God’s plan.

I continued worrying and working on applications, so I was pleasantly surprised when the president of OBI called to say they had an English position that might open up. He offered to host me for a couple of days, so they could get to know me and I could see the school.

Long story short, I didn’t fully comprehend God’s plan. In my plan, I would have found a teaching job directly out of college, and it probably would have been in a public school. I had completely written VISTA positions out of my plan a summer before I accepted one in CELTS, but God had a plan in place to get me to the place where I am right now. Even though it has had it’s rough moments, I rest in the confidence that God orchestrated my presence here.

I didn’t fully comprehend God’s plan, but that didn’t make his plan any less real or perfect.

Posted in Blog, Life, Remembering

You want me to pray???

Recently I saw a Facebook post reminiscing about the times in youth group when the youth leader asked for a volunteer to pray and there was dead silence. I can certainly remember those moments, and often I was one of the silent ones. On the off chance that the youth leader called on me or I volunteered, there was a brief moment of panic. If I’m honest, there’s still that moment of panic when I’m asked to pray aloud today. My question is “why?”. Why are we afraid to pray aloud? It’s just talking to God after all. I do that frequently, so what am I afraid of?

After some soul searching, I have come to the conclusion that I think for me it’s a fear of the people listening more than a fear of talking to God. I panic that others will think my prayer isn’t “holy” enough or long enough. Maybe I won’t use the right words, or maybe I won’t have any words at all.

This morning I was reading the passage in Matthew 6 where Jesus teaches the crowds how to pray. If pointing out that pagans pray so that others can hear them wasn’t enough explanation, Jesus follows up with an example prayer of his own. Guess what? Jesus’ prayer isn’t long and drawn out. It uses fairly simple words and has a pretty straightforward message.

This example gives me courage that when I feel like talking to God, I should do so freely whether out loud or in my head. After all, when I’m praying aloud, it’s God’s ear that matters, not the ears of others.

Posted in Life

Oneida

I’ve been at Oneida for over a month now, so it would seem logical that I would have made a blog post by now. Alas, it hasn’t happened. Overall, I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to be here and to serve Jesus.

I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service (1 Timothy 1:12)

I realize that my first year of teaching anywhere would be difficult, but being here is just a little bit better because I am surrounded by like-minded people and I’m able to freely share my faith. I also really enjoy the break after 3rd period for chapel, which definitely wouldn’t happen at a public school.

This is not to say that my time here has not been met with its own share of difficulties. I’ve had to adjust to a different pace of life, learn to live with less internet and cell coverage, find my niche in an established community, balance the demands of first-year teaching, try to say no to some opportunities, build a support system, learn two curriculum, develop tougher skin, and make time to simply rest. If you know me even a little bit, that last one is very difficult for me because I tend to run myself dry.

Through it all, God has provided. I have found ways to communicate with the outside world, learned to appreciate the good conversations and the loneliness, learned to keep the books for volleyball games, given up on creating everything from scratch, listened to student complaints without second-guessing my decision, and found a good walking path. I’m still learning every day and finding that the best advice about the classroom and adjusting to this life comes at the least expected moments.

It’s been a journey thus far, and I expect the journey will continue throughout this year and for however long God keeps me here in Oneida. If you’re looking for something to pray about, ask God to continually give me patience, tenacity, love, and his eyes as I teach these students about English and God.