musings of a preschool teacher

August 16, 2014

"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart".

God specifically states that He will give us our hearts desire. But...the catch is that we delight ourselves in HIM. I am not saying we have to work in order to get our hearts desire (sounds like it, though), but what I want to try and convey is that when we're not focused on God and are trying to manually fulfill our desires on our own accord, we do not get the privilege of allowing  God to bestow his blessing upon us. 

They say when one door opens another one opens. But what if one door opens and the door you're trying to close stays open? I had this experience in the past week. I quit my preschool job in Gallatin, TN for a preschool job in White House, TN Wednesday. Should be a good, clean transition, right? Something up my alley; something similar to what I was doing only hours after I quit my old preschool job. Not the case! 

There are a lot of sayings in life. One of them being "the grass is greener on the other side"-something like that. In any case, the grass really isn't greener in some cases. And this case is no exception. Actually, it was a dingy brown color on the other side. Chaotic, deadening, deeply insane and completely traumatic! I love kids-don't get me wrong-but there are just some cases when there are too many kids in the room to-unfortunately-be able to completely love and care for them all. Especially when half of them are crying, yelling, and telling you "I am gonna make you cry" as they walk away with a smirk on their face because they know you do want to cry (I didn't personally have this experience)

However sweet a child may seem deep down-somewhere inside-there lives the devil spawn. Nah! Only joking! Actually, the attitude and actions of the child usually reside from the aftereffects of absent parenting, too much discipline, or the right balance. You can tell. Really! And this group from the new school-all 20 of them-were wild, obnoxious, and utterly out-of-hand. The grass isn't always greener. And that leads to the reasoning as to why I stated that sometimes the doors you try to close don't close. Why I say that is because I experienced a door that I wanted closed flung back in my face, open wide. 

The first day of my new job was a bust. Crazy and bewildering. Rule #1 in preschool management-->you DO NOT stick two completely new employees in your troubled room thinking it's a good idea. It's not. It's terrible. And while I wanted dearly to assist and help that new teacher by being her assistant, I knew in my heart (even before I started the job) that God wasn't finished with me at my old preschool job. When one door closes another opens, right? In this case, there were two open doors. Both good job opportunities. I firmly believe that if God had wanted me at that new job He would have gave me the perseverance and the heart for those kids. But in the same breath, He tugged at my heart throughout the whole process. I ignored it. I pondered it. I went through with it, thinking meh, it'll be a good career move, when in reality it would have been a better idea to stick to the job I LOVED than go to a job that I would HATE. 

Anyhow...I said all that to say this--> I have been noticing in my life that what I pray fervently to God about is what I receive. And yet, sometimes those things that I have received I realize that I don't really need/want at all. Like with this new job. I wanted the new job more than anything because I was supposedly annoyed with my old job-being lead teacher this summer and all, and not having the support or encouragement I needed to help me through the summer-thinking it would be a good escape. It was close to home, offered more pay. Seemed like the perfect job! The think is, I firmly believe that God left the door to my old job open because he knew all along that I belonged there, with those kids, with the staff, with the boss. He opened the door, for sure, to the new job because, well, I wanted it; but He also had a Plan B knowing that I would discover that the grass was indeed greener on the side I had come from. Not the side I had traveled to. 

So, in essence, today I am thankful for the job God has given me-1 year and 11 days to date! The Lord taught me through all this to be thankful for what I do have, to trust my gut even when people are telling me something different, and to always be my own person. He gave me the group of kiddos that I have at school because He knows I have a place in their lives, a reason to be there; lives to impact, to inspire, to love. He knows my talents and my heart. He has me right where He wants me, and I am thankful he does. I have learned my lesson. Think twice, act once. But always go with your gut. God may give you what you want, but sometimes He does that to show us that the one thing we want is not at all what we really need. And in some cases, not at all what we want! 

take heart!

August 8, 2014

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. 
But take heart! I have overcome the world."
John 16:33

I love how John writes-with victorious expression! He expresses such passion in this specific passage, such assurance. It amazes me, the words God gave John to write, I have overcome the world. Whoa.

This world is tough. No joke. I am serious. You probably know from experience how hard life can be. And if you don't, well, you either don't live in reality, mom and dad pay for everything, or you haven't really lived yet. 

The world breaks us down and tugs at us like a game that it's motivated to win, because that would mean giving us a crushed spirit and a sense of defeat. The world thrives on building us up, only to break us down. That can be a hard thing to process and deal with, especially when faith is low and all hope seems lost. 

I am in love with the way John retells the story of Jesus with His disciples as Jesus talks about how grief will turn to joy. I have experienced much of the same in my own life, the way grief turns into joy. Nothing nearly as grievous as loosing a loved one. But everyone grieves over different things for different reasons, and in different ways.

John 16:33 was often my go-to verse because it was a great reminder of the joy that was coming to burn out the pain. At the moment of reading the verse for the first time, I had no idea how far this would carry me! It didn't seem like a whole lot, but the reality of that verse is so true. 

I have battled an eating disorder for years, and have an anxiety disorder, as well as Bipolar Disorder. The combination of the three was absurd, but not unheard of; and it brought me pain to think about my past struggles. But even more pain to realize that I was going to have to face a butt load of crap to get through the struggles that laid ahead of me.

What I got out of John 16:33 was that, while Jesus was telling this directly to His disciples, He was also telling me directly of a future in a troubled world that would that would be full of peace. And the only was that was to be made possible was through the blood of the Lamb. 

"But take heart! I have overcome the world!"
Take heart! For the Lamb has risen and offers hope to all who follow! This verse has given me so much to fall back on; so much to look forward to! Because while I may struggle in this world, there is a light at the end of the tunnel-now and for eternity!

work//relationships//drama//and other randomness

August 3, 2014

Whew! What a week. I am serious when I state that I was under a constant strain of pressure and stress all week. Especially Thursday, yesterday. It started out as any other day. I woke up, dressed, ate, got my $8 Starbucks coffee, and arrived at work around 7:35am. I didn't wait until the clock chimed 8 to make my way in because I hate waiting, and I knew my co-worker was out, which left the responsibility of trucking in earlier than normal up to me. 

As I arrived, all seemed normal. Another one of my co-worker (who works with the babies) was in my class room (as she always is early in the morning) to watch my kiddos until I or my co-worker arrive. Well, needless to say, as I enter my room, the school director (my boss) is caught off guard my my super early entrance.

Director: "Wow, you're early. Did you and K switch arrival times?"

Me: " K isn't coming in. Did she not tell you?"

Director: "No. She didn't. Well, who is filling in for her?"

Me: "I have no clue. She told me yesterday that she didn't know who was helping me today."

That conversation started a domino affect that got the day off to a rather stressful and interesting start. As I surveyed my room, there were five boys and five girls. Just from that configuration I knew it was not going to be my day

There is a whole heck of a lot of drama going on that I hate to be a part of, especially when it effects my job. So I tend to stay out of that sort of thing. However, it was right up in my face yesterday. I work from 8-5. And as you can imagine that's a full day with 2 year olds. I got no break. Zilch. Crazy! That only served to amplify the fact that for about 20 minutes I was out of ration, got word that someone quit before even starting, and that someone was fired on-the-spot. On top of that a few of the main teachers were out and the subs that were available to us were out as well. So we were in a great deal of hurt. 

There were several times I almost cried. A few times I thought about talking another Celexa for my anxiety. And another time I thought about just digging myself a hole and passing out. Instead I prayed. Hard. Long. 

On top of that I am still struggling with finding "the one". I am over it. It's terrible to say, but I highly doubt that there is a guy out there for me! God says "be single; wait for it", but I have my doubts. I am doubting that God hears me-let alone knows me-enough to know the type of guy I need/want. 

But that's faith, right? A bit of an up-and-down-crazy-train-wreck that says "It's coming. Wait and see. Hold on and say yes to God 100%." I find that having faith, but never getting the results of your faith as fast as you'd like, to be defeating. Sure, we're not going to get all we've hoped and dreamed for ASAP. Yet, it would be nice to see the results of our faith more often that it usually occurs. 

However, that would defeat the purpose of needing God and relying on Him. To rely on God is essentially giving up our own desires for something better. Jeremiah 29:11 states that God has plans to prosper us-
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
To PROSPER! God knows our lives inside and out. He knows our future before we even experience the next second of our lives. He knows us down to the nitty-gritty. Astonishing. And yet, even after all of that...we still try and do things on our own.

Faith in God essentially means that we have a complete trust in who He is and what His plans are for our lives. I have struggled with understanding this for ages! Even though I am only 21, I have had a rough go of life. And a lot of it I have had to rely on hope and faith to get me through. But even so, I never fully understood faith, until I had to give up and let go of "having" a relationship with a man, and gave it over to the Lord-still praying, but resting in the fact that He knows BEST. He knows me BEST. Knows my likes, dislikes-my heart and soul. So, of course He's going to be the best matchmaker in the business. He can do what I can't do-make two people fall hopelessly in love, and orchestrate a relationship between two people that a human alone cannot fathom, nor make happen.

Overall, it's been a rough week. But without my faith, I'd have lost all hope for sure! Yet, with God all things are possible-to find peace, enter into a new job with exuberance, and sincerely hope the best for those whom are struggling. It's not ease, sure. But practice makes perfect.