One of my favorite things to do is work in the preschool at church. I get to love on babies, play with toddlers, tell little ones about Jesus and SHOW them God’s love on display. Tell each kid that Jesus knows his or her by name.
I get to give parents an hour to worship undistracted by little ones. My time with their children help ls them to feed their souls. Is it loud and crazy…oh yes. But is it important?
Nothing else matters.
The kingdom belongs to these littles. We must be careful to train up the next generation so the church carries on until He returns.
Be the church wherever you fit in using whatever gift He bestowed upon you.
Covid has wreaked havoc on education. Sub shortages, teachers leaving the profession, kids with anxiety and on medication…now even the leaders are retiring. So the big question is “Why?”
The short answer is apathy. In order to keep schools afloat and not ruin an academic future, schools required as little as possible. We took one grade per week, made most assignments optional, gave a choice to show up in person…we made learning easy and students got comfortable. However, what we were doing was hardly education. We were surviving.
When schools reopened, we again made many things optional and the virtual experience became a joke. Students got a year of very minimal learning as most teachers were forced to do a hybrid learning model. So now even though school was back in session, the learning struggled as teachers were overwhelmed balancing both. Later, Texas tested all of our kids while saying it did not count…was a baseline for the future. Wrong!
HB4545 is attempting to bridge the gaps of the horrific scores that “did not count” while frustrating teachers and making them feel defeated. Students have seen how minimal effort can bring a grade and failing is still nearly impossible so why put in more than the minimal? Then we got the sub issue.
Certain districts pay more than others so subs are really community members that love their community.
Watching the Amazing Race episode 3 when they shut down due to Covid, reminded me I have trauma. Trauma from life shutting down and my job closing. Trauma from sending kids home with one hug and a good bye. Trauma from virtual teaching. Trauma from homeschooling as a teacher. Trauma from learning new things and putting them to use quickly. Trauma from wanting to teach but realizing we are just giving a grade…most kids did as little as possible.
The teacher trauma is real!
Now we have schools with anxious students and teachers and leaders in very stressful situations. Balancing everyone’s mental health and not wanting anyone to break.
So here we are…brave educators digging in deep to ride this out. Kids are fragile so we all must walk carefully. No other job impacts children like teaching and I am here to stay…but things are challenging as you have to choose between scores and sanity.
It is what is, but the more support the better! Parents show you care. Teachers check on each other. Leaders show grace and compassion and serve your staff. Students come to school to learn. We can conquer this together. God is with us and suffering produces perseverance. The answers are complicated, but hope and love are strong and I believe in our business and system.
I fail at this daily. The author of the Bible Recap says “You are a person that reads her Bible, wants to read her Bible or wants to want to read her Bible.” I fall in the middle.
I am on Day 102 of a Bible reading plan, but should be on Day 175 I think. I started strong then stalled. I thought summer days would catch me up and I failed at that, too. My problem is distractedness. I sit down then lose focus. I am a failure.
Now, I celebrate that I have read 102 more days of the Bible than I read last year, but I can do better. I want to do better. I feel better and can handle life better when God’s truth is poured into me. I strive to be more like God.
But believing God is where the joy is at is much different than living it, so I continue to pray and do more. Truthfully, every time God has called me to study His word…he ends up preparing me for a battle where His word has sustained me. I will see if this time is different, but I know I am armed with the truth and that is enough.
My plans are worthless. I learned that in Covid, then things got back to “normal-ish” and I forgot and now I am reminded in this Winter storm again. My plans are worthless.
My calendar is a wish list and a “I hope to do…”. My dad would always say to EVERY thing “If it is the Lord’s will..” It drove me crazy, but it is more right than wrong. My calendar was slashed again with this Texas ice storm and I am not complaining. I have been blessed with the essentials and luxuries that I appreciate now more than ever. Do not take it for granted, Julia…heat, electricity, water…they are gifts!
As we, Lord willing, start wrapping this Winter Storm up I am reminded we are made to follow Him. We were created to worship.
Created to obey.
Created to trust.
Created to sin.
Created to need a Savior and one willing to sacrifice.
Created to thank Him and tell others about this gift.
This is how my kitchen looked all day yesterday. I should have been cleaning, wrapping presents, maybe baking a yummy dish but instead this was me all.day.long.
I binge watched Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas movies. The trick to doing this is neglecting your child by letting him play all day and making sure your husband stays at work. It was a huge success and I feel ready to conquer the holidays. In the midst of the hustle, follow God’s lead and rest, be still and choose joy with the people God has placed in your path.
If you are experiencing grief this season, know you are not alone and covered in prayer. Merry Christmas!
Last week, the weather in our vacation spot said sunny all day er’ day…this week weather reports say storms and overcast all week.
Disappointing as sun just gives life to the soul, but a blessing as no one is hurting from a sunburn and we still play all day in the ocean…win-win! Yesterday, we grabbed our boogie boards and went out when the wind was blowing hard. Kinda crazy, kinda exciting, kinda stupid…those waves hurt! But man, such good waves to ride…tall, fast, fun…so many laughs and squeals. Constant sounds of “that was a big one!” We went back at night and we had fun, but the waves were back to being calm and consistent…we began to miss the waves that were hard, crashing and furious and wild!
Isn’t that life? Storms make the best waves. The waves in a storm knock you out of your comfort zone.
Waves in a storm give you the restlessness and sense of urgency to..
Look for a new job.
Make the budget.
Have the tough conversation.
Go to the doctor.
Dry the tears and begin the next chapter.
Say yes to family.
Mourn the loss.
Stop wishing and start trying. In short, the biggest life changes come from the biggest storms. It was in my storm, we began to both work on our marriage and adopt our son. The storm gave us a new perspective to pack up or camp out. We chose to stay.
Storms make you stop complaining about the rain and start playing in it. And the reward to withering the storm is so beautiful and a direct promise from God that He sees you, loves you, was with you and will never leave you.
Rainbows are best seen after the rain. God’s perfect design for his children.
Today I ask you to pray for this family and their fight to beat Colon Cancer. You can google Staggs family to read more about them. They have used their storm to share about Jesus and the fight is stronger than ever right now. The most ferocious of storms are made easier when we stand together…I am standing with them in prayer.
I am life long introvert. Being in quarantine is sweet relief. I like people, but on my terms. Parts this ordeal feel like bliss. But even as an introvert, I value connections. Facebook offers me all the feels. A like, comment, emoji that says “me too” or “I feel you!” I often fail to check up on people because I withdraw all to myself, but God is teaching me to be more aware of the community that maybe I do not need…but that others need from me. And truthfully maybe I need more than I think I do.
Case in point, I was dreading this zoom with my church community group. What will we say? Will we talk over each other? Is it a waste of time? But the time spent laughing, sharing stories, giving encouragement and hope filled my spirit. I walked away knowing I am not alone.
My son is experiencing it too. Noises and people and new are not him, but even on camera he found himself showing off his stuff. It is how we live life. Sharing and connecting can fuel the soul. I pray to be so in love with Jesus that He comes out in me, but I know I have a long way to go. But in these moments where we all feel the same pain and are enduring similar moments then the connection is a powerful thing that can lift us up and keep us going. If you find yourself lonely, lacking a listening ear or just feel abandoned…message me. You are not alone.