Friday, June 27, 2008

Starting Over

In case you've missed the news, I am leaving my job at Zachary and taking a position at Central High School, where I will be teaching English III, Journalism, and Yearbook. Beyond the fact that it was difficult to leave the wonderful friends I have on the ZHS faculty, I will definitely miss teaching my little 9th graders who have been so much fun. In addition, I am completely nervous about having THREE preps, all of which I have NEVER taught before. But I think it will be good.

Things I'll miss about Zachary
  • the Freshmen Academy
  • my coworkers, especially the "Red Team," the "Lunch Bunch," and Erica Henry, who has not only been my mentor, but a great friend
  • 9th graders- they're so quirky and fun
  • my 7th hour boys from last year who promised to visit me once they're 10th graders
  • the "traditions" of ZHS that are so unique
  • but mostly, my coworkers and my kids
  • being a part of the #1 School District in the state for all 3 years I taught there
  • it's the place where I learned "how to be a teacher"

Things I'm excited about at CHS:

  • the chance to do something new
  • being at school with my sis for her senior year
  • working with some of the people who taught me and inspired me to become a teacher
  • working with someone I recently met and have already come to respect and admire so much- Mrs. Kahne Seidel- who is an amazing mother and Godly woman
  • learning new things- like, yearbook and newspaper
  • starting NEW traditions for those above mentioned "new things"
  • being a part of a new, upcoming school district
  • working for a principal I have respected since I was a high school student
  • being closer to Parker

Over the next few weeks, I plan to go up and start working in my classroom-- and really making it MINE. I'll post before/after pictures when I start going!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bring the Rain

I heard a song on the radio the other morning- "Jesus Bring the Rain" by MercyMe... and the chorus of it really struck me...

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I was really humbled by this. I am quick to pray the "bring me joy, bring me peace, bring the chance to be free" part... Of course, that's human nature! "God, please make my life happy and comfortable." I do okay with the "Bring me anything that brings You glory" part... although sometimes, when I get so bogged down in "when this life brings me pain..." I forget to actually BRING glory to Him in those times too. I find myself really struggling with the part of that "prayer" that says, "Jesus, bring the rain." I think it's normal/natural instinct for us as humans in the "flesh" to want "Comfortable Christianity." You know the kind I'm talking about... the 1 John 4:16 "God is love" Christianity, the Joel 2:13 "the Lord is gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and rich in love" Christianity, the common misconception of "God is a smiling old grandfather who wants us to be happy" Christianity.

I'm realizing more and more that having a TRUE, deep relationship with Christ can in no way whatsoever be "comfortable Christianity." We are called to be the kind of people in Luke 9:23, who follow Christ's command when he says "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." When I think about "taking up my cross," the only image I have in mind of what it is to take up a cross is the picture of Christ carrying his cross to His crucifixion. Carrying your cross is not supposed to be easy, pleasant, fun, enjoyable. Denying yourself means that all of those ideas of "joy" and "peace" I have in my mind don't really matter... it is GOD's picture of "joy" and "peace" in my life that I should be striving for. The encouraging part is that Christ also tells us, in Matthew 11:29-30 to "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Obviously, we are still doing something here-- picking up the yoke- but we have CHRIST walking alongside us.

So... what does that mean? Basically, I have to intentionally, daily remember to pray "If that's what it takes to praise you, Jesus bring the rain." Do I think that Jesus will constantly "bring rain" in my life? No, I don't. I think the "rain" gives me a better perspective of how to not forget to praise him in the "sunshine" parts of life too.