For Narnia…and for Aslan!!!

I’m currently watching The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  Such an incredible film.  Every time I watch it I feel such a sense of adoration for Lucy.  I am also jealous of her at times.  Her faith in Narnia, in Aslan, and in her siblings writes as an all around incredible character.  She is the first one to step foot into Narnia.  She’s there when Aslan gives his life for his kingdom and there when he returns in his glory.  She’s the first to see him when she returns years later.  She never doubts in the certainty of Aslan’s plan.  As a little girl, she has more bravery and heart than many of the grown up characters.  She’s called Queen Lucy the Valiant for a reason!  Valiant: boldly courageous, heroic, brave, and worthy.

I wish I had her faith and bravery.  I’m in a season of my life where there is so much uncertainty.  In the next few months I will probably lose my dear grandmother.  I’m blessed in that I have not yet lost someone close to me… but it’s so painful.  I want to have faith that God has complete control over my life.  I dread loss.  I long for other things to happen.  I feel stretched to where I can’t even really find words to express how I’m feeling.  My faith seems to ebb and flow with the tide.  I wish it would run as a river.

I wish I were like Lucy.

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When are people going to get it?

I come today in a spirit of frustration and confusion.  You might want to click away.  Can I just spout words like a teenager for a second?  I turn 25 two weeks from today.  I’m single, struggling financially, and completely unsure of what God is doing in my life.  This is a very potent mix and for those that know me, it can create a very moody lady.

I just don’t get it!  Why do people not understand kids like me?  I’m alone!  Got that? Alone!  And, I don’t want to be!  I don’t have a choice in the matter.  When I graduated college three years ago, all I wanted was to teach.  I was determined to get that second grade classroom and be happy teaching 8 year olds the rest of my life.  I even started to worry about the slim possibility of ever marrying and having kids.  How could I ever balance a career and a family or heaven forbid… give it up.

But you know what? My heart’s changed.  I don’t even know if teaching is what I want any more.  Sure, I really enjoy making a difference in the lives of children.  When my three year olds look up at me and tell me they love me, when they have a behavioral breakthrough, when they bring me a picture they colored just for me, my heart is happy.  Plus, I’m working with a great group of people.  But, what do I really want?  I want my own children to look up at me and tell me they love me.  I want to hang their pictures on my refrigerator. So when people tell me that it’s harder than I think, that it’s something you can never get out of, when I watch parents treat their children like a nuisance out in public, and the like… I get really mad!!

I might be putting myself out on a very shaky limb by being so open about this but you know what?  It’s time for people to start being honest with themselves.  I want to be married someday.  In fact, it probably ranks up there as one of the things I want most out of this life.  I want a husband that I can build up, support, care for.  It kills me to watch women put their husbands down.  I hate seeing the skyrocketing divorce rate.  I’m tired of hearing women complain about their husbands.  They have a part of the life I want and they take it for granted.  And let me spout one more thing out.  Married ladies!  Stop telling us single people that marriage is not all it’s cracked up to be, or that it has so many issues, or that we have so much freedom and we should enjoy it.  It doesn’t help!!!

I know this all makes me sound super crazy.  But I live this everyday and I just felt that if I didn’t get it out there, it would eat me alive.  I know it’s wrong to envy what other people have.  I know that to grasp for things that don’t belong to me draws me away from the Lord.  Sure it’s not a problem as drastic as poverty, world hunger, or war.  But it’s life and it’s hard.  It’s hard to watch others get the things you want.  It’s hard to watch friend after friend find their happily ever after and you’re still waiting for your story to start.  I have to believe that God cares about these things.  He tells us that the little things matter to Him.  I just wish I knew what He was thinking.

New Beginnings

Thus ends my first week as part of the Little Jewels family.  It’s been a great first week, filled with new things, lots of information, and nervous feelings about all that is to come. Monday through Wednesday I got to know my new co-workers and read through a lot of paperwork. Wednesday I was able to see my classroom for the first time.  It’s big, bright yellow, and ready for some fun!

Thursday I spent all day in one of the three year old rooms at the existing center. I have to admit I felt a little out of my element.  Probably because I knew I was so close to having my own class and that most of the kids I met that day, wouldn’t be coming with me.  I’m excited about my group though! I’ve been warned that they all have pretty strong personalities… but I really think it’s going to be awesome! Yesterday I spent half the day in the other three year old classroom and then went back in the evening for the fall festival.  I dressed up as a “spelling bee”.  It was good to hang out with everybody.

Next week I will be putting my new room together, training with firemen and nurses, setting up for open houses, and preparing lessons for the following week.  Oh yeah, as of now I am set to get kids on November 1st.  A little scary since as of Wednesday, my classroom didn’t even have ceiling tiles. :/  Really hoping that those construction workers have found some extra speed and energy!

I have to say that I’m pretty nervous.  However, I really have some good feelings about this new job.  I’m no longer going to be working in a storage closet.  I am working in a Christian environment and won’t have to be as quiet about my beliefs.  I will soon be making decent money again and will get to pick up my sewing again.  I will soon have health insurance again.  I will not be working split shifts anymore.  Most importantly I will be making a difference in the learning of little children.

I am awesome at keeping up with blogs…

So a lot has happened since my last entry.  I didn’t get the Title 1 job in Clinton. Before you get too sad, I did get a job as a preschool teacher.  This will be my last week at Clubhouse.  Next week I will begin training for my new job as the lead threes teacher at Little Jewels ( I’m SUPER excited!) Finances are a little tight for now until I start making better money. So I’m back shopping at Aldi, which is not the best for my attempt at organic and natural cooking, but it sure is cheaper! In fact I’m making a pledge with this new job to pay off my credit card debt.  In college I acquired debt after I needed to use my saving to pay rent and bills during student teaching. I had a part time job, but still had charge a lot of things.  I’ve been slowly paying off the debt for three years, but haven’t been serious enough about it.  I’m really desiring to get out of debt and stay out.

Now, I’m off to enjoy some tater tot casserole (first attempt)… this must be what the Duggar’s house smells like 🙂  Love those people!

Interview

So I have an interview on Monday for a job similar to the one I had last year.  It’s at a school devoted to 2nd and 3rd graders and I would be teaching reading.  I’m incredibly nervous because I really want the job and really want to impress the principal on Monday.  The bump in the road is that I was let go from a job like this last year.  I don’t know how to answer the question “so what is your reason for leaving your last job?”   What do I say?  I don’t want this new principal to think that just because it didn’t work out in one area that it couldn’t somewhere else.  This year would be so different!  New grade level, a year of experience, and a year of lessons learned under my belt.  I want it so much.  I want to teach!!!

Can You Hear The Music?

So I was just watching a video of John Mark McMillan. who is the writer of the song “How He Loves”.  Amazing song often mistaken for being David Crowder’s song.  Crowder does a great cover of it, but did not write it.  Anyway, John discussed in the video his reason for writing the song and the story behind the lyrics.  I’d heard the story before but it was nice to hear him tell it.

John’s song was written when his friend was killed in a car accident and he felt a lot of anger towards God.  In writing the song he rediscovered the way God loves us.  It’s not a neat and tidy love.  It’s a “messy love” as he puts it.  He loves us through our anger and sin and sloppy emotions.  It’s a give anything, give everything, do anything, kind of love.  His original lyrics towards the end of the song where Crowder inserts “Heaven meets earth like an unforseen kiss” where “Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss”.  It’s not a beautiful sight at first glance right?    The image that comes to mind is a baby kissing their mom or dad.  Many babies first learn to kiss with their mouths wide open. (at lease I did)  So their kisses are sloppy… but so full of love and adoration for their parent.  We are the sloppy and clumsy but God loves our “kisses”.  He is pleased with us.  Not because of anything we have done, but because of His amazing love.  If you haven’t, listen to the song.  It’s amazing.

In the video John and his band play the song and there are dozens of people in the room listening, singing, and worshiping the Lord.  People are rocking out to the music, eyes closed, hands up, jumping around, yelling, crying… to a non-believer it would look like these people were crazy.  It’s a glorious sight.  I’m reminded of so much criticism out there against people who worship with their whole body and soul this way.  We’re labeled as “weird”, “over the top”, “too much”, or even “cult members”.  Let me ask this… why is it ok for people to go to a rock, metal, hip-hop, or R&B concert and be yelling, running into one another, bumping and grinding parts of their bodies against each other… all for the sake of the music, but it’s not normal to worship a Holy, amazing, loving, giving, forgiving, fantastic, indescribable God with all that we are? Why is it ok to have posters of artists all over our walls and idolize musicians but it’s not normal to write love songs about the One who loves us the most?  Why?  Are we really so fallen that we feel we must fight the urge to jump up and down, sing loudly, raise our hands, and cry at the feet of our God who has given us everything just because we’ll be labeled?  I’m afraid we are.

Can you hear the music?  He’s calling out to us to be the worshipful creatures He created us to be.

Home

Last night was an incredible night at DC.  DC stands for Discipleship Community.  It’s a gathering of all the small groups that meet on a Wednesday at my church.  We gather together, eat, worship, listen to our DC pastor teach, and pray for each other.  It’s amazing.  Last night was such a solidifying teaching for me.

Since I lost my job in March I have questioned where God wants me to be.  Should I wait it out?  Should I move back to the suburbs?  Should I apply out of state and go to another network church?  Should I just drop everything and move somewhere without a network church?  Last night assured me that I am SUPPOSED to be HERE!!!

This month our small groups at Clearview are going to be doing a topic study on marriage… dun dun dun.  Though, after listening to Justin teach last night I have a feeling this is going to be a great month for married and single folks.  The teaching focused a lot on what God created our marriages to be.  Marriage is so taboo-ed these days.  Especially in this country.  People see marriage as archaic and feel it doesn’t apply to the generations emerging today.  The thing is that people don’t see what marriage was originally created to be.  It’s a covenant between a man and a woman made to reflect Christ and his bride, the Church.

Now, usually all this talk of marriage would normally make me incredibly depressed.  But I left church feeling so encouraged, hopeful, and cared for.  Justin encouraged us women not to settle for anyone who doesn’t see marriage the way God does, anyone who does not have that building relationship with Christ.  I was so encouraged!  He also suggested that we don’t look outside our churches if we truly desire a marriage to someone who sees marriage this way.  At first this was frustrating because there are not many single men at my church these days.  But, during prayer I just felt God speaking to me.  He was comforting me and telling me to listen to the leaders at Clearview.  I don’t know how to put it into words really.  I just know it’s going to work out.  When Justin assured us that the church truly cares for and loves its single folks, it was just another assurance that this is my HOME!  Sure, it’s central Illinois.  It’s not beautiful.  There are no trees or beaches.  But it’s my home.  After a week of hearing friends pressuring (in a good, loving way) me to move to Michigan and getting a taste of what else is out there, and then coming home to my church… I know I could never be a part of a church that is not in our network.  I feel so safe and loved here it’s just ridiculous!!  I am so blessed!  I am so grateful for a new season of joy, confidence, and a new hunger for God’s Word in my life!!!