For I know well the plans I have for you…Jeremiah 29:11
Have you ever noticed how many things just go together; peanut butter and jelly, ice cream and hot fudge or salt and pepper? Lots of things come in pairs that just match. I experienced a pair last Friday…ending and beginning. As the 3:10 bell rang, I said good bye to my last group of little lovelies. The end of the year is always hard for me but this year it was the end of my days in first grade and the beginning of my career as a 5th and 6th grade religion teacher. I guess you could say I’m trading the little lovelies for the middle lovelies. Life is full of tradeoffs! There are lots of things I will miss with the little lovelies! I’m not sure how many hugs, drawings, homemade necklaces and dandelion bouquets I will receive from my middle lovelies but I’m convinced they will give me a whole different set of blessings and gifts. It’s hard to imagine what they might be at this point but I’m looking forward to the discoveries.
I’m not gonna lie, I’m nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs about moving down the hall to the middle lovelies. I’m nervous because I’m following in the footsteps of a giant of a teacher. She was gentle, humble, holy and a brilliant religion teacher. She truly touched the hearts and souls of the students she taught. I’m also nervous because this switch was God’s decision. A change this big was not on my radar but I prayed that He would show me what He wanted me to do…He made it crystal clear so I’m on my way down the hall. I suppose the third thing that makes me nervous is, I was comfortable; I knew what I was doing and now I have to figure out how to do this job all over. I need to study 6th grade language arts and teach with novels instead of books that focus on the sound of one short vowel. I have to dig deeper and teach the meaning of Jesus’ Gospel message rather than just teaching who Jesus is. When I think about everything I need to do and plan and learn this summer, I wonder if God really knew what He was doing and I realize just how steep the learning curve is for next year. When I feel like I’m about to be swallowed up by doubt, I have to stop and remember who’s idea this was. I will figure out how to teach 6th grade Language Arts and I will get used to the way the middle lovelies will be more independent and challenging but the real trade off in all of this; I get to teach about the majesty, love and absolute greatness of God four every hours each day! That will be amazing. It’s funny how often I can teeter between excitement and doubt about the decision. Those are the moments God calls me into prayer.
I’ve come to the realization lately that God likes to shake us up and make us a little uncomfortable every now and again. He isn’t as concerned about our temporary contentment as He is the master plan for our lives. A quiet, peaceful and uneventful summer was on my list but apparently not His. I know He called me to this so I know He will equip me with what I need to get the job done but man is He ever bossy sometimes! I’ll follow, I’ll work hard, I’ll trust Him and I’ll be blessed! That’s how it works when you wake up in the morning and choose to be a disciple of Christ. He tests, we trust…simple as that. As I head into school today and begin to pack away short vowel bingo and little scissors I’ll remind myself of that and when I walk down the hall and enter my classroom for next year I’ll remind myself of that again. I can’t wait to see what He has in store for me and I have no doubt that the middle lovelies have much to teach me. Stay tuned for the adventures of Mrs. Wohlfert and her middle lovelies coming next fall. I have a stack of books and resources to go through this summer to prepare so I’ll be sure to bring you along as I learn and discover this summer. So…stay tuned!
A Seed To Plant: Give some extra prayerful thought this week to the areas of your life where God might be leading you to change. Ask Him to make you willing to trade comfort and contentment for growth and blessing.
Blessings on your day!
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