Leap of Faith!

Here is a post from my Instagram a couple weeks ago.

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Let go, Let God

Although I know this is true, it is so hard to do. Pray for me that I could let go and trust God. I want to follow Him, but taking that leap of faith when you can’t see the landing is very scary. It’s hard to let go of the edge for fear of falling.

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For the past month or so I have been struggling with the question of whether I was to teach school again next year or not. Soon after Christmas I came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t teach again and I had peace about that. But, that peace only last for a day or so before doubt began to arise. I thought, Well, maybe I’ll say I can teach if I have fewer grades. Because it felt scary to quit my job, which would mean I would have no job, no car, and no money. How could I get another job if I had no vehicle, but how could I pay for a vehicle if I had no job?

I continued to pray and seek God’s will; but I was still hanging on to the edge of the cliff, scared of what would happen if I let go. I thought, If I can just teach for even another year, I could buy a vehicle and pay it off and be set for another job.  And so it went. I felt like before I could quit one job, I had to have planned out what would happen next.

Finally it came to the third weekend in January—the weekend of our church’s deacon ordination. As I sat in church Sunday night I thought, If I could just take a lot and know one way or the other. Then it would be decided and I would just have to accept whichever answer it would be. Then we sang the song “I Surrender All.”

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All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
Refrain:
I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!

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And I realized that maybe I hadn’t truly surrendered all to the Lord. I was trying to be in control rather than giving it over to Him. So I sat there and struggled through the service with this heavy on my mind.

The next morning in my devotions I read this statement: “Very often it is not until we let go and commit a situation into the Lord’s hands—perhaps fearing the worst—that God works it all out.” And I posted it to my Instagram and Facebook, asking for your prayers. The struggle was very real that day. The intensity gave me a major headache. But till the end of the day I had my answer. My answer to the school board would be “No.” The peace didn’t come right away. It wasn’t until the next day that I felt the peace of surrender. Thanks to all of y’all who were praying for me! I could feel your prayers strengthening me.

And, it wasn’t half as scary making that leap off the edge as I thought. The whole time I was clinging desperately to the edge of the cliff I didn’t have peace, but now I feel completely at peace. No, I still don’t have a vehicle; I still don’t know how I’m going to survive after my last paycheck. But I do know that God holds the future and I don’t have to see what is next. I’m excited to see what He has for me!

So, I would ask you to pray for me as I seek God’s will for my future.

Also I would ask for prayers for the school here and the need for an upper grade teacher. This is something else I have to give over to God. It is hard to entrust “my” children into someone else’s care. But knowing that God has led me to quit I know He can provide the teacher that they need.

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Teaching Teenagers

Today was a good day. Yes, not all of it was easy, but I came through much better than in the past. It felt like such a victory to be able to deal with a hard situation and not come out crushed by it. In fact, I felt encouraged. I felt like celebrating the good day.

In the past people have made statements to me such as: “I wouldn’t want to teach the upper grades and have to deal with all the attitudes.” I always assured them that in my small class I had good students and didn’t have too much trouble with adolescent/teenage attitudes.

Enter year 2016-2017 with nine students and six grades. The first weeks went pretty smoothly. I felt the Lord had answered the prayers I had been praying all summer. Then someone flipped a switch. Now I’m dealing with teenagers who question everything I ask of them and push me to the limit. Some days I cry out to God, “God, I’m only 24. I don’t have the wisdom and experience to handle these teenagers!” I cry out for wisdom and guidance because I don’t know how to get through to them and help them understand WHY they need to do what they need to do.

Although today was a good day, it was a day that left my mind rolling and boiling. Did I handle the situation the correct way? Could I have said something that would have been more effective? Did I get through to the student? What is tomorrow going to be like? Did we get to the bottom of the problem or is it going to keep surfacing?

I don’t have the answers to all these questions.  But I was encouraged by the strength I felt from God to handle this situation. I was able to come out still on top, not buried under the problem. That in itself is huge!

I was also encouraged last week when my students voluntarily did something they had made a huge fuss about a few days before. It showed me that even though sometimes I may feel like I am getting nowhere, something is actually getting through to my students. It felt like I had won a battle. And when another student played recess without complaining today, I was so proud of him! It makes me so happy when my students choose to do the right thing!  

My prayer is that I would have wisdom and patience to be the teacher my students need to help them grow. Only by God’s strength can I carry on. Praising Him for his strength this week!

 

P.S. I now understand why my 7th and 8th grade teacher felt overwhelmed with 30 students! (We definitely weren’t good little angels!) I have my hands full with 9 students! (Things look a bit different when you are on the teaching end of it. Winking smile)

 

Being a Teacher Is…

…being able to help a child climb the academic ladder.

…showing your students who Jesus is.

…laughing at your mistakes.

…being willing to admit when you are wrong.

…praying for your students, even through the summer.

…learning from your students.

…having to have a talk with the boys about appropriate speech in the classroom.

…walking alongside your students and just being there for them.

…having a student use your Xacto knife to pop a pimple (Yuck! I sanitized it thoroughly with alcohol. Winking smile

…teaching school even when you have a terrible headache, stomach cramps, or feel like you could vomit at any moment.

…having a chat with the girls about appropriate relationships with the boys.

…doing checking when you are totally exhausted and don’t even want to think about school.

…finding the balance between teacher and friend to the students.

…enjoying that moment when your students grasp a concept.

…wondering when you will ever find time to do a new bulletin board!

…having a student give you a random hug.

…and so much more!

 

Overall, I love my job as a teacher! My students wondered what my favorite part of teaching is. My answer? Spending time with my students and teaching classes.  I get burnt out quite quickly on checking; but I love imparting knowledge to my students and seeing them progress! Sometimes when I get dragged down with all the schoolwork I have to do and wonder why I am doing this, I look at my students and I know why.But I would never make it through without much prayer! I can’t do it on my own strength; only through Christ am I strong enough to hold up to the demands of teaching. (And sometimes I still become an emotional wreck.)

I would love to hear your thoughts on what being a teacher is! This is definitely not an exhaustive list and it can be different for every teacher. Feel free to comment!

 

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February

Well, here it is already February and I haven’t done any posting. Sad smile Sometimes I debate whether I should even have a blog. Maybe with G+ and Facebook, I don’t need a blog to keep people updated. And I hardly ever email any more. It doesn’t help that I still haven’t recovered my gmail account. Sad smile I guess I need to set up a new one. For now I am using my Martin Photography account.

A big change in January was the passing of my Grandma Martin. We miss her, but are happy that she is now cancer free and living with Jesus. Her life is definitely an inspiration and challenge for me! So a week after being back in Colorado after Christmas break, I headed back to to VA for the funeral. It was fun to see my cousins that I haven’t seen for a long time.

Now I feel like I can catch up on some stuff here, but somehow I always have more than enough projects to do. Now you now why I don’t get around to posting. Between school stuff, sewing, family, youth, and exercising, there just doesn’t seem to be time to fit everything in.

Something exciting to look forward to is that 2 of my cousins are getting married this spring. Derek and his fiancée Angela are getting married May 20 and then Connie and her fiancé Lyle are getting married June 11. I’m especially excited because I get to be Connie’s maid of honor! Smile And Connie, Kendra, Beth, and I will all be together before the wedding!

So here are a few random photos to make the post a bit more interesting: my winter bulletin board, our house and the chicken barn in the snow, my class on wacky day, and a random babysitting pic.

And, if you think I should keep blogging, comment and let me know! Thanks!

April 2015

Well, it has been quite awhile since I have posted! The month of April was fairly busy.

Easter weekend I went to Nevada to visit Kendra and her family. It was great seeing everyone there again!

Believe it or not I hardly took any pictures while I was there. So here a a couple from the ones I have.

Part of Ruby Canyon (from the Train).

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A pic of Kenj at an old mine we four-wheeled to.

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The next weekend we 4 youth girls from Sunnyview went to Westcliffe to visit Vernon Yoders. We visited the Royal Gorge on Saturday and then did some thrift store shopping in Cañon City. I thought the zip line across the Gorge looked like a lot of fun, but as no one else in my group was going to do it, I decided not to spend money on it. (So, if you are ever going and plan to do the zip line, let me know so I can come join you. Winking smile )

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the four youth girls                                            Brenda and Ashley

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We rode the Gondolas over the Gorge and then walked back to the visitors center over the Bridge. Being there and seeing all the damage that was done by the fire really makes me wish I would have been there before the fire in 2012. But it is still a gorgeous place to visit. I’m glad I was able to go.

On the 21st of April we had our second school field trip for the year. First we went to a Trampoline Park and were there an hour. Then we ate lunch at a park. In the afternoon we had the skating rink for an hour. All in all it was a very fun field trip! The kids loved it and and so did the teachers. Smile 

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foam pits

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Trampoline Basketball

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Climbing wall  (there is a foam pit below)

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The big boys give swing rides

 

And sorry, but I don’t have any pictures of skating. Every time I get so busy skating I don’t take any pictures. Sad smile