Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Last Battle

I'm working with a great little crew of students this year: Naomi, Rose, Baeli, and Dayne.  It feels like a last battle in that I' fighting FOR these kids.  They really don't understand the value of what they're getting, what their parents pay me to do, or how to invest in themselves at this point in their lives.  How do you teach a young one to 'get it'? AND!!!! it is my last year of doing this kind of work.  I'll take up the task of creating and teaching workshops for parents how home-schooling their children and need ideas of how to create projects and make learning REALLY fun!

They are so very dear to me right now, especially as I am grieving the loss of a former student to cancer.  He has fought his last battle.  He was so dear to me, Tony Barajas was, as was his dear wife, Mariah. 

Long ago (in the 90's) I taught in Wasco, Oregon, in Sherman County...a K-8 school with a bit over 100 kids at the time.  I love the area which is almost all wheat growing from the north border of the Columbia River, the west border of the Deschutes River, and the east border of the John Day River.  I recall watching a small herd of antelope dance away from my car into the short green wheat fields which, when the wind blew, looked like they were dancing themselves.  I called them little Wheaties because they seemed alive.

Tony was one in a class of 5th graders I was given as a reward for serving well as the creator/teacher/counselor of a bunch of woolly-bully boys who needed an alternative education.  I chose to take the 5th graders home with me in small groups on Friday afternoons to do a project.  Tony chose the 'weaving group'.  I had a loom at the time, and the small group wove, played hide and seek, played 'slide' in my hand-knitted socks on my hardwood floors before I ordered pizza for them...a non-existent way to eat out in the hinterlands of Wasco.

Good-bye, Tony, may God welcome you with open arms into the halls of heaven.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow Day and a Conversation with God

This morning, after receiving news of a couple of sick kids not able to attend class today, I made an executive decision to cancel school.  I'd been in prayer about a day off for myself to settle the disquiet in my spirit, to get anchored to the One Who Provides.

In the quiet I became aware of the Lord speaking about the end of this career of teaching, and I realized that fear is the source of the unsettling, the disquiet.  What will I do with my time?  How will I remain focused and not end up puttering away at not much of anything, leading a life lacking purpose? When the gnawing begins with, "What shall I do today?  What shall I eat today?  Who will I spend time with today?"  I can trust that there ARE things to do; I don't have to eat my way through the day; and God will provide activities, events, and people.  He will continue to have a purpose for me.  And what's wrong with some down time order to ponder these questions?

God has led me well this past year in focusing on exercise and weight loss, in teaching a crew of fine Christian kids, in giving me women who desire a Spiritual Life Coach so that we can all Live Like We Mean It! 

So, I got a Word (or Words) this morning.  "YES! I am calling you to retirement, not right away, but soon. And I want you to continue coaching, and I want you to consult with home-school mothers about teaching methods, and I want you to lead students from time to time in some projects...those things you love so much."  End of conversation!

God talks to me; does He talk to you?

The feeling of relief and genuine longing for retirement is free to grow now.  There is no fear or reluctance.  And I'm excited.

I get excited easily, so I'll make a small pot of tea right now, and I'll contemplate the future; I'll ponder these things in my heart while I am home on this frigid day by myself!