Monday, August 20, 2012

Sneak a Peek

I've thought about today for weeks. Months, actually.
“Sneak a Peek” Day
Since the day I was offered this job it’s been on my mind.
It’s the first time I’d meet my students and their families.  

I had anticipated a lot of things… waking up to discover my refrigerator/freezer wasn’t working, wasn’t one of them. So I threw the rest of my fruit and spinach in my morning smoothie and said a silent prayer of thanks that I hadn’t done the major grocery shopping I had wanted to this weekend. 

Meeting my students and their families was a blur of handshakes, nervous or excited smiles, and the craziness that is letting fifth graders choose their beginning seats for the year. However in the midst of what felt like organized chaos, I learned something about this group, myself, and how God works. I’d given them a scavenger hunt that helped them discover important or special things about our room, and one task was to find a giant poster as in like taller than them (let’s be honest I’m not that much taller) of character traits that really does cover the full range of traits. I asked each student to list three traits that would describe their ideal teacher. This is a Wordle representation of their responses:

While I would love to say this is always perfectly me, it’s not. But there wasn’t one trait on there responses that I don’t at least aspire to embody or am working on expressing more consistently. It was a moment where in humility I prayed that God would enable me to be this person, receiving the response that everything leading up to that moment had been growing me in each of those areas. I’d been praying for this flock for months, not fully aware of how He has been shaping me into the shepherd they need – one who clings desperately to hers. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sing Like Never Before

I've lived life more in the past two months than I have in the past few years. 

I was driving home tonight after a long yet satisfying day at work then dinner with some great new friends, reflecting on the recent changes in my life. I did a whole bunch of adventurous things that normally I'd never consider doing or slow down enough to do or enjoy in the past few days alone. I asked for a few days off and went camping and hiking and drove through streams and up/down windy mountain roads using only my side mirrors. I played pinball for the first time. I took a tour of a local famous brewery. I bought concert tickets to finally see one of my favorite artists live. 

I heard a song recently and a seemingly insignificant line keeps running through my mind ever since. 
Sing like never before...
So often as Christians I think we long for what it was like when we first accepted Christ, be it in childhood or later in life. It's easy to get caught up chasing something that you once felt and completely miss what God has graciously doing in us and where He brought to since then. More clearly than ever I feel like I'm at a place in life that is completely new. And I can and should sing like never before...