Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Hope Not Seen

Remember how afraid I was a few weeks ago about starting to substitute teach? I'm not even sure when it happened, but recently I realized that subbing has become a delight. Once or twice a week, I step into the unknown with that familiar flip of nerves that I felt in my belly every morning as a 7th-grade Reading teacher: What challenges will I face today? But the unease is tempered by an exhilarating sense of possibility: What children and teachers will I connect with today?

Probably the best thing to come out of subbing is the opportunity to observe other teachers when I have a planning period free. When it first occurred to me to use my free time this way, I hesitated to request it, but not one teacher has turned me down. They've graciously welcomed me into the most mundane of daily routines and even into their most challenging classes, either when nothing exciting was happening, or when too much excitement was happening.

What I've learned is that other teachers struggle. Other teachers are ordinary just like me. And despite all the stress and the challenges, they love their jobs! Better still, all their hard work is making a difference, because they are loving and being loved.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Like Ten Husbands

Do you ever make yourself laugh? I mean, really laugh out loud... when you're all by yourself? I did this morning, on a solo walk with Jesus. As I walked, I thought of the revelation God had given me on my last solo walk: that I don't have to be married to enjoy the forever love I've always craved.

In the background, I must have also been thinking of the chapters I'd recently read in 1 Samuel. The book opens with Samuel's mother Hannah mourning her barrenness. I've always loved these lines, in which her husband Elkanah clumsily tries to comfort her: "Hannah, why are you crying?... Why won't you eat? Why are you troubled? Am I not better to you than 10 sons?"

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