What do you do when reports are done and the term is slowly (yet somehow rapidly) drawing to a close? What do you do when you forget to stop and be still with our Creator?
After a much awaited long weekend, I suddenly realised I had been focussing on significantly less-meaningful things than God. I had neglected my precious time with Him, and in doing so, did not feel equipped to enter this teaching week ready to spread His love and passionately teach the eager little hearts in my care. Sometimes we need that wake-up call… something to remind us to go back to Him and His Word. My wake-up call was the realisation that I did not feel contented in my situation. I somehow felt that I needed to do something drastic, like move house, buy acreage, or go on a longer holiday in order to feel right again.
While these enormous self-created holes in my life kept enlarging, I suddenly, and thankfully, realised that I had simply become lost. I had wandered off His path yet again… and I just needed to seek His light to find my way home once more.
While I am usually an avid reader of Ann Voskamp’s blog, A Holy Experience, I had even let that slip to the wayside in the midst of reporting season (and then the recovering from reporting season!). This morning I felt led to read a recent post entitled: How You Can Do A Reset in the Middle of the Year: June’s The New January. There was something in the very title I identified with. I knew I needed to change my habits and allow God to help me form better ones. There were a few statements by Ann in this post that very much hit home for me.
1. “When you work faithfully, creativity comes faithfully.”
Each and every day as teachers we need to work faithfully. And some days more than others. When the deadlines are looming, when the parent queries are constant, when the students are pushing the boundaries, you need faith. Faith that the moment will pass. Faith that you are growing through the experience. Faith that there is a greater purpose to all that you are doing, and at the end of the day, you will make a difference in the life of a child.
2. “Keep showing up – because this is how you never, ever give up.”
Sometimes, to be faithful you need to step out, even when you are not even sure where you will land. When I was about to begin teaching full-time after having my own children, a dear friend sent me this quote:
“When God leads you to the edge of a cliff, trust Him fully, and let go. One of two things will happen. Either He will catch you when you fall, or He will teach you how to fly.” - unknown.
I can say without a doubt, over the last three or so years, I have done a great deal of both falling and flying. I could not however, have taken a single step without God beside me, gently and sometimes firmly, pulling me through. Teaching is not an easy job, but if you love it, the hard work will always be worth it. And one thing I’ve realised is, I could not even contemplate my role without God’s help.
While the statistics on teacher burn-out grow higher and higher worldwide, it is not surprising that so many teachers are leaving the profession disillusioned. The thing we teachers need to understand is, the job will drain you. It will empty you, but you are not meant to remain empty. If you are working faithfully, always starting your day with God, then He will refill you. He promises to do so.
2 Corinthians 12:9 from The Message says,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Acknowledge our emptiness and acknowledge our weakness, so He can restore us (His broken vessels) into something to be used for His Glory.
My remedy for a difficult start to a teaching week? An entry in our class prayer journals…
Dear Lord, thank you for this day.