Monday, January 12, 2009

All my children

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (III John 4)

Because I'm a Mom, I have three children; because I'm a teacher, I have had hundreds of children over the last 15 years. And John's words in his third epistle ring so true to me: Nothing brings me greater joy than to see and hear of my "children" who are walking in the Truth.

The "children" I taught back in the early years are now adults -- some have even hit the "30 something" milestone. Many are married and have children of their own. One of my students has become a teacher to my kids -- she's their drama coach. Another taught at the same Christian school with me up until last year. She was always one of my best students and went on to become an awesome teacher. Another attended my church for many years and now is in leadership in another church. She's going through a tough time with a sick little guy, but her faith is growing deeper. I've been finding others through Facebook and Blogs. Some of my "kids" are now pastors and teachers, businessmen and women, some are moms. One of my "kids" is getting ready to go on to the mission field to Thailand. Her blog (http://jacquelinelambert.blogspot.com/) has been a tremendous encouragement. Another is starting a ministry in the inner city. I get "pumped" hearing that "my children" are walking in truth.

I know I can't claim any of the credit for the successes of my "kids" -- except for this one thing: Throughout the years I have prayed that the students who came into my classroom would gain a foundation that would lead them to a passionate walk with the Lord.

Sometimes teaching can be discouraging. Sometimes it seems like the kids just aren't "getting it." And at times like that I wonder, is it really worth it? No surprises here, but teaching in a Christian school is NOT the most financially lucrative position! And the demands on teachers in a small school (that is really trying to be a big school) are sometimes pretty intense. Sometimes I wonder if I am making an impact that will last. But when I see the stories of "my children" who are walking in the truth, I know that it is worth it -- and I can't imagine doing anything else. It is a joy to see the answers to my prayers throughout the years as I see and hear that my kids are walking in the truth.

And it makes me even more excited to see where my new "children" will end up: my friend's son who just graduated from Bible college and is looking for ministry; my high school students who are making life long decisions now; my middle school students who are on the brink of greatness in so many ways; and all who will come up through the years. And the greatest joy of all is that my OWN kids are part of the mix now. I already see God at work in their lives and look forward to seeing them grow!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Power

I have often said jokingly that the best part about teaching is June, July and August. I've said it jokingly, but realistically, I am so grateful for the built in breaks from teaching.

I'm coming off of a wonderful two-week break. I was able to put aside the work (well, I DID get papers graded and lesson plans done) and enjoy the time with my family. I was able to relax and play on the computer for fun instead of for work. I was able to "fuss" over Christmas dinner and polish the good silverware and make the table look nice. I was able to sleep in (if you consider 7 AM sleeping in) and stay in my PJ's all day. I was able to take naps -- lots and lots of naps. When my brother showed up unannounced, I was able to shift my plans for the day without any worries. I was able to take a day trip with the kids to Hersey PA and not worry about "getting behind". It was a wonderful break.

But tomorrow school starts again, and I will hit the ground running and basically won't stop to breathe again until April. It seems I have two speeds: Run full speed and stop. I would love to learn to balance my time and pace myself, but when school is in session and I'm doing lesson plans, grading papers, working on various comitteees AND and taking care of my kids and my husband and my house, I'm not sure how to do it.

This morning, my pastor started the service by praying these words from Ephesians 3:

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen


God has made available to me all the power I need through his Spirit who lives in me. And HE is able to do immeasurably more than all I can ask or imagine. That is where my energy comes from -- I really can not keep up this schedule on my own. But as I rely on the power that comes from the Spirit, I trust that he will enable me to do all that he has called me to do,