Back 2 School

As a teacher, it never ceases to amaze me how great it feels to go back to school each year. For those of you that left the school house behind long ago, let me tell you the reasons why Back to School is such an amazing time for me spiritually.

1. The nervousness and excitement of the chance to start anew is palpable during this time of year. I can feel it when I run my hands across the fresh sheet of paper, or when I crack open a never used before textbook.

2. I can smell the change coming. My mom told me that because the corn is ‘tasseling’ it puts this specific smell into the air. If you live in the Midwest, you know that it’s the smell of summer ending.

3. The promise of a new school year brings the hope that I can meet new people, grow in knowledge, and experience a new adventure.

4. While teaching may be stressful, there is always the assurance that if I screw up, there will be another shot to fix it. In the real world, we don’t always have that luxury; in fact, perfection is the standard.  It’s nice to know that if I botched a lesson in one class, I can always improve on it by sixth period. It’s a process that has fluidity. That’s not to say that I I can wing it; I can’t. However, I am at least given the grace to try again.

I love that I get to teach students everyday. It is such a blessing! More importantly teaching has taught me more about humility and tested my patience. These are two areas that have always been challenging for me in my walk with God. So it only makes sense that my vocation serves  to illuminate my issues while forcing me to confront them head on at the same time. Don’t you just love that? It is a job that encourages the development of my spiritual gifts and that’s pretty cool.

Kenya Teaches Brittany

One of my absolute best friends wrote an incredible blog the other day and has agreed to share it… here is what Brittany has to say…

Dear High School Self….

You’re not going to believe this.  I’m going to Africa this summer and it won’t be for the first time.  This will actually be my third trip to Africa.  Did I just make your heart start racing with panic and fear?  Don’t worry, you have about seven years to prepare yourself (although you’ll never be fully prepared for that first trip).  

Right now, I know you have the rest of your life planned out after graduation.  Your plan starts with going to college to become a teacher.  After you graduate you’ll find a full time teaching job in Avon, move out of your parents’ house, meet an amazing guy, get married, have two kids (a girl and a boy), get a dog, a cat, and be a stay at home mom in your house with a big front porch and a pool in the backyard.  
Well high school self, I have some advice for you and it’s only five words:
“Let go of your plan.”
I know how much you like to be in control, and I know you’ve had your plan set in stone since you were a little girl.  I know how stubborn you are and how much you are going to fight with God over keeping your plan.  I hate to tell you, but God is going to take your world and flip it upside down.  Then He’s going to send you to the other side of the world and rip you right out of your comfort zone.  You will find yourself thousands of miles from home walking through some of the worst slums in Africa.  As terrifying as that sounds right now, I can tell you that Africa was a part of God’s plan all along.  From the moment you step foot in the slums, you will forever be changed.     
Letting go of your plan won’t be easy, but I can tell you that God’s plan is SO much better!  You won’t even recognize yourself in ten years!  God is going to challenge and strengthen your faith in the years to come.  He’s going to take your passion for teaching and call you to teach in the last place you ever expected to be.  He’s going to call you to lead instead of just follow.  He’s going to show you that life is so much more than just the American dream.  
So high school self, I leave you with this verse to remember in the years to come.  Cling to these words, let go of your plan, and let God do an amazing work in you.  
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11