The Tides Have Turned!

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Seth and I with Mike the Tiger, on our LSU Spring Break stop!

Oh, my. It has been almost a year since my first/last post. So many things have changed in my life, for the better! 2012 was truly a blessed year for me.

Remember how last time I posted, I was going up to Staples to print out my resume? Well…I GOT THE JOB! In April, I was officially hired as a Pre-K teacher at the Day School. While I was interviewing/teaching Sunday School at my church, apparently I got myself noticed somehow by the clergy/staff. To my absolute and utter shock on one Sunday in May, Reverend Donna came to the preschool wing after “big church”, to personally meet me! She said that she had heard many wonderful things about me, and that she would like to talk to me about an employment opportunity.

Now, before we all go, huh? I thought you just got a job as a teacher!, I want to state that (unfortunately) this Day School teaching position is only a three day-a-week job, and the only hours I am paid to work are from 8:30 – 2:30. I wish it were a five day-a-week gig, because I LOVE teaching and those kids so darned much, but being a private Christian preschool, it does have its limitations. {Sad Face}

So I met with Reverend Donna the next week, agreed to a paid internship, and started my second job at the church as “Preschool Ministry Intern”. I know the title doesn’t sound all too amazing, but I got my own office! I worked part-time all through the summer, writing all the lesson plans for Sunday School ages 2-5, scheduling volunteer teachers, attending meetings and trainings like Safe Sanctuaries, and basically trying to get anyone and everyone to volunteer in our AMAZING preschool program.

It was not what I expected it to be – the job was soo difficult at times, but ALWAYS rewarding, and definitely worth it. I did not expect to enjoy doing it so much, but I really loved seeing the children every Sunday and getting to know their parents and families. For the first time in my life, I was networking, and it didn’t feel phony. I was genuinely interested in the children and seeing them attend Sunday School and Children’s Chapel every Sunday.

However…when September rolled around, and Day School began, things began to slip for me.

I was not able to focus on either job, and found myself thinking about work 24/7, and not in a good way. I felt pressured to do all of these things (even though that pressure was really from myself, and nobody else), and a big change came about in our church, which made things more unsteady. Our Senior Minister was elected Bishop! That was SO exciting, but also sort of strange, because our church had been a certain way for such a long time. We were unsure of what direction our staff and congregation would take, but we were also happy for Bishop Mike, as this was something that he had dreamed of achieving for the past few years.

Long story short: I could not do both jobs, and do both jobs WELL.

I am a perfectionist, and it was absolutely killing me that I wasn’t able to give 110% to each job. So, I prayed…and prayed…and talked with my grandparents, and mother, and sister and brother, and sat on my decision for awhile.

And one day, while I was driving home from my Day School job (I had been ill, and hadn’t had to go to my church office as usual right after school and stay until 5 or 6), it hit me. The clouds literally parted, the sun came out, and the cool breeze splashed across my face as I turned left under the freeway. I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I got out at this time every day?

In that instant, I knew where I belonged: in a classroom, not in an office.

It was not an easy thing to do, but when I discussed it with my new boss, she told me that she understood. You see, she had been a kindergarten teacher for several years before she decided to join the clergy. So we came to an agreement; that I would officially resign as Preschool Ministry Coordinator at the end of October.

It was very bittersweet, moving all my things out of that office that had become my second home. However, I felt that I was moving in the right direction. I had taken the opportunities that the Lord had given me, and TRIED. I think sometimes maybe that is all that God really wants us to do. I would have NEVER taken that Preschool Ministry Intern/Coordinator position, except that I felt pulled toward it by God. I knew that I needed to at least try something new, something I had never thought I would do, and that great things would come of it.

Do I miss it?

I don’t miss my office; I came to find that I am just not the worker for whom that is a natural, comfortable environment. I need about twenty joyful, noisy children around me to be able to work, and the silence in that beautiful little cozy office was absolutely deafening.

I miss the children, and getting to know the families of my preschool Sunday School kids. I’ve always been something of an introvert, and socializing always exhausted me, so I never thought that I would be able to enjoy such a SOCIAL job, but I did. I enjoyed it immensely.

I miss knowing what is going on in the preschool Sunday school classes every Sunday. I know, I could volunteer to teach, or hang out there for a little while each Sunday, but somehow, it doesn’t feel right for me at this time. I have learned to trust my instincts and my heart about things, because usually that is where God is talking to me in the loudest voice.

I have not attended Sunday church service since I quit my Preschool Ministry job. Why? I think it is because the magic of Sunday mornings has not been restored for me just yet. Working behind the scenes at a church is like working behind the scenes of a Vegas magic show…when you know all the tricks, and how everyone REALLY feels about what will be going on that Sunday, it kind of takes away the romance. Or at least it did that for me. I felt more removed from my own faith growth when I was working for the church on Sundays, which was very unexpected. I thought that I was going to live the faith, but after awhile, the faith left, and I felt kind of fake. That was probably the biggest conflict I had about my job. How could I teach children about having faith in God and loving Him at all times, when I didn’t even have hardly any excitement left for Him?

I had never felt that way before, and I hope that in time, I can feel like more of a genuine teacher and less like a total fraud.

I’ve been conflicted about a few things. Should I join the Singles Sunday School class at my church? Should I attend services at another church of my denomination? Should I leave my denomination altogether for a sabbatical, and join my boyfriend and his family at their church?

These are the things I am wondering. But what I want, most of all, is to be in my classroom every day. Because when I am teaching, THAT is when I feel closest to God. Maybe that is the beginning of this faith journey?

Only time can tell.

I am trying to break into teaching Junior High next year. I REALLY want to teach Science, and become Cheer Sponsor at the same junior high where I was a cheerleader a decade ago! I just have to get certified for grades 4-8. I’m SO TOTALLY NERVOUS about that. I studied for WEEKS for my Generalist EC-6 exam, and I’m terrified I won’t pass a Science exam!!

Well. That’s enough for now. I’m going to try to start writing regularly in this thing, because I think that I need to work on staying committed to something that I don’t HAVE to do. Perhaps staying on top of writing will somehow segue into my laughable “workout routine”.

I’m going to download/print out some activities for my classroom. February is coming up, YAY for hearts and pink and red!!

My Very First Blog…Ever!

Well folks, the title says it all: this is my very first post as a blogger, EVER! (Cue previously-recorded television audience applause.) What caused me, an admitted privacy-bordering-on-paranoia freak, to want to open up my life with an entire world of faceless strangers? The answer is simple: Colour Her Hope.

If you haven’t already discovered the amazingness of this blog, I encourage you to open up that handy dandy link and read it! Jami helped me to see that not only can I do the crafty projects she’s posted, but I can also help share my love of God to everyone, simply through writing about my experiences.

So I’m now here, and ready to open up about my life and the adventures of being unemployed in a terrible economy. Here are some things to know about me:

  • I am THRIFTY to a fault. I wish my blog could look as amazing as some of these other users, but alas, I just cannot bear to part with $99/year or whatever.😦
  • I LOVE SHOES. It’s an addiction.
  • I LOVE CLOTHES. Literally. I make quilts out of my old t-shirts because thinking about just throwing them away makes me feel like fainting.
  • I have a degree in Early Childhood and a Teaching Certification. I recently graduated from the best university in the great state of Texas…Texas Tech University!
  • I am unemployed (yes, I will keep emphasizing that).
  • I have a sweet baby, with fur and ears the size/shape of tortilla chips; aka, a Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix named FOXY!
  • I love DIY projects and crafts, and that’s probably what I’ll post most about, at least until my creative juices run out.
  • I have a horse named Cowgirl Princess (more later).
  • I have a minor addiction to shopping. It makes me happy when skies are gray.
  • I was a cheerleader, I still LOVE it, and I would only teach middle school if I had the chance of becoming the CHEER SPONSOR! (Middle school intimidates me because at the ripe old age of fourth-grade, the children suddenly become taller than me. They are giants by the time they reach 6th and 7th grade!)

That’s it for now. At great personal risk, I am about to try and email a PDF of my resume to Office Depot or Staples and ask them to print it on that special resume paper that I had no idea existed until my best friend Lesley asked me last spring if I had any. Incidentally, just yesterday I asked Lesley if a pink resume (a la Legally Blonde) would be off-putting, or if it would set me apart.

…To my despair, she said I probably shouldn’t risk it.😦 So I’m not going to, because in spite of my education/experience, people tend to not take me as seriously as they would others, due to my eternal peppiness and youthful look. (People continuously ask me, “Now what high school are you a sophomore at?”, which is just plain bad grammar, but that’s beside the point.) A pink, scented resume in combination with my personal appearance would most likely get me laughed right out of a serious interview. Which stinks, but I understand.

I’m going to go up to my church’s Dayschool with my mom (seriously, lol) and pick up an application and drop off my resume. I’m terrified because I thought I would be writing this semester, and not applying for jobs until at least May, but this is something I feel that God is encouraging me to do! You know?

Anyway, I know that since this is my first post, literally nobody will read this, but I’m hopeful that one day someone will read this, and to that someone I say: thanks, and I’ll update y’all on the progress of my application/resume printing!

More interesting blogs to come guys, I promise!