They Became My Kids

Mrs. Ackley

Every year, I have the same conversation with my husband. I ramble on and on about how attached I am to my current group of kiddos, and he reminds me that I will love my next group of Kindergartners just as much. He has been right for the past four years… nevertheless, at the end of each year I feel the same sting in my heart. If you are a teacher, you probably feel it too.

My students became my kids, and I hate to see them go.

My Students

When we meet the students at Meet the Teacher, we don’t know their souls or personalities. We don’t know what makes them laugh, cry, or squeal. As excited as we are to get to know them, they are just our students. When the first day of school hits, some are scared. Many don’t trust us. Most would…

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When God is in the Classroom

Mrs. Ackley

I’ve heard it said in various ways, “They have taken God out of the classroom.” I’ve even been asked, “How can you work in a public school when you can’t share your faith with the kids?” I’ve watched teachers walk away from public education with great frustration because of politics, evaluation systems, state standards, pay, and lack of support.

If I am being honest, there are days in which I ask, “Why am I still here?”

Yet, every time I ask myself that question, I hear a soft whisper in my soul… “Because I am here.”

God is in your classroom.

From the depths of my soul, I believe that God has never, can never, and will never be removed from the classroom–even a public school classroom.  One, He is bigger than that. Besides the fact that He is omnipresent , He is the “indwelling spirit” that fills you…

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Une vraie girouette speaking…

Currently listening to Hillsong United. It’s pretty calming and freeing to listen of how we are freed through Jesus, and it’s pretty calming LETTING IT ALL OUT. To wonderful strangers, no-less. Somehow tapping a few letters on a keyboard and seeing them pop up on the screen, is calming.

I feel like the protagonist from Chocolat, a charming film starring beautiful Juliette Binoche and well-known Johnny Depp. When she feels it’s time and the winds-a-changing, she moves on to the next place, the next village, town, wherever. WHERE DOES SHE BELONG? She doesn’t seem to know. Where do WE belong?

Well, sometimes it’s difficult to know. Maybe we don’t need to know. Or feel like we belong. Anyway. Anywhere.

Yet we grow attached to places. To people. To things. And then once we leave a place, that place will always hold connotations of past memories and people.

I think Jefferson Bethke, Christian American author, writes how God dwells in us? Need to check this fact and how he words it… GOD is our dwelling place.

So maybe I shouldn’t be umming and aahhing about whether or not I belong here, there or anywhere. Because in fact, I belong to God. TO HIM. And He dwells in me.

Yet, it’s easy to write this on paper. But to live out Truth is more difficult. At least I find it is.

LIFE FEELS SO CONFUSING SOMETIMES. Sorry, capitals are a bit in-your-face sometimes, aren’t they!

I wrote a while ago about needing a new dream. (Haha, trying to sound poetic).

Well I feel like maybe now is ze time to move on from my current position in work…To start a new chapter?

It’s just 4 years in similar professions without much motivation and confidence of a future in the role… it’s quite an achievement wouldn’t you say!

Well I’m off to eat stir-fry and think further about my life…

Enjoy yours…there’s always the little things 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

But 2017, now what?

It’s the beginning of a new year. Helloooo 2017, nice to meet you too.

I have to say, I don’t do the new-year’s-resolutions thing. That’s not to say that I don’t reflect on my past year and current situation though. (2017, I have began the 30-day squat challenge, I’ll have you know… )

When I was in primary school, I looked forward to high school. Then when I was in high school, I had college to look forward to. Once in college, I was excited to start university. Life just kept coming. And then…

POP

…out I tripped into the “real world”a.k.a the world of work.

I worked abroad for a year after university. Tick.

Began my first permanent position in the UK. Tick.

But 2017, now what?

You shall be safely lead

What would I do without Jesus

When the days with their shadows grow dim

When storm billows roll sweep over my soul

What would I do without him:

 

Keep on believing, Jesus is near

Keep on believing there is nothing to fear

Keep on believing this is the way

Faith in the night as well as the day

 

He knows the untried way

He sees each step ahead

and by his guiding hand

you shall be safely lead

 

~Ethel Bell

 

 

Ezering Along

I have recently started a new job in the sunny land of ENG, a.k.a, England.

Who’d have thought?

I’m not gonna lie, leaving France felt (cue exaggeration) like losing a limb. I can’t remember a time when I have cried so much over something. It was experiencing lack of direction, indecision, confusion and loss all at the same time.

Well, apparently, the old me already had a feeling that I would end up in England, because if you recall my previous posts, you’ll see I’ve written (joked ^^) about returning to the UK and working in my mum’s local Tesco.

Funnily enough, I’m not working in my mum’s local Tesco – yet again I’m working in a school. This time though, I’m no longer the teacher, but the teaching assistant.

Thank goodness.

I’m enjoying my more-or-less free evenings; last year’s constant lesson preparation and activity research but a distant memory…

How delightful it is to wake every morning. To wake early, with purpose. To have somewhere to be, people to interact with, and a LOT to learn. (Being unemployed was just a bit of a drag…)

This is what I love about the education environment: It feels a challenge. It IS a challenge, rather. Yet this challenge means that every day is a privilege, as every day, little old me gets to learn. I get to learn pearls of wisdom from other newbies or experienced professionals, from the children, or more often than not, from my own mistakes. And mistakes, my friends,  are proof that you are trying.

I’ve read the book Captivating recently. In the book, Stasi Eldridge explains how as women we are created to be helpers. When God made Adam, it wasn’t enough; Adam needed Eve! Eve is Adam’s helper, she is his “ezer”. Not only is “ezer” used in the context of Adam and Eve, ezer is used in the Bible many times, meaning to help (helper), or to support.  And as a Teaching Assistant, I am convinced that God is teaching me about having more of His servant-heart. A heart created for helping others, a heart which is ready to help others, and rejoicing in the work.

Don’t get me wrong – rejoicing in the work is easier said than done a lot of the time. The first few weeks of my new job were (and still have recently been) quite up and down, and I still do, and will of course, experience down days.

What has been an encouragement to me though, are verses which I have recently (re)discovered thanks to one of Alyssa Joy Bethke’s blog post, Psalm 84:11-12:

For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I feel as though I almost grasp something new, and then, unexpectedly, this exciting spark of something new, slips through my fingers. Whether it be a new experience, a different job opportunity, a new friendship, a new love-interest(ha!), a new hobby, or anything else, there are times when I feel like I’m missing out on what I’ve never had. Or almost had.

Then, there are the times when I dwell too much on missing what I once had.

So rather than seeing me feel all sorry for myself, I’m pretty glad that God chose to speak to me through Psalm 84, reminding me that He will “withhold no good thing” from those who continually seek Him. Psalm 84:11 confirms to me that right here, right now is where God wants me to be, and that right here, right now, is nothing less than His best for me. How cool is that!? And although sometimes I’m full of doubt, waking every morning with this encouraging truth does nothing less than lift my spirits, helping me to rejoice in the new day and in this current season of life.

So right now, let’s trust in His ways, and not miss out on our Father’s best for us. Remember His words (Isaiah 55:8):

 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways

and be blessed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Grace :)

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness ~ Lamentations 3:22-23

If you’ve read my previous blog posts recently, you’ll know that I’ve been questioning my actions and life-decisions a little – questioning What’s NextWhat’s my one next step along the world? 

Encouraged, the blog & book of Robin Jones Gunn remind me of the positive truth that we are not a victim of circumstances; rather we are a victim of grace.

I love the way that with Jesus, grace and hope can shine through any situation. Ta daa!

Here’s a lil paragraph about grace on Robin’s blog (http://www.robingunn.com/victimofgrace/):

“How have things been going for you lately? Are you feeling discouraged due to circumstances that seem out of your control? You’re a victim, you know. It’s true. Not a victim of circumstances. No, you are a Victim of Grace. God is accomplishing His purposes in you and through you regardless of what is going on around you. He has His heart set on you”

I love it! I would encourage you to read her book, “Victim of Grace”, especially if you’re already a RJG fan. For me, it’s a real page turner, a true account of a few of Robin’s life chapters, full of pleasant truths.

What situations are you going through in your life right now?!

Be encouraged – God’s love and grace for us are bigger than our circumstances!

Where sin increased, grace increased all the more ~ Romans 5:20

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord ~ Romans 8:39