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?

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fight, Flight… or Wait?

Fight or Flight. Are you one to confront your situation, or run from it? I guess it all depends on the situation…

In this period of joblessness and penny-lessness (did I not warn you about this?), I admit that I am somewhat reflective. Okay, make that a big fat OVER reflective.

I have a few job opportunities in the pipeline – only problem is, for each opportunity, there is at least one puzzle piece missing.

The ‘Perfect’ Job. The ‘Perfect’ City. The ‘Perfect’ Accommodation. The ‘Perfect’ Salary. The ‘Perfect’ Company.

I guess life doesn’t quite work out like that, does it? Something’s gonna have to give.

For now, I’m thinking it’s gonna be the salary, or else, the accommodation.

WE’LL SEE.

During this unsettling period of erm, being unsettled, I have been seeking some encouragement. Now that I am hopefully done sobbing on the phone to my mother (sorry mum…), I am happy to find comfort in the words of some other of my siblings in Christ.

Robin Jones Gunn encouraged me to, wait with hope, and posted Psalm 130:5 this week, on her blog post titled, ‘Waiting’:

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.

Toby Mac reminded me that:

GOD WILL SHUT DOORS, BUT NEVER WITHOUT OPENING ANOTHER.

I guess God knows what He’s doing. Sometimes, I just wish I knew what He was up to too.

Should I, or should I not wait? What step is next to take?

TiringThursdays.com

Today is Thursday. Which means, it’s been a LONG DAY. Cue: lengthy blog post.

Starting work at 9am and finishing at 6:30 may not seem incredibly incredibly long or abnormal. But for me, it’s my most tiring day teaching. From teaching 3 year olds to 9 year olds – it’s not a particularly easy day. OVER 120 children I *teach* today. No lie!

Luckily (ha) I admit I have TEACHERS sit in on some of my lessons (in the school) for discipline issues – yup, so that the children will be more well-behaved. And I can tell you, these kids are WAY more calm with their proper teachers around. C’est impressionnant, la difference!!!

Teaching, is a skill. But I used to think, you either have it, or you don’t. And me, I told myself, well I just didn’t have it.

Like a crazy person, I decided to go for the ride anyway. But I can see now, that it is a skill. And my, am I impressed by everyone who goes and teaches! And like I said before, who teaches well. This year I’ve learnt and grown I imagine, yet if I was to continue the teaching adventure, well, I’d still have a lot of up-hill trekking to do.

However, I’m afraid my year as an English Language teacher for kids is nearly at its end. Very nearly. In just a few weeks, I will possibly be jobless… (Penniless too?? Let’s not go there…)

This is where the real adventure continues though… the adventure called LIFE.

This is my story! I’ve just got to write it well.

And I am incredibly thankful for this past year, that I have had this opportunity, a beautiful carefully hand-crafted part of God’s plan for me, and that I’ve stuck it out til the end. Advice to first year teachers – don’t give up! I’ve heard it before, and I’ll say it here now: the first year is the hardest! (I can’t really say as I can’t compare years, but I feel like it’s true!)

I’m gonna take a lot of memories away with me, mostly the happy ones, but also those most trying times.

Something as simple as a lil three/four year old inviting me over to his house (“Maitresse, tu peux venir chez moi!”), and of another sayin that I’m the most beautiful teacher in the school (ha),  and then the many love-filled hugs and bisous, beats all those hopeless feeling moments when you feel like the whole class is against you – little beings being little beings – disobeying, throwing things, running around, or trying to escape – and basically turning your classroom into a zoo.

But these kids, well obviously,  they’ve taught me a lot. And I’ve learnt to love them – and will miss them too.

WELL. Sentimental post just about over!

‘ll just leave you with this sentimental poem by William Martin; and be off with me….(job-hunting and cold Sweet’n’Sour chicken awaits…)

Make the Ordinary Come Alive

Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples, and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.

By William Martin

Feeling Fuzzy

Why does leaving a job feel like losing a part of yourself?

Dwelling on leaving PROBABLY isn’t the best way to end a day…

And leaving a job definitely feels more scary when you don’t know what’s happening next.

Future looking fuzzy…

Dear Lord…

Show me.

Guide me.

Lead me.

Open the door…

To where You want me.

Your plans,

Your love,

Your grace,

And all that I, do not yet see.

Help me to trust in…

What You see, just not yet me.