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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Gentle in Heart; Humble in Spirit

2 Timothy 1:7 New King James Version (NKJV) 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

A few summers ago, I volunteered for two weeks working with Revive Wales, where Christians work together with churches in the South Wales valleys to make Jesus known. I won’t go into further “general” details, because to be honest, you’ll find out a lot more about Revive Wales here: http://revivewales.co.uk/about/)

Over the year and during the summer, Revive teams work with different churches. The summer I volunteered, the Revive team went to serve in Abertillery,  a hilly town in the South Wales valleys. The week consisted of prayer meetings, activities for children, evenings for youth, and outreaching into the community by doing various activities such as spending time in local pubs striking up conversations, and offering to help people in any way possible e.g. car washing; gardening; inviting children to the children’s activities and youth to the evening events… A week to be led by God, and see His hand at work!

There were always people praying in the Prayer Room, and sometimes they would receive text messages from those on the Street Team, who would ask for prayer; those in the Prayer Room would then pray for the Street Team’s situation live-time! Each evening we would come together, and each team (Youth, Children, Street, Prayer…) would share amazing testimonies from their day.

I don’t often dwell on my experience with Revive, but the encouragement I received during those two weeks is for life! The words of those I volunteered with stay with me and lift me up in trying situations, even years after my time with them; testimony itself to when a bunch of brothers and sisters in Christ come together with serving hearts, and also to God’s amazing grace and timing.

I’ve never been a particulary confident speaker; even now at the age of 23,  you won’t find me saying more than one or two sentences during a work meeting. During primary school, I would ask my friend to take my book up to the teacher for marking. During high school, I would begin presentations and end (or sometimes begin) them by crying into my hands.

It was only in university that I started to really grow in confidence. I remember giving a French presentation, and feeling proud. Not just to have spoken my university-girl French and delivered a presentation to my classmates, but to have finished the presentation – and without a tear.

Whatever it was that held me back then, I am happy to say that it doesn’t hold me back now. Although of course, I am still me. Like I said, I’m not one to talk too much in a work meeting, or in a group setting. And the idea of speaking up in a room full of people, whether it’s family or church-family, doesn’t exactly float my boat. I just feel more confident speaking openly one-to-one, or in small groups, with those I know well.

Anyway, the point of this post isn’t to investigate my personal “timidity”- but I just want to share with any other timid/quieter/reserved characters out there: it’s totally okay to acquire such a quality!

During my week with Revive, I was so encouraged. Encouraged that God created all of us for a purpose, and that even we as “quiet people” can be such blessings and encouragements to others, however much we feel like it’s impossible.

I hope to encourage you with some kind words from some brothers and sisters in Christ. Words which they actually used during Revive to encourage me, and are for you too!:

  1. You’re gentle, yet strong
  2. God will make use of your gentleness and strength so much!
  3. God has made you with enough – everything at hand for you!
  4. Your place within the body of Christ is so special and important
  5. You are an encouragement to your fellow siblings in Christ!
  6. God did not give you a spirit of timidity (2 Timothy 1:7) ; but rather a quietness of spirit
  7. Your humility is an encouragement to other members of the body
  8. You are a beautiful child of God, inside and out!

Girls & guys…we may be quiet. We may be gentle. But know also, that we can be bold. Especially with God at our side, fighting our battles with us.

I like this oxymoron: Quietly Confident

Personally, I was so encouraged by being told that gentleness is such an attribute for a woman of God! I  thank the Lord that we are all made different and that there is a time and a season for everything: whether quiet, loud, chatty, silent, confident, reserved – God loves us just the same, and values every one of us always, so much.

I thank the Lord for the specially set time for “encouraging” during the time I volunteered for Revive. I think that “encouraging” is a really positive step to take as part of a Christ-loving and neighbour-loving community.

Sometimes we may not even realise when we are being a blessing or an encouragement to another – but thank the Lord anyway that He uses us, shapes us, and that we may *shine* for Him.

“Men Are Like Buses”

Went to London to meet up with a friend, and ended up meeting other friends of hers, as you do. And what bright old topic do we end up chatting about? RELATIONSHIPS. Non-existant in my book. Anyhow, I thought of this funny poem, “(…) men”, (more specifically about men and how I sometimes feel about them…), by the funny Wendy Cope. Thankfully from the few lines I remembered my mother knew where to look and I rediscovered the whole poem! So, I’ve copied the poem here (minus one word I choose not to use – the poem makes sense anyway!) Enjoy, if you will…

Wendy Cope – 1945

MEN

(….) men are like (…) buses –

You wait for about a year

And as soon as one approaches your stop

Two or three others appear.

You look at them flashing their indicators,

Offering you a ride.

You’re trying to read the destinations,

You haven’t much time to decide.

If you made a mistake, there is no turning back.

Jump off, and you’ll stand there and gaze

While the cars and the taxis and lorries go by

And the minutes, the hours, the days.