Change. Transition. Endings and New Beginnings.

Change. Transition. Endings and new beginnings. In my life these things tend to be what I'm most resistant to. Why is this? In my kitchen I have several plants, the lucky ones that I have yet to kill are a reminder of the limits I sometimes put on myself. Eventually, a healthy plant will outgrow its pot. When replanted in a bigger pot, or outside, my experience has shown that the plant will transform into a much greater plant than I ever imagined it to be in its previous container.

Change. My career is the plant that has been repotted currently in my life. I have been blessed with the spectacular calling to teach. Graciously, God has given me many tools to do this job to the best of my ability, but moreover, he has given me an immense passion for children and their lives. After spending the last six years in the public school teaching as well as starting a non-profit educational foundation and curriculum within the state, I began to feel God calling me outside of the walls of the classroom. Striving to become a teacher and teaching have defined such a vast piece of my identity over the past decade. I'm finding that I miss my "little pot", my container, now that I've been repotted outside the walls of a classroom. However, my decisions for leaving the classroom at this time were rooted in these principals:

First and foremost grow closer to God and his desire for my life.
Second, become a better wife and mother to my family by making them the priority.
Third, allow God to use the gifts he has equipped me with in ways I have not yet imagined.

Transition. For the past two and a half years,I urned for my time with our precious son and struggled with the reality of him going to day care every day. Our time together during the week was minimized to the few short hours that were left after picking him up from day care, making dinner, giving him a bath and finally putting him to bed. I hated that others were watching his first steps, hearing his first words and spending more time with him than I was able to. As he grew, I began to appreciate the more positive aspects of his care and enjoyed watching his social skills develop. Many told me it wasn't the quantity, but the quality of the time we spent together as a family. Though, it never really got any easier for me to leave him at day care each day. All the while, I knew God had purpose and intention in what I was doing in my classroom each day during that time. Last spring, I started feeling like God was preparing me for a new purpose. Excited at the possibilities of the precious opportunity to spend more time with my family I was thrilled. Yet, at the same time, also heartbroken at no longer being a teacher at a school I adore with parents and children who teach me as much as I've taught them - who are like family in a way- to me. When the time came to turn a calling into action it came with great joy and deep sorrow. I know a classroom will always be there and these years that are already quickly passing will not. A few weeks after the decision was finalized, we found out we were expecting our second child. This, after miscarrying three times, felt like God was truly anointing our faithfulness to his calling for our family. Now almost 18 weeks pregnant, I rejoice in the great opportunity to wait upon the Lord and his timing for our next steps.

Reflecting upon the last few years, our testimony is a patchwork of God's grace, unconditional love and his faithfulness. With the downfall of our economy we nearly went bankrupt while at the same time riding the highs and lows of pregnancies and multiple miscarriages.

Painting by Caitlin Beidler of Redemption Art

Only God could have created this situation we are currently in that allows for me to be at home. Therefore, it also has brought an awareness that ONLY GOD knows how he will "grow" me for his kingdom and it is my job to be faithful in His timing and open to His call.

Endings and new beginnings. Though I do not have 24 little ones within four walls this year I do have one who looks to me for all things, who not only looks to me his teacher, but his mom. I also had been feeling like leaving the classroom was leaving my platform as a leader. Yet, God has shown me that when one platform is no longer there, build another. So, I'm building and I'm praying. What is God preparing you for? How are you using the leadership abilities he has given to you?