Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Crusty Crumbs Without Prayer

"The bread was warm from the oven when we packed it--and now it is crusty and crumbs."  So said the Gibeonites to the leaders of Israel in Joshua 8.
14 The men of Israel looked them over and accepted the evidence. But they didn’t ask God about it.
And so the decision was made and consequences followed because the Israelites looked with earthly eyes and trusted their fellow man WITHOUT ASKING GOD ABOUT IT.

"I don't want to be here.  I want to walk out the door and never come back.  I'm so tired of being treated rudely by 12-year-olds."  That was me last Friday at work. I was so frustrated.  I still am. 
But acting on that desire to walk out the door and never returning would mean a whole lot of changes that I'm not prepared to face, yet. I've heard myself saying over and over that I want to quit my job.  I can't stand the rude and disobedient children and the powers that be allow this type of behavior to continue. We teachers are stuck with our hands behind our back without power as we watch the overall discipline in our classrooms go down the toilet. The message is getting clearer day-by-day: no consequences if we misbehave.  We might as well misbehave and have fun while we are at it.

And I am stuck feeling powerless and like an old biddy telling people to walk on the right and get off the grass.  This is the first year in 28 that I haven't regularly and immediately told kids to spit out their gum. It isn't worth the battle.

But I'm really good at what I do.  I feel like I am needed by the younger teachers, by the students, and by the parents of my students. I am a rock in a mire. But I'm starting to sink, myself. I am seeking options.  Where can I go that I am wanted, appreciated, and supported? I've complained to a dozen others and asked for advice, but there is no peace.

Last Saturday I had breakfast with a friend named Jackie.  We were discussing a church in Mississippi that had gone through a split over the losing/hiring of a pastor. Jackie said one of the men she knew said he would NEVER vote in support of the recommendation of the pastoral search committee.  I quickly made the comment that I would go find another church instead of voting NO and not supporting the new pastor.  
Later Saturday night I was walking the dog when it dawned on me that I was acting like the NO-voter.  I was bucking the system and NEW status quo.  I was the old biddy with outdated expectations, while all the new administration and new teachers just let it roll and allow it.  Their standards are different.  Perhaps I need to go and find another church work environment that isn't as progressive.  I'm kicking against the goads. And I'm only hurting my own feet. I'm the one who is bothered--so why don't I get out instead of complaining about the administration.  It is the new way of things, and I am the old.  I need to shut up or ship out. My attitude should be one of support, not sabotage. Or find a different ship--one that appreciates old school values and expectations.

I just don't know what to do.

So when I read the above passage in Joshua 8 about the people making decisions and deals with others by checking out outside appearances such as crusty crumbs of bread without petitioning wisdom and direction from the King of the Universe, I had to pause.

Dear God, please help me to not make the same mistake as the Israelite leaders--to make decisions based on influence of others and distorted images.  I want to be pleasing to you, but I am hurting on the inside.  I don't want to feel used and taken advantage of and unappreciated. I don't know what to do about it.  Should I sit down and try to talk with my superiors to try to influence their support? Should I fill out a resume and practice my interviewing skills, should I grumble and gossip and complain all day every day? 

I want to go to Africa and see if my skills couldn't be helpful to those who are hurting and in need. 

God, you know how many hairs are on my head.  You know which ones are brown, blonde, and gray.  You know my heart.  You love me.  You love me so much that you sent Jesus to pay the price for my sins and give me the opportunity to live with you and for you. And now I need help.  What is best for me? Guide and direct my steps, my vision, my way. Help me to be submissive and respectful to those in authority over me and to be a good leader watching over those entrusted in my care. Forgive me for my bitterness, resentment, and gossiping. 
You say in your word, If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men liberally and without scolding. James 1
You say Submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you, Come near to God, and he will come near to you. James 4
"If it is the Lord's will, we will do this or that." James 4:15
Ok, Lord. Whatever you will.  I'm gonna try to follow.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

60 Days to 50

COUNTING DOWN:

Days until I turn 50 years old.

I want to celebrate by doing something special or different every day for the 50 days leading up to my birthday.  I feel like 50 represents the start of the second half of my life--seeing as both Mamamarge and Peep both lived a century.
So, I need to MAKE A PLAN.  I've got 10 days left to create my plan and come up with a strategy.  I'm thinking of possibly WALKING somewhere different every day for 50 days, tracking on a map, and making it more special by inviting different people to join me each day.  It would celebrate friendships, taking care of my body, and experiencing new paths. Yep. That's it. I need to set up a special calendar and invite people to SIGN UP to join me on my little adventure. I also need to have some kind of fall back strategy for bad weather and sick days. I've got 10 days to get this in place.

Image By: Party Mania.es https://www.partymania.es

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Where is My Guest Room?

Mark 14: 13-16 (MSG)
13-15 He directed two of his disciples, “Go into the city. A man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him. Ask the owner of whichever house he enters, ‘The Teacher wants to know, Where is my guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will show you a spacious second-story room, swept and ready. Prepare for us there.”
16 The disciples left, came to the city, found everything just as he had told them, and prepared the Passover meal.
In my quiet time this morning, I read about the Last Supper. Instead of focusing on the betrayal of Jesus, I found myself stuck on the scene prior to the  Passover Meal being prepared.  Jesus told two disciples to go into the city and find a man carrying a water jug. Tell the owner of the house he enters that Jesus wants to know where is the guest room for he and his disciples to eat Passover.

I imagine being that guy. Do I have my life in order to where I would be able to respond readily when a stranger asks me for a cup of water, a pair of shoes, a warm coat, a package of feminine hygiene products?

Scripture: https://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/old-new-testament/today?version=MSG 
Image: Upper Room 2 Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land  http://www.kalamation.com/HolyLand/upperroom.htmlhttp://www.kalamation.com/HolyLand/upperroom.html