Monday, July 17, 2017

please take your seats and call me mrs. aughtmon

It is less than four weeks until I am officially a middle school teacher.
I am laughing out loud as I type this.
Not because it's funny.
It's more like that high hysterical hyena laughter of nervousness.

I haven't faced a life change this big since...
I can't remember...because my memory is shot after having three children.
So it is probably since having the three children.

I have been scribbling ideas for books and projects.
Reading young adult lit. Pouring over lesson plans.
Meeting with teacher friends. Begging for their help and insight.
Sending strongly worded texts to my girlfriends: PRAY HEAVY.
Reading teaching books...Ron Clark's Essential 55. This I love.
The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher by Harry Wong.
This makes me feel a little sick to my stomach. (

This afternoon I am meeting again with my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Cox.
She tells me to call her Marney. But in my heart, she will always be Mrs. Cox.
Best. Teacher. Ever.
She is setting my feet firmly on the path of teacher wisdom

Be firm.
Explain EVERYTHING.
Set boundaries.
Have routines.
Share procedures.
Be prepared.
But be ready to improvise. Because teaching is fluid.

Last meeting I told her, "I have a lot to learn."
She said, "Keeping thinking that. The teacher who thinks they know it all is finished."
I am far from finished. I am just beginning.

And on a practical note, I am realizing that I need to buy more pants.
Because I live in jeans. Literally.
I have worn some type of jean almost every day for the past 16 years.
Even to church. Even to my speaking engagements. Nice jeans...but jeans.
What do people EVEN WEAR when jeans are not an option?
This one has me scrambling.

And I have started setting my alarm for 5:30 am. Because it's coming.
The early mornings. The rush of coffee and adrenaline. This is my future.
Early mornings. Days full of kids I don't know. Grading papers.
New colleagues. New environment. New
Everything...so new. So uncharted. So unknown.
Hence, the hyena like laughter. And the nervous stomach.

But it's okay. My friend, Gayle, who taught a new grade this year said,
"Just stay close to the bathroom the first few weeks. All of us teachers feel the same way."
Those are words of wisdom that I will be heeding.

What I am discovering in this new season...is that even though I may be called "teacher"?
I am the student.
I am the one who will be sitting, feet under desk, taking it all in that first day of school.
I will be learning each child.
I will be asking the other teachers for their input.
I will be studying and planning and implementing and then rearranging everything.
And I will be asking Jesus for moment by moment wisdom and grace and the calming of nerves.
So. Much. To. Learn.

But the funny thing is...laughing and nervousness aside?
I can't wait to get started.

Friday, June 30, 2017

i'm going back to junior high



















Junior High.
A time of sweaty arm pits and deep fear.
I never thought I would revisit it.
I was glad to see it go.

And yet in approximately 6 weeks, I will be entering those hormone laden halls once again.
This time as a teacher.
An 8th grade lit & creative writing teacher.
Can you believe it?
I know. Me, either.

I am super excited! (Writing! Yay!)
And already sweaty. (There you are, deep fear. How have you been doing all these years?)
This fight or flight response is what my body does any time I do anything out of my comfort zone.
Pitching new book ideas? Speaking in public? Hanging out with new people I don't know? 
Sweat galore.

I will be doing all three of these things in my classes.
Pitching new ideas. Speaking in public. Hanging out with new people I don't know.

I will be keeping Dove Ultimate Go Pomegranate and Lemon Verbena Scent Deodorant in business.
I will be buying a case or 7 in anticipation of Back to School Night.

Jesus has a way of bringing our dreams full circle in very unpredictable ways. 
I discovered my love of writing in junior high.
I wrote a lot of stories about girls who got to wear purple eye shadow and teal colored mascara.
Mostly because it was the 80's...
and I was forbidden to wear  eye shadow and mascara until high school.
I poured all of my angst and awkwardness into those stories and shared them with my friends.
Writing became my creative outlet. The one place as a young person that I felt safe.

And here I am, decades later, getting the opportunity to help young people discover
the love of writing.
Unleashing dreams and potential. Offering a space of creativity. (Along with a side of homework.)
And I am pretty sure that purple eye shadow and teal mascara are a thing again.
What are the odds?

I am planning a million fun things that I want to do with these kids.
So many good books to read...so many journal entries to write...so little time.
My creative juices are already flowing.

But back to my sweating issues.

When I started looking for a job this past year, I wasn't even thinking of teaching.
I was looking into admin work and writing content for large companies.
Jesus had other ideas.

He likes putting us in places where we have to lean in to Him.
Where we know we can't do it on our own.
Where we recognize that He is in charge and that He is THE ONLY ONE who can get us through.
(Class room management, anyone?)

Jesus tends to fling open doors of opportunity that make us more than a little sweaty.
Opportunities where fear grips the backs of  our throats and sets our hearts pounding in our chests.
Then He grins at us and says,
"Do you trust me? Because together we can do this."

So this is my new adventure.
As my mother-in-law would say, "Please pray heavy."
Just typing this, I am already sweating.

But I am planning on wearing teal mascara on the first day of school.
I think that will help.
Junior High? Here I come.




Monday, May 29, 2017

hold on....the good stuff is coming




















It has been silent over here at the Tired Supergirl blog for a more than a month.
Sometimes life comes swooping in and leaves me wordless.
I have been co-writing with my friend, Tiffany, (Plumb) and feeding boys that are never full
and getting settled into our new little cottage.

All good things.

I have been pondering what book to write next...
Jumping into a new devotional?
Finishing the fairy stories I started in college?
Diving into a book about finding yourself in the fathomless depths of God's love?
I have thoughts about them all.

All good ideas.

Then I am wrestling with the idea of going back to work full time.
Scott and I have been talking about the possibility for this past year.
With two years before our oldest leaves for college,
we know that is needed.
I was reading up on college tuition and nearly passed out.
Apparently, only Bill Gates and royal families with a secret stash of jewels
can afford to educate their children past high school.
I am having a tough time figuring out how we can pull this off.

So much to think about.

For the past decade, I have had the great privilege of writing.
It has been my dream. My dream come true.
(And on occasion, my nightmare come true...tight deadlines give me back spasms.)
So taking a step back from writing, in some ways, feels like the death of a dream.
But God has been speaking to my heart this past week.

First...

He is the dream giver.
My dream to write....was originally His dream for me.
He takes great pleasure in the fact that I write.
It was His plan for me all along,

and secondly, He is reminding me that...

Chasing the dream is not the goal.
Chasing Him is.

A few weeks back I spoke at a women's retreat about expectations
and one of the scriptures I touched on was Proverbs 16:9.

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

I encouraged the women there to start their day with this prayer,

"God, I don't know what today holds for me.
I have some plans but I would like you to establish my steps."

Let's be honest. I was speaking to myself.
That is the prayer that I need to be praying right now.

I think Jesus agrees because two days ago, I opened up Mornings with Jesus
to read the devotion for the day and the scripture was Proverbs 16:9 -

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

Yesterday, three letters came to the house. My mom writes all of the grandkids each month.
She shares news about herself and Dad and what they are up to
and puts in fun tidbits about all the cousins.
Every time it comes the boys rip into it like it holds a winning lottery ticket.

I picked it up after the boys had finished reading it. And at the bottom of the letter
(after telling them how special they each were and how loved they were),
my mom had included Proverbs 16:9 -

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

It is almost like Jesus is trying to tell me something.

When I try to cling to my expectations, my dreams, my plans, my people, too tightly?
It's never a good outcome. Usually there is lots of disappointment.
Tears. Weeping and gnashing of teeth. It's not pretty.

But when I cling to Him?
There is a present peace in the midst of the chaos of my mind.
When I invite Him into my confusion, He brings Himself.
Wisdom. Clarity. Love. Mercy. Strength.

Every. Single. Thing. That I need. That you need. Right now.
Are found in His presence.

Clinging to a dream is like clinging to air.
It slips through my fingers. I am left empty-handed.

Clinging to Him means I can hear His heart beating with love.
For me. For my boys. For you. For this world.
His heart for us fills me with hope.
Because He alone has the power to establish our steps.
To make all things new.
To right wrongs.
To forgive our messups.
To close and open doors.
To renew our minds.
To heal our hearts.
To give us new dreams.
To bring about new seasons.

I don't know how this next year is all going to work out.
But He does.
I don't know how we are going to put three boys through college
But He does.
I don't know what I will write next.
But He does.
I don't know what me working full time will look like for our family.
But He does.
I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.
I don't know a lot of things.

But I know one thing.
He is good. He is love. And He is here.
And that...is the good stuff.