|A lovely picture from the easel of my 4yo daughter|
I have lost count of how many times I tell people that I am a high school teacher and they tell me things like:
- "I could NEVER do that/be that."
- "Why do you teach high school? If I were a teacher, I would only want to teach anything by high school."
- "Better you than me because all high school kids are [insert something mostly negative]."
You know what? I beg to differ. I am a fan of most any kid - whether they are literally of the age of being kids OR they are just plain grown up kids (meaning they are young-at-heart) because kids are AWESOME.
As I cited in previous postings, I have been really really challenged with some unique trials but none of that is changing the fact that I still very much love my jobs AND the student artists I get to work alongside on a regular basis AND the parents of all of those student artists. Don't get me wrong - I have my bad days but they are a lot more few and far in between than what most people would suspect with their preconceived notions about teaching and high school students at that!
Recently, I had a very challenging situation arise at work and while in the past (before I came to work at my current school) I would have felt completely out of my element about how to deal with it, be in it, or navigate beyond it - none of the aforementioned is anything of what I felt. Why? Because despite the unique trials I have shared with you frankly and in no uncertain terms, I have also been doing very specific things that I feel very specifically prepared me for the moment(s) that made up the specific challenge presented to me. In other words, my feathers weren't the least bit ruffled and I was able to (even in the midst of the situation) feel like I was standing on stable ground and not come even close to being rocked from it. I was able to conduct myself in a way that I felt was the way God wanted me to. I was able to walk away from it feeling like I did the right thing - not that I was right but that I did the right thing. (There is a difference between the two of those things and I work very hard to teach all of my students how to be wise and discern between the two.)
Being a teacher and being a visual artist are two very tough things. I don't presume to be an expert in either areas but in all of the ways I am learning how to be better at both of those such things, I am humbled by the opportunities that are constantly presented to me in order for me to (ultimately) be more of the teacher and/or visual artist that I know the amazing Lord Jesus wants of me. Because that's just the thing: It's not about me because it's completely about HIM. And because of that truth, it never matters to me whether I am right or wrong, only (in the words of a very wise and respected colleague of mine) that He is using me as a vessel to deliver His peace, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and LOVE that covers any and everything forever and ever.
Like I said before and will continue to say until the day when the Lord chooses to end my earthly time, I love my job and all that comes with it that I have already outlined. And for me? I don't mean to say love in a way that it is a noun but in a way that is just as much a VERB and an ACTION that can be experienced. I pour myself into my job with LOVE every day because it is my understanding that the Lord pours into me so that I can turn and do the same for others - no matter who they are, where they come from, or what they look like. This is because I know that the Lord doesn't sit up where He does and Jesus didn't walk the way He did when He was here and dole out only this, that, or the other thing based on a metric of any sort that eliminated anyone from being denied to receive it. I firmly believe that every last one of us has the opportunity to show, tell, and BE the love of Christ on every given day and with every passing moment that might present itself. It's all a matter of choosing to do so. It's ALL a matter of letting your will be God's will.