Friday, October 22, 2010


On the one hand, I love teaching so much it seems a no-brainer to look at returning to the classroom full time. Of course, that would necessitate (for financial reasons) teaching in the public school.

On the other hand, I have enjoyed being administrator of a Christian school and would like the opportunity to do it again. That would necessitate moving out of state.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Vicki Caruana

Vicki Caruana is the author of "Before the Bell Rings", a devotional book for teachers. I found it at the local Christian bookstore in 2009 and have read nearly half of the entries during "Teacher Prayer Time" that is held four mornings a week at my current place of employment. Some of the readings hit close to home, and I've decided to share some of Vicki's thoughts here.

Day 121: "You pray for me, I'll pray for you." In this devotional Vicki challenges her readers to make prayer the foundation of their day. As for "finding the time" for it, she suggests that "prayer can be a natural part of your daily activities", noting that "we seem to find time to complain about" everyday matters, so "choose to pray instead." Indeed, she says, "Be on the hunt for prayer opportunities. They're all around you!"

On Day 123, her reading challenges God's people to trust in God's provision by remembering that we don't always get what we want, but we always get what we need. She related having a job that she thought would be great but that turned out poorly for her. However, it opened a door that met a need in her family, so she learned to see that she did not get what she wanted, but she did get what she needed.

Day 124, today's reading, was called "Not what I signed up for." In this reading, Vicki reminded teachers that "teaching is a vocation, not an occupation." Therefore, teachers are to work on behalf of their students even when it is uncomfortable or inconvenient to do so.

There are more readings coming that are poignant for me at this time in my life. I am grateful for the experiences and wisdom of others shared with me to help we walk with the Lord in light of all circumstances. I am thankful today for Vicki Caruana.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Can you tell it's a day off for me?

My work has me in front of a computer several hours a day, and when I get home my time is spoken for by L, C & M. I rarely even check my e-mail at home anymore, let alone sit down and attempt to write anything of possible interest.

We had lunch and then cleaned the living room. With everything picked up and put away, the boys were able, once again, to play with the cars, trucks and trains. Apart from the anger that flares from time to time when one won't cooperate with the other, they're playing quietly and contentedly while a gorgeous autumn day passes by.

Well, that's enough blogging for one day. My bum shoulder's about to fall off.

Are we going to get grass?

"Mikoh, are we going to watch basketball? Are we going to watch a movie? Mikoh, what are we going to watch?"

I didn't really hear any answers from "Mikoh," but the conversation between my boys was intriguing. M was really too busy sucking on his right big toe to answer is older brother's queries, but he interjected an unintelligible response here and there. Ugh, he's really going to town on that toe!

"Mommy, I want to have jelly toast!"

"Creaze... . I want peanut butter and cruck. I want this! I want this!"

The boys are an infuriating delight, bringing joy and warmth to the soul, with minor and major irritations tagging along for the ride. One moment of tender sharing is followed by the next moment of screaming tugs of war over one of two identical cars. Happy swapping of books is disrupted by fierce squabbling over who is drinking whose cup of juice or milk.

The oddest for me is that when all the toys are scattered across the floor, interspersed with their pajamas and yesterday's outfits, they will not play with their toys to save their lives. Once they're picked up and put away, they can spend hours with a handful of cars, trucks and trains. They stop at invisible traffic lights ("Red means 'top. Green means go!). C asks M, "Are we going to get grass?" and they go to the "grass" station to fill up with fuel.

Oh, it's lunch time. Mommy has just called us to a "gastronomical wonder."

Teaching it is...

Okay, so this is supposed to be about jobs. Teaching seems to be the direction. I'd like to be more decisive, but the best I can muster is less sure. Subbing in the public schools appears to be the best opportunity available right now, so that's where my energies are directed. May God grant me the grace and favor needed to get my foot in the door, and perhaps even to follow in Dad's footsteps.

From One Cemetery to Another

Yes, Dan, I admit it: I'm stealing ideas from you. Well, maybe "stealing" is too strong. I'm definitely getting ideas from you, though. But just to show that I give credit where it is due:

Unlike you, I did not spend much time in cemeteries as a kid. The nearest one to my house was too far for me to go, though in actual distance it was no more than a mile from home. I'm not sure of the name of it, but I think it's rather mundane, such as, "North Carmel Cemetery."

The only headstone of interest to me there was the one that has my mother's name on it. She died more than 23 years ago when I was just seventeen and a junior in high school. She knew your two elder brothers, and she loved them very much. She treasured the time that she had with them.

Mum died on a Tuesday evening. The memorial service was held at our church, of course, and over three hundred people showed up for it. There was no viewing; the cremation had already taken place. As a result, there was no burial, either. No burial, and no headstone. Dad bought the headstone several years later. I've been there, and cried there. I missed her and grieved her loss. I felt keenly her absence from my life, my dreams, my choices, my pursuits. I blamed God even while I clung desperately to him for comfort.

While you cast about for the anchor of your life, Dan, I hope that cling desperately to the One that can be your anchor, even as you plumb the depths and search the mysteries of his grace. Challenge him to make himself real and known to you.

Don't stay forever in the cemetery, though. He will walk with you there, but that is not where he resides, and if you are in him then that is not your residence, either. Mum's not there. Mrs. Lynch is not there. They are with him at his residence. That's where we should go, too.