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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Sweet Journey

Sixteen years ago, when I began teaching middle school English in a rural district in Upstate NY, I never thought my professional journey would take the turns it did. Looking back over my career, I am amazed at what I have been able to accomplish and where God has orchestrated me to be at all the right times.

I started in Kindergarten student teaching, which caused me to reconsider everything I thought I knew about teaching children. It did not take long for me to realize that young children were not in my comfort zone. Another teaching experience with a gifted and talented program in middle school proved to be a far better fit for me.

I obtained a full time district substitute position, with daily duties ranging from driver’s ed to honor’s English. At that time, I also became the school’s newspaper adviser, which garnered much attention as the student writers and editors aimed to be a voice to reckon with and went underground, with massive community support.

My first tenured position was in middle and high school English, which evolved to include a department chair role and professional development training, as well as summer school programming. From here I began to explore other professional venues, working with at-risk youth at a residential center and then on to work for the BOCES system at their career and technical centers. I taught students, mentored teachers, and even played a dean of students role at times.

Life took a very interesting turn when my then husband’s job took us from NY to Wisconsin. I was blessed with a wonderful position leading a technical college in their expansion of online programming. While I was honored with the faith the director had in me, it was a bittersweet transition because I always had hopes of working in the State Education system in NY to one day affect change within the education system. Now, here I was at a community college level with no future direction toward a return to K-12.

After a brief time in WI, our family once again transitioned, this time to Florida! I was again blessed with a terrific position working for Florida’s University system as a technical trainer. I absolutely loved training and workshop design. I also remained connected with online learning.

A move back to NY brought many of these pieces back together with a position at a community college that allowed me to train online teaching faculty and design technical training workshops. While I have enjoyed this position immensely, I have remained very localized in my impact on education. I have always wondered, in the back of my mind, how I might be able to be involved on a larger scale with what is happening regionally, and nationally. I have begun to present at conferences, which has helped to open pathways for me to pursue this passion.

God is good. And He remains faithful to the desires He has placed in our heart. I was recently offered a position within our State University system, where I will be supporting educational initiatives and training across western NY. After many years, a wealth of varied experiences, and an extra few thousand miles round-trip from where I began, I am right where I was created and molded to be.

And I am incredibly grateful.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Some Days

Some days it feels like I accomplish the greatest feats the world could throw at me. Other days feel mundane, like I didn’t do a single thing of any lasting value.

My sweet friend and fellow blogger, Lisa-Jo, reminds me in her post that EVERY day is a day full of accomplishment, impact, and lasting value when it is spent serving my family.

Read what Lisa-Jo has to say here and I think you’ll agree.

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Love Wins

I’m not sure where I found this, but I came across it again in my files as I was cleaning them up this week. I did not write it. It was a beautiful reminder, so I am passing it along. I needed to hear it again. Maybe you do too.

Enjoy.

LOVE WILL CARRY YOU
It’s okay to fall apart.
You don’t have to know the answers.
All those pieces you’ve been holding for so long while you raced around your life
looking for the last roll of scotch tape, go ahead, let them fall.
Let them fall.
Every last piece.

It’s okay to scramble.
You don’t have to be calm now.
All those plans you’ve been stringing together like a macaroni necklace in kindergarten–
every last one is beautiful, so beautiful, so go ahead.
Keep grabbing at everything you ever wanted and always feared you’d never have.
Every last beautiful dream.

It’s okay to hope against hope.
This is not a time to be reasonable or rational.
Run, run as fast as you can against the tide that is crashing down now.
When the last wave sweeps over you
and every hope has been dashed
You will still be here, right here
and you will not be sorry you tried to make all your sorrows disappear.

It’s okay to cry.
Even if you are a man. Even if you are a mother. Even if you feel each tear
as an accusation against your strength, your resolve, your natural equilibrium.
Cry in the car. Cry in the shower.
Cry in bed when no one is listening or looking.
Cry when you kiss the kids goodbye for school.
Cry when you do the dishes.
Berate yourself for not being able to get it together
and then cry anyway.
How else will you know you lived, if not for these tears
reminding you were not made of metal, wood or steel
after all?

It’s okay to be lost.
Throw away the map. Leave the keys in the car.
Get out and walk.
Forget about everything you ever knew.
Crumple up those directions and move now from memory
The memory of your heart
The memory of your breath
The memory of that one time you laughed so hard you cried
The memory of that one kiss, the one that left you longing
to be loved for ever and ever.

At the end of your unraveling,
you will look down and see your own feet
that have carried you so, so far
and you will decide for once that it is okay
to sit down
to rest
to hold out your hands
to lift up your head
to open your heart
to the possibility that you were never alone after all
not for one minute

That Love was right there
in her terrible silence
not quite sure how to say it so you would believe her
that you were a thing of rare beauty on the earth
That She still has your macaroni necklace
That She’s been following you around,
making maps of all the places you’ve been lost,
so you’d know how to get back when the time came
to put it all to rest.

Go ahead, be disappointed.
Nothing turned out how you hoped.
Sit under a tree and tell me the whole of it
and I won’t say a word.
I won’t say a single word.

This is the secret nobody knows.
All these days Love carried my heart in her heart.
I was her favorite, even as I cried,
and now I am sitting under her tree
listening to you
the way she listened to me
while I swore she was never ever there.

It’s okay to feel lonely.
At the end of your wanderings
when there is no more scotch tape
and you can’t find your macaroni necklace of dreams anywhere
your heart will trace an unpredictable path
to this place and you will have just enough courage
to let Love tell you the terrible beautiful truth
of how loved you were
and how even now, at the end of everything
it’s not too late.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Daddy’s girl

There very well may be nothing sweeter than watching a daddy worship with his little girl. In church this week, I was so blessed watching the daddy and his daughter in front of me. He scooped her up in his arms, and she wrapped hers around him, burying her little head in his shoulder. As he sang, he swayed with his little girl and they worshiped together. It was beautiful. It was touching. And as I sang with them and the rest of the congregation, I cried.

So many little girls do not have daddies that show this kind of devotion, to God or to them. It saddens me that many little girls have never experienced a daddy who will worship with them. That is why it is so important that they know their Heavenly Father simply adores them and seeks after them. Granted, many fathers are incredible dads who do love their daughters and give them their best every day.

Here is an adorable video from the Skit Guys showing the softness of a daughter toward her daddy and a dad who knows that all his little girl needs is a daddy to give of himself to her. It’s a must watch in time for Father’s Day, but be sure to grab the tissues!

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

 
 
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