Friday, November 15, 2013

Counting Down?

Dear Bloggers,

They say it's that time of year. The time of year when summertime is long gone, the rush of excitement for the new school year has worn off, the weather is turning cold and sunny days are few and far between. In the midst of the beginning Holiday excitement comes the feeling that the Holiday break is still far off. As the long days and nights of worrying about this student or that parent begin to catch up with me, I find myself sometimes exhibiting this raw exhaustion and frustration in front of my students. I am easily frustrated and snappy. On top of it, I let out my feelings of being overwhelmed at the state of my unorganized, messy, cluttered, not cute classroom. I look at all of these awesome blogs from other teachers and think, "Why can't my room look that awesome?" I am impatient with the fact that some of these teachers have been in their rooms for several years or have been teachers for several years. I feel I cannot give myself the grace of having only been in my room for a few months, instead I turn it around to something negative about myself. I overlook and wave off the facts: my room is not their room, I have been in my room for only a few short months, this is my first year teaching, right now I am trying to figure out the curriculum and how to teach. Rather I see: I am not that creative, I don't know how to be that creative, I can't spend that much money, I can't spend that much time, my room is smaller than theirs, my room has large ugly built ins I cannot get past.

Sometimes, I have the same view of myself when I reflect on my relationship with Christ. I let negative thoughts weigh on me: I am not "spiritual" enough, I don't have enough knowledge of the bible, my relationship with Christ is not as deep as it should be, why can't I share deep thoughts about a passage like this person, why does my life feel unorganized and messy?

So often, I fail to see and believe the truth that God has given me: I am a new creation, a people for his own possession, a royal priesthood, a child of God, beloved. If I cannot accept and believe this, than I cannot demonstrate this in front of others for the sake of Christ. Just as if all I see in my classrooms are the frustrations and my own imperfections, than I cannot demonstrate in front of my kids that I can never measure up because nothing I do will ever be good enough. I will never be able to achieve perfect satisfaction with my classroom, perfect organization habits, or rid myself of my tendency to pile up clutter. By demonstrating frustration and worry over this in front of my kids, then my fear is that I am teaching them and myself that outside perfection is the goal.

As my sin is revealed in front of me, I see my neediness for Christ so much more. I hope and pray that the Lord can use my messy, cluttered, unorganized life to reflect His perfection in front of my first graders!