Saturday, June 6, 2009

Random Thoughts

I'm thinking about not teaching next year.

There are lots of reasons:
  • Olive Martinez will be coming back to teach. She is the Belizean woman who was supposed to be the teacher of the deaf class, then her daughter was killed in a car accident. I replaced her. She is ready to teach again. Mrs. Briceno was thinking about putting us in the deaf classroom together. I think Olive needs some freedom to do her own thing, fly or fail. I could be available as a resource and a sub.
  • It's too much to teach and pastor. I give a lot of energy to both but when push comes to shove and I am out of time, the pastoring role gets the short end.
  • I want time to be able to do other things well. Things like: I would like to help the young deaf mothers start a CODA group. I want to write a children's story about Belize children that takes place in Orange Walk. Maybe an easy-to-read beginning readers' series with at least one story about a deaf child. I want to spend more time in prayer and I want to exercise more.
At our annual EMM Retreat last October Phyllis Groff asked me about budgeting my time between teaching, the children who live with me, church prep, prayer & study, Girl's night prep., and rest. I think I replied, "Everything seems to get done." It is a miracle to me how God helps me to accomplish all that...Jesus was busy, too...what would I rather be doing with free time? Everything else seems like a waste of time....watching TV, cooking more creatively, reading books, etc. Then Phyllis asked, "Is there something that you are doing that a Belizean could and should do?" It keeps echoing in my thoughts. With Olive coming back, she could and should teach the deaf class.

The hardest thing about considering not teaching next fall is not "missing the children". I will see them all in church. I will be at St Peter's probably at least once a week resourcing, helping voluntarily, substituting. And Sulmi and others will still be welcome to live with me. No, the hardest part is: I AM A TEACHER. I've been a teacher since my little sister was born and I was in second grade. Once I tried to be a "Maverick" at Holden Village in Chelan, Washington for a summer. The Mavericks do anything helpful from clearing paths in the forest to shoveling the compost pile. I thought it would be a nice break from teaching...a chance to socialize with adults while working. Yet, I gravitated toward the day care. I asked them what they were doing with the children. I played with some of them and subbed one day, then two days and soon it was a week and I never went back to being a Maverick. Hmmm. In reflection it spoke volumes to me.

I can't imagine not being a teacher. Considering not teaching is like thinking about NOT reading or talking. How can I not teach? The idea is, oddly, a little unsettling for me.

So recently, when I have a few minutes to think about something other than teaching or my sermon or what I will teach at girl's night, my thoughts turn to next fall. Please pray with me as I try to discern God's will. Please pray for peace as I loosen my grip on an identity (school teacher) that I have nurtured and clung to most of my life. Please send your thoughts and any direction that you think the Lord is giving.

With Love,


  1. It is a tough decision!!! Just trust the Lord as He leads you to right decision. Yes,you are a TEACHER!! Remember no matter what you decide, you are still a teacher at heart with girls, children, teens in bible study or church or everyday life. You are their role model. Not an easy decision, Lord will use you in any way. Will pray for God's wisdom!!

  2. U definitely sense your inner turmoil with the decision to teach at school or not. You currently have many "hats"-God could be leading you to take a much needed "break" to reenergize, spiritually, mentally,...Even if you are not a school teacher, you remain a teacher by teaching Friday nite with Girls' Nite Out and mentoring/teachingpreaching at church so God will continue to use your obvious gift of teaching!! (just in a different setting than a school). Or, just a thought...with 12 kids would it be beneficial to have two classes and two teachers?-you and Olive? Will pray for discernment with this decision. Blessings!!

  3. My dear Nancy,
    You know that you have my support all the way in Trinidad! God is doing a work in your life and a critical part of growth is, wherever He leads you, continue to bloom where you are planted. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will guide you and that you will be able to decern the Lord's calling on your life. Continue to trust even when you dont understand...for this is the essence of faith!!