I couldn’t wait to share this post with you! It has been burning in my heart for a few days now. It all began with a shopping excursion to Wal-Mart. You know how God speaks to you in whispers? He had been whispering to me to go and purchase groceries and supplies just in case things grew worse with the Coronavirus for a few days. Honestly, at that time, I really wasn’t sure of what it all meant. If it might impact me directly? Where it was? What it was? SO MANY unanswered questions and unknowns! Thursday, March 12th was His “okay today is the day” whisper and I answered His call. Honestly, I am so thankful that He speaks to me and that I had the obedience to answer immediately.
So, there I am on the medicine aisle looking for Benadryl. I have a plethora of allergies (my food allergies are the scariest) so being out of Benadryl is a no-no. I received a phone call from one of my teammates. She had been out eating dinner when one of our bus drivers recognized her and came over to tell her that our county was shutting down schools. I’m sorry, what??! Uh- huh. Teachers report tomorrow, but they made the call to not have students return for a week. First of all, why am I hearing this “through the grapevine”?! Secondly, students can be safe at home, but you want teachers to leave the safe confines of their homes to go to work! Am I missing something here?
I wasn’t sure how to move. Where to move. Now, I’m feeling slightly paralyzed, mixed with anxiety. Now, it’s real. I have to prepare for home confinement. What am I going to buy? How much do I buy? How much money do I/can I spend? How many weeks worth of food should I buy? It was a moment when I just needed someone to appear and tell me what to put in the buggy! I wanted to stand there and cry- I really did. I probably needed a moment to just stand there and cry. There wasn’t any time for that. I had to pull myself together, just like I would in front of and for my kids, and keep my composure. Keep my head on straight. ( i.e. I had to keep it moving!)
What About My Kids
My next thought was the thought of having just left my classroom and now not being able to hug my kids for…. well, I don’t know for how long. When I left school, I didn’t know that I wouldn’t see them again the very next day. We hadn’t had a chance to talk about any of this. Not a moment to help calm the fear of the unknown. I didn’t have a chance to prepare them for this possibility. Truthfully, I wasn’t prepared myself.
Deeply, I just can’t say enough about His grace. Being deeply open and vulnerable, I can tell you that typically (and moving towards making this an “in my past” story) I don’t have “extra” money in the middle of the month. I have (had) a lot of financial obligations with my daughter being in school and my finances have taken a hit. It’s a sacrifice that I make for her growth and future, but it is real and I have felt it each month.
So, last month I earned more money from selling my TpT resources than I ever have (yet). It was miraculous! I was like, “Yes, I am open to receiving. Working on my mindset is working for me and coming to fruition!” Yippee!!! Overwhelmingly exciting. That money- God’s mercy- was right on time. That additional money was the money that I used to purchase food and supplies for the self-quarantine that I was entering. It still brings tears to my eyes. What would I have done without His grace?
My Empty Room
I had every intention of getting to school early. I was thinking that I wanted to get in and do a few things before everyone else’s energy and emotions filled the space. Admin. wanted us to get together first thing to prepare digital lesson plans. This was different. This was new. Just like that. Okay, I’m on it. Well, at the very least, I’ll try my best.
I walked in. So happy to be there. So sad to be there at the same time. I was going to be okay; I thought I was going to be okay. Then, I made the mistake of stopping by my Whiteboard. My sweet students always write the new day of the week and date on the board for me. So, when I looked up, I saw that sweet little handwriting. Friday, March 13, 2020. My heart broke. I had said good-bye (so to speak), but I hadn’t said good-bye.
It’s My Calling and I Gladly Accept It
The ONE thing that I did know in that very moment. My truth by-and-by is that I am absolutely called by God to teach. Admittedly, it’s one of those things that you know, but I really KNEW it in that moment. Teaching kids is one of my gifts. I’m amazing at it. I’m amazing because God ordained that gift in me and He stirs it up every single day.
I’ve thought of “Gosh, when can I retire?”. I’ve been sick of the bureaucracy. I, like so many other teachers, have been tired of people that don’t truly understand what I do telling me what to do and how to do it. I’ve been there. I’ve been tired. I have been thoroughly over it- especially in these past few years. But, in that moment, I knew why I was still there. Truly, I knew why I come back every day. It’s for them. It’s because it is my own ministry. Teaching is my gift. The kids are my why. Really, it’s a little bit for me, too.
I thought of their cute, little faces, and I took joy in knowing that our last moments, for the time being, were filled with laughter and love. It had been a really good day. Not being certain of when I might see them again and/or if we were all truly going to be okay struck me. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any time to stay in that place. It was 8:00 and time to meet with everyone. Then, our planning began.
OH! I’m So Glad You Came!
This! Now, this was the best part!
The night before, I had emailed all of my parents to stop in (if they could) to pick up their student’s Chromebook. Our school is 1:1 with technology in grades 2-5. All but 3 came to pick up their computers. Half of them brought my pumpkins with them. That was the best!! I got the extra hugs and squeezes that I probably needed more than they did, and I was able to send a little extra comfort and reassurance their way. Seeing them and getting those extra few precious moments was everything.
All was right in the world.