Sunday, 7 August 2016

If We're Honest... A Non-Teaching Related Post

Hi again! It's been a LONG time since I've blogged on here. After my last post, I took a hiatus from blogging. That wasn't really the plan, but the final term of the school year was so crazy I just didn't have the time. I also used that time to rearrange my priorities, which is something I felt God calling me to do for a long time.

I have been a Christian since I was a child, grew up in the church, and live in a country where there is no separation of church and state. While that has been a tremendous blessing, it has also led to complacency over the years. For years, I let works take precedence over a relationship with the Lord. I knew that God was calling me to a true relationship with Him, but made excuses to ignore that calling. "I go to church, help with VBS every summer, read a devotional every night, and say a prayer before bed - if I don't fall asleep first. Isn't that enough, God?"

I think a lot of Christians find themselves asking that question. But if we're honest, we know that it's not enough. In fact, when we ask that question, we've missed the point entirely. You see, God wants us to know Him, not just know about Him. How do we get to know someone? By spending time with them, talking to them, and making them a priority.

But we tell ourselves that we're too busy to start spending time with God each day, that there's too much going on in our lives to make that commitment right now, that He'll understand. The truth is, that type of mindset reveals a lack of faith in God and His promises. He says in His word to "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33, NIV). I've always heard that verse quoted on its own, but when I read the surrounding verses (25-34) I realized that this command is actually given right after we are instructed to not worry.

God wants us to trust Him enough to put Him first in our lives. He deserves so much more than our leftovers. As a teacher, I feel like the work is never done... But I have to remind myself that I am more than just a teacher; I am first and foremost a follower of Christ.

Right now, my back to school to do list seems like it's a million miles long. Usually, around this time of year I feel like I'm an anxious mess. But for the first time ever, I feel peace. Yes, there is a lot to be done, but I know with God's help I will get through it and continue the ministry He's given me as a teacher.

I recently stumbled upon a children's book called The Huge Bag of Worries. It is about a girl named Jenny whose worries seem to follow her wherever she goes. Interestingly, her worries in this story are represented as monsters. Even though this is a fictional story for kids, I think that metaphor is so striking. Worry is a monster. And until we begin to truly put our trust in God, we will carry it around with us wherever we go.

Last week, I started reading Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver and highly recommend it for anyone having a hard time finding a balance. God has really been speaking to my heart through this book and it is just what I needed at this point in my life. I just finished Chapter 3, which is all about worry, and am excited to read the rest. There is also a study guide included, which has been really helpful so far.


This school year, my priorities are different. Do I still want to be the best teacher I can be? Of course. Do I want my kids to learn and to feel successful? Certainly. But more than anything, I want to show them the love of Christ. I want them to know each day how much I love them and even more importantly, how much God loves them. If you are reading this, I invite you to join me in praying for our kids, parents, teachers, and schools this year. If you have a prayer request, please leave a comment. I would love to pray for you.



Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

- Philippians 4:6-7



4 comments:

  1. Love this! This speaks right to my heart! Your blog is wonderful, and teaching in the tropics sounds like a beautiful adventure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment! Yes, it is definitely an adventure! I am blessed to have grown up here and to be able to teach here! :)

      - Kristi
      Teaching in the Tropics

      Delete
  2. Hmmmmm,I love your blog. This post touched me in so many ways. I'm also from the Caribbean and I as well have been struggling with balancing life and work. I will like to read this book. Thank you for the work you are doing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! So glad to hear that this post spoke to your heart. It sounds like we definitely have some things in common! :) It is still a struggle for me and I am learning every day, but keeping God at the center has been life changing for me. If you get a chance to read the book, I'm sure it will be helpful too. Thanks again for your comment and God bless!

      - Kristi
      Teaching in the Tropics

      Delete