Been There, Girl

I have written this post a number of times and never posted it because it’s so personal, but God keeps wanting me to share this and I can’t run from it anymore. There is a girl out there somewhere that needs this, so here goes nothing.

I fell in love with a guy when I was 15. I really did even though some may argue that it wasn’t love but “infatuation.” I know the difference between the two, and I knew it then as well. He was my best friend for a long time, and I caught all the feelings after awhile. I truly got to know him first through our friendship. I remember praying to God to allow us to date and for him to like me.

He told me he liked me (finally) and we dated my entire high school career except my freshmen year when we were building a friendship. We were alike in so many ways, and I thought that we would get married one day like most couples who date for a long time in high school. I had plans with him.
But God is cool and way bigger than the plans I made for myself. When that guy broke up with me, I was so heartbroken. It was an all-time low in my life. I didn’t eat, sleep, and I basically just cried for a couple weeks wondering why and how could this happen? (Haha, don’t pity this experience because a lot of girls go through it! You may be one of them!) I mean, it was so stinkin’ hard y’all! It took me the longest time to get over the broken relationship. God is gracious though and amazing. Over time, I realized that we wouldn’t have worked out because of how much we changed.

Going through that experience made me aware that placing a person and my own plans above God is dangerous. It is allowing that person to have reign over your heart and emotions more than God which ends in destruction. Guarding your heart (Proverbs 4:23) prevents that destruction in the first place. Just because God places a person in your life, doesn’t mean they are always meant to stay there. Maybe the reasoning was to lead that person to Christ or to have an influence on their decisions in the future. I always wondered when I would start seeing “the reasons” unfold, and they eventually did!
Trust God because He knows what He’s doing even when you can’t see it!

The Snowballs

Brad snuck up behind me like a ninja and threw the world’s largest snowball into my back as soon as his mom took this picture. I grabbed handfuls of snow and started chunking them at him to defend myself. The war wasn’t over until our fingers were numb, and we were freezing to the bone. I am usually a well-prepared person in all aspects EXCEPT when something I don’t think about happening, well, happens. I didn’t bring gloves with me or bundle up because a snowball fight with my husband wasn’t marked on my to-do list. But I chose to embrace the moment, laugh with him, and make a memory. Regardless if you are a list and planner fanatic like me or if you are like Brad and “just wing it,” we all have moments when the unexpected happens and we are suddenly unprepared. These moments can turn out special, terrible, heart-wrenching, life changing, etc. What we have to remember when we are writing our lists and marking our calendars (or not, lol) is that God already has an agenda made for us. There will be snowballs thrown at us from time to time to prepare us for a future season of our lives, to strengthen us, to try our faith…we won’t and can’t possibly KNOW ALLLLL what is ahead. So, what do we do? We prepare ourselves spiritually for the unexpected-the hurtful snowballs and the soft snowflakes. Until AND when the snowballs come, we have to ground ourselves into the Word, build us a fort of memorized scripture to strengthen our hearts, and gather soldiers of believers to help us out! Andddd what about the snowflakes you ask? Prepare for the beautiful moments of life just like you would prepare for the snowballs because you will want to have your loved ones circling around you with happy, smiling faces and scriptures of thankfulness stirring in your heart. Similar to the way the snow melts, so do these moments…

How Teaching is a Mission Field

Teaching is indeed the most exhausting profession physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually but it is the most rewarding profession in the universe. There are ups and downs, misbehavior, times when you laugh with the students, times when you become disappointed because you expect so much out of them, and all the time helping them grow as a class and as an individual. It is probably the toughest job I could have chosen, but it is the best one I could I have chosen. In fact, I didn’t choose teaching…teaching chose me! I think if I would have gone into any other career, I would be miserable. Interacting with students and feeling like I’m in a large mission field to witness to them gives me such joy and peace. I still have days when I get home and wonder, “Am I doing anything for them? Are they learning anything from me?” The kind of days when it seems like you can’t calm them down or a kid totally disrespects you and hurts you can make you question why you want to be a teacher and why you are doing this to begin with. It’s the enemy’s way of slithering into this part of your life to destroy it (again). He doesn’t want you in a place where you can minister to people. He wants your hard days to make you think it’s going to be this hard every day. He doesn’t want kids that you teach to succeed in what’s good. Teaching has taught me to remain in the Word. I haven’t been great at memorizing scripture, but it is a habit that I am going to try again…not because it is an option, but because I HAVE to. I realized that if a scripture could have come to mind during certain times, I would have been calmer and more patient. In all reality, teaching others is teaching me spiritual disciplines!!! It was #NationalTeachAgDaythis week & I encourage anyone thinking about becoming an agriculture teacher to place it at the top of your list. I love what I do, so it isn’t technically my “job.” You must be called into education to stay with it though, or otherwise, you will not be happy and that one bad day may ruin it for you. To my fellow teachers & ag teachers, remember why you became a teacher and never lose that passion/fire!

Trusting God with Your Job

I was in 8th grade when I knew I wanted to be a teacher one day but wasn’t exactly sure what content area I wanted to teach or what grade level. In 9th grade, I knew within a month that I was going to become an ag teacher one day. As crazy as it sounds, I never changed my mind. Of course, I studied and researched numerous careers within the agricultural field after I found ag as being the most interesting topic, but NONE of them were as appealing to me. I didn’t change my major at all while I was in college. I was built, made, fashioned, formed, BORN to be an agriculture teacher. It became my dream, and now, my dream has come true. God had this plan for my life, and He knew that I was going to be an ag teacher before I knew. He sent me to Varnado to inspire, educate, discipline, advise, and mentor students. I prayed so much throughout the years for God to give me this opportunity and to place me where He wanted me. Not only has He done these things in my life, but He has allowed me to work alongside my husband. You may not know where you want to go or what you want to do with your life. That’s okay! God will reveal His plan for your life. Keep praying and staying in the Word for Him to make it clearer to you. Don’t ignore the doors He opens for you. God made it apparent to me early in life of His calling for me to be a teacher. I didn’t know where He was going to place me until this summer! You may “figure things out” last minute, but it is all in His timing! Dream big because believe it or not, YOUR God is BIGGER!

No Room for Excuses

God places dreams in our hearts and callings on our lives that we feel are unattainable. We make up excuses that we are not gifted or talented, too afraid, not equipped, or don’t have the time for it. We tell God to choose someone else for the job or keep questioning Him that He’s in control. Friend, you can’t run from God’s calling on your life. Four years ago, I was about to enter college when I felt burdened to try to become a State FFA Officer. I dreamed of this becoming a reality since I was a child. I went to State Conventions with my daddy, my ag teacher inspiration, saying, “I wanna be one of them one day.” Little did I know, that I would actually pursue the dream that never faded. I saw that it wasn’t just a dream but a calling on my life. I recognized that this was God’s way of using me for a purpose bigger than myself…ministry. I created 1,000 excuses: “I’m going to miss too much school, I won’t be able to get a good first year of college, stress will be an issue for me, and how am I going to be able to speak in front of people constantly?! God, how am I going to do this?” Then, I realized…I can’t do this, but You can do this through me. After that, I knew I had to just trust Him the whole way.

I prayed, cried, studied harder than ever, practiced, stayed up late, shook from nervousness in my blue corduroy jacket to the point the emblem could have fallen off, and my name was called.

Pursue God’s calling on your life and the dream He has given you, and trust Him with it. He will take you farther than you can ever imagine!