Magic

I love magic. **All people that know me rolls their eyes** My favorite books are Harry Potter and The Land of Stories, my favorite show is Once Upon a Time, and growing up I had recurring dreams about my twin brother and I saving the world… with magic (obviously!)

To me, magic is something that fills you with awe. It’s the unexplainable and beautiful things when we are often surrounded by quite the opposite.

I watched an episode of Charmed yesterday, a show about 3 sisters that find out they are witches, that sparked something in me. Not only was I grateful that watching Netflix all afternoon proved to be useful, but I also found myself thinking about the lesson it taught.

In this episode, the Halliwell sisters use their magic to teach a man, who’s dog keeps doing doing its ‘business’ on their driveway, a lesson. The premise of this show is that they are not supposed to use their powers for personal gain or for punishing the guilty; only to protect the innocent. The episode takes them forward in time to see the consequences of this one instance where they used their powers in the wrong way. In their futures they were wealthy (but lonely), had a child (but divorced), and one sentenced to death for killing a man that hurt someone she loved (punishing the guilty).

So I thought, “What would it be like if I saw my future?” Will I be successful at the expense of my health (I have an ‘over doing it’ problem)? Will I have skimmed through many wonderful experiences and only remember how anxious I was about everything being perfect? Or worse yet, will I be still searching for the person I want to be because I’m afraid to commit to the role God has laid out?

The lesson for me was two-fold.

1. Everything we do now matters. Everything you say, every way you react, every time you apologize (or don’t), every time you listen to the ways of the world and fall into temptation of worrying, money, shopping, busyness, rudeness, or being inhospitable, matters. Planting one seed of sin can grow very quickly. That’s not to say apologizing or asking God for forgiveness can’t wipe the slate clean, because it can. But when your pride and self righteousness gets in the way there is no room for growth, only for that sin to spread.

2. We can’t figure this out on our own. Today in church we read about James chapter 1. We talked about how your faith must not waver; you won’t have all the answers, but believe and true FAITH that you are making the choices God has laid in front of you helps you keep moving forward. You can ask God for help in your unbelief, but you cannot expect to live as the world wants you to and also be on God’s path. The road might be rocky, but James 1 explains steadfastness and strength comes from our trials. We will have things that are hard and seem wrong, but a lesson is being learned in everything we do.

Magic is defined as something influencing events by using mysterious forces. God is a mysterious force. To many people, the peace and understanding you have in God is mysterious and strange. When you’re at peace knowing the adventure you’re on doesn’t have a visible destination and yet you trust and wake up grateful for each new day, people will want a part of that. You are the magic in someone’s life. You can show others that there is a more peaceful and promising way to live.

I want to be magic.

I may not have sparks coming from my finger tips, or have the ability to move things with the wave of my wand (yet), but I do find something magical in finding strength in my abilities, confidence that I am an adventurous path, and faith that I have a guide along the way.

We all have the magic within to believe in the unseen, to love the unlovable and to change lives.

~Shelby

You go, girl.

Have you ever had those days where you think to yourself, “Man, I’m on a role!”

Today I had one of those. I LOVE those days. There were things I’d been wanting to do before school starts back up in August, but hadn’t really let myself think about so I could enjoy a couple weeks of summer without extra tasks. As previously mentioned, I have a problem over employing the word ‘yes.’ But the truth is, I do love to accomplish things on my task list. I’m learning to find a balance between feeling overwhelmed and feeling accomplished. It’s important to note that those are not the same thing.

So this afternoon after summer camp, designing a wedding invite, planning part of a bachelorette party, buying shoes for a wedding, running errands, picking  gifts for a shower, walking Moose, cleaning the dishes and watching an episode of Super Girl, I was feeling that to-do list high.

But with every high there comes a low.

I started overthinking it….was I overdoing things? Am I falling into my old trap of doing too much? It’s a blessing and a curse to have a brain that can run with 15 tabs open.

Then I had a friend text me. She shared about some awesome things going on in her life and reminded me that when you let go, when you accept and experience what is going on in your life day by day, you’ll be on track. When you knock on God’s door for help, he answers. I like to believe that if I write enough reminders in my planner I can keep everything under control. Let’s be real though friends, we can’t control everything.

It’s hard to free fall, but it’s exhilarating to let go of the constant worrying, lists and overthinking. Think of something that you struggle to let go of. Imagine picking it up off your shoulders and setting it to the side. Imagine setting it in God’s hands. Do you feel lighter? There are thoughts, worries and burdens we don’t need to carry just for the sake of carrying them.

I always relate to the memes that say “I’m anxious because I’m not anxious.” It sounds silly, but in all honesty it is true for many of us. When things seem good it can be hard to accept it for fear of something going wrong, or forgetting to do something on your never ending task list. Today’s the day to let that go. To release and to trust!

After accomplishing all those tasks this afternoon I decided to go on a little jog around the neighborhood. I started breathing heavy, overthinking the things I did today, analyzing the level of productivity and wondering what else I could accomplish. Maybe I wasn’t as awesome as I was giving myself credit for…

Then someone drove by with their windows down. Without stopping a woman yelled out her window, “YOU GO GIRL!!” I didn’t have time to wave, but there was an immediate grin that spread across my face. Deep in my own thoughts, the little reminder that she yelled out her window brought me back to the happiness I felt earlier. You know, I think she may be right.

It’s time to be proud of our accomplishments, thankful for our experiences and encouraging to others. Text a friend, write it on your hand or yell it at a random jogger. Shout it from the rooftops! When we are humble enough to know we can’t do things on our own, but strong enough to accept that we are all worthy of great things, nothing can stop us.

You go girl.

~Shelby

 

2nd Corinthians and…Harry Potter?

Over the past two weeks it’s finally begun to feel like summer. Un-shockingly to everyone, but myself, I have managed to make every waking moment of my tech-teacher summer break full of one to-do or another. (It is continually on my list of goals to stop saying yes so often…pray for me).

Since summer has begun I decided that, along with 1st and 2nd Corinthians, it was time to start rereading Harry Potter. I’m up to my eyeballs in all my favorite Harry Potter quotes, reveling in the victoriousness of Harry’s ultimate weapon- LOVE.

I finished preparing for our Wine Women and the Word bible study today. As I was looking through the beginning of 2nd Corinthians I tried to pull the main points that can make this week’s study as applicable as possible. What knowledge we don’t put to use is just wasted information (spoken like a true Ravenclaw, am I right?)

Second Corinthians was written about a year after the first letter to Corinth church. In this letter, Paul praises those that have repented and urges the few remaining members in obstinance to follow their lead. He is giving them one last chance before he returns to rebuke those that still reject his faithful message about Jesus Christ.

*[SPOILER ALERT]*

In the last book of the Harry Potter seriesHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we find some similar messages. In order to bring down the dark Lord Voldemort Harry approaches him prepared to willingly give up his life. This willingness and love for others (among other things) help him overcome the curse that was supposed to lead to his death.

In the final chapters, Harry and Voldemort prepare to duel. Harry gives him one final chance to show some remorse, to be in touch with his humanity, and yet Voldemort’s greed and wickedness cloud his judgment and he is vanquished.

In the end love wins. It is the light that darkness can never overpower. Light and love is something darkness and sin will never understand. There is always a time to turn things around. No one is too far gone. Whether you’re a rebel from the corinthian church or a crazy wizard, there is #Always an option to choose the light.

And if that isn’t enough HP for you, I have a parting gift. Perhaps my favorite verse from this week’s She Reads Truth study is this:

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Colossians 3:12-14

Just as Harry was The Chosen One, called to snuff out darkness, so are we, chosen by God to put on kindness, humility, meekness, patience and most of all LOVE. Love snuffs out darkness. It took Harry until the end to understand what Dumbledore meant when he said he had a type of magic that was unbeatable. So often we forget that simply loving is a powerful tool. Love is fierce. It’s caring for a family member when they are ill….it’s talking to a friend that has been acting poorly and encouraging them…it’s sticking with what you believe….it’s what God has called us to do to every person that we meet.

How fun is it to know that we all have the ability to use that magical force? I’m looking forward to making more nerdy connections to HP as we are finishing up 2nd Corinthians.

Go out today friends and use your magic! Let’s work together to defeat the darkness.

~Shelby

 

Seeking the Good of Others

Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, bearing this inscription: The Lord knows those who are his, and let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness.

2 Timothy 2:19

This week the Wine Women & the Word bible study read week 2 of the She Reads Truth study. It continues to impress me how blunt and straight forward Paul is. I know it’s true in my own life that sometimes the most obvious things can in fact not be that obvious at all. Or worse, we know the truth and choose to believe it doesn’t apply to us.

I’m enjoying imagining myself as a student of Paul’s. I’ve considered greatly what it means to imitate Christ and to have Godly wisdom guide my decisions and actions. He gives good instruction on keeping my marriage healthy by fully dedicating myself to it. His advice on living well, so as not to lead my fellow friends and family astray, is important.

The way we speak (or don’t speak), the way we act (or react), the things we dedicate our time to (or waste our time doing), the kindness (or hostility) towards others…all these actions speak volumes.

I encourage you to go through your week and think about what kind of example you set. I know we can all be a beacon of light, servant hearted and loving to all because everyone we meet is worth receiving that.

 



1 Corinthians Chapters 6-10

(spark notes edition)

  • Settle lawsuits among Christians and before the righteous
    • 1 Corinthians 6:12 Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims. (The Message)
  • Live in Peace
    • Words to the married and unmarried. Finding peace together so you may work it out in the hard times. Pleasing each other in your marriage, working on all things together.
    • What to do when it doesn’t work out.
  • Don’t cause your brother or sister to fall
    • Living in a way pleasing to God and being a good example for young believers.
    • 2 Timothy 2:15-18 Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God’s people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out. Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple. Stay clear of pious talk that is only talk. Words are not mere words, you know. If they’re not backed by a godly life, they accumulate as poison in the soul. (The Message)
  • Imitate Christ
    • 1 corinthians 11:1-2 It pleases me that you continue to remember and honor me by keeping up the traditions of the faith I taught you. All actual authority stems from Christ. (The Message)

 

 

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Love Thy Neighbor

I came across this shirt today and thought it summed up the idea of true LOVE for others (picture below). How often have we heard ‘treat others the way you want to be treated’ or ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The concept seems simple right? First, you must love and respect yourself. You must be kind in your thoughts, gentle to your shortcomings and give yourself grace on the hardest days. Sometimes it’s hard to do that, but when it comes to loving ourselves the concept is much easier. We strive to feed ourselves, fulfill our basic needs, necessities and fulfill general duties to our families and friends.

Even at the most surface level, this concept should be easily applied to anyone else you come across. Being kind, respectful, providing help if you can, giving grace when people mess up should be our default…and yet it is so easy to judge and be hateful. This is where many people get it wrong. We were not put on this earth to judge. We all make mistakes, sin and fail. We are called to live a life of love. To serve others the way Christ did. How many stories are there in the bible that has Jesus talking to tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners? Do you see him segregating himself from those he deems unworthy? No. So why do we?

To the clerk at the grocery store, the homeless person you pass on the way to work, the hateful family member, other professions, beliefs, nations, religions, nationalities, prostitutes, sinners and tax collectors….we owe love. We teach by loving and caring.

Something Marshall, my husband, and I often talk about is that respecting someone’s point of view, listening to their thoughts and validating their thought process does not mean you have to agree with it. You can kindly listen and not agree. You can respect and have different views. You can love without jeopardizing your own beliefs. Why is this so hard to grasp?

So remember today:
Love thy foreign, homeless, prostitute, imprisoned, disabled, gay, straight, transgender, enemy, blue collar, white collar, old, young, black, white, lonely, jewish, muslim, christian, atheist, male, female, racist, addicted, rich, poor, liberal, conservative, different from you __________ NEIGHBOR.

Love+Shirt+Main

What identifier do you need to fill in the blank so you remember this? Go out today and LOVE. Be kind, be strong and be loving to everyone you meet. Maybe pray a little too.

~Shelby

 

Images property of https://cyny.org/all/loveshirt. Also- go buy this shirt.

“Be a first-rate version of yourself, not a second-rate version of someone else.”

—Judy Garland

When we see people being successful it’s hard not to feel envious. It’s hard not to wonder why my life isn’t working out the same way their is.

Remember you don’t want to be a copy of someone else. You are meant to be completely unique and serve a totally different purpose on this earth.

Be new, be YOU, be innovative. Don’t be afraid to be different or like what you like. You excel and be bold in who you are. Be first-rate today.

Managers of the Mysteries of God

1 Corinthians chapters 1-5, Week 1

This is the first full week of reading She Reads Truth’s 1 & 2 Corinthian’s bible study! My Wine Women and the Word gals have been reading and preparing to chit chat over some wine and the teachings of Paul.

First, props to Paul for just laying it all out there. There was no beating around the bush, not intricately constructing of words, no nonsense…this man fiercely wanted to get a message across to the Corinthians by all means necessary.

Our readings this week dealt with power, false wisdom, spiritual wisdom, foolishness, servanthood, our calling, humility and discipline. Yeah…that sounds like a lot. Paul knew the tendency of the Corinthians towards self centeredness and self sufficiency and has swooped in to set the record straight. As human beings we are all prone to this lifestyle and listening to Paul was pretty humbling.

Paul tells us

God is faithful; you were called by him into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:9

It starts out simple. Fellowship is when you associate with people who share a common interest. Jesus died, we follow his teachings, we are saved. BOOM DONE. Yeah it can be that simple, but we humans like to complicate things with our selfishness, hence Paul talking to the Corinithians. The Jews and the Greeks especially had a hard time accepting Christ. Jews found weakness in Jesus’ death and the Greeks, who dwelled upon the wisdom per their culture, found Christ’s death to be nonsensical.

It’s really easy to see where they are coming from. Belief in something that is unseen takes inordinate amounts of faith. No, we can’t just download the answer to life in Christ and install it into our brains. We can’t google our way to eternity. It takes a quiet listening to the Holy Spirit speaking within you, it takes stepping away from what the world deems as important. It makes you step off the religion cliff, trusting that by following God we will be safely caught in a net before we crash and burn. The non-followers of Corinth could not make sense of this leap of faith and deemed it foolishness.

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who don’t believe, but it is the power of God to us who are being saved.

1  Corinthians 1:18

Paul sees the Corinthians have fallen victim to worldly distractions. They’re getting wrapped up in titles, in who they serve, which church they follow or what person they study under. Paul says

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave growth.

1 Corinthians 2:6

It is not an allegiance to any teacher, it is only God that matters. Teachers and bible studies can supplement, but they are not the main focus. They are merely tools in helping spread the word. We may strongly support global missions, feeding the poor or funding missionaries, but it is important to remember that though those things are good, they are merely ornaments on the life we are building. The foundation is God and can be nothing else.

In 1 Corinthians 4, Paul says something I love: His Grace is your qualification. I have a tendency to feel inadequate when measured up to successful and smart people. Lies creep in: Who am I to be leading a bible study? Why am I attempting to give advice? Am I qualified to spread the good news of Christ? WHAT IF I GET IT WRONG? Paul reminds the Corinthians that whether we are newbies or lifetime scholars of the bible, we all qualified. We have all been given the same mission:

A person should think of us in this way; as servants of Christ and managers of the mysteries of God.

1 Corinthians 4:1

Ok how cool is that? “Managers of the mysteries of God.” That’s going on my resume. It’s important to remember that no matter where you are in your faith you are already fulfilling your mission. If you believe, if you live a life worthy of God’s teachings, if you humble yourself and make Christ the center then you are already showing the world that there is something more important worth living for. You are ministering simply by living.

When you follow God your world shifts. You may do many of the same things, but your purpose shifts. Suddenly we are called to love unconditionally, to give, to serve, to not judge others, to live by God’s word and to model it for others. We no longer become the center of our own lives, Christ does. This often means others do too, as we are called to serve others as Christ served others. We are called to be humble, kind, strong, truthful, to learn and to listen to the whispers of the Holy Spirit (even when we don’t want to).

When I think about it this way it sounds simple. It makes all the premeditated instagram posts, the constant resume builders, or the worldly desires I have fall away on a heap beside me. When we put on humility, love and discipline we have nothing to fear from others or the world. It makes me want to run through a field of flowers and joyfully shout that God has GOT THIS. Most of all, it makes me want to keep reading Week 2 of the study…I’m soaking this up like a sponge and can’t wait to see what comes next.

Questions to consider this week:

  1. What righteous thing do I put as more important than God or the Holy Spirit? Is it my own understanding? Is it the teachings of a favorite pastor or author? Evaluate: is God my center?
  2. How is the foolish teachings of the world clouding my judgment? What thing, though it may seem logical, is holding me back from firmly grasping God’s truth?

 

I’d love to know your answers 🙂

~Shelby

 

 

1 & 2 Corinthians Summer Study Begins!

1 & 2 Corinthians | Our Wine Women & the Word Summer Bible Study

I am getting really excited as I start learning the history of Paul and the Corinthians in preparation for the new She Reads Truth study. In this study about 1 & 2 Corinthians I’m curious to hear Paul talk about topics such as love, spiritual gifts, repentance and resurrection. It’s really interesting to me, as I read about common problems for the church of Corinth, how relevant they still are today. (I’m sure I’ll see even greater connections after the study). Arrogance and the desire to gain social notability is just as relevant now as it was then, even if the context has changed a little. We are surrounded by people that live to please themselves, that search to gain better jobs or more recognition, to get more money or more followers on social media. Can some of these things be great? Absolutely. But how easy it is to fall into that trap of desiring it for your own benefits and not for the advancement of the Word.

I’m so guilty of this.

As my Wine Women & the Word bible study starts for the summer I am excited for us rockstar women to have some real talk about love, redemption and our roles. We will strive to connect these principles to our every day lives. These aren’t just stories to read, they are guidelines on living. Are we going to read the letters and ignore the teachings? Or are we going to choose to really understand and apply what we know?

I’ve thought about what it would be like to totally disconnect from social media for a day, for a week, or a month. I like to understand and know what is going on, so for me social media would be the hardest thing to completely give up. I think a clean break from scrolling through feeds on Instagram, CNN or Pinterest would be so much more challenging than I like to admit. But I’m feeling tired. I’m feeling brought down by the world and the worldly expectations of others. We are here to build each other up, so why do so many of us feel weighed down?

As we start week 1 and 2 we will begin to learn what it means to boast in the Lord and to find our roles in the body of Christ. I may not be a member of Corinth’s church, but for any of us that believe and know about Jesus we are members of his church and are given a specific way to live wisely and lovingly. I’m excited to see what we learn and to share our journey along the way.

Read below for a history and background of 1 & 2 Corinthians. Having this base knowledge will create even more depth for the study. Allow yourself to read, connect and  learn.

 

Fun facts:

  • Paul wrote the letters 1 & 2 corinthians
    • Out of the 27 New Testament books, Paul is attributed to 13.
    • Paul was originally born as Saul. His early life was not one of a Christian. It involved hatred towards the Christians, arrogance and persecution.
    • He was a an educated Jewish scholar that originally thought Jesus to be a false Messiah. He even took part in the stoning of a Christian man named Stephen.
    • Paul had a life altering encounter (some say supernatural) with Jesus that caused him to see and repent. This just shows that no one is too far gone to turn their lives around.
  • Acrocorinth is a small, but step mountain high on the Peloponnesian peninsula in southern Greece.
    • Corinth was built at the mountain’s foot.
    • This city was destroyed in 146 BC due to a war with Rome.
    • In 44 BC Julius Ceasar rebuilds Corinth as a colony of Rome.
  • The author Pausanias wrote about Corinth in the mid-second century and described the city like a tour guide of pagan monuments and sacred sites. Corinth was littered with many temples.

 

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Map of Corinth

Background and History

The letters 1 & 2 Corinthians were written by Paul from the city of Ephesus in the Roman province of Asia. Paul wants the church in Corinth to work together to advance the gospel. He is writing to them because they have become divided by arrogance and pride, especially among those of the more powerful members.

Corinth connected the Greek mainland with the Peloponnesian peninsula. It was a high traffic area where many cultures and religions resided. Many gods found a home in Corinth and were integrated into governmental activities such as festivals, trade guilds, social clubs and every day life. Traveling spokespeople often stopped in Corinth to charge a fee as they advised people on how to advance socially. (Hmmmm that sounds like society today!)

Paul brought the gospel to Corinth and a church was established. After settling in Ephesus for 3 years, he heard word of the church’s problems and he sent a letter to the church addressing problems such as sexual immorality, division in the church and social snobbery. This extended letter (also known as 1 corinthians) addresses the root of the problem: arrogance. He says that living in this way was incompatible with God’s free gifts to them in Christ. The gifts including: wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. A self centered lifestyle  as the expense of the under privileged was simply not going to cut it. It was clear that their personal social advancement was more important than the gospel’s advancement.

The second letter to the Corinthians (the book of 2 Corinthians in the bible) focused on the relationship between the suffering and the power of the spirit in Paul’s life/ministry/message. This letter is a response to a complicated history between Paul and the Corinithian church. Paul sent Timothy to Corinth and found the church, again, in turmoil. Paul then went to Corinth himself to resolve some issues, but found a small minority of the church to be very rebellious towards him. He left and extended mercy to them. He writes to strengthen the majority of the church that are faithful and to offer the small percentage of rebels a chance to repent. He covers topics about encouragement, discipline and joy over the repentance of the Corinthians.

Questions to consider:

  1. Paul has a crazy cool story about accepting Christ and changing his lifestyle. What have you seen in your life, or someone else’s, that has changed dramatically since learning and following Christ?
  2. What ancient Corinthian problem do you  most relate to and why? How do you overcome it? (Pride, arrogance, social status, privileges, rebelliousness, etc.)
  3. The Key Verse for the She Reads Truth introduction of our 1 & 2 Corinthian study is: 1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful; you were called by him into fellowship with his son. Jesus Christ is our Lord. What do you think this verse means? What do you hope to know more about this verse and this study?

 

 

Celebrate Like it’s National Wine Day!

A message from Shelby’s mom #Chris on this holiday!

big_wine

Wine

I LOVE WINE.  The kind of love where I curl up in a chair with my feet under me. I exhale a relaxing breath, smile, close my eyes, and breathe in the oak barrel smell while soft music plays in the background. Ahhh, I can picture it now; an evening on the patio savoring those familiar, relaxing experiences. Pure relaxation.

One of my favorite things about wine is that it brings friends together. I love it because it tends to be a common ingredient for girlfriend time. We can kick it and sip for HOURS.

You know what I am talking about…”kick it” with friends. Relax somewhere with other people, not doing anything in particular. Everyone can relate to “girlfriend time.” That moment of connecting with women through quality time and conversation. Sippin’ wine is the catalyst to quality time with those we care about.

 

The path of love is the path
of bravery and, then, if we are
lucky, genuine connection based
on genuine communication.

This is the only love that
is invincible, for it can handle
change, it can manage confusion.
Love is found only in this genuinity.

~ Waylon Lewis

 

Women

Ladies, sometimes we forget to relax. Have you made yourself a priority lately? There is nothing quite like a recharge you get from girlfriend time. Everyone benefits from the positivity of the encounter. It really isn’t about the wine. It is about the shared experience with those you care most about. Wine is the conversation starter.

 

Word

Does anyone know which page of the bible explains how to turn water into wine? Asking for a friend…Ok ok, the silly part of me is starting to show. So if you want to know how I live my wine/women/word I have guiding principles as I navigate this thing called life.

Principle 1
I need a glass of wine.
Or a bottle.
Or a winery in Italy.

Principle 2
Friendships must be built on a solid foundation of wine, sarcasm, and shenanigans.

Principle 3
Always keep a bottle of wine in the fridge for special occasions. Like Wednesday.

Remember to do some sippin’ and kickin’ and celebrate every day like its National Wine Day! Grab a friend, have a chat and enjoy a sunshine-on-a-patio filled happy hour.

 

#Chris

Last Day of School

I work as an elementary Tech Teacher. This is the end of my first year here at my school. As I let kids out of their cars at bus duty this morning I found myself saying, “We did it! It’s the last day of school!”

This “I did it feeling” is pretty triumphant for me today. The kids kind of smile and go on their way like, “yeah Mrs. Miller, we came to school, no big deal.” But all I feel is this giddiness to think that I MADE IT.

This time a year ago I was doing graphic design freelance and working in a church. I was doing many things I enjoyed, but was still feeling unfulfilled. On a whim I applied to an Instructional Aide position in an elementary school. The posting said I would be able to work in various classrooms, help with lessons and be a support for the teachers.

I’ve always had an interest in education. Through college I traveled and worked with 3 different schools in Peru, Jamaica and Nepal. I made advocacy posters for education on campus and read with 2nd graders a couple hours a week. It’s funny how God can be working in your life despite what you’re pursuing on your own. I love design stuff, don’t get me wrong. I think God knew I was an achiever…that he’d be able to use my design skills to bring me to the place he wanted me all along.

A principal emailed me last June and said he saw my resume. He said there was a Technology Teacher position open and that with my design and tech background I’d be a great candidate. That week I went in for an interview (knowing almost nothing except that I REALLY wanted to know more). I would go on to take the job and start my Master’s in Education within the following school year.

My design job got me into a school before I’ve finished my teaching degree. God worked with my heart to help me say NO to my other jobs and YES to the opportunity he wanted me in. It’s so crazy to see the puzzle pieces come together.

So here I am, one year later. I learned how to write lessons and teach them. I got to be creative and have fun and build relationships with all the students in my school. A family gave me a mug today that says “Teaching is a work of heart.” I cried a little, not going to lie. When you’re on the right path you’ll know because of this full-hearted feeling. The feeling of being filled up by goodness. I did not see this coming.

Happy summer to all my teacher friends! And to my students- I can’t wait to see you next year!

~Shelby

 

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