Fierce hearted Woman

I’ve been sick this weekend and ended up sleeping through church. As I’m sipping my morning coffee I was scrolling through some devotionals to help me kickstart my Sunday. I came across one called ‘You Are a Fierce hearted Woman.’ I silently acknowledged how right they were- I AM a fierce hearted Woman! So I clicked. (Proverbs 31 Ministries get me every time!)

This article, though short, reminded me of a few important things. The author, Holley Gerth, says how for a time she didn’t realize that broken people have sharp edges. She mentions that yes, following Jesus is an adventure, but it’s also more like going into battle.

It was helpful to think about this adventure as battle. Not in a pessimistic way, but as a reminder that you will experience victory, but also pain.

Holley uses the word disillusioned. I realized I resonated with this word just in the past week. I was telling my husband Marshall that I was feeling beaten down. We’ve been responsible as a newly married couple, following God’s word and waiting (always waiting) for his next step. (Especially experiencing this as Marshall applies for new jobs). And yet, it just seems harder than ever. Who knew waiting for God’s cue could feel like such a heart ache?

But I’m a fierce hearted woman.

Holley encourages us to fight on. That yes, things may be harder than you expected, but we are to be COURAGEOUS.

“Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD” 

(Psalm 31:24)

So for today, I’m grateful I missed church and scrolled upon this message. I’m grateful I have time to keep pushing and working.

It wouldn’t be an adventure without a few bumps along the way.

~Shelby

Courage

Have you ever thought about the word courage? This word has repeatedly forced it’s way into my path since 2019 has started. My phone background has a quote that says

Let this be the year you go after courage.

I’ve been hearing it in bible verses and in songs. I’ve been reading in my yoga book about ahimsa, and the courage to be kind to yourself; the courage to say no or the courage to be kind to all can be easier said than done. Quotes from one of my favorite movies (#disney4life) says

Have courage and be kind.

But what does it mean to HAVE courage. As I began thinking about it, the times I can reflect back on ‘having’ courage were times I felt the least courageous. Courage often comes at times when you feel low, insecure, or afraid. So for me, I don’t always remember the courageousness of my actions, but the fear that caused them in the first place.

That’s a mindset I know I’d like to change.

Having (taking/using/being of) courage is an action. When you’re fearful, you have a choice to slink away or a choice to be courageous. Saying what you’re really thinking is courageous. Standing up for yourself is courageous. Asking for help is courageous. Being a light for others is courageous.

In the midst of my husband job searching, both in our state and out, I find myself being courageous by waiting. I’m a doer; waiting for God’s plan is incredibly hard. I also find myself showing courage as I take time to work on my weaknesses and value my own strengths. Using this idea of ‘having’ courage is something I’m mulling over in my head. Courage will never be something you wish you didn’t have.

As I was scrolling through Pinterest last week I came across a quote that says

You can have courage, or comfort, but you cannot have both.

I think about how hard many of us work to be comfortable. To me, being comfortable always meant not worrying about paying bills or letting money be a source of anxiety. Being in a place where I’m comfortable, I see myself longing for more; surely there is more good to be done, more adventures to be had. Finding courage in our comfortable places is how we grow. It’s something we must work for. If courage was something that came naturally, we wouldn’t need to choose to do it.

We should all be choosing courage!

As I continue this week, mulling over how to find courage in the comfort, I’m curious to see what can happen. How can I be courageous at school? How can I push my friendships by being courageous? How can I influence my students?

How will you be courageous?

2019, it’s time for a change. It’s time for courage.

 

Related imageImage result for have courage and be kind cinderellaImage result for verse courage

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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When in Rome

One year ago today the Millers were in Italy taking in the sights, eating all the gelato and experiencing beauty as we walked down the narrow cobblestone streets. This day last year we were in Rome, specifically. Exploring the city felt like we had stepped back in time. The architecture and ancient history was very evident as we took it all in.

The amazing thing about travel is the chance to broaden your view of the world. Seeing how other people live their day to day lives is so fascinating. Perhaps the craziest thing to me was to see modern life happening around these ancient structures. The Colosseum bold and still standing strong was breath taking. The intricate details of each church was unmatched and there was a quiet hush as we entered them for a better view.

Sitting in those many churches in Italy brought perspective. The church and God’s people were the heart beat of so many places we visited on our trip. Take time to go somewhere new and experience putting yourself out of your comfort zone. It allows a lot of room for reflection. Just having that childish sense of awe over beautiful things and large buildings is humbling. We are all part of making history right now. It is exciting to think about what impact each of us might have if we follow our God given paths. We were all made for the same greatness that was visibly evident in the beautiful cities we visited.

Kathleen, my mother-in-law, sent out a great reminder today including some verses that rang true for her about the trip. I asked her if I could share because they were too good not to! To tie in scripture to these great experiences really helps me to enjoy the beauty of our trip again and again:

Exodus 36:5

The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done. (This verse is about the building of the tabernacle, but makes me think of all the time, devotion and gifts dedicated to building the beautiful cathedrals and churches.)

Psalm 100
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness, come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is He who made us and we are His.
We are his people, the sheep of all his pasture.
Enter His gates of Thanksgiving and his courts with praise.
Give thank to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; 
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

(The response we felt as we experienced the beautiful churches and his beautiful creation and the reminder of His faithfulness through ALL generations.)

Psalm 90:1-2
Lord you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

(All that we saw and experienced to me was a great reminder that God has been and always will be our dwelling place – He is everlasting!)

Romans 1:7

To all in in Rome (or who have been there) who are loved by God and called to be saints. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Thanks Kathleen!

~Shelby