Sunday, January 12, 2014

life is not busy

Too often, I find myself discontent with my current phase of life.  For so long I wished I was either back in a past phase of life, or longer for an upcoming phase.  With the recent learning of what my job for the summer will be, I find myself enjoying my current phase to the fullest.

Our lives are busy...far too busy a lot of the time.

Yes, my life feels busy right now, but when it all boils down to it, my life is not busy right now.  It has taken a recent circumstance to help me realize this.

Let me back the story up a little bit to what helped me come to this epiphany.

I wanted a teaching job just out of college.  I accepted a summer "lead teacher" job for a summer camp reaching students grades 1-5.  I enjoyed this, but felt unsatisfied as they did not want to do anything structured.  I had high hopes that this would open the door to a full time teaching position at the school for the fall.  The Lord had different plans.  It took me a while to be okay with this.

With my current preschool job, I don't plan any activities or structured activities because at the age of three, they have had enough structure and learning time by the time 3:00pm has arrived.  I work 18 hours a week, before any subbing opportunities that may arise.

I had a subbing position a few weeks back which shed light on some of my "discontentment".  While I was thankful for how the Lord provided this job, and have learned lots, I was not TEACHING.

I love kids.  This is fulfilled in my preschool job.

I love teaching.  This is not fulfilled in my preschool job.

Do not get me wrong, I am enjoying my time in the preschool, but I miss teaching.

Last week, I was asked to be the lead teacher this summer in our preschool summer camp.  No, this will not have the same structure as an academic classroom, but I will still be able to teach.

And this brings us to today.  Never before have I had time in my life to plan ahead and taken time plotting out my goals.  I have made it through, by the grace of God, and been able to do well at the things He has given me to do, but never before have I been able to simply sit down and plan out lessons I will do several months from now.

I have the time to sit down and plan my lessons, both in a broad sense (weekly themes, special days I want to have, general outline of a day, etc.), but also more specifically (books I want to read for the different themes, how each week will break down, crafts, snacks, etc.).  I have been able to do research on behavior plans for the specific age God has given me to work with.  I have been able to research where my students are developmentally, while adding in personal experience I have gleaned this year.

God's timing is perfect.

I do not yet know what my plans are for the fall.  My hopes are to be teaching full time in an elementary classroom, but this is in the Lord's hands.  His timing is perfect.  His plans are perfect.

I rest in His goodness, praising Him that this phase of life isn't too busy.  I have the time to sit down and work toward giving Him my best in the tasks He gives me.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Holiday Happenings

For those of you who this is your first time on our blog, welcome!  We are in a transition stage of preparing for the mission field, while enjoying the field He has us at now.  It is our goal to use this blog as an avenue of updating you on what is going on in our life as we go through this adventure. 

I have always enjoyed the smells, sights, tastes, hustle, and bustle of the Christmas and holiday season.  I must confess though that this may very well have been my favorite year first time going through the holiday happenings as a married woman.  I enjoyed decorating our home, burning Christmas candles, and all the baking to my hearts (and our stomach's) content.  What a fun time to cram a few more social events into the calendar, attend Christmas programs, and see family.  Most importantly, I enjoy the intentional focus we put on the birth of our Savior.

Our Pastor did a sermon on this topic the Sunday before Christmas that helped me see the nativity in a new light.  His sermon was entitled "O Come, Let Us Adore Him" and preached on the topic of worship.  He used the example of the response the shepherds gave when they heard from the angels.  I highly encourage you to take the time to listen to this.

The school Christmas program was a lot of fun and again, amazed the mister and I with the God-given musical talent the students at this school have.  My little preschoolers did a wonderful job singing.

The mister's parents came in Christmas Eve and helped me prepare for Christmas day, while he still had to work.  We praise the Lord that he did not have to travel to fix a plane out of town. He came home on time, and in time to go to the Christmas Eve Service with us.  What a beautiful, and God-honoring candlelight service we had. After the service, we had simple finger foods: cinnamon caramel popcorn, veggie pizza, and crock pot meatballs.

Merry Christmas Eve!

I enjoyed playing hostess for our first Christmas together with my in-laws and sister-in-law at our place.  My mother-in-law made breakfast casserole for breakfast, and then we enjoyed a slow day of visiting and gift opening.

We ate a big lunch and continue to enjoy the fellowship of each other.  Earlier this year, I had decided I wanted to make a cheesecake, but had not yet found a recipe.  I had someone gift me a subscription to Kraft Food &Family.  I found just the cheesecake I wanted to make...Peppermint Bark Cheesecake.  It still has room for improvement, but was still quite tasty.
All in all, it was a wonderful first Christmas for this Miller family.
Miller Christmas 2013

Daniel had Christmas day, Thursday, and Friday off.  I too had taken the days off, so we were able to enjoy the time together.  He returned to work on Saturday.  We left after he got home on Saturday and drove through the night.  We surprised my family by coming in about twelve hours early.  The reactions were all a lot of fun.  Between their reactions and the clear roads, we were thankful to have driven through the night.

Having come in early, we were able to see some of my extended family.  It was a wonderful visit with my side of the family.

We rang in the new year with my parents.  It was a quiet and uneventful evening, but so good to catch up with them, and simply be with them.  We are thankful for the time we had with them, though it was much too short.

Life resumes to normal tomorrow as I get back to work in the preschool.

This year, more then other years, I find myself wanting to make a lot of changes in the year 2014.  I am thankful for new beginnings, and starting points.  The key to making these changes happen is that I want to make a big goal, with smaller steps to reach that.  I need accountability, which a husband is great for!  I plan to organize my goals, by the roles I play...what changes can I make as a wife? as a keeper of our home? as a teacher? as a daughter of the King?  

God is good and is bringing so much to mind.  I am thankful that He is patient and it is HIS strength that gets us through each day and helps us meet our goals.

With all this said, I wish you a Happy 2014 with many changes that draw you closer to your friends, family, and your great big God!