Friday, August 18, 2017

Suddenly

In my life sometimes God likes to draw things out. Long, beautiful days of caring for toddlers. Rocking my infant to sleep in the middle of the night. Days that I think will never go away.

Sometimes I feel like I'm in a season in my life forever. And I know in that season that I never want it to change. That I could just camp there for the rest of my life.

But if I did. I would miss out.

I'd miss the blessings He has for me in the next season.

There are times I've wanted to dig my heals in and just stay.

And there are times that I've taken a HUGE leap of faith and jump.

One evening, 14 years ago, Scott and I were doing a Bible study together all cozy on the couch in our back den. (now our family room) Somehow the conversation brought up the fact that we still couldn't get pregnant. I remember as clear as day the conversation.

Scott: Well, you know, we could adopt. There are children all over that need a family.
Me: What? Us? WE could?

Scott jumps up to the computer and googles Chinese adoption. Why he googled Chinese adoption is beyond me. We had never ever thought about it or talked about it. But he did. And all these tiny Chinese baby faces popped up on my screen. And I wanted one so bad I could have jumped into that screen and pulled one out if I could.

Me: Could we really? Oh Scott, really?

Scott: Sure, why not? Why not us? Let's do it.

And just like that we were adopting a baby girl from China.

SUDDENLY

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Recently, I had another 'suddenly' moment.

You know my motto on this ol blog of mine. Just stay little, just stay little, just stay little.

But they won't and they can't.

And really, this suddenly moment has nothing to do with them growing up more. Because I'll always be there mama. Always bake pies for them. Always fix them special breakfasts. Always.

I'm not quite sure how to categorize this 'suddenly' because it doesn't really fit in a category.

Here is what happened...

Wednesday afternoon:

A call from the principal where I spend 2 teeny hours a day teaching reading.

"Hi Tara, I have a position open and I'd like you to interview for it."

Me: ummmmmmmm (not always the best first impression, but going through my mind was that's not for me. Surely Anna going into high school still needs me home)

Me (again): Well, I need to think about that. Can I call you back?

Him: Sure

Me: I'll call you later today.

Now, in that conversation two things happened.

1. I didn't give my rehearsed answer "no, I'm sorry. I can't. I won't be able to take a position like that. Thank you for thinking of me though."

2. I didn't totally say yes. There was still a way out.

But still,

SUDDENLY

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I was shaking, shocked. So I called Scott. And a friend. And my Mom and Dad. (Scott told me to call my Mom and Dad)

And there was something in my Dad's voice that changed everything. Some kind of sparkle. I didn't have to see it; I could hear it.

Dad: You were born to teach. It's in you. To get back into this town to teach (he taught 6th grade for 42 years in this town) would be amazing. It's so hard to get back in after leaving for that long. Take the opportunity. Interview. You can always say no. It would be amazing.

Me: But what about Abigail. I was going to wait one more year.

Dad: She'll be fine. I've worked with her for 3 summers in the shows. I know she's ready for this. And this school. You love this school. That's everything. Do it.

And so,

SUDDENLY I had an interview for a teaching position.

**************************************************************************

But the interview was in a few days. ANNNNNNND the interview was on the same day we were leaving for Disney World. 9 am interview, 1:15 flight to Disney.

1

In that few short days Scott (he's an elementary school principal) helped me study and study and study.

3

My loving family told me that all of that good teaching was still in me and that I could answer those kinds of questions. But I knew I needed to come up higher in things that had changed. (I'd been out of the classroom for 13 years)

I had books out, note books, I took notes, memorized them. I was NOT going to make a fool out of myself.

And then SUDDENLY the morning of Disney and the morning of he interview was here. There were no seconds to spare.

I slid on a pretty dress and heals. And drove to the school my Dad taught at and retired from when Abigail was a baby. (the interview was held at his old school because of construction at the elementary school)

I parked in his space he always parked in.

dads school

Looked over my notes one last time.

Opened my umbrella and walked in.

I sat up tall, tried not to shake from nerves and started talking.

SUDDENLY I was in an interview for teaching.

**************************************************************************

When he asked the opening question "tell us why we should consider you for this position" I told the story of how when I was 8 my family traveled out west to see the Grand Canyon and we happened upon a book store smack dab in the middle of the country. I was looking around at books and my Dad slid one off the shelf. He said, "you'd like this one." The book was Little House in the Big Woods. And I read it before we even got to the Grand Canyon. And before we drove all the way back to Connecticut I had read most of the series and decided that I HAD to be a teacher when I grew up.

As the interview went on I felt my confidence rise. When they (the interview committee) looked down for a second to write what I just said I glanced at my notes for a second to make sure I was grounded in my answers.

2

Somehow in that 45 minutes I felt like me. I wanted to portray me. Not some powerhouse teacher. I wanted to be me: the children's book collector, the chapter book library maker, the ukuleue teacher player, the gentle calm teacher. And so I was.

I remember the last question "so tell us anything you'd like us to know that would further your canadacy.

I took a deep breath and felt God so close to me. Proud of me for taking just this step. The one He opened the door for.

And I was me. I said, "I can do this. I always knew I'd return. This is what I was meant to do."

And I walked out.

SUDDENLY it was over. I had interviewed for a classroom position.

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He told me that there would be a second interview and a performance assessment for a next step (and somehow I'd have to handle that while in Disney)

When I pulled up at home my Disney girls were already in the car. I will always remember how beaming proud they were of me; sitting there in their seats ready for Disney. I had a "I can't believe they're mine" moment.

4

6

7

5

Scott was holding my clothes and shoes to change into and doing the final lock up. I slid into my capris and Disney tee and we headed for the airport.

We spent 8 nights in Disney and it was a good distraction. A really good one. Because it took that principal 3 days to call me.

We were in the hotel room. The call went something like this.

Principal: Are you in Disney?

Me: yes

Principal: I'm about to make your trip even more magical... I'd like to offer you the 4th grade position.

Me: ummmmmmm (there I go again) Wow! Really?! I have to talk to my husband. I'll call you back.

So we talked. We were both shocked. And just like on that couch 14 years ago we looked at each other when we said yes to adoption and said yes again.

SUDDENLY I was back. A classroom teacher. Suddenly.

********************************************************************************

When I called him back minutes later he told me all about the interview. I scribbled down the things he said.

8

I was so flattered.

He said it was the most child-centered interview he'd ever heard, that he was blown away, that he would never forget this interview ever, and that he was deeply marked. Impossible to forget. I'm so glad I was just me.

And off to Epoct we went. We walked around that place like we were on cloud nine that night. In shock. In disbelief. In joy. In some worry (of course).

I kept thinking, what happened to my standard answer? In the past when I've been offered an interview I've said, "no thank you, I just can't right now"

But God took over and changed that.

It is my dream school and with 11 elementary schools in this town, getting a classroom position in this school is almost impossible. It is my dream town to teach in. So many of my past colleagues that left for starting a family tried so hard to get back into this town but had to settle for traveling longer distances to other towns.

It isn't my dream year. I would have chosen to wait just one more year to get Abigail to middle school.

But waiting 8 years to be parents back then wasn't my dream time table either. And that was just as it should be.... timed perfect.

So we took a leap of FAITH. A true leap of FAITH.

And that's my story for now friends. There is so much more I could say but that's just about how it happend.

Two weeks ago I was in the middle of some wonderful lazy summer days. Today I am a 4th grade classroom teacher. I have 7 days before Open House when those kiddos come in to meet me. Yup, 7 days to get a classroom to look welcoming and ready. I need 7 months but with Scott and my girls I can do it in 7 days.

And I am a witness to the fact that God works in the slow days. God works in rocking your baby back to sleep days. God works in the driving your children to activity days. God works in the toddler lots of days at home days. But God also works in THESE DAYS. And with me SUDDENLY seems to work best when it's time to move me.

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Some things will not change. I will still back pies and make lunches. I will still cuddle with Abigail at night before she goes to sleep. I will still blog sitting at the same table as Anna while she does too many hours of homework. I will bake muffins and decorate my mantles for each season. But I will teach 4th grade. I will teach 4th grade. I will hang on to the strength of God and trust Him as He alone can tell me, "Take this next step. It is time. Trust me. Trust me."

SUDDENLY



6 comments:

  1. CONGRATULATIONS TARA!!! You are such an inspiration and those 4th graders are going to have the best year and will be so lucky to have you as their teacher. I can't wait to hear all about this journey and wish I was closer because I would love to help set up that classroom with you!

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  2. Sooo happy for you!!!!!
    And so very proud of you as well!!!!!!!!!
    Cannot wait to follow along with you on this new amazing journey!!!!!!!!

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  3. Congratulations!!! I have a similar story and it all turned out wonderfully and your story will also. Jill

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  4. Beautiful!! So happy for you! You are going to do great in 4th grade. See you soon in our first school meeting. ��

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  5. This is so awesome! You know what they say? We plan; God laughs. All in His time and that is now. You'll do great!! Congratulations!!

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  6. Congratulations Tara! I've been reading your blog for a long time but this is the first time I've commented. I'm so happy for you!!! I'm sure you will do a wonderful job! The kids are lucky to have you! ♥♥♥

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