Grace in the Transition

That was a really long sabbatical from writing!  It’s both nice to find this space still here, but also goes to show once you put something out there on the net it’s always out there.  That part’s a little scary.

“So, what’s been going on, Mongold?”  I’m so glad you asked!  Life has happened in all it’s glory.  A quick update on the fam…Marissa is almost 21 (in less than two weeks!)  That’s just crazy.  She’s in her junior year at Valparaiso University for Elementary Education and loving it.  You can also find her at the mall working at Build-a-Bear on the weekends.   Bekah is 19 and a sophomore at Indiana University Northwest for musical theater, involved in community theater, and being a princess at A Spoonful of Magic Princess Parties.  Both girls still live at home and commute to school.  Alisha is a junior in high school and in advanced orchestra this year while taking five AP/dual credit classes.  She’s 16 and trying to accumulate her 50 hours of driving time so she can get her license.  I will rejoice when that day comes as my ferrying days will be over! Phil is good. He doesn’t change.  Solid and dependable as they come.  I thank God for him and his character daily!

Now comes the lengthy part.  All the change that’s been happening in my life.  There’s been a lot!  The biggest change is my job.  We went to the same church for 18 years, then six years ago felt it was time to move on.  We landed at Bethel Church and have grown in our walk with God since.  For 13 years I was part of the daycare/school of our former church.  See the overlap? Yeah…it was stressful at times during those 5 years, but God walked me through it and I learned a lot about myself, about Him and His grace in that time. The 2014/2015 school year was my last there.  It was so hard to make that decision.  Going from what’s known, even if it’s become a place of pain, to the unknown is really hard for me.  Through much prayer, Bible study, the support of Celebrate Recovery, and a good therapist I’m finding God’s grace in this time of transition.

I’m a type A personality all the way.  I want to do things perfectly right the first time.  Think Mary Poppins.  I’d like to be “practically perfect in every way” even if that’s not a realistic goal.  If I don’t…well, it can get ugly in my brain and sadly, sometimes spill out onto others in not so nice or encouraging ways. I do NOT have a poker face, even if I have disciplined myself to keep my words in.

At the end of the school year I started looking for other teaching positions right away.  I came to find out that even if you have taught and managed daycare classrooms from newborn to middle school, taught Pre-Kindergarten for almost a decade, taught full day Kindergarten for two years, and many children to read and read well, if you didn’t go to college and you don’t have a degree you are not qualified for more than monitoring kids at lunch and recess.  Even in private, Christian schools, and some preschools.  I get it.  I really do.  They want people with the skills and knowledge needed to teach children correctly and professionally.  It doesn’t matter that I know I have these skills, or that I could easily get hundreds of signatures saying I do…it means nothing.

That was a hard hit to take.  I had an inkling that this would be the case when I left my former position, I just hoped I would the exception to their rules.  One thing I’ve learned over this last summer is to trust God and walk in humility.  I tutored preschool through elementary aged kids all summer (first summer I’ve had to work in 13 years!) and that was challenging.  I really enjoyed it though and should those clients or new ones call, I will continue to tutor.  I was offered four jobs: a less-than-part-time preschool position, a less-than-part-time, private school 3rd grade aide position (but in the school I most wanted to work in), subbing in a local public school district, and a part-time PreK position.  I accepted the PreK position at Thornridge Preschool. The director of the school and I immediately hit it off and I felt it was more important for me to work with encouraging, positive people than anything else.

I’ve officially been there two weeks, and have had four days with my new class of 23 students.  The changes between what I’ve known for 13 years and what I need to do now are like sunrise, and sunset.  They are the same, but different.  Both beautiful, but one ends a day and one begins.  I really thought going from a 4 minute commute to a 25 minute commute would be the hardest part.  That’s been something I actually enjoy!  The time in my car, by myself, with MY music choices and nothing other than paying attention to driving is kind of cool.  I have an aide, Ms. Michelle, and parent volunteers EVERY DAY.  That’s ridiculously amazing!  It’s only a preschool/PreK program, not daycare, and there are a lot of benefits that come with that, and a few down sides.  Still it’s different.  Very different from what I’ve been doing for a long time.

Change is inevitable, but in reality I’ve worked very hard to control what changes took place in my life all the while praying and asking God to change me and my circumstances.  Type A control freak…that’s me.  I own it and am working to change that too.  Now that change is happening, I’m fighting it in my heart and my mind!   What a woman of inconsistencies I am!  Much like Peter as Pastor Steve spoke about last week.  It’s a great message if you have time to listen or watch.  The more I think about the changes in my heart and in my life over the past year, I realize that a lot of what I prayed for has happened.  God answered, but in ways that are stretching me.  The good kind of stretching.  This is where I’m finding grace in the transition.

I hope you can see that He offers you that same grace through your life transitions!

*Next time I plan on telling you all about an awesome change that’s taken place!  Keep watch 😉

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