Monday, January 31, 2011

Big Things, Part Two

Last week I decided it was time to celebrate and give thanks for the Big Things  God has done in my life.

Here is part two:

I needed a change after teaching first grade for nine years in a difficult area. My last year in the regular classroom was the year I lost my first baby, Isaac.  It happened right before Thanksgiving.  Neither doctors nor a geneticist could give me an idea why a baby who looked healthy and active on an ultrasound at seventeen weeks, would end up passing away by week twenty-one.   I thought it might be stress.  Unlikely, of course, but certain stages of grief make you desperate for answers.

I grew to hate my job that year, but living on my husband's income was impossible; I had to work.  There were student loans and other things weighing us down.

A colleague of mine became a principal for a small, science and technology charter school, which at the time provided enrichment and core classes for homeschoolers, and fulfilled State requirements for monthly, credentialed-teacher homeschooling meetings.  You can file an affidavit in California to homeschool on your own, but not all families are interested in that kind of isolation; many wanted the free curriculum, free classes, and free guidance, provided by umbrella organizations such as this charter school.

In late spring I applied for an open position at this science and technology school--not feeling positive about getting it.  My expertise, if you will, was reading and language. Although I loved teaching science to first graders, I was no lab coat and beaker kind of gal.  Plus, I hated computers and technology.

I still abhor technology, actually.  For example, my cell phone has texting capability, but I haven't a clue how to do it.  And the other day I accidentally pushed some button that brought up the World Wide Web on my cell phone.  What!?  What is the Web doing on my cell phone?  Is that some service I have to pay extra for, I wondered at the time.  (Husband, who also doesn't text or use the Web, tells me it's standard for cell phones now).

Back to that job....

Between the time I completed the lengthy application and got called for an interview, I found out I was pregnant with Peter--which was another answer to prayer!  I told my colleague-turned-principal about the pregnancy during the interview, even though I thought a pregnancy would disqualify me (not legally, of course).

Also weighing heavy on my mind was this:  I just wanted to be a Mom!  The thought of giving my baby to a daycare provider made me sick to my stomach, literally.  For so many years, teaching was my passion.  I spent hours and hours in my classroom--nights and weekends.  My job defined me.....until I became a Christian at age 31.  But even then, I never thought I'd leave the profession.

God had other plans for me.

My last two years in the regular classroom brought serious behavior problems--leaving me no time to teach or enjoy the kids.  I went home emotionally drained every night.

Hope was not mine....

Until I got the job!  Instead of leaving the classroom kicking and screaming, I sprinted my way out.  Phew!

When God wants you out of something you love, He makes it very clear. You'll find yourself more and more uncomfortable.  Peace leaves.....hope leaves....until you make the change God desires--either in your heart, or in your circumstances, or both.

My new boss probably regretted her decision, at least in part.  I had a difficult pregnancy, with a scary ultrasound at 21 weeks, monthly and then weekly ultrasounds, and preterm labor, which dilated me two inches at week 30.  I was put on bedrest for the last eight weeks, with Peter safely in my arms at 38 weeks gestation, after my water spontaneously broke at home, two hours after an OB check-up.

Long, long road.  I thought I'd never have a babe in my arms!

Those battling infertility have a much harder, longer road.  Few things compare to that pain, in my view.

Before my bedrest, my boss said yes to some very crucial questions. Questions I dreaded asking.

It felt like my peace as a a women, hung on the answers to these questions.  God gave me the ideas, and the words.

- Can I drop some classes and some families and work part-time?

- Can I bring my baby to work?

- Can I work at home, except for my two remaining K-1 reading classes (1 hour each), and my sixth grade social studies class (90 minutes), and my monthly family meetings (twenty individual meetings, half-hour each)?

Yes, yes, and yes!

God provided!

It was a difficult schedule, but I had full care of my sweet babe.  I had peace--even though he was constantly filling his diaper when it was time to leave for school!  :)

It all seemed like a miracle.  God worked out every intricate detail.

A college student--a daughter of one of my homeschooling families--starting coming to my house to watch Peter for three hours, two days a week, once he was too squirrelly to go to work with Momma.  She was lively, sweet, and wonderful!

Husband, at that time, worked four, ten hour days, so he was off all day alternate Fridays, which helped a lot.  He brought Peter to campus for nursing time, in between my monthly family meetings.  I did most of those  monthly meetings during the two Fridays he watched Peter.

God can change things very fast.  Job loss...pregnancy loss...answered prayer....dreams coming true.  All of it is His timing.  His purpose.

Ultimately, we learn not to trust in our plans.  In our hopes.  

We learn to trust in Him.

To be continued...

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