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A Comfort's Food for Thought

Farewell to CCA

May15

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father

and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son,

will be with us in truth and love (2 John 1:3).

                From the time I started first grade—and perhaps even earlier—I have always wanted to be a teacher.  Since I was educated in public schools and received my BS in English education from the University of Wisconsin,  I did not fully appreciate the importance of Christian education when I first began teaching at CCA back in 1986.  As a committed Christian believer, however, I soon learned the meaning and the importance of Biblical integration in the curriculum, and today I cannot imagine leaving my faith at home when I teach.  Jesus prayed that God would sanctify His followers by the truth, and then stated that God’s Word is truth (John 17:17).  As an English teacher, I love words and know their importance.  And as a human being living in a broken world, I value truth.

                Over my years at CCA I have been privileged to work alongside parents who also value God’s truth and entrust their precious children to my moral and academic instruction.  I have been blessed to work with other teachers who have the same passion that I have for Christian education and for our students.  And how could I not love CCA students?  They are a special group of kids.  I appreciate my husband, who has encouraged me in my teaching, even though he would have been just as happy for me to stay at home.  Every weekday morning he prays that I will be an effective teacher.

                I have worked under five administrations at CCA.  I am thankful to them for giving me the flexibility to work sometimes full time and sometimes part time over the years as the my circumstances and the needs of the school required.   During this past year, I have been especially indebted to their kindness in allowing me to take off several days a month to accompany my husband to Baltimore for his doctor appointments. 

                I have always envisioned being a teacher until the day I die; however, God’s plans are not my plans, and it is apparent that I now need to be fully available for my husband in his illness.  God has given me a surprising (at least to me) gift of peace in the making of this decision.

                God has been gracious to give me a job I have loved for the past twenty years, and a husband who has loved me for the past forty-one years.  As I leave CCA, it is my hope and prayer that my students—both those I have taught and those I had hoped to teach someday—will pursue truth in every area of their lives, whether academic, theological, or spiritual.  Jesus Christ says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32).  He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).   Seek Him and His truth.

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Aspirations

April21

I never aspired to be teacher of the year.  If I had never married and raised kids, I might have had higher occupational goals. I certainly would have earned my master’s degree earlier in life, and I suspect that I would also have had a doctorate by the time I was 35.  But marriage and raising a family bring other priorities to the front, and I willingly left my career in education for a career in the home.

I must confess that for two years when my children were in elementary school I tried teaching part time while being a full-time wife, mother of two, and homemaker.  I soon learned I was not up to the task.  In those days women were encouraged to do it all—supermoms were in style.  I had to acknowledge I was far from super.  This was not an easy admission for someone who always worked for straight A’s.

I loved being a wife and mom.  I willingly chose to give up teaching.  However, society did not make my choice easy.  Books, magazines, TV, and even some of my friends were telling me that housework was a waste of my time, intellect, and years of training.  Of course, in my head, I knew this was not true.  What is more worthwhile than being a biblical helpmeet to my husband and a nurturing mother to my children?  When I began to doubt my choice—which usually seemed to occur when I was confronted with a bathroom in serious need of cleaning—I learned to remind myself of the ultimate purpose of my life:  to glorify God and enjoy him forever.  Surprisingly—or perhaps not so surprisingly—I was able to make the connection that providing a clean and comfortable home for my husband and children pleased and glorified God, and I began to enjoy housework again.

Today my children are grown and caring for homes of their own.  The amount of my housework is greatly reduced, and my retired husband shares it with me.  I am back to teaching, but only part-time.  I am still, after all, a wife, and I know I don’t have the energy to be both a wife and full-time teacher.  Teaching part-time satisfies my love of young people and my love of learning.  Since I teach at a Christian school, I can clearly see the connection between glorifying God and my daily activities there.

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I am a Christian, a mother and grandmother, a sister, a daughter, a teacher, a widow, a friend. . .  My life is first of all defined by relationships–to God, to my family, to my students, to my friends. Of course, I am many other things: a reader, an e-mail writer, a piano player, and a somewhat reluctant traveler, for example.  And now I am a blogger.  I’m not sure why, except it seems to be a logical next step for someone addicted to e-mail.

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