This past week I got to do something that my four year old self would have died for: run across a GIANT sheet of bubble wrap!
Just for you to get to know a little about myself, and how bubble wrap entered my week, I teach four year olds during the hours of 7:10-2:05… but I feel called to them way beyond that timeframe. Back in April, my husband and I, along with other leaders in our church, attended a conference for church planters. One of the speakers asked us “What are you doing that’s questionable?” I began to get very frustrated because I had a “questionable thing” back home. I spent much of my free time hanging out with precious kids and their families at an apartment complex in my community. It raised a lot if questions! “Is this safe?” “Why would you spend your Saturday there?” Each question gave opportunity for me to share my calling to follow Christ and serve kids and families. I knew I was a part of something bigger than myself or my time. I was leading others to the Kingdom and knew I was doing exactly what God desired of me.
As I sat in a room of thousands of church planters and workers processing the question “What do you do that’s questionable?” I became more and more frustrated. I had been praying for months, asking God to show me an apartment complex I could invest in again. I had met with several managers of places in my area, but I never felt a peace of pursuing a Backyard Bible Club at one location. When East Carolina ministry began a few years ago, God ordained everything beautifully. God had not done that again. I was upset, confused, and I really wanted to experience God’s work like that again.
After a few more days of pondering “What do you do that’s questionable?” God gave me a new plan, a vision for my new community. God spoke to me that yes, me teaching and planning for long hours isn’t too questionable, even being married to a pastor isn’t all too uncommon, and he had heard the desire of my heart to be used again. My “questionable” activity in the new community was to be a teacher that did more for my kids than teach and love at school. It was more than attending soccer games and ballet recitals. I am called to truly get to know my kiddos and their families, to be invested in them after hours. To be a part if their lives on the weekends, summers, even years after their names are in my roster. I finally had a spark and fire fill my heart again! God wasn’t calling me to a singular location like he did in Pelzer, but rather five locations that house the precious children in my class.
Since God lead me to teach in this way, He has opened doors to be His hands and feet to so many kids and families. I have sat on back patios listening to stories about past moves and family situations, held beautiful newborns, sat on couches sipping juice and speaking to moms as a high school brother translates our conversations, ran across a floor of bubble wrap in the middle of a living room, and prayed over families searching for true hope and joy sharing tears and hugs. Students’ behaviors have changed–they look forward to my visits and it’s a favorite reward for great choices. Relationships and communication with parents has gone so smoothly, and families respect my opinions and thoughts–even when situations aren’t always pretty. Visiting my kids in their homes has been the best thing for my education career, and I know that what He has me doing is exactly what I am called to do. I waited for almost a year for the feeling of peace I had throwing footballs in the East Carolina courtyard and last week, when I ran across bubble wrap with a family that doesn’t speak the same language, my heart was full. Love is loud, and God’s love and light are speaking through my actions. It’s questionable, and I am ready and excited to share why I do “crazy” things like knock on doors, laugh with families at how terrible I am at Spanish, and play on the floor with my kiddos and their siblings. I have a classroom of 20, but God has called me to each mom, dad, brother, sister, grandparent… His trust in me is overwhelming, but I am satisfied and elated to be living out His call.