Trees of Transition

Planting seeds of hope throughout our world through sharing photography and thoughts on teaching, cooking, and life transitions.


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Waiting Three Years: A Dream in the Making

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Sometime dreams take time to come to fruition. Three years ago I knew I needed to stop teaching in Costa Rica and come home. I applied to several schools and even visited one when I was home for spring break. I didn’t connect with the principal, so that fell through, and the English position he thought was opening up, didn’t open.

Then when I got called to be a pre-school aide, that met my needs. I was able to slow down and process the pain, joy, the revelation of character defects that needed to be worked on, and just be loved and heal from my time outside of the USA.

I had had my own classroom with its joys and challenges, so I wasn’t aching to have my own classroom again any time soon, and I served happily in other peoples’ classrooms as an aide, a substitute teacher, and an assistant. I also served the youth of my church for the three years, which kept me in touch with youth culture

After I finished my Master’s project, my “teacher strength” started returning, and the desire to have my own classroom started building again. I had been working with elementary students, and I was not sure if I would want to teach them long term. It got clear to me this year that I got certified to teach secondary students for a reason: I like going more in depth with older students into the subject.

Following a lead teacher and learning how to work as a team has been a good, growing experience for me. It’s humbled me. I’ve had to go to Jesus at times and He has reminded me that He was a servant as well and that by serving the students and teachers I work with, I am serving Him.

Then a job lead came in a humbling way: my younger sister suggested it months before. It took me months to lay down being sort of bugged and just realize she sees my potential and wanted me to get a full teaching job.
My Grandma, who lead the way in being a teacher and writer, passed away in April, and it felt like she passed the baton to me– go out and teach!
So the day after my her funeral,  I pushed myself to get the application done, and then I emailed it all in. The next day, while waiting for a train in Oglevie train station, I received an email asking for an interview! I set the interview for the one day during my Spring Break that worked.

Having lots of first dates over the last year put me at ease for the interview! The founder of the school, who interviewed me, also introduced me to many people, showed me classes, the building, and we had a three-hour conversation with her doing most of the talking.

On my way home I started getting shivers, so the next few days I had a touch of the flu and was knocked out.

On Thursday I didn’t check my email, then when I checked it Friday morning, I received a job offer!

It took a little while to sink in :), then I negotiated a bit, then accepted it. The process just flowed.

This fall I get to teach Senior Bible and College Writing! Recently when I met with two of my bosses, we enjoyed talking about teaching the Bible and writing and just glowed at each other. I feel accepted, embraced, and confident at this new school.

For a few weeks I thought I could keep my life in a suburb and continue commuting to the city, but then it got clear:
Now it’s time to move to the city and fully embrace this new season of life.  I move in July!

Mental shifts are happening. I’m changing some stances on life I grew up with: Test it out to see if it will work before you fully commit.
Now I’m changing to feel that if you feel called to a place:
Don’t hold back! Jump in 100%. Choose to connect, and by living near by I will be able to connect deeply. Put down roots and grow!
Now it’s time for this new adventure.

Oh yeah, AND I get to teach my Seniors C. S. Lewis’ book Screwtape Letters! Amazing!!

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Risking Love

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C.S. Lewis wrote in his book The Four Loves: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

My heart was hidden quite deep under the ground. I numbed myself out by keeping busy producing things: crocheting baby blankets, quilting, canning jams and jellies, knitting, writing letters to pen pals around the world. When was this? When I was a grandma? No, I was in junior high and high school. I lived with my family out on a 200-acre farm where we were quite self-sufficient. We grew animals that we butchered, we grew vegetables and fruit, we collected firewood to heat the house and rainwater in a cistern to use for our water.

Being self-sufficient is a useful thing, but if it is rooted in fear of people, it is unhealthy. After I moved out of state for college, my tendency toward self-sufficiency started breaking as I let people come in closer. I had a lot to learn about love.

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I had seen some love, but this vulnerable kind that C.S. Lewis describes was new to me. Love that let itself get hurt? Love that laid down its life for others? Was what I thought had been love all along really been love? How do I learn to be vulnerable? You learn to be vulnerable by learning how to trust people more and by just doing it.

A mixture of people’s love and God’s love softened the ground around my heart, then eventually the box was pulled out, then God’s love softened away the rust around the lock, unlocked my heart. In just the last year I’ve been able to open my heart in deeper ways than I ever had before.

It’s a process to soften a heart. It hurts. Sometimes you might scream it hurts so much, but let me tell you, now that my heart is out and open, the joy I feel from being loved is SO worth the pain of working through the issues that hardened and hid your heart.
Giving and receiving love is so beautiful. Loving is worth the risk.

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