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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Changing a Flat Tire: So Much Easier with Teamwork

Teamwork was low priority as I was being raised, so I’ve been learning more of those skills now. Sometimes you are just forced to work with someone, but when you have a need and want someone to be there to help you, you realize the value of teamwork!

Recently I thought I probably could change my flat tire by myself, and I pulled the car in the driveway, pulled out the tools, and then started chipping at the ice that held my spare tire in my car. (Now I know my hatch leaks!)

I realized chipping wouldn’t do it, so I went inside to find extension cords and a hair drier. I ran into my house mate and asked, “have you ever changed a tire?” She responded, “yes, I have.” And she was willing to help! We got the hair driers going, and then my friend had the idea: Hot water! We put it on twice before the tire came out– it probably took 20 minutes.

Then she knew how to easily pump the jack, and we had to use more hot water to pull off the tire. We got the spare on, and then she followed me over to my mechanic. She was such a blessing, and I was so glad to work together with her to get that tire changed. Teamwork has great value, and I’m seeing that more clearly now.

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Running for the train: Thoughts on Scraping By

Yesterday as I backed up to leave for work, my car was making way too much noise. I got out and found out that my car had a flat tire in the driveway, so I had to pull it on the street and run  3/4 of a mile for the train. I made it in about 7 min. with 3 minutes to spare.

Coming home, I caught the orange line to get to near Oglevie, and then I looked at my watch, it was 4:30 and I wanted the 4:35 train, and I took off galloping. I ran awhile, then got caught in the crowd, and once I got in the station, it was 4:35, and this guy in a red jacket booked it past me, so since he was doing it, I could too! I took off running behind him.

I saw that a train wasn’t leaving yet, but then I saw the conductor give the signal, get aboard, and I leaped on past him while he turned the lever to shut the doors.

I have never cut it that close– it was 2 seconds wiggle room. Whew, that wasn’t the safest thing to do, but I was glad to be on that train and be getting home to change my tire.

I had a sort-of Frodo moment, leaping past the conductor (who is jolly and nothing like the nasty creatures Frodo jumped past), and just making it.

It’s wonderful when we plan to have enough space and time to make a peaceful transition, but there’s many times when we just scrape by.

Knowing how to still be peaceful when you’re just scraping by is a skill that I’m learning. I want to be perfect and do things perfectly, but that is not possible. I’m learning to rest in the fact that you’re still loved even when you hit too many potholes and forget to check the air in your tires so one goes flat, and get late to work, and let the kids get under your skin, and you have to apologize, and then run for the train again and just make it. Yes, I was scraping by, but I’m loved, accepted, treasured, desired, thought well of, and good enough in God’s eyes. And scraping by adds a little spice to life…running for the train is sort of fun…sort of…

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