Search This Blog

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Next Big Thing---I Have Arrived

In high school I was prescribed the to-do list of what was to be done in order to obtain the “ideal American dream.”  This list included graduating from high school, going to college, getting a job, getting married, having kids, raising kids, having grandkids, and retiring with a hefty security fund because you were smart in all your years to save along the way.

I had a list similar to this but my perspective changed in 2009.  I had up to this point, checked off the right steps in the right order.  I graduated near the top of my high school class, completed my Bachelors on a full scholarship, obtained my Teaching Certification in the state of Texas and had a job offer on my desk.  Yay for living out the “dream” but I wasn’t satisfied with the next prescribed steps.  That ideal American dream I referenced earlier was not what I desired anymore.  God really had a hold on my life and I could no longer just sit and go through the motions…I wanted to follow Him wherever He led me, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health. 

So I detoured….  Instead of taking a promising job, I spent a year in New Brunswick studying the Bible.  Now what?  Well, the call that God was giving me was Christian education.  I would get to keep the job I love, the ministry I adore, and not get the security that a public school system could provide.  It would be great because it would keep me trusting in God  (insert both sarcasm and truth).  I am now entering my fourth year of teaching at a growing Christian school in New England.  I get to wear many hats as I teach math, history, PE, help with team sports and advise our Student Leaders.  It’s a good time when I really take in the privilege I have.

Speaking of wearing many hats...School Spirit Days.

In all reality, I’m living my dream.  In my three years here, the one piece of the puzzle that was missing that I saw as my “next step” was getting an apartment of my own.  That piece was placed in February of this year.  I’ve lived in my apartment for over 5 months now and I love it.

But this summer I looked around…….  I have friends that are on the cusped of having their first child.  Others that are in the midst of their child raising years.  Others who are married but aren’t quite ready for kids yet, but it is a discussion of when is the time.  Others, younger still, who are dreaming of life beyond high school and college, searching for the right career. 

And then there is me.  I was recently asked where I saw myself in 5 to 10 years.  I’ve been wrestling with that thought for almost 2 months now.  Of all the things I envisioned I needed for “growing up” and “settling down”, I have them.  I have a good job and a nice apartment and neither of them seem like they will be quick to send me packing.  I HAVE ARRIVED!!!!

But that’s scary!  I’ve lived a life of so many twist and turns, so many unforeseen adventures, and now I’m just going to settle down and call this place home?  It’s funny how much my heart screams for a place to call home and then when I may have found it, it questions, “are you sure, Lord? this it?” 

And to be honest, I am not sure.  I think my game plan will be to give this moment everything I’ve got, holding nothing back but holding the steering wheel of my life with a loose grip still, so that if God wants to turn the corner sometime, I’m willing to go where He leads with an open heart.  This means, this school year, I pray I come back with a renewed heart for my students, for the ministry opportunities that abound and a heart of service for our God.  Give me Your heart and eyes Lord…renew my joy and strength as the school year begins.  I have some dreams of what would be cool to happen in the future but for now I’ll keep plugging away a day at a time and see what God has in store for today.

What’s next for you?

Until next time,
In Christ,

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Drama Queen

It has come to my attention that I can be a bit of a drama queen.  In my personalities arsenal is a cool, calm, and collected middle or an extreme low, “woe is me.”  There are rare extreme highs of happy hyper and little outward in-between modes.    Generally, the lows look like cool, calm and collected until a major (or minor) event occurs were I am at personal fault and suddenly life would be better without me.

Examples would be when I ordered curriculum without Adam’s permission and got called out on it which led me to almost submitting my resignation for the terrible thing I had done.  Going crazy when I accidently set a house alarm off on myself which caused the police to come and scope out the house.  Saying I quit counseling the many times I’ve failed as a summer staff (dress code, accidental “pranks”, devo-time accidents).  Just recently, I wanted to bury myself in a hole after setting a small grease fire in my kitchen.  None of these things amounted to permanent damage at all to physical structures or even to social damage with other people.  It all blew over rather quickly. 

But don’t try telling me that in the moment….even though I am so often trying to tell myself that in the moment.  It’s like hot and heavy emotions are competing with very sound logic and my emotions are winning and they are willing to make some very rash choices.  I so often try to hide from friends in this moment because it’s not pretty and I know in my head it’s not necessary, but unfortunately, I have indeed let friends in at this time….somehow they remain my friends when all is settled down (sometimes in just a few hours….sometimes days…). 

The funny part is, I don’t think I knew that was my tendency til recently when a friend called me out on it saying, “Joy, you’re so extreme.  Calm down…”  Then suddenly, I looked back and saw the dramatics….though I hope it’s not all for show.  In my heart, I HATE personally failing anyone, and when I do, I just lash out on myself and just bash and bash until I feel I have little to offer.  It’s like, I fail once and my whole career was a wreck, worthless, shambles and a lie. 

WHY IN THE WORLD DO I DO THIS????  Why is there no medium gear to my emotions?  And why am I so critical on myself that it sends me into a tizzy of potential great consequence?  But even more so, how do I stop it?  How do I gain some sense of sanity in this battle? 

I don’t have answers.  Only questions….and apologies.  I’m sorry for those who I have indeed let in to my inner circle and have been burnt by my flame outs.  I have found a root or at least a symptom of one…of a deeply rooted heart condition.  Any ideas on how to treat/cure it?  I’d appreciate anything you’ve got because I can’t just go all fire cracker on a whim…it’s not fair to those around me or close to me.  Thanks for any advice you’ve got and prayers.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Fairy Tales: I Found My Prince

I sit and wait, I wait for thee,
To sweep me off my feet and make me complete.
I guard my thoughts, I guard my heart,
I deprive temporary pleasures so I can give you my whole heart.

And in you come, sweeping me off my feet,
The moments I am not with you, I feel incomplete.
I can’t live without you, I humbly plea,
I dream of the day that your wife I would be.            

The ceremony is over, we both said “I do.”
Finally I got my wish, you’re stuck with me like glue.
We enjoy these precious moments as I rest in your arms,
As long as I am with you, life can do me no harm.

Time moves ever slowly, days turn into weeks,
I never imagined “becoming one” with you would make me feel so weak.
You know every part of me, even the secrets I long buried.
This vulnerability and transparency with one another has got us kind of wearied.

This isn’t what I pictured, the fairy tale of the heart,
I thought you’d be my everything and from me you’d never depart.
Am I asking too much from you, in being everything I need??
The hunger needs of my heart are more than you are able to feed.

Oh God, how long I’ve run from you, though You vowed to never let go.
Though I love and cherish my husband, it is You alone Who makes me whole.
You are my Source of everything, satisfaction, joy and love.
Now I can better love and appreciate my husband because it is only a picture of what I will enjoy with You in heaven above.

Obviously this is a work of fiction as I have no husband, but I do believe that the story line is very true/real.  I see so many girls, young women and even older women waiting for their “prince charming” to come and sweep them off their feet and be all they ever dreamed.  They soon realize that though it is said “two become one” in marriage, life is still incomplete.  We will never be able to find true and lasting joy, satisfaction, life and love from anything apart from Christ…..not your husband, your parents, your best friend, your mentors, your kids, your job, your money, your things…none will satisfy!  They will all fall short just as we fall short ourselves.

Now don’t get me wrong…I’m not against marriage, friendships or families…..I think they are a huge part of our hearts and lives…a great blessing from God, for certain.  But nothing is guaranteed to last, not material treasures, friendships nor human life itself….so we must come to God to fill our lives and make us complete.  As a good friend has asked me many times, if I lost everything in my life (my family, friends, car, etc.) would God be enough?  I need to find my contentment in Him now so if later I am blessed with a husband, I don’t put undue expectations on him but instead he can rest in knowing that God has my heart and we can both rest in that.  So instead of pursuing a fairy tale future, I will pursue contentment in Christ, and fall in love with the real Prince Charming, the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.

Until next time,
In Christ,
Joy Lynn

Originally written 1-15-2012. Reposted because contentment is a struggle and if I don't remember to look to God to fill the void, I'll just be aimlessly dreaming and searching for something that can't satisfy.