Monday, June 10, 2013
By the grace of God, copious amounts of coffee, and probably an unnecessary amount of sarcasm I finally made it through my first year of teaching. Praise Jesus.
I have come to the conclusion that I love my job and beyond elated that this is the career path the Lord has blessed me with. The relationships that I built with the students (well most of them) made my job worth all of the while.
It is my prayer and hope that I will make lasting impressions in the years to come with my future students and that most importantly they will see Jesus in me and that I will be a walking demonstration and proof of God's love to them.
Just some thoughts that I had several times throughout the year:
Thanks for all of your prayers and support over my past year's adventure.
Monday, May 6, 2013
"Elizabeth do you want to play softball this weekend for Project Graduation?" Sure.
"Ms. Botkins will you coach the powderpuff cheerleaders?" Sure.
"Ms. Botkin will you help decorate for prom?" Sure.
"Hey, will you take pictures tonight at little league?" Sure.
See, I cannot say no. If someone asked me to teach a cat sign language, by-golly I would do it.
I enjoy serving and find that teaching has been a great way to express that love to others but I have come to the point where I feel that my motives for serving have become tainted with a "look at me" attitude and motivation spurred on by the people I am serving, yet they are not the ones at fault. Also, I have irrational fear of letting people down.
Like most humans I gain confidence in myself and in my skills when I am praised for doing a job well done, and like most humans any humility I might have goes right out the window. Confidence is not a bad thing necessarily but it is the driving force and foundation of the confidence that can often cause problems. Confidence from Christ, good. Confidence from man, bad.
"For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10.
Part of my problem with being able to say "no" is that in my human nature, I like the praise that comes with completing a task in an exceptional way (which I actually find weird because I have never been one to take compliments well and I am not huge on having attention drawn to myself...it spurs from my complete and total awkwardness). But it is those compliments that drive me to continue to say yes, they are like crack.
Real talk: I am not worthy of praise of men nor will I ever be. The Bible explicitly states that.
"We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away" Isaiah 64:6
We are nasty dirty people who cannot do good, at all. So why should we deserve any praise? Oh that's right, we don't.
Any praise that should happen to come my way is a direct reflection of God's love and grace and is a testament to the gifts that He has bestowed upon me to use for His glory, that is all.
"Let anyone who boasts, boast in the Lord. For it is not te one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends." 2 Corinthians 10:17-8.
It is my prayer that until I can learn and trust that man's approval means diddly squat that I would not say yes. That I would wait until my motives are pure so that I can boast in the Lord and not in myself. Lord, help me say no.
Happy Monday, y'all.
Monday, April 1, 2013
Being apathetic has never bothered me before, I just thought it was who I am, a part of my nature. Which to some extent is true, it is apart of my sin nature, the nature that I am called to no longer live in. And until recently (i.e., the past few days) I would have never classified being apathetic as a sin. Clearly I don't read my Bible enough because it is most definitely a sin, and is seen in both old and new testaments.
Apathy as defined by Websters is a lack of feeling or emotion (impassiveness) or a lack of interest or concern (indifference). This is where I find myself today, in a complacent rut.
It really dawned on me this weekend while working (more like helping facilitate and fellowship-ing) at a Disciple Now (which to be completely honest, I was not 100% looking forward too) a girl, who several people had been praying for, came to know Christ and was baptized, holla. I however, honestly, do not think that I could have been any more apathetic towards the whole situation (bear in mind it had NOTHING to do with who she is, just to clarify). I should have been rejoicing that I have a new sister in Christ but I was not, I was completely impassive. Seriously, Elizabeth, how heartless can you be? This was a time to celebrate, to jump up and down, literally; I just sat there and clapped my hands and had a half-hearted smile on my face. How in the world have I reached this state? Of course I will play the blame game and say it is all the crazy kids at work, that students are draining all of the energy out of me and am thus too tired to care; I will say I am just not feeling "it;" and I am willing to bet that being super sarcastic most of the time plays a big role. But when it is all said and done and I take a long hard look at the situation I am being selfish and not wanting to share the joy that I have with others. Ouch.
To enter into a state of indifference or impassiveness is to enter into a state where all passion and driving force is gone. Literally living in a state of whatever. All inspiration is slowly sucked out of you, which I am now starting to see in myself because I am choosing not to care. Here is where the problem lies: If I am apathetic how am I able to care about those who lost and wandering? If I am indifferent then I do not care about whether or not people know Christ, I am ehh whatever, yeah I guess it would be nice if they knew Christ (how sad is this for me to think?). This qualifies me as being beyond selfish for not wanting to share the love of Christ with others (which Biblically I am called to do...), and it also makes me lukewarm for not caring, a dangerous place according to scripture.
"So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth"
I do not desire to be lukewarm- I want to be hot, burning up with love for the Lord and his people. If I am in a state of disinterest then the lives of those around me are not of importance to me, spiritually speaking, which is also wrong according to Scripture. We, myself included, are called to "look after the flock" (Acts 20:28). How am I supposed to look after the flock when I don't care or desire to do so. Um, I can't, simple as that.
It is my prayer that I will ask the Lord to change my heart, to want to care about others and their lives after this life here on earth. I want a broken spirit for those around me. I want to be full of joy when people come to know Christ as the Lord and Savior of their lives. I want more empathy and less apathy. I want to not only choose joy but share joy. I have experienced too much goodness from the Lord to not share it with others.
Happy Monday. Thanks for letting me be honest.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Lord, let me look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith.
Just my thoughts for the morning. Happy Friday.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Mardi Gras is one of my most favorite times of the year- the bright colors, the king cakes, the atmosphere, the beads, the king cakes.... It's flat out just festive and fun!
Since I missed Mardi Gras this year I really wanted to find a way to bring it to Texas and incorporate into my classroom (in a classy way of course).
Thanks to Jordy for mailing me tons of beads so that I could mix physics with this beloved day.
The reason this works: Newton's First Law of Motion (or the Law of Inertia). An object at rest will stay at rest or an object in motion will stay in motion until a greater outside force acts upon it. Ok, enough about physics.
And in true Mardi Gras fashion I baked a king cake (OK, so I baked 2...), I felt that my co-workers needed a taste of Mardi Gras. And I also wore some purple, green, and gold- typical.
Happy Mardi Gras to you and yours!
Laissez les bons temps roule!
Geaux get cultured.