Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's Not Just a Job

I started my new job this past Monday. The high school where I am working has about 2500 students. The freshman are in their own wing and, except for lunchtimes when they venture into the main part of the school to get to the cafeteria, they essentially have their own  school. 

Grades 10-12 have over 600 students per grade level. That is a lot of kids. I am secretary to the principal who works with the 10th - 12th grade kids with last names starting with A-G. There is also a counselor on the A-G team. Then, there is the H-Q team…and of course, the R-Z team. By dividing the student body that way, rather than by grades, the kids stay with the same principal…and team…throughout their last three years of high school. A  good arrangement, I think.

Image found here
For part of today, I worked on putting stickers into each kid’s cumulative file. On the stickers was printed their grades for the 2013-14 school year. I started with the upcoming seniors today. I’ll get the upcoming sophomores and juniors tomorrow. 

As I place the sticker in each file, I glanced over the grade stickers from previous years and took note of what each student’s grades had been like over time as compared to the past year. It was a small thing, but this gave me a snapshot into their lives. With this little piece of the puzzle, I prayed for each student as I handled their file.

  • When I saw the straight-A student with the bright, smiling face, I prayed for God to bless her in her hard work and to let her know that her worth wasn’t just in her good grades, but she is precious to God.
  • Then I saw the boy who used to get really good grades, but they had really slipped for some reason two years ago. This past year, they came back up again. For that student, I prayed that he would persevere, and keep moving in the right direction.
  • Another student might be consistently in the middle of the road academically. For that student, I might pray that he or she would not settle for doing less that their best.
  • Then, there might be a student who, for whatever reason, had apparently given up. Grades used to be OK, but the bottom had dropped out this past year. My heart broke for students like that, and my prayer for them was that God would reach them…and that He would use me in some way to show that student that he or she is loved.
 So many student. So many situations. So many ways to pray.

Yes, it’s a secular job…but it is still a ministry. 

May God find me faithful.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Home from Camp - Off to a New Job

In my last post, I wrote about Rachel going to camp for the first time. As I knew she would, she had a great time. Lots of good memories, new friends, and some good chapel times. I think of all the great memories I had from my own years at camp, and I can just picture how much fun she had. Rachel is definitely looking forward to camp again next year.

Image found here
As for me, tomorrow I will begin my new job as secretary for one of the vice-principals of our local high school. I am looking forward to this work so very much. It puts me back in the education setting, although not as a teacher. It also allows me to work with teens. This is an age group I came to love working with while I was in Indonesia.

In this new chapter of my life, I am reminded of an important verse. It is a good one to give direction and purpose to all I do.

So ... whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

Friday, July 11, 2014

Off to Camp Next Week

Image found here
Next week is a big first for Rachel. She and two other girls from our church will be going away to church camp for the first time. We will drive down this Sunday morning and the girls will be picked up on Saturday morning.

I remember how very much I loved going to camp throughout my childhood, and I am excited for my little girl. She is going to have so much fun. This is a different camp than the one I attended as a child, but I am certain it will be great.

Rachel is excited about the games, and the swimming. Perhaps she has pictures in her mind of sitting around a campfire every night making S'mores. That, of course, won't be the case, but there will be more than enough good times to enjoy.

Most of all, I pray that this coming week will be a very special time where she grows deeper in her faith, and comes to love Jesus more and more. I pray that what she learns and experiences at camp will be life-changing in a marvelous, positive way.

I am so thankful for the people who dedicate so much time and energy so that little children can come closer to Jesus.

Let the little children come to me...
Matthew 19:14

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Celebrating Freedom

Yesterday was the first Fourth of July I have spent in the United States in twenty years. As for Rachel, this was her first one ever. She was so excited about the celebration.

Thursday night, I had gone shopping for food we needed for the picnic on Friday. As I headed to the store, I saw that cars were lining up and people were camping out at the edge of cornfields facing the fairgrounds. They were staking out places to see the fireworks.

After I was done shopping, I hurried back to my parents' house where Rachel was spending the day with her Grandma. I took her out to see the fireworks. We drove around looking for a good place to watch. I wasn't sure where, exactly, would be the best place. I turned down an alley beside a local school to cut over to the next street. As it turns out,the perfect parking place was right down that alley. The fairgrounds was perhaps two streets away. No trees blocked the view. I must say, we got the best view of fireworks that I have ever had in my life.

Mom was in on much of this excitement. She and wrote this and posted this photo on her Facebook page. I'll let her words speak for themselves.

Yesterday was the first 4th of July Rachel celebrated in the US. She was so excited. She knew where she wanted the games set out in the yard. She looked at the video I took last year and told me what food she wanted me to serve. The entire day was what she wanted. The weather was great and as Rachel said everything was perfect. However one thing really impressed me. When Chuck hung out the flag, Rachel ask if we could say the Pledge of Allegiance. Of course we did. But seeing her, an 8 year old little girl from Bali, standing straight and tall with her hand over her heart was an emotional time for me. It made me wonder how many things are taken for granted and if we will always have these freedoms.

May we not take these freedoms for granted.
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