Tuesday, May 17, 2011

perfect provision and a career change

I have been a teacher at a large public high school in the suburbs of Philadelphia for the last 5 years. I can't say I've loved every minute, but I've enjoyed most. The worst part of my day is the dreaded 5:30am wake up call. The best part has been my students and the ability to not only invest in their education but in their lives as well. I thought I would teach forever, but after Everett I had another career that I wanted- I wanted to be his mom, all day, every day. It wasn't something that I was expecting. It wasn't that I didn't want to be a mom, I just thought I'd be a mom and a teacher at the same time. After nearly a year, I can say that being a working mom is one of the hardest things I've ever done. So, after Everett was born we started praying. Praying that somehow the Lord would do a miracle with our finances... you see we need half of my salary in order to make ends meet. We prayed for 6 months that I wouldn't have to go back to work, but come August we were not any closer to me staying home. The Lord was providing for us in other ways though, like with the blessing of having Missy watch Everett during the week.

Work started and in some ways it was easy enough to fall back into my routines. I knew the curriculum and have worked really hard with lessons and projects and ideas so it wasn't stressful trying to plan, but as always there's the grading and revising and just plain teaching involved. The hardest part was being away from Everett. I often cried to Aaron feeling like Everett wasn't getting the best of me, but simply what was left after 8 hours with rowdy teenagers. I felt like I was "doing all my jobs" (wife, mom, dog owner, home owner, teacher) but I wasn't doing any of them as well as I could. It was a real struggle for me, because I have always been someone who never likes to give anything less than 100%. So, I just kept going, but daily feeling exhausted by the many jobs I had to juggle. We continued to pray, still believing that the Lord would provide. In November, Aaron had a review. We were praying and praying- Lord let this be it! Aaron's review went great and we anxiously awaited news of what that great review meant. We didn't find out that news until 2 months later! It was during those months that I saw the Lord really pushing me to be patient and wait on Him. It was hard and Aaron can attest to the fact that I wasn't the best at being patient.

I got a call from Aaron on his way home from work one night in mid January- finally the news we'd been waiting for. Aaron was given a promotion and a pay raise. Not just any pay raise, but the EXACT dollar amount that we'd been praying for. And no small amount either. Aaron was given a 40% raise in a bad economy. We could do nothing but praise the Lord for his perfect provision down to the dollar amount. What an amazing testimony of the way the Lord answers prayers, the way He is our provider!

We were left with decisions now. Could I just quit? I wanted to. I wanted to just stop that very day and stay at home, but we realized that wasn't what the Lord was calling us to. After much prayer and a few tears, we decided I would finish out the school year. It didn't make all the jobs I was juggling any less daunting, but it was light at the end of the tunnel. Looking back I can clearly see that the Lord needed me to be at school this spring. Needed me to be with my sweet friend Sara to support her and love her and be with her daily.

So here it is, one month until the end of the school year. One month and one day until I won't be a teacher any more. The thought brings tears to my eyes for so many reasons--- the realization of prayers that have been prayed for the last 14 months, the end of a career that I have loved with students and colleagues that I will miss, and a little anxiety for this next stage of life.

But--- the thought of June 17th also brings me sheer, undeniable, uncontainable JOY ...to be able to play, invest, teach and love my sweet little boy all day long. How thankful I am for God's amazing provision, for a husband who works incredibly hard so that I can stay home, for an amazing little boy that I have the opportunity to raise.


Psalm 145:3-7... Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They will tell of the power of your awesome works and I will proclaim your great deeds. They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

9 comments:

Take Nothing for Granted said...

So excited for you!

julie said...

I am so happy for you and Aaron and Everett. May God continue to bless your wonderful family! And thanks for being such a wonderful friend and supporter to my darling daughter, Sara. She treasures your friendship and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that!

a blog full of weldons. said...

so happy for you my dear friend! what an awesome answer to prayer!!

Hi, I'm Susan! said...

Kristen this is so awesome and so encouraging! Exited for your family and this new season!

Katie @ Loves of Life said...

Welp, i'm sitting here bawling :) Of course I knew this because you shared it with me a few months ago and I'm so beyond happy for you. Now, can you start hard-core praying for me? :))) We're on crunch time. This way, longwood trips and zoo trips can be in both our daily futures?

No, seriously, your testimony is such an amazing example. And I can truly see why God kept you there the rest of the year.

heidi said...

Cara lead me to your blog to read this post and to draw encouragement and hope from it. I can't say enough how much I can relate. And Cara was right...I do feel very encouraged (even as I cry while typing this). I am praising God with you for the blessing of being FREE to be Mom. And I am praying that I will soon join you:)

Lauren said...

So excited for you! Praise God for hard working husbands :)

Paul and Sarah said...

Congrats on getting to stay home! That is wonderful.

efiscus said...

I'm so happy for you Kristen! I struggle with working and leaving my little one at home too. We still are not sure where the Lord will lead us on this, but it's so encouraging to read your testimony of how prayers are answered. Maybe it won't be the answer we expect or in the time frame we want, but He does answer. Have a wonderful summer and be blessed!