Monthly Archives: May 2013

I know Padre Pio… I know

“Something wonderful is about to happen”

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That is one of the prayers I say each morning…. It is hope and joy… believing …. having the faith and trusting that God has the most wonderful plan in store for me. That what He has in store for me is the most amazing thing imaginable. I say this as I wait. And wait. And wait. waitwaitwait. Praying. Hoping. Trusting. Trusting being the key word here… that God will bring me to the place I need to be.

I am waiting to find out where I will be working next school year. Right now I am a long term substitute special education, case coordinator, resource room teacher (yes all that and a bag of chips). I am grateful and thankful for the opportunity to have this job. I finally feel, after all these years, that I am doing what I am supposed to do. I enjoy my job and after several months of wonderful crazy chaos and confusion I feel confident that I can do this and do it well.  As Joan of Arc once said, “I was born to do this.” Of course I am still learning and making mistakes… I am not in any way, shape or form perfect (HA!). I know with time I will get better… but at this point I feel good about this position, like I am where I am supposed to be. God brought me along this road. Thanks be to God!

After being a Para educator for a year, I felt like I needed to do more, that this was not where my journey ended. (Holy Spirit touching my heart). So I went back to school to get my Master’s in Special education. It took me two years (online through the University of Phoenix)… a lot of reading and many papers later… I am proud to say I did it (I am a Phoenix!). I completed the student teaching practicum at the school where I am working now. I received a GPA of 3.99 (slacker! Ha!). When it was completed it was the middle of the school year (December) … all I could do was look for a long term sub position. While I waited I was a substitute teacher (for any subject) for the school I worked for…  then a substitute position as a case coordinator came up a month later. I was so thankful for the opportunity to put into action what I had learned. I am thankful to the school and grateful for all the help I received as I was thrown into the deep end with the sharks (hahaha)… or as my boss said, “Baptism by fire!” when he saw that overwhelmed ‘holy smokes!’ look on my face that first day.  Seriously, I am thankful to all the people at the school who taught me, guided me and had patience with me. Of course I am eternally grateful to God for placing this opportunity in front of me.

Now, as the year comes to a close I wonder where I will be next fall. There is an opening at the school for a case coordinator starting next school year, the same job I am doing now, and I put in for it. But who knows IF I will be chosen. There may be someone else more qualified. They may have their hands tied and have to cut teachers because of the budget or because of a low numbers of students.  I cannot assume they will hire me. So knowing this I also applied to several other schools. But! I want to be at this school, the one I am at right now. I know the school, the staff, the teachers and students … it is close to home… I am comfortable here.

So I pray that I get the job as a case coordinator there. Praypraypray. In scripture it states, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 and “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” Mark 11:24 and “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:14. And then there is the story of the woman who annoys the judge askingaskingasking and he finally gives in to her because she is persistent. Well… I have been asking. I have been praying, hoping… BUT butbutbut…

I also know… that I should not want my own will. I should desire God’s will for my life. What does God want me to do? Where does God want me to work? Where does God need me now? Where does He need me to be so that I can make a difference in someone’s life? Where does God need me so that someone can make a difference in my life? Where do I need to go to learn what I need to for the future? It may be somewhere I don’t want to be, but God knows it’s what I need. What if…. And I don’t want to say this… but what if God does not have a job as a special education teacher for me right now? What if he wants me to do something else? Or not work at all… (o.O)

I know sometimes I have to step out of my comfort zone and go where God wants me to go. I know it all comes down to trusting Him. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3: 5-6. He knows what is good for me. “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11. I need to trust. I need to follow Him. I need to see when a door is closed and accept it and move on. I think I fear that I will not see clearly where he wants me to go. A prayer I say every morning, “Reveal to me your will and I will follow you.” and “God, my Father, calm my spirit and direct my path.” and “I surrender myself to you and your will. I pray that your will is my desire.” And there is this prayer, “Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you; I am ready for all. I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures—I wish no more than this, O Lord. Into your hands I commend my soul; I offer it to you with the love of my heart, for I love you Lord, and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands, without reserve, and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father.” Brother Charles of Jesus.

I need to trust that He has a better plan then I can ever imagine. Something wonderful. Just trust Kelly… just trust…

“Oh for the peace of a perfect trust my loving God in thee: unwavering faith that never doubts thou chooses best for me.  Best, though my plans be all upset; best, though the way be rough; best, though my earthly store be scant; in thee I have enough. Best, though my health and strength be gone, though weary days be mine, shut out from much that others have; not thy will, Lord, but thine. And even though disappointments come, they too be best for me, to wean me from this changing world, and lead me nearer thee. Oh, for the peace of the perfect trust that looks away from all; that sees thy hand in everything, in great events and small. That hears thy voice- a Father’s voice- directing for the best. Oh for the peace of a perfect trust, a heart with thee at rest.”

I will continue to ask in prayer… maybe what I want is His will for me…. I know Padre Pio, I know…

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Peace in the Silence

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

We live in a noisy world.  Television, cell phones, music…. No one wants to be without some form of electronic device that can entertain them and fill their heads with color, pictures and sound. What are we afraid of? To be caught in a moment of silence? Even I bring my ipod nano with me when I ride the bike trail. I enjoy the beautiful nature with a soundtrack of my choosing, which does happen to be Christian rock. Yet, I could be just enjoying the moment of the wind in my ears.  The birds singing, the leaves clapping in the trees. I also blast Christian rock while driving in the car. LOUD. Banging my head to the new Red Cd. Hey like I said, it’s Christian rock. I am praising the Lord. …But I could be quiet. I could be praying. I could be still and spend a quiet moment with God.

We are missing moments of peace. Quiet times to just be with the Lord in the silence.

There are moments when reading something, watching something or being somewhere brings me great peace. Last night I watched only half of the documentary “Into Great Silence” and I felt that quiet joyful peace flood through me.

What an amazingly beautiful movie about the everyday lives of Carthusian monks of the Grande Chartreuse, high in the French Alps. These holy men live their lives simply in silence, work and prayer. The documentary was beautifully shot by director Philip Gröning. Whether he caught the corner or a room, a plate dripping in the sink or a tree covered in snow there was a great awe and magnificence about the place. I can see why the documentary is considered a work of art and won several awards.

I know in our fast paced “entertain me!” world many people would find the film dull and boring. As the movie slowly began I almost turned it off and looked for something more “entertaining.” But I am glad I didn’t. I found great peace watching the monks enjoy their peaceful quiet lives. At one point it came upon me (a still small voice, whisper) that it would be an amazing experience to pray the rosary while watching the movie since there was hardly any sound (though they did sing/chant). Wow. Yes. Peace. A Holy Spirit moment as I sat and watched and prayed. Joy.

While watching …idea of loving and serving God, the meaning of life, came upon me. These men lived their lives for God. In beautiful enveloping silence. This was true service. And though I know many think they are “wasting” their lives when they could be “doing something to help others” (as someone said to me once when I told them about the amazing  Primitive Franciscans)… I do believe they have the most important and best job in the world. Praising God in the silence of a monastery (or convent) and praying for us all. Lord knows, we noisy creatures, need it!

So ssshhhhh… sit in silence. Sit with God. Listen. He is always speaking to you.

 

“In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.” Blessed Mother Teresa

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” Blessed Mother Teresa

“What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue, for the language he best hears is silent love.” 

–St John of the Cross, OCD

“In silence and quiet the devout soul advances in virtue and learns the hidden truths of Scripture.”

Imitation of Christ  Thomas a Kempis

“It is best to learn to silence the faculties and to cause them to be still, so that God may speak.”

–St John of the Cross

Here is a poem I wrote after watching the movie….

Joyful Silence

Smooth stones

            weathered by

                        water, time, love

   sit smiling

                        gazing heavenward

                                                praising Him

            listening

                                    pregnant with joyful

                        silence.

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Joy

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              “Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!”  Psalms 47:1             

So I realized I had not written my blog in about a month… been busy… and I should be cleaning my house right now (I have been so busy that I have not done that either)… but this was on my heart today and I feel I need to share. When God gives you an idea you go with it….

What makes you happy? Wait. Scratch that. Forget happy. What brings you joy?  JOY. For joy is more than happy. Joy is something that God… the Holy Spirit, gives you. A gift. 

Where do you go or what do you do to bring you to a place where you find peace and joy? A place or an activity that you feel closest to God?  A couple years ago I realized my town had a bike trail. My neighbor was getting rid of her teenage daughter’s bike (yay free!) so I grabbed it and started riding. The bike trail is beautiful. It goes right by beautiful marshes filled with birds and other wildlife.

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 “Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD…” Psalms 96:11-13

Awesome. I then acquired an ipod nano and uploaded all my Christian rock (yes… Christian rock!!! Woot!). I listen to artists such as Matt Maher, Audrey Assad, Third Day, MercyMe, Kutless, The David Crowder Band, Brandon Heath, Laura Story, Toby Mac… (there are more) and my new favorite Red.

The bike trail is only about a mile from my house…. So off I go… I ride and sing …and smile as I enjoy the scenery and the beautiful weather. This is my joyful place.

Sure I should be communing with God in silence… but listening (and singing along) to this worship music is praising God so I feel very close to Him while riding my bike. This morning I listened to Laura Story’s cd “Blessings” and by the third song I was almost weeping at the beauty of the message.

The other day while riding I had Kutless on shuffle and I swear the Holy Spirit was in charge of the order of the songs because I was blown away by every song. Amazing. It was a joyful bike ride.

With everything we do we should do it for and with the Lord. Practicing the presence of God (Br. Lawrence) and walking hand in hand with the Lord (St Catherine of Bologna). Imagining Jesus on a bike, in his robes, is kind of a funny visual, but that just adds to the joy of the moment. Ha! …But a better visual ~I think of the Holy Spirit flying along besides me as I ride. There are moments on the bike trail when I am coasting that I just let go of the handle bars and lift my arms up in praise… with a big grin on my face.

Today I finished my bike ride with MercyMe’s song “Hold On” LOVE that song!!! JOY!

 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13

(ps I tried to post songs… but word press is giving me a hard time today…)

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