The to-do list for today was longer than a normal Saturday and I was still not feeling 100%. So, in typical Jessica fashion, I vented on my Facebook status about the four major things I had to do today. When I returned home after aerobics class (major thing #1), I read a friend's reply to my status. She said, "I pray you survive."
The thought occurred to me that survival is not the issue here. I have no doubt that, barring an unforeseen accident, I would be alive long enough to see tomorrow morning. That was not the problem. The problem was how I wanted to live today.
It's one thing to hole up in your room, and drown the world. It's entirely another to face a day like today and to do so in faith. To live the day, not just survive. So it has been with today, but I think God used yesterday to prepare me.
Yesterday marked day one of two that my boss, the school principal and high school teacher, would be out of town. I walked in to school fairly confident in my ability to handle a Friday without her. Within ten minutes, my confidence was faltering. I was standing in the school hallway with a parent halfway down my throat, reeming me out about how horrible of a teacher I was, etc, etc, etc.
Four years ago, I would have returned the favor and been halfway down hers. God's timing is perfect though, that morning I had read about how even a fool is regarded as wise when he keeps his mouth shut. I proceeded to listen to her for the next ten minutes, keeping my mouth shut, letting her vent off steam that probably resulted from dealing with the child she had to deal with. She ended the conversation by informing me that it was my job to teach and her job to deal with her child, and that I should do my job and she would do hers. Then, she left.
I proceeded to go into the office and exhale. I don't recall breathing the entire time she was talking to me. I let out a few tears because it is hard for me to not defend myself. I want to come back with this crass argument and tell her that her child's issues are not my problem. I can't, and that is humbling for me, because, in a situation like this, and a few others in my life, God has to be my defense. I have no choice.
After school started, I opened my e-mail, and God smiled. While one parent was raking me over the coals, another had sat down to write an e-mail of appreciation. She wrote about her child and how the staff had helped her child do much better in school. She thanked me for the time I had given her child, who is one of my 'focus' students. Guess maybe I'm not a scum-of-the-earth teacher after all, huh?
All of that yesterday prepared me to face all of this today.
After aerobics class this morning, mom and I went shopping. Our church is doing Thanksgiving baskets for needy families in our church and there is one family in particular I wanted to ensure had a basket. In order to do that, I bought them their basket. It's not like I am some rich person. Honestly, I was using money I do not have. I turned to my mother and said, tongue-in-cheek, "Why did you have to give me such a giving heart?"
The woman in charge of the baskets thought the same thing. When we arrived at the church she looked at my mother and said, "Here we were going to extend the food to give a basket to you guys and you are out shopping for people!" I guess, for us, it is part of faith. For now, we are blessed. We have a roof over our heads, a well-stocked pantry. We are fine. We are blessed, and are pretty intent on blessing others even if it draws blood from our bank. We'll be ok. God has always taken care of us.
Living the day.
After packing the baskets, we went to shop for my cousin's bridal shower. It's a bit of a rough situation, and for reasons unknown to me this particular cousin and I have a rough relationship. As we walked through the store, I was trying to think of the most practical thing to get her (because I am a huge practical person). My mom and I finally decided to pitch in together to get her something. We are now getting ready to head over to the shower, but the whole time I have been thinking about today. It hasn't been that bad.
In fact, sometime between doing the bulletin and shopping for the bridal shower, my headache and other ailments subsided. Now, I feel fine. I would say I have survived but there are still many hours left in today. I will say this though, it is one thing to make it through a day, it is another to make it through the day with your faith still intact. That's probably the hardest part of all of this.
At the end of the day, what will people say about me?
Bigger Than Life- 4Him
Life – sometimes such a bully. It sneaks up and knocks us to the ground. Life – seems to show no mercy. Well It laughs at us and kicks us when we’re down.
Well I’ve been there in it’s shadow and the time has taught me this, if we look over its shoulder, we’ll see that our God is
Bigger than life. Bigger than anything that comes our way. Bigger than life. Bigger than any problems we might face. Our God is so amazing beyond all we can say so hearts of faith take courage come what may. He’s bigger than life.
We, we all have had our bruises when life has led us to a painful place. Time and again hasn’t our God proven, He can handle any struggles that we face?
Well He’ll be the same tomorrow as He’s been through all the years so even when this life’s not fair, we have no cause to fear."