Saturday, June 20, 2015

I Haven't Opened A Charter School

Have I mentioned that I am reading Jen Hatmaker’s new book? It is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. There simply are not words to express my love for this literary work of heart wonder.

I just finished re-reading her third chapter, “On Calling and Haitian Moms” for the fifth time.  For the last 45 minutes I have attempted to provide you with a synopsis of her biblical benchmark: If it isn’t true for a poor single Christian mom in Haiti, it isn’t true.  Since I am not Jen Hatmaker, I have failed at this endeavor.  So I will just tell you, for the nine billionth time, that you must purchase and read, For the Love. P.S. – She is also doing an audio book in her very own voice so if you are not a reader you can still win at life by hearing her words.

I have decided I need to re-read the seven pages from this chapter, every morning for the rest of my living, breathing days. Because I have struggled with my “calling” for most of my adult life.

In college, I dreamed of opening a charter school.  It was going to be awesome and change the world and eliminate poverty for children and families everywhere.  The children would love learning and the parents love everything and the teachers would love teaching and best practices would flow out of the air vents.  There was a lot more to this dream, but I will leave you with that for now.

Instead I have done other things.  I taught first and second grades (because I needed some experience for this charter school).  I worked in an enrichment center (because I needed some experience for this charter school). I married a precious man.  I earned my master's degree (because I needed some more college for this charter school).  My precious man and me conceived triplets, I birthed them, and we parent them. 

The parenting and keeping alive of triplets pretty much takes up most of my time these days.  So there has not been much action in the area of charter school opening (or dreaming or planning) over the last six years.  I love this life and would not trade it for the charter school dream.  I believe parenting is THE most important job anyone could every offer this planet.

But sometimes I feel like a failure because I have not transformed this "calling" into a reality.  And sometimes I feel unworthy of my education, my upbringing, the time and effort poured into me by my parents and teachers and mentors.  I ask myself often, “What I have done with all that I have been given?  How have I made the world better with all my blessings?”

I hope this paragraph from her book will help you as much as it has helped me:
A worthy life involves loving as loved folks do, sharing the ridiculous mercy God spoiled us with first.  (It really is ridiculous.) It means restoring people, in ordinary conversations and regular encounters.  A worthy life means showing up when showing up is the only thing do to.  Goodness bears itself out in millions of ordinary ways across the globe, for the rich and poor, the famous and unknown, in enormous measures and tiny, holy moments.  It may involve a career and it may not.  It may include traditional components and it may not.
I will let you take a breath from that and let it sink in. Give yourself a minute.

What if all of us stopped worrying about the big gestures and started focusing on the things we can  do EVERYDAY, EVERYWHERE?  To all of you who struggle with the “calling” and the “worthy life,” let’s make a pact.  Let’s love like God loves.  Let’s listen to those who hurt when they share their struggles.  Let’s agree to be present and near when those we love need us.  Because according Jen Hatmaker, “Calling is virtually never big or famous work; that is rarely the way the kingdom comes.”

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