Forget multitasking, which I can do quite well, calm demeanor and deadpan delivery intact. My new job is all about new everything: new digs, new clothes, new state of mind. “I don’t know.” “Could you please explain?” “I’m not sure.” While I have sailed through most of life on my wit, tenacity, and imagination, my new job requires so much more humility, big-picture thinking, and energy than I have ever been asked to give. It’s good for me.
I love kids. I love books. I loved being in front of the classroom. But it was too easy. I needed to occupy my time with extra duties and mentoring newer teachers. I needed the added responsibility of church leadership. And yes, at one point, I thought I needed personal life drama. In so many ways, I have chosen to go back to square one. Every day, I realize I need to ask better questions, to seek out mentorship, to strategize. I have purposely put myself in a position of great power–and vulnerability. My heart pounds when I have to address teachers. But I am learning.
The hyperactivity in my thoughts has leveled off, productively channelled into my work. No more worrying about phone calls that came weeks too late. No more settling for a date simply because I was asked to one. This past weekend, Angelic and I went to a recollection(a one-day retreat) where I read my book about the Prayer of Jabez. The prayer comes from Chronicles and one version is:
O Lord that you would bless me indeed
O that you would expand my territory
O that your hand would be with me
O that you would keep me from evil.
I began praying it on Sunday and plan to incorporate it into my daily prayers. Apparently, like the practices advocated by The Purpose-Driven Life or the ritual of the Liturgy of the Hours, the Prayer of Jabez helps you on a daily basis and millions swear by it.
For me, the Prayer of Jabez encapsulates all that is happening to me right now. I am blessed with everything I could want: family, friends, job, health. I have been given an opportunity to learn and perhaps, with my efforts, shine in a new way. I trust that God protects me in all ways. I know that He kept me in check this summer, that despite my characteristic restlessness, I was good. I even developed new personal standards for myself and held to them.
A lot has changed and I am happy that I am open to doing so.
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