The Table: April Recap

The end of the school year brings along so much craziness.  Finals, standardized testing, graduations, with every grade comes along different stresses and a seemingly endless list of reasons to be anxious.  It was no surprise that stress and anxiety were the focus of our April conversation at The Table.

In the book of Matthew, Jesus says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  As a teacher, there is never a time more fitting for this verse than in the middle of STAAR testing.

Unfortunately, being a believer doesn’t mean that we are somehow immune to stress.  We do, however, have a way of coping that is unknown to those who are not in Christ.  We have a hope, an endgame, a truth that tells us, in the end, it will all be okay.  In the end, you are not in control.  You cannot fix these children, you cannot solve all of their problems.  All you can do is love them with the love given to you in Jesus, and trust that in the end, their lives are in the hands of someone much more capable than ourselves.

So at the end of the school year, that is the truth that I cling to.  STAAR tests are over, lessons have been taught, some TEKS have been covered and some were never mentioned, and what’s done is done.  As my first group of students finish their last days in my classroom, and as they move onto middle school, I have faith in something and someone so much greater than myself and anything I am capable of doing or teaching.

So, teachers, let this be your hope, let this be your vision, your endgame.  You have loved your students, you have worked yourself to the ground all year long, and your students are better off because of you.  Regardless of what academia they have learned this year, they have encountered someone who knows Jesus, and they have seen Him reflected in you.  The stress and anxiety of their futures is not on your shoulders.  It is in the hands of the One who created you, who created your students, and who gave himself for us.  We can rest.

 


 

The Table has wrapped up monthly happy hours for the school year, and I have been so blessed by the beginning of this group.  There is talk of a summer book club, for anyone who is interested in participating, check out the Facebook group for more discussion around that.  We will start back up with happy hours again in August or September, and I am very much looking forward to the goodness and margaritas that lie ahead.

 

 


The Beginning of The Table

This week was our first happy hour with The Table.  I’m going to be honest, I was nervous.  I knew I would feel this way.  Jesus planted a dream in my heart and I jumped head first into planning it, just like I usually do.  I began planning and organizing, confident in the goodness of what Jesus had in store.  I knew the confidence wouldn’t last, and lies would sneak in.

The weeks and days leading up, I was nervous.  I questioned whether this was worth it, whether I had the time to organize anything, whether people would even show up.  But as anyone who knows Jesus could tell you, questioning His goodness and His plan is never a worthwhile activity.  He is good, always.  He shows up, always.  And so he did on Thursday.

We had a small group, which is almost always a gift.  A gift wrapped up with temptations of doubt and insecurity, yes, but at it’s core its a gift of intimacy, a gift of being known and heard.

It was a beautiful and diverse group, truly representing education across our city.  We had teachers spanning all the way through school system: teachers from pre school, elementary, middle school, high school, and college.  Sit in the power of that for a moment.  At every stage of development, a student in Austin has the opportunity to encounter Christ.  A teacher spending her days with three year olds sat across the table from a college professor, and they asked the same questions.  How can we give our students a glimpse of Jesus?  How can we love our students with a love that reaches beyond ourselves?  A three year old student is encountering the same gift as an overwhelmed college senior: a teacher who is praying for them, a teacher who is actively seeking Christ within this crazy school system.

Over queso and margaritas, we shared introductions and stories, struggles and dreams of what this group could be.  We talked about the struggles of balancing our own spiritual health, (something I’ve really struggled with this year), sharing grace with our students, and the power of prayer.

One of the most powerful take-aways I had from this week was the idea that while we can’t explicitly share the Gospel in our classrooms, we love differently, and our students recognize it.  Even the littlest of our students see something different and something good in us, something that can only come from Christ.  Whether they know what that love is yet or not, we can let go of our control and trust the One who called us in the first place.  Ultimately, Jesus doesn’t even need us, He just allows us to join Him in this gloriously messy mission field that is the public school system.

 

So, what’s next for The Table?  This week I will be beginning an email list of teachers interested in the group, via this survey, trying to figure out the best ways for this group to meet and to serve each other.  We have big dreams of continuing this group, and even talked about the possibilities of bringing in guests to share multiple perspectives and wisdom with us.  Our next happy hour will be Thursday, April 28th.  Mark your calendars!  I will send out details on time, place, and topics of discussion once I have some feedback from the group.

 

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take a minute to fill out the survey if you’re interested in The Table!

 

A special thanks to those who made it to the first happy hour.  I feel so blessed by this group already.

 


Prayers, Dreams, & The Merging of Passions

This year has been an adventure.  A rollercoaster, really.  Trying to figure out who I am as an adult has not been as easy thing.  A handful of passions pulling me in different directions has left me trying to figure out: how in the world do all of these things fit together?

There are three big things that I have been trying to balance and pursue:

  • teaching (something all of my energy has been going towards)
  • my relationship with Christ
  • writing and blogging (this blog, as you can see, has been nearly abandoned)

So how do all of these things fit together?  This has been a prayer of mine for awhile now, and I am so excited to share it with the world.  Welcome to The Table.  Come to the Table: A Gathering of Teachers, is the result of Jesus calling me to pursue Him through every avenue available to me, and to pull others alongside me in this pursuit.

The Table is a gathering of Christian teachers.  It’s a meeting place to further dialogue about loving our kids through Christ and pursuing grace and life through an exhausting and rewarding career.  Teaching is a calling, and following Christ is a calling, and it’s time to talk about what that means for teachers working in public schools.

The Table will meet every fourth Thursday at restaurants and happy hours in Austin to gather, dialogue, support and pray for one another.  Are you interested in joining in on my big project?  You can read more here, at the newest section of this blog.

Join our Facebook group, and RSVP to our first happy hour on March 24th.  Both the event and the group will remain “secret” for the sake of your privacy.

Will you join me in prayer as this newest project comes to fruition?  I am so excited to see what Jesus has in store for us.

 

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”  Matthew 18:20