The Bitter and the Sweet

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted.

Months really.

It’s been a crazy, busy year. Transitional, in many respects. No excuse for not writing though, except that maybe I wasn’t sure what to say.

But today I woke up knowing I needed to write.

In the next few weeks I will put a final period at the end of a creatively fueled twenty-two year-long-run-on sentence that has been a central expression of who I am. After spending my entire adult life actively engaged in the lives of little ones – teaching, nurturing, laughing and loving – I’m going to step away from the public school arena. And as the day draws closer, my emotions seem to be stuck on overdrive.







So very, very humble.

But don’t think that this reflection is going to have an ideological veil thrown over it blanketing the past two decades in fairy dust and magic. I won’t profess that every child in my class clawed her way out of the D range to make it to the honor roll. That every broken spirit was miraculously repaired with a well-timed smile, a hug or a kind word. Trust me when I tell you, not every parent signed up to be my biggest cheerleader.

But even so, most of those twenty-two years were so very, very good. In many ways they were excellent. And in truth, those pruning years, the difficult ones, were the years I grew the most.




And for that, I am forever grateful.

This summer I will pressing into a new space. After a few years of wrestling with the call God has placed on my life, I am stepping into new ministry.

Is being obedient scary?

Of course.

Is it going to be worth it?

My heart of hearts says, “Totally!”

My want-to-worry flesh says, “Hopefully.”

The Spirit within me calls out, “Trust Me.”

So now my life seems to be a simultaneous process of excitedly looking forward, while steadfastly trying to remain present to all the moments I’ve been given now.

As in today.

It’s tough. Trying to live the Matthew 6:34 principal rubs against my teacher planning, “think ahead” self. So I’ve had to make a conscious choice to remain present. To let tomorrow worry about itself.

Every day people ask me, “How many more days?”

And every day I can truthfully answer, “I’m not counting.”

I’m not counting, because I don’t want to cheat even one little one out of the best I have to offer.

I’m not counting, because even in these last few days I’m trying to soak up every bit of the bitter and sweet that is left to be savored.

Because I know that’s the real blessing of obedience. The awareness that it takes both the bitter and the sweet to experience the beauty of the journey.



4 thoughts on “The Bitter and the Sweet

  1. I understand COMPLETELY!

    I stepped away from teaching after just over 20 years, too. Well, I had to. And luckily, I was given a calling with an even wider reach.
    I, too, never regretted a moment with the children in my classrooms. And like you, I didn’t reach them all; and all those parents weren’t fans. But I did make a difference in a lot of their lives. And that was because the Spirit was in me before I ever knew He was there.

    So congratulations. Enjoy these last few days. Hug them all and pray for them. And feel deeply the joy and anticipation of the next step and the path He is leading you on. How wonderful He has plans for us, walks with us forever. 😀

    • Thank-you for your encouragement, Susan. It means a lot coming from another teacher! I really am excited about the future, but leaving behind a job that I love is hard. God is calling me to become a pastor and I have been in the clergy candidacy program this past year. This summer I begin the licensing process and then more graduate school. This is never something I thought I would do, especially at this point in my life, but being in God’s will is where I want to be. I have no idea what the future looks like except that I know Jesus is there.😀

      • What exciting news.
        Well, if you can shepherd elementary school children… 😀
        I wish you all God’s blessings and provision.

        If you’d like more encouragement 1:1 and want to talk more about life after teaching, my email is
        I’d love to stay in touch and share our journeys.

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