So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

 

For the first time in a while, I feel good about my work. I feel confident. I have a purpose and a desire to be there. I am able and adequate. 

Even so, there is that one person at work. That person rips all my confidence down.

That person gives me a sense of dread whenever I am close to seeing them. That person keeps me up at nights with thoughts swirling through my head. That person gives me those feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and stress, simply for doing my job. 

I come to work prepared and eager to teach my students the curriculum for that day. I am excited to enlighten their minds, make them think, and help them to understand the world a bit more. I take a long, large sip out of my hot coffee as I look over my thought-out plans for the day. The peace before the storm of students is a time I cherish. 

It is then when she comes in. She says ‘Good Morning’ in a chipper tone, yet follows with a sarcastic question ‘another day eh?’  I want to respond with ‘yes!’ but instead I follow her strong sarcasm with a chuckle. Before I can say anything else she takes a glance at my desk and scoffs at my plans. She lays out a comment about how I won’t be able to complete a specific task, how my science lesson doesn’t make sense, or how my math project won’t work. She then reminds me of circumstances that will surely make my day worse. With a cheery good-bye, she has found multiple ways to make my self-assurance disappear, my joy be deflated, and my positivity turn to the opposite.

She has succeeded. My day is no longer what I had planned. I now question my plans and my ideas. I question that I can even do this job at all. For the rest of the day, I am inadequate and completely wrong for my position.

I wish I could go back home…under the covers. I was not meant for this – I cannot do this. 

How can one person make me feel this way? How can one person tear me down so easily, day after day? The better question is: How can I let them?

It is up to me. It is always up to me. Do I choose to hear their condescending voice? Do I choose to believe the words of opposition? I do – for a long time. Slowly I feel less and less able, less and less worthy, less and less acceptable. My self no longer stays as it was. 

The discouragement and scorn takes me into deep feelings of weakness and failure.

Where does my strength come from? My strength comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. (Ps. 121:1)

The Lord is my strength. People may tear me down day after day, but I must look to the Lord for strength. It is not people I aim to please, it is only the Lord. Can I ignore this voice around me hoping to bring me down in one way or another, for her gain or pleasure?

 I can with the help of my Lord.

Feature Image Courtesy jamesAnn Photography

Esther Vandersluis

Esther is a Canadian writing from Hamilton, Ontario, living in a sea of pink as a girl mom to three. Find her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/beautifulalarm) where you will find writing for stay-at-home moms, moms with littles, sleep-deprived moms, moms feeding babies, and babies with failure to thrive, all under the umbrella of faith in Jesus Christ.

When Life Feels Hard, Sit in the Light

In: Faith
book plate and mug sitting in light on a table

Because of the way our house sits, there isn’t a lot of natural light that flows into our home. As a girl who loves the sun and works at home, this has been a problem, especially in the winter months. I often find myself identifying deeply with my dog, who walks around the house in search of patches of sunlight to lay in. In fact, there is a section of my kitchen where I often sit and do my devotions because the sun shines down on me—a physical reminder of God’s love and presence. The first time I did this...

Keep Reading

Jesus of the Rock Bottom Rescue

In: Faith, Living
Sad woman sitting on floor

Have you ever hit rock bottom? I have and it was the scariest place I’ve ever been but that’s where I found Jesus. Where I truly encounter the Holy Spirit and the healing power and life He can give. I was raised in a Christian home by good parents that would have given their lives for me. I was raised in the church and loved by my church family. I enjoyed going to church as a child and I loved Jesus my whole life. At the age of 8 years old I asked Jesus into my heart and was baptized....

Keep Reading

While I Wait for Another Door to Open, I’ll Hold One For Someone Else

In: Faith, Living
Woman teaching another woman by computer

I’m waiting for another door. All my life, I’ve been told that when God closes one door, He opens another. And here I am, staring at the imminent end of the business I’ve built from nothing. Closing down what I started up from sheer willpower, too much caffeine, and the bold determination to work for myself. Scratching out what I made from scratch . . . and it feels horrible. God didn’t just close this door. He slammed it shut, boarded the whole thing up, and hammered the nails in where I cannot pry them open. Believe me. I’ve tried....

Keep Reading

Separating Work From Home is a Must For Me

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom with baby smiling

If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 11-year-old boy with his pale feet sticking out from under the blanket, on his way to the morgue after a gun accident.   If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the still, blue form of the 3-month-old who passed away in his sleep. We gave CPR and all the medicines “just in case,” but that baby was gone long before his caregiver brought him in through the door. If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 3-year-old...

Keep Reading

When Teens Are Hard to Love, You Love Them Harder

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy sitting with hood up

I lay face down on the floor, praying. Praying in the loosest sense of the word. Praying in the Romans 8:26 way—you know, when the Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Because I could not utter any actual coherent thoughts at that point. I was weary and beaten down. Day after day I had been in combat, battling an opponent I didn’t anticipate: one of my children. My own child, one of the people I had lovingly grown inside my body and loved sacrificially for all these years, had staunchly and repeatedly put himself in opposition...

Keep Reading

In This Stage of Marriage, it Feels Like We’re Roommates Who Share the Same Kids

In: Faith, Marriage
Distant couple on phones in bed

How do you get it back? How do you get back the love you once had? Everyone told me marriage was hard and having kids was hard, but I had no idea it would be this hard. I thought everyone was lying because our relationship was solid before marriage. We were best friends. Some days I feel like we’re roommates who share the same kids. It disgusts me even to say that, but it’s the truth. Marriage is hard and has ugly sides to it that everyone seems afraid to talk about. RELATED: Keep Showing Up Even When Marriage is...

Keep Reading

You Are the God of Details, but God These Details Don’t Make Sense

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Window open with shutters

That was not the plan. What just happened in there? We walked out a bit defeated. More than a bit. I felt deflated. Things were supposed to be different by now. This wasn’t what I asked for or expected. This wasn’t even what they told me would happen. We cross the street in silence. Headed to the car and as soon as I shut the car door, I could no longer hold it in. I let the tears flow. All this unknown. I don’t understand. This is life. This is foster care. This is what we chose. That doesn’t make...

Keep Reading

I Am a Good Enough Mom

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother kissing toddler

I came to motherhood knowing nothing about the job. My mother’s example wasn’t an example at all, more of something to forget, and maybe even get therapy for. My own son was the first newborn I’d ever held. When I became a mom, I was 23 and clueless.  Because of my personality, I wanted to do everything right and parenthood was no exception. I read all the books on parenting I could. I talked to older moms and soaked up all the advice they gave me. Having no idea what I was doing made me look to outside sources to inform...

Keep Reading

God’s Plan For Me Wasn’t What I Expected

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman walking with children silhouette

I grew up in a family where we knew who God was. We went to church, and we were involved in church. However, when we weren’t at church, time spent in the Word fell to the wayside. Don’t get me wrong, my parents were wonderful people, but we didn’t make that a priority in my house.  Going into adulthood, I realized I had deceived myself into believing I had a relationship with God. I knew God loved me, but I questioned whether I loved Him. I wasn’t living life in a way that was glorifying to Him. I’m not only...

Keep Reading

But God is Still Good

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking out window

“I can’t afford a new one,” I thought to myself as I shampooed another stain. This can’t keep happening. Maybe I made a mistake. I have to make this last. And the couch. And the clothes. And all the things. We are done having babies. The price of food has doubled. It’s astronomical to fill the cars with gas. Things are closing in on me. How can I best serve my family? Survival mode engaged. When I read the news, when I follow the headlines, when I listen to the conversations around me . . .  I hear fear. Loss....

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.