Monday, November 4, 2013

Tuna for Breakfast

Well, the honeymoon is over. Don’t act like you don’t know what I mean. 
In early August I was setting my alarm for 5AM, and stopping at Starbucks for breakfast every morning. I felt kind of sad on Friday’s because it meant I had to go two whole days away from my students. And, I had the most awesome stash of school supplies. Ever. You’d have been jealous….just saying. 


I stopped taking showers in the morning so I could sleep until 5:45, I eat left over tuna for breakfast, and yesterday when we ran out of tissues in the classroom, I handed a student a two week old napkin from my purse for his nose blowing needs...And I’m working on my campaign for four-day weekends. 

Now, maybe you’re thinking these aren’t good things to admit (and you might be right…so don’t judge me). But, the thing is, I’m just being honest. Don’t get me wrong, I still love love love my job with all my heart. Seriously. Here’s the thing though: when the honeymoon is over and reality sets in, life gets a bit more difficult.  You start to realize that it’s not all happy, mushy, ooey-gooey goodness all the time — the sparkles are gone and the newness has worn off and you’re left with hard work.  And when the warm fuzzies have packed up and gone home, hard work can make a person feel like a real failure. 

Last week I had a rough few days. I didn’t show up for a meeting because I forgot about it, I jammed the copy machine three one day. I snapped at a student because he asked for paper. I was late everyday but Tuesday. And the list goes on. By Thursday I found myself with my head in my hands feeling defeated. That little voice of doubt crept in and began to feed me the same old lines: “You’re not good enough. You don’t deserve to be here. You aren’t qualified for this position. You’re a terrible teacher. This is too hard for you...” blah, blah, blah... I’m ashamed to admit though, that I bought in rather quickly. 

The enemy’s tactics are covert like that. He’s sneaky. He shows up in my doubt until my thoughts about myself and others become contaminated, he twists kind words into suspicion and uncertainty, and he distorts my perception. He doesn’t shout big lies, he whispers little ones. It can be a hard road until you learn not to believe everything he says. 

I’m still learning, but I hope that by reading this you might understand what I’ve recently started to grasp myself: that relying on my own ability is a recipe for disaster. On my own I’m not good enough. I’ll never measure up.  But, thankfully, Jesus so sweetly reminded me this week that my value doesn’t come from measuring up to the teacher across the hall. It doesn’t come from being able to navigate the overly complicated copy machine control panel. It doesn’t even come from having a “perfect” day in which I don’t lose my temper or become frustrated by well meaning people around me. It doesn’t come from anything I can accomplish on my own. My worth comes from the God who loves me even in my hot mess...the God who cleans up my hot mess. In his eyes, I am already worthy. Even on my particularly crummy days. My worth isn’t anchored to any of the tangible things that the world says I need or have to accomplish; it comes from the knowledge that I belong to a Father who loves me where I am, and yet refuses to leave me where he found me.

So, even if you jam the copy machine. Even if it takes you a month to grade 70 essays. Even if you eat fish for breakfast, trade your morning shower for thirty extra minutes of sleep, and occasionally show up late (well, you should really probably try not to do that last one, but you get my point…). Even in all of these shortcomings, in Christ, you are good enough. You are not a failure. You have worth. 

Believe it.  

“As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one…” Romans 3:10

“...but despite all this, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us.” Romans 8:37


  1. Oh wow, thanks for sharing that. Life has a way of becoming difficult. I kind of equate it to a stubborn two year old. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it just keeps throwing it's toys at you.
    You are right though - God takes our hot mess selves and still chooses to use us for good! I'm pretty sure he's a bit crazy - he obviously hasn't seen my life! I guess that's the beauty of Grace though huh?!

    Thanks so much - I hope that you are encouraged by how much this encouraged me!!!!!

    The E-Z Class

    1. Thanks so much, Erin -- I AM encouraged that this encouraged you :) God is a bit crazy...but what do we know?


  2. Girl I'm with honeymoon period is over too. These high schoolers are getting a bit too sassy for my taste. And I'm tired of spending my own money on school supplies. But I have to believe that it will get better, or I'll find a way to look past the negative and focus on the positive...that's the best medicine. Try this book: Morning Meetings with Jesus: 180 Devotionals for Teachers. I read it every morning, in my classroom, to get the day started right.

    Tales of Teaching in Heels

    1. It is so hard to look for the positive! Some days I have this mentality that if one thing goes wrong it's a crapshoot from there on out -- but, with God's help I'm changing my outlook. There are precious moments to be savored if we take a different perspective. I have seen that devotional and almost bought it recently. I may just sneak it into my Amazon basket :)

  3. Hi Emily! I am so excited to have caught up with your blog. I have thought of you so much since way back when you wrote about how you said "maked." :) I knew right from that post that you would be such a great, kind, real teacher. You are making such a difference in your students' lives- even though minute by minute it might seem like CHAOS! I cannot imagine teaching that age! But you just never know with them what will jump out and be the moment they remember. I always am praying on my way to school that God lets me be exactly who he needs me to be for exactly the people who need me that day. You have such a great outlook. You are right. You are perfect in God's eyes and God knows your heart. Oh my gosh, do you KNOW how many times I have jammed the copy machine?! So glad to "catch up." :)
    Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together

    1. Hi Carolyn! Just so you know, your encouragement means so much :)

      Since reading this comment I've made it a habit to pray that God would help me be exactly who he needs me to be. The listening part is hard but the reward is great. It is chaos but I love it. Also, I can't imagine teaching kindergarten! So glad that we each have a specific purpose and calling ;-)