Not this time. If I am not mistaken, in a matter of 3 days after Hurricane Sandy hit, I recieved about 10 emails. Each of them started with the desperate need for volunteers to help. Around email # 7 I finally hit the "I Volunteer" button. [I would love to say it was with passion but more like out of regret.] Not really expecting to hear anything [or maybe scared of what I might hear] I also emailed the contact at my church about any opportunities. His reponse? "Can you leave this Wednesday?"
What did I say to him? What did I say to God? Yes. I will go. Here Lord, please send me. After all, I look around and I have a beautiful house, I spent Thanksgiving inside with family and friends, and I was able to rake 14 tons of leaves [no lie] out of my yard. What right do I have to say no to helping someone else clean up what is left of their home...their town...maybe their life?
I learned, that Wednesday night at M-Fuge two years ago, as I watched the youth in praise, that I spent a lot of time running from God's voice. I didn't listen. [Not a shock to my husband or my daddy.] Even when He spoke louder and more urgently I chose to ignore. But that night I listened to His voice in my head and He told me to get it together. To be a better mother. To be a better wife. To be a better person. And He said that I should listen when He is asking things of me...and to stop living my life worrying about what might happen.
I will be leaving this coming Wednesday for a 4 day trip to New Jersey to aid with mudouts and recovery. I don't tell you this to fish for compliments. I say all this because it is part of my witness...it is who I am. Helping others is what I am supposed to do...it's one of my gifts. I believe that is why I am a teacher. [Now I know the paycheck is outstanding but let's get some perspective here people.] So help others I will because doing it my way and living that life of not listening to God's call just wasn't working for me or those that I affected. [My favorite coach calls that our bubble - we should take care of the people in our bubble.] I have been helped in soooo many ways in my life ~ why wouldn't I choose to help someone in need? How can I teach my own children to respond to those who are helpless if I'm not willing to show them how that is done?
Will I miss my family? I cannot tell you how much it pains me to think that I will be gone from them for four days. We are a tight bunch [look at Ducky Dynasty - us rednecks are close] and they depend on me. I have no doubt that Craig will take super good care of them but they still depend on me. We depend on each other. But I know that God's going to take care of all of us and that we're all sleeping under the same big sky.
My other concern was for my "other" children. [No...none that you don't already know about.] If you are a teacher then you are with me on this one: it ain't easy leaving sub plans and activities for your babies at school...trust me. I have an awesome sub so I'm not worried about that part but finding things that my students will do and that will be worthwhile [hopefully not 3 days full of crappy worksheets] is the challenge. I have a responsibility to facilitate learning [according to this workshop deal we are no longer "teachers" but facilitators of learning] and to make sure my job continues despite my absence.
I hate springing subs on them when I know I'm going to be out so I shared what I was going to do with them...and I wasn't quite prepared for their reactions. Several of them clapped [I think it was for me helping with clean up versus me being gone. I'll keep thinking that.....], I heard several of them say, "That's cool" [which is like winning the lottery to a teacher], and a couple of them asked me what I might be doing up there. God is good and he's eased my fears about leaving them....they will be fine without me for a few days.
One of them ask me was I going to visit Jersey Shore and Pauly D. [I am ashamed that I even knew what they were talking about even though I've never, ever watched the show.] I told them that I had no intentions of meeting Snooki and her new baby or figuring out why the Situation has that absurd name. However, if I were venturing down to Louisiana then I would most definitely have to meet the Robertsons and eat some of Miss Kay's fried squirrel brains [or probably not]. "No, I will not be meeting the
Gabe asked tonight if I was going to come home before Christmas. Bless his little, tiny baby heart. [It's no wonder the boy is rotten to the core ~ little, tiny, baby heart?] "Yes, Gabester I will be home for Christmas." He just smiled and gave me super sweet kisses all over my forehead. Then he asked was he going to get a prize :)
As always, life as a Short is simply grand :)