Day 7 – 40 Days Deep

Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [greatest] reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you [actually] serve.

Colossians 3:23-24 AMP

Today’s post will be more of a life update rather than message-driven. However, I do hope that you can still relate and that it is still able to speak to your hearts.

I just finished up the first week of my new job! (Reasons I’ve been MIA)

I will be teaching 1st grade in about two weeks, and I am oozing with excitement. Though I never thought I would EVER want to be a teacher, God revealed to me that for this season of my life, shaping the minds of future generations is what I should be doing.

When I decided on the education field, God continued to confirm it within my spirit over and over.

It has been a whirlwind these past few days. I’ve been at professional development meeting the different teachers and staff, not only at my school but at schools throughout the entire corporation’s network. I’ve traveled to Atlantic City for a school-wide retreat and made some new friends along the way.

But the biggest thing that I’ve been doing during this time, surprisingly, is a lot of introspection.

In the season of seeking where He wants me to be during this time, He’s been holding up a mirror as if to tell me that to get where He needs me to go; I need to do some inner work. And in the strangest way possible, I’ve been seeing it work through these past few days as I get accustomed to my new job.

The very first day, as I got into the car and was riding down the street, I prayed and asked God that He would touch my mind and touch my heart. That any thoughts that weren’t along the lines of Philippians 4:8, I gave Him authority to bring it to my attention, so I could cast it down.

Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

Philippians 4:8 AMP

And guess what? He did just that. (I promise if you intently go to God for something in line with His will, He won’t mind showing up.)

Almost immediately as I walked in the door, I began to become aware of thoughts I usually would bypass in my brain.

Thoughts about the coworkers I had just met, positive and negative. Ideas about how this work was going to be extremely taxing, physically, and emotionally being that I will be dealing with five and six-year-olds every day. Thoughts about everything.

The became like mini billboards God was bringing to my attention to show me how, when unattended, our thoughts can fester into actions and paradigms that shape our reality.

So instead of noticing them and continuing about my hectic first day, I began to write them down on a little green notecard they placed on the tables for us. I wrote down every thought that caught my attention that was contrary to Philippians 4:8.

And as the card slowly began to fill towards the end of the day, I was astonished at how easy those little thoughts shaped how I saw everything around me.

Then, I grabbed an orange notecard and placed it right next to the first. Next, to each negative thought that came to my mind, I challenged it with an action step. Instead of allowing those thoughts to remain concrete, I wrote how I was going to change them with my behaviors and actions every single day.

I realized that a lot of my negative thoughts were rooted in comparing myself and my progress to others and seeking the validation from the authority figures around me. I was already mentally working myself into the ground, trying to do what would make me look good in the eyes of those around me.

But amid my mental spiral, I was skipping over one significant fact.

Any work that I do, whether it be professional or as a service from my heart, I should be giving my very best as if it was unto our Father.

Because ultimately it is.

When we do anything, we aren’t representing ourselves at that moment. But if He calls us and say we are His, we are showcasing Him to the world.

So, me trying to impress my bosses or compare my progress to veteran teachers was utterly obsolete. Yes, it is great to get that recognition and that praise, but it’s not about me, and it never will be, especially in this work. The children I come in contact with will be seeking me to provide them not only quality education but support for their growth as people.

It has been a tiring yet incredibly fulfilling first few days, and the kids haven’t even shown up. Though I haven’t been posting to the blog, I have still been writing and am excited to continue to share with you what God is giving me during these extended 40 days.

Part Two coming soon.

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