Thursday, July 13, 2006

Thoughts on worth...

My sweet husband has a Master degree in Church Music and has already been accepted into a doctoral program. I have always been extremely proud of him because I saw the sacrifice that it took for him to complete that seminary degree. Plus, the degree was an indication of work and commitment.

Often, when I compared myself to him, I would wonder why he married me and felt unworthy. I based this worth on my lack of degree. I have tried to complete my degree so many times in our marriage and then life happens and my schooling is interrupted.

I was asked to apply for a teaching position in a Christian school a few weeks ago. I told the folks who asked me that I didn't have my degree. The school's policy was to hire only 4 year degreed people. However, I was asked to still submit my resume. I thought, this will be embarrassing but felt compelled to go ahead and put my experience down on paper.

While I have worked outside the home during our marriage most of my experience comes from inside my doors or ministry that I have done over the years. As I started remembering all that I had done the resume grew to where I wasn't totally mortified to let someone read it.

Here's copy of what it included:

Elementary Classroom Teacher

15 years of home educating my sons

Taught an extremely dyslexic child how to read and write raising his reading level from a non-reader to low fourth grade in one school year

Have spoken at homeschool seminars on types of learning styles and curricula choices

Taught ESOL to migrant workers in KY

Taught and supervised ESOL and Laubach, a literacy program, for a minor league baseball team (Texas Rangers) in Punta Gorda, FL

Piano and voice teacher in FL for six years

Taught at VBS Training for Concord Baptist Association in
Murfreesboro, TN 1981 and Peace Rive Baptist Association in FL, 2002

Wrote devotions for a monthly Christian newspaper

Wrote articles for Boy Scouts events, Cotillion balls, and Middle and High
School Band concerts for the local newspaper.

Certifications, Education and Training:

Oakland High School (graduated 1976)
Middle Tennessee State University (1976-78)
South Florida Community College (2006)
Certified in ESOL through Baptist Association in Rome, GA (1991)
Certified in Laubach through Baptist Association in Rome, GA (1991)
Attended BJU homeschool week conference two different years and sat under the writers of their various curricula (1990 & 1998)
Trained at Grace Ministries International in Christian counseling -
Two day workshop followed by Five day Conference. (1999)

Awards and Honors:

High School: Beta Club, National Honor Society, Majorette, Student Council, various district awards in theater, Thespian, Math honor society, French Honor society, student directed one acts and musicals, Beta Club officer
College: President’s List last semester at SFCC with a 4.0 GPA

Personal Statement:

I have served for many years along side my husband at various churches where he served as Minister of Music, Youth, Education or Senior Pastor. I have led women’s Bible studies, written lessons and taught Adult Sunday school classes, led Children’s choirs, Mission Friends, and taught Senior High Sunday school. I have served as Committee Chairman for Cub Scouts, performed in musicals at area churches, done Community Theater, helped to organize outreach events with over 200 in attendance, and completed Faith training. I have been a volunteer worker for the Republican Party. I was pursuing my degree in Elementary education which has been interrupted due to my husband’s taking the position of Middle and High School Band director at Montgomery County. I am considering my options as to where to complete my degree at this time.

My youngest son is 13 and will be an eighth grader for this school year. My husband and I feel that this will be our last year to homeschool him because we are considering sending him to a Christian High school to complete this part of his education before he attends college.

I understand many special needs since I have had experience with learning disabilities in teaching my older son. My older son is now 23 and has been attending college for the past few years with a GPA of 3.0. We graduated him from homeschool high school when he was 19 and he chose to take a year off before attending college. While school is a challenge for him, I take extreme pleasure in the fact that he has already achieved more education than the professionals thought was possible for him when he was in public school. He attended public school for kindergarten and first grade. We were told that he would never be able to learn to read and write, graduate High School or sit in a college course. But, with God’s loving guidance, His supply of literary training for me, and Michael’s perseverance to overcome, our son has proven to the professionals that their testing and assessment of his skills were wrong.

I believe that our greatest gift to children is seeing them with the Father’s eyes and not through a test. We serve a great God who desires the best for His children. When I started home schooling my son, my prayer was that he would learn to read and comprehend the Word of God. God has more than answered that prayer. This past year, he won an award in Creative writing at his college.

The goal in education should be to help each child realize who he is in Christ. The verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” should be written on the foreheads of all students. Academics should be strongly emphasized but knowledge without God’s wisdom is vain. I believe that teachers should demonstrate a high calling in their lives to seek after God by living a life that acknowledges his authority and grace.

After I turned in my resume, I was then asked to complete an application. Then, I was called to interview with the principal. She told me that she wanted to hire me to teach a class of 20 second graders. I was really astounded! The next step was an interview with the board.

In the meantime, my 13 year old son, wasn't handling the prospect of me working full-time. I finally trapped him and got him to talk to me and his dad. And, made a decision that the job could wait until I was done homeschooling Paul.

I called the principal and told her my decision. She was extremely understanding and told me that she has had to make the same choice in her life in regards to her children. She also told me that the school would be interested in me next year if I still wanted to teach!

The Chairman of the board called me later on that day, and told me that they were highly interested in me and asked if I would reconsider allowing the board to interview me. He told me that he was afraid since the board had taken to long to interview me, that I was thinking my lack of a four year degree was a problem. He assured me that they had checked on the legality of hiring me and that they could. He told me that all of them honestly felt that my life experiences made me the best person for this position - degree or no degree.

I cannot tell you what that did for my self-esteem.

But, the decision that I finally made was to continue to homeschool Paul and work on my degree.

Then, yesterday while at my husband's school, his Asst. Principal approached me about teaching some children piano lessons. I really didn't want to start teaching children in my home, again. So, I asked about using the bandroom (this is a public high school) on Monday afternoons at the school. I told her if she could help me line up 6 to 8 students that I would drive over to the school and teach them. She was thrilled and doesn't see a problem with me using the school for lessons!!! How cool is that!

So, here's my take on value. We are to do WHATEVER God puts in front of us with diligence and commitment. And, in due time, God will lift us to where He desires. A degree (I still want mine)or a job title shouldn't be the only objective in our life but being all that the Father desires and designs for our life.

We have made many a sacrifice along the road to homeschooling our boys. But, in the end, looking back down the road, I see God's hand. I tell others to look at who they are through God's eyes; yet, I forget to do that in regards to myself. Also, all of the ministry that I have done in the past has helped to mold me into the person that I am today. Ministry, especially where there is no pay, no glory, just work, can get difficult. Often, we can wonder WHY we are serving. We must keep our eyes on the goal that God has put before us which is to love Him and His children.

This lengthly post is trying to say basically one thing, "God will lift us up when we least expect it." Titles, positions, and paychecks can be enticing but in the end, doing the Will of God is all that matters. Our worth is found only in Him.



TXArtcGal said...

WOW! What a wonderful post...and, a great way to show how relying on God truly helps us in our decision making.

How exciting that they wanted you to teach their 2nd Graders! I probably would have jumped at that chance! LOL! But, you showed how important your family's opinion is to you...and, the priorities in your life (my dd would have packed my lunch and kicked me out the door! LOL!).

Anyway...praying that you get enough students to use that bandroom!

Debbie B said...

Thanks for your kind words. It has been a great feeling to be wanted by both the school and my son. Did I tell that I would be the sub for an extended leave this fall?

I wanted the position but I honestly felt that I had to pass this year because of Paul's reaction.


Anonymous said...

This is just what I needed to hear today. I don't even know what led me to click on your blog, but I am so glad I did!

I have also been thinking about returning to school and trying to obtain my degree by the time my baby is 8 (he is 2 now). I just felt that need because once I turn 40, I want to feel like I have accomplished something in my life worthwhile. I have 5 kids, and homeschooling has been difficult this last year or so. I know that is what is best, so I intend to press on, but I also submit my will to God's.


Blueberry said...

This is a fantastic post! You have such a wonderful way of expressing what is on your heart and communicating exactly what needs to be said. This was very encouraging for me during my time of questioning and evaluating my life. I appreciate that you took the time to blog about it.
Thank you so much!!