this is wonderful.
Monday, November 16, 2009
So, I've taken a step of faith. A completely blind step in full faith that God will provide. I quit my job. For the first time in my life, I feel like I've done something to take care of myself. It's weird. And good.
Sometimes, I have fleeting guilt. I've let down my students. I've given up on my teacher-heart. What have I done? Am I stupid? Look at this economy! How will we live?
"Do not be afraid" is what I keep hearing/feeling in that intuitive God-voice within and around me.
I have no reasons not to be afraid. We have a mortgage and a baby and certified teachers are scrambling for precious few positions and children need me to be hope in their lives and change needs to happen and the economy is awful and i want to be a good steward of my money and time and i want to be responsible and organized and provide for my family and put my husband through school and eat well and go out often....
I've never felt such peace, cleaning my home and cooking my own meals again.
I started a risky new endeavor, selling Discovery Toys. But, I feel peaceful about it. I'm okay that it only makes 20% commission and that I have to do house parties like a Mary Kay lady. I don't plan on getting rich. I just plan on talking about babies and children and having fun and eating better and learning how to take care of myself.
This is crazy to say, but I don't want a career yet. At least, I don't think I do. This has been my life:
Married at 21
Neighborhood ministry/life with a roommate for the second year of marriage while completing my masters degree
Lived in 3 cities and moved 9 times in the last 6 years
Moved to Texas two years ago (I still can't believe I live here!)
Taught two different grades in three (incomplete) years in two wildly different districts and three wildly different schools
Had a baby
Bought a house
Whoooooooooaaaaaaa. Whoa. Whoa.
It's kind of a miracle I didn't break down earlier than I did.
But I am so glad to be here, now. I want to be aware of my life, aware of how young I am and how fun life can be. I want to be less serious and more carefree.
I know that God has a plan for my life, a rhythm for my family and for me. I'm not entirely sure that Discovery Toys is not what God wants for me right now, or even for a long time. It's nothing I would have ever dreamed I would even be interested in--it's so far from the ghettos and urban neighborhoods where I was sure that God exclusively resided. But Jesus is surprising me. He's luring me on a different path than I had ever imagined for myself.
And for the first time in a long time, I'm actually trying to listen.
For too long, I think I had an idea of what I should be doing as a Christian and then doing that with intense passion and pouring all of myself into it: Westminster House, MIT, West Avenue fourth grade, SAISD second grade...
But now, I want to be a peaceful mother who thinks about her child most often and plans meals and family time rather than lessons that may or may not fall apart. Or make a difference.
Don't get me wrong. I will still use my degree. Someday more than I am currently or in the near future likely to do. I still feel that teaching is a calling for me.
But right now, I am most content being simply Mom.
Posted by Tracy Mae at 11:20 PM
Sunday, August 9, 2009
a few weeks ago, we went to a "free" travel club seminar in order to receive a "free gift" (we ended up with a short vacation which will be fun in the future). i was reminded, though, of a podcast entitled "something for nothing" where they make the case that we always pay. no matter what.
i felt that we paid by being exposed to incredibly blatant, and latent, lies.
i have been previewing a book that i will be using this fall with my high school small group girls. i have learned so much from it about myself as a christian and as a woman.
there are so many lies that i tend to believe.
i am prone to judging myself as a woman based on so many cultural standards. at the travel club presentation, they made it seem like it was a woman's right to be "spoiled" by her husband and that men needed to lavish their wives at all times and give them what they want.
i am constantly assessing my femininity based on magazines, even ones like real simple and oprah.
it is a lie that you must always get the newest gadgets, organizing systems, clothes and makeup colors every season to be a successful, honorable, and respectable, beautiful woman.
it's hard, though, for me not to believe those things. it's like, as john piper put so clearly in a sermon i heard this weekend: "we step into a circus hall of mirrors...in one mirror, you're short and fat, in another, tall and skinny...in one mirror you're upside down..."
the travel club experience was a hall of mirrors that really took some time and effort for me to shake out of my head to see the crystal clear reflection of Christ that is my Self.
so, i continue to seek how to see myself in purity and in truth. it sounds cliche to say that the world's standards of beauty are not God's standards. but it's true.
its part what the Gospel is about, why it is such Good News.
we have to keep preaching it to each other because we forget so easily, everyday.
Posted by Tracy Mae at 8:01 PM
Friday, July 31, 2009
An old friend reconnected with me on Facebook and told me she had looked at my blog. She had such words of encouragement that I thought I would start this up again.
Everything has changed since my last post.
I am now the mother of the exquisite Josiah Rippee Germer and nothing else matters.
That's not true, entirely.
What is true, though, is how I see everything through the Parent lens now. I feel the weight and glory of God's analogy of the Father-Child relationship so much more poignantly than I ever thought I could.
I would die for this little boy.
I've never really been able to say that with confidence, but I would in fact hand over my life if it would mean that his would be spared.
My love for him is fiercely protective, fluidly in rhythm with my heartbeat and my blood pumping. We are inextricably connected for all of our lives and I have never been happier about the loss of independence.
This new chapter, though, has had me thinking about my life as a follower of Jesus in a new old way. I have found a refreshing newness with the advent of a C-group of my own. I have had only two meetings with three particular 15-year-old girls, but those few hours have been so precious to me and have influenced me in ways I did not anticipate.
Teaching them has helped me see how far off track I had gotten in my attempt at assimilating to Central Texas culture. With the forced loss of my nose ring last fall, I felt a forced loss of much more of my identity as a consumer of goods and services, and a follower of Jesus' Way.
I feel that I was swept up in things simply because they were branded a certain way, falling prey to greenwashing and doing and purchasing things that made me feel superior to others who lacked information or "didn't care".
In my quest to save, I think I alienated myself and others.
Yes, eating real and healthy food is important, but what good does it do to eat alone instead of joyously, entertaining angels? Pregancy does weird things to our bodies, and a craving for meat did me in as a vegetarian. And honestly, I feel better about it. I feel less snooty and more open to sharing meals with people at the top of a holy list of sinners. Being a vegetarian, for me, in Texas, became more of a class and economic issue and less of a healthy "shalom" of restoring God's people to abundance again. Perhaps it will get there for me (again? for the first time?) in the future. For now, though, I am okay with the chicken breast in my fridge and sharing barbeque in the sweaty local joints with joyful Jesus lovers and those starting to catch the Good News.
To tie this back in to the title, I have begun thinking about who or what I belong to.
In some ways, it used to be food and Jesus, maybe in that order.
I guess I am rethinking who I am and whose I am.
Posted by Tracy Mae at 11:02 PM