We all want to feel as though we’re part of something bigger than ourselves. We want to know that we’re making a difference in the world, that we have a purpose for being here, that we’ll be remembered when we’re gone. Every day we impact the world around us; sometimes we are even blessed enough to see it happen.
If I’m honest with myself, I would say that I have moments every day when I make a difference, live out my purpose, and directly impact the future. Moments that remind me of why I accept the challenge of teaching Special Education children. Although I don’t always have what I need to invest in them as much time or direct instruction as I’d like, they continue to push themselves to be better readers, writers, thinkers, and/or mathematicians. Some struggle to learn the ins and outs of social situations (an area that I can relate to on a very personal level). All need to be taught, with patience, what’s expected, what’s acceptable, how precious and important they are.
I have to show up every day willing to offer a safe place, to remember that every step forward, no matter how small, is cause for celebration. I also have to let go, every day, all the frustration, stress, sadness, and physical abuse I’m confronted with; if as teachers we neglect ourselves, who will be left to educate the future?
I must confess I’ve been failing in this. Lately I’ve begun to question the path I’ve chosen to follow. Perhaps it’s because I’m not letting go, or perhaps it’s a natural rhythm of my life. Whatever the reason, I know that I am coming to a crossroad, and soon a decision will need to be made.
With this in mind, I begin “one little word”. I wrote about this new adventure in my post One Little Word. That was really just a brief introduction as the excitement of having made something consumed me. The past couple of days I’ve spent far too long simply staring at the cards, not sure how I would begin to live them out.
Yesterday I was able to participate in the beginning of a great change in the life and business of a friend. Her excitement was encouraging and contagious; she was stepping out of the familiar and daring to believe that she would land on something greater. She was doing what I’ve pledged to do this month – explore possibilities.
This is a photo of that change – it’s the new clearance wall at Paper Pals. Karen let me help her arrange stuff, which was like a giant puzzle – so relaxing! It represents a sort of cleansing, a clearing out of the old to make room for the new, letting go of the past so the future is more clearly seen.
Soon this amazing little “scrapbook” store will have a new look. The outside (the store itself) will more closely resemble the inside (the owner’s journey deeper into her own creativity and artistry). The transformation has already begun, with more classes and supplies for those experimenting with and learning mixed media and paper crafting beyond the more “traditional” scrapbook. It is a great honor and privilege to take part in this journey of exploration.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future’” Jeremiah 29:11 (or at least how I remember it). One of my favorite promises! And so true, if only we’ll step out on nothing, expecting to land on something.
As this month quickly fades away, I hope to share more about this intention to explore possibilities, and begin to answer “What if….?” In fact, tonight I’m going to answer it by working on my art challenge page for week three (vision) and see where it leads me. Let inspiration find me working!
(Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to myself in this blog! I would so love to hear about your “one little word” and how you intend to act on it.)