Saturday, October 18, 2008
I've always loved the season of Autumn. Maybe it's the sweater weather after the hazy and humid days of August. Maybe it's the time for new notebooks, pencils and back to school clothes. Or maybe it's the explosion of color the completely enfolds my community in the northeast. Any or every reason expressed, I love Autumn.
This season brings with its falling leaves a few new vocational opportunities in my life. I've been filling the role as a teaching artist in several after school programs since September and on this coming Monday, I will begin my new full-time work in a church ministry with 1st Lutheran here in Jamestown.
The teaching work has challenged me to stretch and grow by working with various ages of students, in different locations from week to week by creating interesting, fun and educational art lesson plans for them to participate and learn with.
Here are just a few lessons I've learned as a teaching artist:
1.There are always surprises (some difficult and some great) when working with children - like this: one girl walked down the hall, hugged me tight and said - "I love you. What are we doing today?" Wow. Talk about having a reason to come to work!
2.When you run out of plan A, B, and C (sometimes d) ask the students what they would like to do. What they suggest may turn out to be a project that offers the best opportunity for ME to learn more about THEM and improve MY listening skills as I have them teach me something new.
3. Laughter is so important. Some days are hairy and hectic - but when taking turns reading a story and a child reads a page of the story in his or her very best "Dracula" voice - it has a way of making everyone crack a smile and eventually laugh a good belly laugh. Don't forget to laugh.
So as I endeavor on yet another new beginning, here are some other things to hold on to in this time of transition and changing of colors:
1. Don't be afraid to try something new - you may surprised by the outcome.
2. Stomach butterflies are your body's way of reminding you that life is full of possibility and promise, if only you aren't afraid to release them into a new opportunity.
3. All the experience of the past helps with the challenge of the present.
4. Don't forget to laugh.
5. Live in the space of grace.
6. Don't forget to get the rest you need.
7. Take your vitamins.
8. Start each day with a clean slate - remember God mercies are new EVERY morning.
9. Drink lots of water.
10. Have fun - this is a new adventure!
For my autumn and yours - Each leaf that falls, holds the promise of spring, just around the corner of winter's slumber. The leaves of change have fallen, the piles are growing deep, and it's time to make my giant leap!