***warning long post that goes on and on.
That phrase has been in my head constantly since our Life Group did a study on James. (we are supposed to have it memorized by March 31 Oh no!) Consider it pure joy. Consider it pure joy. The other phrase that stuck with me was "In the same way" from James. But "consider it pure joy" just ate me alive.
Why you ask? Because I am a pessimist, a huge pessimist. I see the cup half full, people for who they are and not who they want me to believe they are, & take the world at its cynical best. I can't entirely help it, it's my nature. My undergraduate advisor (since I was a Psych major he was a Psychologists...a clinical one at that. Hence the evaluation of my personality) told me I was the most cynical college student he ever met. He intended it as a compliment. He also said that most people from small towns see everything as flowers and butterflies...but I didn't.
Now I can't take away my cynical view of people, but I can tuck it nicely away and allow myself to be more positive. It is hard to be positive. The world makes it hard to be positive. The world is hard, mean, and vicious and would love to steal your joy every second of every day. I tend to let it.
There are so many things that allow me to have a sour mood, but recently I finally had a positive thought towards one of my most pessimistic thoughts this year.
School is hard and work is hard. This generation of kids is very apathetic. Nothing makes teaching harder than apathy. If I could erase all the apathy in the world everyone would have an easier job. Especially teachers.
But then I head my husband say it back to me, agreeing that the situation I'm in is hard. Once he agreed with me the negative popped out of my head for some reason and my thought changed to:
Even though this is a hard year it will make me a better teacher. It will make me 100 times more grateful when one day I have it easier. I thought last year was hard, but it was way easier. Yeah, first year of teaching with zero experience and zero education class anything, but there were things that made it easier. (like having the best partner teacher ever) Maybe, I will learn a way to break the apathy.
That is my new goal. If I can change one apathetic person this year, be it some random dude on the side of the road, I have completed my goal. I pray everyday that God gives me the wisdom to deal with the things thrown at me that day and to open the students hearts to allow them to learn that day.
I know teachers probably thought we were apathetic, and their teachers thought the same of them. But it is a fact. Teen and preteens are an apathetic group of humans. There has got to be some sort of trick to break that trend.
Want to know something else I have had to consider pure joy.
Jeremy moving for graduate school while I can't leave. I could sulk until I am blue in the face. But God knew what he was doing by not letting J in the program in the Fall. Had he entered in the fall I would have gone as well, putting us on one teacher salary and forcing me to drive nearly 5 hours once a month and pay to have my supervisor drive to me once a month to observe my class. Expensive. To expensive for one poor teacher salary. At the time I didn't understand why he didn't get in at the time. But today it hit me, schools down there want teachers with Master's +5 years experience. Had I gone last year I would have had 1 year experience and working on a Master's.
Did I see any of that then. Nope. Hindsight is something else.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers (or sisters), whenever you face trials of may kinds. Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 NIV
Shouldn't there be some sort of side note in that that say "because you have no idea what you're doing and God will show you why you went through this later". Lately I've been thinking back a lot (maybe because of all my alone time) and realizing that things went they way they did so that I could stand where I stand today with the beliefs I have. Had things gone a different way I'd be a different person. I may not understand why right now, but I will see why later. Because this all develops perseverance.
If your still with me...sorry for the crazy long post. I've just been thinking about this today. Had to spit it out. However, I think this is one random hodge podge of considering. I need to work on my flow...because my thought took a turn big time.