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He smiled kindly and said in a small voice:”You are closer than you think.” Joel Osteen “It’s Your Time”
Teaching middle school is rough. Not only because kids at that age are hormonal, but at this particular school, I was the only English teacher and elective classes were in short supply. This means that I taught the same students multiple subjects for hours (This is an elementary school thing and I went to college for secondary education). When I taught high school students, I was used to one subject and 5 classes for an hour each. Middle school just wasn’t the ideal situation for me.
I hoped to get back into high school English before the start of the new school year, but that seemed unlikely, as teachers were called back to prep for incoming students. I sent resumes all summer hoping for a new position, but didn’t get any call backs. Cleaning and decorating my classroom was depressing. I received my schedule and a few of my classes would be with me for 3 hours. Several classes with horrible reputations from the prior year were scheduled as my new babies for the year. “Awww man” sprang from my lips as soon as I saw the schedule. I played some gospel music and worked on my room, hoping to take my mind off another year in middle school. My cell phone rang while organizing some materials for my file cabinet. I stared at it for awhile and answered right before my voicemail picked up. “Sure, I’ll come in. What time?” An administrator from a high school called about interviewing me for a high school English vacancy. I nervously accepted it for the next day ( I like enough time to adequately prepare for new kids, so I was very nervous).
Professional development for my middle school was the following day, so I took a half day for the interview. I was hired the same day and scheduled to start the day after. Just like that, I started the school year teaching high school English.
Have you ever wondered how many opportunities you’ve missed because you quit too soon? I have. Because it seems like it’s taking so long for what you’re believing to manifest? You’ve been consistently working hard and doing all the right things and it just seems like it’s never going to happen?So you quit. Yep, I know that feeling all too well.
I depressingly accepted that middle school would be my placement for another school year not knowing that I was on the cusp of change. That my heart’s desire would be given to me at what I considered the last minute. I gave-up right before my breakthrough. I settled. I almost didn’t answer the phone. Matter of fact, my husband told me to apply for the position the week before the call. I wasn’t going to because it was so close to the new school year. I’m a planner and when I don’t have time to plan I get anxious. I almost missed my opportunity.
Joel Osteen’s book “It’s Your Time” was a Christmas present for my husband. I didn’t know he already had a copy. We’re currently reading the book together. People, this book is so good. I get excited every time I open it and I want to share what I’m learning. Some of it is nothing new, but sometimes we all need reminders to help us get stirred up about our place in life. I’m so excited about this book that I plan to write 5 posts about it (The book is split into 5 parts). I can’t share everything, but there are definitely some tidbits of wisdom that I believe can help all of us.
If you don’t have this book, you need to get it. You can never have too many inspirational books. I got mine through Amazon and if you’re interested, you can get it through Amazon too (get your copy here).
Did you know that whatever you give place to on the inside will manifest on the outside? Click To Tweet
So, let’s get our insides right.
3 Key Ideas from Part 1:
You’re Closer Than You Think
1. Get a Fresh Perspective
It’s so easy to have a defeated mindset. We live in a microwave society and when things don’t happen quickly, we start wondering if they will happen at all. And even more so, it sometimes seems as though every step forward is followed by two steps back. When more things go wrong than right, we tend to develop a limited perspective. We get a bad attitude and our vision of victory fades. Our thinking becomes limited because we no longer see a way for our situation to work itself out. We start to believe that we wasted time and energy. That we were just dreaming and stupid to believe that a greater and more enriched life awaited us. “That may happen to other people, but it will never happen to someone like me” becomes our new motto.
We no longer expect blessings to come our way, but we brace ourselves for the “next” bad experience.That’s called a defeated mindset. I come from a home where “If it ain’t one thing, it’s another” was common language. Instead of looking at challenges and obstacle as temporary, we view them as permanent fixtures in our lives believing that “good” things only happen once and a while. This mindset doesn’t allow us to enjoy life as a precious gift from God. We view life as more of a curse, in which we are always behind and never ahead.
I get it and totally understand. I have a Bachelors and Masters degree with a husband who has the same, meaning we have STUDENT LOANS. And most of the time, it feels like we will always have them. But, this year we are changing the tune of our song regarding student loans. In the past, we expected to begin and end the year with them hanging over our heads. But, like Joel Osteen says “God knows more about what lies ahead for you”.
It’s time for my hubs and I to get a fresh perspective regarding our situation. It’s time for you to get a fresh perspective regarding yours. We all must look at our situations with new eyes, believing that we serve a God who will make a way in spite of the obstacles we face. He knows our end from our beginning and if we refuse to give-up then maybe we will get to the finish line. We have to develop a new attitude and keep pushing until we get there. It’s time to let go of the defeat and take the mindset of victory. We win! Isn’t it more exciting to think of yourself as a victor instead of a victim? To think that if you just keep moving you will get there, and maybe even faster than you previously thought. The thought of this excites me. Thank you for this reminder Joel.
2. Use Words of Encouragement
As a teacher, I spaz out when my students tell me they can’t do something or say they’re slow. I always tell them not to speak negatively about themselves. When they talk this way, it doesn’t make them work harder, they actually shut down and give-up. I mean, they will sit and refuse to work for the rest of the period. Why? Because they don’t believe they are capable of thinking through the problem. They figure “Since, I know I won’t get it right, then what’s the point?”
As adults, we can get like this too. We give place to the negative thoughts, which turn into negative words, which lead to negative output. Our words are powerful and we must use them to uplift ourselves, not tear us down. Our words must inspire us to keep moving. Joel says we have to learn to tune out the negative messages. They are a distraction that will lead us astray and cause us to miss our mark. I know that’s not what you want to happen?
We must start saying “I will make it. I am closer than I think.” Even though it is taking us longer than expected to get there, we must continue to speak positive over the situation. We must wake up everyday and declare that “Today is the day” and expect it to be so. Even if it turns out that it is not “the day,” guess what? We are one day closer to”the day.” It kind of reminds me of a birthday countdown. The enjoyment is in knowing that at the end of the countdown it’s time to celebrate. What if we approached our “breakthrough day” like that? Treated the special day as if it is some surprise waiting for us. And we don’t know the exact date we get the surprise, but we do know that we are going to get it. And we countdown everyday until it actually happens.
3. STAY in Faith
Now is the hard part. We must stay in faith even though we really don’t know the natural date of our victory. Truthfully, it doesn’t matter because we got fresh eyes and a new attitude. Everyday we are waking up in expectation that it is the day we reach our destination. We are using words that excite and uplift us as we get closer. We must be consistent in our pursuit and realize we are closer than we think. So, let the countdown begin. For all we know, today could really be the day we’ve been waiting on. We win.
Peace and Blessings,