‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Quiet

I'm a little sad that my desire for writing is on the back-burner right now. I'm sure it has much to do with my current maddening work schedule. I'm a bit in over my head, but doing my best. I have done this job for 22 years, but for the past two it has gotten much more difficult to make it through a week. Yes, I know that the strain of teaching such a physically and mentally draining subject to 240 middle schoolers sounds like a nightmare to most of you...lol...but I have loved it all these years. In fact, I still love it.

But my body doesn't.

I'm at one of those crossroads that we all meet in our lives at some point, where our bodies do not keep pace with our desires. Once that auto-immune disease showed up on my doorstep ( unannounced and unwelcomed, I might add), things changed rather quickly. But I fought it. I wasn't ready to change horses. I wasn't ready to slow down. At all!  But one of the great things that comes with age is wisdom, and I am learning that lesson we all have to learn at some point -- that we are not invincible, and our strength will not be something we can rely on indefinitely. There comes a time when the body says " Slow down! I need you to slow the heck down!" My time just came a bit earlier than most. And my poor body has been saying this for two years, and I am finally having to listen.

The good news is that this change is happening fortuitously at the same time that my heart is moving in another direction, vocationally. Don't get me wrong. I love my job. No, I ADORE  my job. But it has come to my attention that the parts I love about it have changed. It is the interaction with the children and teens that I adore. It is the helping and healing part of theatre that I can't live without. It is that sense of " making a difference" that keeps me going. But many other parts of my 20-plus years career are not exciting me anymore. I keep hearing this voice calling me further down the road. I ignored it for over a year, but the voice is gaining clarity and I'm thinking I need tojust take a leap of faith and see what is out there.

I announced to my students and their families that I would be taking a sabbatical from teaching Shakespeare after this summer. They didn't take it so well. I even had a few tearful kids that thought I was "quitting" contact me and beg me to change my mind. I'm not quitting,  but I don't have a good answer for them on what the future looks like after this summer. I'm scared to let go of my livelihood, but the message I'm getting is that I will not have room for what's coming in if I try to play it safe. Changing horses mid-stream will seem downright insane to many. I'm sorry for that. Some have already told me I'm 'an idiot' for thinking of moving on right when I'm about to bring another child into my home. I apologize for upsetting your vision of my apple cart! But I need to do it. And I'm getting plenty of signs from You Know Who that this is His plan.

God has been carving this immense quiet out in my head. It's breathtaking. I seem to spend more time praying  and meditating than even sleeping & working lately. I experience this brilliant communion with Him that I have waited my whole life for. There is a deep 'knowing' that everything is as it should be, and that I am headed in the right direction. I don't think I've ever felt this much clarity in my life. I give much credit to my time in Siberia. It was and continues to be the most life-changing , heart-inspiring, soul-cleansing experience of my entire life. Can't wait to go back.

So what do I see happening? not sure. I can tell you that I am stepping over the threshold of a new chapter of my life. That's for certain. I can tell you that I'm not 'an idiot' and that I see this transition as a slow one, taking many years until I am completely devoted to another vocation. But I am moving in that direction. I'm heeding the call. I don't think I'll ever have Rebel Shakespeare completely out of my blood, but do I think I'll be running it five years from now? no. I don't. Do I think it will carry on and still make magic in this neck of the woods? Oh yes. Definitely.

So, anyway, that is my sharing for today. I want to go back to my quiet. I'm so loving my hours of prayer every day that I have to laugh at myself. It's pretty extreme, but I know it's only here for a season, so I might as well enjoy it. Maybe it's getting  me ready for something. Either way, it's nice to have this extended time of quiet in my heart and soul, and this amazing peace, and the sense of God's hand resting on my head. My external life is anything but quiet at present, but when I close my eyes and fold my hands, I am gone from it, and in His lap.

How wonderful. How wonderful we are so loved.


  1. Wow, what a change! I eagerly await the changes in store for you.

  2. That time in Russia was a spiritual retreat. That was a great part of what I envied. It was so clear how alive you were, and living in the moment - which is exactly what God wants of us.

    I'll keep you in my prayers; how I wish mine were as rich and deep as yours right now!

  3. This is a big step girl but one I am sure you will handle very well. There has been so much going on in your life and so many emotions. Hopefully God will lead you down the right path.
    Good luck and God bless you.

  4. Keri:
    You are at a point in your life where you need to make choices, for you, for Nastya, for Anya, for Danil and for the many children you have impacted. No one knows what is in your heart. No one can tell you "what is right". Only God can lead you. Take the time you need to prayerful consider what you are being led to do, then DO IT. God will give you the means to succeed and we will pray with you to succeed beyond your wildest dreams. Blessings!

  5. you gotta do what you gotta do.
    let's make it a great summer, shall we.
    i'm here for you and your right hand for doing so. much love.

  6. I think you should go for it! Change is good. If you don't do it you will always wonder "what if I would of...."


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