I Might Miss Something

In the late evening hours, when the second floor has fallen silent, and my basement home seems to shift with the creaking of the old McHenry house, and the bubbling and thumping of the water in the pumps punctuates the night quiet, I sit on my bed, pillows piled high behind me, and open my little yellow notebook.

I write in spurts; three days in a row, then the notebook rides, untouched, in my backpack for three weeks. Sermon notes on an occasional Sunday, and then back to the backpack, to the purse, to the table beside my bed. But I always have it nearby, always available, and tonight, I’m going to write once more.

But before I do, I let the book fall open in my hands, begin to read where my eyes land. I read thoughts, prayers, from January. Read how I began to settle into life in McHenry, getting to know my 4th grade loves, haphazardly navigating weekends home, lesson planning, and letting go of my life at Moody. It’s an odd, near out-of-body experience to read emotions, prayers, conversations with God from months prior, and I sink deeper into the pillows as I flip further back, moving backwards past Christmas Break, until I open a page written during my last days living on campus.

I’m worried, I had written, that I’ll miss something. That in all this rush and work of final projects, I’ll forget to savor the last days- the last hours- that I spend in this downtown home. And then, as often happens, God’s gentle prodding, His guiding words, appear on the page, reminding me of rest and sovereignty and that what I can give is going to be enough.

I keep reading for a bit longer, soaking up His wisdom the same way I had when I first heard it. And then, eventually, I turn to the newest clean page, put pen to paper, and begin to write. And it’s not until this afternoon that I think again of those early December words of grace.

Because I’ve two more weeks in 4th grade- counting this one- and I’m beginning to feel that pressure, that worry, creep into my heart once more. I don’t want to miss anything. I want to savor the time, hold onto the moments. I want to be caught in each day, relishing the tiniest mundane details, because these will not be my details for very much longer.

But there is grading to be done, and a portfolio to be compiled, and a Redbook of InTasc standards to measure up to, not to mention the fact that I’m speaking in upper school chapel on Friday, and haven’t finishing planning English for the week… and I start to wonder how I might balance all this living in the moment, fully participating in each conversation with all these precious treasures, with all of these real life tasks.

I might miss something, I worry.

My time here is ending (as the student mournfully remind me) so very soon.

And yet, at the end of the day- and the beginning, and in the middle- I know that the God who put me here is sovereign over each moment, just as He is sovereign over these past four months of teaching. I know that He is using my time here in ways that I cannot even imagine now. And I know that, in two weeks, when I hug goodbye, say see you later, the time that I had, the conversations and the work and the memories, will be exactly what He intended for me, exactly what was His plan all along.

And with that peace, I continue to pour myself into what I do and what I love and what I teach, because there’s trust in that, and there’s also worship- which is exactly how I’m supposed to respond to all this grace.



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