He will use all your callings to work in harmony with one another.
This one is for the teachers and their spouses. Even after seven years as a classroom teacher, I am not sure I can adequately paint a picture of the amount of work educators put in during the months of August, September, and October. They are pouring out massive amounts of time and energy to create a positive learning environment, establish new team dynamics, and absorb and execute new initiatives. I haven’t even scratched the surface of the most important work they are doing: shepherding little hearts. Let me dig into what that means. It means stopping to listen when they tell the story of their new dog. It means putting band-aids on scraped knees. It means building responsibility in them. It means discerning when to be soft and when to be firm. It means managing yourself when you are breaking down so that you can nurture a strong connection. Once you have done this, you must maintain it all while teaching content on multiple levels.
Then you go home to your family.
This means that God will not give you a calling that requires you to sacrifice your other callings of spouse, parent, etc.
I believe that teaching is a calling from God. This doesn’t mean it is easy. It means it must be managed and stewarded for the season God has you there. I recently heard a friend say this, “When it’s right for one person in the family, it’s right for the whole family.” This means that God will not give you a calling that requires you to sacrifice your other callings of spouse, parent, etc. This is the way God works: He will use all your callings to work in harmony with one another.
We get out of balance when we have poor boundaries with one or more of our callings. This was my trouble spot as a teacher. I rarely woke up early for my quiet time, I worked through lunches constantly and pulled out my laptop after dinner. When I stepped out of the teaching profession, I could see this for what it was: poor stewardship. If I were to go back to the classroom, my husband and I would establish boundaries in these areas (these can apply to many different career fields outside of education):
When will I leave for the day consistently? Will I have an established chunk of time on the weekend for the first few months of school to finish tasks? How will emails be handled during non-working hours? How will we address it if I do not adhere to these boundaries? Learning to protect your time is a sign of growing maturity.
What is the amount that we are comfortable spending on classroom expenses? Teachers should not have to put their own finances into their classrooms, but it is a reality of the profession. Remember, we build trust with our spouse by consistently doing what we say we will do. Stick firmly to the boundaries that you establish with your spouse in this area.
Teaching is unique because you develop genuine care for your students. You think about each of them constantly – what tools will help them be successful? Are they eating a hot meal tonight? He had a baseball game this weekend I need to ask him about! Teachers can carry a lot, but it doesn’t mean they should. That is not our portion.
Each day on the drive home give every burden to God. Trust Him to take care of every need you can’t meet. Visualize yourself packing all your cares in a box and giving them to Him. Then go home and keep a boundary with your emotions. When you walk through the door, they are reserved for the family God entrusted you with.