Macs, Erin, Lisa. . . and a job offer?!

Been a while, eh?

My life goes on crazy turns sometimes. (Don't all of ours?) Unbelievably enough, I'm without my new laptop now. It's definitely not me, but something that was wrong before I even received the new computer. On start-up, it takes 5 minutes to load, whereas it should take 20 seconds or around there. It shouldn't take that long. So I took it in to the mac people and they weren't sure what was wrong either, so they sent it into Apple. It was suppose to arrive back for me to pick up this afternoon, but I got a call today in which the guy said "I have bad news, it got lost in transit and we won't have it now till Monday". I think he was surprised of my reaction because I said "that's okay, I'll be in there Monday. I'm just glad you know where it is." I think he expected me to yell at him or something. (It wasn't his fault and really, I was glad it was okay and not lost-lost.) So all week, my laptop has been away. Mac just doesn't appear to like me.

But Mac not liking me is a good thing this week because it's forced me to do other things. Like not blog and not read others' blogs but get myself ready for my big wedding this weekend in Chicago. In Chicago! I haven't had a wedding in Chicago since Johanna's wedding, and I think that's been 2 or 3 years. Jo? This one is at a Frank Lloyd Wright church. A photographer's DREAM. I mean, just look at this place! Just amazing fabulous FAMOUS architecture. Breathtaking. I look forward to the moment of walking into it for the first time. If you have an appreciation for architecture and history, you'll understand my feelings.

(Frank himself!)

We aren't leaving for the wedding until tomorrow morning. Then we're staying up there Saturday night coming back Sunday evening where we'll be meeting ERIN and her hubby, JER, at MY HOUSE! They're visiting us for two days before their drive out east to an outdoor Christian concert. I cannot wait to see my dear Erin again. I can't even explain how neat this is to be able to see her twice in a year's time. I feel very very lucky. :c)

And then when they are on their merry way, we are going to get yet another visitor. Well, visitors, plural! My friends, Lisa and Matt (another graphic designer who will have his mac with him and he and I will talk geeky computer like we tend to do!), along with their 3 children, are coming to stay with us Thursday night. They will be starting their journey from their home in Richmond, Virginia, to good ol' Illinois. They're staying over here till they're off again to a family gathering in Minnesota. Last time I saw them, Maegan was a year old? (Noah, too.) And now they have two more babies, Wils and Mia, whom I've never met and cannot wait to meet these two precious little people. (And we have Maia!) Long story short, I met Lisa 8 years ago on a pregnancy support board (the same place I met Alexis, actually!). It's really neat how God has brought the most amazing people into my life through the Internet. I am quite thankful for the Internet being invented in my lifetime just for those reasons alone. (Corny stuff, but all very true.)

In the meantime, I've been personally struggling a little with something that has been thrown out of left field at me.

Almost a week ago I was asked if I would be interested in teaching art. Yes, TEACHING. At Noah's school. At one point in my life I actually wanted to become a teacher. An art teacher, to be exact. My life, from the beginning, has revolved around art. I remember my favorite gift ever when I was like 8, being a small suitcase filled with child artist's dream --- pens, paper, paint, paint brushes, everything. I can still remember opening it. In college I changed my major to teaching for a day. And then realized that my introverted part of me couldn't handle being in front of people, even kids. So I changed back to graphic art. Now, after having shot zillions of photographs in front of zillions of people, not caring who was looking at me, I tend to wonder if I could actually do it now? I think when you have a passion for something, being introverted or not, it doesn't seem to matter anymore. I love children and love art. But that doesn't mean I can TEACH children. It's a completely different thing. And that is what is holding me back.

I don't have a teaching certificate, but in the private school you don't have to have one. I also would only be teaching 2 or 3 days (I would set my own schedule), for a total of 8 hours all week. I'd be teaching grades kindergarten through 8th grade. The plus to it all is that it's 8 hours and that I can make my own schedule (I could do it all in one day if I wanted or split it into 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 days). And, the classes are extremely small. My largest class would be kindergarten which is 10-15 kids (depending on how many sign up this fall). My smallest would be 8th grade which is about 3 or 4 kids. PERFECT for me.

What's not perfect for me is that I'm not sure what I would do with Maia. I know they would allow me to bring her with me. She loves art, too, so I know I could keep her busy. I don't think she would interrupt what I was doing. If she did, I am sure I could find a place to take her. My friend, Lindsay, already said she could watch her (she is a stay-at-home mom).

The other not-so-perfect thing is the fact, again, that I don't have a teaching certificate, and while that doesn't matter to the principal (he is the one who asked me), it does to me. I don't know how to teach. I don't know curriculum. I wouldn't know where to even begin. And that scares me. I have a lot of sources. My grandmother was a teacher and I kept ALL of her art teaching books when she passed away. I have never even looked at them, but I kept them for whatever reason. (Maybe for this???) And my sister-in-law is a teacher, my dear friend, Katie, is a teacher, my sister-in-law's sister-in-law, Missy, is a teacher, my friend, Leann, is a teacher, and I have a friend who actually is an art teacher at a high school near here. I have so many sources. But again, it would me teaching, not them, and the thought overwhelms me a bit.

The other problem is time. While it's only 8 hours a week, I still have to have time to focus on those 8 hours outside of class. Do I really want to focus on teaching my classes or my photography? Deep down, I want to say photography. That is my passion. I think the absolute hardest thing in all this for me is that 4 of the other teachers have found out about this and are really encouraging me to do it. They think I'm a "perfect fit". They say I'll love it. One even told me that she thinks I'm being called by God because she knows my background, she knows how I have all these teaching books at home, etc. and I came around right at the perfect time of them needing an art teacher. That makes it hard. It's a lot of pressure when they all are so excited but when I just am not sure I can be excited with them.

The day after I was asked this, I read this piece of scripture in a devotional book I read:

"Measure yourself by the amount of faith that God has given you . . . God has also given each of us different gifts to use. If we can prophesy, we should do it according to the amount of faith we have. If we can serve others, we should serve. If we can teach, we should teach. If we can encourage others, we should encourage them. If we can give, we should be generous. If we are leaders, we should do our best."

-- Romans 12:3, 6-8, CEV

That scripture spoke volumes to me; that I'm probably doing something right by following my passion. But I'm not sure about teaching.

Then I read this, too.

"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."

-- John Wooden

It's hard and I have to think and pray about it a lot more. Pray for me, please, too, if you remember to.


Our Home Schooler and Jen said...

Im so excited for you and Erin :)

Im praying for you sweetie

Id LOVE you to be my art teacher

A hard decision . . .

teaching can take a lot of time - preparing etc

id say follow your heart


Erin said...

Only TWO more sleeps!!!! WOOOOHOOOO!!! Okay, I'm good now. Um, so you are having us and other people staying over in the same week? That's a lot, no? Are you sure this all okay? I mean, too bad if it's not, I'm still coming over,lol. I won't be giving up my all night gab session with you for the world, but I just don't want you to get overwhelmed.

I think you would be fantastic as an art teacher. I also think you need to wait on it and pray. You'll feel peace about it if it's what you are supposed to do. Do a little more research, pick your teacher friends brains. And pray. Pray, pray, pray. I'll being praying along side you and I know you'll make the decision that's best for you. Everything else will fall into place, including what to do with Maia. Love you girl. You rock my world!

it's me, Val said...

Thank you, friend. You are such a great supporter and I thank you for that.

Two more sleeps, really?! Yep, you are right! CRAZY!!! Are you packed?! I was thinking maybe you could even just skip your trip and all week we could hang out. Dreaming, huh? :) And yes, I'm SURE. I love visitors and I wouldn't pass up visitors from you all --- ever. :)

Thanks on the art stuff. It's kind of a big decision. And a hard one.

Jennifer said...

praying for you girly. big decision! I think you would be great..but follow God's lead and he will direct you in the right path..and he already knows your decision anyhow, and just have to listen.

Have a great weekend in Chicago. and with Erin ( a tid bit jealous again!) We will leave Thursday and will not be back until the 9th of July!


Anonymous said...

WOW! you got alot going on. You'd make a great art teacher, you know art teachers are always the 'cool' ones;) I'm sure you'll reach the right decision for you.
I'm so jelous that you're going back to Chicago, it's my fave city and i'm really missing it.
Have fun with Erin (and hubby) and all your busyness.

mama2dibs said...

Girl, I think you are an awesome photographer. I think, from your blog, you are an awesome mother. I think if you wanted to be an awesome teacher, you could be. Curriculum can be scary. It's scary for me and I have a teaching degree. I have a friend who uses Atelier with her daughter (who is homeschooled) and LOVES it. If you want to check it out it is at www.homeschoolart.com. I also love the Charlotte Mason approach and know that she has a section on art that would easier for you to put together by yourself instead of having to buy a kit. If you want to learn more about that go to http://simplycharlottemason.com/planning/scmguide/picture/

and http://simplycharlottemason.com/home/started/charlotte-mason-method/

under Picture Study.

NOW, that being said, I think you are very wise in praying, praying, PRAYING before you commit or turn down anything! God will lead you into the right direcrtion. It seems like He might be already, but you need to know for certain before you make a move. I will pray for you as God brings you to mind. I know that having a heart for teaching this will be with me. I can't wait to hear how God calls you out on this one and I will definitely keep you in my prayers.

JanMary said...

Pray you will know God's will on this, and find a peace about it, whatever your decision.

Congrats on being asked! :)

melody is slurping life said...

Excited for you for the wedding in that FLW church. Love it.

And for the reconnecting with friends.

About the teaching, maybe God has already answered. You said, "The other problem is time. While it's only 8 hours a week, I still have to have time to focus on those 8 hours outside of class. Do I really want to focus on teaching my classes or my photography? Deep down, I want to say photography. That is my passion."

God knows you, gave you your passion and though another teacher thinks God called you to do this, be certain you've "heard" God's plan for you. He does not expect us to say yes to everything. :)

Praying for you in this decision.

LiLi said...

Val, we are SO excited about seeing you guys! :D I can not wait!!! And actually, we will be there late Wednesday night. (maybe as early as 9, but probably closer to 11 or 12, depending on amount of stops for nursing, diaper changes, potty breaks, etc.)

About the teaching thing... I think maybe you and Matt should talk about that together. He might have some insight. We will pray for you, for certain! What a cool opportunity no matter what your decision ends up! ((hugs)) Only 4 more sleeps until I get to see you!

melody is slurping life said...

Clearly, you're a busy woman, but you always manage to share the love with me. So click my name-hyperlink on this comment for a little return love.

lil ole' me..... said...

You have so much going on!
Can't wait to see some of the pictures from the Chicago wedding.

Have a great time with Erin and Jer!

And, I'll be praying for you as far as the art teacher position goes... I know that you will make the right decision for you, whatever that is. I don't know if you can lose either way- on one hand, you would make a great art teacher and I know the kids would love you and what you could open their minds to... on the other hand, if you chose to focus on your photography- you will do great things with that as well, touching peoples lives. I have faith that you will find that peace with a decision and follow God's will... :)

Chel said...

Oh, good luck in making a decision. It's always hard when torn between two good things. :)

My husband teaches at a school with lots of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, and they are really groovy. I'd imagine they'd make really superb photos.

Anonymous said...

Big decision...
maybe you do part time teaching part time photography..by the time both kids are in school you pick one??
What do I know? :-)
That church is beautiful!

Missy!! said...

Val.. I think you should do it. Worse case scenario.. you HATE it and have to leave. I think you could do it. You teach your kids stuff all the time.. the only difference is that you'd have more kids. And you could teach them so much! The colors (since I only knew 23.. and I thought I was doing great!).. photography (I had a college art class for kids and we did a lot with photography.. we used digital cameras and did where it looks like someone is jumping out of the palm of your hand.. holding up a building, etc).. I think you could do it. Don't worry about the certificate.. it isn't necessary. Just go in there and have fun. If you are having fun, so will they!

Katie said...

Hey, Valley, I'm thinking of you and wishing you well in your teaching decision. I know it's a big one, both about teaching itself and about dividing your time, energy, creativity, etc. into one more pie piece. Whatever you decide, you'll do it well.

That church is near our NEW HOUSE!!!

Michelle said...

I know, I'm late chiming in here. Big decision to make...heck, maybe you've made it by now! ;) I would love to chat with you more about the whole teaching thing! Anyways, just know that of course, you're in my prayers.

Kelly @ Pass the Torch said...

Such big decisions. We're faced with them all the time, aren't we? It seems like you're asking yourself all the right questions.

I'm a school counselor part time. I don't think I have it all figured out either, and I do have a teaching degree. Eight hours seems like a nice amount of time, but if it's not your passion... Do you have to commit for the entire school year? Or could you do a trial semester or something?

Thanks for stopping at my blog the other day. It's nice to meet you!

Victoria Martin said...

what an exciting opportunity Val! Totally understandable that you're feeling unsure about it but I think you'd be great at teaching! How long would you need to commit to if you wanted to try it out & see how it goes? Prayers that you come to a decision that feels right in your heart!