Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ready if You Are!

When I was a teen looking at my future with rose-colored glasses anticipating the perfect life I might have living happily-ever-after, I pictured a little house with a little picket fence and a little dog and the breeze blowing the curtains on a summer day while I cooked Sunday dinner for my handsome husband, all my children and grandchildren.  I would be a teacher and a writer. I imagined how peaceful life would be with nary a care in the world.  

Although there are some notably missing elements, I really expected I had finally gotten to the settled season.   I have a little house in a little town down the street from my son and his family who randomly come to my house.  Although he doesn’t live with me, my other son has a room to call his own here.   I have a great job with a lawyer who I really like.  We work in an area of law that doesn’t make my heart sad.  Life has a certain gentle ebb and flow to it.  

 But real life has a way of happening and changing our expectations.  Funny, though, no matter how much real life we are given, dreams die hard.  

I don’t know who taught me to follow my dreams.  I don’t know if it was when I talked of being a teacher and was given all of the younger cousins to babysit and subject to my teaching skills?  Or when a teacher told me I was a good writer – not like my peers – something else – and I should do something with it.  

Here I am all these years later still dreaming of being a teacher and a writer and finding every excuse I can to give life to those dreams.

I have the blog, obviously, and two books published with more rambling around in my mind waiting for the right time.  I get regular assignments to interview amazing, interesting people for a polished magazine in the Chippewa Valley.  I am a writer.  That dream grows easily when it is fed.

The teaching dream is a little trickier to answer.  It requires someone in authority to recognize the abilities that lie beneath the surface.   Someone has to give me a classroom, students, opportunity.  

I have taught.  Middle School, mostly, but other things, too.  In a classroom, no less.  Certified by the School of Tomorrow and reminded by past students that I teach well, I jump at every chance to stretch those teaching talents.  And my students, now rather grown, tell me I was a good teacher and they remind me of things I taught them.  

But it isn’t one of those professions I have figured how to manage while paying a mortgage and driving a car.  So I set it aside and work for lawyers.

Somewhere along the line God gave me another dream.  To work in a foreign country, to bring grace to a culture where He had become a tradition.  Russia rose to the top of the list for many reasons.  I went there once for a month.  I reveled in the history, culture, bustle of Moscow.  Many times I have found myself wistful of Moscow.  Not with rose-colored glasses, but with a heavy heart seeing the impossibility of going again.  I have read Tolstoy and Tergenev and Pasternak to appease my dream.  

Funny how the picture I once painted of my ideal future is so static, unchanging, settled.  My life has been anything but still.  Given my own choices, I have gone from here to there.   Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Thorp.   I have gone from working with attorneys to teaching in a private school setting back to lawyers, back to teaching, back to lawyers.  

When I look at my path, even I think I’m awfully impulsive from the outside.  

Following me on the inside is a little less chaotic, however.  Certain things are unchanged – I want to be a writer and a teacher.  I want my life to have relevance.  I want to be the change I want to see in the world.  I want to overcome evil with good.

A call recently from a friend has led me down an unexpected, seemingly sudden path.  “I have a proposition for you.”  

The offer is to teach in Moscow.  For two years.  In Moscow.  Teaching.  I still can’t quite believe the adventure could be mine.  I will have a classroom of 16 students from 9 different countries.  They speak many languages and come from many different cultures.  Thankfully they all speak English.  I can live in an apartment about 10 minutes from the school. 

I will also work with American missionaries.  They don’t know I have followed their progress and struggles through prayer since my last visit to Moscow 11 years ago.  No doubt they, like I, thought the dream of working in Moscow was far behind me.  But God, apparently, had other plans.

So, here I am following this path as far as it will take me. 

I have talked with everyone who would tether me if I were unrealistically cloud dreaming.  I keep hearing the same phrases from them:  “I think it will be a great experience for you.  I have a good feeling about this.”
I have applied to have my passport renewed.  “We will have this back to you by Friday.”

I know the list of documents and things I need to gather to continue the paperwork. I know my flight options.  I know how much I will need to raise to supplement my small teacher’s salary.  Pastor has offered to bring the need before the church in September. 

And the list keeps growing.  Target date to be onsite is mid-October.

Every time I say, “Ok, God, if this happens then I’ll know I need to stay.  The doors are closed.”

But instead of THIS happening, it’s always THAT and the doors keep opening.  

You can share this adventure with me, if you like, though prayer or finances.  I will be selling my books to help fund this trip, of course.   If you want to know more, just ask.  I will do my best to come down from the clouds to answer you coherently.  

Thanks, God.  A teacher in Moscow – now that will give me something to write about!

To order a copy of A Book of Pages About Crossing Bridges or a Friend Named Jesus,
 please visit my website:  Writer's Pages
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  1. Yay for you! All the things you need will be there to do this; just trust. And remember a starving dream simply, yet still beautifully, remains a dream, but a well-fed dream become reality...

  2. I don't know about you (yes, I do), but I am excited! You've allowed us to experience all kinds of situations and places through your writing. We are going to travel with you in your new adventure! LDY

  3. Our God is an awesome God!