So, this family are leaving my church because we have a new vicar coming, she is female, and the family do not agree with women vicars.What I find strange/amusing/intriguing about this particular issue is this;The mother in this family was the driving force behind prayer meetings during the selection process to ensure that the right person was appointed. So... I wonder how she is feeling? what she is thinking? Does she believe God answered these prayers? Does she believe that the right person has been appointed?Hmm....
Life is like...
... a rollercoaster - it goes up and down, takes unexpected turns and you never really know where you're going to end up... a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get... a pressure cooker - pressure builds up and up and up until it explodes
Do you love me?
So today's devotions... Jesus asks 'Do you love me?'
We unpacked the passage a little - first Jesus asks Peter 'do you agape me?' (the biggest love there is), Peter responds 'yes I philio you'. (friendship). The second time, Jesus asks 'do you agape me?' Peter responds 'I philio you'. The third time Jesus asks 'do you philio me?' and Peter responds 'I philio you'.
Again, I feel me answer somewhat similar to yesterday's.... deep in my heart right now, I'd probably say no. I certainly don't agape Jesus... and I'm not even sure I philio him....
Who do you say I am?
So, college devotions this week are about questions Jesus would ask us. Today we looked at Jesus asking the disciples who people say he is. And we were left with the challenge of what we would respond if Jesus asked us 'Who do you say I am?'Who do I say Jesus is?... I think my head and my heart would say 2 different things.My head would probably spout of what 'I know', what I've been brought up to believe. And that is; Jesus is the son of God, the Messiah, the Saviour of the world, the reason I am here, a kind, caring, loving, forgiving, generous, healing person.But what would my heart say? Does my heart really believe those things? Could I honestly, truly, deeply say any of those things and mean them? I'm not sure.I think if I were to try and put something together of who I believe Jesus to be, right now, I would say; a guy who was written about in the Bible, who did good and amazing things to many people, and who now does similar to some people sometimes.Doesn't bode well for a 'Christian children's worker' does it?So why the doubt, why the uncertainty? Hmmmmm...
I'm not a teacher!
Work really bugs me sometimes...
It's over a year ago I changed jobs in my current organisation and don't get me wrong, I love my 'new' post, it's varied, it's based around projects and there's lots more to do. But it does frustrate me...
Mostly because of my abilities... I don't really have a job description because the council were reviewing job descriptions when I changed roles, and so I didn't get one confirmed. My role was partly based on my predesessor's job, but also added new dimensions according to my skills and combined some of my previous duties as well.
Part of what we do as a music and arts service is wider opportunities teaching, a government initiative. This is something that I've been involved in for about 2 and a half years. Probably about 2 years ago I attended a development day at work about wider opps and a possible course with Trinity/OU. I asked about doing the course and was told 'you're not a teacher, so not now'.
Just over 2 years ago our 'endangered species' programme finished for the academic year... I asked if I could keep on the oboe pupil, but was told 'you're not the real oboe teacher, you do endangered because you're here anyway.'
At the beginning of this academic year I was told I would be teaching the new 2 continuers from endangered species. If I'm honest, one I was really up for teaching and the other one I really didn't want to teach. So I questioned why and was told 'well it's most convenient for you to do it because X can only come on saturday mornings and you might as well teach Y then too.'
Last academic year I was asked to fill in at a school and actually properly teach clarinet/sax through wider opps, I play neither, but I agreed and I've nearly been doing that 2 years now.
About a month back we ran a holiday course for 2 days, with approx 150 children in attendance. I ended up spending much of the second day providing one to one support for a boy who has autism. A few weeks ago a course came up based on working with autistic children in out of school settings. I asked if I could go and received the reply 'this is not an area that is directly relevant to your work'. When my line manager later questioned this response, she was met with 'Becca can go to it in her own time if she wants, but not in work time because she is not a teacher.'
And I get angered... I know I am not a teacher per say, my main role is admin work, but within that I do teaching; I do 3.25 hours at Wind & Percussion Centre on Tuesday nights, I do 3.25 hours at Orchestral Centre on Friday nights, I do 1 hour wider opps on Friday mornings and I do 4 hours at Young Musicians on Saturday mornings which includes 50mins of one to one oboe teaching.... Now tell me I'm not a teacher.
It makes me so irritated; when it suits them, I teach; oboe, endangered, wider opps, holiday course etc, but whenever I want to develop or show an interest, I get told I'm not a teacher.
People... God... me
So it's been a while, I guess I haven't felt the need to blog for sometime. However for the past 2 or 3 weeks I've been feeling like I need to blog-out some thoughts/feelings and haven't got round to it until now. But today something happened, I had a conversation with a wonderful wonderful woman and she got me thinking again...I moved out of my parents on Nov 14 and since then I've been living in the green-doored house with Nic, Suzy and Cat. They're awesome, it's a lot of fun, most of the time. But sometimes it feels weird, having come into a ready-made community. They'd been living in the house along with Dan for 14 months prior to me moving in. So they know each other really well, likes/dislikes, they can read how they're each feeling; they know when to ask questions, when to comfort & when to just leave be, they have inside jokes, random sayings, mutual sayings and shared friends. They are so awesome, I do love living with them, but there are moments, and I admit they've been more frequent recently, when I wish they knew me and I knew them better. Times when I've wondered whether one or other of them is ok, but not known whether to/how to approach it. There's been times I've felt low, but not had the courage to share and they don't know me well enough to realise. Tough. But God is good... I feel making this move was right, and we have a real sense as a house of this place being a real place of community. I guess this is somewhat displayed by the fact next month Cat is going to Japan, so Harriet moved in with us this week and she's going to stay for 6 months. So that's our house...I do have a bit of a vision for this house... based on the early church in Acts 2. During my year out with my church, I preached on this passage, and titled my talk 'Devotion'... I long for our house to be like the early church; to pray and worship, eat, share, give, minister together. And you know what? We are doing some of that... we eat together when we're in, we do pray and worship together when we can. And it's exciting. But I feel God's got so much more to do. We can become a much stronger community, we can be like the early church, not only as believers together, but we can reach out to our friends and beyond. That excites me right now.Nic got engaged over Christmas... I'm so excited for her and Hamish. But perhaps selfishly I'm sad too. Sad that it means in 2011 she'll definitely be moving out of the house with the green door.On a note of loss, I'm pretty sad about church right now... before Christmas we heard that Lou will be leaving us in April. I knew it would probably be happening in 2010, but hadn't really thought about it, let alone mentally prepared myself for it. So, when I heard the news I cried... I cried all through church whilst attempting to play the piano and gave up on trying to sing. I cried myself to sleep that night and was just so so sad. Those who know me well will know that I'm really not much of a crying person, so for me to cry that much was a bit mental really. It was obviously needed though.I guess my reaction was again a selfish one. It seems that everyone I get close to at church moves on; the Powleys, Stuart, Leona, Nana, Rita, the Shuttleworths, Rach and now Lou, and soon to be Pippa. It's crazy. Why is it that I always build relationships with those that move on? It hurts. It feels like the people who care are here for a season and then move on. In my mind this all stems back to Lee and Kathy's separation...That was tough... I struggled with friends at school, and I chose to confide in my Auntie, Kathy... she was cool about it, she never said much, but she listened and she was fun to be with. The day I heard that her and Lee was separating I was gutted. My head knew that what had happened was horrible and that she'd over-stepped the mark so much, but my heart immediately forgave her and still loved her. I tried to stay in touch with her in secret, but Lee found out and I was told not to contact her any more. That was that.By this point Mark and Ailsa were almost on the scene. When they arrived at church I just clicked with them straight away... Ailsa was so caring and fun to hang around, Mark was very knowledgeable and wise and Jonah was just cute. As their time in Croydon went on, I delved into theology with Mark and tackled some personal stuff with Ailsa, I babysat Jonah and then Zach too and there were many good times. They became like a second family to me. And so when they moved on, I was devastated. I felt like I'd lost parents, the best friends God had ever given me, my support network and a massive chunk of my life.But God's been good... I don't feel though he's brought me intimacy like that with anyone, but he's certainly provided me with wisdom, fun, friendships and support, although I really feel none of it has been as deep.So Lou... our relationship was forced... forced by her immediately becoming my college placement supervisor. It started with talk about church and children's work, but soon it also became a relationship of support and accountability. Lou is wise, perceptive and good with words. There isn't a huge depth, and is, I guess, very one-sided.I think God is probably trying to teach me something and my guess right now would be that he's asking me to rely on him. I need to do so much more about my relationship with him, I need to seek him, I need to rest in his presence, to pray, to soak in his word, to be a witness. Right now I don't really do any of that. I must.God has provided me with Dee. She is awesome. I work with her, she teaches cello, has 2 children, one of whom I teach oboe. Over the last year or so my relationship with Dee has really blossomed. I guess for one reason or another I latched onto her and things went from there. I have confided in her a bunch, she knows a lot of my feelings, she knows when I'm struggling, when I'm happy, often what I'm thinking and always what's going on in my life. But what is more wonderful than that is she often shares with me too, she shares struggles with her parents, general work stuff, things with the children and today a concern about her daughter. I felt so privileged to be able to listen. I guess it made me feel good that someone actually wanted to talk to me about something going on in their life. I have such intense compassion for Dee, I love her like my own Mother, in fact I often talk about her as my surrogate/adopted mum!! And she gives the best hugs... hugs that comfort and make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Dee is one of the few people that has experienced a proper crying Becca and she's been great with me.She shared some pretty deep stuff with me today, it made me well up. All I could do was to listen, share a few thoughts which included a bit of my story and to just give her a big fat hug. I've been thinking about the situation, I should probably be praying. Oh how I'd love for Dee to come to know the Lord. Many times I've prayed for her situations, but oh how I'd love to pray with her. Sometimes I've struggled to share things with her because she doesn't know God. Again, it's partly selfish to think that it would be easier to talk with her if she was a Christian, perhaps I could benefit more. But actually, it would be so awesome to share in the love of God with her. For us to pray together and worship together. Oh I long for her to know Jesus, to know his love, his comfort, his peace. I'm sure that it would ease things so much.I wish I had the zeal about God to care enough to evangelise. I was thinking about this at cell group on Wednesday. We came to the 'witness' section and I was thinking 'you know what, I don't even want to share God with people. I'm embarrassed to talk about him, embarrassed to evangelise to people'. How wrong is that? Especially since Jesus commands us to go out and tells all nations about him. Why is this I wonder? Where is my passion? My excitement? My zeal?As I think about wrapping up this blog, my thoughts are such as this... will anyone read this? Are there people I want to read this? I kind of want my housemates to, particularly Cat, so we can talk about it. But why is that? Do I want them/you to live my faith for me? Am I idle? Have I become someone else?
My job really frustrates me sometimes… it seems my company give and take away however they please. This is my first ‘proper job’, so I don’t know what the ‘norm’ is or what procedure should be or whatever.
Anyways, earlier this term I was asked to stop going to teach at one of my SoundStarts, they wanted to put another member of staff in there are part of his personal development. I was a little gutted, as this happened to be my favourite SS, however I totally understood and accepted it. A week or so later I was told I’d have to go back there as the other member of staff couldn’t teach at the moment. So I went back, after the children having been told I wasn’t coming back anymore. Then week by week a member of senior management would say to me ‘oh, I should know soon if you’re gonna have to keep doing that SS’. I got really frustrated coz of a) the children needing stability, but b) is it really fair for them to say ‘go here, now don’t go, now go back, but wait, you may not need to go anymore’… I just feel completely used by situations like that.
Then you get the case of sessional staff having work taken away for them to make up the hours for salaried staff. That irritates me… I mean fair enough if it’s just a few hours, or one small school from one member of staff, but when it’s a whole load of hours taken from one individual to be given to another, it just seems so unjust. As one colleague put it, ‘it’s like thieving from the rich to give to the poor’. And I totally agree with her. Then you get multiple schools taken from multiple teachers to give to one teacher… I mean, if you need to take that much work away, did you really need to employ a full time member of staff? I think not.
Then there’s the case of ‘oh, well, she doesn’t know it yet, but she’s gonna be doing that teaching in September’. Ok, fair enough if it’s the instrument you actually play and you’ve got time for the work, but hello… why put someone who can’t even play the instrument into the school to teach it… it’s like ‘well, she can play cello, so yeah, she’ll teach double bass now too’. This poor woman doesn’t even play double bass AT ALL. It’s ludicrous… what does it say about the quality of our teaching? What message is this giving out, regardless of who actually knows the whole truth of it all? I realise it’s personal development in a sense, like me teaching SoundStart Clarinet & Sax, but a cellist, who doesn’t play bass at all, picking up a bunch of paired and individual bass teaching… what’s that all about?
Can they do this? I don’t know… and it leads me to question… my ‘favourite’ thing at the moment!!