There is hope for the lettuce

A couple weeks ago at church I shared what has become one of my favorite passages from the Bible.  “For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease; yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant.”* I think in context that Job’s point is that he’d rather be a tree, but my point is that we are like that tree. At the scent of water, we will bud and put out branches.

It’s been a while since I made the first-fruits salad for the church picnic, and taking two classes in addition to my two jobs, my gardening (as well as housekeeping) strategy has been to walk by and feel guilty on my way somewhere else. After arguing with it all summer, the lettuce finally shot up flowers and went to seed, the tomatoes died with fruit on the vine, and the chard began to whither. My birthday came and put an end to all this with the tiny potted roses from my co-workers.

The roses started to die, so I set them in the window sill where they contracted tiny yellow bugs. I have a house rule against anything harboring bugs, so I took the blessed little gift and it’s yellow colony to the patio. One thing lead to another and suddenly I was adding the failed compost canister, previously banished for similar infractions, to the now-empty tomato bag-planter. I would post a picture, but my old coffee grounds had turned the color of baby poop (which has to be a good sign, right?) As I rummaged around I discovered that although my carrots had not grown long roots, the tomatoes’ roots extended out the bottom of the bag, coiled beneath their planter and empty neighboring planters, and the three wee chard had filled their interior with nutrient seeking webs.

The fallen lettuce, my greatest source of garden-induced guilt, have hidden from sight the most treasured secret of my winter garden: all manner of sprouting things, including 10 head of lettuce.

My friend Diane always says, “Water it and see what comes up.”

As I poke seeds into the November dirt, I think about how hard it will be to leave the Central Coast for school. Learning to surf and garden, this place has finally gotten into my heart, and it’s possible my roots have grown deeper than I realize. I’m a lot like that fallen lettuce, harboring a host of seedlings, but what and where and how my seedling dreams will grow is still mine to discover. Until then, I will have to see what grows this winter in the Central Coast.

*Job 14:7-9 ESV

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The title of this update might be longer than the actual update.

Okay, maybe the title isn’t longer than the update, but I wanted to tell you quickly about all the things I am doing this fall.  In short, I am going to school…school…and more school.

We have completed two full weeks at the elementary school where I work.  I am looking forward to learning a lot this school year, both in my work and in my own education.

I am taking statistics through the local community college.  It’s been a few years.  Seven, to be exact.  Statistics is only the beginning, and is a prerequisite for most speech language pathology programs.

To ease myself into grad school, get some ideas about the current research and leaders in my field, I am taking a course on Autism through UC Davis Extension.  It is a master’s level course which is geared toward all students, from parents to post doctoral studies, so I figured it was a perfect place to dip my toe in the educational pool.

And perhaps the most exciting part to me is that I have decided to take the a 9 to 12 month course in Reconciliation through www.gracebridge.org.  I am hoping to find a few friends to take the course with me, so if you’re interested, check it out and drop me an email.  (You can check out some of the modules through their guest login.)

The YWAM base here is running their first Basic Leadership School, which starts today and runs along side the Discipleship Training School which starts next week.  I’m hoping to connect with those schools over the next few months.
So many schools, I might be a fish.

What does this new season bring into your life?

Saturdays at Andrini’s

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My weekly pilgrimage to Andrini’s started because I needed internet.  And community.  I slung my 7 pound computer onto my back and trekked to the local coffee shop.  I wandered through the farmer’s market as they were setting up.  I paid my bills and then found some conversations I wanted to join online.  I ran into people I knew.  I came back the next week.  And the week after that.  And the week after that.  Last week I finally brought money for farmer’s market and brought home copious amounts of basil, among other things. Thank you SLO Grown Produce for the pesto sale.

I have a new genius phone that keeps me connected at home, but I still come.  I’m in search of community.  I have a tendency to want to hide in my house, but I dream of sitting around coffee (or beer) and talking about the things that matter.  Big thoughts and ideas, sometimes I wonder how to make it happen, sometimes I wonder if I’m ready or if I’d like to keep my ideas in the safety of print.  Every Saturday, I just keep coming.  Wanna come?

The Big Update

  • 2 years, 9 months, 3 weeks, 4 days since arriving in Pismo Beach for my Discipleship Training School.
  • 2 years, 2 days since moving to Grover Beach to staff with YWAM Pismo Beach and Central Coast.
  • 2 months, 1 week, 4 days since my last day working with YWAM.
  • 1 month, 1 week since beginning work with the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education.
  • 2 weeks since moving into my new apartment.

I live in a world in motion. After living in 9 different states since graduating high school and gaining experience in four different professional fields since graduating college, you would think I was accustomed to change. Still, this most recent change took me by surprise. It wasn’t my plan, but as I’m fond of quoting in Proverbs, “Beth makes her plans, but the Lord directs her steps.” Or something like that.*

Starting in June of this year, I began praying about recommitting to YWAM this fall. A friend drove me home one evening, and as we sat looking at the community house that has been my base of operation for two years, I imparted to her, “I’m not sure if I’m staying with YWAM this fall.”

“What else would you do?”

I hadn’t give it any other thought. I had only been praying in earnest a few weeks, and I simply did not have peace about recommitting. My mind, usually full of thoughts and ideas, was completely blank. And then out of the thin air I said, “I don’t know. Maybe become a para (educator) in a special needs classroom?”

“Oh you’d be good at that,” and then my friend shared with me how to become a substitute teacher. I wasn’t sure if she had heard me correctly, but the Holy Spirit prompted me to look into her advice. It was as good a plan as any.

On July 8, I went online to determine the cost of taking the CBEST, a test required for the substitute license in California. I learned two things: the cost was $41 and the deadline was 5:00 PM that day. Between the cash in my wallet and money in my account I had $42. With the entire leadership team out of town, I had to make a decision. So I biked to the bank and deposited the money, got my application in under the wire at 5:00 exactly.

When the leadership team returned, I spoke with Lori, and they released me from my YWAM duties to begin looking for work that week. Despite assurances that, “They’re always hiring,” I could not find any open substitute positions. I did, however, find the position I had described to my friend, a para-educator in a special need’s classroom, or in this county called an instructional assistant!

Throughout the application process I kept wondering about where I would be placed if I got the job, who was filling the position in the mean time, what affect that would have on the students, and when I would get to start. Since I have been working it is clear that I am in the right place. It is a good fit for me, and it seems like I am a good fit for the classroom, like my unique contribution is what my team was needing.

I worked with people with special needs all through college, and it feels like I have picked up where I left off. In the bigger picture of my life, this move makes more sense than I can fathom. I still believe in the call that God put on my life that lead me to YWAM, it just seems like the path to that call is different than anticipated. One of the clear indicators came when I was re-reading Loren Cunningham’s book Is That Really You, God?  He spoke of the two year stint in YWAM being designed to give people a sense of purpose and direction when they returned to work or school. A clear sense of purpose lead me into YWAM and through my experiences I have a better idea of how to steward my resources in the direction of that purpose.  Following that direction meant stepping out of YWAM, and so here I am.

Please continue to pray for me as I settle into my new place and position and seek supplementary income. God really does provide for all our needs, and I am learning, often the provision is already in our hands, we only need eyes to see it and a heart to trust.

 

*YWAM Pismo Beach and Central Coast will no longer be processing support for me as of October 31, 2011.  Thank you for your generous support over the years.

Steps

It’s been a while since I last shared news…because there was no news to share. Lots of things were in the works, nothing was official. Well, the time of officiality is upon us. I have news.

As many of you already know, this October marks the end of my original two year commitment to YWAM Pismo Beach. I originally saw myself on staff with YWAM indefinitely, but as it says in Proverbs, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” And my next step appears to be out of YWAM and into employment in the Central Coast. I have several applications out and have had a couple interviews. Please pray for me as I look for the doors God is opening, that I would remember His faithfulness, and that I would have peace as I continue in this application process. Also pray for me as I transition into a different role in my community.

Thank you all for your loving support and encouragement throughout my adventures these last few years.  I know there is more to come.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Exciting times here at YWAM Pismo Beach and Central Coast.

We will not be able to offer our summer DTS due to lack of student enrollment.  Before last year, our DTS’s ran in the winter/spring, so while it is disappointing that we will not do two DTS’s this year, it is not unusual for us to have the summer to focus on the Central  Coast.  This comes as a surprise to us, but not to God, so I’m excited to see what He has planned for us.

The justice DTS arrived home very late last night.  This next week they will regale us with tales from their international escapades, while we prepare them for the next step in their lives.  It’s a very important week.

Transitions are always hard.  We will need God’s grace as things are changing around here.

Quiet

I saw the sun rise three times today.  Third time’s a charm, Mr. Sun.  Actually, I lost count after the fourth or fifth time the sun rose from behind a peak, only to be obscured again as I drove through the hills from San Luis Obispo to Pismo Beach.  I dropped my housemate Tyler off at the train station early this morning.

Things are pretty quiet around here.  Most people are gone on outreach or vacation and support raising trips.  Will and Lori are having a new baby girl any day now.  We received a new staff woman, Jael, from the Netherlands a couple weeks ago and now she is away on her new staff outreach.  Our most recent addition is a friend from the surf DTS which ran at the same time as my DTS, Hoover.  We set him up in the guy’s room at our house, and he’ll start training next week.

Other than that, I am enjoying the newly redecorated office, painting a couple walls in the office, making a lot of art, playing violin in a musical, preparing for the next DTS and praying that God sends us more students so we can HAVE a DTS this July.

Like I said…quiet.

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