While the last day of school was May 25th, it feels like summer only really started this week. We did have our end of the year teacher workday last Tuesday, so this is the first week without any school obligations. Although, I am not without a bit of prep and planning to do for the next year.
This completes my 7th year teaching at International Community School, so I’d like to announce that next year I am taking my sabbatical. Just kidding, although my teaching neighbor for the last few years is doing just that, but to focus on being a stay at home mom (and after 11 years, so she’s earned it more than I have).
For me, I’m gonna shift focus away from school for several weeks and do some decompressing. May always takes a bit out of me, socially at least. I’m pretty caught up on reading, so I’m actually gonna catch up on writing instead over the next few weeks. Ali and I are in a new workout routine and will probably make some theme park runs in the near future.
As far as life in general, we just had a new roommate move in, who is starting at RTS in the fall. He’s one of Ali’s brother’s best friends and is a pretty cool guy. In some ways, he reminds me of me 10 years ago: in a new place and about to start seminary. We also had another new roommate move in back in March that graduated from Liberty and is looking to find work at a church in youth ministry. He’s also pretty cool, and we’ve already a few good theological discussions.
Our other roommate Matt, one of my best friends from back in the day in Tennessee, is still living with us as he goes through a divorce. Up until last May, we had been living with him and his wife and a teenage girl they were fostering (not through the system though, long story). We are renting a large house and had been easily able to split the living quarters (upstairs and downstairs) as well as rent.
Relationally, things began deteriorating between the three of them last February, and it culminated in the girl getting kicked out, and the wife abandoning to go be with her the following week. She left without warning and we haven’t seen her since (although Matt has, but only after over 6 months). Obviously, there is a lot more to the story, and it’s still brewing in the background. Matt had lost his dad unexpectedly earlier that year, so it was two back to back losses and he’s had a pretty hard time dealing with it. The trauma we experienced pales in comparison to his.
I only mention all that because it explains what things have been like inside our home for the past year. I don’t often post personal updates, and I don’t want to spend too much time talking about someone else’s story. At the same time, because we lived together, it is part of our story now too. Peace was a struggle but it has come gradually and we are thankful. Matt’s not out of the woods yet, but God’s brought people into his life to share his burdens and be the body of Christ.
In the midst of all this, the decision Ali and I made last summer to start the support raising process and see where God would lead us has culminated in formally coming on staff with a college ministry at UCF. I am still continuing to teach my normal schedule, although without any electives (besides sports journalism, and possibly weightlifting). I plan to continue doing that for the foreseeable future.
Because Ali quit Panera (after almost 11 years) back in January, we’ve been in the process of raising support. We are covered for the summer, but the fall is a question mark. We are a good ways along, but have quite a bit more to go in order to not have side jobs. That means at this point, Ali will be working a couple of part time jobs moving into the fall, and I’ll continue teaching at the school, as well as minimal private music lessons and the editing and research work I do.
We are hoping to take advantage of the two less busy months and spend as much time planning for the fall as we can. Planning in the financial sense (raise monthly support), as well as missional sense (how SHIFT will do para-church ministry in the fall). We are also trying out a summer Bible study to see if that’s helpful for students that are incoming freshmen as well as those still around in the summer. And, we need to solidify leadership and other back-end things that I won’t bore you with right now (but might if you ask later).
I’m looking forward to the change of pace, but am also not kidding myself about how much juggling is in our future. There is less of that the sooner we meet our August 1st goal of monthly support. In the coming days, I’m going to be processing some thoughts about our ministry on here. We are taking a step of faith by losing a primary source of income in order to pursue our calling. If that’s something you’d like to invest in, do not hesitate to contact me (and I might contact you before you know it).
In the meantime, I hope to get back in the writing groove, live without an alarm for a few weeks, and enjoy some much needed rain here in central Florida.