Let Me Sing to You (My Stories)...

To Teach or Not to Teach

Um, what a question!

If Shakespeare only knew how much we could change his wording to fit our lives.
When I was younger (elementary through high school), I remember thinking (and maybe even saying out loud) that “I would never be a teacher.” Isn’t it funny how we tell ourselves “never, ever, always, forever?” That’s a very long time. I seemed to think that teaching was definitely not a profession I would enjoy. I did not “like” kids/children/creatures with snotty orifices. And of course, I seemed to think of teachers as K-12 and nothing else. 
With this said, my Heavenly Father has a fun sense of humor. I remember in my high school years being thrown slap in the middle to help out the Pastor’s wife with Children’s Church. The kids would flock to me and I kept thinking how crazy this was, especially since as a junior/senior in high school I did not really care to be around elementary school-aged children. A few years later I married and had a daughter of my own, then four years later another beautiful daughter.
At this stage one would think that my days wanting to elude the snotty ogres would be a thing of the past. Wrong. I still was not fond of babies, toddlers, or elementary school children. I just didn’t have the “nurture” quality, except with my own kids.
After my divorce, I left the state of Virginia behind and moved to North Carolina. I started attending a church, found a ministry that I could be involved in, and my children were now 4 and 8. I had to decide what to do with my life. The spiraling effect was crazy. At church, the preschool minister came to me and asked, “Pam, would you please help us out in one of the pre-k classes?” This was not a lady I could say “no” to. Her gentle spirit and loving nature made it too hard. I said, “Ok, but I ‘can’t’ take on the role of teacher.” The first week I was scheduled to start, the teacher had ended up with some health issues and hospitalized. How was I going to say no? For the next three years I was the 2 and 3 year-old teacher of about 20 babies. (Are you laughing yet?)
Financially, I was able to stay home until my youngest went to kindergarten. I started going back to college the next fall when she started school. I also had to find a job that could mesh with our new life changes. I became a school substitute. (I hear your belly laughs). This was the perfect job for me and my girls because it fit into our schedules so well. I went to school on Tuesday and Thursday, I worked on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and I didn’t need a babysitter. What a blessing. During this time of working, I ended up in the elementary schools a lot, particularly pre-k because one of the teachers had to be out so much because of her pregnancy. Wow. Since beggars can’t be choosers, here I was on the floor playing with 4-year olds, wiping snotty noses, and reading story books. (Insert more laughing).
I remember talking to God and saying, “Lord, is this some sick cosmic joke?” When I finished my business degree, I was hired on full-time through the school system. Well, guess where? Yep, you guessed it: In a 4-year old classroom where I spent three years. I ended up leaving that position because of my older daughter’s medical needs, but I took a part-time job tutoring about sixty 5th and 6th graders after school.
Well, eventually, I heard the answer that I had asked God. I also asked Him “what was my purpose on this path He had chosen.” I learned a lot about my purpose during those times of reflection, and I saw exactly how much I had grown in my faith, thanks to all of those babies, 2, 3, and 4-year olds as well as those K through high schoolers that I had subbed for along the way. I am still a substitute for the same school system, and I am more excited this year! Even though this journey started off as a job of convenience when my daughter started kindergarten, (and is now in the 8th grade) I see the cobblestone path that God has taken me by the hand and led me through very clearly.
Thanks to my experiences and time spent at the high schools, I decided to take a leap and finish my degree in English Literature. What a ride. My goal was to lateral entry into a full-time high school teaching position or work for one of the local colleges, but I did not have any college teaching experience, but I filled out the online hiring documents anyway.
Notice I said “my goal.” After graduation and MANY job applications, resumes, and “not hiring” or rejection letters, I became frustrated. I kept asking God to open the door He wanted me to walk through.
Endurance. Perseverance. Persistence. Patience. Wisdom. Gratitude. Love.
These are qualities that may have never transpired had it not been for my change in direction. I received a phone call the week prior to my daughter starting this year’s school term. I was asked a simple and direct question: “Can you start work Thursday?” No interview. No fuss. No muss. Just God’s simple plan for my life. I was wowed. God had proven, once again, that He had it under control the entire time! What a blessing on our family.
I now teach two night classes at the college, and I am still able to work during the day while my kiddo is in school.
Again, I say: 
Endurance. Perseverance. Persistence. Patience. Wisdom. Gratitude. Love.
God certainly has a fun sense of humor, but not in the respect of the (sick cosmic joke I mentioned earlier.) We need to make sure that our plan for our lives lines up with His plan and purpose for our lives. As you can tell, the one thing in life I never wanted or planned to do is one of the things in my life that I now plan for almost every single day and I love to do with all of my heart!
Thank you God for your forethought, wisdom, and grace that refines and molds us into who You want us to become. And thank You for giving me the courage to listen.

Mrs. Donica



  GC=Grand Canyon=God's Creation

WOW. I am back from my vacation/graduation in Arizona. Since being in college off and on since I graduated in 1990, I finally broke down, stayed on task, and now am the proud owner of a $60,000 piece of paper that says I have a 4-year degree lol.

It has been an amazing journey, however. I worked on my first AAS in Business Mgmt. from 1990 to 1992. I became a wife and mother in 1994. I became a SAHM, and I loved it! I had my 2nd daughter in 1998. My children are my joy and inspiration. Unfortunately, like many couples who are not grounded in God's Word, we were divorced in 2003, and I moved to NC to start over. I stayed at home one last year until my baby girl went off to kindergarten. It was then I went back to school for a 2nd AAS in Business and Information Technology. I graduated in 2007 and returned to an online program through Grand Canyon University, in order to work, handle school, and raise two fabulous children. 

It has been a fun ride. I have been blessed with keeping the schedule of my kids, and my girls have had the importance of education instilled in them to the core of their bones ;) They helped me along the way with studying, rewriting, and proofreading (yes, even teenagers can truly catch your mistakes lol). They have encouraged my efforts and given me new life when I started to burn out. How do I know they take education seriously? For one, I have a beautiful daughter who took her SAT in 7th grade and was offered a full ride at Mary Baldwin College at the age of 14. Yes, I let her go. She excelled in academics even after the serious life changes we went through as a family (i.e. the divorce, the move, the stress of a new state and school). That's pretty tough on an adult, even more so on a child. She, however, shined. :) My baby daughter is now in 7th grade and is a straight A student. She, however, does not want to skip high school like her sister. She has her life mapped out with her own goals and even a "bucket" list. *Who knew??* With this said, I will stand behind my kids decisions, because overall, they make very wise choices. 

So, this past year has been a pivotal moment in life approaching 40. I married my very best friend in November, and I graduated Summa Cum Laude on May 3. I am honored to be inspired and motivated by a wonderful family that I now have on mine and my husband's side, countless friends and coworkers, and a great church family as well. 

I had the absolute pleasure of turning my graduation into a family fun adventure. We flew to Nevada to see my fabulous new in-laws AKA awesome! We were able to drive to Lake Tahoe and see some beautiful handiwork of God (His creation never ceases to amaze me!) We then drove to The Grand Canyon on our way to Phoenix. It is indescribable! On our way back from the university, we were able to stop and get photo opps with some very famous cactus :) as well as hit a Casino in Las Vegas, where I can now say I have won and lost in Vegas. ONE whole dollar lol. Mr. Donica lost it though lol. We drove down the strip as well and stopped by one of my pleasures in life... the 7-11. What an awesome time of family. That's what this post is mostly about now that I read back over the text. Would I have made it this far without my family?  I don't think I would have had the drive without them. One great quote that I think of when I regard family is this.... "Our family is the link to our past, and it is the bridge to our future." That is always very fitting in my life. 

Yah. I'm done! Psych! I have decided that since there are only 6 more classes to a Master's degree, I will persevere. Even though I would like to be finished by next May, I think it is time to slow down, enjoy being a newlywed, and honoring my children's great successes. 

Now, just so you know, my family is not simply blood relations. Anyone who makes a lasting mark on my heart is family, because that's what my precious Mom (r.i.p. and Happy Mother's Day!) always taught me. Remember that "You don't choose your family, they are God's gift to you!" 

Always, Always take care of your family. 

Blessings to you!

The awesomely blessed,

Mrs. Donica