I haven't written much lately mainly because there just. isn't. time. You all know how it can be. The hours of the day fill up quickly, and sometimes life feels like a constant race to get everything done.
But... I have one story that just can't wait to be told. Forgive me for the following novel, but I don't know how else to tell it. I simply can't leave any part of it out. I'm blaming my long, windy, story-telling gene from my Momma's side.
Our tale begins in February of this year. I was swimming along happily at Spark, selling purses and rocking the handmade goodness. I just knew the shop had been a God-thing because of how everything there came to be so easily.
That was a Tuesday.
The next day I went back to work at Spark and had a normal day. Bart (who knew nothing about what was going on in my crazy head) called me after school. He said, "Lori, I just had the weirdest thing happen. Harry Huber just stopped by my classroom with a letter for you."
Harry Huber was a former principal at Linton Elementary School. Before Prim & Posh... before my kiddos... I was a teacher. I taught 2nd Grade at Linton Elementary, and I loved those children. I still check in on how they are doing now and then. (They are High School Seniors and in college now!) The year I was hired Harry was just retiring, but our paths crossed long enough for him to be small part of my beginning at Linton Elementary. I had Drew a few years later, and I became the stay-at-home Momma that I've been for the last 10 years.
When Bart got home I opened and read the letter. It was a handwritten note from Harry, and folded inside was my Philosophy of Education that I had written when I applied for my second grade job years ago. I won't go into detail the contents of his note, but it isn't hard to guess. I cried, and Bart thought I was crazy.
Honestly? Truthfully? Teaching was the farthest thing from my mind in March. It almost seemed like another life. One that was tucked away oh-so-carefully in my mind. I remember thinking, "Ok God, that's cool and all, but that really doesn't make sense right now. I'm the purse lady, remember?" I wrote it off as a really neat coincidence and a sweet gesture from a friend.
That was Wednesday.
The next day I went to back to work at Spark. Shortly after I opened the shop my phone rang. I glanced down and saw that it was my Dad calling. I immediately picked up, thinking something must be wrong for him to be calling me at such an odd time. He said, "Lori, I just had the weirdest thing happen. I was eating breakfast at McDonalds, and Harry Huber was there. He sat down with me, and we chit chatted for a while. He brought up you and......"
The exact same story came out of my Dad's mouth.
I bawled, and then explained to Dad what I thought God was doing. That was Thursday.
The next day was the Science Fair at school. I help with the Science Club at school, so I came in that morning to help all the kiddos get their display boards set up. I finished helping a student with his board and turned around to help the next. Harry Huber was standing there (in the flesh!) with his grandson, ready to set up his board. Harry said to me, "Do you still believe what you wrote 10 years ago?" We talked, and I tried really, really hard not to cry.
That was Friday. At this point, I knew this wasn't a fluke or coincidence.
Saturday I went to work at Spark again. My Aunt Meleah (who works at the hospital) came in to restock her booth. We got to talking, and as we gabbed we noticed some poor kid trying to parallel park across the street. We started talking about our old Drivers Ed teachers. She paused, and a weird look came across her face. She said, "Lori, I know this is going to sound really strange... But I feel like I need to tell you something. The other day I was clocking out at work and the Hospital Board meeting had just let out. I ran into Harry Huber in the hallway. He brought you up and ....."
I kid you not. I cried (once again), and told her what was going on. After she left I told God, "Ok! I get it! I don't know how it's going to work, but I trust you!"
The next week I was telling all of this to Christina, the sweet author from our shop. I told her I didn't understand why God had me open Spark if He really intended me to be somewhere else in a few months time. Why would He do that? Did I just make that all up in my head? How can something I thought was so centered and right suddenly just not be? She said one of the coolest things. She said, "Well, Miss Lori, I don't want this to sound wrong, but maybe it's not about you. Maybe you had to be right here to get things off and running. Look at the people this shop is helping. The sweet Card Ladies, the Orphan Team, the 80 some year old porcelain art lady? Maybe this was all for them, and your just the piece that needed to be here for a little while."
Talk about a DUH moment. The shop was self-sufficient at this point. Between Carnegie members, volunteers, the AARP employee, and vendors in the shop we had plenty of people to keep the shop open. I didn't have to be there anymore. I could manage the bookkeeping and payroll part of it at home.
So, I waited. I knew I should probably get an application in at the school this summer. (Another duh moment) Something just held me back. I never felt that GO feeling in my gut.
I was so confused.
School began, and I sent all 3 of my handsome men back. Suddenly, on the second day of school I was struck with that strong, undeniable, GO. It didn't make any sense to me because school had already started. The jobs were all taken. I remember shaking my head and wondering what in the world was going on with me. How foolish would I look applying the second day of school? I took a deep breath, cracked out the old resume, and got to work.
Here’s the super cool thing that just made me cry all over again. The new posting was for an elementary music teacher. My first choice of a minor when I started at ISU was music. I have a pretty solid musical background, and it made sense at the time. I sat through 1 day of classes and panicked. In one I found myself with 100 or so Music Minors AND Majors. The Minor peeps were great, but the Major peeps were soooooo snotty and arrogant. They were basically the most talented musicians ev-ah. I was told I had to sing. Out loud. In front of all of them. Once a week. I switched minors the next day.
I couldn't believe the new job posting was a music teacher. Was this what God had planned all this time? Is this why He had been working on me for months? I think I already knew it was. I officially applied for the job and waited.
After a few weeks I started to feel that doubt start to creep in. "Do you really think that God sent you, little ole' measly you, a sign? Do you really think that is what He meant? Are you sure this isn't just all in your head? Who are you to think they would even pick you? You've been out for 10 years!" Over and over again I had to work through the doubt and just trust that God knew where He was taking me. Maybe it was this job, maybe it wasn't. Not only that, but I knew deep down I had to be ok if the answer was no. That was hard, friends. Harder than I thought it would be.
Time marched on, and a new week rolled around. I met my Aunt Tish for our weekly walk on a Monday morning. It's great getting out and exercising with her, but mostly I love our talks.
My Aunt Tish's eyes grew HUGE as she listened to me accept my dream job. I hung up the phone, screamed like a high school girl, and hugged her tight.
HOW AMAZING IS OUR GOD?!? Who could ever pull off something like that? It makes me ashamed that I ever doubt Him. Embarrassed that I ever question Him. When I look back, I am awestruck by how He wove this all together. If you would have told me a year ago that I would be teaching music and managing a gift shop on the side, I would have smiled sweetly but secretly thought you were ready for the looney bin. Yet, here I sit on a beautiful Saturday, 4 days of teaching music now under my belt. And friends, it feels so right, so centered. Almost like it was meant to be all along.
Call me cheesy. Crazy. A fanatic. A religious fool who has drank too much of the kool-aid. Thank you so very much for your opinion kind sir, but I just don't really care. I know deep down in my bones that it's real. This isn't just some grand coincidence that I writing my faith into. This was a mighty & powerful God taking the time to guide his daughter to where she needed to be. To think that we matter enough to Him to do so... it simply blows my mind.
Where I am today on this gorgeous Saturday was not my plan at all. But my goodness, how much better it was than mine.
Now, if I can only remember that! :)