Have you ever seen that movie “Under the Tuscan Sun”? It’s probably considered old by now, but it is about a recently divorced woman who buys a house in Tuscany on a whim and decides to start her life over, only things don’t go quite as she planned (but when do they ever?).
Anyway during one scene (while looking for a snake, I believe), she talks about what she is wishing for – a wedding and a family. At the end of the movie, her friend smiles and explains to her that she got her wish. The only “problem” was that it wasn’t exactly how she had pictured it (her wedding and her family).
I thought about that scene a lot yesterday. I prayed for kids, and God has sent literally HUNDREDS into my life even if none of them are “mine.” I prayed for a classroom of my own, and God sent me a WHOLE SCHOOL!
One of my favorite quotes is “If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans.” Even though my life may not look exactly like I may have pictured it sometimes, God keeps helping me adjust my vision to match His and not mine…and you know what? His version is always better. Sure, there are disappointments, but when I start getting sucked in to comparing my life to other people’s lives, I’ve learned to truly say that “it is well with my soul.” Then I remember that His ways are not my ways, and His thoughts are not my thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). His thoughts are higher; His dreams, bigger; and His plan, so much better!
So, yesterday, before I left my classroom for the day, I felt God calling me to just sit in the chair and soak it in for a minute. I hopped up on my “teacher chair” and stared at my empty classroom – full of new decorations, new hopes, new dreams, new life, and I was overwhelmed! I looked at the chairs I had to buy to make room for all the new students. I marveled at the poster on the wall announcing our Washington, D.C. field trip, and I stared at the books on the shelf, full of amazing knowledge to share about God and His creation. All I could think was ‘How did I get here?’
I got here by trading in my dreams for God’s plan, and trusting that when He gives me the desires of my heart, He is faithful to complete the good work He started in me. So, I sat there and just poured out my gratitude to God for what He has done in my life, even in the midst of all those times it felt like starting over, and with tears in my eyes, I enjoyed the view under the Gallatin sun.