Personal Blog by Rhonda Crowdis Hardisty

Archive for August, 2012

5 Minutes from the Heart: Join

Today’s topic is Join. The point is to write for just five minutes. Without over thinking. Without over editing. Just five minutes straight from the heart and onto the page. I love this exercise for sharing what’s on my heart. The topic often stretches me to think about things I might not otherwise write about.

Start 10:28 PM

I like to join every opportunity that comes along. I want to volunteer for everything!

I often find myself volunteering for things, and then not being able to or not wanting to participate when the time comes.

I also find myself wanting to participate in so many different things that all take place so close together that it’s almost impossible to be everywhere I need to be.

At one point I was working full-time, going to school full-time, coaching cheerleading three or more days a week, and all while a single parent to three elementary aged daughters.

I enjoyed every minute of it all, but it was very stressful to juggle it effectively.

Most of the time if I am not extremely busy, I am bored.

So, I have had to learn to say yes to only the things in which I really need to participate.

Right now I have my hands full with a new role at work, a house full of children from 5 years to 22 years who all need my attention and input. I have no room to take on anything else and for once in my life I know that now is not the time to join anything else!

God is good and will not give us more than we can handle, but there is nothing to stop us from putting more on ourselves than we can handle! Are you an over-joiner too?

Stop! 10:33 PM

For more on doing too much and loving it check out my post at https://ourcrowdedheart.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/super-mom-at-heart/

Thrilled to be linking with Lisa Jo at the Gypsy Mama again this week. For more on this topic check out others linking with Lisa-Jo today by clicking on the icon below!

5 Minutes from the Heart: Stretch

Linking with the Gypsy Mama this morning, a little late for her Five Minute Friday, but I have been thinking about this topic since her e-mail Friday morning and just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share a little of my heart with you this morning.

Start: 9:29

Lately I have been dealing with stiffness in my back and I have to really stretch every morning before I get out of bed otherwise I may get a kink or muscle spasm, which is not fun!

In the same manner, God is stretching me, or allowing me to stretch myself in many ways:

My new campus and student population is a stretch from what I have done the past six years. It seems that every three years or so I get a little stagnant or stiff in my job and feel the need to stretch a little in order to grow educationally and professionally.

Starting Kindergarten again with my great-nephew who now lives with me is a stretch since I have not had a child in Kindergarten in a very long time. My youngest biological child is almost half past 19 years.

I am excited about stretching in these area’s but at the same time I know that if I don’t do things just right there is potential for a kink in the works. I move forward with the grace of God at my side and Him as my guide through this process.

It is my desire to show Him to all of the Elementary students and parents I will come in contact with this year as a teacher and as a caregiver. God is good!

When’s the last time you stretched?

Stop! 9:34

For more on this topic check out others linking with Lisa-Jo today by clicking on the icon below!

5 Minutes from the Heart: Connect

Linking with Lisa-Jo over at the Gypsy Mama today as I join what she calls a “flash mob” of people all writing on the topic “connect” for just 5 minutes without over editing or over thinking. Here we go!

7:51 am Start

As the summer months draw to a close and my new school year at a new campus with a new level of students, both chronologically and medically, draws near I try to think of ways to connect. I pray that I connect with my new students and the staff at my new campus.

While getting school supplies, new shoes, hair cuts and more for the soon-to-be Kindergartener in my home, I try to think of ways to connect. I pray he and I find ways to connect with new experiences, new teachers, new staff, and a whole new schedule.

As life moves forward and the Fall months loom closer, I try to think of ways to connect. I pray that we all gain a closer walk with God and that all the other distractions of life do not get in the way of the most important connection we can make – with Him.

7:56 am Stop!

For more on this topic check out others linking with Lisa-Jo today by clicking on the icon below!

God’s Calling On Our Hearts

Since Kindergarten I have wanted to be a teacher. It was what I was supposed to do. Even though I always knew I was going to be one someday, it took until I was in my thirties to actually put my faith in action, go out on a limb, change the direction of my career, go back to get an applicable degree, and become a certified teacher. Even further back than that, it took me becoming a single parent to get me back into school at the age of 28 which lead to a two year degree that got me headed in the right direction toward what will eventually be a Doctorate.

I believe that there are things we are called to do, for instance my calling to become a teacher. It took a lot of work on my part to get there. It was not just handed to me because it was my calling. I had to have faith that if I took a chance, took out loans to pay for college, and left a job paying more money than teaching, I would be successful. Sure, I could have continued working as a Real Estate Paralegal and never taken the leap of faith that put me in the teaching world, but I would have always had the nagging feeling that there was something else I was meant to do. I would have always had the desire to teach in some capacity whether in Sunday school or Vacation Bible School or even in training new hires in my department at work. My calling to teach would have manifested itself. The calling on my life to be a teacher was so strong that it was not something I could ignore. God has continued to direct my path in various ways.

I applied every year for four years to get a teaching position in the district where I currently teach. Every year I would spend the spring and summer e-mailing schools and applying for every possible opening. I would give up once school started in the Fall, and catch the teaching bug again every spring. Finally in November of 2006, after I had given up on getting a teaching position for that year, a friend of mine called and told me there was an opening at a high school in the district where she was a substitute teacher. I contacted that Principal and was told that was incorrect. They had no opening. This lead me to check the website and find that another high school in the district, closer to my house, was indeed hiring. I immediately e-mailed the campus and to my surprise was offered an interview! Needless to say, I was hired and have spent 6 years on that campus.

In those 6 years I have held two different job titles. Initially, I was a Family Consumer Science teacher overseeing classes in Apparel, Interior Design, Housing, Independent Living Skills, Career Preparation, and Personal Family Development. During the three years I taught in this department I gained a love and respect for special needs students that I had not expected. This led me to obtain certification in Special Education mid-way through that third year. Believe it or not, shortly thereafter we were advised that there would be a reduction in staff in our department the following year. At the same time I found out that there was going to be an opening in the self-contained special needs class where my favorite students spent most of their day outside of their time in my room. After a very long summer of not knowing for sure where I was going to spend the next year, I was offered and accepted the new assignment as Special Education Life Skills teacher of primarily Medically Fragile students. This was God’s timing at work in a big way. I have spent the last three years loving the kids and learning so much about children with special needs.

Last December I completed Graduate Academic Certification in Applied Behavior Analysis. This certificate along with 1500 hours in a behavior-analytic setting would qualify me to sit for the board certification examination in behavior analysis. For the year and a half I spent in the graduate program and the months following I have been searching for a position in the school system or in the private sector that would give me these required hours. My search continued to be unsuccessful due to additional stipulations on my ability to accept a position outside of my current one. For example, I am working to complete 5 years in a low-income school in order to have up to $17,500 of my student loans forgiven. I also needed to stay in the same school district due to insurance and other similar issues. So far, for nearly two years, there had not been a posted opening for a school that met all of these criteria. I applied for other positions that did not meet these criteria and nothing came through. Finally, I told God that I was going to wait for Him to open the doors at the right school. I was not going to apply for anything else until that time.

Two weeks ago, just a few days before the deadline to resign from my current position, a position was posted for a teacher in our district at a low income school in an Autism classroom. This was it!

Everything fell into place quickly! Moments after applying for the position, I sent an e-mail to the Principal expressing my interest. Within 15 minutes I received a call to set up an interview. At the interview the Principal teared up when I explained to her my vision for these students and how important I believe them to be in the grand scheme of the school. I knew at that moment that I had the job. An hour later she called and asked me if I would accept the position. Last week I picked up my keys! God is so good!

Ten years ago when I started working on getting my teaching certification and applying for open positions I would have never imagined myself working with special needs children. It’s amazing how things fall into place when we listen to God and follow His calling on our hearts. They say, “God does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called!” I am proof of that.

Are you letting God qualify you for your calling?

5 Minutes from the Heart: Here

5 minutes straight for the heart on a topic posted by Lisa-Jo over at the Gypsy Mama.

Start 7:23 AM

There is where God wanted me for a time and a season.

Here is where He wants me now; at this moment,  for this time and this season.

There was graduating my youngest from High School and becoming a Grandparent.

Here is registering for Kindergarten and starting all over again.

There was teaching high school students with Intellectual Disabilities (formerly known as mental retardation).

Here is teaching elementary students with Autism at a school I just moved to yesterday.

There is where I was happy, unchallenged at work, unchallenged at home.

Here is where I am still happy, but challenged at work and challenged at home.

There is where God wanted me then.

Here is where He wants me now.

Stop 7:28 AM

For more on this topic check out others linking with Lisa-Jo today by clicking on the icon below!

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