It all started with a story today. The chunk of learning time I had to offer between chapel and recess.... was just enough. See, I am one of those "free thinkers" and thankfully God has gifted me in the realm of little preschoolers that I can go with the flow as needed. Yes, I have lesson plans but there are times when being sensitive to those your teaching ~ and KNOWING their limits and what they can handle at that very moment is the difference between a teacher and a good teacher.
Today was one of those days. Full of wiggles, giggles, and ready for more then we can imagine. That was today. I sat down with our book of the week, and began reading it from the BACK! Yes I did. I didn't get too far into into the backward story until I was seriously corrected by many inquisitive four year olds. I allowed them to correct me and we began again. I didn't get passed the first page before .... creativity hit.
The book this week is Silly Tilly (feel free to click on the link.... so you can order a copy for your favorite preschooler or preschool teacher). It's a book about a silly goose who at the beginning of the book takes her bath in apple juice. Then came the question.... what would it feel like to take a bath in apple juice?! Do we know what apple juice feels like? When so many had these looks of horror on their face, and yet they had no idea what apple juice felt like... it was time to investigate!
We poured two apple juice boxes into a clear container and went to touching, imagining what it would be like to take a bath in apple juice! Then.... on came another idea! Let's figure out what we would LIKE to take a bath in if we were allowed! The list was truly priceless.
After the exploration of the juice and our minds for the list, it was time to get down and dirty and read the book from front to back. (again)
There is a part where all of Silly Tilly's friends get on to her for always being silly.... and were down right mad, as a farm can get! It was in that moment.... where God grabbed my heart, and I shared one of his greatest secrets.... that has been lost between generations. A secret that we are created for a purpose, and silly Tilly was indeed created to be silly. In the story, she stopped being silly...... and everyone became unhappy. The farm friends were unhappy because they couldn't remember the last time they laughed, and when they did remember, it was a funny Silly Tilly tale. Silly Tilly wasn't happy because well.... she wasn't being herself. She had conformed to what others thought she should be ~ hiding the gift that was deep within her.
It was a great time to explain that when we are NOT who God created us to be, but are what others want us to be everyone is robbed! Robbed of your genuine character. Robbed of the chance to be who we are, without feeling ashamed. I started today just like that. Different then I had the rest of the week ~ yet the rest of my week had been SO wonderful! I felt dulled. I felt ashamed. I felt.... completely UNLIKE me. And there is a reason! I wasn't ME. I was who others tell me I should be. Quiet. Reserved. If you know me at all ~ I am anything but quiet and reserved. And when I resolve to be someone I am not ~ not only am I cheated.... so is anyone I may come in contact with.
As I shared, I didn't put two and two together. Sure, I knew God wanted me to share that truth ~ HIS truth about Him creating us individually for different reasons, to walk/ live on different paths. For that I am thankful. I was sitting by one of the little guys at nap time, and God whispered "Sheila, your silly Tilly! You bring so much joy to a room.... when your you! When your someone else, or trying to be someone else ~ your joy is zapped. Your fire is dimmed. When your fire is dimmed ~ you can't live out the purpose I called you to live. Now's the time... choose to be you and enjoy you."
I have spent the last three years trying to be someone I am not. Trying over and over to find acceptance for being someone I am not. This week I began to experience this joy and freedom like never before ~ and one day of returning to be someone that I am not ..... kind of zapped me. I have to say I am thankful, and for ever more. Silly Tilly will be one of my favorite books..... and one I believe that is going to lead to a life changing venture on my part.
I can't end this post without giving you.... a piece of me, a chunk of my heart, a little bit of a pep talk. God Almighty is so much MORE then we ever could give Him credit for being. He created you to be so different from anyone else, even your dearest friend. Not ONE of us are ever on the same journey even when we share so much in common. And guess what... that doesn't make us wrong! How you interpret the Bible may be different then I and guess what... THAT doesn't make us wrong either! It is just the Holy Spirit prompting us in different ways. I can tell you I can read one scripture for weeks, and every day it may mean something different to me. THAT is why we say the Word of God is alive. It is! The way I choose to clean and bless my home IS going to be different then the way You choose to do so. Neither one of us is wrong! Stop hindering who YOU are .... to be like someone else. Allow God to bring you through the journey of life, finding YOURSELF in the way He brings you to it. I have No regrets in my life, for each step had led to the next. But as I sit here, I feel free to enjoy the journey, no matter how wonky it may look to someone else. In fact, it's downright fun to be me and not worry who likes it. I always ask that God use me ~ in whatever way He can ... to lead others to Him. That is all I ask. And really..... all He asks us, is to live a life of worship where we worship Him in all ways. Life is good ~ and it gets better when we allow this to settle deep within our being.