Work in Progress

Hey there my fellow May Survivors!

Does anyone else feel like the month of May was just totally insane? It has been a while since our last post but with the end of the school year and all the craziness that it brings, we were totally swamped! Fortunately, now we have successfully crawled our way through May, and have made it to summer mode! For those teacher friends who are joining us on this restful adventure called summer vacation, yay you! You have given all of yourself and everything you have for the past ten months and now it is time for some much deserved R and R. And for those who are still putting everything you’ve got into your work week, we salute you! Keep on pushing! We will drink a refreshing drink by the pool in your honor!

On a different note, while I have been surviving the month of May, I have had a few things on my mind that I have been mulling through. One of those thought strands was the phrase “Work in progress”. May was a time that really got me thinking about this phrase and what it really means.  So far, this is what comes to mind. Hard work. Long work. The kind of work that you know is good, yet it’s near impossible to see the good you are in it.

Recently I have been really reflecting on this. Honestly, I have been reflecting on a lot of things. One of the great gifts the Lord has given me is the ability to be really reflective on my life and see where and how things are going. And one of the greatest hindrances of my heart is being super impatient about getting to the next step so that I can be a finished product. Doing anything I can to speed up that process. I want to arrive! I want to be the finest most finished product of myself. But this past month my reflective mind mixed with my teacher brain really got me thinking.

A couple of weeks ago, I was on my way out the door and thinking about all of the things that my students need to clean out of their desks before the last day of school. The final day was quickly approaching and we had SO MUCH that still needed to happen. Then I thought about my students W.I.P. folders. There Work in Progress folders were constantly filled, and they were always wanting to empty the contents as fast as they could. Some of the work was hard, and they didn’t like it. Some of the work was fun, but it just took a long time. And some of the work was just downright no fun. Oh, I love when they sneakily took things out, pretend to lose it, or throw it away with their sweet sly smiles saying “We were done with it right?”. I tried to remind them over and over that, although we had been trying to clean them out and get them ready to take home for the end of the year, still there were things that I decided that we needed to keep so that we could work them into completion until the final day. They then looked at my with reluctant eyes and caved. They trusted that I would lead them well and help them to succeed.

As I was thinking about this and really also sulking about my impatient heart, this correlation between their folders, behaviors, and my own life started to play out in my mind. How often am I trying to clean up my own life and hurry to rush through phases? I tend to rush through the redefining process of my heart and self even when they are good yet hard things, just so that I can complete them and be on to the next season. And how often does the Lord remind me that we are not done with those seasons? That there is still more to learn.

What followed after this realization of their WIP folders, was a memory of the verse that God put on Paul’s heart as he was writing to the Church in Philippi. Paul is speaking to the people in the church sharing his love for them, and how he knows that the Lord will continue to work through them. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6. They are a work in progress. The Lord will continue to work on them until the day of his return, and he won’t give up on them or let them move through the next phase until they are ready. Never done. Always improving. Always being refined and made better than the day, week, month, or year before. This is how He loved the church in Philippi and this is how He loves us.

This is so incredibly sweet and so incredibly hard to hear all at the same time, for this season that I am in. There are a lot of times when I honestly feel a whole lotta irritated with the way things play out, how I respond to situations, or how God is moving in my life. Not at the pace I want or how and when I want. I am the student who is wanting to get all the papers cleaned out and things nice and neat so I can move on to the next thing. Then there are times when God reminds me that he is the adult, really speaks up, and shows me that he has got it. That He is still working and moving for my good, no matter how much I want to rush through the phase.

I am SO incredibly thankful that I have a father in Heaven that is not done with me, who wants to complete a good work in me, and lovingly reminds me that I can’t speed up his processes. He reminds me that He “works all things for the good of those who love him, and are called according to his purpose”. I am also thankful that my Work in Progress self, doesn’t have to have it all together and that he is working things for his glory and for my good. I am constantly reminded that as I grow in some areas of my life, others are still needing nourishment and TLC. And that that is ok. It’s ok to still be a work in progress. It’s good to work through those things diligently, with patience, love, care, and an open mind. And it’s also ok to be mad about it sometimes. To be irritated that you don’t understand things. I think that is a part of life.

What I am learning now is how then to release these phases or assignments in a way that brings freedom.  Freedom of knowing that they are just going to stick around in my Work in Progress folder until I work it out into completion with the Lord’s guidance. Touche faithful loving teacher and father of mine, touche.

So as you move into this new literal season, what season of life can you reflect on that needs to stay in your W.I.P. folder? Whatever it is, know that it’s ok to still be working on that. It’s also ok to be frustrated that it’s still your season. But I also hope that there is some relief and freedom there. Because you have a God, teacher, loving father in heaven who is going to one day bring that phase to completion. 🙂

Yours,

Nicole

Verses of the week:

Philippians 1:6

Romans 8:28

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