My last day was not Friday. The school paid me in advance. I could choose to repay some of the money or work until Wednesday. I chose the latter.

My replacement is a kind, retired man who truly loves kids and knows his Spanish.

We’re already out of money.

So, I did the taxes. That should get us through another month.

I talked to some friends of ours in a similar situation — four kids, no jobs. We’ve been hearing there’s work in North Dakota. He traveled 1200 miles to check it out. He got a $350 siding job in below 0 degree weather.

At least he had enough money to return home.

Barely.

Paul applied for 13 teaching jobs last week. I applied for three.

No response.

We need to find a creative solution. One that isn’t over-tried, over-obvious.

To me, it looks like teaching has rejected us. We’ve submitted to it — trying to reach kids and do our best for them. But we’re on the outside, unwanted, unsought, un-jobbed.

Perhaps it’s time to shake the dust off our feet and walk away without looking back?

We’ve struggled with this institution long enough. What positives has it delivered? How has it bettered us? It’s a vortex for our family. Everytime we get near it, we lose.

Thursday morning, I’ll start peddling articles. I want to gain enough clients as a freelance writer to put my public teaching career in the grave. I don’t want to ever let my livelihood be in the hands of one employer again. It’s a stab in the dark — but so are random applications to schools who have a surplus of teachers and a shortage of money. Something’s gotta give.

I’ll send off a modification application for the house on Monday. I guess this modification is supposed to help people like us. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ll cast my bread upon the waters, for after many days I’ll find it again. I’ll give portions to seven, yes to eight, for I don’t know which disaster might come my way. I need to have a spirit of trust and adventure and live a life that involves both risk and opportunity. Life has no guarantees. Just because life is uncertain does not mean I should do nothing. I need to use what I have with God-directed enthusiasm and faith.

If clouds are full of water, they pour rain upon the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or the north, in the place where it falls, there will it lie. Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. Stop staring and do something. Trust that in doing many good things, something will come to fruition. But those who stare at the weather and wonder what it’s going to do will lose the opportunities before them. Those who stop to think and mope and make excuses will never achieve much of anything.

Since I don’t know the path of the wind or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, I cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. So, quit questioning Him about why this is happening or what I did wrong or how come that person succeeds and I’m not and blah, blah, blah. Quit wondering what I did wrong and recognize that the rain falls on the just and the unjust and sometimes trees fall this way and sometimes they fall the other way. It’s what we do with these circumstances that matter.

I’ll sow my seed in the morning, and in the evening I’ll work too because I can’t tell which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well. I can only test these things  if I’m faithful to tend all my little efforts.

I’ll be happy while my blood’s still warm and my mind doesn’t matter. I’ll be happy while I still feel young and I’ll let my heart give me joy. I’ll follow the ways of my heart and whatever my eyes see, but I’ll remember that God will judge everything I do. I’ll banish anxiety from my heart and cast off the troubles from my body.

I just can’t wait to see that city on the moon with air-conditioned gardens that’ll play my favorite tune. I’ll see my feet upon that street if it’s the last thing that I do, even sweep the roads to be.

I’ve got no time for silly chitter-chatter. I’m on my way. And while my blood’s still warm and my mind doesn’t matter, I’m hopin’ to stay. Cause I got a thing about seeing my grandson grow old. And I plan to do it from the rocky path of an adventure, not from a comfortable meadow of defeat.

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