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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Being THE BODY

Here is a quick summary of what happened Wednesday from my Facebook post.

Yesterday I went to the ER for chest pains... It was diagnosed as severe indigestion and cartilage strain due to my workout yesterday morning. That is not what brought me to tears though. The fact that 3 teachers sat in the waiting room and prayed over me did. The fact that 5 teachers asked to take my kids for the night did. The fact that a teacher PAID for Bre's birthday dinner last night did. The fact that my entire school prayed over me during inservice did. The fact that I woke up to 23 concerned text messages and 12 emails did. God so humbly reminded me yesterday of our calling to CCA... All 5 of us will be there this year and I'm so thankful to be a part of the family and community there. Thank you CCA for being the body yesterday.

I could have written so much more but Facebook likes to limit your character numbers so that people don't write short novels. 

But, my heart won't let me be silent about what really happened that day. You see, I have been restless lately. Torn between being a stay at home mom and being a full time teacher. I have been torn about whether I really belong at Covenant...I'm not exactly the brightest crayon in the box and I am surrounded by very intelligent people who I admire and who seem to have a much higher IQ, both in the academic world and in theology. I am an art teacher who wants to dye my hair unnatural colors, pierce my nose again and wear things that have fringe, funky colors and don't always go to my kneecap... but I understand that I need to dress and look professional as an employee there. I am not always the Christian role model I need to be to all of my students....sometimes I punish instead of discipline a child...sometimes I don't love a child unconditionally. I tend to make really big messes,....and not with paint...like with relationships or with my expectations and then I have to spend hours, days and weeks repairing those. I am not so sure that the art/bible teacher they hired 5 years ago is what they are always getting.

Adam and I had been specifically praying for God to speak clearly to us about our next step of faith. And in my heart I looked for things that I could complain about at CCA hoping that it would allow me to make a decision to be a stay at home mom with little regret. I began to not like the very same things that drew me to Covenant...the classical approach, the rigorous curriculum,  the professional dress code, the ongoing personal and professional development. 

Don't hear me say that I didn't like what Covenant offered my kiddos. I knew in my heart that if the Lord allowed, Goober would finish at Covenant, he has been shown to much kindness, grace and calls of redemption to not stay there. I am still amazed at what my kiddos already know about the Lord and our desperate need for Him. I just wasn't sure that I still fit there. 

BUT THEN WEDNESDAY HAPPENED. 

I have never in my life had that sort of pain...but from the minute I grabbed my chest during our bible department meeting I was surrounded by brothers and sisters in Christ. I was held up (literally). pulled into stretch positions to ease the pain, petted, my nose was wiped, my tears were wiped....my colleagues held me on the floor. My colleagues who are all under a hard deadline for the start of school STOPPED what they were doing and took care of me. My colleagues missed meetings, lunches and kiddos activities to sit in the ER and simply wait and pray while test were run. My colleague who was in the ER with her own kid who was severely dehydrated and spent 4 days in the ER, found me, came in and prayed over me. Back at the school, the Cougar Club directors were starting to put together a birthday party for my Ribbit (cue the tears) so that her birthday was still special. I had 5 friends offering to check my kids out and keep them the rest of the night. The whole school stopped and prayed over me...little did they know they were praying for my gas....geesh, now that is humbling. After I was drugged and given a prescription I was allowed to leave. For the rest of the day I was bombarded (but in a good way ) by my colleagues asking and begging me to let them help. I had colleagues stop at our house to check on me. Ribbit had requested Chick FIl A for her birthday dinner and when we walked in we were greeted with "Hi Harvells, your dinner is already paid for, what would you like to order? We know its Ribbits birthday so we have ice cream ready for you guys whenever you are done". (cue the tears). Another colleague had already gone before us and paid. 

I can vividly remember being the ER, getting blood drawn and hearing the Lord say " you have been planted in fertile soil", "you have been planted in fertile soil". Another colleague had spoken those words out loud earlier that morning and the Lord continued to repeat them to me. He began to remind me of promises he had made and fulfilled to me...

..."Go to Israel with SWBTS".....what for?
 ...."Go to Texas".....why?...."Go to Texas"
...."Adopt a sibling group".....how?...."Adopt a sibling group"
...."You will have a child named Elijah"....really?
...."Say No to this baby boy that is being offered to your for adoption"....why?....."SAY NO"....2 weeks later our Baby Boy came home to us :).
...."stay planted"...here or in AL close to family?....."stay planted in fertile soil".

Why would I doubt Him now? Why would I look for reasons to be out of His will? Why would I test his goodness and faithfulness to us? Why would I let the DEVIL steal my joy and convince me that I don't belong somewhere?

THE BODY of Christ is the only family/group/body in which I truly know how to function. That sounds very narrow minded but I don't know how to operate outside of it. I don't know how to not offer prayer to someone who is hurting. I don't know how to not offer meals to or care for someone who is grieving. I don't know how to not LOVE people I have never met. I don't know how to stand still when worship comes on. I don't know how to keep God out of my lesson plans. I don't know how to comfort a student who has lost a parent without reminding them of the hope of Heaven, the kindnesses of the Lord, the sweetness of the reunion we will one day have. 

I don't want to function outside of the BODY. I don't want to try to fit in somewhere else. Covenant, our church home and Texas has been tended by the Lord for us, he has planted us there and until He tells us differently us we will continue to grow deep roots in THE BODY OF CHRIST. 

Here are some old and new pictures of our WONDERFUL Covenant Family!!


 Romans 12:6-8 
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

My 8th grade bible class from last year enjoying the Passover Meal.


Teachers and Students...LOVE THEM!
 Ephesians 5:29-30
for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.

One of my fav students and my Big Man share a birthday!

One of my students who came as Batman for Baby Boy's birthday...and one of my besties in the background!
 1 Corinthians 12:25-26
so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

We love the FELLERS. Claire and Ribbit were in kinder together and I run daily with Claire's momma!

Cougar Cheer with Mary Bryton,  who is now a part of our family! God is so good!
 1 Corinthians 12:13
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Loving on Annie, another sweet student and daughter of one of my good friends and fellow teacher.

My sweet 7th graders holding up their mosaics last year.
 Ephesians 2:19-22

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord,

Honorary cheer leader!

We may have too much fun in art!!!
Ephesians 4:4

There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;

Friends since 1st grade. Taking a vow of silence as monks for Reformation Day :).

I love that our teachers send us texts throughout the day so that I don't miss out on special memories.

Romans 12:4-5

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

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