elisabethdanielsons

Seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.

Changes

on February 13, 2014

So it’s been quite some time since I have done any updates. A large part of this is that I haven’t felt the desire to say much, but most of it is that I’ve been super busy with life and my blog is not one of my priorities. But today I’ve had the urge to write about how things are going. I’ve had a brief moment to breathe and to begin to process the changes that are coming in my life. I have been thinking a lot about change for the past couple of months. For part because of some changes here in the office, but mostly because I have seriously started the process of thinking about where I’m going to be next. I still have 6 months left here in Dallas, but I oftentimes find my mind wandering to where I will be in 6 months. I am trying so hard to stay present in the moment and be at my best at work, while still trying to think ahead.

For those of you who don’t know, I have determined that my next steps will more than likely be attending seminary. I’ve applied to Perkins School of Theology here in Dallas, as well as Wesley in DC and Garrett-Evangelical in the Chicago area. I am looking at both Masters in Divinity programs as well as a Masters of Arts in Ministry at one location. I am NOT planning on seeking ordination as an elder in the UMC (aka I don’t want to be a full-time pastor of a church) but things may change. There are also pros and cons to each of these locations, and I’m currently waiting to see if I will be accepted and what financial aid will be offered. I also have to think about housing and finding a job to help support myself, etc. All of my applications are in and in front of admissions committees, so all I have to do is just wait. I’ve found waiting to be almost harder than hitting the submit button on my applications.

So as I sit here and wait for news (hopefully good), my job has changed in a big way in the past week. My direct supervisor has gone on maternity leave for the next 6 weeks, and I have had to take over a large part of her responsibilities. She has been coaching me and pushing me towards this for the past 6 months so I am definitely ready but it has been a very scary transition for me. I guess the reality has sunk in and now I know how much I depend on her to bounce ideas around. I look at this opportunity to learn more about what it feels like to be a supervisor of programming. Since I used to be a teacher, I equate her job with being the principal of the school, and I was an assistant principal. I did more site visits and active coaching of the interns. I have been responsible for curriculum and facilitating the collecting of grade cards, but ultimately the big decisions were in her hands. She has more paperwork and reporting responsibilities as well as being in charge of all decisions related to programming. I reported things back to her but ultimately all those big decisions were in her hands.

Last week, it sunk in for me when we had bad weather coming. Now, I know “bad weather” is a relative term based on where you live. We had a dusting of snow on the ground last Thursday, and that causes the city to shut down and the grocery stores to be empty. I could get into the causes of this but that’s not the point. Suddenly, it was my decision whether we should cancel our after-school program due to the weather. I had to think about our families as well as the safety of our 20 or so interns when making this decision. Ultimately, it was fairly easy to decide because Dallas ISD (the school district where most of our children go to school) cancelled all of their after-school programming for the day, so we did the same. So, that being said it wasn’t really a big deal, but it made me realize that my job has changed a lot, at least for the next month and a half. The first week and a half went fairly well, so hopefully the next few weeks will go smoothly.

All this to say, I keep thinking about leaving and changing things up in my life again. Part of me is eager and excited for this next chapter, but a large part of me is hesitant to leave the community that I have built here at Project Transformation and in Dallas. Last year, I really enjoyed telling people that I was actively taking a Sabbath from thinking about my future. This allowed me to be 100% present in the things that are happening here in Dallas, but now I have to start planning ahead again. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers during this time of transition for me but also for the other US-2’s in my class as they go through a similar process of figuring out next steps.

Until next time, Elisabeth

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