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  There is a risk God has asked you to take, and there's an excuse you're giving for why you won't move ahead. What is that risk? Will you give it a name and acknowledge its existence? Less than a year ago, God told me to quit my job. He didn't speak in a booming voice, and there was no literal writing on the wall, but through a series of gut feelings and confirmations from others - including people I didn't even know - I had no doubt about what he was saying. He was saying it was time for something new. And I was scared to death.   The risk he was asking me to take was to quit my job and trust him, and the excuses I gave were varied and justifiable. What about money? What about the house we just bought? What about the fact that I know absolutely nothing about the path you're pushing me down? What will people think? What about my lack of qualifications? Oh, I had a million excuses for not moving ahead, and even looking back now, they were legitimate and very pressing. But they were also rooted in fear. I knew what I was supposed to do. The wheels had been in motion for...


  What a strange, complicated, divisive few days these have been. The inauguration of our new President has brought out strong emotions in virtually everyone I know, and the internet has shown me the opinions of those I've never met. I never want to contribute to the negative noise so present online, and I'm praying these words will provide hope in the midst of these times. I'm praying my words will ease the sting of words directed to you, public school teacher, and that my words will serve as a reminder that words matter, words can hurt, and though the words of others may be loud, they can still be untrue. It was said to our country that ours is "an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge." When I heard these words spoken by a very powerful man, my eyes filled with tears. A deep sadness overtook me for what you heard and what is believed about you. Then an abiding anger made me shake and made me want to shout the truth from the rooftops. Although I am not currently a teacher, I am only months removed from that sacred occupation, and I know...


  My cell phone rang, and when I glanced at the caller, immediately my heart began to pound. The illuminated screen showed the caller was the school district I had just interviewed with, so the news would be either very good or very bad. Either they wanted me or they didn't. This call would tell the tale. I needed a job, and I needed it badly. Years before, I had taught 7th grade English full-time, but when my children were born, I left work to mother them full-time. I loved every minute of being home with them, but my impending divorce and new status as a single mother demanded a paying job. And it demanded it now. I picked up the phone and squeaked out a "Hello" through my quivering voice. The principal I had just spent time with spoke, thanking me for my interest in their teaching position. Then he spoke the word "But," and I knew I wasn't their choice. He kindly explained they had chosen a candidate with more experience, and he wished me luck in the future. I managed to disconnect the call before I burst into tears. Then I wept uncontrollably. The previous eight weeks had been the most excruciating of my...