Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The School Year Has Begun

Whew! We have survived the first two days of kindergarten. I am amazed at how selective my memory is when it comes to what k-students are truly like when they first arrive at school. Thankfully, I am once again, blessed with an amazing group of students and involved parents. There is one student that I am concerned about. He has a heart of gold but would so benefit from pre-k. I am afraid that these state expectations are going to eat him up alive. I have to keep reminding myself that the only aspect of these children's lives that I can "control" (for lack of a better word) is the 8 or so hours of a day that they are with me. I can't change their home lives. I can't change their upbringing. I can't change their experiences. I am so thankful that I serve a God who CAN do all these things and so much more. I am also thankful for the upcoming 3-day weekend. :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

First day back to work

Today was a good day. Our in-service day began rather slowly but the afternoon picked up the pace and we actually were dismissed 30 minutes early. If I had chosen to be prudent with my time, I would have worked some in my classroom, but nope...I dropped my training materials off and immediately left. My co-workers are finding this "new side" of me amusing. I know I'll pull it all together by the time it matters so I am simply taking things as they come. Hope that decision doesn't come back to haunt me.

I skipped out on the in-service luncheon and enjoyed lunch with my sweet husband. I also had the chance to talk with 2 dear friends and enjoyed "catching up". I am truly blessed with wonderful people in my life.

I have come to so appreciate days such as today when agendas run smoothly and time with friends is enjoyable.

“Miracle of the Moment”

Steven Curtis Chapman - Miracle Of The Moment (From the album The Moment)
It’s time for letting go
All of our if only’s
‘Cause we don’t have a time machine
And even if we did
Would we really want to use it?
Would we really want to go change everything?
‘Cause we are who and where and what we are for now
And this is the only moment we can do anything about

Chorus:
So breathe it in and breathe it out
Listen to your heartbeat
There’s a wonder in the here and now
It’s right there in front of you
And I don’t want you to miss
The miracle of the moment

There’s only one who knows
What’s really out there waiting
In all the moments yet to be
And all we need to know
Is He’s out there waiting
To Him the future’s history
And He has given us a treasure called right now
And this is the only moment we can do anything about

And if it brings you tears
Then taste them as they fall
And let them soften your heart

And if it brings you laughter
Then throw your head back
And let it go, let it go
You gotta let it go

Listen to your heartbeat.

Beginning Another School Year

Well, my summer break is officially over. Teachers return tomorrow beginning with an 8:00 donut breakfast. We will have in-service for a week and the students will arrive next Monday. Overall, this has been a good summer break. I never would have imagined how fast it would go by, especially since I wasn't working, but it has flown. I have mixed feelings about returning to work. I think what I most need to remember is to develop and keep a balance between work responsibilities and other areas of my life.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone and getting a new group of kids always presents its own set of joys and challenges. I am still so unprepared, in terms of room set-up but I know that it will all come together. "Meet the Teacher" is Thursday evening so I will need to do some prioritizing to insure that I am ready for that event.

Kaeden's 1st birthday is on the 26th so much of next weekend will focus on that milestone. He is such a charmer. I hope that all of his years don't go by as quickly as this one has. He has a mouthful of teeth, lots of curly hair, a red-hot temper, a pair of feet determined to walk wherever he chooses and a smile that can light up any room. What a blessing he has been!

I heard a song today on K-LOVE that talked about appreciating each moment. I am in the process of searching for the lyrics. Those lyrics will most likely be my next post.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ending of summer routines :(

These past few days have been good. I missed going to church on Sunday because of a migraine. I was surprised at how much I missed being there; the week just doesn't start out the same without beginning it at Bible class and worship services.

Wayne and I enjoyed a weekend at home. He is through for the summer semester and ended up doing A LOT of yard work. My mom came out on Saturday and helped me begin to re-organize the guest room. I decided to set it up as a playroom for Allen, Elizabeth, and Kaeden. There are 2 twin beds and a "girl's toy side" and a "boy's toy side". I am going to let Allen and Elizabeth pick out some posters for 'their' side of the room on their next visit. Most of the toys are not suitable for Kaeden so I will have to make him a special play area in the small entryway into the room. When that room re-do is completed, it'll be time to tackle Wayne's office area.

Mitch, Sheryl and Kaeden are out of town for the week. I miss them; it's strange because I probably wouldn't be seeing them anyway but knowing their out of town feels different.

I FINALLY found a person to regularly cut my hair. She is from this area and has no intention of leaving or quitting any time soon so hopefully, she will work out. Unfortunately, there is only so much she can do right now with my attempt at growing my hair out so the "awkward stage" shall continue. UGH!

I met with Jim yesterday and that went well though not easily. We are discussing some tough subjects that leave me kinda sullen and thoughtful for the remainder of the day but nothing that I, with the Lord, can't handle.

I made a trip to Adventures in Learning with the hopes of getting inspired to go to my classroom and prepare for the fall semester---it didn't work. I ran into 4 co-workers while in the store but still didn't feel the need to head out to school. This is totally unlike me; my room and plans are usually done WAY before now. The teachers begin in-service this coming Monday so ready or not, the time has come.

Doug, Sherry, and Tim brought Cameron and Jordan out to go fishing last night. We didn't have much luck with the fish; only one mid-sized mud cat but all seemed to have a good time. The Loughs graciously allowed us to use their boat dock. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the peacefulness of fishing. Our fishing rods were stolen a while back but Tim left his rod here at the house so I plan on going more often when it cools down a lil' bit. I enjoyed having people out here. I wish that Wayne and I had more couple friends to hang out with every now and then. Maybe in time.

I am spending today cleaning, doing laundry, and Biblical research on doctrinal issues. I am beginning to wonder if ANYONE can know with 100% accuracy that they have the correct interpretations. Some of the "arguments" regarding the same issue both seem to make sense. The whole process is a bit frustrating but I know, that God, will lead me to where He wants me to be. I pray that I may be open and receptive to His call/direction.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Reminder of One I Know So Well

Tornado (song by Sara Groves)

You live your life like a tornado.
Destruction follows everywhere you go.
And you have no plans to stop or slow (oh).

I will not let this bitter root grow in me.
I will not let you leave that legacy,
But it gets so hard when pain is all I see (oh).
And every time I find healing, you're making a new mess,
And I am learning the real meaning of forgiveness.

And I tried to remove myself from your path,
But I keep on waking up in the aftermath.
So I pick up again and say I won't look back (oh).

And I will not let this bitter root grow in me.
I will not let you leave that legacy,
But this constant fight is breaking me (oh).
And every time I find healing, you're making a new mess,
And I am learning the real meaning of forgiveness.

And it hurts when you hit at the hearts of the ones I love;
When everything you touch is rubble and dust.
And it gets so hard to know how to trust,

But I will not let that bitter root grow.
I will not let it, no no. But it gets so hard (oh).
And every time I find healing you're making a new mess,
And I am learning the real meaning of forgiveness.

And I could move and never send you a forwarding address,
Or I could learn the real meaning of forgiveness.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Busy Day

Today has been quite a day. The morning began a little earlier than most other summer mornings due to 2 doctor appointments. I had hoped to run a few errands after meeting with Dr. Wick but failed to remember that some of the places I wanted to go didn't even open until 10 a.m. so I had time to spare while waiting for my next appointment. I was able to make a few phone calls; one of which informed me that a dear friend's mother had passed away. These past few days have been saturated with loss. My heart breaks for Debbie.

After being thoroughly up-front with Dr. Wick, he believes that I could benefit from yet another medicine to add to my repertoire but after some prayerful consideration and research on the medicine, I have chosen to not pursue that "suggestion" any further (at least for now). I don't feel 100% confident about going against the 'advice' but both my husband and therapist support me in my decision and I can always "change my mind" if improvements don't continue to be made.


After pretty much making that decision, I ended up canceling the other dr. appt and headed back home for a couple of hours. Thought that I might do something productive, during that time, but I ended up laying on the couch and watched an "old classic movie" that I had never even heard of until recently. Jeremiah Johnson (Robert Redford back in 1972). There were some funny parts in the show but most was a little too graphic for my taste.

My dad, indirectly, briefly popped back into the scene mid-afternoon. There is some sort of investigation going on (I specifically sought NO details) and I was contacted by the investigators, with the hopes that I would/could assist them in their attempts to contact him. I politely explained the current situation regarding the family 'relationships' and simply didn't have much to offer.


I have mixed feelings about that. The man I talked with was very kind and immediately removed me from the "main data base" so hopefully phone calls and letters such as this will FINALLY stop. Of course, the man couldn't make any guarantees but he seemed sincere in his efforts to do what he could. Maybe all of the drama will end one day!!

I received the new school schedule this afternoon. Usually, that is something exciting but I actually dreaded opening up the envelope. I am just not ready to return to work but ready or not... the time has come.

I met with Jim this afternoon. May God bless his patience and persistence. I don't mean to be as difficult as I can sometimes be but regardless of intention, the difficulty persists. I'm finding it easier to be open with him but felt out of sorts today. He commented that he liked this 'fighting side' of me. He said he had seen it before when it came to other people but not when it had to do with me. That 'fighting side' seemed more like b****iness to me but I'll trust his judgment.

Another friend and I had the time to discuss my possibly placing membership at the congregation I've been attending but I have some questions needing answers before making that decision. I have several options on who to talk with but my mind is simply too worn out right now for any deep discussions.

The evening has been spent in helping my hard-working husband prepare for one of his finals. He amazes me with how well he can keep it all together while working, attending school, taking care of me, helping out his parents...the list could go on. I am truly blessed.

I also found out that one of my favorite people, "Nurse Amy" will now be working for the Bullard School District as the 7th grade Science teacher. YEA for her. Another person of amazement. It would be great to have her on the elementary campus but it'll still be good to have the connection with her through school.

I am hoping that tomorrow will be a day of calm. I have to get this house clean!! I have let it go for far too long. My mom is coming to help me out on Saturday but I would like to have the heavy-duty "stuff" done by then. Procrastination has become too close of a 'friend'!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Improvements

Tuesday was a lot better.
Yesterday was ridiculously mopey & pretty much a waste of time so I have made some decisions.
  • I will immediately get up and prepare for the day. Lounging around in PJ's seems to contribute to the lethargy.
  • I will leave the house, at least once per day, even if it is just for a neighborhood walk or a visit with a neighbor.
  • I will read my Bible daily and commit at least 2 verses/sections to memory each week.
  • Each day, I will think outside of myself and will do, at least one thing, for another.
  • I will highlight my calendar on specific dates as a reminder on when situations/circumstances only seem majorly significant due to factors beyond my control. I will also take recommended medications during those kinds of days.
  • There are only 12 days until school begins. I will complete my home responsibilities and begin preparing for school.
  • I will meet with both Dr. Wick and Dr. Roper and make any medicinal adjustments recommended.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Today

Today is not a good day.
Don't know whether it is to blame on a bad attitude, residual effects of hormones, a natural part of this "healing process", signs of needed changes in medicine, getting too emotionally involved in the crises of others/boundary issues, maybe a combination of all or simply just not a good day.
I have not slept well for the past couple of nights because of tossing, turning, and bad dreams.

So far today, I have read from my Bible and a historical fiction novel, attempted to get rid of and organize some clutter, talked with a couple of friends, watched part of a soap opera and shed a lot of tears. I am wondering if this "process" will ever end?

Matthew 6:34 "Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
                         
Nice verse.
Good thought.
But what do you do when all of the days seem to, ultimately, be the same?
The todays, tomorrows, and yesterdays seem to be one long extension of the same times.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Foundations to STAND upon

Psalm 344 I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. 6 In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles. 7 For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him. 8 Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! 9 Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. 10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing. 17 The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. 18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. 22 But the Lord will redeem those who serve him. No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Psalm 31:3-15: 3
You are my rock and my fortress. For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger. 4 …for I find protection in you alone. 5 I entrust my spirit into your hand. Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God. 6 …I trust in the Lord. 7 I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul. 8 You have not handed me over to my enemies but have set me in a safe place. 9 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress. Tears blur my eyes. My body and soul are withering away. 14 But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, “You are my God!” 15 My future is in your hands…

Psalm 28
I pray to you, O Lord, my rock. Do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you are silent, I might as well give up and die. 2 Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out to you for help, as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary. 6 Praise the Lord! For he has heard my cry for mercy.
7 The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. 8 The Lord gives his people strength. He is a safe fortress... 9 …Lead them like a shepherd, and carry them in your arms forever.
I John 4:8; I John 4: 18
The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear...

Something to Consider

I woke up earlier than usual this morning and was able to hear Charles Stanley's message.
He discussed one of the "foundation Scriptures" that I've held onto throughout these past several months.
Isaiah 43:2: When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
He focused on the term "walk"; a thought that hadn't occurred to me before.
I tend to want to RUN or even deny times of fire but that's not necessary or even advisable.

God is with me and I will not be consumed by the flames.

My, How Time Flies...

I am having a hard time believing that it is already August. I went into the summer with all sorts of plans and very little has actually been done according to my plan but, nonetheless, it has been a "good break". This is the 1st summer since I was 15 that I haven't, at least, worked part-time. At the start, I didn't think I would like having that much time off but I have really enjoyed the freedom of very few schedules and plans. I have really appreciated the time to process a lot of new learning, along with re-fanning a long, lost spirituality flame.

I attended a teacher's conference a couple of days ago and am just now getting in the mindset of returning to school. Usually, by this time of the summer, my room is organized and ready-to-go but not this year!! I haven't worked in my classroom since the last day of school. Before the school year ended, I did prepare the 1st 2 weeks of lesson plans for the fall and have things for that time period set aside in one of those many boxes still stacked along my classroom walls so that puts me at ease (provided I can find those papers!)

One important thing that I learned last year is that I don't "always" have to have it all together and that it is "okay" to ask for help, when needed. I still have a lot to do to prepare for the upcoming school year but I am not feeling the usual pressure and that is nice.

I will have my 1st student teacher this fall. I have become used to being observed by college students but actually "sharing" my class for an extended amount of time will be something new. The student teacher happens to be one of my favorite ex-room mom's so that has taken a lot of the pressure off. I had both of her boys as kdg. students and absolutely adored the entire family.

I hope to enjoy and appreciate each moment of the remaining 3+ weeks of summer break. Maybe I can still accomplish some of those initially laid out plans.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Hesitancy

I don’t understand my hesitancy about going before God and ‘laying down’ what is really on my heart.

I have never felt so aware and so sure of His goodness, faithfulness, love, mercy, and His desire to have a personal relationship with me.
I can feel His “tugs” at my heart to come out from my hiding place and into His presence of genuine love yet there are times that a single step in that direction leaves me trembling inside.

I long for the feelings of consistency.

I can so relate to Susan Ashton’s lyrics
“Sometimes I feel like I’m as close as Your shadow and sometimes I feel like I’m looking up at You from the bottom of the Grand Canyon…”

I find comfort that someone else has recorded those words---leaves me hoping that maybe those feelings are just a normal part of our humanity.

I know that He is worthy.

I know that He is capable.
I know that He is willing.

But there are moments I feel as if my very soul has been captured by a sense of fear and shame.
I want God to create in me a willingly obedient spirit that above all desires His will.
I want to be molded into what He has planned for my life.
I want to see what He sees and feel what He feels. I want to, courageously, be able to address any and all issues with the full assurance that He will not allow more than I, through Him, can handle.
I want to repent where/when repentance is necessary and forgive where forgiveness is needed.
I want to allow/accept His healing and follow in the paths He sets before me.

I am fearful of returning to the darkness that threatened my very life but I know He desires to be my Light.

I know that my God is bigger and stronger than ANYTHING Satan puts before me.

I simply have to “hold on to” what I know to be true and trust that I am being “held in everlasting arms.”