Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Graciousness of Keeping Busy

I cannot seem to escape this incredible sense of sadness. The hours spent at work are, by far, the easiest moments of the day but when the school day is over, I.am.done. I am exhausted physically and mentally. The passing of time is really catching me off guard. I can't believe we are already ending the 1st six-weeks of school. I feel as I'm simply treading water in all responsibilities and relationships in an attempt to simply keep my head above water.

I am determined to "stay afloat" but I am hungering for a true moment of restful peace. Daily seeking guidance through tear-filled prayers. I know that God is listening even though the silence I feel is crushing. I just want to rest. I'm weary. I'm lonely. And I'm scared.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Just An Observation

I realize that the following sounds like a complaint but it's really more of an observation. An observation that leaves my heart hurting and my mind reeling because of the why-sort of questions that may never be answered.

I have been far from perfect in my life but I have, for the most part, been a good girl. I stayed away from all drugs and excessive alcohol. I am choosy on what I allow to enter my mind in forms of entertainment. I've only dated those that I knew had some sort of connection with the One True God. I was definitely a rule-follower even when the rules made no sense.

I personally didn't like my dad but I did show him respect because regardless of his abuse, I knew that The Lord commanded us to "Honor our father and mother" with no following stipulations. I've always strived to know more about God and actively sought out how to establish a relationship with Him. I've failed and sinned in numerous ways but my heart has been consistently focused on the "living above reproach" thinking mode.

I didn't rebel. I didn't party. I didn't abuse or take advantage of others or of situations. I am a low-maintenance gal that is easily pleased and easily entertained. I didn't choose this style of life for rewards  but I was keenly aware that all choices have consequences.

The only "thing" I've ever wanted was to share my life with someone. Due to the situation with my dad's criminal background, openness in relationships was next to impossible while under his household. I've been blessed throughout my entire life with people who have been there for me despite my dad's lifestyle and influence. But I always lived in fear and kept guarded.

I was able to leave my childhood home and regrettably, almost immediately, replaced the dysfunctional, chaotic environment of my childhood with a similar scenario that I wouldn't recognize as such for years.

I thought that I had done all of the "right things" to avoid the very life that I still can't believe is my own. What did I do wrong? Why wasn't I enough to warrant a good relationship with my dad way back when? What did I do or didn't do that made others throughout my life treat me in disrespectful, unkind ways? Why couldn't or why didn't I recognize the bad that was occurring? Why didn't I appreciate and hold tight to "the good"? Why wasn't I worth more in my marriage? I apparently wasn't even worth fighting for.

I have ultimately been alone my entire life despite hungering for a shared, reciprocal relationship more than anything, outside of my relationship with God.  I can't go back and change what has happened in the past. How can I be certain to not allow similar scenarios in the future?

I imagine that each of us have the need to feel wanted, to be respected, to feel treasured/cherished, to know protection. Wondering why that comes so easily for others and if I'll ever have such or at least be aware of why I haven't.

Truly not complaining. Simply a tear-filled, heart-hurting realization. I know that God can redeem all things. I know that He can restore and repair anything and anyone. I know that He is capable of turning ashes into beauty. My continual prayer is that He will choose to create something...anything good from this mess I created called my life.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Shaken

I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN

I am continually praying that my faith will be stronger than my fears yet I still struggle with being "shaken". I wonder if that's simply human nature or a personal profession of a weak faith.
All is seemingly better than it has been in quite a long time but the shakiness is ever present in my insecurities, my fears, my doubts, and my sadness.

Lord, please give me the willingness and ability to RELY on YOUR goodness, faithfulness, and strength. Without YOU, I have NOTHING.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Heart quakes

Quote of the day from a precious, precocious 4 year old: "Teacher, my heart is quaking." (Tell me about that. How does your heart quake?) "Ya know, it's like when you're missing your momma really really bad and you can feel your heart move to a sad place."

A heart-quake. How I wish I didn't understand as clearly as I do. One's heart being moved to a sad place is a feeling that is far too familiar.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The small things

Over the past several days, the adage of "it's all about the small things" has repeatedly occurred:

  • The kindness of the personnel at the Auto Sales
  • Jay's willingness to share from his experiences
  • The kindness of 3 strangers at a gas station during a time of minor need
  • The time a stranger took to make sure I was cared for and comfortable
  • The small talk and laughter with co-workers
  • Heart-to-heart sharing with Diane
  • Smiles of my precious students
  • Surprise greeting from my sister and her boys
  • A photograph that brought tears to my eyes
  • Another photograph that filled my heart with smiles and hopefulness
  • The voice of a lifelong friend
  • A hug from a child 
  • Exact change needed at just the right time
I'm so grateful that so many of the biggest blessings can be found in even the smallest tasks done for you and by you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Back to the business of living...

Today has been a much better day. I rested well last night despite some unwelcome dreams. The antibiotic finally seems to be kicking in so physically, I am definitely on the mend. I decorated a few wall areas today and am so looking forward to returning to work tomorrow.

I realized as I crawled into bed tonight, that no tears were shed today. Yay, me!! I will gladly welcome more of those days. My mom brought over supper and my sister sent me some ice cream. I didn't even realize how hungry I was until I smelt the warm aroma of food.

I made out an action plan and always fare better when I have goals set. More on that later but the initial steps included planning for lawn care, decorating house and classroom, a new counselor, plans for a Bible Study and hiring a "handyman" to fix up some things around the house. This isn't the life I envisioned but regardless, it is my life and it IS filled with blessings. Time to get back to the business of healing and living. I know I shouldn't spend a lot on a rental house but I plan to be here for a while so I don't mind making the monetary investment for safety and well-being. The landlord doesn't even live in this area so I don't hold much hope for his taking action anytime soon. I'll keep all receipts and  such and what will be, will be.

The finances this month are much tighter than I expected. Oops!! I may be hanging out at my moms or sisters at meal times. I spent entirely too much on setting up my new classroom.  Paying the rescue fees plus extra donation for 3 dogs probably wasn't the wisest financial move but my heart strings were definitely pulled. Phoebe now has a better home and I adore Jacks and Josie. I'll establish a better budget/spending plan beginning with the next paycheck.

Praying for a peaceful night of rest and the opportunities to be a blessing to others tomorrow.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Perfect Timing


I don't have any idea to whom to say "Thank You" for leaving me the simple children's book: I Knew You Could!

The author is Craig Dorfman and it's text has some powerful truths.  I can't even remember if I found it with a post-it note on the cover in the classroom I emptied or in the classroom I set up. I put it aside and rediscovered it this afternoon. For anyone whose struggling or starting a new journey in life, this book is such a blessing. So...a big THANK YOU and a hug to the anonymous friend who cared enough to share it with me.

I knew you could! And you knew it, too---
That you'd come out on top after all you've been through.
And from here you'll go farther and see brand-new sights,
You'll face brand-new hills that rise to new heights.

I wish I could show you the stops that you'll visit,
But that isn't my choice to make for you, is it?
Instead, I can tell you some lessons and tales 
That I've learned and relearned in my time on the rails.

First of all, you must find your own track,
So you can start right away and not be held back.
But which track is yours? Well, that all depends 
On which way it's going and where it might end.

Different tracks wind around, over, under, and through.
So pick out the one that works best for you.
Though the track you start out on will feel like "the one",
You might take a few more before you are done.

And now, with your eyes on your new destination, 
Start up your wheels and roll out of the station.

On your new trip, you'll make plenty of stops,
In deep river valleys and on high mountaintops.
Some will surprise you and some will be planned,
And you'll roll through each one saying, "I think I can!"

You'll go through tunnels, surrounded by dark,
And you'll wish for a light or even a spark.
You might get scared or a little but sad, 
Wondering if maybe your track has gone bad. 

So here's some advice to help ease your doubt:
The track you took in must also go out.
So steady yourself and just keep going---
Before you know it, some light will be showing.
And then you'll be out, heading to a new place.
You'll be ready for the next tunnel you'll face. 

Sometimes you'll look up and see planes in the sky,
And you'll think to yourself: "I wish I could fly."
The cars on the roads will seem quick and free---
You'll feel stuck on your track and think, "I wish that was me."

But the plane might wish he could get out of the air,
Saying, "I wish I could travel like that train down there."
The cars will watch as you speed right along,
And they'll say to each other,
"Look how fast and how strong!"
Don't worry about not being a car or a plane,
Just enjoy the trip you'll take as a train.

Don't be afraid to toot your own horn,
If you need to be heard or there are people to warn.
Or if being yourself just makes you so proud,
That you want to share it and sing it out loud.

You'll follow your track through twists and bends,
And stop at new stops and pick up new friends.
They'll all come aboard with smiles and greetings.
You'll have such great times with the people you're meeting.

On the day when you're sad and feel you can't go,
Speak up and ask a friend for a tow.
That's what friends do, so don't be afraid.
You'd do the same if your friend needs aid.

You might stop at some stops that you never have toured,
And look for new friends, but they won't come aboard.
So you'll have to head out with a creak and a groan, 
Setting out once again on your track, all alone.

Try to remember that the world is do wide,
Full of all kinds of people with their own trains to ride.
Just stay true to yourself as you travel your track,
With no second-guessing and no looking back.

Once you're on the right track, you'll probably say
"This one is mine---I'm here to stay."
Try to enjoy the track that you choose---
Stop now and then to take in the views.

If you rush forward, as a general rule, 
Before you arrive, you could run out of fuel.
Don't overwork, but save up some strength.
That way, every day, you can travel great lengths.

You'll need all that strength on the days when you're stuck,
Or tired, or sad, or just out if luck.

When your belief in yourself doesn't feel quite so pure,
And your "I think I can" doesn't sound quite so sure.

THAT'S when to push and to strive and to strain,
To show the world you're not a giving-up train.
And you're wise if you know that doing your best
Means that sometimes you should just slow down and rest.

Speeding through your whole trip will bring only sorrow,
So slow down today to be happy tomorrow.

There's more about life that you'll learn as you go.
Because figuring things out on your own helps you grow.
Just trust in yourself and you'll climb every hill,
Say, " I think I can!" and you know what?
You WILL!

Crash and Burn

Beautiful day outside! Wishing I could feel that sense of beauty within. As I read some of the book of Psalms last night, many of the words David penned long ago became a personal heartfelt prayer. Praying that God will redeem these ashes that have become my life and truly create something beautiful.

Right now, I simply feel like a smoldering pile of ash in fear of easily being blown away in the wind. In the midst of reading and praying, the tears did begin. If tears truly do cleanse the soul, my soul should be spotlessly clean. And the end of tears doesn't seem near. Sigh is an understatement. The combination of congestion, crying and flat-out exhaustion has resulted in a day off of work, complete with swollen eyes, upset stomach, and more questions than answers.

Holding fast to the assurances made and proclaimed promises kept.
I'm not lost in the darkness---not even remotely close yet I wonder if I'll always fear being consumed by such.
That fear is irrational. I know so much more now and know so much better.
There is an action plan just in case.
I am not without hope.
What wouldn't I give to be without this sweltering sense of sadness.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Breathlessness

Today has been a hard day. I'm certain that my hormones and after effects of a short-lived upper respiratory infection aren't helping my frame of mind. The sadness is running deep and I'm fearful that if I allow the tears to begin, they won't cease for hours and I can't begin the work week off fighting off fatigue.

I've prayed that God would let me know, without any doubt, when it was time for my next step in this new journey of life. It seems the time is now and I am filled with such conflicting emotions and desires. Because of the recent sickness and the raging hormones, I won't take action yet but the time does seem imminent. There are some things that I feel I must say simply for the sake of being heard before moving forward but I'm not sure that I am up to adequately handling any sort of argumentative  response or attempt at justifying what has been done and said.

I know that I am on the right path. I know that God is holding me close in care, love and protection. My family has been incredibly supportive. I have many who have offered to help in any way needed. Despite all of those blessings, the loneliness is almost tangible. There are 4 people that I feel that I could "bear my soul" too but I've been separated by one through a death I'll never understand---I would give anything for one more day. There are 2 that I won't allow myself to "burden" while they have so much going on in their own lives and the other has chosen to remove themselves from my life for reasons I may never fully understand.

I know that I will get through this "darkness" because I believe in the promises of God. I'm just weary of the ache that runs so deep and the sense of loneliness that can seem like a monster that literally takes away the ability to breathe.


School

The first week of school is almost over. I am so relieved and feel so blessed by how AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL the staff and faculty are. My students are sweet and adjusting to the routine quickly and well. The week has been good but I am so ready for the weekend. I am looking forward to sleeping in.

The 2nd week has come and gone. I absolutely adore my new job. The staff and faculty are wonderful. The students are precious and the hours at school fly by filled with joy and thankfulness.