Friday, July 30, 2010

Sweet Summertime continues...

As I was lying in the sun today, I thought of how blessed I am to be able to spend time during the Summer with my kids. I kick around the possibilities of trying for other jobs where I may be able to make more money, but then I remember that I love my job and enjoy being off with my kids when they are off.

We will be returning soon too, and I always go through about a week where I miss my kids terribly. Mind you, they do get on my nerves some too, but I enjoy being available to them when they need me. I'm kind of excited however about the new school year because I will have a new classroom and will be working with 6th grade students instead of 5th grade. You may think that's not a big difference, but something really does happen to those hormones during that Summer in between! I'm essentiallly moving up with my students though, so that will be wonderful!

What I am not looking forward to is the rigorous schedule that the new school year will bring. No more staying up until midnight and sleeping until Dr. Phil. Getting up at 5:20 a.m. will force me to turn in between 9 and 9:30 I'm sure. No more Dr. Phil.

Also, there is so much homework! I'm thankful that I get to work firsthand with teachers now and see things from their point of views, because otherwise I may wonder why they insist on torturing me with all of the work after work. I also have always had the opinion that homework should only happen when a student does not complete what he or she is supposed to do in class. However, I now know that a school day is packed full and doesn't always allow all of the time needed to complete everything necessary. Again, that's good, because I sure seem to spend a lot of time helping these young 'uns get their work done at home. Between that, housework, and keeping an extra-curricular schedule, there is hardly time to breathe.

Geez, I almost talked myself out of being ready to go back to work. When I read it back, I feel overwhelmed! My point actually was going to be that Summertime is sweet and fun, but we should find joy in every season. While I will definitely find joy in the cooler temperatures of Fall, I'll have to let you know later if there is joy to be found in the new school year. It's according to how much time I can find to breathe.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Post script...

After re-reading my previous blog several times, I felt I needed to clarify a few things. Darnit, there I go guilting myself again...

My feeling of suddenly needing to take care of myself does not mean at all that I'm becoming selfish in my obligations to others. I just feel that I'm actually setting a bad example in not valuing myself and my time, and I really need to do better at that. I don't want my daughters to grow up feeling obligated to everyone and martyring themselves for those around them, so I have to do a better job of taking care of me.

I also realize that 18, 15, and 10 years old are not grown up ages of children. I mean, I'm still Mom, but I need to tweak what that now means in the lives of my kids. As for my husband, he's a big kid for sure, but he's still my husband. I couldn't change him 20 years ago when we got married, and he couldn't change me, and neither of us have that power today. God is God, and all of that stuff is His job.

Next, the young people that I spoke of will always be so precious to me, and I will be there in a heartbeat when they need me. I simply feel that they have lots of Godly support now, and that blesses my heart beyond explanation. It's a God thing for sure, but nothing could ever change this motherly love and protectiveness that I have for them both. (You know who you are!) They are my family too.

Now, the main thing that I was trying to get across is that I have to quit trying to do things on my own power, because somewhere along the way I took over things from God that I had previously given to Him. That's not cool at all. I have to focus more on God Himself instead of what is going on around me or what I think He may want me to do. Fact is, if I keep my eyes on Him, I will see what He wants me to do. I'm just thankful that God is a God of love and forgiveness, and that He's up there laughing at me right now, but lovingly. He knows that I'm trying and making progress, and He's ready with His arms open wide to take back what is rightly His. I just have to release it and let Him handle it, and I have to rely on His power. I have to do a better job at casting my cares upon Him. I also need to rediscover my joy and quit letting things around me steal it away from me.

Maybe if I get things straight soon, I can write some lighthearted, whimsical goofy stuff for all to enjoy. It's in here somewhere, it's just been bogged down for a while. Thank you, Lord for removing all this "schtuff" so that I can bask in the joy and share it. There, I feel better already.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Some things I've learned this Summer...

I sure hope to get back to regular blogging soon, because it's almost like it's all clogged up in my brain and screaming to get out! I keep saying I'll pick up a notebook when I can't get to the computer, but it never does happen. I have learned some things this Summer.... Some that I'm glad I learned, and others have been harder to swallow. I'll try to share a few here and there as I think of them.

First of all, I need to get a life. I have lived everyone else's lives my whole life with some kind of guilt complex that I'm going to damage someone else if I do something for myself. This is a huge revelation mind you, and it could very well be life-changing for a lot of people. I am so immersed in what everyone is doing around me, I have forgotten that I am an individual that has needs of my own that have to be tended to. I can't count on anyone else to do it, so I must do it myself.

What does this mean? Well, I have to set a better example by not worrying so much about being an example. I have been so concerned with setting a Godly example that I haven't allowed God to be God at times. How dare I think that I can be so Godly that others can look at me as an example. What I have missed is that I have to be so reliant on God that THAT IS my example. There really is a lot of freedom in this thought, and it releases me to be human. It still leaves me a little bit afraid of messing up and disappointing someone, but I think I'm at a point in my life that God is trying to help me take that leap of faith.

It also means that my kids have to grow up. Jordan is almost 18, Lauren is almost 15, and Cassie and Kylie will be there before I know it. Yes, they need me, but in a different way now than they did when they were 4, 5, or 6 years old. They have to fight their own battles. They have to learn what it means to make choices. They have to rely on their faith, at least for Jordan and Lauren, to see where their lives are going. I recently had a situation where I stepped in where I wasn't really needed. It was a weak moment in my faith I believe, for if I would have relied on my faith I would have already known that everything was fine, God had it handled and in His plan, and everything was going to work out to what He has in mind.

Another meaning of this is that my husband has to be a grown man. Much my fault, he is reliant on me in many ways that aren't my responsibility. When I say it's my fault, I mean that I have facilitated this way of thinking. I simply need to be a wife, a partner, and a friend, and not a parent to the biggest kid in my house. I fell in love with that same big kid that now drives me nuts sometimes, and I almost took on an instant mothering role when we married. He has a mother, and I'm not her, and I should find some rest in that.

Here again, I feel released from an obligation, and I mean that in the very gentlest and loving sense of the word. I have a protective mothering instinct that sometimes gets in the way of my faith. An example of that is how I feel so moved to support others. This is not a bad thing, and there are those that I will support until the day I die. Funny, a couple of people come to mind, both much younger than I, and one of them I kind of released years ago. I still love this person dearly, but he is busy in serving God and doing what he has been called to do with a sweet wife by his side. The other one has been a more recent process, and a slow one, but while my motherly love is still strong for this person, I am so thankful that God now has moved him into a place that he has a beautiful, strong wife and a very loving family surrounding him so that he can also serve the Lord to his fullest potential. In all of this, I really have trusted God in His best for both of these young people, but realizing that they are not my responsibility was sad at first to my selfish self, and now it is an opportunity for me to simply move into what God wants for me now. God did use me in their lives I believe, and this means that it wasn't anything I did on my own. God is still working in their lives, and for this I am so thankful. It's a wonderful feeling to be a part of God's plan in the growth of others, and it's a weird feeling to know that it's time for God to release me from that and now grow me in some way.

So, now that I've realized all of these things, what next? I don't really have the answer to this. I sit on the cusp of something that God has in mind for my life. I'm having a difficult time making decisions right now, because I am in one of those different places that leaves me unsure of what God wants me to currently do. Do I teach Sunday School, or do I not? Do I return to pursue my college degree, or do I not? Will I be able to continue in the job that I love, or will I have to take a look at other opportunities? Do I keep on the same path I'm on? Nope. Of that I am sure. I just hope I am sure of the path that I do need to be on very soon. In the meantime, I'll float around waiting on God to move.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Haven't been here in quite a while, as you see, and I don't have a real good explanation why. You would think with the Summer off, I would just find loads of time to talk about wonderful and awesome things, but instead I have found myself in what some would call a "funk". My mind seems to be cloudy, and I'm quite tired all the time. Stress maybe? I just can't imagine.

I revert back to the mission trip... They are always life changing experiences. It's a week on a high, serving Jesus with everything you've got, surrounded by others serving Jesus with everything they've got, and immersed in God all the way around. You vow before leaving that things will be different when you get home, but then you get home. Nothing is different.

There is still laundry to do, meals to cook, housework, children arguing, money worries, schedules to keep, and people to please. You may have a different outlook, but you are no longer surrounded by people with that different outlook. You are now back in the real world, with real world problems. It's like suddenly the world has shifted on its axis.

I thought I was prepared for this, and I even spent time in prayer about it in the days before leaving the mission trip. I begged the Lord to just give me the ability to bring what I learn home. I asked him to let me return to a peaceful world. Also, because I'm not at all naive, I prayed that God would give me wisdom and strength to deal with it all when I did return.

I've struggled though. I am so very thankful for what I have and the loved ones in my life, and I never want that to be questioned at all. It's just hard to crash from that high of just seeing the Lord work constantly throughout 7 days dedicated to sharing Him with others. It must be much like coming down from the high of a drug. I have no idea what that is like, but it couldn't be much different from what I'm going through.

My legs feel heavier. I sleep hard and for long periods. I smile less frequently. I easily become emotional. I frequently feel lonely. I can't imagine anyone else understanding the feeling.

Don't ever think that I'm unhappy to return to my family. I truly don't know what I'd do without the joy and love of my children. I just long to be closer to Him again. I long for that peace that I felt when I closed the door to that prayer room. I wish for that high that I felt when I was loving someone in Jesus' name. I listen for the joyful voices all around me laughing, sharing that common bond of ministry. Instead, I slowly reenter the society of busyness. I take a deep breath and press on through the daily grind. I close my eyes to pray at night, only to fall asleep from the exhaustion of parenthood.

How do we continue in that joy of immersion in the Spirit of the Lord? How do we muster the energy to do what we're called to do in addition to our day to day life? God is showing me, and I am listening. So, if I'm not blogging, just know that when I've trudged through all of this, there should be a blog or two (or a hundred) on the other side of it.