Monday, November 26, 2012

Let's just wrap this Thankful Thing up already...

Don't get me wrong. I have many, many things to be thankful for. And I do give thanks on a daily basis. I'm just not good about writing them down and sharing them in a timely manner. When I forget, I feel like a failure and I beat myself up, which doesn't seem to be in the spirit of the season. So, I'm going to go on and just list the rest of the things I wanted to give thanks for, in no particular order.
  • Healthy, happy children
  • Wonderful friends, new and old
  • My extended family, made up of blood relatives, those who got stuck with me through marriage, and those who just love me
  • A beautiful, safe, welcoming home
  • All the material possessions I could possibly ask for
  • My grandmother's longevity. I wish she could be like her old self again, but I'm glad she's here anyway.
  • Time to craft
  • Good books to read
  • Wonderful colleagues, parents, and students at TFCA
  • All the experiences- good, bad, and ugly- that have made me who I am today
  • The great gift of salvation
I think that wraps it up. And look at me, I've finished up before the end of the month. I'm not catching up, I'm working ahead.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Quick Thankful Things Catch Up

I think I left off on November 15, which means I am only four days off kilter. That is an improvement!

11/16- Thankful for my mom, who sometimes drives me crazy, but is my biggest cheerleader and truest friend.
11/17- Thankful for my mini-me, Audrey. She's so much fun and an absolute joy.
11/18- Thankful for Jackson, my happy-go-lucky, freckled bundle of cuddles. Some girl will be super lucky to land him someday. You know, when he decides that I'm not the only girl for him.
11/19-Thankful for short work weeks. Really, seriously thankful for a time to catch up and rest.

Whew. Much more to say, but lunch time is over. I'm thankful for you, my readers, who tolerate my inconsistency and love me anyway. Does that count for tomorrow?????

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The world's worst blogger catches up on her Thankful Things, at long last!

I am the world's worst blogger. I stink at this- and pretty much anything other than my job (though sometimes that, too) that requires me to do anything with a degree of continuity. I have been thankful for stuff every day since Nov. 1, but I stopped posting on Nov. 2. It shouldn't really surprise my faithful readers, as my blogging tends to be spotty at best. Nonetheless, I'm back in the Thankful Things saddle.

A quick recap:
I am thankful for....
11/3- Lasting friendships
11/4- A bonus hour of sleep
11/5- A gospel centered church home
11/6- A job I LOVE
11/7-Yarn!
11/8-Fun with my students.
11/9- Fridays and yoga pants (I know, that's shallow...but don't judge. You love them, too.)
11/10-A great nurse practitioner who takes care of my family
11/11-Freedom
11/12-My daddy
11/13-My sister-in-law setting me up with her brother on a blind date 14 years ago
11/14-Date night with Sam (McDonald's and hot chocolate with a good looking brown eyed boy!)

Which brings me to today...
11/15-I'm thankful for grace. I am not perfect. I can't be, no matter how hard I try! I could fill up post after post with my shortcomings, and those of you who know and love me anyway could comment at length about even more of them! I come up short day in and day out. That makes the mercy and grace of God even sweeter. That He could love a sinner like me boggles my little human brain! And yet, He does love me, and He does provide atonement for my multitude of flaws.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thankful Thoughts #2- Family Worship Times

Today, I am thankful for family worship times. I haven't always been grateful for these experiences. In fact, they used to be a source of stress and discontent for me. I used to get so jealous of the bloggy moms that would post these beautiful family devotional ideas, especially around the holidays. I would aim to replicate those plans, only to find that my children were too squirmy to follow through with them. All that time wasted- no one wanted to color the reproducibles or answer the questions or anything! I’d get frustrated and tired and cranky and feel anything but worshipful. I felt like I was checking off a box on the list of “Things Good Moms Do” and, if I was honest, I shouldn’t even get to check the box because I had failed so miserably.

So, I quit. I stopped trying. I gave up on lighting the advent wreath and reading the scriptures. I waited a year or two, until my kids grew up a little. And then, when I did begin again, I didn’t try to follow some super mom’s plan. I let my kids dictate what we would do. We started small- taking turns around the dinner table saying the grace. Audrey and I began reading a few verses before bed. We got a subscription to Pockets magazine and started reading the stories together. We choose one thing per week to focus on in our prayers. Slowly, without any cute worksheets or prescribed readings, we’re starting to have those family worship times that I so desperately wanted us to have.

I began to focus less on being THE perfect mom, and more on being a better shepherd. When I began to see that this wasn’t about doing what awesome moms do, but about leading my children into their own relationships with Christ, things began to click. Instead of wanting others to see us as a perfect model of a Christian family, I wanted my children to see Jesus as a perfect model of love and holiness. The de-emphasis on me and the emphasis on Jesus made a huge difference in the success of our family worship times.


I am thankful for the change God brought about in me and the growth He is bringing in the spiritual lives of my children. I am thankful to be able to bond with them over the Word. I am thankful that they hunger and thirst after righteousness.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Things I'm thankful for, #1


Things I’m Thankful for…

Us in 2009, in the middle of a tough battle with Crohn's disease.
November 1: My husband, John

November is a special month for my husband and me. We met on November 13, 1998 on a blind date. We’ve been going strong ever since. I considered waiting until November 13 to make him my “thankful thing,” but I figured that he should probably top my list, not fall somewhere in the middle.

I’m really not sure where to begin with John. He’s the most patient and loving person I know. He gives and gives and never expects anything in return. He has tolerated me- no, he has abided with me- through some difficult physical and emotional times related to my Crohn’s disease.

He is my number one fan and encourages me to do things that I am too afraid to try on my own. When I began considering a new job, he assured me that the changes in our income mattered far less than my health, wellbeing, and happiness.

He is a phenomenal father to our children. He loves to play and cuddle with them, and he leads them on righteous paths through his Godly example.

Our marriage may not be perfect, but it is solid and strong, built on love and friendship, and rooted in our faith. We complement one another well. I’m the one who finds fault, and John always has a positive word. I cook, he eats-and cleans up! I get bent out of shape, and John is able to make sense out of chaos.

I’m awfully glad he’s mine!

 

 

 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I actually finished a crochet project.

 
I hooked up this nifty little shawl for myself. Be impressed. Oooh and ahhhh. You know you want to. And, when you get to the picture of my face, squint really hard, so that I don't look so washed out and tired. It was late, okay?




Tasty Tuesday

Here's a yummy (if maybe not-so-healthy) meal for those cold fall evenings. My kids eat this up like crazy when I make it!

Chicken Spaghetti

In your crock pot:
3-4 chicken breasts (I use frozen ones and put them in frozen)
1-2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (depending on how creamy you like your sauce)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 packet Italian dressing mix

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. About an hour before serving, pull out the chicken and shred with a fork. Return it to the crock pot and add a half of a block of cream cheese, chunked up. Cook a package of spaghetti according to directions, drain and stir into chicken mixture when you are ready to serve. Sprinkle with Parmesan or cheddar cheese. Slurp from your fork.


Photo from www.justapinch.com
 
Yum!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tis almost the season!

Every year, Christmas comes and goes in a flurry of activities and rush and stress, with me vowing to be prepared and organized next year. Somehow, year after year, December 25 just slips up on me. Sometimes I do get a jump on the shopping, but when I do, I tend to forget what I've bought and then I end up buying more than I intended to anyway.
I'm just not good at the whole organized holiday thing. I always bungle it up!

And this year, with our newly revised (read: tight as a drum) budget, planning is going to be crucial. John and I have set very firm limits for every one's gifts. He's totally fine with that. I hate it. I like to give lavishly. My budget is not set up for lavish.

Here I am, sixty four days from the Silent Night, and my stress level is already rising. The kids have high expectations for Santa's loot. I have much candy to make and many items to crochet- yes, dear readers, this is going to be an old fashioned, handmade Christmas. If you are on my list, just be prepared. You're getting a scarf, or some Bourbon balls, or a mug cozy, or a hat. At the rate I'm going, you might just get some yarn in a bag with an IOU.

Because this Christmas is going to be financially strained, I want to make sure that my kids feel the season in a different way. I want them to experience giving. I want them to experience anticipation. I want them to experience the joy of the Christ Child.

My prayer is that I do not let the busy-ness get in the way of the real meaning. I want to build some special traditions and memories for my family so that they experience a happy holiday season, not a hurried and hassled one. My hope is to use the season as a way to glorify the One we celebrate. That said, I vow to lay down the stress and strife the holidays usually bring, and take up one thing only- the expectation of the coming King.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

I used to love politics. Now, I'm one of the disillusioned many who struggle to find a candidate who speaks my language. I watched last night's debate, and this thought occurred to me. I stewed about it and posted it on my Facebook page:

"Am I better off today than I was four years ago? Oh, yeah- but not in the way the politicians seem to be focusing on. Four years ago, I had just been diagnosed with Crohn's disease. I was sick and in pain and slowly dying. Today, I'm in remission and living well. Four years ago, I had a job that was crushing my soul. Today, I LOVE to come to work. Four years ago, I went through the motions of church and spiritual practices but I wasn't fully awake. Today, I'm living in community with a vibrant bunch of committed Christians who encourage and challenge me to reach new depths, and as a result, I'm seeing God move in my life in mighty ways. So, yes, I'm so much better off today than I was four years ago, but it sure isn't due to the person sitting in the Oval Office. Nope. All thanks and praise and glory goes to a much higher power- the One seated on the Throne of Grace, "He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see (1 Tim 6:15-16)." That's way better than a stinky old president!!!"

To expand on that- I think our society is so caught up in who to blame for our misfortunes that we rarely give thanks to the ONE who grants us our very breath of life. I could generate a list of stuff that stinks about the world we live in and the state of affairs even in my little corner where there is a never ending to do list of bills to pay, chores to do, repairs to be made, and all other manner of pressures and demands and stresses. But guess what? None of that REALLY matters in the grand eternal scheme. Those things are going to be around as long as we are living in this world.

What really matters is where we rest our hope. No politician is going to do the work that mounts up at home and at school. No matter who is elected I'll still have a stash of unmatched socks and a mountain of laundry. The POTUS doesn't impact what I'll cook for dinner, and he sure doesn't come over to help wash dishes. My hope doesn't rest in an elected official who neither knows me nor loves me.

My hope rests in my creator. The author and perfector of my faith. Jehovah-Jirah, the Lord  who will provide. The everlasting. The light of the world. The prince of peace.

Am I better off now than I was four years ago? Yes. And, I will continue to be better off, maybe not in material riches, but in all the things that matter, because "my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness....On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand."

Friday, September 14, 2012

Not a freakshow

Two blog posts in one week. Is this a sign of end times?

Anyway, this thought has been stirring around in my head for a while, but I finally verbalized it to my mother the other day and thought, "Hey, I need to write about this." So here you go.

Popular culture would have you believe that Christians are a bunch of crazies. They like to throw around words like "EEEE-van-gelicals" and "fundaMENTALists," any time someone professes a belief in Christ. We're some train wreck, a side show so sad and so funny at the same time people can't help but look at us and shake their heads in disbelief.

I'm totally obsessed with the United Bates of America. The Bates are a Tennessee family with 19 of the most kind, gentle, funny, sweet kids ever (mine excluded...except for gentle). They are friends of the Duggars (I'm not as nuts about them, but it's just a matter of taste), and had a 20/20 type special a while back. The report who followed them loved them, but just couldn't get over some of the finer points of their faith. Now they have a show on TLC, right in the line up with Honey Boo Boo and the Hoarders and all the other legitimate whackos of the world. (That may seem harsh, but COME ON. You know it's true!)

I enjoy watching the Bates because they are a shining example of everything wholesome in the world. They are frugal, and I enjoy learning all the cool things they do to make ends meet. They are creative, talented, and just so very well behaved. It is such a relief to see them after everything else on television shows disrespectful, immodest teens and self-absorbed parents. The Bates show me that good still exists.

They have 19 kids. SO WHAT? They take care of them all. They homeschool them, all of them are musical, and they are hard working. This doesn't make them freaks.  They are obedient to their understandings of the Bible. What a concept.

Another TLC creation that boggles my mind is the Breaking Amish program. I refuse to watch this because I think it embodies the exact opposite of what I love about the Bates. Young Amish folks are leaving their faith communities to taste the world. Now, that's fine, but why glorify it? Why make them look like they are so lucky to be escaping? They are leaving a sheltered world of earnest, hard working, God fearing folks and embarking on a journey of experimenting with all the world has to offer, i.e. sin.

Now, I am not naive enough to think that good Christian people doing normal every day things would make for entertainment that most of our sinsick world would be interested in watching and possibly emulating. Nope. I know people are much more willing to indulge in Snooki and her drunken friends, or Honey Boo Boo and her hot mess mama. Those folks make us feel a little better about ourselves. The Bates make us realize how short we fall, so, in order to keep from feeling guilty about that, we demonize them. They only wear skirts? Long hair? Oh, my. They don't kiss before marriage? How ridiculous, since everyone who has any sense knows that you could never be happy unless you've had a plethora of sexual partners.  Decency? Purity?  Morality? Practicing that earns you a spot in the freakshow, too.



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Realizations I've had as a parent

Perhaps it is this phase of my children's lives that has brought some new realizations to light. Maybe I'm just a slow learner. Whatever the case, I've been learning a whole lot recently about my kids, my tendencies as a parent, and how we work together.

1. I wish I could be more like Kelly Bates (the mom of 19 on United Bates of America), except I don't want any more kids. She's kind and patient and she never yells or complains. The only time I fit this description is while I sleep.

2. I have FINALLY learned to communicate with Jack and Sam. My relationship with both of them has improved tremendously. Most things I'm doing are common sense and other good moms have been doing it all along, but not me. When I teach them an expectation, we practice it. A LOT. We practice the right way and the wrong way. They are behaving much better for me. I think I assumed they  knew all this.

3. Audrey and I are enjoying our special time together every night. We're reading By the Shores of Silver Lake (a Little House on the Prairie book) and studying the book of Matthew.  We've read three other prairie-set novels since school started. This one is longer but well worth it.

4. My kids watch too much TV. We've cut out a LOT of it. I am considering dropping cable. I think less TV has been directly proportional to better behavior.

5. I am not a competitive mom. I hate HATE hate YMCA sports. I hate the yelling. I hate the parents grousing when another kid (often mine!) screws up and the team doesn't score. We will not be participating in any more competitive team sports this year- Audrey is going to take tennis, and the boys might do martial arts. I want them to learn discipline, dedication, and the joy of a skill. I don't want people screaming at them.

6. In order for our family to function well, we must spend time together. The more the kids are at the grandparents, in activities, or doing their own thing, the more we fuss and grump.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Wallerin' in peace

School started for me almost three weeks ago. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, I feel like I've died and gone to teacher heaven. The kids are fantastic. The staff is amazing. Every day is just another layer of awesome with a cherry on top. Even the parts of teaching I don't love (grading papers!) is a joy. I know not every day will be full of sunshine and skittles, but, even when the less than spectacular days come, I know they will be manageable.

I can't even begin to describe how this one change has impacted every area of my life. I finally feel like I'm not fighting my way through every day. I am not filled with dread and anxiety all day long.
This morning, the thought that came to my mind is that I feel like I'm just rolling around- no, wallowing (or wallerin', as my daddy would say) in this inexplicable peace. I think it is because I have finally stopped trying to pursue my agenda and I've gotten on board with God's will. I'm seeing Him use me, change me, speak to me in the craziest ways about the most minute things.

I have a particular relationship in my life that I struggle with. It isn't that I don't love this person. It's just that I can't push past my own insecurities to allow myself to show this person grace. For one thing,  I'm ridiculously judgemental. God has been dealing with me about this issue in a lot of very strange ways- dreams, just the right devotion on the right day at the right time, a song on the radio, a casual conversation with a wise person, stuff that doesn't just HAPPEN. Nope, He is pushing me into dealing with my emotions and my issues so that I can begin to extend mercy to this person. My heart is softening. In the past, I would have fought this with every fiber of my being. Not now. Now, I'm letting my heart turn to mush. I'm wallerin' in the peace that brings, too.

God is good!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Summertime. Well, almost.


Today begins the last week of school. It is going to be a long one. I am so anxious to close this chapter of my life and get rolling on the next one. However, I need to trudge through a few more days before that can happen.


This week also brings kindergarten to a close for Jack and Sam. They were only four when they started, and that was a big worry for me. In fact, Kentucky legislature changed the benchmark date for kindergarten just this year, which would have meant that the boys would still be in preschool if the law had been enacted earlier. I am glad they were able to start kindergarten this year, however, because it has been a great learning and growing time for them.


Despite being the babies of their class, they have done well in school.They are reading well and growing up quite a bit. Sam loves to write. His spelling is hysterically phonetic. I love to see him write "byootifool" and all of the other concoctions he creates. Jack has managed to make it through the year with not a single visit to the Principal's office. Perhaps I am speaking too soon. He has until Wednesday. His worst offense to date has been peeing on a tree on the playground.


Audrey will finish first grade and I am extremely proud of the beautiful, thoughtful, smart girl she is. Her reading is amazing, and she is a math whiz also. She is curious, artistic, and so mature.


I had originally planned a summer full of learning experiences for the kids, just so they won't suffer from the summer slump and be behind when they start at their new school in the fall. However, I'm not sure I want to proceed. I don't want to burn them out. Instead, we will just have weekly library visits, some fun science and art activities, and do some carefully disguised learning as we live this summer.


I would be remiss if I didn't post some goals of my own for the summer. Of course, healthy living is a big one...I want to continue eating more natural, nutritious foods. I also want to get through the Couch to 5K plan this summer, or at least as far as possible. I'm also going to participate in an online Bible study of 1 Peter with the ladies at Allume. I hope to blog more and build a better sense of community with readers. I want to continue reading lots and lots of good books-- I'm at 39 for the year toward my goal of 50! I might even break 100!!! I want to get my house organized and create some routines for me and the kids to follow so that it stays that way when school starts back.

Most of all, I want to enjoy the summer at home with the kids. John is taking most Fridays off, and we also have a little vacation planned to the Smoky Mountains. I want to regain the peace that the past school year or two stole from me. I  don't like the negative, selfish, perpetually exhausted grouch I have become.

Here's to the summer of 2012- a time for peace, wellness, Spiritual renewal, and happiness!

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's a GOD thing!

I promised big news. I'm going to deliver. I accepted a teaching job at The Frankfort Christian Academy. The children and I will be there together next year. I have submitted my resignation and am super excited.

This wasn't something I ever considered. I've always been all public school all the way. However, events of the past few years have turned me off to public school teaching, burned me out, and made me question my calling in general. I have had a strong desire to be at home with my kids, possibly even homeschool them, but I haven't found a way to make that financially feasible.

I was confessing this struggle to a friend, who was the first person to make the suggestion to consider TFCA. She has taught there since its inception, and her children have attended there, as have the children of many friends. I have heard nothing but glowing things about the school. I attend Bible study with two teachers who work there and I rarely hear them say anything but positive things- certainly not the drama with which I have become incredibly familiar in my current position.

I asked my friend some questions about logistics and found my once closed mind was becoming more open to the idea. I mentioned it to John, expecting him to nix the idea because the pay scale is significantly lower, I won't be paying in to retirement, or any of another logical reasons. He surprised me by saying, "You know, that actually sounds pretty exciting. Find out more."

I browsed the website, filled out the application, and prayed about it. I emailed the principal to introduce myself, express interest, and see if I could drop my application and portfolio off on that Thursday before I went to a scheduled doctor's appointment. I waited for a response. Instead of an e-mail, I received a phone call the next day. He wanted me to come by that Thursday, but for an actual interview- not just a quick meet and greet!!

My interview lasted two hours. I felt immediately comfortable and I could see myself in that school. The job that was up for grabs was perfect for me. Everything felt perfect. I was told that a decision would be made within a couple of weeks and they would be in touch.

I wanted the job- desperately. I wanted my kids to be in a happy, Godly school. The waiting was difficult. I crunched numbers to see if our family could survive on my drastically reduced salary. Every time I calculated the expenses vs. the income, it balanced out. It might be lean, but we will survive. I began to pray, "God if this is what you have in mind for me, show me. I want this, but not if it isn't YOUR will."

A week passed with no news. This past Sunday, our pastor preached a sermon about how God is good and we don't have to search for satisfaction anywhere else. He talked about the Hebrew children wandering in the desert. They had left the misery of Egyptian slavery, and God continued to supply their needs, but they whined the entire time. Nothing was ever enough. The preacher said something that struck me. If they had been allowed to be comfortable in the wilderness, would they have ever pressed on to reach the promised land? No, they'd have stopped right there and eaten manna for ever. Instead, they had just enough to live on, but weren't truly satisfied. They pressed on.

I realized how much I was like them. God has been supplying my needs- I have a job; it pays the bills. However, it kind of stinks. I'm treated badly by my students, and I never feel like I measure up to administrative demands. I'm NOT comfortable. I'm learning more and more that this job has been God's will for this season of my life, but that I don't need to dwell here. I can press on, trusting God to continue to sustain me, knowing that eventually, I'll find what He has designed for me.

After that rocking sermon on Sunday, another brutal Monday rolled around. They have a way of doing that, you know! This Monday was excruciating. I was met with resistance at every step. I had more than one altercation with disrespectful, defiant students. By 2:00, I felt utterly decimated. I had no more resolve left. I prayed for something to keep me going. I posted on Facebook, "I need good news, STAT."

Two hours later, as I was packing up to go home, my phone rang. The assistant principal told me that she had some good news for me. I was offered the job. Of course, I accepted on the spot and began rejoicing!!

I realize that not everyone thinks this is a great decision. However, I've NEVER felt a greater sense of peace  about a big life changing choice as I do about this. I know that this is the right choice. I have not one single doubt. I don't even worry about the money. I just know this...God is good. I don't have to look anywhere else for satisfaction. And, when I'm satisfied in Him, He is glorified.





Tuesday, May 1, 2012

2012 Goal- Reality Check

Here were my resolutions/goals for this year. In red, you'll see my updates.

 1. Improve my physical well being through healthy eating and exercise. I have lost 11 pounds and am eating a MUCH healthier diet. Yay! 
 2. Continue growing in my Christian walk. (2011 saw lots of growth, but some setbacks.) Growing. Never where I ought to be, but I'm growing! If you aren't growing you are dying....
 3. Continue my creative pursuits- writing, crocheting, sewing. Maybe, but not to the degree I'd like. 
 4. Make my home a peaceful place through organization, decluttering, and sticking to a budget. Welcome people into my home to share in that peace. OH MY. No. But, I have a new plan to get this done between now and August.
5. Read 50 books. Halfway there!!!


I feel good about the progress. I totally need to get the organization train rolling, but my success in other areas is worthy of a little pat on the back.

More posts to come soon. Stay tuned for a HUGE announcement next week! Some super exciting things have happened, totally of the Lord, and I can't wait to share. Just need to get my ducks in a row first.

No, I'm not pregnant.

Whew. I hope no one thinks that....

Friday, April 27, 2012

Did anyone see that train?

You know, the one that ran me over? If there was no train, I'm not sure what happened. I've been in survival mode since, well...maybe this time last year. However, I can say that things are markedly improving. I'm still surviving at work, but I think that I may be able to update that status to "thriving" very soon...:) As far as everything else- you know, my health, my family, my spiritual life- all that seems to be on the upswing as well. Later, I'll do my best to report on my January 2012 goals and let you know how I am progressing. I can tell you this- I feel, for the first time in ages, that I am working toward the purpose God has for me. It's a good feeling!!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

It's not about me.

I have a hard time understanding the concept that things aren't about me. I don't mean that I am wholly selfish, but, honestly maybe I am. More specifically, I take EVERYTHING personally. Everything. Some guy honks his horn at me in traffic and I want to cry for a week and surrender my driver's license. The principal makes a blanket statement to the staff about us needing to work harder, and I think it means he thinks I'm lazy. A friend has a quiet day and I'm sure she's mad at me. A student misbehaves in my class and I just know that it is because I'm a rotten teacher.

Guess what. Sometimes it is about me, but most of the time, it isn't. The kid acted like a maniac because of something in his life, not because of me. My friend just needs to work through something on her own. The dude honking didn't get his coffee this morning and is late for work. The principal just wants us to make progress and reach our potential. Not one of them thought, "I'm going to really stick it to that Elly Gilbert today."

I need to wrap my head around that.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Be anxious about nothing...

Yesterday, I had an appointment with my gasteroenterologist. I was nervous. I have been feeling some changes, some pain, and I worried that I'm entering or suffering from a Crohn's flare. My mind has raced with the possibilities of what has caused these new symptoms. I had diagnosed myself with a plethora of new diseases, and was prepared for really grave news.

Monday night, I was a ball of nerves. I drank my Sleepytime Vanilla tea, had fitful rest. I proceeded to mull the possibilities Tuesday morning on the way to the doctor. I stopped at Target for some retail therapy, but even that didn't quiet my brain. I finally headed to the doctor's office to await certain doom. In the waiting room, I pulled out my phone and opened by Bible app. I wanted to read Philippians 4, specifically this:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

I read it about 30 times. I recited it to myself. I had almost calmed down until the nurse called me back. Again, I began feeling a surge of anxiety. I cautioned her that my blood pressure wouldn't be good, and was I ever right! 168/98! My pulse was racing. I pulled my phone out again and began concentrating. The peace which surpasses all understanding. I repeated it over and over. It swept over me, and my heart and mind was able to rest in Jesus.

The news was pretty good. I will try some new medicines to eradicate the new symptoms. I will have  colonoscopy in March to see if the disease is active. I'll see a rheumatologist to help me get a handle on my aches and pains. Nothing shocking, earth-shattering, life-altering.

God is good. I have to remember that. He is faithful. He will not forsake me. Anything that comes my way, I'll handle with His peace. I won't be anxious.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Back to business

We are back in school today for the longest quarter of the year. I'm trying hard to keep my chin up and do my job well, but my heart isn't in it! I long to be at home, with my kids, having a luxurious breakfast, watching cartoons...just being with them.

My heart is so conflicted. No, that's incorrect. My heart knows what it wants. Its the rest of my life that isn't following suit. Yesterday, the mere thought of coming back to school sent me into a near anxiety attack. I prayed hard, and meditated on Matthew 6:33 (ESV), "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Today, I was greeted with this verse, Proverbs 3:6 (NLT), "Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take."

So, I guess I need to quit wallowing in self pity, seek God's will in my life, and follow the path He puts forth for me. I have to put my fears aside and walk on faith in seeking God's kingdom and His desires for my life.

I still don't know what that means in terms of working vs. staying at home, but I know that I will have greater peace if I pursue God's will and put everything else aside.