Monday, August 18, 2014

the one with the good things

Okay, God. I get it.

This whole "stay-at-home-mom" thing was not exactly my idea. If I'm being honest (and I might as well be - it's fairly obvious to most people), it was pretty far down on my list of things I ever thought I would do. Like... ever. But here I am.

And it's a good thing.

It's a good thing I'm home instead of working for many reasons--reasons that are obvious, reasons that are logistical, reasons that are being thrown in my face. Here are just a few:

We spent the last 10 days of July traveling for big family events. If you know anything about me as a teacher, the close of July is usually crunch time and stress-filled. But I didn't have to worry over being ready as soon as we returned. And it's a good thing.

We returned on August 3rd to a house with no A/C. Sleeping that night was tough enough (I don't do heat); sleeping that night with heat and the anxiety of school starting the next day would have been impossible. But I didn't have to be ready and presentable on Monday. And it's a good thing.

Just before we walked into that sauna, Darin received a call that his great-grandmother had passed away. I spent Monday staying out of our hot house and doing laundry at mom's in order to not make it any hotter. Then we turned around and drove to Michigan early on Tuesday for the visitation, funeral on Wednesday, and drove home on Thursday. Friday was the first full day for students in our county, so I would have either missed the funeral or missed the first week of school. But I didn't have to make that choice. And it's a good thing.

Last week was spent getting ready for a reception to celebrate my brother's marriage. It was fun and tedious and creative and exciting and long and all done during the day when I wasn't working. And it's a good thing.

And then there's today. TODAY.

Today I woke up to the sound of Jackson throwing up in bed. In case you feel like your alarm clock is a terrible way to wake up, this sound is far worse. Ugghhh. But you know what? I didn't even have to think twice about how on earth we were going to take care of him on this Monday morning.

And it's a good God thing.

But I think I get it now! I'm ready to be totally thankful for the ability to stay home. And I promise, God, that I don't need anymore of these type of reminders (though I'm sure they will come). I know any of these things on top of school would not have been a good mix for me. And, while I do miss my job, I am so thankful for the opportunity to work on this part of my life. The part where I get to spend the first 30 minutes of Mady's first day of school ever in her classroom watching her. The part where I get to sit in the car line every day to pick her up after school. The part where I get to spend some awesome one-on-one time with my little homebody, Jackson. The part where I get to think through dinner and our evening... which is what I should be doing right now! SO thankful.

(Side note: Turns out Jackson's fine. My kids do this awesome thing when they're stuffy. My dad would tell you that I was equally as awesome.)

Monday, August 11, 2014

the one with the iphone wallpaper

SO our church started a new sermon series...

 No More Mondays
Judging by Darin's very early and enthusiastic start this morning and my (failed) attempt to make today extra-fabulous, Pastor Brady has effectively provoked us to look into our attitudes about the beginning of a new week.(I highly recommend downloading his podcasts, by the way--

 My usual reaction to feeling the need for a change in my life is to create a measurable habit, and lately that means forcing them on my family, as well. 

So I set out to bring  hope to my Monday. We've had a list of 52 verses to memorize on the side of our refrigerator for... oh, I don't know... probably almost 52 weeks, but today we're going to start the memorization. I wanted to specifically chose a verse that would hold meaning for my Mady Jane this week as she starts Kindergarten. I'm honestly expecting an unexpected reaction from her. School would seem to be right up her alley--she's clever, talkative, energetic... loves activity, structure, and people--but so far her thoughts on school have only been devastation about what she might be missing out on while she's there. I wanted a verse that she could think of when faced with __________ (whatever emotion she might surprise me with) on Wednesday.

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." 
Psalm 56:3

That'll do. Not just for Mady and school, but for all of us around here this week. We have quite a bit on our minds; it would not hurt at all for this reminder to be our first response to any type of fear. We wrote it out and came up with motions... only to later decide we needed to learn the actual sign language. Mady always has a concern for doing things the formal way. Not sure we're doing the sign language correctly, but we'll figure it out and maybe post a video later--maybe. I even found a picture of the verse to put as my wallpaper on my phone.
I tried to find a song that could encourage this theme for us this week. I searched in several different ways and kept coming back to "Oceans" by Hillsong United. I love this song. Love it. I feel like it hit me in a huge way last summer and has almost been like an anthem for me for over a year now. It is powerful and incredibly applicable to not only my life, but several people's lives around me. Ironically, it was also the wallpaper I was replacing on my phone this week. And, if I'm being honest, I was not thrilled about replacing it. I knew Mady could use my phone to work on the verse (which, in turn, is also helping with her reading and spelling). But, in some strange way, changing my wallpaper made me feel like I had to let go of that lyric, and that made me feel some weird sort of sadness. Side note: I'm not generally a sentimental person. I try to avoid emotional attachment to objects. Oddly, song lyrics are the secret exception to my non-sentimentality. (There. The secret's out.)

So out with the old wallpaper, but in with the new-that-still-applies-to-the-old-so-I-don't-have-to-totally-move-on-yet. :) Just learning to trust around here. Even in "the great unknown." Even "where [my] feet may fail." Clinging to that this week. If you see my family a week from now, test our memorization! It's going to be a great habit. And next Monday doesn't stand a chance!

Monday, August 4, 2014

the one where it all hit me

Today is the day. Right now, actually. Pretty sure I had "seasonal stress" all weekend about being ready for the first day of school. (That's a thing, right?) Years ago, when going to the chiropractor was somehow in our budget, Dr. Gordan used to work the August stress right out of my neck and back. He's an angel. As he worked his miracles, he would tell me stories of the retired teachers he treated who would have flare-ups every fall for years after they stopped working. I believe he called it a "phenomenon of the body."

Hello, Phenomenon. Must we be acquainted? 

This morning, teachers all across Rutherford County rolled out of bed to head back to the battlefield--back to in-services and PLC meetings. Back to lesson-planning and common core. Back to waxed floors and sharpie pens. Back to morning coffee and the best colleagues. Me? I woke up early and went to the Y before Darin left for the day. Ran to the grocery on the way home. Tried out the new Duncan Donuts as a surprise for the kids. Started laundry to recover from two weeks of travel. And here I sit... contemplating a picture I posted in April when I knew what the change would be, but most around me did not.

Today is the day the change begins--a change that was actually revealed to me 7 months ago. A change I need to write down (another day). A change that I am sure beyond sure God has asked me to make. But a change, nonetheless, that I am just not really feeling today. 

Today I wish I was sitting in the SLR with my friends. No doubt I would be stressing over how much I have left to do in my classroom before parents come for Orientation tomorrow. (My classroom. Oh, how I miss my classroom--the classroom that still sits in boxes currently staring at me from across the dining room table. Yuck.) And we would be plotting our lunch schedule for the week--one of the only times of the year we felt like we had grown-up jobs where we could go to lunch. And we would be catching up on stories from the summer or giggling at what would surely become the new running joke or telling Bowman to hush or beaming with pride for Spaulding's success or fighting off sleep because our bellies are full from Bojangles. 

I miss you, friends. I'm sure that will only grow.You are some of the best people I know, and you do some of the most important work there is to be done. So, since I cannot join you, I pray for you today. I pray you will accomplish big things this year. I pray you will see reward for your hard work. I pray for a safe, positive, exciting environment. I pray for much cooperation and appreciation from students, parents, and "the powers that be." And I pray you know how much I wish I could be there and that you would feel my awkward hugs from afar! :)  Happy first day of work!