The Joy of Laboring

I made it through WEEK 1 of being back to school with a wide variety of emotions. Honestly, my favorite man seemed to transition easier than I did. Perhaps it was because I didn’t have enough time home this summer. Maybe it is the growing burden I have as I take over more and more of our family’s responsibilities. More than likely it is the impending winter that is on our heels- and starting school is a huge reminder that we have a very small window to prepare. It is a costly process to stay warm on the mountain. Regardless of the reasons, my employment and personal challenges that are ever-changing and increasing in demands, created a mini-melt down and some tears this week.

Surprisingly, the teaching part, is the easiest part of my life. I love being with my monsters day in and day out. I am thrilled to be part of their growth and am as pleased as their parents when we see the end results in the Spring. However, I can’t agree that education, on the whole, is in a better place now than when I began in the late 80’s and the expectations for teachers has only increased. So, maybe this week I felt underappreciated, taken advantage of, and invisible.

I watched the movie COURAGEOUS this weekend. I suggest the movie to anyone. It was well done. My emotions ranged from sadness to uncontrollable laughter. Perhaps I cried a little harder and laughed a little louder in order to let out some penned-up emotions. The most meaningful part to me, was when the main character learned that it was more important to reflect on the time he had had with his loved one, than the time he wasn’t able to have. It reminded me how precious life is, and how I could meditate on what is not right in my world, or I could concentrate on what is good and precious.

So I have decided to do the courageous thing, and talk to someone who might be able to make positive changes in my workplace. I have an outline drawn up, and I will try my best to be part of the solution. I still struggle with what is best in my personal life, but I am trying not to excessively worry. I’m trying to talk to friends and family members more often, and to enjoy precious time with my favorite man even if it is simply sitting in silence and watching him in the chair beside me. I know that my family is watching and prepared to put out the safety net when I need it, and that my most important job right now is to just keep moving one day at a time, with one foot in front of the other. I really need to stop fretting about the things that I have no control over.

So today I am thankful for my job- even if it isn’t perfect, because I truly love what I do and I believe with everything that I have, that I make a difference. I am thankful that I can labor in a community that I love, with people I adore, and families that I sincerely care about. I am also thankful for my daughter, who is making it possible for me to go to work and not worry… as much. Most importantly, I am thankful for my Maker, who promises that “in the flood or the fire, He’s with me and He won’t let go”.

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