I have been faithfully feeding the soul. As an educator, I am constantly pushing myself to use the skills that I want my students to use. As a result, I am reading the most challenging book I know. I’m questioning, pondering, reflecting, and putting into practice some challenging concepts. I study in the quiet of the morning, with the dark surrounding my single lamplight. I put away all thoughts of the upcoming day, and study. It reminds me of my college years, when I reviewed for my exams long before dawn. Regardless, five o’clock in the morning has been the time that I wake and get excited to see what new nugget I can learn each day…even on the weekend.
Despite the early morning soul building read-a-thons with my favorite text, I have had a ROUGH week and I must admit that I didn’t always respond in the way I should. Why does it sound so easy on paper, yet putting it to practice is like rock climbing in your Birkenstocks? For every one slippery rock, three other limbs are hanging and clawing, and slipping away. Spiderman would be embarrassed. I banged and crashed through the week, and somehow I made it to the end. It wasn’t pretty, but I got there. Somehow, in some way, tomorrow always came, and now it is finally the weekend where I can sleep in. (Haha that’s funny.)
For once, the challenges weren’t trips to the ER. My better half is in a good space right now. Our basic needs are being met, and we are warm, fed, and dry. It wasn’t the children or my family, friends, or coworkers. It was craziness and shear mayhem in my classroom that was absolutely not in my control. My trial was trying to teach ten small humans while three refused to work, sat with arms crossed under the table, destroyed my classroom, and completely disrupted good learning opportunities. It was rough, and although I tried to remain calm on the outside, my insides were screaming: “What in the world is going on here?” It was like playing the game: Whack a Mole. I’d get one quieted down and another would pop up. At one point during an observation, I had one building with chairs and rearranging tables, one perched on the top of an upside down desk, rocking back and forth in his chair, and other under the table with his arms crossed, facing the bookcase, refusing to join us for reading group.
When I could catch my breath during brief trips to the restroom, I’d do some self talk: “count it all joy, your trials are making you more mature and stretching you to become a stronger teacher, do what you know is right, slap a smile on your face and keep going, you can do this…” and I’d walk back into the hall to the world of crazy all over again: children hiding in the bathroom stall, spitting in the mop bucket, running back and forth down the halls, refusing to come out of the hall bathroom, trying to pull the fire alarm or trying to run into the parking lot. The list goes on…
My coworkers could see my frustration and I feel badly about that. At one point I needed a TIME OUT for me and took 7 minutes to lay my head down and regroup. I am frustrated with myself. I passed the written exam and barely made it through the Clinicals alive.
So, according to Fitbit I have had a quality 4 hours and 31 minutes of good REM sleep and I am back to the books. What to do? The IEP didn’t provide me with quality suggestions to move forward, so I’m on a hunt. How can I strengthen myself so that I can go back to the battle front? Here are some nuggets that I found:
- I am not alone. My Maker will go through the rivers with me and He won’t let them overtake me. He will go through the fire with me, and He will not let them consume me.
- When I search for my Maker with my whole heart, I will find Him.
- The Lord wants peace for me, He wants me to talk to Him, and seek Him with my whole heart, and the way He speaks to me to me is by reading His word.
This brings me peace, to know that no matter what, I am not going through anything alone. He will even be with me through my final breath and into eternity. What a wonderful promise, that life’s trials will not separate me from my Maker. We will all face trials. No one is exempt. “We all have stuff.” However, it is my sincere wish that the “stuff” of this life isn’t a waste- that I and others learn from it.
As I ponder this very difficult book (The Bible) and the study guide (Trials- Don’t Resist Them As Intruders, by Juanita Purcell), I have had a few “Ah Ha’s”:
- Sometimes trials are for others who benefit from watching me. Are others seeing a mature, wise response to the current trial?
- Sometimes trials were someone else’s lesson, and ended up as my strength building trial by association, which will produce strength of character, making me more mature, stable, strong, and settled.
- Trials prove the quality of my faith. Do I mean what I say? Am I prepared to stand by what I believe amidst the chaos?
- A synonym for patience is endurance, and trials through endurance, produce hope.
- DIS-APPOINTMENT can be God’s or HIS-APPOINTMENT. Is my first response to go to Him? He wants that for me. He richly desires a close relationship with me and that is often how He gets my full attention.
- “My attitude determines my altitude” and it starts with giving thanks even during the tough times.
- There is nothing that God can’t do. He made it all, He raised Christ from the dead. If He can do that, He can do anything.
“Some people complain because God put thorns on roses. Some people (and I want that to be me) praise Him for putting roses among the thorns.” I want to hear, “Job well done, good and faithful servant”, and I want to finish the race strong, with honor and faithfulness.
My prayer is that in the hard times (and during the peaceful breaks), the Lord will carry me through with His strength and that I will represent Him in an honorable way. I just can’t imagine going though this scary life without HIm.
May my life be more than spit in the mop bucket and that I get a higher score on my Clinicals next week.