Well, it’s been two full weeks of literally jumping back into teaching and all the details that encompass the mindset of assessments, lesson plans, individual students/learning styles, teaching styles, grades, IEP goals, building awareness and personal, teacher committees, and a constant nagging of “Am I providing all that I can?”
My struggle – honestly, my human limitations and lack of patience therein.
There are so many avenues in which I would like to learn and grow, and I want to do it all today. The reality is that God gives me just enough time to accomplish what HE has in store every day. To perfection.
The questions beg to be answered – Am I trusting him with the time HE affords (24 hours, no more, no less), or am I spinning my wheels in directions that leave me in a heap, draggin from exhaustion? Am I allowing myself to receive the grace that He extends daily? Or, in my exhausted state, am I left to wallow in my self-doubt and lack of confidence?
This was my battle (and, will continue, I do believe). Just as in running, most of the victory lies in the mind. While I was teaching, while I was involved with the students, I could “see” learning happening, I had written evidence of growth, I could witness social interactions shaping character, and then they would leave, and more plans needed to be made.
My “former life”, just two weeks ago, did not include the larger world of numbers (algebraic equations, integers, absolute values, square roots, order of operations, or fractions). Now it does. I have not daily “thought about” another language over the course of 9 years. Now I do for at least 8 hours a day. (I’m back to dreaming in American Sign Language as well). In fact, on one early morning run, I was collecting my thoughts for the day, I passed by a gentleman and signed “Good Morning”. Yep, he thinks I’m a freak.
I knew this would be an adjustment, yet it’s another thing to actually walk through it. I had committed myself, really to the Lord, that I would complete my training for the upcoming marathon. In his divine timing, I’ve reached the tapering end of it. In order to complete my miles I have chosen early morning. My reasoning? I don’t want to miss family time after school. I just choose that. All went well the first week. Truly amazing. And then, I crashed. And I knew I would. And I needed to accept my limitations. And when He provided a chance for rest, or an early bedtime, I needed to accept that provision (and not feel guilty about it).
The past two Saturdays, I ran 22 miles, 12 miles, and then stood in a warm YMCA pool deck on hard tile for a few hours to time at my daughter’s swim meet. And I stand all day at school on tile. And I run today and wonder why my body feels as though it weighs 300 pounds? I had to make a choice. I could stay disappointed in my body’s ability to perform and compare it to days where I felt light on my feet, or I could accept my body’s ability to simply finish the run and be okay with the ability to complete my miles.
At the end of the day – I am so thankful for a conversation I had with my daughter today (forged in hours of building trust). I am so thankful for the ability and availability for all 5 of us to enjoy a family bike ride to the park. I am thankful to have recognized a safe contentment in giving my body a nap, steeped not in a heart of entitlement but of gratitude. I am thankful for a provision of a family dinner out. I am thankful for birthday blessings in choosing new basketball shoes in anticipation of our son’s upcoming season. I am thankful to have witnessed our daughters enjoying simple bubbles in the big tub and some snuggled up reading time in bed.
I am learning to press harder into the sovereign wisdom of my Lord in more and more aspects of my life. In the hardest moments at school, He sent me a devotional, a message through social-media, or a text from a friend. He met me in that moment, and I could breathe. I could do the next thing. I could gain confidence in a bit of progress, and recognize areas that could use improvement and feel confident that it would happen.
Am I through my battle? For today. But I know they’ll be more to come. With each victory, hope abounds for the next. I recognize that this is a season. In the big picture, life here is short. I say that not to accept a “whatever” attitude, but to press forward in NOT wasting time and opportunities and to give it my best. That’s what I ask of my students – try your best. It’s sound wisdom.
I write this to remember. I write this to record my lessons. Lord knows I might need this later. I might forget my passion in pursuing victory, especially when I’m tired of battling. I write this in obedience to the Spirit. Just as God has used many others in my life, perhaps He’s reaching you today.
Do me a favor. Listen. Absorb. Reflect. Cherish. Freedom lies within the life of Christ. It’s my most cherished lesson. He goes before us, and He has our backs every time. Enjoy a wonderful Sunday!