Routine starts tomorrow with a new school term! I crave routine - schedules - calendars - continuity! And it all starts tomorrow! I have some goals for this term, and I thought I'd share them here to keep myself accountable!
This past term has been REALLY hard. Looking back on the past 16 months, it's hard to see anything but trials. I could give you a ton of examples, but I think God wants me to stop focusing on that and to focus more on the present and on what's ahead. But I don't think God is just saying, "Suck it up. You can do better." Instead, it's more of a gentle way He's been speaking to me. One thing He has impressed on me is the fact that I am doing too much. I have literally felt like I was drowning so much this past year under the weight of 2 full-time jobs and taking care of my family. I felt like I was trying so hard to do it ALL well that I was doing none of it well. So thankfully, this coming term God has carved out some time for me to teach specifically in the classroom and then a separate time (when my kids aren't home) to work on my New Day financial responsibilities. My goal is to NOT do any office work before school in the mornings, or after 4:30pm in the afternoons. I think this will help drastically with our family time in the evenings and with our getting ready time in the mornings. It can be hard with my "must get it done NOW" personality, but I know this is what God is teaching me.
As far as my spiritual life, I wanted to share something that happened to me last week. Blu & I carved out Wednesdays this year as a special time where we are both seeking God. I was crying out to God this past Wednesday, and out of NOWHERE an almost stranger contacted me on Facebook. (I have worked out with this guy at the Brownwood Fitness Center maybe 3 times and had a 5 minute conversation with him 2 years ago about our mission work.) He told me that he was up praying at 5am and that God dropped my name into his Spirit, and that he felt like I was frustrated with all of the needs I am trying to meet and trying to serve everyone else. (Um, yes. That.) He then gave me 3 Scriptures that God gave him for me - Psalm 91 (a psalm of protection), John 15 (staying plugged into the Vine), and Psalm 105 (a psalm of praise). Now ya'll, this has never happened to me - someone sharing something that they felt God gave them just for me. If it were a close friend (hi, Mom), I probably would think, "Yeah, she can just tell I've been grouchy lately." But this was a stranger. And of course, I tried to brush it off, and even told Blu, "What if this guy just randomly sends that message to 10 people each day?!" But I really felt like it was for me. So this afternoon, in getting my quiet time ready for tomorrow morning, since I just finished a study on servant leadership, I was looking for something new. I couldn't get those 3 passages out of my mind, so I looked through our bookshelf and found a study hidden away on John 15. Wow. I'm ready. Tomorrow morning can't get here fast enough! (Ok, maybe it can...since my days start at 4:55am, but you know what I mean...)
So there you have it. A little honesty straight from me that things have been hard lately - from a heartbreaking loss of a friendship to dumb little bugs all over our house that won't go away - but I'm ready for a fresh start. I'm ready to plug into the Vine, change my schedule up a bit to try to give my kids and husband all that they deserve, and to serve where God has placed me with JOY for the next 82 days. (And losing 10 pounds before furlough would be nice too, but hey, I can't do it ALL!!) ;)