Not Well

So I’m coming to a strange point in my life. I suddenly realize that over the course of a couple years I have become very unwell. Slowly over time my health has deteriorated. Luckily, we have modern medicine to identify the problem. It took a year and a half, and 6 doctors. Once the problem was identified, it is taking a relatively short time to fix. Hallelujah!

So now I am coming to a new beginning. I want to be well, truly well, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. In order to achieve that I need to begin to actively making goals. I’m going to try and record those here.

I am excited to enter this time of change. I don’t believe it will all be fun, but it is necessary.

OK, yes, God I am Listening

The last few days I have been discontented. There are many reasons.  The new year always brings on thoughts of change and self-reflection when I combine that with short, cloudy, cold days, I’m tired and grouchy. 

That being said there was an incident that happened where I felt like a blatant injustice occurred.  I don’t know when I have been this angry.  Partially because I feel my child was slighted, because of this injustice.  My mama bear instincts came out and I think my East-side girl kicked in.  I wanted to go whoop someone. 

I am lucky though that I also am in a position to change this from happening to any child in the future.  You think that would make me feel better.  So far not so much.  I’m on day 3 of seething. 

So this morning on my way to work, I switched my radio station.  On comes the DJ, “Are you holding on to an anger that is taking up too much of your energy?  You need to look at what you are holding on to.  Is it worth it?”

I already know I have the ability to change the situation for future.  My child is actually handling it with grace, honor, and a maturity his mother ought to imitate. 

So OK God, I am listening.  I will try very hard today to let go.  Why, oh, why is it so hard?

Life Changes, Ready or Not

The Past:  This year has been hard.  I’ve had an extremely needy class with 29 students.  5 Special Ed, ELL students, 1 probably on the autism spectrum, and 4 in counseling.  It completely exhausted me.  I had to reduce my commitments in other areas of my life, just so I could function.  This has not been my best mom year.  My oldest needed more attention, and I see it in his grades.  Not that they were bad, but could have been better.  Thankfully I won’t be repeating this year again.   

The Present:  It is SUMMER!  Time to re-energize myself and rebuild myself mentally.  However, the biggest change is that 3 weeks ago today I became mommy to a 10 month old.  We will be adopting a gorgeous little boy.  Kobe is extended family, and we are thrilled to love him.  I want to come up with some summer goals, and plans for me and my kids.  One of my goals is to be writing again.  (Hence, why I’m blogging again.)

The future:  Next year we have a 3rd, 2nd grade teacher.  Since I won’t be working with the SPED teacher directly next year, I won’t have many SPED.  I am designated as the low ELL room.  So we will really be pushing language and lots of verbalizing.   I’m excited about that change.  I am also excited that we will have air-conditioning.  No more 120 degree days in my classroom.  It will be wonderful to have the kids physically able to learn the first month.  Usually they lay lifeless on their desks, looking ill.  Sadly, I’m not exaggerating.

All in all, life is good.  I wish this year had been easier, but God doesn’t promise easy.  Perseverance has been my word of the year.  Now my word for the summer is relaxation or maybe it should be rejuvenation.  I like that one better.  🙂

Finding Myself

After the extreme chaos of the last 4 months, I am trying to find myself again. I’m finding it difficult physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.

My body is still trying to adjust to 4 months of stress. Truly more like 8 months of stress. Todd’s being unemployed and then me jumping into too many commitments. I think looking back on it all that maybe I agreed to do all those things as a ways of avoiding the pressures of home. Todd’s unemployment was very hard on both of us. I gained 20 pounds. I’ve lost five, but it is hard. I feel lethargic and unmotivated.

I also think spiritually I’m off kilter. I feel very far away from God right now. I don’t like it. I know what I need to do, but I’m so tired that I don’t do it.

I’m trying to get back into some of my old habits (including, but not limited to blogging), but I’m finding it so difficult. Praying, reading, and even connecting with friends is taking effort. Even getting daily things done is hard. I have piles of little things that need my attention. I have lists of appointments to make for summer, camp applications to get filled out, and homework to turn it (eek due on the 11th.) Heck, even my poor dog needs to go to the vet.

Honestly, I think I am just tired. I’m ready for summer, even if I do have class all of June.

Ever get the feeling God is talking to you?

I sometimes feel like God is talking to me.  Sometimes I believe I can’t hear him, and other times I think I intentionally ignore him. 

If I don’t hear him then it isn’t my fault right?  I know…I don’t believe that either.

Since Sunday I feel like he has been repeating the same message to me.  First through a conversation that I had with someone, immediately followed by our pastor’s message, later that day it was in a drama that I was reading, and this morning through a song. 

I hear him, so I can’t pretend I don’t.  It’s hard when God is telling you that he misses you.  How can you ignore that?

It’s Benign!

We got the results of my sister’s biopsy back!  Praise Jesus!  It’s benign!  She will still have to have it removed and that will be a very serious surgery, yet all is well!

I think this has sort of reminded us all to value each other a little bit more.  It reminded me that my mom had her first cancer when she was 36.  Her 2nd cancer came when she was 49.  My father had his first heart attack at 38 and died at 52 after having 10 or 12 different heart attacks.  I am 41.  Susan is 37.  Our older sister and brother are turning 50 and 49 respectively this year.  It’s a little unnerving.

Granted we still have mom!  That woman is amazing!  She has had cancer 4 times and has more health complications from the treatments.  Yet she is still with us, and we are blessed to have her.  My momma is a warrior woman!  She is my inspiration and hero.  She has had an incredible life and makes mine look like a bed of flowers.

Susan reminds me of Mom.  In fact, she is probably most like mom in some ways.  She is ambitious, hard working, and hard headed.

I love them both.

Flood Devastation

Yesterday as we drove through Iowa City we noticed that MANY businesses were closed.  Blocks and blocks of businesses were sitting there empty.  At first we commented how bad the economy is, but then we realized this was where the floods occurred. 

It is easy to forget about some of these disasters or at least put them in the far corners of your brain.  We see things while they are happening on the news, but we don’t see how long these disasters are affecting people.  It is easy to move on to the next news story. 

Driving through this dismal area really brought home how these people need long term help and prayers.

Unexpected

Today was a day of unexpecteds.  We unexpectedly had no school due to wind chills of -40.  I unexpectedly had to take my sister two hours away to the University of Iowa hospital for an unexpected biopsy on a cyst in her mouth. 

I have never seen her in so much pain.  Nor have I ever seen her act so…well I will go with witchy.  She’s generally everybody’s favorite person, and has a super high pain tolerance.  That was not true today.  The oral surgeon actually pulled a few teeth as well as biopsied her cyst.  Please pray that it is nothing serious. 

The other unexepected was the beautiful artwork.  Everywhere we turned there was amazing sculptures.  It truly is a beautiful place.  I’m fairly certain that my sister saw none of it. 

I was a little concerned about driving so far in these temps, but it was fine.  Our van was warm, but frustration levels were also high, so it wasn’t always comfortable. 

My mama also went.  It was her birthday.  Happy birthday Mama!  Not a fun way to spend your birthday, but mama’s always want to take care of their babies (even the grown-up ones.)

We won’t find out about the results for a week.  Right now though my sister is just trying to recover, and finding it a challenge as her cheek is super swollen.  It is hard to imagine putting ice on it when it is currently -20 degrees windchill!

Update on the Kingdom Project

My 12 year old, N is involved in a mission project.  If you would like to read about how this started click here and here.

Update:  Last Monday we spent the day at the church.  N had organized a work day to begin creating the monster dolls that he intends to distribute to our county hospital and maybe the family homeless shelter. 

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He had 24 people show up to help throughout the day.

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Suzanne even came all the way from California to help!  (OK, so really she and Keb just happened to be here and we put them to work.  🙂 )

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This was the hardest station, making the faces.  It takes patience. 

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This was the the most popular station.  Everyone wanted to stuff the monsters.

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This was one of my favorite faces (both doll and friend.)

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I was a little worried when we had only completed one in the first hour and a half.

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But we kept plugging away.

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Altogether we created 40 monster dolls.  We still have quite a bit of fleece, so N is planning another workday.  I’m wondering how many we will end up with!