September 2019 Journal Challenge

I am so so so excited about this challenge. This journaling challenge is focusing on prayer. How we feel about it. Writing prayers that can be used when stuck in a moment. Creating a prayer goal and continuing with listing 3-5 gratitude items daily.

Get a journal – a pretty one. an old one. It doesn’t matter. I hope you will join me in the September Journal Challenge. Take 5 minutes of your day to journal and reflect on how the creator made you – perfectly flawed.  What you need….

 

Part One: Rest & Praise

I was going to say I apologize for the length of this series- but I am not. There is significance in the details in my story.  Before I completely dive in, I need to share some background… set the stage if you will.

A little over 2 years ago, I was an assistant principal at a large middle school. This middle school was also about an hour away from home. Between the hours required for my job and the commute, I was not home much during the week. Most nights I was lucky enough to be home to get my mini me to bed. I also worked hard (probably went above and beyond) on the weekends to make up the time missed. I didn’t take care of myself. In that craziness I was so blessed to have become part of a group, we now call the HEARD. These women have no idea the timing of the placement in my life. We met at school weekly (along with others) for devotionals and prayer. This group really encouraged my prayer life. I also started getting that tug to change course… you know (hopefully) what I am talking about. I prayed to be sure I wasn’t just giving up. I prayed for a sign that the ideas all of a sudden screaming in my head, that they were indeed the path I should take. Part of that was the blog and starting some form of bible study geared towards teachers and school employees. And when I say screaming in my head, I mean waking me up at night. I remember one day praying and journaling to please please give me a sign that I wasn’t crazy. I am so thankful today that I was prayer journaling at that time, because the next 3 days are a complete whirlwind. In 3 days time, a job was shared with me, I was interviewed, offered, and took this job. A job that would allow ME to parent my children 7 days a week- not just weekends. A job that would afford the time to work on the new ideas in my head. I had no idea how to accomplish those goals- I am a numbers girl. It involved so much writing. I also need to point out the significance of 3 days. This did not go unnoticed at the time. In 3 days, Jesus gave his life for us and then was rose to the heavens. How great is our God – in 3 days he cleared my path.

About a year and half ago… I was now settled in my new job, back in the classroom. I had no idea how drained I was. I was beginning to feel rested and finding joy. I loved the classroom- I never left because I didn’t. During this time, my husband was also promoted and took on managing an additional department. I was slowly finding balance. Finding rest. In the rest I realized how much I had neglected my marriage. In my previous job, the little time left I focused on home chores and our children. I tried to make up the moments missed. And now I was trying to pay back all the extra time my husband devoted to our house and children, while I was at work. It was his time to work on his career.  I worked to find a new balance. I rested. Looking back, all while neglecting my marriage. To be fair – we were both neglecting our marriage. I began to realize that even when we were home together- we were apart- doing separate things. Dividing and conquering chores and childcare. We both had lost joy while together.

I prayed- somewhat.  One of those – fix it Lord prayers. You know what I mean? I didn’t ask for guidance. I didn’t ask for wisdom. Just fix it. About a month after this realization, I couldn’t sleep. My heart hurt. I woke my husband and in his half a sleep state asked if he still wanted to be married. Did he want to be somewhere else? In his shock of these questions in the middle of the night- he got up. He assured me no he didn’t want to be anywhere else. My mind was slightly at ease, my heart was not. I could just feel it. Those answers were not the truth. I cried. I didn’t rest. I asked again before leaving for work and he answered he didn’t know. I cried and walked out to work. I have no idea how I made it through the day. (well yes I do- HIS strength not mine). For the next few days we cried, we held each other, we talked on the surface.

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 

Mark 4:35-40 (NIV)

So I tried to be still. I moved forward minute by minute focusing on my faith. I journaled. I prayed. I used music to praise him. I journaled. I prayed. I praised. I cried. I journaled. I prayed. I praised.  I cried. I journaled. I prayed. And finally, on the third day – I slept. I rested.

… To be continued in Part 2: Release and Surrender

 

Songs that support me during these days:

 

 

Fall 2019- Bible Study for Teachers

I have changed direction .. well I have been taken into another direction and I am so so so excited. I also wanted to get the word out and please start sharing with your teacher friends… the Fall focus will be LOVE. Unconditional & Transforming Love.

Bi-Monthly Live Facebook Meetings September – November (with a reflections/goal take-away). Focusing our sessions around God’s Word and

  • Session 1 – Intro: Types of Love
  • Session 2 – Faith: The Power of Being Love Focused Instead of Task Focused
  • Session 3 – Hope: Loving in the Unloving Moments
  • Session 4 – Love: Love Never Fails, It’s Unconditional- Great what does that look like?
  • Session 5 – Self-Love: Last, But Not Least- The Unselfishness of Self-Love
  • Session 6 – My Love Plan… Life and Classroom

For the Love: Intro… The Light

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.  Psalm 107: 28-30

Over the course of the next 4 posts, I am going to share a story… a testimony if you will. 4 stages of a storm I never saw coming. A storm that seemed to hit every single angle of my life and attempted to demolish it to a point that one would wonder if it even exsisted. I am not going to lie, these upcoming posts encompass the hardest yet most rewarding, most painful yet peaceful moments, scariest yet most faithful days to date of my earthly walk.

Before I begin to share my perspective of the journey- I need to reiterate this is my perspective, my journey. And as such, may leave out details that isn’t my story to share. I also, felt it necessary to share my today.  To let you know that the light at the end of the tunnel was beautiful daylight- not an oncoming train.

Many look at storms in life, the bumps in the road, and wish they hadn’t happened. I however, wouldn’t trade the storm in for anything. Sure I wish some of the pain I had experienced didn’t  hurt as bad. Sure I wish for a smooth road, but I honestly can say that as I sit here today…

“So I’m thankful for the scars Cause’ without them I wouldn’t know Your heart And I know they’ll always tell of who You are So forever I am thankful for the scars”

From Song Scars

I hope through my sharing you will see…

“The weapon may be formed but it won’t prosper . When the darkness falls it won’t prevail, Cause the God I serve knows only how to triumph. My God will never fail. I’m gonna see a victory. For the battle belongs to You Lord.”

From Song See A Victory

…. Our God never fails, you will see a victory- you will see the war truly has been won.

 

PS – My love language is music – so I have also found a song or two that spoke to me during each stage and wanted to share. Today- at the light at the end of this tunnel –

 

 

 

Bedroom Food Confessions #22

Lessons from a skunk…. part 2. If you didn’t see part 1 click here first.

It has been a really busy week – The school I work for, students started back this week. My brain is still on summer mode and it is always a process to get back into the full swing of things. Then this weekend my husband and I have been volunteering at a camp for foster children. It was a fabulous experience- but we were passing like ships at night. Working different shifts and still having someone home for mini me.  As I got home late last night, I let the dog out. I returned a couple minutes later and he was fighting a skunk outside our back door. As I opened the door, spray was still getting the dog and then also got our laundry room. I yelled for my husband.

Thanks to my experience with the cat, I knew what to do. BUT the dog was covered so so so much more. He had to be bathed outside, in the dark, he was so uncomfortable from the spray. After the 3 bath process, he was finally let in and the real work began. The skunk still sat by our back door. He didn’t make it, but was still winning by emitting such a smell. The hub (THANK GOD FOR HIM) removed the skunk to our back woods. We began bleaching and hosing down our laundry room (add on so not directly in the house), the siding of the house, the windows… the list goes on. But the smell. I can’t even describe how strong it was. I had the AC on full blast and the font of the house windows open to try to move some of it out. Mini me now wide awake and not liking the current state of our air quality. Bless it. The hubs and I worked together a bit frustrated, some laughs, and lots of shaking our heads.

Confession I was not as joyful as when it happened with the cat. I was not immediately praising the Lord for this experience.

But as we went to bed, in the early morning hours, we pondered… OK I pondered and he patiently listened…. so I praised God and his blessing of calmness during cat bathing, did the enemy say- here watch this? Or is this just one of those things? A day later, as I sit here, I found the joy. I found the blessing. It might not be in the faint smell of skunk that still permeates most of our house, but the gift of time together. In such a craziness of a week, followed by a crazier weekend- where divide and conquer was the theme (one of which the enemy likes way way to much)…This blessing dressed as a curse, had given the hubs and I some quality (kid free) time that likely wouldn’t have happened this past weekend. It gave us laughs, eventually. Here is to hoping this is the end of the skunk chapter we have been in…. I love the blessings I found in each one. I am grateful for them.  Confession 2– But I would be lying if I wasn’t sitting here hoping lessons like this keep coming- but wishing, hoping, that maybe in the future the form could maybe resemble one of a mouse??