Summer fun can be exhausting. Getting up early, going from lesson to playdate to camp…being in the car from 30 to 45 minutes at a time depending on traffic. Doing all I can to make memories and do all the fun stuff while school is out. Keeping cool in this heat…fun, but tiresome.
I was expressing this thought to my son’s tutor whom is a widow and all three of her boys are grown and out of the house. Her response surprised me.
She said the busyness traveling in the car is what she missed the most about raising kids. She explained the time she spent talking, laughing and going to all the places for the summer are the memories she holds dear to her heart. Being all together in the car is priceless.
It made me stop and think the thing that exhausts me is what she misses. I should learn from her and change my perspective and find joy in this phase of life. Appreciate the talking, the questions and the places we travel together. Value this moment in motherhood.
Don’t miss the memories we are making. God has given me this child for this moment and I refuse to miss this opportunity by not appreciating how blessed I am. So thankful this lady could unknowingly mentor me and change my perspective before it was too late.
We said good-bye to our dog of 16 years this week.
To be honest, it was time, but that does not make it easier. She was deaf, blind and like her sister suffering from kidney disease.
We knew it was coming, but still not ready. It all happened quickly while we were in the Bahamas, but thankful we could make it back home so we could be together.
Explaining death to a 9 year old never is easy, but it gives us more opportunity to talk about God and heaven and Jesus.
The hurt is real, but so is the beauty of a best friend. The creature at my feet each night and the unconditional love in the loneliness. The loyal companion of my adult years. I miss her busting through the closet or barging in on my bathtime. Even miss the way she did anything to get to food…I miss her. But the pain is worth the 16 years of joy and the happy times of her youth.
What do you think of when I say the word church? Joy? Good people? Pain? Hypocrisy? Unspoken?
So many thoughts…none of them wrong, but I think of home. My go to place each Wednesday and Sunday. My first boyfriend and best friend. Youth group hang outs and camps. People that prayed.
Sure it is full of broken people and sinners, but that is why I fit in so well. My brokenness is welcome here and yours should be too. My youth church closed its doors this past Sunday. Church is not a place, but still sad I cannot go back to visit the building where I was baptized. Happy to have my family with me this Easter. Hope my son has all I had in a church home and more. If you feel a certain way about church, I encourage you to try again. It is worth it.
One of my favorite things to do is work in the preschool at church. I get to love on babies, play with toddlers, tell little ones about Jesus and SHOW them God’s love on display. Tell each kid that Jesus knows his or her by name.
I get to give parents an hour to worship undistracted by little ones. My time with their children help ls them to feed their souls. Is it loud and crazy…oh yes. But is it important?
Nothing else matters.
The kingdom belongs to these littles. We must be careful to train up the next generation so the church carries on until He returns.
Be the church wherever you fit in using whatever gift He bestowed upon you.
My husband does not always do everything the way I prefer him to do it, but one area where he excels is being a good father. He makes the time, sets boundaries and always follows through. Proud to have a front row to watch them two bond.
One thing that I am thankful for is NOT having daddy issues like many women I know. My dad modeled a genuine love for me including being present. He still is that father figure. He leaned into Jesus to learn how to be a dad because his dad was not there. Thankful my husband leans on Jesus too because my son will benefit like I did. God is a faithful Father and if you missed out having this experience as a child, know God can be trusted. Lean into Him!
I want to start by saying that this year for me is WAY better than last year, so I am thankful. Last year juggling virtual teaching and student absences while trying to maintain a gradebook was intense. I will always be grateful for my mental health this year, however teachers across the country are abandoning education at a massive rate. I struggled to put into words why…but then a teacher I follow on Twitter said it perfectly…
The teaching game has changed, but the mindsets of those making the decisions and laws have not. They want to “catch up” kids to make them what they use to be and these kids are not what they use to be. Families have changed, education has changed and now laws need to change. The stress being put on teachers to test and perform is breaking our spirits as more hours of tutoring, documentation and building up their SEL is exhausting. I made this TikTok last year I think of one of my favorite Christian songs called Truth Be Known. It sums us up well…looking good, but feeling weak.
God is my source of hope and strength so I know my foundation is firm. I have endured this business for 20 years so I know I can endure this valley, but those that do not know any different are walking out at an alarming rate. I get it. I hate it, but I get it.
On another note, wow how Lupus has changed my hair. No clue when my hair began to fall out and thin, but seeing my hair in this Tik Tok is shocking…long, full of volume…this is it today
Not without hope, but definitely not what it was. Crazy how a medicated auto immune disease can do that. My devo today said God has a purpose for my broken body and I am putting all my faith, hope and love that it is true.
Covid has wreaked havoc on education. Sub shortages, teachers leaving the profession, kids with anxiety and on medication…now even the leaders are retiring. So the big question is “Why?”
The short answer is apathy. In order to keep schools afloat and not ruin an academic future, schools required as little as possible. We took one grade per week, made most assignments optional, gave a choice to show up in person…we made learning easy and students got comfortable. However, what we were doing was hardly education. We were surviving.
When schools reopened, we again made many things optional and the virtual experience became a joke. Students got a year of very minimal learning as most teachers were forced to do a hybrid learning model. So now even though school was back in session, the learning struggled as teachers were overwhelmed balancing both. Later, Texas tested all of our kids while saying it did not count…was a baseline for the future. Wrong!
HB4545 is attempting to bridge the gaps of the horrific scores that “did not count” while frustrating teachers and making them feel defeated. Students have seen how minimal effort can bring a grade and failing is still nearly impossible so why put in more than the minimal? Then we got the sub issue.
Certain districts pay more than others so subs are really community members that love their community.
Watching the Amazing Race episode 3 when they shut down due to Covid, reminded me I have trauma. Trauma from life shutting down and my job closing. Trauma from sending kids home with one hug and a good bye. Trauma from virtual teaching. Trauma from homeschooling as a teacher. Trauma from learning new things and putting them to use quickly. Trauma from wanting to teach but realizing we are just giving a grade…most kids did as little as possible.
The teacher trauma is real!
Now we have schools with anxious students and teachers and leaders in very stressful situations. Balancing everyone’s mental health and not wanting anyone to break.
So here we are…brave educators digging in deep to ride this out. Kids are fragile so we all must walk carefully. No other job impacts children like teaching and I am here to stay…but things are challenging as you have to choose between scores and sanity.
It is what is, but the more support the better! Parents show you care. Teachers check on each other. Leaders show grace and compassion and serve your staff. Students come to school to learn. We can conquer this together. God is with us and suffering produces perseverance. The answers are complicated, but hope and love are strong and I believe in our business and system.
I love Camp Gladiator, but sometimes you need to mix it up. So happy to share I found cycling! A new gym opened up in Kaufman called Arise. It is more elite with top notch equipment and technology. I have not tried everything, but I am hooked on their cycling!
Hear me now…it is expensive. 20 dollars a class…makes CG look cheap, but it hurts so good! I love you can track your performance, set goals, compete as a team and it is inside! Hot, cold, rainy…you are good!
Recently I found the love of theme classes! Praise and worship class to feed my soul. Lil Wayne to feed my inner hip hop. Lizzo to feed my diva. The music gets me going as I push myself to new records or just release my stress.
Of course, I still love my CG. Recently I found Camp Gladiator on demand workouts and Quick hitters have hit the spot! 30 minutes- you can do anything. No need to carve 2 hours out of your day…just get it done and check it off!
The live part makes it interactive but sometimes you need people so going in person is nice too. Whatever you choose to do to focus on your health…just move!!
Today I go to two doctors to check on symptoms of inflammation. One is an eye doctor…my eyes have been on fire lately and the second is my regular check up to see if the Methextrate is working or we need to try something new. Many Lupus drugs have serious side effects, so I need to be careful and check blood work often.
Going to the doctor today got me thinking about all my flares the past ten years. I often get asked “What does a flare feel like?” My response is “Which one?”
My first flare was my worst…achy joints, high fever always, weight loss, fatigue, cold all the time. We started Plaquenil and within three months I was feel good again…a new norm of anemia, infertility and fatigue always, but not hurting.
My second big flare was achy joints, fatigue and hair loss. Patches of bald spots and an itchy scalp that kinda surprised me since I did not know my hair was connected to auto immune issues
My third big flare was my scariest. Lung inflammation. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. I could not catch my breath and my chest hurt. Again, no clue my lungs could be connected to my Lupus.
This one has lasted the longest…mirrored more Rheumatoid arthritis than Lupus. It caused me to change my meds to focus on joint pain rather than fatigue. It caused my hands to go crooked and surprisingly has impacted my eyes. No clue if it is inflammation or allergy or random coincidence but my eyes have been burning. This flare also impacted my weight and fatigue and now thinning hair. A big surprise is the new inflammation in my stomach…food does not process which makes me feel malnourished.
The crazy thing is insurance causes me to need referrals and it is hard to know what can be treated with a GP versus a specialist. So much is determined by Lupus and is just confusing. So my goal today is to get answers and maybe a better plan. I feel good mentally, but Lupus can cause depression too and I have had that this time as well. Pray that God leads me to answers and wisdom today!
I am blessed with all the advancements in this tricky disease. I am learning to accept myself at my lowest weight, infertile, bruised from blood thinners, thin hair that does not grow out and feeling tired all the time. Learning I am who I am with this disease. No one can truly understand it through my eyes and what I go through each day to make it to the next as a mom and teacher and wife…but God is using this for His glory! Adoption and more has been a gift in this and I am not dead. I have felt like dying is near at times or even frustrated that my quality of life at 42 is so different …if this is 42 what will 62 feel like…will I live to see 72? Does my child get the mother he deserves?
In it all, I will take this life and live it awake. I will appreciate what I do have through a support system and medical team. God is good!
Today I am focusing on Psalm 136:1. I am giving thanks to God. Thankful for my body. Thankful for my medical team. Thankful for prescription drugs. Thankful for a supportive husband. Thankful for prayer. Thankful for days to take off for the doctor. Thankful for the beauty in the ashes. Thankful on purpose.
To me January 1st is just another day. Whatever vision you had on December 31st could be done then…why wait? Why be dramatic about January 1st…it seems like it is setting one up to get on this hig emotional high then fail. However, I do love graduations to reflect and endings call for new beginnings.
Four areas I want to examine:
Health-mind and physical. I am hopeful to get answers to my weight loss, gain some weight, and not let inflammation bring me down.
Reading-both to grow and for pleasure
I see these four areas as important to me and areas where I can grow. Work is important too and I have goals there…but at my stage of life…so much time is spent on making a name for myself as a teacher that it is exhausting. Sometimes I just need to live my life and bring that to the curriculum I know.
My school family!
So today, give yourself grace. Notice the baby steps to be better, but do not suffocate yourself with strict guidelines. Enjoy the journey!
Happy 2022. The year I blog until I get busy again!