Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Inspiration: New Year, New Look, and Rambling Thoughts

No- I know it's not the new year but it is a new school year and I was playing with another blog (a teaching blog that is "private" for now as I figure out if I want to do anything with it) and ended up playing with templates.  After doing that I decided to play here.  It was free but I am just trying to figure out if it is "too much".

I just realized we are halfway through August and have not done my August "new thing".  Any suggestions?  I have no clue!

School has started- it's been crazy busy.  We are on an extended day so the students are there until 3:30 and that means teacher contract time is 4:00.  I haven't been home before 6:30 any evening this week between chiropractor appointments and running errands and staying after school.  I am still feeling a little overwhelmed so show me grace in my lack of posting please. :)

Part of the feeling overwhelmed has been brought about by falling into the comparison trap.  I follow several teaching blogs on BlogLovin', FB and Pinterest.  I see all of the pretty pictures on Pinterest of classrooms.  I see my co-workers' classrooms.  Life has been crazy enough that my classroom is not where I want it but I had to let go of a few things.  Well, looking at these pictures has led me to feeling inadequate as a teacher.  I know (and someone pointed out on FB) that it's not about what the classroom looks like- it's about what goes on inside the classroom but that doesn't change the fact that I feel like my room is blah.  I need to do some cheap (thrifty- or free) fixes that won't take a lot of time.  I need NEED/WANT to have a life outside of school this year and with already leaving later it has been rough already…  Any thoughts?  Any ideas?

The chiropractor- has been my back's saving grace these last few weeks- I had to move a lot of boxes and furniture and in the process I have been dealing with a serious stiff back and possibly one that's out of alignment (based on how it has felt and the noise it has made during adjustments- serious snap, crackle and pop going on).  Unfortunately the stiffness and lack of flexibility/pain I have had has seriously limited any exercise.  I had great intentions on Tuesday for getting a run in but right as I would have changed and left- the rains came down!  Hopefully I can shoot for this Tuesday instead.

So- my question for you- how do you avoid falling into the comparison trap?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Living Life

This post is going to be a mish-mash of "information".  A conglomeration of sorts of all that has gone on this summer!

Let's start with June:
June brought a trip to Ohio and Indiana.  It also led to my new "adventure" for the month- my new thing that I did for June was paddle boarding.  I did not make it to the standing up part but hopefully the next time I'll be a bit more confident and get it.

I got to watch my nephew play baseball and spend some much needed time with my mom and dad.

July brought volunteering for the Pilot Fireball Classic.  It's a race I ran last year but was not prepared for this year.  I still have not been consistent with my running- I am still dealing with some heel pain and issues so probably need to make it to a doctor but have held off at this point (quite honestly, I am sick of doctors).  I also was still working to find out some results of medical tests- the bottom line- my labs came back completely normal so nobody is sure what is going on and I suppose I just need to be more diligent in my choices.  It would help I suppose if I were more motivated to exercise but at this point I am still working on that.

My July adventure was a trip to the Elizabeton/Johnson City area for my friend Crystal's grand opening at her studio.  I traveled with my friend Glenneth.  It was a Monday night and we left around 2 (got back around 11ish).  We did 5 different 30 minute classes including a Piloxing class (which was new to me). There were two dance classes and two strength/cardio classes along with the Piloxing class.  My Heart Rate Monitor isn't working right now so I have no clue how many calories I burned but it was a lot- I had sweat pouring off!  Crystal's studio is called Train Dirty Fitness and she has an amazing line up of classes and instructors!  If you are in the area you should check it out!

July also consisted of moving my classroom from my PreK room to my first grade room, working on setting that up and completing many hours of training- in July alone I did about 33 hours.  I also started back to work on Thursday- kids to come on August 11.

So, there you have it- a synopsis of my summer.  It's been busy- but a good busy.  I had another part of this post that I was going to put in here but it's long enough so that will be another post for another day (which is a good thing).  Hopefully I can make some time to get it posted this week!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday Inspiration- We were Made to Thrive

I have been in the car and in my classroom a lot the last couple of weeks, traveling to trainings, visiting with family, and working to get set up for this year and this song gets me every time.  Especially this part:

We know we were made for so much more
Than ordinary lives
It's time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive

Read more: Casting Crowns - Thrive Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

For so long it seems like I have been in survival mode and am not thriving in many areas of life.  I think that's why this song resonates in my heart and has become one of those songs that I have put on repeat.  I don't want to live an ordinary life- I want to grow, I want to be, I want to thrive.  Now that I have determined that- it's time to make it a focus and a goal.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Inspiration- Try

I haven't posted a Sunday Inspiration in a few weeks- part of it has been due to traveling, part due to not knowing which song to pick, and part of it just not blogging while I took a break from a lot of things.  It has been a frustrating summer in some aspects- trying to figure out some health stuff that there appears to be no medical reason for and yet nothing seems to be working and yet, in other aspects it's been a rewarding summer.  I found out about a week and a half ago that I am moving back to first grade from preschool which I am super excited about- I think the change is going to be a good thing.

Moving on to the Sunday Inspiration- making the rounds over the internet/facebook is this article about Colbie Caillat.  I have listened to some of her music before but after seeing this one today I decided to take a listen.  Read the interview and then listen to the song and know that no other words are needed…

Colbie Caillat

I know that I needed these words today- as I struggle with the person looking back at me in the mirror.

On another note- I have emailed the winner of the book. :)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Seeking Rest- #spiritualwhitespace

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review.  All opinions are mine.

Back on June 3 I wrote this post.  I had planned to be done with Finding Spiritual Whitespace and write a review last week but- well- life happened and it didn't.  Then, the more I tried to read it the more it just didn't seem to be "working" and I seemed to be forcing it.  I finally put it down and read other books.  Then came the review week- I really needed to buckle down and get going.  I ended up having an "emergency" dr appt to go over some test results- which I was (and still am) extremely anxious about (but unable to discuss right now until I get more info).  I was sitting there reading and all of a sudden came to chapter 16 "A Love Note".  I felt as if I could have written the first part and then, I read the second part and knew that God wanted me to read it, in that moment, at that time.  The chapter talks about the one word that God placed on your heart today- as I read the word that kept coming to mind was trust. Bonnie starts the section by saying "Sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves to hear God say something new.  But there are seasons where one word is more than enough.  Sometimes one word trickles into a series of soul conversations and takes us on a weeklong, monthlong, or yearlong journey to savor, cry over, and explores with Jesus."  Trust- my heart whispered, simply trust.  You don't know what is going on, you don't know where this journey is taking you BUT, I do.  Lysa TerKeurst mentions in her book Made to Crave about the phrase "but God"- this is one of those times when it was a "but God" breathed into my heart, into my soul.  While I am still seeking answers and waiting on phone calls- I am choosing to listen to that voice, to rest and find that whitespace with Him.

In this book Bonnie tells her story- her journey through her struggles and her freedom found in the resting.  While I could not relate to her story, I could relate to the journey.  Because, the bottom line is, we don't all have the same story nor the same journey but the rest and freedom found at the end of our story is the same, if we allow Christ to work through it.  The book is divided into 6 parts and it's not meant to be hurried through- take your time, read each chapter, participate in the prompts at the end of the chapters and really find out what God is saying to you before moving on.  The very last chapter Bonnie provides a menu of ways to "awaken your soul to rest".  My plan is very simple- to go back through that last chapter and use her suggestions to "tell my story."

I want to leave you with two thoughts from Bonnie:

"We can move out of the gate because he goes before us.  He'll carry us back when we fall.  You and I were meant to go on new journeys, to pursue desires God plants in our hearts.  Let's unearth the dreams we've long lost, buried."

and "Sometimes you have to suffer the pain of the past to realize who you truly belong to."

While traveling this past week I was listening to my music and put together a spiritual whitespace playlist- take a look, take a listen, and rest…

Oh, and as a way to put this book in your hands- I am going to be giving away a copy of the book- if you are interested in winning this please comment below answering the following question:

How/where do you find rest?

This giveaway will go on until Wednesday, July 9 at 10:00 p.m.  At that time I'll draw a name and contact the winner and get it sent out  (I am personally sponsoring this giveaway because I believe that someone needs to read this book!)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday Inspiration- Happy Father's Day!

I did a tribute to my mom on Mother's Day and it would be a travesty if I didn't do the same for my dad on Father's Day :)

But, seriously, I could go on and on about my dad but honestly, I wouldn't even know where to start.  He has always been there for me, encouraged my dreams, and went without to make sure our basic needs were met.  He modeled faith in trying times, joy in happy times, and tears in sorrowful times.  He has modeled forgiveness- by forgiving me, forgiving himself, and forgiving others.  Is he perfect?  No, but I know he seeks to serve the one who is and that makes him my "hero".

This short  (1:00) video made me smile and think of my dad and how a relationship with a father SHOULD be (and I know that not everyone has that which makes me even more thankful that I do):

and then there's this longer video (5:00)  by J & J

and I'll end with these…

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday Inspiration- Come as You Are

I was looking on iTunes this week and came across this song- I went to youtube to listen to the whole thing and immediately downloaded it.  I have never been a huge Crowder fan (just not my style) but his solo album is a completely different sound.

and the lyrics- a balm for a weary heart that sometimes strives too much to be "perfect".  I know there's no such thing as perfect but too often we put up that front or wear that mask that we want other people to see.  And then, when we are alone or the mask slips, we feel shame, embarrassment, and hopeless.  Take a listen, soak in the words that you hear and then read these words again:

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure

Those last two lines- Earth has no sorrow that heaven can't cure. That, is the balm for a weary soul- for the soul that seeks out that spiritual whitespace- for the soul that longs to connect with the heart of God

Found here