It’s Here!

Summer vacation is finally finally here! I was thinking today that I want my focus of the summer to be different than it has in the past. Instead of devoting all of my time this summer to recovering lost sleep, I am trying to be more purposeful this summer. There are parts of my life that have been seriously neglected this year as I was just barely in survival mode. So, as summer winds up, I’m ready to make some changes.

Exercise

This year has left little time for exercise, particularly because exercise has never been a regular part of my routine. So, I’m taking a serious approach this summer, alternating the Couch to 5K program with Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. Ambitious? Perhaps. If it’s too much, my backup plan is to just to the weight training from the 30 Day Shred. We’ll see how it goes. Funny, but my first step in getting started with this plan is to quit the gym. Reality is that as nice as it is, I just don’t get there. And it turns out I can go to my alma mater’s gym for considerably less!

Food

Ahh the end of the year with it’s constant eating out. It does little for my waistline and little for my wallet, but a considerable amount for my stress relief. It leaves the first few weeks of summer however to undo the damage. Fortunately, summer is the easiest time to make these changes with all of its fresh and delicious fruits and veggies! I’m back on Weight Watchers, and with 9 weeks between now and the start of vacation, I’m hoping to take off at least 15 pounds.

Jesus

So that 30 Day Challenge I took on at the beginning of June crashed and burned in the stress of the month. I’m taking on a 63 Day Challenge instead; spending time with Jesus every day this summer.

So, there we are. There are tons of trips I’d love to take and things I’d like to experience, but I feel like if I can enter the fall with these three things under some element of control, I’ll be better off for it.

We Made It!

It’s that time of year again… the time where I look back with wonder and think, “how did we make it through,” and “how did the time fly so fast?” From the moments when I thought the year would never end, to the moments I wished would last forever, this has been a year to remember. As I prepare to say goodbye to one batch of kids, and welcome another in, it’s bittersweet. I’ve always been one who hates goodbyes, but loves new beginnings. At this time tomorrow, it’ll be time to raise a glass to both.

But… you ARE you!

Me: I am going to be so happy when tomorrow is over…

Student A: Yeah, I really wouldn’t want to be you right now.

Me: I know… I don’t really want to be me right now either!

Student B: But… you ARE you. 

We were in the throes of portfolio prep today. It’s an important process… but what a nightmare this year!!! I have a class of kids who desperately want to talk and play, but instead we spent from 8:50-11:25, and then from 12:50-2:25 silently putting together our portfolios. The kids were troopers, truly, but man were we all stressed out! Like I told those last two kids, I’m going to be glad when tomorrow (portfolio day) is over. In the meantime, pray for us, and the five portfolios that are in various stages of incompleteness. The pieces have to be in place by 8:50 tomorrow morning!

In other news, this is my last Friday of work. I am so looking forward to this time next week!

Busy Busy Busy

I can’t even tell you how much work I’ve done over the last few days, and how much I’ve still got left to do. It seems insurmountable at the moment, but the truth of the matter is, but Friday it’ll all be over, and then all I’ve got to do is have fun with the kids for a week.

I sat down to do my schedule for the week yesterday and I was completely overwhelmed by what’s in store! Today I had to cram in cleaning my classroom, writing sub plans, community group, grocery shopping, and laundry; tomorrow I get a little bit of a break – I’m vacuuming my car (for the first time since August), cleaning the apartment, hopefully working out, and then heading to my book club; Wednesday’s catch-up time at school, then heading to my old school to watch some of my old students graduate; Thursday I’m hanging out with my cousin and her kids and then seeing some friends who are visiting from Africa, and then Friday I have a doctor’s appointment followed by another book club. It’s possible that I will have lost my mind by Saturday morning.

Fortunately there are those moments when I remember what all of this craziness is leading up to that help me to stop and remember that it’s all temporary. Like today when I was standing in line with my 10 for $5.00 yogurts and thought “this is more yogurt than I need to get me through the rest of the school year!” That’s a big deal to me, because I literally have had a yogurt almost every single day this year except when I am behind on my shopping. Then, there was the thought as I was finding myself a little bit bored of the usual Whole Foods trek, that summer time means that I get to make the journey out to Watertown to Russo’s Market, my favorite supermarket, but one that’s just a little too far away for the school year. It’s a nice summer time treat. I think I’m ready for a new routine!

I’m afraid to say that I’ve all but given up on building a quiet time routine before the end of the school year is over, but I’m looking forward to having a schedule that’s a little bit more open in which to do just that. My relationship with Jesus needs renewal, but it also needs space to grow. It’s not to say that I’m just throwing in the towel for the next 7.5 days of school, but I am going to go easy on myself. I know that it takes up to 6 weeks to establish a routine, and only a crazy-lady would try to do so during one of my two busiest months of the year when I’m still reeling from our family tragedy.

Anyway, sorry for the crazy post, hopefully this summer will lend itself to more reflection and fewer play-by-plays of my days!

Meditations on a Theme

It’s that time of year again. The time when I need a break, one’s right around the corner, and yet it seems so far away. There is so much to do before June 23rd, I can’t even begin to get my brain around it. There are papers to grade, narratives to write, benchmarking to complete, portfolios to finish, and a final major writing project to publish. There is so much to do.

And so, in the grand scheme of the week what have I not done? You got it… my time with God. The time that I was so excited for the other day. The time that I was convinced would renew my relationship with Him, the time that would set me up for a great summer with the Lord. Why is this so hard??

I know in part it’s because I still harbor anger over what happened to my family this spring. I go to church and I find myself completely tuning out the sermon, and not because the sermons are boring. I go to community group and find myself grateful that we never actually got around to talking about the Bible. I am such a sinner… no more than the next person, but no less either. I wish I was one of those people for whom grief drew me closer to Him, but I’m just not and in truth, I envy those who are.

So, any advice for a girl who knows she’s got some work to do on her relationship with Jesus, but doesn’t know where to begin?

The 30 Day Challenge: Days 1 and 2

Ah, even with the best of my intentions, my sin nature is never far behind. I woke up on Day 1 not much later than I had intended, and spent at least a good 15 minutes with the Lord before beginning my day. It was nothing profound, and truthfully I felt disconnected from God… perhaps the result of the amount of time that I have spent avoiding Him over the last few months. Still, it was sweet time, knowing that I was returning to a routine of connecting with Him, and feeling encouraged that there were others joining with me.

And then, there was this morning. I rolled out of bed at 7:25 with nary a second thought about time with God. I didn’t have time to shower, let alone take a few quiet moments. I drove to school without thinking about how else I could be spending my time. I went through my day, which included too many working hours, and too many socializing hours only to return home just a half hour or so ago. It wasn’t until I read Jess’ latest post that I remembered the challenge, and remembered what I had committed to do. So, I spent a few moments this evening, and I pray that Jesus will be with me as I wake up tomorrow!