I haven't had a lot of motivation to write lately for some reason. I think of things I might like to blog about, but don't really know how to put them into words without making big long, and possibly boring-ish posts! Mostly I'm writing this time to keep track of all that has been going on when I look back. Thanks for sticking with me if you're reading. I've been reading all the other great blogs I subscribe too, even when I haven't been writing!
I started running again over the past two weeks, and I'm really enjoying it. I took 0:42 off my mile this Sunday from my time a week ago, and I have also been doing some 2-mile timed runs, mostly to build distance back up, not so much for the time - but this week I took a little over 2 minutes off of my 2 mile time from a week ago too! :) Anyway, just doing it for enjoyment and hopefully to get my heart rate up on the days I don't go to Curves. I miss running a lot since high school Cross Country and college. It hasn't seemed to bother my knees either, so that's great! I am also taking it in moderation as compared to college when I made the not-so-healthy, stressed-out choices to run 3-4 miles right after working out a lot of days. It feels good to be smarter (or just wiser about the decisions I make) now.
I'm trying to keep up with grad school but haven't been as motivated there lately either. I want to do my best and am thankful to be back in school again. And the work isn't super hard. But - working full-time teaching and taking the classes is definitely a big workload, I'll admit that. I'm keeping up with our posts, but need some prayer to get going on my projects that will be due in just a few short weeks....all coming around the same time. Yikes! I'm a procrastinator to the core, and I tend to hate starting things early. Maybe just maybe I can do it this time.
I considered giving up soda again like I did at the end of high school when I was running (I went four years without it!) I only drink diet soda anyway, but after two weeks, even though I could have kept going, I thought, I'll just do maybe one a week so I can still enjoy it, but I don't need to have it all the time.
I talked to my parents on the phone last weekend for a long time. I miss them a lot. They may be home a little later this summer for a short visit/training for work. Honestly it might be harder to see them for a short time, though, than to just keep going without seeing them. We'll see. It will be good to hug them and talk to them face to face.
I turned down a job at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina for this summer. It was hard. Last summer was the biggest blessing. God knew just what I needed. And this year would have worked out, timing-wise...but it just didn't seem right. For some reason I am feeling so much like just sticking around here and taking some time off to relax while also getting caught up/more prepared for school next year. I'm also not taking a summer class. I think it will help financially to wait until the new Fall semester and save over the summer, and it will give me a break so I can feel refreshed in the Fall.
I plan to stay at the building I'm currently teaching at next year and am thankful that this year has been so much better, so much more fun, and has given me chances to really get to know other teachers better and build confidence in myself. I am, however, out of energy, ideas, and almost patience, and I'm so ready for summer to be here! The year has gone so quickly this time, but the end seems so far away right now.
I haven't been traveling much lately. Every time we have a break, I just want to stay here. I think financially and time-wise it just stresses me out more to travel than to stay here. I'm going to have a reunion with these three super friends from college at the end of May, though, and I am SO excited about this! It's been almost two years since we've all been in the same place at the same time! Look out, Birmingham - we're on our way!
I keep learning more about who I am, what it means to be content in Christ, thankful for where I'm at, and looking forward to the future. Just the other day I think I took another big step in realizing who I am is ok when I thought this, "How can they not like me if they don't know me?" I know that sounds silly, but for ever, my first thought has been that people don't like me when they meet me, or people I don't really know at work, etc. don't really like me. Then I realized - I don't really know them, and they don't really know me...so how can they not like me? I know it is small, but really, just that thought was a huge deal for me. God has really been teaching me about little things like that lately. I've also learned to see and recognize when Satan is trying to fill my mind with negative thoughts - or even just slip them in there one at a time in little ways. And that is one of the biggest parts of the battle in finding contentment and joy - being able to stop, push that thought aside, and replace it with God's truth. Thank you Lord for bringing me to this point!
I have enjoyed having some new friends and some closer relationships at school and work this year. There are teachers I rarely got to (or made the effort to) talk to last year, and now I've enjoyed getting to know a little more about them. One of my roles has also been mentoring our new art teacher. And while I confess I was a little freaked out at first about "mentoring" someone, thinking that I still need a mentor myself - I've also realized that this role doesn't require perfection or being a "know it all." It simply requires sharing what I know in the best way I can, encouraging someone else (which I love doing anyway!), and helping that person find other resources and teachers who can help when I can't. I hope I've done a good job - I know I've learned a lot, myself, through helping. And I've gained a new friend and a lot of laughs too. I decided last week I should probably just change my title to "frientor" because I get to be both a friend and mentor. I'm thankful God provided that opportunity and responsibility this year.
I practiced piano today. Of course by practice I mean worked hard to remember some of the things I learned in college, read both clefs, and play hands together after playing each line separately about a million times. It's ok...baby steps, I guess! I miss singing/playing music for myself and in an ensemble setting...not that I ever did that with piano, but definitely with voice and percussion! Hoping I'll get to be part of the town band again for the first time in a few years, this summer!
A few verses that have been on my mind lately:
"Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning." -Lamentations 3:23
"Whom have I in Heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail and my spirit grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart. He is mine forever." -Psalm 73:24-25
"For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him." -Philippians 2:13
Praying God will greatly bless you this Easter week. I am so glad He chooses to love us in a new way each morning and am thankful for the many ways He has led me to grow content and hopeful in Him more each day! If you read all of that, it was longer than I meant for it to be - thanks for keeping up with me, even when it's been awhile!