Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Blessing in Disguise

Two years ago, at Christmas time, I started my better health journey. I made a plan with goals, mini-goals, and steps to help get me there. I made that goal last year and have been keeping up with things since then. 

But since earlier this year I've been struggling to find my motivation to keep going. To keep going through the motions of "exercising". I needed a new goal. And so I found one - a 5 k. I've done three 5ks and feel very proud of my accomplishments, but.... I'm struggling again. I need a new goal.

Don't forget to count your blessings this Thanksgiving.
Remember, they could be disguised!
I set a goal of a 10k. I did the training. But there aren't many 10ks available to run; and I'm picky about running outside - I don't do it in the cold. It's too hard to breathe. After completing the 10k training, I decided my next goal would be a half-marathon. Something big.

But speaking of hard to breathe....I've been sick for a month. First walking pneumonia for 3 weeks. No exercise. Rest was the doctor's orders, and a prescription. And then I was better for about a week. I played volleyball late one night. And I even did a half-hearted run on the treadmill twice before getting sick again.

Now I'm sick again, this time with a sinus infection (yuck!), and back to resting - no exercise. 

At first I was really bummed that I couldn't get back to my regular workout routines. I was afraid I would get fat again without exercise. Afraid that I wouldn't be able to control (limit) enough what I ate so I would over-consume calories without burning enough calories. 

And yes, I'll admit, at first I did go up a few pounds on the scale. But the scale also came back down. Without a run. Without a long walk. Without the elliptical machine. I did it by controlling (balancing) what I ate, with the light activity that I had the energy for (work and dancing twice a week). 

I didn't realize it until just the other morning what a blessing my sicknesses were in disguise. I learned that I could maintain a healthy weight without living at the gym, without relying on exercise calories burned to allow me to eat more. I could do it. I did it. I'm going to keep doing it. 

Because I'm amazing!

Monday, November 23, 2015

I Need(ed) a Hug

Yep, that's me.
I'm a touchy, feely person. If you know me outside this blog, in real life, then you already know that. I'm in touch with my feelings. I also value human touch. I'm a hugger.

I guess one of the perks of teaching for me, beyond the sharing knowledge, the light bulb moments when a kid "gets it", yadda, yadda, yadda, is that I get lots of hugs. I mean TONS of hugs. All the time.

Sometimes the need is this real.
So real that I cry.
And all those little hugs are great. I love those hugs. But sometimes I need a grownup hug. Someone adult to hold me and just be there. No talking necessary, just their physical presence. That hasn't happened for a while for me.

I have a friend, a dance friend, who I cuddle with. It's a dance move. It's fun. And I tease him that I like cuddling with him. I like dancing with him and it's a fun move.

But having been sick for so long, then healthy for a little while, then getting sick again. I haven't been able to get out and be around my friends. And being sick, having no energy, just feeling sorry for myself, I was craving some human contact and really wanting a hug.

So he came. He hugged me. It was so good that I cried. I felt tears come to my eyes because having that human contact, comfort, was missing for so long that it felt like a release as I relaxed into his embrace.

Thank you, my friend. Thank you for being there. We humans were made to be in contact with others. Some of us (extroverts) more than others (introverts), but we all need each other and physical contact sometimes.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Prayer For My Friend

Heavenly Father, I miss my friend. I miss them a lot. We haven't seen each other in over a month and my life feels a little emptier without them.

And lately I've really been wanting to spend time with them. And perhaps that's how you feel about me. I've been neglecting our time together, not spending enough time in conversation with you.

And I've had a few tears of longing for time with my friend. How many times have you shed tears longing for time with me? Waiting for me to come back to you.

Their absence hurts and weighs heavy on my heart. I long to just be close to my friend, to hold each other in a long embrace. No words to speak, just together. Just together.

Do you long for me, too, like that, Lord? Waiting to hold me in your embrace and just be with me?

I'm longing, Lord. Longing to feel a warm embrace. Longing to be held. Desiring to hold another and share my love. Show me who needs my love and let me feel your embrace.


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Out Of My Control

So I this week started reading a Bible study book called "Unglued" by Lisa TerKeurst, a Proverbs 31 Ministries online Bible study. I'm on chapter 2 and I'm on my second reading up the chapter. As I read I like to read once just to absorb information. The second time I read I like to underline passages and take notes.

So, today I'm on my second reading of chapter 2 entitled "I'm not a freak out woman". I've read again and again words along the lines of  "I can face things that are out of my control without acting out of control."

And yeah, sure I believe that in a lot of areas of my life. In fact, I was great at that yesterday when I was at the dealer waiting for my car that was getting recall work done. I first got a phone call from my bank saying there has been fraudulent activity on my bank card. They had to close my card and transferred me to customer service to get a new card activated, but I won't get it for a week or so. Until then I have to pay for everything with cash. And just after I got off the phone with my bank the attendant at the car station comes in and tells me that there's no oil in my car and they want to do some tests and repairs are going to cost a couple hundred dollars. I had a choice I could freak out to start stressing my brain spend a million miles a minute, or I could breathe and look at one thing at a time. I chose to calmly contact my bank and request a new card. Then, I thought through some of my options with my car and I chose to have one test done and wait for a few weeks until after the test is done to see if the other service would be needed. That reduced my expenses yesterday greatly.

But as I started writing this down in my journal, about facing things out of my control without acting out of control, and underlining the thought in my book an idea really hit hard. Am I trusting God, really trusting God, about this in my dating life? Do I really believe God is there and that he is out to do me good? Can I stop freaking out and stop trying to fix dating situations on my own? Am I ready to rest in the fact that God is in control? Even in control of my dating life?

I wasn't so good at that earlier this year. This past spring I met a man online. He came to visit and we fell in love. He became a big part of my world: we talked, texted, called, frequently. But then something happened at his job and he couldn't give me time and attention. Things were out of control and I felt out of control. I acted out of control. I stopped trusting God's plan and forgot whose side I'm on. I was the worst version of myself.

I made a new friend earlier this year. We immediately connected on facebook and also texted regularly.And we would see each other about once or twice a week sometimes. I have come to feel very close to this person. We aren't dating, we're just friends, but very good friends. They are very important to me. 

But things in their life have changed recently and it's affected our relationship. We haven't seen each other as much and haven't talked for awhile. Things in our relationship are out of my control. And I have a choice. I can freak out because things are out of control or I can choose to trust that God is in control and He is on my side and on my friend's side for our good. So I ask myself what good will it do to freak out? No good.

So, whose side are you on?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Last night on the way home, exhausted from a long day of teaching followed by Parent-Teacher conferences until 8:30 pm, I had a revelation: Parent-Teacher Conferences weren't scary anymore.

My first several years of teaching I always dreaded Parent-Teacher conferences. I was afraid that parents would question what I was doing and that I wouldn't be able to defend myself. I worried that I wouldn't have the answers to their questions so they would think I wasn't a good teacher. I was afraid to tell them about struggles their child was having and that they wouldn't support me, or they wouldn't agree, or they wouldn't....something. I was afraid I wasn't a good enough teacher and that they would see through my wonderful, happy teacher facade I put on.

Well, for those who have been following the blog, you know my confidence level has changed. For old and new alike, let me tell you - it was not easy to change! It took years of rewiring my brain to see myself as good enough just as I am. It took a lot of hard work to learn to be me - they can take it or leave it, but here's who I am and I like me.

I now believe in myself. I know I am a good teacher. I love my kids - first and foremost - and they know that and they love me, too. Second to that, I get to teach them about Jesus every day by my actions and my words.

I get to know my kids and how they learn best so that I can be effective in my teaching. I adapt to their needs.

I keep my room neat and organized.

I have high expectations and they rise to meet them.

I shower them with love, affection, and affirmation.

I believe in myself. I could go on about the qualities that make me a good teacher, but I don't need to. I know who I am and what I am. I am comfortable being me, and the confidence I exude shows. Parents support me. And, because I love their kids, they like me.

So, Parent-Teacher Conferences aren't so scary anymore.