Today was the absolute hardest day of my teaching career. I didn’t want to come to work today. I didn’t really want to get out of bed.
For those of you who will read this from outside our precious community I’ll explain briefly. We lost a dear friend to a tragic car accident over the weekend. A friend who truly cared about those around her. A friend who loved deeply and meant what she said. A friend who supported, fought for, and stayed true to her beliefs. A fellow teacher who made those around her feel cared about every single day.
I did get out of bed and I did walk into that building.
I watched as people struggled to breathe, struggled to take a step forward, and fought for every single minute.
I watched as people hugged. I watched as students cried. I watched as community members dropped off coffee and hot chocolate and flowers while staff members took care of each other.
I watched as broken hearts broke even more and the shock wore off and the reality began to sink in. I watched as people tried to navigate the unthinkable all while handling the fragile hearts of the most precious little ones who came in hurt and confused.
In my profession there are days when we come in to work and we are given the name of a student and told to “handle with care”. This means we are not to ask any questions, we are just to know that that particular little one is going through something serious and we are to take a bit more time and have heaps more patience and love.
Today we all needed to be handled with care. I think we will need it again tomorrow and a month from now out of the blue we will need it again.
Life is unpredictable, it is downright unfair at times, and cruel to the core.
But it is a few other things as well. It is a hug that shares grief in the darkest of times. It is a cup of coffee you enjoy with tears running down your face. It is the text message from your son that just wants you to know that you are loved and appreciated because they know how hard today will be. It is watching life rush past you while every part of your being wants it to slow down and let you catch your breath.
It is hope.
It is love.
It is uncertain, unkind, beautiful, and blessed. It is all those things and so much more.
I’m thankful for all of it. I’m thankful that I got the chance to love even if it means heartache gets mixed in.
I don’t want to miss a chance to tell you too- I love you. Today and forever.
She used to read this blog. She encouraged me to write and let me know how much she was touched by my words. So dear friend, this one’s for you. The world was a better place with you in it.
Psalm 34:18- The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Hey everyone, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve written. Honestly, I’ve missed it. But life happens and you know how that is. And to be real, I just needed a break from a lot of things. I needed to step back and reevaluate where I was and where I’m going.
I love the picture below. I took it the other day while I was taking a walk. The sky was beautiful, the day was warm with a light breeze and I felt the weight of the world sitting pretty squarely on my shoulders. I think the problem lies with the way I was looking at the many issues I was facing. I didn’t see a clear way out and I felt like I had to fix everything.
I can’t fix everything. I can’t fix much of anything.
Shocker, right? Why do I do that every single time? Why do I look at the situations and pray about them and give them to God and then pick them right back up and tell Him what I need from Him? As if the God of the universe can’t handle things without my not-so-subtle suggestions.
If you are like me then today you are facing some challenges. Some of those challenges may just be simple changes that are taking place in your life and you’re struggling with the adjustment. Others may be devastating and you are struggling to even breath.
I want to encourage you today. I also want to encourage me today. I want us both to look outside the chains that lock us in and look to Jesus. He is the only one who can walk us through this crazy world. He is the one who will walk us beside the still waters even though we walk through the valley of death.
I love that. I receive that today. I hope you do too.
One of the things I’ve learned on this journey to health is
that trying to do this alone is not very effective. To be honest I don’t like
to rely on people. I don’t like vulnerability or sharing my insecurities and I
don’t think I’m alone in those feelings. When I began writing this blog I
argued with God over every single post. I worried about being judged and
critiqued by those I care about because believe me, no one wants to take the skeletons
out of that neatly packaged closet.
Oh but when we do.
When we admit the truth to the journey; when we admit more
than the outcome and we share the struggles and the bruises along the way we
find healing for more than ourselves. Instead we share our healing with the
world around us.
One of the things I love most about reading the bible is
that when I do I find a group of people who the world would most certainly
consider failures. Yet in the very midst of their mess they become world changers
under the guidance, love, and forgiveness of our God. Imperfect people putting
their lives out there for Christ, that’s exactly who I want us to be. Those who
are scared, worried, stressed and even vulnerable- we all become powerful in
the hands of Christ. What I also noticed is that none of those people did it
alone. They needed Jesus and they most definitely needed each other and whether
we want to admit it or not we do too.
It’s not easy allowing others to see those damaged areas of
our lives or asking for help when we feel down or are struggling, but if we
just let people glimpse the pain then maybe we can all prevail together. Let’s all
be honest for a minute. If Jesus did not walk this world alone then how do we
expect to? He relied on God and spent time opening his heart to man. He talked
with people about their struggles, he prayed, he was let down, he forgave, and
he moved forward. Shouldn’t that be the blueprint of our life too? We spend so
much time protecting ourselves from the possible pain that opening up might
bring that we miss the joy that comes when we decide to finally come out of
Open up today. Talk to those around you, begin to trust
again. Let your life be a beacon of hope instead of a perfectly wrapped package
that feels empty inside. When we open up and let others into our situations we
fill that gift with all the best things. Hope, endurance, trust, overcoming,
friendship and so much more. Will we be let down at times? Sure, but is that a reason to isolate
ourselves? An excuse maybe but not a reason.
Never a reason.
There is power in our time spent with others. Matthew 18:19 says 19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. Deuteronomy 32:30 says 30 How could one chase a thousand, And two put ten thousand to flight,” … Isn’t it amazing how much stronger and more effective we are when we join together? Listen, life is hard enough, why not help each other carry the burdens rather than watch each other struggle through the heavy stuff. I think this verse in Ecclesiastes sums it all up perfectly.
4:9-12 (ESV)’Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
How many times have you needed lifting up? How many
times have you been desperate for someone to stand with you, but you haven’t
reached out? What I’m finding is this- When I try to be strong on my own I tend
to fall short, but when I rely on others and have people relying on me, I become
stronger than I ever imagined I could be on my own.
Find someone to stand with you today. Follow Jesus’s
example and surround yourself with people who will help you carry the burden
and not heap added weight onto your shoulders. It just may make all the
It’s time for a little update on our Journey- at this point we are almost 3 months in and I have more energy than I have had in a long time and so does my husband. In fact, Ryan has had a lot less pain in his legs and feet as well. We are still eating as clean as we can and are honestly not craving sugar and processed carbs like we used to. I’m finding new foods that we both love and right before my son left for boot camp he told me that he was loving our new meals. That’s a compliment in itself. Who said eating healthy had to be boring? As for the scale, it’s still coming down. Ryan has lost a total of 18 pounds and I have lost 16. Our clothes are fitting so much better, Ryan has had to move some holes on his belt and I am starting to look for some smaller sizes. And this morning while we were getting around Ryan looked at me and he said the best part is that we CAN keep this up. It’s something we can easily live and not just do for a time. I think finding something that is manageable long term has been one of the most important lessons for us. If you are on this journey today or even thinking about starting a journey for your health too then this is something to consider. Don’t look for a quick fix, don’t find a short term solution to a long term problem. The easy road never leads to lasting change. Instead, be realistic and start with some small changes that can be maintained over time. And don’t try to do everything alone because the truth is we need each other and the best results happen when we have someone beside us along the way.
(As a side note before you begin any plan consult your
doctor and be sure that it is the best fit for you.)