Thursday, January 23, 2014

Blowing dust off this thing....#Empowered

P31 OBS Blog Hop


Haven't posted here in a long while, but for a blog hop, I'll try it again!! :)

This week's word, #Empowered, has helped me so much! I am remembering that with God's help, nothing is impossible. I am remembering that God wants me to come to Him with EVERYTHING, even my struggle with food. And with God's help, I have been #Empowered to commit to run a 5K in October! Some people around me may have doubts, but I can do it!!


I'll confess, I've gained 20 pounds in the last year. It has really bothered me. I haven't been a Skinny Minnie for years, but I had stayed in the same size clothing pretty much since my 10 year old was born. Even through another pregnancy, I didn't gain enough weight to have to change sizes. But I've had some health problems over the past 18 months, and I suspect that one of the medications I am taking has contributed greatly to the weight gain.


I'm trying not to focus on the number, nor the clothing size, but on getting healthy and exercising more, and making better choices about what I eat. My husband has committed to doing the same as well. I started taking modified TaeKwonDo classes back in the spring and even tested for my yellow belt! I had to stop with the classes for a while when the health problems reared their ugly heads again, but I'm back at it! I am #Empowered! I can do this!! I can hopefully test for my orange belt in 3 months, train to run the 5K, and be healthier!! I am #Empowered by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the closer I get to Him, the better life will get!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Misunderstanding....thank you, Lord!

Won't go into details, but my post was misread and the comment was made concerning what was THOUGHT it was about. Thankful that I tried to be kind and gracious instead of being hateful. But since it did make me think, it isn't a completely bad thing, right?!

Feeling much better about things after reading that and after a wonderful, uplifting worship service led by a dear friend, and a nice leisurely Sunday afternoon nap. God is good.

Thanks, God.

Feeling wounded

And this may not make much sense...but you know what?? I haven't blogged in over 5 months...just not feeling much like a writer anymore.....so there may not be anyone out there who even reads this anymore, and that is okay, because this is for ME. I think it is a combination of things.

I have recently--within the last year--reconnected with some people who 'knew' me when I was in high school, though we weren't close. Honestly, looking back, I think very few people 'knew' me back then, cause I didn't share and put myself out there like I am more apt to do now. I felt it was much more important to keep up appearances and show people what I thought they wanted me to be, and because of that, it was a real blow to everyone--including me--when the depression came to a head and I attempted suicide.

For the record, 23 years ago, on this very day, I was in the very throes of dealing with the aftermath of that attempted suicide. I was hospitalized in Greenleaf, a private psychiatric facility. And I have, within the last hour or so, had, for lack of a better term, flashbacks to that time of being hospitalized. I hate to even use that term, though, because it implies that what I am remembering is unpleasant, and that isn't entirely true. Yeah, there were some hard times there, but in a very real way, I owe the place a huge gratitude, because if I had not learned then and there about my chemical imbalance and propensity toward depression, then I wouldn't be where I am or who I am today.

 Anyway....I was trying to analyze WHY I am feeling so wounded right now. Contact with high school friends is great. NOT saying it isn't. Very blessed to have reaquainted myself with these people, and they are precious to me! The second catlyst?? Not sure that is right, but like I said, I'm writing this for me, so bugger off it it isn't, or keep rolling with me....is that my eldest son visited Chattanooga over the last two days. Some of the places that he visited I haven't been back to since high school, so maybe that has to do with it.

 But if I am really honest with myself, I know exactly where it came from. Someone from that time period that I NEVER hear from left a comment on a post of mine on Facebook, and it shocked me and hurt me, and left me totally questioning myself. And that, frankly, ticks me off. You know what?? There are plenty of things that I read on Facebook that I don't love. If they are things that really disturb me or get on my nerves, I hide them from my news feed. If they really tick me off or are things I just don't want myself associated with, I defriend them. It is that stinkin' simple, folks. I don't go and say hurtful things to them about how no one wants to read what they are posting. That is uncalled for.

 Heaven knows I have to monitor what I put on Facebook due to working with the public and having people from all walks of life and all ages reading what I post. I don't go into political rants. I may like something I agree with politically here and there, but very, very, very rarely do I share it, because I know that I have friends that I respect that are on both sides of the aisle. There are things that make me think that I don't share, but I ponder them. But I keep it pretty personal. If people don't like that, well, so be it.

 I have over 2,000 friends on there. I try to keep up with those that I care about, but I miss things....important things. I was very saddened to realize that I had missed the entire pregnancy of a friend who has struggled with fertility. I was THRILLED to know that she had delivered a precious baby girl, but I lamented cause I could have been celebrating and praising God with her for 9 months!! But did I post something ugly because she didn't contact me personally and let me know?? Heck no!! Not my place, and I am not one of her closest friends. I celebrated with her, and moved on. When I have friends who post things I don't care to see, like them taking multiple pics of themselves in silly poses, do I go on there and ask them who wants to see them?? NOPE. Not my place. And it isn't nice. Why be unkind??

I'm sure I've made plenty of people roll there eyes, but people that care about me and are in a similar place as me respond in kind. It makes me feel as though I am not the only one who goes through whatever I have posted. Since I pretty closely monitor what I share about my life, and try not to whine repeatedly...though may not do a very good job of that, now that this person has so eloquently pointed out...(though there are days like I certainly could) I kind of feel like Facebook is my safe place. I am definitely rethinking that. I feel as though I have been exposed, though I also don't feel as though I have done anything wrong. Very conflicted in my emotions? You bet!!

 I try not to hurt people. Even those I may not care about. I TRY (and fail repeatedly) to be nice to people, even at times that I really don't want to. I feel as though that is how I can be Christ for others. So then it begs me to ask, how come other people don't try to practice that?? Especially those who also profess Christ?? Oh, what a huge can of worms I could open here about how people treat other people who differ from themselves in political, social and religious views....but you know what, I don't wanna!

 Maybe it is my work with small children that makes me want to just tell people to BE NICE. It isn't so hard. Just do it. If you treat people nicely, they treat you the same, or at least they think about their actions, hopefully. It seems pretty simple to me. And if you're going through a rough time or something, then try to consider that before you strike out at someone who is in no way related to what you are feeling. Again, truly not that difficult if you start trying to put it into practice. Just Friday, I had a bit of a panic. My first inclination was to go and ask someone else something about it. But on my way there, I realized that it was MY problem, and if a mistake had been made, it was totally MINE, no one else's. So I turned around and took care of it myself, and it worked itself out. There was no need in me upsetting someone else unnecessarily. And I'm so glad I didn't, cause this person would have probably felt attacked to a point, and it totally wasn't something in their control.

 I thought this person who posted something that was hurtful to me was a friend. Definitely not someone I talk to regularly, but I thought they actually had a tiny bit of care in them for me. And maybe they do. But it came across as judgmental. Maybe I will come back later and say, ooops, all a big misunderstanding. And I will let ya'll--whoever ya'll is--know if that is the case since I have poured my heart out about this here.

 But I needed to get this out. I needed to say that I try to be nice. I fail, I'm sure. I'm human. I am far from perfect, and certainly don't profess to be!! I TRY. I put forth my best effort as much as I can. I don't know how to end this....I still want to cry at the memories that have been dredged up over the past couple of hours, cause that time period in my life hurts. But I'm gonna also try my best to turn these raw and painful feelings and my desire to control them over to the Lord and move on and have a wonderful day with my family. If you read this diatribe, I thank you. Feel free to comment, as long as you don't say no one cares about what I feel. Cause then I might just have to bonk you on the head! ;) Love to any and all who read this.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Resolution

I hesitate to even say what I want to resolve to do this year, because to some, it may seem selfish. However, I have come to realize that sometimes in order to be the best mommy and wife that I can be, I have to be a little selfish and realize that I have to take care of ME sometimes, too.

I am very proud of my husband and older sons in that they have worked very hard over the past 2 + years, and have worked their way up to the black belt level of Tae Kwon Do. In that time period, I have also completed my Master's Degree, started a new itinerant job that has changed locations each year, had a pregnancy with complications, and given birth to a baby and helped raise him to this point. There have been many nights...normally 2-3 a week...that I have taken care of at least one child by myself so that Chris could be in classes. I do not begrudge him this, but I do believe that it is time for ME to get some ME time as well!

I fight depression and anxiety constantly, and also have fibromyalgia. So taking care of ME helps me to stay healthy and well, and I am therefore able to care for my family and do my best work in my job and Christian witness. If I do not give myself some time away from my work and home life, I find myself becoming more agitated and depressed.

My husband and I started a weight loss regimen this time last year and we have done well on it. Before the holidays, Chris had lost almost 50 pounds, and I had lost 15-20, fluctuating as women often do! So I also want to get back on track and lose the rest of the weight that I have hanging on from birthing children!

Given the above reasons, I am going to work on asking myself,"Is it good for ME?" this year. If it does not contribute to my mental, physical, and spiritual health, I am going to work on cutting it out of my life. That may mean that I have to say no to some things that I used to say yes to, in order to make others happy. I am realizing as I quickly approach my 40s that *I* count, too. I cannot make everyone happy, and I have to live with myself 24 hours a day, whereas these people that I try to make happy are NOT with me all day, every day. If they are unhappy with me, it will pass. If I live in a manner that makes ME unhappy and unhealthy, I have to live with it all the time.

So there it is...2012 will be the year I ask myself,"Is it good for ME?" I will try to do this in a way that is not self-centered, but is done in order to serve my Lord, my family, and my own health and sanity in the best way possible.

I just about asked,"What do you think?!" LOL Yes, I am curious if anyone reading this thinks it makes sense, but first and foremost, I am focusing on the internal peace that I am feeling now that I have actually decided to take care of ME, for a change!! So here is to a new year!! I believe it will be a great one!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Good

We have had a great Christmas! I am really really tired...I think from running and running for several days and getting very little restful sleep on Christmas Eve. I have missed going to Chris' Mamaw's house, though it made yesterday a tad less stressful to not have to run to Nickelsville in the middle of the day, and we got to spend more time with my family. We showed up early AGAIN to a family gathering, which is rare for us, but now we've done it both at Thanksgiving and Christmas! Maybe we're turning over a new leaf! LOL

I am going to try to get back into a blogging groove for the new year. I miss writing, but sometimes my brain is so tired that I just can't think. My fibro flared up last week/week before last, and the brain fog is a big blogging hamper, too, but I need to push through and do it!

We're having a super lazy day today. Everyone but Robbie is still in PJs. He insists on getting dressed, so he has on a Halloween shirt with Goofy on it dressed as Mickey. Robbie's favorite toys so far have been "Mou" related, though he has wanted to watch "Do" (Dora) more lately.

I know this is a random post, but it IS a post, right?! LOL

Bless you if you read this, and many wishes for a wonderful 2012!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Peace in the chaos

I originally posted this on my teacher blog, but I thought I'd share it here, too!
Hello, friends! My day started out as one of 'those' days today. We had many activities going on all over the place and I got behind on my schedule. Add to it the fact that my ten year old and I didn't 'jive' this morning, and I was feeling pretty anxious. There were also some things going on that I was, admittedly, a bit resentful about because I was trying to make them about me when they weren't.

Then I had a meeting that I thought was going to be pretty routine this afternoon. I thought I'd basically be along 'for the ride', and say that I am going to start working with the child on some reading-related skills, and basically let the teachers take the lead.

A funny thing happened, though....

I realized that I KNEW the parent from many years ago when I taught her older daughter at another school! I immediately asked about her, and the mother's eyes welled up with tears. Things are not the greatest with my former student, and that is definitely affecting my current student and his home life. It is most likely also affecting his school performance, too.

Since I had a history with the family, I took a much more active role in the meeting than I had planned. We made some suggestions and bounced ideas off each other, and came up with a plan of action. It was a positive meeting even though the subject matter wasn't necessarily positive, if that makes sense!

After the meeting was over, however, I felt a peace that I definitely did NOT feel going into the meeting. I know the Author of that Peace. I knew what He was trying to tell me.

"This is one reason you are here," He was telling my soul. My internal 'eyes' were opened, and my perspective was changed. I was reminded that HE is in control, and that I don't have (or need to have) nearly as many answers as I think I do. It is all good! God's in control!

The stress, frustration, and anxiety I had felt earlier just melted away. I am not in control, nor do I have to be! What a great beginning to a wonderful weekend!!

Photo courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/sweetmojo/

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Trying day

Once again, I'm very negligent on posting, and once again I apologize! I have been super swamped both at work and at home, and then I got really caught up in reading The Hunger Games series. I was bordering on obsession!! I dreamed about it, I had to pace myself when I got to the last book because I didn't want it to end!! Now I cannot WAIT til the movies come out! If you haven't read them, I highly, highly, highly recommend them. They are not at all what I would normally just pick up on my own, but I'm so glad that I did!

Today, as the title suggests, was not the greatest of all days. It started out well: this week is Homecoming at the high school that one of my elementary schools feeds into, so we are all dressing up each day as part of the celebrations. Today was Nerd Day, and I went all out! See?!



I think I make a pretty good nerd! LOL I started to just dress normally and if kids asked me why I didn't participate today, I was going to answer that I did, I was dressed up as a nerd....but I changed my mind. I was in good spirits, though I was running a tad later than I like. It was very foggy this morning, so I wasn't stressing about getting to work because I knew I didn't need to be hurrying. One of the blessings of my position is knowing I don't have a classroom full of students waiting for me. I do 'hit the ground running' once I get there, but it isn't the exact same kind of pressure.

A couple of cars flashed their bright lights at me when I was going up the road toward my school. That is not too unusual on the curvy road, and I figured that there may be a cop with a radar gun or something that the other drivers were warning about. I passed my brother-in-law's house and soon saw what was going on....a dump truck was sitting sideways in the road, blocking both lanes of traffic. Several cars quickly pulled into driveways on the other side of the road and turned around. I didn't know what to do, because as far as I knew, there was no 'back road' for me to get to work! I saw a co-worker jump out of her car ahead of me, speak to the person in another car ahead of me, and run to the scene. I put on my flashers and went to see who was in the car that the coworker spoke to, and it was our guidance counselor. She said our coworker is a first responder and was seeing if she could help. Soon, she was back....there was nothing she could do to help, because the person who was still in the truck that had collided with the dump truck had no pulse. :(

It didn't hit me right then that someone's life had ended. I quickly drove back to my brother-in-law's house to use his phone and call work to tell them why we were all late, as my cell phone wouldn't get a signal where we were located. He said he'd show me and my coworkers a way that we could get to work, so I hoofed it back up the road to tell them...in my lovely nerd garb!! I wasn't thinking about how lovely I looked at the time, but I'm sure I gave some of the people who saw me pause! HA!

We did get to work within the hour after crossing a one lane gravel road across a ridge. I realized on the way across that ridge that I was gripping my steering wheel with a death grip and was very tense. I stayed shook up all day. I couldn't dial the correct phone number to tell Chris that I was okay in case he heard that there was an accident on the road I travel. I kept messing up and going to the wrong classroom or getting the wrong group of students at the wrong time because I felt like it was so much later in the day than it actually was. I felt shaky and anxious all day. When I realized that I was very anxious and sore from being tense late in the afternoon, I broke down and took a prescription pain reliever for only the second time in over two years. I feel quite a bit better now, but still could cry while typing this.

As I was leaving school, another teacher pointed out a high school student to me. She stood there with tears rolling down her face. Come to find out, her father had just texted her telling her that it was her uncle who had passed away that morning in the accident, and that she needed to ride the bus home. What a way to receive the news....with no one there to comfort her!! So I immediately went and hugged her and said a little prayer in her ear (separation of church and state be damned, I was a HUMAN right then, not a teacher) and told her that I didn't think he had suffered. I told her that I had been praying for her family all day, even though I didn't have names for which to pray. I asked if she needed a way home, and she assured me that she didn't. I left feeling very distraught for her.

Life is so precious, friends. We live a distracted life where we are constantly on the run and in a hurry, and I am just as guilty as anyone of this. I have sped through the curves on that highway many times...more times than I can count. I have felt frustrated when someone was traveling below the speed limit and lamented how I was going to be late. Though I hate that this has happened, I will definitely use it as a reminder of how I need to SLOW DOWN and be present in what I am doing, especially when I am driving. I am carrying precious cargo....my children's mother and my husband's wife, particularly. I don't want to leave them because I was in a hurry or not paying attention to what I was doing. I pray that you will use this reminder to do the same.

May the Lord bless you today!! He is always right on time!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's my blog, and I'll whine if I want to....

Oh, mercy, reader! The busy-ness! The stress! I'm one tired mama. Why, then, am I up writing on here before 6 am?

Because my body is not cooperating, and neither is my 17 month old son.

Here's the deal...the shorter version. I'm not sure there is a short version!

I'm a Reading Specialist here in our little county. I'm one of 4 full-time specialists, and one part time. We serve 7 elementary schools, and are focusing particularly on K-2 in these schools. The Commonwealth of Virginia requires each school to give each of the K-2 students a phonics assessment each fall and spring. This is something that is mostly done individually with the students. As you can imagine, this isn't an easy task for a classroom teacher when trying to also teach skills to the rest of the class. I know that first hand, because I was in the classroom for 12 years and had to try to give this individual assessment to one kid while keeping the rest of the students engaged and learning. Not a good situation for the teacher, the child being tested, or the rest of the class. So to remedy this situation and save the learning time for the students, we Reading Specialists were commissioned (not the right word here, I know, but it works...remember, it isn't 6 am yet....)to do the testing for all the schools in the county. Sounds like a good plan, right?

Right!

And it is a good plan! I firmly believe that! I think it has saved the sanity of the classroom teachers and has been one thing off their plates, letting them focus on teaching the students instead of keeping them occupied while assessing one. It has not, however, been easy on the four of us who were testing. Is it worth it? Yes, I am sure it is. Does everyone in the county think so? I'm sure they don't. But I know that I have been doing, to the best of my ability, what I can to ensure that the students in these grades have been being TAUGHT and not occupied. Does that make sense?

Anyway, we've done a good part of it! We got all students in 1st and 2nd grade tested! Hundreds of 'em! Every day, we went into our assigned school and hit the ground running. We would listen to one child read word lists and read stories, and make sure that we had assessed the level at which each was reading according to this assessment. We would take a break for lunch whenever the grade with which we were working took lunch, and then hit it again. No planning period. A bathroom break here or there. But we worked, ya'll. HARD. I promise you that!

It may not sound like this is tiring work, and compared to manual labor, it isn't! However, it does get very mundane. Sitting in one position all day, listening to the same words and sentences being read over and over is very mundane. It is also hard on a body, especially a body that has FIBROMYALGIA! This has sent me into a flare, the worst I've had in at least 2 years.

When you add to this the fact that I have also had two sick children in the midst, you can see where I'm going, maybe. And the fact that one of those children is the 17 month old who doesn't have wonderful sleep patterns anyway, and it becomes even more clear.

I've been fighting aches and pains, and pains and aches, and stress. Stress that people were badmouthing and not understanding how hard we were working. Stress that someone was thinking we weren't doing our job, despite the fact that we were working at what our supervisor thought was most important for us to be doing. Stress of the every day life of being a wife and mother to two school-aged children who have homework. Stress of getting one back and forth to football games and practice, and two sons and a husband back and forth from TaeKwonDo classes. Stress of regular family activities. You get it by now, I'm sure. My body is not happy. It is saying STOP!! And my mind is still running at top speed.

So when Robbie wakes up in the middle of the night wanting to nurse (another subject for another day....) and I really want him to go back to sleep, my body doesn't always work it out for me. I feed him, or he screams, or whatever. That part isn't the point. He eventually goes back to sleep, and I don't. See, insomnia is a part of fibro, too. So the last three nights, when Robbie has woken up, he's gone right back to sleep, but I haven't.

I'm exhausted, and I don't see where the end comes. I don't see where I'm gonna get rest, and I'm trying not to be overwhelmed, but I am. It makes me feel panicky. I know that God is with me and is helping me and if it weren't for Him I cannot IMAGINE the shape I'd be in. But here I am. And I'm tired, and I want sleep. And I can't seem to get it.

So there it is. My whine. If you read it, thanks. Some extra prayers my way would be greatly appreciated.

My alarm just went off. I'm far from thrilled! :) TGIF, right?!