Thursday, September 20, 2012

Eager to Please

All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection.  ~William Faulkner

I have struggled with perfectionism for a long time. My goal of pleasing people has been a source of frustration and disappointment. When I became a mom 6 years ago, I quickly realized that no mom is perfect, and I would only drive myself crazy trying to be. You may think that realization cured my perfectionism for good, but unfortunately that is not the case. Now that I'm a teacher, I have a new outlet in which to struggle with my perfectionistic tendencies. At the end of the day, there are a million things to look back at and wonder if I did them well enough. 

There are plenty of questions running through my mind... "Did I teach that lesson to the best of my ability?" or "Did I handle that problem correctly?" or "Did I show that student God's grace?"

As I struggle with these thoughts and feelings... I realize the only answer is this. I am not perfect. I never will be. But God is not looking for perfection, but he is looking at my heart. God hasn't asked me to be the perfect teacher, to handle every lesson exactly right, to handle every conference with a parent perfectly, or be everything for everybody. God has asked me to point them in the direction of the one who can be their Perfection and their Everything.... and that is Him... not me.... thank goodness! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

We need a farm!

 Over Labor Day weekend we went to the local creamery for ice cream and to see the cows.... here's some pics from our adventure!

 Yummy Strawberry and Peach Milkshakes made the kids happy... but the cows made them even happier!

 "Cows go MOOOOO" says Hope!
 Our kids would have stayed and watched the cows all day long... and now for the past week they've been building barns with Legos and pretending to be farmers.

A couple weeks ago we went to "Goats on the Roof:" in Helen where you can visit with the goats and feed them out of an ice cream cone... and then feed them the cone too! The kids LOVED the goats...
And the goats loved the kids! Now we just need a farm where we can have some cows, goats, and chickens.

Fall is on the horizon!

I must admit that fall is my favorite time of year.... and it always has been. As much as I love the sun and flip-flops... I love jeans, hoodies, apple cider, pumpkins, and salted caramel frappuccinos even more! :) This year I seem to be longing for fall even more. This summer has been one filled with changes, difficulties, and sickness. In early July I came down with what felt like the flu... except it got worse instead of better. After much procrastination I headed to the doctor, and they told me I had Lyme disease from a tick bite I got in late May. They started me on powerful antibiotics to kill the Lyme Disease, but the medicine had some nasty side effects that made me feel terrible as well. Finally after feeling sick for over a month, I began to feel better, besides a few residual side effects.

It wasn't long after I started feeling better, that the first week of school came rapidly approaching. I was so excited, nervous, and ready to begin my first teaching job and yet I never would have expected how draining this first month would be. I love the school I'm working at, I love my 5th grade students, and I love teaching BUT this month was exhausting. I love my kids, I love homeschooling Hosea, and I love volunteering on Wednesday nights at church BUT this month was overwhelming. I think I've fallen asleep on the couch at 8:30 P.M more frequently than I did when I was pregnant.

 But sure enough... just as the calendar began to flip into September... I felt a change. When I walk into my classroom it feels like home... instead of like a hotel. My students no longer feel like students, but instead like my own children. Homeschooling Hosea is beginning to feel more natural instead of foreign. And I realize that even on the worst days right now... it feels better than my best days did before. I may not be the perfect mom, the perfect teacher, or the perfect small group leader but I'm called and therefore it feels right. I may forget part of a lesson plan, struggle with patience when Hosea's perfectionism rears it's head, or feel inadequate in several other ways but I'm loved by the Father and therefore that is enough.

So as fall approaches... I pray that you find a sense of contentment with where God has you... but not of complacency. As the leaves change color, as the weather becomes cooler, and as the world gives way to a new season... enjoy it and bask in God's graciousness to us.
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