1. Tuesday night at class, I spent the first hour doing the administrative work of testing instead of the teaching work I love. I was grateful to have my assisting teacher there and she cheerfully went through the planned activity with the class until I could get there. I did enjoy getting to teach and interact with students during the second half of the class, though.
2. I keep growing frustrated – mostly at myself – for being unable to do everything on my to-do list. Between my own expectations and those of others, my to-do list grows long in a hurry and I am still unskilled at delegating and telling people “no.” I keep forgetting that God gives me enough time to accomplish everything He wants me to do but not necessarily to do everything I think I must do.
1. Friday night at class, I taught a lesson based on drawing your own family tree and got all but one of my fifteen students chattering enthusiastically and practicing their English!
2. On a shopping trip in a nearby city with my parents, we accomplished all our errands and went to Panda Express and Starbucks! Oh, and my dad decided to join Twitter while we were on that shopping trip. So far he doesn’t tweet but treats it more like a personalized news feed.
What were your lows and highs from the past week?
Lows & Highs is a Stories from the Stairs weekly feature. Feel free to join in by posting your lows and highs in the comments or by posting a link to your lows and highs blog post.
Filed under life, stories
My theme word for 2012 leapt out at me from John 16:33 (Amplified), “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]“
My thought process went something like this: ‘Undaunted,’ that’s a good word. Whoa, wait a minute, God. You don’t mean that’s my word for the year do You? I don’t think I like it anymore. Let’s do another one like ‘liberty’ from last year. That was nice. ‘Undaunted’ is a tough word and I get nervous just thinking about what kind of year You may be preparing me for if that is my theme word… which is pretty much the opposite of ‘undaunted,’ huh? Okay, I guess I will be learning what it means to be undaunted this year.
I researched the etymology of undaunted and its root word daunt:
1. undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort.
2. undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear; intrepid.
1. to overcome with fear; intimidate.
2. to lessen the courage of; dishearten.
From the Latin domitare, ‘to tame.’
Undaunted means choosing to be untamed by fear or intimidation. It means not retreating when scared, not letting fear or discouragement rule me.
Many times this year, I returned to Philippians 4:13 (Amplified), “I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency.]” and 1 John 4:18 (TLB) “We need have no fear of someone who loves us perfectly; His perfect love for us eliminates all dread of what He might do to us. If we are afraid, it is for fear of what He might do to us, and shows that we are not fully convinced that He really loves us.”
I learned that living an undaunted life is more about God’s faithfulness than it is about me. I need to know Him more deeply because He is the reason I can and should be undaunted.
Filed under life, milestones
What has fear of failure stopped you from doing?
Skydiving, singing solo in public (singing is definitely not my gift!), diving from a high board, flying with a jet pack or in an ultra-light, bungee jumping, stopping a speeding train like a superhero. I have no interest in trying any of these things, though!
My low this week was feeling overwhelmed with trying to do my midterm project, prepare lessons for two different classroom observations, and month-end processing at work.
Students shared lows of finding out a godmother has a brain tumor, coping with a mom’s Huntington’s disease, hearing two classmates who were injured in a car wreck over the weekend, and worrying about a brother who was in a coma following a wreck. Please pray for these students and their families.
Note: I found out early this morning that the student’s brother passed away.
1) I had to do a “Community Connection” project for my TESOL* practicum this semester, so I organized a bilingual story time at the public library and had an excellent turnout.
2) Both my classroom observations went well and I am feeling more optimistic about the rest of the semester now that I have passed those hurdles.
*Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
Filed under life, sadness
Last week, I let myself get stressed out over everything I need to do this week, month, semester, etc. (I work full time and teach a bi-weekly night class as part of my graduate teaching practicum and am finishing coursework to complete my M.A. in December.)
On Monday, I saw someone manage to pay for lunch before my dad noticed or had a chance to argue. His initial surprise quickly gave way to amused glares and playful threats of turnabout in the future. (Threats that I am quite sure he is already plotting to carry out. Pranks and trying to beat people to paying are two of Dad’s hobbies.)
This week I finished a journal I began on October 1, 2011. It is not an unusual milestone, I fill at least one journal a year and have a collection of them spanning more than a decade without gaps.
When I near the end of a book, I love to read back over the pages of that life “chapter.” As I reminisce about what changed and what stayed the same, I begin to notice themes in what I wrote and what God taught me. Here are the two most significant themes, along with related thoughts and excerpts.
Theme #1: Don’t worry or panic
- I don’t want to pull away from what God is doing even when it seems strange or uncomfortable or risky, instead I need to stay and watch from the unique vantage point He has given me.
- God has everything under control and does not need my help to make His plans happen.
- He wants me to chose to be involved in what He is doing and will not let me miss out on His will just because I can be clueless and oblivious to what is really going on.
- He is more than capable of getting my attention, especially when I spend time with Him often and practice doing what He says.
- I’m growing in attentiveness to God and what He says.
- I know Him a little better (and want to know far more) than I did in October.
- When I actively pay attention to God and what He is doing, all my anxious thoughts and questions fade to silence. They are irrelevant when I recognize again how powerful and loving and trustworthy God is. I don’t need to ask, I don’t need to know exactly what is going on because I know Him and that is more than enough.
Theme #2: How God sees me and what He says about me
- He delights in every detail of my life.
- He loves to show off what He is doing in me and is proud of who He made me.
- He is in no way ashamed of me.
- He knows I am not perfect yet but assures me that we are on the way to perfection and He will get me there if I stick with Him.
- He loves to surprise and astound me and He is more creative than even my wild imagination can guess.
- I have nothing to prove to Him because He knows my heart, with all its desires and secrets, even better than I do.
- His Spirit within me is my undaunted, untamable, steady and unflinching core.
My favorite theme from this journal is the truth that melts my worry and stubborn resistance every time I remember: I am completely safe with God.