Sunday, November 28, 2010

Blessings & Thankfulness

When we were children and couldn't sleep, my mother would have us count our blessings. While I know that her prompting came from a spiritual place, when I grew older I realized that Bing Crosby crooned about this method of evoking slumber in our family's favorite move White Christmas

My mother knew that we would run out of sheep to count much faster than we would blessings because my family has always had countless blessings. There are so many things for which I am thankful. This holiday season hi-lighted some of the biggest blessings in my life.

My husband: It makes sense that I would start with Michael. I thank God for him daily, in fact sometimes I thank Him hourly. One of the greatest blessings the Lord has given me is the love of a man on whom I can rely and depend. With Michael in my life, I laugh daily; I continue to grow into the best version of myself; and I have a new family. A family that, for now, is Michael, me, and our sweet puppies. I wake up knowing that I did not settle to be married for the sake of being married. I chose to spend my life with this man because I believe he is the best person for me. Our marriage is not perfect. We work hard to communicate and compromise, but our marriage is happy, loving, and one of the most significant blessings in my life.

My families: Not only was I born into a wonderful, loving family, but I was also tremendously blessed to marry into a family with the same qualities. My brother fell in love with one of my best friends, and now, Becky has been a part of our lives longer than she hasn't been. I have a second sister, and soon, I will have the most wonderful nephew. In the midst of the holiday stress, I am reminded that while so many are alone, I must sometimes choose between all the people who love me. We have our issues, but we move forward and overcome them. 

My friends: There are so many people who have come in and out of my life. While it is hard at times to allow people to leave, I am learning more and more that the ones who stay are truly becoming the family I choose. There have been times that like sisters, we have fought and been petty, yet we have overcome those trials and become stronger as a result. We support one another, and we love one another.

My puppies: It's hard to articulate how much I love my dogs. They are in so many ways my children at this point in my life. When life is frustrating, when times get hard, Bentley and Bruce are always there with wet noses and kisses. They listen when no one else does, and they are ALWAYS happy to see me. 

There are so many other blessings in my life that it's impossible to blog about them all. I have been given more than I deserve so many times in this life. I pray that the life I live is a tribute to the gifts God has give me. I hope others are blessed by me and that there life is better because I am in it and that I am always thankful for all that has been given to me.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Apologies...I've been MIA

While I'm sure the only person who is truly sad when I take a hiatus from blogging is me, I'll pretend that more of you are affected by my absence from the cyber writing world. A quick recap of the last few weeks.

5K-The 5K I had been writing about with so much anticipation went well. While I know Michael would have like to run faster, I was happy because I had my best time on 3.1 miles. I know there are more races in my future, but they will not be longer than MAYBE a 10K. I'm not opposed to running more than that in general, but I just don't know how much I really enjoy the race feeling. I could eat my words, but I doubt it. 

Other updates:

Mom is doing as well as can be expected given the situation. Thank you to those of you who have been praying. So often I think we discount that act, but in earnest, I know that it makes a difference. Continued prayers would be appreciated. It's a hard time for my parents right now, and I am constantly convinced that prayer has brought them this far.

My job has been a weird combination of wonderful realizations and scary things to come. For those of you who I talk to on a regular basis, you know that teaching has been a struggle for the past few years. Adjusting to LC was harder than I thought it would be, and I don't think I even really understood it had been difficult for me until recently. Maybe it's finally having my own room, maybe it's the fact that I'm finally feeling secure with the content for my courses, or maybe it's because my first year was an adjustment and my second year was heartbreaking because we watched our beloved principal succumb to cancer. Whatever the reason(s), I didn't feel like me. 

This year has been different. I have relationship with my kids again. I joke with them like I used to. They come to me for regular high school issues (formal dates and too much homework), but also for big, important, scary things ("I'm gay, and I'm scared to tell my mom"). We talk about things that matter to them. I share things with them I wish someone had told me. For the first time in years, I feel like my job matters. And yet...

For the first time ever, I really wonder if my job matters. So much has been happening in the educational politics of my state. The gist of it is  that the state is demanding high results for teachers and kids while neglecting to include parents into the equation. The result is inevitable: standards will be lowered statewide in order to present the illusion of success. With all of these changes, teachers are being encouraged to sacrifice their desire and obligation to foster good study habits, organizational skills, and basic responsibility to decrease their "failure rates." My belief is that while the push is to decrease these failure rates, we're actually failing our kids. We will be producing generations of people who, unless they have parents who foster responsibility, will go into the world as adults expecting information to be spoon-fed to them. It's scary and sad, and I wonder how long I can be a part of the destruction of our children.

Wasn't THAT an uplifting post?! (insert eye roll here) I'll try to be more consistent (even if it's just for you, Bex). With Christmas coming, you may be getting some cooking/crafty posts. Get excited!