Sunday, December 14, 2014

Only God Can Help Me

I hadn't realized just how much fear, low self-esteem, and insecure I have become in the last several years - well, some I've had all or most of my life, but some has manifested in the last number of years.

Not until the past few weeks of talking with S.  We've had some good heart-to-heart conversations and he's helped me to make some revelations.  I didn't realize how much I've been holding on to, and I've been listening to the enemy's lies and letting him have control far too long.

I'm not going to go into details, because it doesn't matter on here.  I will say, however, that I know I have a lot to work to do in overcoming my fears, etc., and, I have begun the process of trying to heal.  I won't overcome all of this overnight.  And I certainly can't do it on my own.  Only God can help me.  But, I need to be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.  I need to let Him work in my life and stop hindering Him; stop pushing Him away, thinking that I can do this on my own. Because, I can't.

I am adopting a key verse from the Bible that I am currently clinging to:

"I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made..."  Psalm 139:14

This verse is my starting point.  This verse is something I need to remind myself daily - or as many times in the day as need be.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Give Thanks For Everything

The Bible tells us that we should give thanks, to God, for everything.  


That doesn't mean that we only give thanks when something goes "our way" or for blessings we receive,  or things we have, or when times are good.  Yes, we should give thanks at those times, and often do, but those aren't the only things we are to be thankful for.

When we are having a bad day, when we get into a car accident, when we are sick, we should give thanks.  When the bus is not running on time and we are late for work and the boss yells at us, give thanks.  When a relationship breaks up, when we are expecting guests for supper and we burn the food to a crisp, give thanks.  Lose your job? Give thanks. Get a bad mark on a test or report card? Give thanks.

Sure, it's easy to give thanks for the good and positive things happening in our lives.  But it's more difficult when things are going bad - especially when faced with times of serious illness or death. We don't often see these bad situations as something to be thankful for, but it's during those difficult situations when we really need to turn to the Lord. These are times when we learn and grow. Those are times when we can thank God that He cares about us and what we are going through.

Often when things are going good for us, we don't tend to put our trust in the Lord.  It seems that we (not all of us, though, as I know some people are pretty good about trusting God during the good and the bad times) more often turn to Him when times are tough, praying (and sometimes begging) for things to get better.  But this is a great time to learn to trust Him, have faith that He is with you no matter the results of your situation, and  believe that no matter what, He loves you and will not leave you during the dark times (or at any time for that matter).  Be thankful that He is there for you to turn to.

I know it's not easy to be thankful during rough times - at least that's what I find for me.  Those are times when I want to be in control of things, when I want things to run smoothly, when I want everything to be good.  However, I am not in control. God is.  And no matter what happens during the rough times, God will be beside me and I know that I am in a process of growing and stretching in my faith.

I, myself, need to remember and learn to give thanks to God for the bad times as well as the good.  I tell you, I'm a work in progress and still learning, even though I've been a Christian for awhile now.  It's an ongoing process and something I hope I keep doing for the rest of my life.

Ephesians 5:20 
...always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, November 24, 2014

We're Just Starting On This Journey

My life is changing.  I'm in the midst of learning that my actions and decisions now no longer concern or affect only me.  There are other people involved in my life who need my attention - my fiancé and his son.

I am slowly learning that the three of us are growing into a family, and that my family no longer consists only of my parents, my brothers (and their families) and me.  My family now includes S and J.  Starting next July, after S and I are married, when I talk about my family, chances are I'll be referring to just the three of us.  I think that reference might take some getting used to.

It's difficult moving from a selfish lifestyle - one where I did what I wanted to, went where I wanted to, bought what I wanted to, because there was only me to consider - to one in which I need to take others thoughts and feelings into consideration.  Instead of asking, "What's best for me?" I need to be asking, "What's best for us?"

I want to do things that will show my new family that I love them.  Sure, I can say it, but as "they" say, actions speak louder than words.  I don't know what my fiancés love language is.  I've done mine (words of affirmation and touch tied for first, and gifts was a very close second) and shared it with him.  I've asked him if he would take the quiz and let me know what his are, but, he's told me he doesn't believe in "doing marriage" according to what a book says - or something like that (I forget the exact words he used), and  I haven't pushed the issue.

I know marriages aren't perfect, and there is no single piece of information, no book, no advice that will make it that way.  Marriage is a give and take.  Both husband and wife need to give 100% to the marriage in order to make it work.  I think that problems occur when one or both don't give 100%, or when one person feels like they are contributing more to the relationship than the other - or they perceive it to be that way.

It will take time to discover each other, to discover what works or doesn't work, and in putting my new family's needs and wants ahead of my own.  We're just starting on this journey that will have bumps along the way, and I know that in the middle of our relationship needs to be the One whom we rely on. The One who will lead us. The One who will guide us. The One from whom all blessings flow.  Jesus Christ.

With Christ in the middle of our relationship, we can overcome the difficulties and hardships together.  But that takes trust, and that is something I need to work on.

I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my life with my fiancé.  And I'm looking forward to our relationship being the type of relationship God wants from us - one spent serving Him.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Slowly Getting Settled

I'm slowly getting settled in here.  It still doesn't seem like I'm living in a new location - only feels like I'm just visiting or something.  I hope that once I get a full-time job and make friends and go places with friends, then maybe it will feel like home.

Church is difficult in some ways. I go with my fiance (and his son who plays in the worship band) and sit with him.  A lot of the time we sit with friends of his, a couple who are about ten years older than us.  They are great.  My fiance has also introduced me to some others in the church (mostly this was in the summer when I was here and I don't remember who they were or what they looked like), but no one, aside from the couple that we sit with, has ever come up to me to find out who I am or invite me to coffee or to join a small group, etc.

The church (not just the one I'm attending, but many) talks about bringing in new people, creating disciples, and that's great.  But what about the newcomers who are already disciples? Don't we count?  Aren't we worth getting to know and befriending?  I think it's important that when new people come to the church, the body should be making them feel welcomed and connected.  I don't find that happening much - at least with me.  The two previous churches prior to the one I am now attending was also the same way. And it wasn't just me who experienced it.  My best friend and her daughter had the same thing happen to them at those other two churches.

I do know there are some newcomers at my current church who have been made to feel welcome, who have been invited for coffee and to join a small group. So why has no one done this to/for me?  Is it because the majority of the people attending this church are in their 20s and I'm in my mid 40s?  Do they think I'm too old to be friends with?  I do know there are some others in the congregation who are closer to my age, but none of them have approached me either.

I'm a shy introvert.  It's hard for me to make friends.  I find it very difficult to approach people and make small talk, get phone numbers, call them, invite them for coffee, etc.  It makes me feel almost sick to have to do this, so when other approach me, it makes things a lot easier for me.

Do I have to step out of my comfort zone and approach others since no one is willing to approach me? Maybe, but I honestly don't think that newcomers to a church should have to be the ones approaching church members.  I think it's up to the members to seek out the newbies and make them feel welcome (sure I've had a few people smile and/or say hi, but that's it).  At the very least,  I think the pastors should be doing this - helping newcomers to make connections with people in similar situations.

Anyway, enough of that.  I know I'll get over this and eventually make friends and feel comfortable in this new city.  So far, though, I enjoy the city itself.  Much bigger than the last place I lived, and I definitely like that!

My question to you - how do you make friends? Are you willing to be the one in your church to approach newcomers and befriend them or lead them to people they can connect with?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's Still Not Over

It's been a two-coffee morning for me today.  I have been rather tired and a little stressed at times due to a family situation that happened six weeks ago.  It's still not over, though I'm not sure how much longer it will last - a few weeks, a few months...

I've taken the last four days to get some much needed rest and relaxation.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind helping out, but I also needed this time to myself.  I do feel a little more rejuvenated, and that will help get me through what is hopefully the last leg of this situation.  I'll explain more at a later date.

I do want to say that this has been the reason for the absence from my blogs these last six weeks.  I had hoped to be more faithful in my posts, but sometimes things happen that take us away from what we had hoped to do.  I will try to get some posts done up to transfer over to my blog for when I get back, and hopefully I will learn to get some posts done up in advance and schedule them for later dates to help in the times when I don't have anything to post.  Maybe that will help in not having such long gaps between posts on the blog.

As I've said, I'm not sure how much longer I will be away from Blogland.  Hopefully it's not too much longer, and hopefully I will have some (good) posts to add when I get back.

Until then, God bless.

Monday, September 01, 2014

It's Labour Day

It's Labour Day.  Tomorrow, in most places in Canada, school starts.

This is the first year since getting my full time teaching job, three years ago, that I will not be teaching.  I've not had to go in a few weeks early to prepare and get my classroom ready.  I've not had to go in for orientation or find a new (or keep the same) class theme.

I'm not working.  I quit my job last June to move back to the east coast where there are no teaching jobs available.  I have no car, which makes it even harder to try and supply teach - it's all hard to explain, but this is the position I am in.

I'm looking for work elsewhere, but not having much luck yet - though to be honest I only started looking a week ago.  I've not heard hide nor hair from any of the places I've applied.  In all honesty, I know some of it is due to being over-qualified for these positions (which I could probably have gotten a lot easier had I not gone back to university and got my teaching degree).

There are "lots" of job opportunities for industries for which I am totally not qualified - computer related jobs, even secretarial/receptionist (because of not knowing how to use certain computer programs), nursing, sales (which I don't think I could do very well), or even teaching at a university (which required a doctorate and I don't have that - I don't even have a master's degree).

I can't afford to change my career yet again, especially with trying to pay off a student loan. If I can't find something, I might have to take some kind of course though.

In all of this, I do know that God has a plan.  God will make good from the bad, and He will provide.  I just need to trust Him, let go of my fear (which is NOT from Him and holds me back) and just TRUST.

That's hard to do.  It's something I struggle with, I admit, but as I've stated before, when I made the decision to quit and move away, I felt a total peace about the whole situation. I know there is a plan, there is a way, and things will work out.  The fear of not knowing, and 'what if' (as well as the lack of total trust) stops me dead in my tracks.

So, pray for me. Pray that things will work out well for me, that I'll stop letting fear get in the way, and that I will fully and totally trust that God will provide a way out of this for me.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A New Chapter

Hi there!

I haven't posted in awhile as I made the decision last spring that I would move back home once school was done for the year.

I moved back to get married.  Yup, I'm engaged!  I don't have my ring yet, but we do have the date set for next summer.  It's a long story as to how I got to this point and I'll eventually, possibly, fill in all the details at some point.

For now, I will say that I moved back to the east coast towards the end of June.  I stayed with my mom most of the summer, but now I'm relocated to where my fiance and I live.

I've started a new chapter in my life, and let me tell you, it's scary!  I currently have no job (though I have applied for a few so far), and there are no teaching jobs here. One of the places I did apply to is an ESL school so maybe I'll be able to get on there (I don't think it's part of the school district - more of a private type school).  There's another ESL company that I think I will apply for.  My brother told me that his "wife" told him that the mother of one of the kids she babysits works there and she is going out on maternity leave (and apparently there is another woman there going on mat. leave about the same time) around November or December, so maybe I could get on there.

As I said, this is a scary situation to be in, not having a job and having rent and bills to pay. But, I did pray about leaving my job and moving here, and I had a peaceful feeling.  I'm trying to trust God and have faith that He will provide (I know He will), but yet there is still a part of me that doesn't totally have faith.  I'm working on it though.

Anyway, I wanted to add a little update on here - you know, in case anyone is actually reading this.  I wish you all a blessed day.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Connecting With An Old Friend

We first met when we were about nine years old.  We quickly became friends - best friends.  We were in the same class, but I think she had started coming to my school when we were in grade four (I seem to recall her being in my brother's class), but I don't know if we had become friends then.  I do remember that we were in the same class in grade five, and that's where our friendship developed.

I don't remember specifics about playing together, outside of school, but I do remember going to her house or her coming to mine.  I also somewhat remember her little brother (who was probably a year or two younger than us) playing with us sometimes.  It's been over 30 years since we last saw each other.

At the end of grade five, my family moved to New Brunswick and I was quite upset about losing my best friend.  Somewhere along the line, I had acquired a decoration for my bed.  It was a red octopus made from yarn.  It's tentacles were thickly braided, and the round head had been tied off (giving it a head shape).  I put that octopus on the centre of my bed, tentacles spread out, and I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.  Before we moved, I gave it to V.

For a few years, V and I would exchange letters via snail mail (this was before the internet, before email, texting, and Facebook), but as we grew older we gradually lost touch.  Over the years I've thought about her, wondered what she was doing and where she might be living.  When Facebook came out, every so often I would try to search for her with no luck.  I tried to Google her name, hoping something would come up, but I had no luck with that either.  I figured she had married and without her new last name (providing, of course, that she took her husband's name) I wouldn't be able to find her.  I never really gave up trying to find her again.

Last night, we reconnected!

You see, back in October, I was searching Facebook for her again.  I remember she had two brothers, though I couldn't recall her older brother's name.  I was fairly certain of her younger brother's name.  I tried searching for his name on Facebook.  I came across a man with his name, but since I also hadn't seen him in over 30 years, I had no idea if it was B.  I decided to try my luck.  I sent a message with details of where V and I had lived (very close together) and mentioned about being in the same class, etc.  I mentioned that I have been trying to connect with her for so long, and if he were indeed her brother, B, I wondered if he could put me in contact with her.

I waited a few days for a response, and after not receiving one, I sent a message to a woman on his friend's list with the same first name has V.  Again, I gave details that might spark a couple of memories.  I never heard anything back.  I assumed I had the wrong people and felt a little disappointed.

About three weeks ago, I received a reply from the man I had messaged.  He had only come across my message (and several others he didn't know he had).  This was indeed V's brother, B!  He said I should contact her (and yes, that was V in his friend's list) directly.  Well, I became busy with work and was sick for a little while, so I hadn't been able to send another message to V.

Last night, V contacted me!  My message had gone to her spam folder so she hadn't seen it.  She'd been talking with B that day and he had mentioned me contacting him and said she should check her spam folder to see if I had sent her a message.  She did, and then she replied.

We messaged back and forth for a little while, doing a little catching up, but soon she had to go as she had some work to do.  We promised to chat again today, and we did.  I'm not sure how long we messaged back and forth, but we recalled memories and people from the past.  She had also wondered about me over the years and had hoped we could reconnect one day again.

I'm so thrilled that V and I have been able to renew our friendship again and start catching up on life over the years.  I hope that now with modern communication being a lot easier than it was in our youth, V and I will be able to stay in touch now.  I can't explain just how happy this makes me feel. I've reconnected (over Facebook) with a few others from my childhood, but I've not felt as happy as I am with this.

I'm so thankful God has brought V back into my life!

Monday, March 24, 2014


I got back from Edmonton on Friday around supper time.  It was an enjoyable trip, even with the long car ride.  I brought knitting, though, and that helped to pass the time. I also worked on it at the hotel in the evenings after we had long, tiring days of shopping and browsing.

We are still on Spring Break here (we have two weeks), and I have no plans - except one day this week K, Little K, J, and I will be hanging out with the two Ks for an afternoon/evening of playing the Wii, watching a movie, and enjoying a meal.  I don't know what day that will be, but I am looking forward to it.  Other than that, I will be relaxing and enjoying my time off.

I'm working on some knitting, which I'll discuss in my knitting blog rather than here, and catching up on my devotions and Bible reading.  Today I read a few chapters in Proverbs, something I haven't done in awhile (aside from reading a few highlighted ones now and then as I flip through to find something else to read).

I thought about how Solomon wrote these to his sons, or maybe even men in general, and wondered why women weren't included.  I stopped to think, and figure it is probably due to the culture.  Men were the ones educated. Men were the ones "in charge".  It was a patriarchal society, and women had a submissive role - they cooked, cleaned, took care of the house, raised the babies, that kind of thing.

Now, however, women play a different role in society, and these proverbs apply to both men AND women (and really, I'm sure they applied to women back then too).  Just because it says for a son to obey his father and listen to his mother, doesn't mean that a daughter shouldn't do those things.

The advice given in Proverbs - and the Bible in general - apply to all of us. Not just men; not just women; not just Jews; not just Gentiles.  Every single one of us.

The Proverbs are filled with good advice - advice we should follow.  Advice I should follow.  I need to delve into this book of the Bible more often.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Just Popping By

I've been busy at work, but for the next two weeks I am on Spring Break.  I'm looking forward to the relaxing that will happen!  On Tuesday, I'll be heading to Edmonton with K, Little K, and J. We'll be there until Friday morning when we head home.  We're also hoping to meet up with an old co-worker who moved there last summer.

I've been feeling rather stressed at work lately. I have a few "high maintenance" kids in my class and they've been really stressing me out.  I've actually been ready for a break for some time now - at least a month, if not longer.  In a lot of ways, I feel like I'm a brand new teacher again and I'm unsure about myself and my career.  I've been doing a lot of praying and seeking God in all of this, but I end up second-guessing things and doubting myself.  I'll get through it, but only on His strength and guidance.

I don't have a whole lot of news at the moment, but wanted to post a little update.  Our weather has been really good this past week and we've had temperatures above zero Celsius (including today) and melting snow.  We still have a lot left though, and in actuality, we could still get more snow and cold temperatures.  After all, we are only in the middle of March.  I hope this isn't the case though.  I've had a taste of spring-like weather and I like it!

Anyway, just wanted to pop in and do a quick update to let you know I'm still around.  I hope you have a blessed day!

Sunday, February 09, 2014

A New Look, A New Bible Study, and Possibly A New Self-Discovery

I thought it was time for a new look on my blog, and this is the (free) design I decided to go with.  What do you think?  I like the colours, the brightness, and it makes me think of summer back home.

In my last post, I mentioned about being sick with the flu. Well, I also ended up with a cold and it lasted a couple of weeks.  Although I had a little bit of the cough left, it wasn't bad and it was pretty much gone.  Well, last Saturday (about two weeks after I had been sick with the flu) I woke up to a congested cough and have had it for the last week.  I've had a bit of sneezing and runny/stuffy nose with it, but it's mostly been the cough that doesn't seem to want to go away.  And, Wednesday I ended up with my right eye being a little itchy and by the end of the day it was red and watery as well.  No, I didn't (and don't) have pink eye.  The redness has pretty much disappeared (except if I've been on the computer too long), but it's still watery and the itchiness only lasted a little bit at work - though I guess from time to time there is a little bit of an itch, but it's not bad and it doesn't last.  I really can't wait until I'm all better again.  I hate being sick.

I decided to take this weekend to rest and hopefully get myself better.  I've been catching up on some knitting (started a new fair isle hat), a little reading, and I've been working on the Bible study for the one we recently started for this session at my Monday night Bible study.  Tomorrow is a holiday  here (Family Day), and I keep forgetting and thinking I have to go to work, but I don't.  I hope to do some more knitting and maybe some art journalling.

In my Bible study, the first chapter is dealing with the verse that talks about not worrying about tomorrow (well, there is more, but this is the part I want to focus on).  I'm a worrier. I think I get that from my mother.  Part of the study includes journalling our prayers.  I've written down prayers in a journal before, but just specifics like "praying for my cold to go away" and then drawing a line to write the date when it gets answered, as well as the date I record it.  This one, however, is requiring much more than that.  We have to write down the actual prayer we would pray, the situation, etc.  So, while I was doing that, I made a discovery (it probably came from the Holy Spirit) that my worry seems to be rooted in fear and lack of trust.  I won't go into specific details, but that is what I am concluding so far.

I hope through this Bible study I will grow in my faith and walk - and in other areas of my life as well.

Well, I'm off now to watch some more of the Olympics and cheer for the Canadians!

Go Canada!!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Pushing Through Sickness

My BFF gets annoyed when people mistakenly indicate they have the flu, but actually they have a stomach bug.  When you are vomiting and have diarrhea, you have a stomach bug.  When you have a fever, cough, cant breathe very well and ache all over, that is the flu.

I have the flu.

The night before last, I had a bit of a raw feeling in my throat. It didnt hurt, but I knew Id be getting a sore throat within a day or so, unless I was lucky and it didnt turn into anything worse.  By the next afternoon my throat hurt a little more, but it still wasnt bad.  I went to coffee with K, little K, and J after work, and I mentioned it to them.  We had a discussion about the flu and how its making its way around Alberta.  Thereve also been several cases of H1N1 in Alberta (as well as one case of H5N1 – the bird flu, and sadly, the lady who had that died).  K asked me if Id heard that and was now thinking I had that (H1N1). I said no, but another friend and I had talked about it in the morning as well and hoped I was only getting a cold.

Well, this morning I woke up with a cough (I sound like a smoker at times, but I dont smoke, and neither do any of my friends), a headache, and the chills.  I was up for about 45 minutes, did my Bible reading and devotions, and decided to go back to sleep. I feel exhausted even though Id had enough sleep.

When I woke up from that nap, I was sweating and hotter than I dont know what.  I think that might have been from having a warm housecoat and two blankets over me while I slept, and I had put the heat up to try and get warm.  I checked my temperature, and found that it was getting higher and higher.  So far today, the highest its been was 38.7C (which is 101.66F).  It seems to be going down now, though as I have taken some Buckleys Cough, Cold, and Flu pills.  Ive taken these twice now today, and will take more again in about an hour.  Hopefully these will help me feel better by tomorrow.

The last two days at work, Ive been alone in the class, and my one E.A. (the second one has been off work since before Christmas) was out both those days.  I wonder if this is what she had (I was never told the reason for her being out).

I talked to K about half an hour ago, and she said she now has a cough and fever as well. So, it sounds like she has what I have.  I would imagine we both got it from work (we both teach at the same school).  Hopefully, well both be over this before we have to go back to work on Monday!

I had hoped to get a lot of writing done today, but since Ive been sick and sleeping most of the day, that didnt happen.  I debated not doing anything for the My 500 Word Challenge, but since Im feeling a little better now, I thought Id see if I could get anything done up.  And this post is it!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Feeling Homesick

Lately Ive been feeling like Id like to move back home, and often feel the homesickness erupt when I get this way.  In fact, Im kind of feeling that way tonight.  I wonder how long it takes for homesickness to go away after you move elsewhere.

Its only been nearly two and a half years since I moved out here to British Columbia, but I often find myself desiring to go back home because I feel homesick.  That could be for a number of reasons – anything from not having a car, or access to a car, and not being able to get around and come and go as I please (I have to depend on others if I want to go somewhere else, like shopping or visiting someone who doesnt live near my location. The bus system here also isnt the best, and while I might be able to get places in the evening – providing I leave after supper – the buses stop around six or seven oclock, so I wouldnt be able to get home), to feeling alone – and lonely.

In 2007, I moved to South Korea to teach, and lived there for a year.  There were times when I felt homesick, particularly after finding out my father had cancer – and especially when I found out he was getting worse.  I also find that when I end up in a situation where I feel sad, upset, angry, etc. I often feel like I want to be back home – not that doing that would solve any problems, or that I wouldnt have any bad times there, because I would.

I think part of my homesickness came from the fact that I was so far away from my home and my family, and I couldnt just hop a bus or take a taxi, or even rent a car to go and visit them.  It also could have been caused by being in a different culture and not having access to foods/brands, English TV shows, etc., that I am used to from living in North America.

In 2009, I went to Australia for two months (doing my teaching practicum) and I really enjoyed it there. Actually, I loved it there and I didnt feel homesick, but that might have been just because I knew Id only be there for two months and then be heading home again.  When I did come home, I found that I felt homesick for Melbourne and could picture myself actually living there.  Even now, five years later, I find there are times when I feel homesick for that area.  It seems weird that I would feel that way for a place I only visited for two months, but Melbourne must have had a hold on me or something.  Someday Id like to get back there again.

I really dont like feeling homesick, but then does anybody?  I find it difficult, when I feel this way, to get out of the slump it puts me in.  Ive had nights where I would wake up and while Im still half asleep and my eyes are closed, have such a strong feeling that I was back home in my bed there.  It even seemed that when Id open my eyes, Id see my room the way it is set up back home. 

When Id open my eyes and see that I wasnt there, but I was in my room here, Id give my head a shake and feel a little stupid, but it seemed so real.  And then Id want to go back home again.  Ive mostly had that feeling after being home during the summer.  At any rate, Id start to feel little bits of homesickness creep up at those times.  Thankfully, though, the homesickness doesnt usually last for more than a day or two at a time.

Have you ever moved away, across the country or to a different country or continent, and felt homesick? How did/do you deal with it?

Thursday, January 09, 2014

The 9th Day

So today marks the 9th day of the My 500 Words challenge.  So far it hasnt been too bad, and Ive been able to get over 500 words each day.  Today it seems a little more difficult.  Part of it is not knowing what to write (though I suppose I could look at some of the prompts and ideas Ive written down), and part of it is that Im finding it difficult to write when I get up in the morning (after Ive gotten ready for work), and when I get home from work Im tired.  So, I end up putting it off until later in the evening (much like Im doing now) and feel like I have to push myself to write something.

On the positive side, this little challenge is helping to develop discipline in writing.  I havent been focusing so much on the novel or any story, but Ive been writing on my blogs.  And even though it might not be quality stuff, I am writing.
 Mostly my posts have been written on the fly, without much thought as to what Id write.  I think that is because Im quite tired by that time and Im just doing the assignment to get it completed.  I hope that when I have more time (like on the weekends), I can sit down and write a better quality post, or add to my novel or short stories.

Maybe what I could do this coming weekend, is take the writing prompts Ive got and outline what I could say about each topic (or take a couple of them at a time and do this), or jot a few ideas downs to remind myself of what I could include.  Then I might have some direction, and could write a better quality post, rather than rambling on.

I think right now with this challenge, Im just trying to focus on the discipline and getting in the habit of writing each day.  Once this habit forms (or after the challenge, even weaning it down to once every other day until I have more time to be able to write each day – like on holidays and vacations from teaching), then I could focus on doing more research for topics, more editing, or more significant passages.

I just hope its this is not a case of Im doing this because Ive been issued a challenge and I dont want to fail at it, and then give up for whatever reason and not write for large chunks of time.  Otherwise, Ill never get anything written – well, except for some blog posts.

Well, it looks like Im going to finish todays quota, thought it certainly wont be nearly as long as any of the previous posts (or at least the majority of them).  Ive only got another couple of sentences to write and then I can call it a night.  Hopefully, since tomorrow is Friday, and providing I take a little nap in the early evening to take the edge off, I can get more writing done (or at least create a few blog posts that I can schedule for later dates).

For the first week back to work after Christmas vacation, its seemed long and tiring. Im looking forward to hopefully sleeping in on the weekend, but for now, I need to get to bed so I can try and get rested for tomorrow, otherwise Ill need an IV of coffee!

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Oh So Tired

Well, this is only the second day of the week, the second day of the work week after Christmas vacation and I am already looking forward to Friday – or at the least, the weekend.

I am tired, soooo tired.  Yesterday, Monday, was find. I wasnt tired during the day, but a couple of hours before I went to Bible study; I had to lie down for a bit.  I ended up falling asleep for about 40 minutes. Had set the alarm so I could sleep for a little over an hour, but I woke up about half an hour before the alarm went off.  I felt better, and was confident I wouldnt be yawning or almost falling asleep during Bible study.  And, I was also able to get to bed around midnight (I could have gone before, but I wanted to read a little before bed – and I also had to read my Bible for the day as well), which allowed me about five hours of sleep (pretty typical for me).

I made it through work today and didnt do any yawning or feeling tired, which is good.  But, once I got home and sitting down, relaxing, etc. I soon began to feel my eyes drooping, and that general Im so tired I want to go to bed feeling.
Unfortunately, its too early for that.  If I go to bed now (or a littler earlier like I wanted to), I would either do one of two things: end up sleeping for 30-60 minutes and then not be able to get to sleep until 2:00 in the morning, or Id sleep until 3:00 and be awake for the rest of the night.

So, Im pushing on, trying to stay awake for another hour or so.

Another reason I had for staying awake longer, was the fact I needed to do my 500 words for today.  Im seven days into this, and I didnt want to miss a day of it.  I knew I wouldnt be writing anything spectacular (not that anything else Ive written has been that great), but I still needed, and wanted, to do this.  If it will help build a habit of doing daily writing (or at least a decent amount of words each day), and even help me blog more frequently – like I used to a few years ago – then I cant be missing days here and there.  I know for me, its far too easy to just dismiss it because Im tired, or I just dont feel like it. But if I do that one day, it will lead to another, and pretty soon Im not getting anything written for great amounts of time.  So, to develop that kind of behaviour this early on into the challenge would just spell disaster for me. 

As I pause at this particular moment to check my word count and think of something else to say to bring me closer to my minimum challenge requirement, I am realizing that I seem to have developed a bit of a second wind.  Hopefully I will be able to keep this up for at least another hour or two, and then Ill head to bed at a decent time. Hopefully.

And with that, Ive now exceeded the 500 words – not that many, but still. I made it.  And, hopefully Ill be more creative with future posts, rather than just rambling on about the day to day boring things like this one.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Rise and Shine!

Today is the first day back to work after a two week Christmas Break.  I had been dreading getting up at 5:30, but I knew it must be done.  And I had to be sure not to hit the snooze button for half an hour.  I honestly dont feel tired at the moment (its now nearly 7:00), but I know that will change as the day goes on. 

And since today is Monday, I wont be getting home until around 5:00 p.m. because I have drama practise after school and I have to wait around until one of the students gets picked up (the child is in my class, and her mom made special arrangements).  I dont mind staying, but there are times when I really dont want to stay that late.  Also, on Monday evenings, I have one of the Bible studies that I go to (I only go to two of them), which I am enjoying.  I wont have a chance to even think about taking a nap when I get home.  Ill probably have to go to bed early tonight, but I wont even think about that right now.

Im kind of looking forward to getting back into my routine and going to work.  While I always enjoy days off, vacations, and holidays, there are times I want to get back to work – simply to get back into my routine.
I am supposed to have one less student now, as one little boy informed us, on the last day before Christmas vacation, that his mom wants to home school him and his sister.  Well see how it goes.  I dont think she realises all that is involved in teaching/home schooling, and she was always talking about how busy they were.  The only thing that it will probably save her, is travelling (they live outside of town).  She could surprise everyone and do a great job with home schooling, but it wouldnt surprise me if the kids end up coming back to the school – even if it isnt until next fall.  And, now that her son wont be in my class, Ill have to find someone else to help with Bible memory, as she would come in to test the kids for me (it was a big help).  Hopefully there is someone else willing to step up to the plate.

Ive also got a few things that I want to try this term, such as a novel study with my language arts students (I have eight ESL kids who have a separate language arts class with another teacher, so they arent in my class). I dont know if they can handle this, but well see.  I hope it works out well and doesnt end up causing me grief.  Ive already warned them that the second half of the year is going to be more difficult and more will be required of them.  It will probably be difficult for the first little while with them testing to see if they can get away with less effort, etc.  So, I will definitely be needing prayer for a little while!

Anyway, I hope you all have a great day, and if this is also your first day back to work after a long break, I pray that you have a great one!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

A Conversation With The Building Manager

This morning I had to go see the manager of my apartment building (unfortunately I wrote the wrong date on my rent cheque and had to bring her a replacement).  She invited me in for a few minutes, which turned into an hour.
        This is a woman who likes to talk, and while there are times you cant shut me up, there are also times when Im not really in the mood to hold a conversation with people.  I had hoped this would be a quick visit – Id drop my cheque off, get the receipt, make a bit of casual conversation, and then leave.  It didnt turn out that way.
        The building manager (Ill call her P) proceeded to tell me how she had hurt her knee and arm recently, and I mentioned about my sciatica bothering me over the Christmas break.  This then led to a discussion on how she (and her husband) ended up coming back to manage this apartment building (and another one or two). 
        During the time I had mentioned about my sciatica, I had told her about being in Australia a few years ago and having done something to cause it to flare up.  Our conversation then turned to her mentioning a cousin from Australia that she was going to be meeting for the first time in May, and how she had discovered this cousin.
        For the rest of the time I was there (the conversation about our injuries might have taken about five minutes), we discussed genealogy.  I have been interested in genealogy (researching your family tree) since I was about 16. 
        P told me about all the research she had done (she is legitimately related to royalty, and both Princess Di and Camilla, and has aristocracy in her roots as well), especially after being in contact with a distant relative from Australia (a different cousin).  Shes done loads of research, contacted various archives from different countries, been put into contact with people who could help, and has been given lots of information from others.  It sure sounded like she has done extensive research!  She also told me that she helps other people with research and shed be willing to help me (or point me in the right direction) if I wanted it.  Im not totally sure, but I would think shed charge a fee for her research services.
        P and I discussed how important it is to remember our past – who and where we came from – and the details.  She had told me how her mother had always wanted to write a book about her life story (and from what I was told, it would definitely be an interesting read), and now P is thinking about writing it – or some about her mother, but more so about her grandmother or great-grandmother.
        P mentioned that she has been trying to write things down in the evenings (stories and research), but she finds that she gets tired very easily and ends up not accomplishing much.  She wants to record everything for her children and grandchildren, and thought making a book out of all her information would probably be wise.  I suggested that maybe she could record things on one of those little hand held tape recorders and then when shes not feeling tired or has the time, she could then transcribe it, or have someone do it for her.  She said she hadnt thought about that, but it was a great idea and she might just try it.
        Since talking with P a couple of hours ago, I have also been thinking about doing more research on my own family tree.  I have a lot, but its all back home in New Brunswick.  My ancestors dont have an exciting background, or as interesting stories as the ones P told me about her relatives, but that doesnt matter.  Just because one of my ancestors was the first shoemaker on Prince Edward Island and not a duke or lord, doesnt make him any less significant. Everyone is important; every story is important, and I want to have a record of them.
        The Bible does say in Titus to “…avoid foolish controversies and genealogies…” (3:9), but I dont think its meaning that we shouldnt be involved in working on our family tree (after all, Jesus own genealogy is recorded in the New Testament twice).  I think this verse is dealing with deception.  My study Bible has a cross-reference to 2 Timothy 3:13 which talks about evil men and impostors deceiving people.  So, maybe these men, the impostors, were showing genealogies to try and make people think they were important, or someone they were not.  So, I dont think it goes against Scripture when you do your family tree.
        Anyway, I think its important to record information (names, dates) and stories about ourselves, our ancestors, and family members, for future generations.  Unfortunately, I dont have any kids of my own (which makes me sad, but thats another story), but I do have a nephew.  I do have cousins who have children.  And one day, one (or more) of them may have an interest and would like to read about their family history.

        Right now, Im in the mood to work on my family tree.  I sure wish I had my information here now.  Oh well, it will probably have to wait until the summer.  Ill have to look for it when I go back as Im not sure where it got placed – especially the computer program I had used to record the bulk of my information!  I just hope it hasnt been lost.  Id hate to have to start from scratch again.

Friday, January 03, 2014

One Word 365

Last year (or was that the year before?) I had decided to join in the One Word 365 challenge where you choose one word and work on that for the year. For example, someone might choose the word relaxed and that was what they would strive to work on for 365 days – becoming relaxed in certain situations, learning how to relax in the midst of chaos, etc.

I had worked on my word, and I honestly cant remember what it was, for a few (or even several) months and then promptly forgot all about it.  After recently seeing others around the blogsphere begin sharing their words for 2014, I decided to attempt it again this year.

Ive chosen to focus on the word motivation.

Why motivation? Because I find that I can lose it quite quickly as well as over time.  It can start in January after I make some kind of resolutions (though I tend to not make any resolutions because I end up not sticking with them) or promises to myself of changing eating habits, exercising, reading my Bible every day, praying more, etc.  Before I know it, those resolutions or promises have been thrown out the window – sometimes I just forget that Im working on changing a habit, and sometimes I get frustrated because I dont see immediate results (Im an instant gratification sort of gal, and I get easily discouraged if I dont see the results of doing something right away – but thats a story for another time).

This year, Im going to work on keeping my motivation or finding new and/or improved ways to motivate myself in whatever it is Im attempting to do or make.
And while Im definitely no expert in motivation (which I seem to prove over and over again), I think I need to work on changing a couple areas in my life that could help me get and keep motivated in other areas of my life.

1.        Eat properly – I need to change up my eating habits. I need to eat healthier       foods, I need to eat properly balanced meals, and I need to cut down on the junk food.”  While this will also benefit other areas in my life (i.e. weight loss), Im sure eating better, and getting the vitamins my body needs, will help me feel better physically and contribute to keeping motivated in other areas as well.

     2.      Exercising – that dreaded 10-letter evil word.  Yes, I definitely need to be exercising.  It has its own benefits, naturally, but if I exercise I will start to feel better physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually (at least Im hoping it helps with that).  Feeling better in these areas, which will then help me feel better about myself in general, should also help lead to keeping me motivated.

    3.     Getting Enough Sleep this is an area I can often struggle with.  I am a natural born night owl.  I function better later in the day, the evening, and at night. This has been an issue Ive dealt with (or struggled with) all my life.  I can try to adjust things by going to bed earlier, getting up earlier, etc. but its torture at times, and I find myself falling back into the night owl routine. I end up needing naps when I come home from work because Im so tired (which will then affect my sleep pattern for the night), I need more coffee, I can get a little cranky at times, and this is something that DEFINITELY sucks the motivation for anything right out of me!

So, these are three areas that I am going to work on to help me with motivation.  Of course, there are also areas that will be beneficial in the long run with my overall health, so it should be a win-win situation, right?

Now, to just keep motivated at these thingsits not going to be an easy task!