The truth is

The truth is last week was hard. I wasn’t ready to go back to work. My heart was full of anxiety and bitterness. My mind was full of thoughts on how to adjust, how to fight, and how to work for God’s glory. As much as I prayed, my attitude didn’t change.

The truth is people didn’t show up that were supposed to, my contractual “student-free” time didn’t happen, all the changes weren’t communicated as they should have been, and I never got any answers as to why all this was happening.

The truth is my heart was hard because I refused to let it be soft.

The truth is the changes weren’t as big as I was making them and I could have helped with the communication.

The truth is I held onto everything I knew I needed to rid myself of {1 Peter 2:1} and was refusing to love as I’m called to do {Romans 12:9-21}.

But as Friday morning began and I spent some quiet time with Jesus before work I began to feel the peace settle in, the anxiety and bitterness melting away, and the Holy Spirit reminding me why I do what I do. I teach because I love it. I teach because I can help my students. And I teach because it is what God has called me to do {for now}. I teach because it is my way of loving like Jesus does.

So as another work week begins tomorrow I will hold tightly to the truth that God graciously poured over me because the truth is love is the only way.


Back to School

Getting ready to go back to school

Summer is quickly winding down {tear} and it is time to get ready for the start of a new school year. I’m sad to say goodbye to late nights and even later mornings, the warm summer air and late afternoon tanning sessions, freedom from schedules and the busyness of everyday life that happens ten months out of the year. But I’m excited to say hello to new students, creative learning activities {Thank you Pinterest!}, cooler nights and all the things that fall brings with it.

To get back into the swing of going to school here are a few things that you can do as a family to help prepare your littles {and you}:

1. Talk about going back to school and be excited about it!

Thoughts of the first day of school can bring on anxiety for littles because there is so much unknown–Who will be the teacher? What time is lunch? Who is in my class? Where will you pick me up? Talking about all the new adventures the school year will bring can help ease the anxiety, if you’re excited they will be too. If possible, and especially if attending a new school, go on a school tour, see if there is a “Meet the Teacher” day, and show them the spot you planning on meeting them at the end of the day. There are also a ton of super fun books out there about the first day of school.

2. Use visuals

Create a back-to-school countdown. Kids always want to know how many more “sleeps” until the first day so together create something that lets them know. This will add to all the excitement.  Also, make a schedule for the morning that includes each action that needs to be done before walking out the door. Not only will this decrease you constantly telling them what to do, it will increase their independence and give you some extra time in the morning to get yourself ready. More on making visual schedules soon but in the meantime you can search Pinterest for ideas.

3. Go to bed and wake up at your regular time

We all know that it is very easy and fun to stay up late and sleep in but it can be very difficult to reverse these habits! By going to bed earlier by 10-15 minutes each night, your child will be able to get back into normal sleeping patterns much easier. Start adjusting sleep schedules at least two weeks before the start of school. This will help ease the stress and grumpiness that can ensue those first days of school. Seriously, teachers will love you if you can get your child to school on time and happy!

4. Practice your morning routine

How long does it really take for your little to wake up, eat a healthy breakfast, and get dressed? Is the drive to school only 5 minutes or is it really 10?  By really knowing how long your morning routine takes your family to complete, you can adjust your wake up and leave times before the first day of school. So practice getting up at the right time, get ready and head to school. It took less time than you thought? Great! Now you have a little bit of extra time for those mornings that don’t go as well.

5. Get organized

Being organized will make everyone’s life much easier. Do you really want to waste 3 minutes every morning looking for a lost shoe or book? Is it worth a battle every morning to decide what your little fashionista is going to wear? Before the start of the school week lay out what is going to be worn each day. I love the idea of using a sweater organizer–pick out the clothes, pop them in a cubby and each morning your little can independently grab the stack and get dressed! The night before make sure everything is in backpacks and lunches are packed. This will make your mornings much more peaceful.

And finally, enjoy the last few days of summer! Squeeze in an extra beach trip or BBQ. Have just ONE more late night movie marathon. Swim under the stars. Enjoy ice cream for dinner.

I hope these help! Happy Summer!