Saturday, May 31, 2014

Another Sorry Saturday: Let's Focus on Change

On the way to a wedding in Nebraska on Friday, I got a nice little facebook reminder from my sister-in-law saying that they would be looking for my Friday post. I shot back a quick reply, assuring her that I would definitely post by midnight. Alas, I woke up on Saturday morning and realized I had failed once again.

Oh well, God's mercies are new every morning and I'm sure any readers I have are very forgiving, too.

Even though it's a day late, I want to take a few minutes to focus on "change." There is a big change coming up for me soon, and it has provided the perfect reason to develop some focus in my life.

In the fall I will be teaching Spanish full-time at North Butler High School in Greene (about 10 miles from us). I wasn't looking for a new job, but it came to me. There was a need and it feels right to help fill it. This will be a major change for our family. I haven't had a full-time job since before we started having our children.

I am excited about this opportunity, but I'm also a bit nervous. It's been a long time since I was in the classroom every day. Our family dynamics will also change since both of our boys will be in high school next year (Dylan is so thrilled that he'll have me as his Spanish teacher!) and they've been used to having me do most of the chores around the house. This will change! Gary has also been used to having me around most of the time to help when needed at church and talk through things as they come up during the day. This will also change. I think all of us are going to have to split up household chores a little more so that one person doesn't get overwhelmed with it all (namely me!).

Thankfully, God has already started preparing us for this change. When I broke my ankle back in March, all of the boys had to chip in and help more. They've done a great job and I appreciate everything they've been doing. Gary does a great job with the laundry, but he's looking forward to giving that chore back to me when I can manage the stairs again.

What I've been surprised at lately is how my focus has improved since I decided to take this new job. I've been getting some things done around the house because I know I'll be really busy in the fall. I've been taking some online classes to renew my teaching license and these have helped me to focus more, too. They've been making me think about how I'll use the things I'm learning in the classroom. I've been checking out blogs and websites for Spanish teachers, gathering ideas and thinking through what my classroom will look like and what we'll do as I teach in just a few months.

What I find myself thinking about often is this: why have I not been this focused in my spiritual life? I go to sleep thinking about how much I love Spanish and how much I want to pass that love of Spanish on to my students and find fun ways to help them learn. I think about it often during the day and seek out new resources and ideas.

I think in the last couple of years I've lost some of my passion spiritually. The love and faith has been there, but the focus has definitely been lacking. I'm afraid I've been going through the motions and haven't been very excited about my relationship with the Lord. Even as I type that, I want to deny it somehow. I want to justify myself and say it hasn't been that bad. But the more I think about it, the more I know it's true. I've become complacent, predictable, boring.

When is the last time I couldn't get to sleep because I was so excited about what God is doing in my life? How long has it been since I eagerly looked in my Bible so that I could share something meaningful with a friend or someone in my family? Why haven't I felt that sense of urgency, spurring me on to grow in my faith because I know that time is precious and I may not get the chance if I wait?

Wow, these are hard questions...questions I hardly knew I had when I started this post. I think it's going to take a little focused thought to sort through them and figure out where my focus has gone.

I want to be a good Spanish teacher, but even more than that, I want to be a woman who finds my worth and purpose in my relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It's time to focus on that first, and then I can put my extra time into preparing for this big change.

Do you have any big changes happening in your life? Are you making sure your primary focus is on God? How can you stir up that passion for God in your life, even if you don't have any big changes in the near future?

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