"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Sunday, May 10, 2015

May Reflections

Here I am finally in May.  I think I have been dreaming about May since September.  It's been a long year.  I've never had a year that time seemed to pass by so slowly.  When I think about this school year, I just think about tears.  I think I cried daily from September to December.  And at least weekly from December on.  I'd love to tell you that has changed, but I am pretty steadily crying about it weekly.  Because this year has been so hard, looking back on it is like looking on events that happened a lifetime ago.  I'm so glad that The Lord and Jimmy are providing me the opportunity to try something different.  But I also feel like I'm in the midst of an identity crisis.  I may have blogged about that before...  I just am not sure who I am when I'm not a public school teacher.  And honestly, it's way too easy for me to look at this year and feel like a failure.  I've been trying to remember truths about God- that I am always 100% adored by Him and that this year happened without taking Him by surprise.  He faithfully brings beauty from ashes and while I may see only ashes now- I will see the beauty one day.  He is good, and morning is coming and so is joy and dancing.  Anyway, here are my monthly reflections.

Am I thankful for my life and the way I'm living it?  To be honest, I just feel confused a lot right now.  I have so many more questions than I have answers.  Do I want to sub next year?  Do I want to teach preschool next year?  Am I even a good teacher?  What do I want to do with my life?  Who am I?  What do I want to be known for?  And then I remember that none of those questions matter unless they are defined by what God wants for me.  I don't know the answers to any of these questions.  But I am so so thankful for my family.  When I look beyond family, I just see confusion.  But when I look at Jimmy and Jude and our home everything makes sense.  And maybe that's my answer right there.

What have I tried this month?  Not much.  We were going to go to Oklahoma and go camping this weekend, but Texas and Oklahoma are basically flooded and experiencing multiple tornadoes currently.  I did get the opportunity to wait out a tornado inside TJ Maxx today though, which is certainly a new experience.  Luckily we were all safe and the tornado passed on.  This weekend has been nice though as it has been mothers day weekend.  Jimmy took us to a Brazilian steakhouse Friday which was amazing.  I wish my stomach was able to hold more food though!  I got a donut maker, so on Saturday we made donuts, paleo of course.  They were yummy- not exactly a donut, but they were good.  I've also started reading the Divergent series this month.  I am a huge conspiracy theorist, and dystopian stories just feed my imagination in interesting ways.  Loving that book series so far!

What am I doing to get out of my routine?  I'm not sure about this one either.  This month feels like it's just about survival.  I'm trying to get my classroom packed up, trying to get all assessments finished, trying to get these kids ready for 2nd grade, etc.  I feel like I've put my house on hold until summer.  It's very frenzied, and honestly, my anxiety is really kicking up.  I also am trying to apply for jobs for next year.  I have already interviewed at one preschool and will be interviewing at atleast 1 preschool this week.  It's an exciting time, but I feel like I am spinning a few too many plates at one time.  So survival.  There is a time for adventure and a time for survival. 

What have I learned about God this month?  He loves me.  He absolutely loves me.  I have prayed for a few months (even mentioned this in a blog in February) about how I wanted to enjoy dinners and community and depth with friends.  Well last month, I joined a friend who started an IF:Table.  I really hadn't heard much about it, but it is literally verbatim what I spent 4 months praying for.  Dinner and community and friends and depth.  That is what IF:Table is.  Those exact things.  I am so unbelievably blessed by my friend for answering God's call to start this.  It is in every way 1000 answers to prayer for me, and I cannot wait to meet with them again!  But more than anything, I am so thankful that God loved me so deeply.  Dinner and conversation can seem like a frivolous prayer.  Yet, he cares about my desire for even deep friendships.  It is so comforting to think about because if He is faithful in the things like friendships, surely he will be faithful to take care of our needs next year.  And surely He will be faithful to lead me to new passions and surely He will be faithful to bring beauty from the ashes of this year.

What brokenness is holding me back?  Idolatry of other people's opinions.  I would say it's anxiety or dwelling on situations- but ultimately it comes down to my idolatry of other people's opinions.  I am allowing people to define me and my opinion of myself rather than staying grounded in who God says I am.  God says I am loved, adored, forgiven, and enough.  Bringing it back to my word of the year- Rest- I am learning I need to Rest in the way God sees me.  His opinion is the only one that matters.  I need to keep my eyes above- not on others, or opinions, or how I feel I am doing today.  I just really need to worship more- but I am very distracted by trying to survive.  I am stuck in this cycle of survival and not resting in God.  Trying to do it all on my own.  I certainly can't.  Ugh- any truth you can speak into my life would be appreciated right now.

What do I want less of?  Distraction from my heavenly purpose and the stress that distraction is causing me.  I just feel so confused a lot of the time.  I am easily losing my focus on Jesus.  That's been a pretty common struggle this year.  The storm is hazy and it is hard to see.  I just need to walk as though I can see, walk in faith.  And sometimes I just am having a hard time with that.  This year has left me hurt, and that gets my focus so many times.  I need to remember Christ is my Comforter.

What do I want more of?  Christ my Comforter.  I'm pretty wounded I guess to be honest.  My heart hurts.  My feelings are hurt.  I cry easily because I'm hurting.  No friend, no husband will comfort me like Jesus.  I want more of His comfort.  I need more of His comfort.  I need more time to sit in His lap and let Him tell me it's going to all be ok.  Psalm 23 has become my psalm this year.  I know its one everyone knows, but I just find myself quoting it to myself many times throughout the day.  I focus a lot on the imagery of quiet waters.  I'm longing for a day filled with quiet waters.


Katie Galloy said...

The donuts look great! Do you happen to have a recipe for them so I can try them as well?

The point of the Paleo diet is, and I feel some people forget this, to not only diet, but to eat delicious foods at the same time. It's the only diet I've come across that cuts out food groups, yet still focusses on everyone's need to eat great food.

I'm a real foodie, and would not survive on any other diet, but Paleo has been very good for me. I've written about one of my favourite cookbooks: http://cookbook-reviews.net/review-the-paleo-recipe-book/

ThistleAshD said...

I agree- I actually have lost almost 15 pounds by eating paleo which is crazy. It's a completely effective diet and I haven't felt slighted in the least by missing some of my favorite foods. It's amazing!

Wendy Madonna said...

I am praying for you and your family!

ThistleAshD said...

Thank you- I appreciate that so much!