Experimentation

Ladies and gentlemen, I am about to participate in an experiment.  After two years of limited part-time employment, I am gearing up for the next level of engagement.

As you may be aware, from 2005 to 2014 I was a full-time teacher and administrator at a small private high school in St. Louis, MO.  For at least seven of those years I was a very hard-charging,  responsible faculty member who worked long hours both at school and at home.  I managed that position while being married to a seminary student turned mission-planting pastor and parenting three teenagers.  It was a very busy life full of challenges and rewards.

When chronic illness started to impact my effectiveness in that position, my husband and I began to watch and pray for God to open a path to something different.  This blog began when God answered our prayers and transplanted us in Ann Arbor where he has been serving as the Dean of Students at a small Christian university for the past three years.

When I joined him two years ago, I rested for six months and then began to experiment with different levels of employment.  I started with occasional private tutoring.  I added a summer ‘internship’ at an educational agency before transitioning to adjunct instruction coupled with private tutoring.  I’ve been doing well for the past year balancing those two positions.  I have taught a few hours a week in the classroom while supporting several private students that I meet in homes, in libraries, or in coffee shops.  I’ve loved this combination.  So, I’m continuing it this fall — at the next level.

Starting next Monday I will have three sections of college composition. (All the writing instructors in the room just gasped.) Now, to be fair, two of those sections are small at just 12-13 students each.  The third section is a more average-sized class of twenty-one. So, do your math and you will find that I am going to have 46 composition students.  That’s a solid load.  Most English teachers would say, “That’s fabulous!  What a joy to have forty-six writing students!” (My last year in St. Louis, a staffing issue created a situation where I had about 80 writing students!)  And, indeed, I am thrilled.  I am also thrilled that entering my second year as a private tutor, I have a solid student base that easily yields 8-10 hours of tutoring per week.  God has indeed engineered a sweet gig for me.

However, I am a little anxious. My health is more stable than it has been in close to four years.  With the help of my medical team I have eliminated biologic and anti-inflammatory medications.  That’s right; I take nothing for pain!  I am also currently weaning off the anti-depressants that I started taking seven or eight years ago.  I walk, do Pilates, practice yoga, and get in the water regularly. I see a physical therapist and a chiropractor,  avoid gluten and dairy, and am following my doctor’s instructions for taking homeopathic and nutritional remedies. I’m doing all the things, yet I still have a measure of pain in my hips, neck, and back.  I still have psoriasis. I still have chronic eye issues. I still get knocked down if I do too much.

So how much is too much?

That’s why this fall is an experiment.  Can I teach forty-six students in the classroom and meet with a handful outside of the classroom without spending every weekend in bed? Will I still fit in exercise? physical therapy? time with friends?  time with family? What will happen if something unexpected pops up — an out-of-state emergency, a family crisis, a family celebration? I don’t know.  Have I created a schedule that allows for these variables?  We’ll see.

I do know that the success of this semester is more likely if I continue to practice the disciplines that I have re-discovered in this time of stillness — Bible study, blogging, prayer.   It seems I struggle to fit them in, when in truth, they are the most impactful moments of my day.  Writing the prayer reminders on my mirror and my fridge is a help, but I still need to choose to act on those prompts and actually pray. My devotional materials sit out in plain sight, but I have to move toward them and take the time to engage each day.  My blog is constantly percolating in my mind and begging to be let out through my fingers, and when I allow it the space and time, I become aware of all that God is working inside of me.  When I do these three things — prayer, Bible study, and blogging — I feel centered and purposeful.  I feel at peace.

So, on Monday, I’ll step feebly forth.  I won’t try to kick any butts or take any names, I will just show up and see what God has in store in this next chapter.

Luke 12:32

“Do not be afraid, little flock,

for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

Reflection

After long absences from my blog, I never know what is going to come out of my fingers when I finally make the time to sit down.  Will I start writing about why I haven’t written sooner?  what we have been doing with our time? what kind of students I am working with? How my health is (or is not) progressing? Or how I am looking forward to what’s coming up in the next few weeks?

I don’t know.   Today I don’t feel a drive to write about any of the above, but I do feel compelled to get back to my blog.  I love the discipline of writing every day, and I love how it causes me to reflect on how I am living my life. Writing causes me to pause and take stock of what is happening and what I think and feel about it.

Last weekend, I visited our two daughters who are currently living in Boston.  We did some sightseeing, yes, but we also had chunks of time when we were just together. We rode in the car from the city center to where we were staying.  We visited coffee houses. We sat together on the couch and watched the Olympics and reality TV.  I found myself, in those moments of sitting with my adult daughters, reflecting on how my husband and I parented our children.  From time to time my musings became audible.

“I wish I wouldn’t have freaked out over the little things so much.”

“I wish I would’ve taken more time to show you kids how to do more things.”

“I wish I would have stepped into some situations more thoughtfully.”

My girls were very gracious.  “Mom, you had three babies in three years!  We were a lot to take care of!  You did your best!”  “Mom, we turned out pretty good.”

They’re right.  We did have three babies in three years and we were very busy for many consecutive minutes.hours.days.weeks.months.years.  And, our kids are pretty great.  We are blessed.

But, you know, twenty-five years flew by pretty darn quickly.  And sometimes I even wished that the moments would speed by. Parenting is hard work. It is exhausting and sometimes overwhelming.  And, in true Kristin fashion, I muscled through.

At one moment last weekend,  in the proximity of my girls, I heard myself say out loud, “You know what I wish the most? I wish I would’ve taken more time to reflect. I wish I would’ve been still long enough to say to myself, ‘How is this working out?'”

They were silent, so I said, “If I could give you one piece of advice right now it would be that: take time to be still and reflect.”

It took me a chronic illness and a six-month vacation from work to realize the power of stillness and reflection.  What began as a crutch to help me hobble through the unchartered territory of unemployment turned into a vehicle that helped me explore my thoughts and feelings about my current reality.  In exploring those thoughts and feelings, I have also explored my past and its impact on my life and the lives of those that I love.  These explorations have, I believe, contributed to my healing — if not my actual physical healing, then certainly my mental and emotional healing.

Over the past eighteen months, I have gradually transitioned from not working at all to working about 20-25 hours a week. This was part of the goal all along.  I love teaching,  and God has provided so many opportunities for me to work with students that don’t require me to have a full-time position. However, in transitioning back to more regular work, I don’t want to flush the lessons I learned during the stillness.

This is the challenge of real life, isn’t it? How do I find balance?  How do I get the fulfillment that comes from work while also taking the time to care for myself? How do I care for myself through exercise, healthy eating, and time for reflection, without overlooking the needs of the people closest to me?  How do I attend to the needs of my family while still finding time to connect with friends?  How do I make time to connect with friends and still have regular time to connect with God?

I sure don’t have a simple answer.  However, what I have learned is that, for me, one way to take the pulse on how I am doing with finding that balance, is to take some moments to reflect through writing.  So, here I am, returning and reflecting so that I can continue to heal and continue to grow.

Psalm 116:7

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.

Creativity

Just under two years ago, as I said goodbye to teaching in St. Louis so that I could move to Michigan with my husband, I imagined that I would take four to six months to rest and recover and then I would find a job and get back to some kind of ‘normal’ life.  My limited view couldn’t see what God had planned for me.  I couldn’t imagine how He would allow me to experiment with different types and levels of employment so that I could see for myself what would be fulfilling, draining, energizing, depleting… I couldn’t envision a life where I would have so much freedom to learn and grow.  I couldn’t see how He could provide for us financially, so He had to show me.

In the past two years I have worked for Reuters as an election agent, tutored students in English, writing, reading, study skills and test preparation, participated in intensive reading and writing instruction, edited everything from a young adult novel to a Master’s thesis on cancer-treating drugs, scored standardized math assessments, and taught college-level writing and literature courses.

And though that sounds like a lot, I’ve had the luxury of making new friends, participating in a regular Bible study, joining a new church family, working out consistently at a local gym, reading dozens of books, visiting family across the state, exploring Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti with my husband, and providing a refuge for my daughters as they navigated some difficult life situations.  Not only that, I’ve had time to experiment with medical strategies — discarding some, embracing others — to find ways to feel better both physically and emotionally.

Much of that journey has been chronicled in this blog. I think I started writing imagining that I would arrive at a destination — that I would someday get to “The Next Chapter.” However, I think the theme of this chapter is learning to live in the process, to trust that God knows what is coming next and He is preparing me for it. I’m learning to not look too far ahead, but to enjoy each moment.

This morning, I was supposed to be doing some online scoring, but ETS contacted me and said that due to reduced volume, I was not needed and would still receive half of my pay for the morning.  So, I stayed in bed reading a great book a little longer than usual.  I got up, straightened the kitchen, made my tea, and picked up my old faithful devotional, Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore.  After having set it down for a while to study Hosea and Breathe, I turned to the first page to start my third journey through this book.

Was I surprised that the message applied directly to my life? Not really.  I’m starting to expect it.  I no longer get stunned when I see a message like this: “What God is doing in your life right now may not make sense to you, but it’s not because He’s nonsensical.  It’s because He’s creative…In His wisdom God knew [His creation] was good because He knew what was coming next.  He knows what’s coming next for you…Give God room to be completely creative.”

Two years ago, I had no idea what was coming next.  It was pure obedience (plus exhaustion and a touch of desperation) to move here with no plan. Granted, He had made it quite obvious that we should take this leap of faith by providing a position that was custom-crafted for my husband in Michigan, which we both call home, but still, for a chronic planner and do-er, it was a totally new experience.

What God was doing in our lives did not make sense to me, but it wasn’t because He was nonsensical.  It was because He had a creative response to my self-destructive soldiering ways. He had information that was beyond my scope.  He knew what was coming next. And in my exhaustion, I was willing to allow him the room to be completely creative.

Guess how creative He is — He’s giving me the opportunity to teach high school students from across the country and around the world this summer at the University of Michigan. I’ll get to speak into their writing process and, hopefully, into their lives.  He’s allowing me to lead three sections of writing at Concordia in the fall — a three-minute walk from my kitchen to my classroom. And – gasp – He’s orchestrated an opportunity for my husband and me to chaperone a group of students to Israel for two weeks in January!

Could I have imagined all of that two short years ago? Not in a million years.  I was picturing myself shelving books at the public library. Not that that would’ve been a bad gig; perhaps that’ll be the next Next Chapter.  For now, I’m pretty content in this chapter and grateful to its Author.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord

“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans to give you a hope and a future.”

 

 

 

Sunday morning musing

It’s a quiet Sunday morning. Sunny and sixty degrees.  I’m sitting outside.  The chapel bell just told me that it’s 9:00 a.m.  Pairs of students walk by me, some going toward breakfast.  Some dressed as though they are walking toward church.  

We’ll be headed to church soon, too.  This morning we are visiting the chapel at the University of Michigan.  (Perhaps we should dress in mourning clothes after last night’s game. Yikes.) A few years ago some folks from this congregation visited us at our coffee house ministry in St. Louis.  They wanted to follow the model of Crave and open their own coffee house.  And, they did it.  Today we will worship with them in their coffee house.  That’s pretty cool.  

Connections.  You wouldn’t believe all the connections. 

Yesterday we were at Concordia’s first home football game and my husband introduced me to a parent of a student.  He said I had graduated from high school with his sister.  Indeed, I had!  In fact, this gentleman and I had actually attended the same congregation in a small town in Michigan in the early 1970s!  We exchanged familiar names, smiled, and shook our heads in wonder at the connections. 

Also at the game, I sat next to a man who went to Concordia with me in the 1980s.  He was a basketball player, I was a bookworm, but we were in the same English class together.  In fact, the professor who taught that class was also at the game!!!  I am not making this up!

It’s amazing until you remember that we are all sitting in the palm of His hand.  Wander around that palm long enough, talk to enough people, and you are bound to find some connections.  

I made a new connection yesterday.  I met a woman I had been hearing about for quite some time.  She took my phone number and said she would call to arrange a ‘play date’ in Ann Arbor.  How awesome does that sound?  

I have been very busy for a very long time.  I haven’t had the time or the energy to notice all the connections in my life.  They’ve been there, I just haven’t sat back and appreciated them.  I appreciate them now.  

I am very thankful for this next chapter, for this moment to be still.  

 I Corinthians 12:27

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 

The Dean’s Wife

One of my roles in this next chapter is to be the wife of the Dean of Students.  So far, that has meant smiling pleasantly as I have met dozens of people who were beginning to wonder if my husband really had a wife at all.  He had been referring to me for close to a year with no physical evidence of my existence.   So, many have shaken my hand and said, “so he really does have a wife.”  Indeed. 

I have made a couple official appearances — the faculty back-to-school picnic and a volleyball team dinner — and several informal ones — football scrimmages, a volleyball tournament, a community service day, a color run, and others. We are still in the honeymoon phase; I am still meeting new people everywhere I go. 

Today, I will meet even more new people and hopefully see some old friends.  It is the university’s first official home football game.  The president of the university, the president of the Michigan District of the Lutheran Church, their wives, and other VIPs will be there.  We have also invited alumni and friends that I haven’t seen in many years. The day will be full of smiles, handshakes, hugs, and hopefully a little football.

I sometimes wonder what God is thinking.  I mean my husband is perfect for this position.  He is kind, thoughtful, consistent, and the consummate professional.  I’m a bit of a different story.  Remember, I am the truth teller.  Stuff just blurts out of my mouth whenever it wants to. I have gotten better over the years at holding my thoughts in, but my face, as I have mentioned, often tells the whole story.  

So on days like today, I get a little nervous.  I know I can greet people and make small talk.  I will probably even evoke a little innocent laughter.  But there is always a chance that my guard will drop and I will say something … true.  Oy.  

I never know what is going to trigger it.  I am usually in the middle of innocent conversation.  You know, relocation, the house, the kids, Ann Arbor, and then someone will ask a question or make a comment that triggers a sensitivity and — blurt — there it is.  I have a few hot buttons — race, education, poverty, inner city, church, politics…  People make comments that are fairly innocent, but they press one of those buttons and — whoops — it happens. 

One time it looked like this.  I was at church, mind you, several years ago. I was chatting lightly with another woman, another church worker’s wife.  

Her: “Your high school always beats our high school in sports.”

Me: “I’ve noticed that.  Especially football.”

Her: “Do you think that’s because your students are black?”

Me: “I’ve never thought about it that way.” (I was able to hold back what I was thinking: “Wow. That is such a racist comment.  I have just changed my whole opinion of you.” However, I am pretty sure that my face registered my disgust.)

I have tried to coach myself.  “When the button gets pushed, ask a question.  You are not personally responsible to change the whole world today. You can just enter into dialogue.  Try dialogue.”  I re-envision that former conversation as this.

Her: “Do you think that’s because your students are black?”

Me: “Do you think that race determines athletic ability?”  

But see, even then, I am pretty sure my face would have an aggressive stance.  Or one that says, “Seriously? You think that race determines athletic ability? Really?”

See, I told you.  I am all over the truth, but I forget the grace.  Let me try one more time. 

Her: “Do you think that’s because your students are black?”

Me: “Hm.  I’ve never thought of that.  I wonder if it’s because they are better athletes?” A little laughter.  A smile.  Still the truth.  Not trying to hurt anyone. That wasn’t so bad, was it? 

I’m on a journey, folks.  I am a work in progress.  And, I am the Dean’s wife.  Lord, have mercy.  

Psalm 34:13 

Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking lies

Ephesisans 4:15

…speaking the truth in love…

 

 

Reality

I used to get frustrated with students who sat in the writing lab staring at a blank screen.  

Guess what I have been doing for almost an hour. 

Yup. 

Busted. 

I’m sitting here in my pajamas, realizing that my cup of tea is almost empty and I have nothing to say. 

My students prayed for this moment. 

Chester is asleep under my desk.  My husband has left for work.  The remaining daughter is into her second hour of productivity. And here I sit. 

I mean, I have been a little productive.  I did send a couple of emails.  I did clear a level on Candy Crush that had been giving me trouble.  Don’t judge.  

I want to start writing about my options for ‘what’s next’, but I am committed to not discussing that at least until September.  And it’s only August 26! September 1 is Labor Day, so I can’t very well discuss career options or work on Labor Day!  So I am going to have to find something to write about between now and September 2.  That is seven whole posts!!!!!!!

Being still is hard!!!  

Of course I have to admit that I’m not just sitting in my pajamas playing Candy Crush all day.  I have managed to keep up on the laundry, cook a few meals, keep the house relatively orderly, go for walks, and meet new people every day.  

And I also have to grudgingly admit that even that has worn me out.  I woke up feeling not great today, which tells me I have to take extra care to rest.  And that makes me a bit angry.  I want to be able to do things.  I had big dreams of going to quaint coffee shops to write, of exploring Ann Arbor, of going on adventures.  I was hoping for endless possibilities. 

But today, I think the reason it’s difficult to write is that reality is jumping up and down in front of me waving its arms.  “Hey, Kristin, remember me?  Reality?  I am the knowledge that you have days like today where you struggle to get out of bed, your joints ache, you are exhausted, and you want to cry.  Do you really think you can explore ‘what’s next’ with me standing right here?” 

Hey, Reality, you suck.  

But, Reality is, after all, reality.  I do have days like this.  I won’t crawl back into bed, but I will talk myself into doing Pilates, into going for a walk, into taking a break and maybe even a nap.  I will look at the people in front of me and be thankful that I have this grace period to breathe and fully evaluate reality.  

Only when I fully grasp my new reality will I be able to see what God has next for me.  

Psalm 19:21

Many are the plans in [my] heart, 

but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

 

Details, details, details

Today is a detail day — schedule the oil change, get the groceries,  call the university, fold the laundry, etc.  I have lots to do…actually lots to do all week long. 

These details were a bit overwhelming last night when we had just returned from dropping off the baby at college eight hours away.  And, I’m a little irritated at the moment that I can’t just lie around and mope.  Already I am laughing at myself. 

It’s all by God’s design isn’t it?  He knew in advance that I would be a little torn up today — worrying, grieving, overthinking — so he made sure my plate was full for a bit.  It’s all good stuff — family visiting tonight through Friday, an appointment with a specialist, some cooking, some cleaning, and definitely some writing.  

I will find some time in the midst of the details to grieve a little, to wallow a little, to mope a little.  But, I will have to wipe the tears and drag myself out of bed to get a few things done.  

After all, one daughter is still here!  In fact, she greeted us last night when we returned from our trip with a warm dinner and lots of energy!  I couldn’t bring myself to write a grocery list, but she could.  I was overwhelmed at the thought of laundry, but she had it started!  God’s design.  He knew that if they were all gone at once, I would be overcome by loneliness.  He’s easing me into the empty nest.  

My niece is coming to visit tonight, bringing more energy into our home.  Two twenty-one year olds full of possibility and promise — they will take a road trip tomorrow!  What fun! They will leave me here to write, think, rest, and grieve for a couple of days, then they will bring their energy back.  

Do you see that detail?  God was setting up the details ahead of time, taking care of me, knowing exactly what I needed.  He knew I needed to do for a little while and then be for a little while.  He knew I needed people in my house for a while.  He knew what I needed before I even asked.  He’s got August taken care of, so that I can face September.  He’s always looking out for me, and for you. 

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer;  

my god is my rock, in whom I take refuge,

my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 

Psalm 18:2

 

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

On December 21, 1989, when my husband proposed to me, he said, “Things are going to get busy for a while.”  He wasn’t kidding.  

In the last 25 years we have lived in eleven different homes, parented four children (giving birth to three within three years!), earned three Master’s degrees, taught hundreds of students, driven thousands of miles, attended dozens of churches, …phew…I’m exhausted! 

We have experienced lots of change.  As individuals, and as a family.  At first, I braced myself for change and tried to ‘get through’ it.  It didn’t take me long to realize that change is our constant.  We are continually changing.  In fact, early in our marriage, my husband really enjoyed changing around all the furniture in the house.  He would get an idea to switch all the bedrooms — all in one day!  The master bedroom would become the kids’ dorm.  The girls’ room would become the den.  It would be an all-day project. I know it sounds like lots of work, but we always liked the outcome — a fresh start, a new perspective. 

When the kids were in elementary school, we spent many hours investigating and discussing before we decided to move them from a parochial to a public school.  One school was not better than the other, but they were very different.  It was a huge change.  My husband and I felt it was the right decision, so we acted.  It was a huge transition for the kids, and you would have to interview them separately to see if they think now that it was a good decision. Each of them would probably answer differently, especially since the very next year, we not only switched their schools again, we moved them to an entirely different state! A different time zone!  A different, sweatier, climate. 

That move meant not only a change in school, but a change from the only church they had ever known — where they were all born, rocked, sung to, cuddled. We all looked shell-shocked for a couple of years.  No kidding.  It was a lot of change.  

While there, in Missouri, we made so many deep friendships.  I would not trade that time for anything.  But, at times, it was like living through a deployment.  And I would even say that we endured a few injuries, none life-threatening, but some life-changing. 

Change changes us.  

I am not the person I was on December 21, 1989.  Thank goodness!!  Neither is my husband.  Thank goodness!!  (Little joke there, kids.) All of this busy-ness, all of these changes, have grown us up.  

When we were at one of our first congregations, with all our babies, a dear friend said, “I see you guys as a diamond in the rough–the outside is being chiseled away to reveal that beautiful inside.”  I may have been a little offended at the moment, but I now treasure the fact that she saw some potential under the rough exterior that we wore back in our twenties.  

I’d like to think that the changes we have endured have chiseled away some stubbornness, some judgmental attitudes, some close-mindedness.  But we aren’t done yet.  Change is our constant.  I embrace the change, because I know that I will come out of it a different person, hopefully closer to God’s design. 

And in this change, “I will keep my eyes always on the Lord.  With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken”  Psalm 16:8.

 

 

“Oops!… I Did It Again”*

Part of the work of the next few months is a re-setting of my mind because of the re-setting that has happened in my body.  For most of my adult life I have gone until I can’t go ‘no more’.  Then I collapse, and get up the next day and start over.  That isn’t going to work any more.

My experience with my new body (I will refrain from speaking for all people with autoimmune disease) is that I have to be preventative.  I eat certain foods so that I won’t have a flare.  I take certain vitamins and supplements so that my body will respond better to stress.  I do Pilates to help my body maintain flexibility.  I rest midday so that I can go out for dinner later.  I have to anticipate the effects of my actions on my body.

But I get amnesia.

I had a pretty lousy flare in April/May.  This isn’t too surprising since I was preparing for a move, finishing a school year, anticipating one daughter’s high school graduation and the other daughter’s college graduation, saying goodbye to many friends, etc.  Stressors incite flares.  Life, even ordinary life, is stressful.  April and May were a bit over the top.

June and July were lovely.  I was at home, on my own pace, packing a box or two a day, resting at various times throughout the day, eating well, exercising well, reading, doing puzzles, and seeing friends.

So I forgot what happens when I do too much.

I think I wanted to believe that it wouldn’t happen again.  I mean, we were in the physical process of moving for about ten days and I felt fine.  When I got tired, I took a little break.  On the actual move day, I had to take a few more breaks than usual, but still, no flare.

Ten days in Ann Arbor, unpacking, socializing, running errands, taking breaks, exercising, and I was feeling just fine.  In fact, so fine, that I felt like the old me!

So, on Wednesday, when I went out for my walk with Chester, I actually ran a bit.   I haven’t run in quite a while.  And it felt great.  I was cautious.  But, I ran.  

Then on Thursday, I woke up, wrote my blog, drank my tea, and then pretended I was the old me for about two hours — cleaned and vacuumed out the car, washed three windows inside and out, vacuumed our little house front to back, and Swiffered the kitchen and dining room.

And then it happened.

It wasn’t like my batteries wore down or something.  It was like someone unplugged me.  I hit the bed and knew I had gone too far.  It wasn’t even noon.

We had a guest arriving at 1.  My husband wanted me to meet some staff members at 4:30.  And a new friend was coming in the evening to learn the ropes of Chester-sitting so that we can go on a trip this weekend.

Yes, you read that right.  We are going on a trip this weekend.  Our oldest is getting his MBA tomorrow in Cincinnati and we are moving our daughter from Chicago to Ann Arbor on Sunday.

And I’m unplugged.

When I woke this morning, I discovered that my reserve battery had charged a little in my sleep, so I tidied the guest room for the overnight guest who is coming on Sunday. (Are you hearing all this?) And re-made the bed for our friend who is staying with Chester.

I’m not getting it, am I?

Do I really need another smack-down in order to learn how to pace myself and take breaks?  Why is it that doing is so satisfying to me?  Why am I not content with being? 

I believe I have received grace this morning, because I don’t feel as poorly as I did last evening.  So, I am going to slow down, acknowledge that God is God and I am not.  Do a little Pilates.  Breathe.  Put my feet up.  Read.  Drink my kale-berry-banana-flax smoothie.  And try, really try, to be still. 

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10.

 

 

 

 

*Spears, Brittney.  “Oops!… I Did It Again.” Oops!…I Did It Again. Jive, 2000.

(This citation is for my former students who know that you have to give credit where credit is due.)