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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Currently 10/23


     Life has been pretty busy so I have not really been watching anything on TV. I have seen a few little Halloween specials with the boys. I have enjoyed watching all of the beautiful New England foliage. Our back woods are currently filled with gorgeous yellows, reds, oranges and even a few pretty browns. If it's not raining tomorrow, I will try to go snap a picture.

Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul
     I am enjoying this book a lot right now. This year has felt a little overwhelming to me. I don't think I'm really doing anything too out of the ordinary, but I have just been mentally and physically tired for a while now. I choose my next "to read" book in a sort of random way so this one came at just the right time. I think I am going through a season of life where some former priorities and not as important to me and some things I felt I "had to do" aren't obligations to me. This doesn't mean that I'm necessarily taking more time for myself, which maybe I should, but that the time I am choosing to protect is spent doing meaningful things. Here are some quotes from the book that have made me think over the past few weeks:

     "Without conscious intervention, this pattern of chronically overscheduling ensures that the priorities you care about most will take a backseat to the urgent priorities of others every time." (Hear me, Sarah?)    I am guilty of this a lot- every day in fact. How often do I stay after to help a student or to chat with a kid who just wants to hang out for a minute while my own kids are home hoping I will have some "free time" for them? It's painful to think about- especially since I really enjoy my job too.  I have recently attempted to fix some of these imbalances.

      "Put more simply, one of the greatest blessings in life is to love your work, to be satisfied in your daily labors." Amen. My job is hard and has many challenges, but I feel that it is my calling so it makes the little stuff easier to deal with. It is also greatly rewarding to follow through what I feel God has prepared me to do and to use my gifts/talents for His glory.

     "Relationships, like every other area of life, require regular evaluation, pruning, and strengthening." Hybels says that there are 3 levels of friendship- circumstancial friends, true friends- for a season and lifelong friends. This chapter challenged me. There have been some friends that have hurt me recently. I thought they were lifelong friends, but perhaps they were just friends for a season. Again, they were good friends and I'm not quite sure what happened, but this chapter has made me feel more at peace. I also have some friends who probably feel the same way about me. Truth is, there are sometimes where people just grow apart- especially if they have different values or motives in life.  Examining my friendships and potential friendships has been a healthy activity for me this week.

      My normal Pandora mixes. Lately I've been listening to a lot of Scala & Kolacny Brothers. I really like their sound.

      David and I just made Apple Betty- one for us and one for our neighbors. It is currently baking and I cannot wait to smell the delicious scent of the cinnamon-y apples.  *I may or may not let my kids stay up to eat a piece.

    Physically I have been struggling. I think whatever was causing the hives last spring is acting up. This weekend my whole body hurt. My feet are freezing. My knee and left leg are hurting a lot. (Remember that bursitis and plantar fasciitis? I think they are going to revisit me). It was so painful todaythat I laid down "for a few minutes" and fell asleep for 3 hours. I feel a little better now, but I'm hoping that things don't get worse before they get better. All of these things could be caused by the inflammation that was going on with the hives.  I have an appointment with the allergist in a few weeks. She will then take me off the medicine I've been on gradually. If things are going to return, it will be then. Wish me luck.

   It's getting late tonight, but I would like to correct a lot and finish a letter to Monique in The Netherlands!

    I'm loving being grateful for small things. Sometimes the small things in life are bigger than they seem. Here are some things that I've been grateful for: -apples, colorful foliage, dates with all 3 of my boys, a delicious latte I had (usually don't drink them) with creme brulee at a new restaurant, new friends, correspondence with penpals, success of students (especially the ones who don't actually like music but work hard because I have asked them to), talent of the next generation, random acts of kindness, film scores (some music is incredibly beautiful. How do these guys write stuff like this?), cool weather, hot chocolate, people who work with church education programs, previous students, sweet gifts from students (like a Yankee candle I just got- or the flowers sent to me for my birthday), my faith, all of the upcoming holidays.

    What are the "small things" you have been enjoying lately?

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