Category Archives: moment of joy

It’s over! Christmas really is over.

christmas tree 2014

Yes, it’s true!  Many of you have probably already realized that:)  but I have felt that my Christmas season has zoomed by so today, I thought “Wow it really is over.  Where did it go?”

I taught through December 23rd.  I had a sinus infection since Thanksgiving so I was ready to sit on the couch and do nothing for the first few days of break.  But of course, that doesn’t happen when you “have to” do all those great things to get ready for the holiday.

You know, you need to wrap the presents.  Oh wait, you need to buy or make them first!  You need to make sure you remember all the people on your list and then also remember those people who might give you a gift.  You know how important it is to have those extra gifts ready.  You have to bake the cookies and prepare the food for the big day.  You have to go look at lights and model trains.  You have to go to church.  You have to lead the pageant or sing in the choir.  You have to make sure you have the right dress for the Christmas party.  You have to rush from party to party.  Oh no, did you make the cookies for the third cookie exchange?  You have to host the family.  You have to watch the Hallmark movies and stay up late enjoying the lights on the tree.  You have to decorate the house.  Wow, no wonder that season flies by!

This year, though, my Christmas season flew by for other reasons.  That sinus infection that I got the week of Thanksgiving didn’t go away until last Wednesday so by the time Christmas came around, I was exhausted.  I would get home from work and have NO energy to do anything except finish the 7 IEPs that were due, try to plan for the next day, shove some dinner down my throat and then climb into bed.

I did manage to wrap a few presents on Christmas Eve but most of those other things on that list just didn’t happen.  All of a sudden there were 3 days left of break, and I began to get a little sad that I hadn’t checked all of those things off my list. I felt like I missed out on Christmas.

Then on the 2nd day before the break ended, I came down with the flu.  Hmmmm  not exactly part of  that crazy Christmas plan.  I ended up on the couch for  4 days.  It made me stop!  It also made me start to think.

I do take a lot of joy from doing most of those things on that list above.  When I couldn’t do all of those things, I began to think about where my joy comes from. Does it come from happy feelings about what is going on around me or does it come from who Jesus is and what He’s done for us?

I’m thankful for God meeting me where I am.  I’m thankful that I had to slow down this Christmas and not do all those time consuming things on my list.  I’m thankful that God reminded me that He is my all in all…that I can’t make my own joy or happiness.  It comes from Him.

Monday Moment of Joy in His Word

teaching joyfully

One of the things I’m thankful for in the summer is the slower schedule and the time to slowly savor God’s Word in the morning. This morning I was reading 1 Thessalonians and was encouraged.

Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking about the phrase “Relentless Positivity” that I got from the conference.  I’ve ALSO been thinking, though, about how much I want to enjoy this week and make it go slow because I am a bit nervous about how the new school year is going to go.

Change is hard.  I know it’s part of life, though, so I’ve been praying that I would find the joy even when things change.  This morning as I read 1 Thessalonians, I was reminded, once again that the joy comes from our God and Savior.

“We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thess 1:3 NIV

Look at that!!  Our endurance comes from hope in Him!  I don’t have to trust in my own strength to make it through life but I can trust in Him and find joy and hope in Him.  He is my Savior and Lord, and I can find strength and endurance in that.  Paul also was encouraging the Thessalonians because their labor was prompted by love.  That love comes from Him as well.  Is my labor prompted by the love of Christ?

I don’t have to go into this year stressed about all the change.  I can trust that He knows me and loves me and has a plan for me.  I pray that as you start this year that God would remind you to find hope and joy in Him and not in circumstances of life.

Monday Moment of Joy

So Monday has almost come and gone. My first thought is that this Monday moment of joy will be as soon as I climb into bed!  It will be that moment where I can close my eyes and rest, but read on.

This is what I love about blogging or journaling or just sharing our joys with others.  I can look back and realize that yes, even on those really LONG days, there is joy!

I had to write sub plans tonight because I have a meeting all day tomorrow. As I wrote those plans-you know those plans that take forever to write-I realized WHY I was so tired tonight:).  I realized that there really isn’t a break in my day.

As I got to my planning time and wrote “Planning” I realized “oh wait!  I told the aide that she could drop her student off at my room during that time tomorrow because his teacher will also have a sub and my room is quieter and calmer.  My sub knows this student and knows how to help him calm down.

THEN I started to write “your lunch time” and realized-nope not really….you can eat your lunch but it will be as you supervise the kid that takes an hour to eat and whose assistant has to be in a different place during that time.

THEN I wrote the whole afternoon’s plans and realized-oh no-tomorrow’s TUESDAY.  That’s the day where the whole afternoon is different and I end up with lots of kids at the end of the day.

As I left school late, I finally headed to Bible study-late once again.  In my mind, I was determined to leave early so that I could get home, watch that season finale on TV and then go to bed!!!  But, of course, that’s not how it happened.

In the midst of our conversation at Bible study, we began talking about how God’s Word is inspired.  How amazing it is that God used people to write His words for us to read thousands of year later!  Yes, we had a little debate about how all that happened, but we left being grateful that He has provided his Word for us.  He loves us enough to give us His living and active Word.

Let’s make time to spend in His Word!  Let’s pray that God would “open they eyes of our hearts to see wonderful things in His law.”

My moment of joy today comes from being reminded of the gift God’s precious Word!

Tomorrow’s Monday!!

Ready….Set…..GO!  Monday’s coming!

If you’re like me, Sunday night is one of anticipation.  I’m trying to savor those last moments before school begins again.  As I talked with a friend this weekend, we were talking about the importance of spending time with our Savior every day.

She reminded me that if we want to get up early enough to do that in the morning, it starts the night before.  We need to get in bed early enough to then be able to wake up early and spend time in His Word.

So, yes I know Downton Abbey is on tonight:), but this is a challenge to head to bed a few minutes early so we can get up a few minutes early.

Let’s start off our week in a way that will help us find that moment of joy tomorrow!

Remember to look for that moment tomorrow and come back here and share with us.

Friday Picture Day, a Full Moon, and Joy in the Moment

So today was picture day.  You know what that means…”girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes” who are not allowed to get their new shoes dirty at recess (how many times do we see the shoes in those pictures anyway?); boys with ties that they fiddle with all day; and crazy schedules that I can’t keep straight.  With 10 students that I pull out of class for service, none of them had the same picture schedule!  When I thought I had finally figured out the schedule, a teacher passing me in the hallway said, “Oh…we had to change our schedule!”   No worries-let me just re-work my day one more time.  Yes, those individual pictures are adorable, so I’m glad they do it, but does it have to be on a Friday-especially the day right after a full moon?:)  

At 2:00, we gave up and went outside (and almost missed one kid’s pictures-oops).  Earlier in the day there had been a not so nice social interaction between two of my students.   As our class walked outside at 2:00, the student who had been hurt in that previous interaction came to me and said, “When we get outside can I go tell her that I forgive her?”   I knew that that she had not apologized to him because she was still denying that she had done anything wrong.   He was ready to forgive her even though she wasn’t ready to admit her guilt.   When we got outside, he went right to her and told her that she was forgiven. 

What an awesome moment of joy for me today as I watched God work in this student.  I had just told my aide that “I was done!”  I couldn’t handle the stress of picture day and regular Friday craziness and the emotional status of my students anymore.  We all needed a break, but in that break, God reminded me of His grace and His forgiveness through the words and the heart of a young child.