Monday Moment

Today I’m thankful for a new week.

I’m thankful for the joy that comes from watching students get excited about learning. It makes me wonder can I help to facilitate this joy more often?

 

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I’m also thankful for….

-Fall weather and beautiful colors

-Full moons (I might have to remind myself of this as the week goes on and there’s a full moon and Halloween:)  They are so beautiful though!  Thanks God for your gorgeous creation.

-Friends who keep me accountable and encourage me to pray often

-God’s Word that reminds me that my hope is certain and it comes from Him not from my circumstances

-Family who listens to and encourages me daily

-The body of Christ

-God’s presence with me all the time

What are you praising God for today?  I’d love to hear!

 

 

 

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.

Christmas Week: Monday Moment of Joy or Disappointment

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This is the week for joy-right??? It’s the week we get to spend time with family and see people we haven’t seen in forever.

It’s the week we get to eat good food and open presents.

It’s the week we look forward to because those gifts we’ve spent so much time on will finally be opened. We picture the joy on those family member’s faces as they open that much anticipated gift.

We look forward to some slower down time as many of us have off work. We may even have time to pop popcorn and watch those Christmas movies-you know those movies that are SO predictable? Yep-they’re predictable, but that’s why I love them! I know what’s going to happen-unlike real life where I’m never sure what the next act is going to bring.

It’s the week we anticipate to be full of delight and joy….how’s that going for you today??? Is it all that you anticipated?? or is it full of disappointments?

Today, my moment of joy, came in spending time with a friend. We both had SOOO many things to do today, but we both decided that we needed to take a little bit of time away from all that craziness. So we drove around and got coffee and chatted while her kids slept in the back seat. As we talked, we listed many things that we looked forward to this week but also many things that had not gone the way we planned (and it’s only Monday!)

Maybe you are like us and your Christmas week doesn’t look perfect. Maybe it looks more like this….
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full of messines or muddy relationships or disappointments.

When I got home, I began to think about all those things on my to do list and very quickly became overwhelmed.
Then I was reminded that, yes, this is a week full of anticipation-a week that we look forward to joy. But…..that joy needs to come from remembering why Christ came.

What if our work schedules don’t work out and we don’t get to see all those family members/friends that we wanted to see? What if our family member doesn’t get all excited about that present that we spent so much time on?

What if our “downtime” is spent fixing the plumbing or caring for sick kids or working out health insurance for next year? What if the food doesn’t turn out the way we expect it to? What if our plan doesn’t work?

What if our family time gets “ruined” by a fight or an accident? What if we’re grieving over the loss of a family member or good friend?

How do we find joy in all those disappointments? How will we respond when things don’t go the way we think they should?

Taking some time tonight to find a holy night/a silent night and to bask in God’s love for me. He loves me so much that He would send His only Son into a world full of sin and messiness in order to save me. Wow!!

Hoping you can find some time to slow down this week and reflect on what He’s done for us. Praying for you that you’d find peace in this season-not because everything is calm and has gone the way you want it to, but because God is good and has come to meet us in this mess.

How are you looking for peace during this week?

TV Voice Competitions and Students with Autism

So I don’t know about you, but I’ve been loving all the TV Voice competitions.  Although I loved The Voice last season too, I had forgotten how much I LOVE watching the original coaches.  It’s been so fun to see them encourage their teammates and coach them to be the best that they can be.  At school, I see that as my role-a coach-not just someone who imparts knowledge but someone who coaches my students to become the best that they can be.  My goal is to encourage them, to challenge them to take risks (in a safe environment), to celebrate their successes, to walk alongside them in their hardships and to help them become life long learners.  I feel like I get just as excited as those Voice coaches when my students have successes.

Tonight as I am watching another voice competition on TV, I’ve begun comparing these groups to the school musical that I watched tonight.  My friend invited me to go with her to her son’s school to watch their holiday program.  Her son goes to a school for students with autism.  Honestly, this was the most amazing program I’ve seen in a long time!  These students with autism had been encouraged in their talents.  They had practiced long hours.  They had been challenged and encouraged to take risks and to try new things.  They were confident in their parts, and you could tell that their successes had been celebrated.  I loved watching the smiles on their faces and listening to their amazing voices.  Each actor stayed in character and performed the dances and songs with grace and joy.  I laughed and cried and smiled.  What an awesome way to spend an evening in the middle of a busy week.

When I got home and turned on the TV to watch the end of the Sing Off, I watched those groups sing and dance.  But…instead of getting lost in the drama and the fun of those groups, I found myself thinking again about those amazing students with autism who were doing the same thing tonight.  I’m so thankful for those teachers and parents who love those kids and care about them enough to provide opportunities for them to show off their talents.  It gives me joy and hope for my day tomorrow!  Thankful for neurodiversity!  (Do you know what that word means?  If not, look it up:)

Monday Moment of Joy

Did you find one today?  Did you find a joyful moment?  One of mine was getting to sleep in!!  We had a delay because of the ice.  Definitely thankful for some extra sleep:)  Of course, it was a Monday AND we had a delay, so that caused some of my autistic students to have a hard time getting settled.   Although I was definitely exhausted by the end of the day, I could also see God’s hand at work.  In the middle of those meltdowns, one of the students asked for help in a way that we’d practiced over and over!  Yay for first times!  Another student excitedly shared how he had practiced and practiced a concept until he got it. The smile on his face was contagious.  (The best part was that he did it last night-a weekend, no less!!)

The beginning of my day didn’t start well, but a Christian friend who “happens” to be subbing in our building reminded me that “love is a choice” and that maybe we just need to move on from the hard situation.  Hmmmm….funny that one of my coworkers, who is NOT a believer had basically said that same thing last week about another situation.  Maybe God is trying to tell me something:).   Grateful for reminders that I’m not just here to teach but to share God’s love with those around me.  Where did you find your joyful moment?

Missed Monday Moment of Joy

So I had great intentions of posting that Moment of Joy yesterday, but forgot about all the paperwork that I left unfinished over break so the day got away from me.  But, even though it’s not Monday, I still wanted to look for that moment.  I was a bit worried about the Monday after break.  I was tired.  I didn’t sleep well Sunday night.  I worried about all those student needs.  I worried about their transition back, and I assumed they wouldn’t be ready to be back.  However, they did an awesome job transitioning back and made me smile often throughout the day.

I had more fun teaching yesterday than I have in a long time.  Yes, I felt like I had a million things on my mind and was overwhelmed by all the non-teaching tasks that I have to accomplish, but then I stopped for a few minutes and just enjoyed my students and my coworkers.  I got to experience the students’ own joy in learning new things.  Thanks, God, for that rekindling of my joy over the break.

Thanksgiving and Joy Rekindled

Here we are on Saturday night after some nice long days of rest and relaxation and family (and lots of turkey and stuffing). Is it really almost over? Do I have to go back to work on Monday? Can I please sleep in some more and pretend that the real world doesn’t exist? But now I remember those precious students God has put in my care. I’m thankful for them. I’m thankful for the way God has led me to stay at the same school for almost 15 years. I’ve gotten to know many students and families over those years. One benefit to teaching special ed (besides all that “wonderful” paperwork”:) is that many times I have students for several years in a row. I get to know the students and their families well. As I look back, I’m thankful for those good times and those hard times that we’ve walked through together. Do I want to go back and prepare for more principal observations or other schools coming in to see our new programs? Nope-I don’t. I’d rather just teach!

I dream of regular and consistent planning time. I dream of uninterrupted instructional time with students so that they have time to learn and apply new skills. I dream of students who come to school well-fed, well-rested, and ready to learn. I dream of being able to actually use all those great brain based learning strategies instead of prepping students for a test. I dream of time to collaborate with other teachers. I dream of a school and a world where all people are respected regardless of their disability. I dream of a world where people are noticed for their strengths. I dream of a world where neurodiversity is accepted and celebrated instead of torn down. I dream of teaching.

But now we’re heading into a new week. Although I don’t enjoy all that paperwork, and I don’t enjoy spending hours of my “free” time planning, I know that God is in control. A week of being away from the daily grind has reminded me that He’s got a plan. Even when I miss my planning for the fourth time in a week or even when I have to re-do another rating document (just to show for the fifth time that my kids have made progress on that skill) or even when I have to spend an extra hour on every single IEP because the computer program is less user friendly than it used to be, I can trust that God has a plan. He has put those students and families and coworkers on my path for a reason. It’s not just about teaching the content. It’s about sharing His love and His joy with those that He has put on my path. Today I am thankful for my job and thankful for time off that has allowed me to have that joy in teaching rekindled.

Birthday Joy

So, today was one of my coworker’s birthday. We had planned some fun moments for her, but my very favorite moment was when she asked if she could come to my room to help with some of my students in the afternoon. It had been one of THOSE days where I hadn’t had a break all day, so of course I said yes.

When I got to my classroom with a small group of students with autism, I told them that we should sing Happy Birthday when she came in. They asked if they could PLEASEEEE hide and pop out and surprise her when she came in. I said “sure!”

The thing is….it ended up taking her 15 minutes to get to my room….so do I try to teach Math or do I just let them keep hiding? Guess what I decided:). The joy on their faces as they tried to “hide” from her made my day! They made it all the way to minute 14 hiding under that table and came out just as she walked in the door. They all began to giggle and then broke out in the sweetest version of Happy Birthday.