What I've Learned This Week

1. I love John Steinbeck. I've read some of his short stories, The Grapes of Wrath, Travels With Charley (my all time favorite book), Of Mice and Men, and now I'm reading Cannery Row. It's been my running companion for the past week; the weather has been rather crappy--so I've been forced to run inside on a treadmill (boo!), but it's been much easier with Cannery Row to accompany me. I get so wrapped up in his descriptions--I find myself smiling as I read.

2. Patience, to rely on prayer, and be thankful. This week has been trying on my patience. On Sunday I just about had a nervous breakdown as I thought about my growing to-do list. Until Wednesday, we still hadn't heard from our case worker about starting the home study process. I have one class of students who doesn't seem to be learning anything this year. We're waiting to hear back on certain opportunities. I'm working on trying to plan a workshop I'll be leading at a conference in Arkansas in a few weeks and am realizing that I'm completely afraid of crashing and burning. And I'm tired of people who are removed from the classroom making decisions for "what is best" in the classroom without first listening to those of us who actually work in the classrooms. I've had a pretty crappy attitude this week, and at the back of my mind there was a nagging voice that kept telling me to sit down and pray. The whole week I just kept telling that annoying voice that I wasn't in the mood to pray--that I'd pray when I was ready. This week I've been reading through Colossians, and all week I avoided the references to being thankful that pop up in the four short chapters. But yesterday morning and this morning, I could no longer avoid them. One verse really jumped out at me this morning:
"Devote yourself to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart."
--Colossians 4:2

I realize today what made my week so crappy: me. A lack of prayer, patience, and thankfulness turned me into a grouch. I have so much to be thankful for: salvation, a devoted husband, a career where I can really make a difference in the world, family who is always willing to listen (my poor mom heard an earful this week), good music (that's really what pulled me through the week), financial stability, and so much more. In a few hours I'll set out on a four mile run--it's a great time to pray.

3. It's okay to put my job on the back burner sometimes. Each night this week I took time to write, read, and run rather than grading papers and responding to emails---and it was awesome.

4. This half-marathon training is kicking me in the rear. I love the challenge of running...most days :) But as we inch further along in our half-marathon training, the time devoted to training grows longer and longer and the bulk of our training just happens to be during our busiest time of the year: musical season. It's going to be a crazy March and April. I hope we can stay on top of everything. I want our musical to be a success--but I also want to run the entire half-marathon this year...no walking. It's going to take a lot of prayer and better time management (less time spent on Facebook).

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