New Beginnings

Sprout.

When I had to leave my teaching job in February due to all that was going on, I really thought I wouldn’t be going back into teaching.  At least not for a few years.  I had a deep, grief-like sadness that I couldn’t explain.  I would dream about it.  I would wake up extremely sad.  This did NOT help my depression.  I felt that because I had left (again), I ruined all chances of getting a job again.

I tried to keep myself busy. I began putting all of my energy into running.  I tried starting an organization business.  I poured myself into my childbirth education class.  But none of it was what I felt called to.

I’m a teacher.  Nothing will change that.  I have wanted to teach since I was in first grade, and that has never gone away.

It is my calling.  It is my passion.

Though it is not my identity.

Through this season of life, I had to learn that.  I am passionate about and called to teaching, but my identity is in Christ.  Alone.

No matter how hard I tried, it looked as though teaching would not be happening this coming year.

I finally gave in to that and decided that maybe God wanted me to take more time away.  I decided to sub.  I decided to work with the PTA.  I decided to just immerse myself in my kids’ school as a parent.  I was completely content with that.  I knew that if God wanted me to teach, He would open the right door.  And it wasn’t happening (no matter how hard I tried to force my way into doors that weren’t meant for me to go through).

There’s more to this story.  God heard my prayers.  He saw the desires of my heart.  He created me with a passion for teaching, and He wants me to be able to be the teacher I feel called to be.

A few weeks ago, I received a message on Facebook from an acquaintance of mine asking if I would be interested in teaching at a private school.  An hour later, I received a phone call from a parent telling me all about the school (amazing things).  I emailed the principal, had two interviews, and the rest is history.  I have been hired to be a 4th grade Reading/Language Arts teacher at a beautiful, growing private school.  Everyone that I have met so far has been so amazing.  The Head of School told me that she had such peace in her heart about me.

That’s exactly how I feel about this school.  I will be making less than I did in the public school, but I just don’t care.  It’s enough to provide for our needs.  I’m not teaching to make money… I’m teaching because I love it so much.

I’m so excited to have a new beginning.  To start fresh in a new school.  To be surrounded by Christ followers.  To have the love of God all around me, every day that I step foot there.  To me, that’s worth more than any money can buy.  And I get to do what I love.

After months of extreme difficulty, hard work, and growing closer to my Savior, I get to start fresh again.

Praise.  The.  Lord.

New Season

newseason

This blog started as a way to share my journey of mental and emotional health.  I can say now that after so many years of trying to obtain this, I have!  I don’t have the need to share the hard moments anymore because there aren’t as many. It has been a very hard journey, but I can officially say that I’m in a new season.

Because of this new season, my blog is going to be changing.  I don’t know how much I will be writing because I am now living the life that I have always dreamed of living.  One of true stability and the ability to choose joy.

I trust that God used my hard times and time of sharing to bless and impact others, but it’s time to move forward.

Beauty and Purpose

eat and move

I wrote a post a little over a month ago called “Life is About Living,” and I thought I’d write an update about it.

This month has definitely been up and down for me in terms of my emotional state with food, exercise, and weight.  I thought that my “ah ha” moment would lead to a quick change in mind, but that hasn’t been the case.  It’s been difficult.

I realized this week that this is a journey.  It’s not a one time “ah ha” moment, but it’s going to be months of work to get to where I need to be with this.

I have come a long way, though, and I thought it would be good to share.

When I decided to make a change, to stop obsessing over food, exercise, and weight, I stopped using my Fitbit and deleted my My Fitness Pal account.  I felt so good about things.  I ate pretty healthy still, but didn’t obsess over it.

Over time, I started eating more and more unhealthy food.  My weight went up a bit, and I thought that maybe I made the wrong decision.

I decided to create a new My Fitness Pal account and start using my Fitbit again.  I started doing things for the sole purpose of seeing how many steps I could get in a day.  To see how many miles I walked/ran a day.

I continued to get more and more frustrated when I saw that the scale wasn’t moving.  And my clothes were still too tight.

Obsessed.  Obsessed with my weight, my size, the way I look, and the fact that I’m not where I’d like to be.

This past Monday (after a few weeks of being obsessed), I realized my obsession and decided that I truly need to make a change and one that sticks this time.

My counselor helped me work through some things, and mostly I just decided that my motivations need to change completely.  Instead of having a motivation to change my outward appearance (external), my motivation needs to be internal only… these internal goals would be to clear my mind, relieve stress, produce endorphins, gain energy, have heart health, and to just be healthy in general.  And my reasons to eat are to sustain life, for enjoyment, and for relational reasons (eating ice cream with my family, etc).

Instead of the external motivation of appearance, I’ve decided that I need to just eat and move, and let everything else just fall into place.  I’m okay with my size, even if it never changes.  I’m learning to change the way I see myself, and that has made all the difference.  I may never be smaller, but I am healthy.  I am strong.  I have a healthy heart (my heart rate while exercising has dropped significantly in the past year).  I am mentally and emotionally healthier than I’ve been in years.

Those things are so much more important than my outward appearance.  Those things matter.

God made me the way I am for a reason and a purpose.  I don’t have to look a certain way to be able to live that purpose out.

God made you just the way you are.  You are beautiful.  He has a purpose for your life.  Live it out.  Right here, right now.

Peeling the Layers Back

peelingthelayers

I struggle with blogging these days.  I have been torn apart in some ways for sharing my heart, so I’m scared… scared to be me.  Though as I figure out who me is, I realize that maybe I haven’t been me all along.  I’ve been creating this identity in mental illness, in the name of being real, and in the middle of that, I’ve made my identity my mental illness.  Sounds complicated but it’s really not.  I’ve been frustrated at people for seeing me as a label, but how can they not if I label myself?

So I am working to find this line, this very fine line… between being real and sharing my heart, but not making my mental illness my identity.

This is why I haven’t been writing as much.  This is a very difficult task.

It’s difficult, but oh so important.  And possible.

You see, I’m so much more than a mental illness says I am.  I’m an individual created by the God of all the universe.  He has a greater purpose than any mental illness says I have.

I’m peeling the layers back.  Every time I peel one back, I find more mess there, but God is cleaning it up and clearing it out.  With each cleaned layer, I finding more of me and more freedom.