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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Year Solutions

January is half over and I'm still thinking about and struggling with my New Year's solutions.I didn't call them resolutions because as soon as I do I fall flat on my face, so I figured I'd call them solutions. Solution #1 to my overeating at Christmas--the Fat Flush plan, which I'm only in the forth day, but holding steady and loosing weight.

Solution #2 not to be stressed out, now that's a whole book in itself but here goes: Spend more time reading the Bible when I get home from work and before bed. I have a very entrenched habit of quiet time before going to work, but once I come home I've had difficulty refocusing on God, instead of everything that now needs to be done at home.I really am enjoying relaxing with a cup of tea when I get home and reading either my New Spirit-filled Bible or Gems of Wisdom, but how about all the in-between time when I'm at work.I needed another BIG solution because of my position.

Lately, teachers in New York are under a lot of pressure with the new evaluations upcoming, and I'm right up there with the stress level.I've been exhausted, grumpy, spending nights and weekends preparing lesson plans, documenting evidence of what I'm doing, filing papers, filling in forms and getting very irritable. The other day I was praying when I got the distinct impression about the next solution--go back to the original reason for teaching---and ENJOY the children, have FUN with them, use my creative talents, LOVE them and stop and enjoy time with my colleagues also.

Now when I say I'm a teacher, I don't mean to just one classroom. I'm an art teacher and have over 750 students! So how am I going to love all 750 of them, when I don't even know all their names? I really need to lean on the Lord for this one.Isn't it just like Him to put me in a situation beyond my capability.It's the BIGGEST SOLUTION I know, and one I'm learning to do it more and more each year, to lean on the Lord, draw on His grace and trust Him.So the other day I had so much fun with the third graders making up a story about The Baobab Tree that we're drawing. They loved it and I had a great time. God always has the right solutions!

Trust--it's basic Christianity, but having full confidence in God has a way of relieving a lot of stress. When you see that His grace is truly amazing and appropriate it to your own life, on a daily basis,it becomes easier to trust Him. Trust leads to friendship and a friendship with God makes you secure in His love. Knowing how much He loves you, makes it easier to love others. And with His love, I can love those 750+ children.There's just something about love that takes the edge off of things. It has the power to transforms the meanest and most defiant students and uplift the most depressing situations.

And so my final solution, or should I say God's solution, is to LOVE. Be in love with Him and show others His love. I need to focus on God, trust Him and allow Him to LOVE though me. Now that's a tall order, but I'm trusting the Lord for that one--my final New year's solution--to all my stress and problems.