But What if I Don’t Wanna?

Well friends, it’s that time of year again.  Yesterday, I arrived back at campus, and I’m now mostly unpacked and mostly organized – just a bit left to finish up today.  Tomorrow I begin my “victory lap” and I’m about as ready as I can be.  But truthfully, I don’t want to be here that badly.  Sure, it’s fun living on campus, being around so many friends and living “independently”.  Yes, it’s only three months until graduation and I’ll come out with a diploma.  But I’m just…done.  Tired.  Tired of school.

So how do I stay here and finish school strongly when I’d rather be at home?  Well…it’s not gonna be easy.

1. Break Down the Semester into palatable chunks
For me, having short-term goals in mind helps keep me focused on the present rather than on some future date that seems years and years away.  For example, In 6 weeks, I will have completed my half-day student teaching, and I get to see boyfriend.  5 weeks after that, I get to see boyfriend again.  And 4 weeks after that is graduation.  That sounds a little less intimidating than “a semester” or “three months” or even “15 weeks”.

Also, a couple of my classes meet only one time weekly for 6 weeks, and the time between those weekly classes tends to go by quickly…especially when there is homework to be done…. 🙂

2. Talk to Family and Friends From Home Often

I’ve been here for just over 24 hours, but I’ve already talked to my parents and boyfriend.  They encourage me to stay strong in the work I’m doing here, but also help me feel connected to home.  Facebook is also great for this!

3. Give Myself Breaks and Have Some Fun

Take a walk.  Check email, facebook, pinterest, etc.  Read a magazine.  Watch Chopped.  See a movie or go out with friends.  Yes, homework is very important, but so is my sanity – which will not be maintained without a few breaks and spurts of fun here and there.  And with the lovely and wonderful friends I have here, I think I’d be quite silly to not spend some time with them while I’m here!!

4. Go to God With all my Struggles

Pray for strength and endurance (…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31)

Pray for a sense of purpose aside from obtaining a diploma (And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28)

Pray for a sense of peace amidst the stress (For God is not a God of disorder but of peace…” 1 Cor 14:33)

Pray that God would help me to be content (And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:19)

 

I need to constantly remember that God has placed me here for a purpose.  He knows it may not be the easiest thing for me, but the Lord doesn’t do things needlessly.

How do you cope with doing something you’d rather not do?
Blessings,

Beth

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Tea Cup

Every morning, I drink a cup of tea.  Right now, decaf green is my first choice, but I’ve gone through phases of rooibos, decaf earl gray and even licorice spice.

I fill a mug with water and pop it in the microwave for 1 minute and 45 seconds.  Every day.  I take it out, plop the tea bag in and settle on the couch with my computer to catch up on Facebook and sip my tea.  And when I’m done, I take the cup back to the kitchen and set it by the sink.  Sometimes, I take the tea bag out of the cup and give it a rinse, but if I’m in a hurry, I skip this step.

If I don’t take a moment to rinse out that cup, the residual tea leaves a brown stain, one that can’t be removed with just a quick rinse, or even dish soap.  However, if I take a few moments to rinse the cup, there is just the slightest evidence of tea.

You all probably know by now that I like my metaphors.  And this cup of tea, no doubt, is a metaphor.

We are that cup of tea.  God is the rinse.  Of course, Jesus removes our “stain” when we accept his gift of salvation.  But over time, the struggles and stresses of life build up a different kind of stain – one that occurs from not daily going to the Lord for renewal.

When my tea cup gets stained, I take some extra time to sprinkle baking soda in it and gently, yet firmly scrub it out.  Prayer is the baking soda, God is the scrub brush.
Potentially an uncomfortable situation, but the world is better and brighter after we undergo this.

But there is an alternative.  We can take time daily to “rinse”.  Go to God.

Recognize his sovereignty and give him praise.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt 6:9-10) 

Ask for help for that day.

“Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matt 6:11)

Ask forgiveness.

“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” (Matt 6:12)

Ask for strength for the day, and protection from the Enemy.

“And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.” (Matt 6:13)

And then take a moment to let the Lord respond, to fill you with peace and joy, byproducts of His presence in your life.

“Be still and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10a)

We have the choice – we can keep our tea cups clean, or let the stain build up.  How is your tea cup looking?

Blessings,

Beth

No Thief Like Fear

Hello friends!

Sorry I have been MIA for awhile…summer play, summer job and boyfriend have been keeping me quite busy.  But now I’m done with work for the summer, and getting ready to head back to school.  Thankfully, I was able to take a few days off before leaving to get some rest and, ummm, oh yeah.  PACK.

Prepping to go back to school has brought up a lot of emotions and feelings.  Slight dread, exhaustion, anxiety, apprehension and fear, to name a few.  It seems like all of them can be explained: slight dread – my schedule will be jam-packed and it’s my 9th semester.  I’m just about checked out!  Exhaustion – see “slight dread”.  Anxiety – see “exhaustion”.  Apprehension – “See “anxiety”.  Fear – well…there is fear about the previously mentioned items, but there really shouldn’t be all out fear about these things.  And what if the fear is what causes those other feelings?  Could it be that fear is robbing me of any fun that I might find in my last semester of college (oh my gosh, my last semester….)

It would make sense.  Fear has robbed the joy from other things too.

Fear of having to increase a size has taken joy out of clothes shopping.

Fear of my old clothes not fitting has taken joy out of putting together a fun outfit every day.

Fear of gaining weight used to remove all joy from eating tasty, different foods.

Fear of gaining weight used to suck the joy out of walks – I walked to burn calories, not to just feel better in general.

See, fear is nasty.  And it likes to attack from all sides.  Those fears listed above are just a few.  I’m nervous about the commute for student teaching, for student teaching itself, for finances.  I’m afraid of judgement from people I haven’t seen all summer – ED wants me to believe that when they see me, their first thought will be “Wow, she’s put on some weight….”

There is no thief like fear.

Jason Gray wrote a song with that title:

Fear will take the best of us
Then come back for the rest of us
Its raging hunger never satisfied
It’s closer than a brother
And more jealous than a lover
Who holds you while it swallows you alive
Let down your guard
And it will steal your heart

There’s no thief like fear, no
There’s no thief like fear.

I think he hit the nail on the head.

Where is fear stealing the joy in your life?

Blessings,

Beth