Thursday, January 23, 2014

Caring Too Much

It is a pretty common joke on TV shows or movies that a character says his/her biggest flaw is "caring too much" in attempts to make them look better. While I see how this is a joke and that "caring too much" is supposed to be seen as a limb to perfection, but you know, I think it actually can be a flaw. Whhhha? Yeah, I know. It sounds silly. But as a person who suffers with anxiety, I would be the first to raise my hand and say caring has caused me grief (in the hypothetical and literal senses).

It is pretty easy to see that a lot of my anxiety comes from my lack of control. When things stray from a schedule or plan, my anxiety starts rising up slowly, and then stress  mixes with it to create a mixture more explosive than Mentos and Coke. I am perfectly reasonable in the sense that I realize I will never be able to control everything. I totally get that. Things will rarely go as planned. We will always leave later than scheduled. I cannot control other people...I am no puppet master and as far as I  know, I have yet to meet a living marionette. I am working on not letting these small things cause me anxiety.
 But the problem really lies in how deeply I care about certain things and people. Sometimes my heart feels so heavy with the misfortunes of this world and the pain I feel for others than I just cannot stand it. Many times I have literally dropped to my knees or curled in a ball and poured out every fiber of my being through tears in prayer. I tell God there is so much wrong in this world...I hate this world...I wish I could do more to help. I want to change things. The issues are right at the tip of my fingers, and yet I cannot reach them. I thirst to hold them in my hands and change it all to pixie dust. But I can't. I cannot alter the way people treat others. I cannot erase the evil, the struggle, the temptation. I just don't know what to do.
I ask God to show me how to help. I ask him to guide my words and my actions...

I feel so though I am never good enough and I just don't know how to be. By that, I mean, for God. Am I as good as I could be? No...but will I ever be? Am I doing all I can to bring as many people to God as possible? No!
Yesterday, a second grader at work asked why I leave early on Wednesdays. I told her it is so I have enough time to get ready for church.  "What do you do at church?" she asked. So, I explained that we sing and pray and study the Bible and that I teach a children's Bible class. Her little eyes widened and what she said next took me way off guard... "Will you tell me one thing about God?"
ONE thing? I wanted so badly to tell her EVERYTHING....when in reality I could tell her nothing... unless I was willing to put my job at risk. I wanted to tell her that God loves her more than she could ever know and that with Him she is never alone... I wanted to tell her that when you're with God, things don't seem so bad.... But I could say nothing. Her attention was redirected when another kid came up and asked her to play. I was just sitting there, with my mouth agape. My heart is always heavy with how much I care about those kids. I hate seeing them and knowing that there is such a big chance they are not being taught God's word. I worry about the decisions they will make as they get older and I reprimand when they say things no 6 year old should know, let alone be able to describe in detail. I worry about them all the time. They are in my every prayer, because I love of them and I want their souls to be safe. All I can do is be an example. If that is all I can do, then I work so hard to be an excellent example. I WORRY about what kind of example I am to them. I WORRY if I am saying or doing the right things. I WORRY about if I'm actually helping them.

I am overcome.

Sometimes, I wonder if I am really cut out to be a teacher. The one thing I've wanted to do my whole life. The thing I was sure I could make a difference with. If I cannot handle not being able to save every student, how can I be a teacher.
Yet, I push those thoughts away and I thank God for the experience my job is giving me and I work. I know I am a teacher...I know I can make a difference. Even if I cannot change the world. How I wish I could change the world...

My point is, the amount I care about things causes me more anxiety than I can describe. I care about these people, but I cannot force them to make the right decisions. I cannot change their minds. I cannot take them away from pain and misfortune.

If I am to make a difference I cannot let worry and fear overcome me. If that means I have to crumple in prayer every ten minutes asking God for His help, I will. I have to be as strong as I try to be appear, and yet as weak as I really am.

Savior, While My Heart Is Tender

Savior, while my heart is tender,
I would yield that heart to Thee;
All my powers to Thee surrender,
Thine and only Thine to be.

Take me now, Lord Jesus, take me;
Let my youthful heart be Thine;
Thy devoted servant make me;
Fill my soul with love divine.

Send me, Lord, where Thou wilt send me,
Only do Thou guide my way;
May Thy grace through life attend me,
Gladly then shall I obey.

Let me do Thy will or bear it;
I would know no will but Thine;
Shouldst Thou take my life or spare it,
I that life to Thee resign.

May this solemn consecration
Never once forgotten be;
Let it know no revocation,
Registered and confirmed by Thee.

Thine I am, O Lord, for ever
To Thy service set apart;
Suffer me to leave Thee never,
Seal Thine image on my heart.

Monday, January 20, 2014

[Home] Sick Day

This morning, my goal was to sleep in as late as possible. That may sound pretty simple, but not for me. My body gets stuck on its own alarm and I wake up no later than 9. I was hoping to make it past 9...but I woke up at 7:00. 7:00 on MY DAY OFF. The one day since last Saturday I didn't have to set an alarm and I wake up like I actually have my 8:15 class. I rolled over and forced another, albeit interrupted, hour and a half of rest before trudging out of bed. I walked the whole 6 feet to the couch and dropped. The sun was streaming through the blinds and I suddenly got this feeling in the pit of my stomach that I missed home. I wanted it to be a Tennessee spring day out with my dad. Or in...but with the windows open and the sound of a neighbor mowing his yard. I wanted to run around outside, barefooted, with my dog.

But I'm in Florida.

12 hours from home.

With a load of homework that has been neglected all weekend until the last possible moment (in true college kid fashion).

It was one of those moments where you can't help but roll your eyes. Not at anyone in particular, just at life in general.

I am so not in the mood for school... I want to go to the beach. To the park. To the mall. I want to go skydiving (ok...not really, but you get my point). I want out of this FC bubble for a little while and enjoy what's around me.

I think being homesick might be worse than having a cold... At least, for me. It wears me out just like being sick, but my brain gets extra foggy and I can't seem to focus or think about anything. Every time I tried to read or study, my thoughts would wander to how I want to be home, or out doing something that gets my mind off of the fact I want to be home.

There is no prescription to cure homesickness. It isn't a virus or an infection. It's a state of heart...when you know part of you belongs somewhere you aren't. Yet, on the other hand, you know the other part of you belongs right where you are. And everything gets conflicted.

I get to go home in March for spring break. And really, May is not that far away either. Then I will be home for the summer. I do not want to wish a second of my life away because I know just how fast it moves and that I will never get that second back.

Tomorrow is back to class. I have two tests this week, and 3 days of work. I have homework and laundry and dishes and Bible class to teach. I won't have time to think about how I miss home, but instead my wheels start turning and they will not stop for quite some time. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I will see you soon enough, Tennessee. For now, I have to get Florida in my mind, and more importantly, school in my mind.

A few of my recent #dailyscavenge #365grateful . I invite you to join me! If you're on Instagram, follow me ( creativelyerin or scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the link) and tag me along with the hashtags. I would love to see what you're thankful for!

(this actually wasn't one of my daily scavenge, but roommate is engaged and I am pretty darn thankful for that.)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Need for Me Time and not-so Me Time

There is something about having the perfect alone time that can make a day take a total 360. While I, from firsthand experience, do not advise too much alone time, it is essential for me to function.
There are times when the last thing I want is to be alone, and that is alright. But sometimes, I get so caught up in being with the people that I love that I forget to really take time for me. Usually, if I'm alone I'm playing around on the Internet, reading blogs or articles about who knows what...but I'm not so sure I consider that "me time". At least, not good me time.

My morning did not start out as I would've liked. I was exhausted last night and tried to go to bed early, but it just didn't quite work sleep was interrupted almost hourly and I woke up less than rested to say the least. Then I found out I would have to end up paying more for something than I thought and budgeted for which frustrated me and frustration plus exhaustion almost always equals overreaction and tears (it did, if you were wondering). But luckily, today I had a 2 hour break after my 11:00 class. So, I grabbed some lunch, ran back to my room and fixed a pot of coffee. It brewed as I curled into my bed for a quick nap and made the whole room carry the comforting aroma of coffee. I slept for about half an hour and got up with my alarm to fix a cup of coffee (peppermint mocha creamer, I'm clinging to the last bit of the holidays). The rest of the time before class was spent drinking my coffee and just taking it slow and quiet. I am beginning to appreciate silence more and more... It gives me the opportunity to reflect, to pray, to just be. When you reconnect with yourself, it is much easier to stay connected to the world and your responsibilities. I don't remember the last time  I felt so rejuvenated. I am still pretty exhausted, but my mood has changed exponentially.

Being alone offers time set aside to think about things in depth. It can result in personal reminders of what I'm after in this life. What am I trying to achieve? What can I do to lift someone's spirits? How have I glorified God with my life lately? It is valuable time that I am grateful for. Sometimes it is just necessary to plan out time to give myself so I don't get overwhelmed with life.

That all being said, I also cherish my time with those I love. This semester it is a big goal of mine to soak up time with my friends... I have created friendships that I know in my heart of hearts will last a lifetime. I know that even if we have been apart for years, we will come back together and pick up like it was a night in the dorms, laughing or having deep discussions. I cannot express the blessings these girls are in my life. And I know it's going to be a sad parting after this semester. I am so sad to say it is out last semester all together, but I am beyond excited to see what we all do as we continue to grow. There is something special about our relationships and I refuse to take that for granted. These days are so precious to me. I am determined to try to spend as much time with them as much as possible. Even if that means just sitting in silence in the same room all doing separate homework or watching a movie.

These girls make me strive to be better. They encourage me. What a blessing it is to have such beautiful, caring, sisters in Christ.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Welcome to the world, 2014!

Well, when finals hit, I pretty much ignored the world in a way. Especially once I got home, I just tried to soak up my three weeks off from academia and responsibility to slow down...except I ended up being pretty busy and slow wasn't particularly how it ended up going. Regardless, I really enjoyed my vacation and I certainly wasn't ready for it to end. I'm back to reality now and classes start tomorrow. I get to begin my semester with golf at 9:15 tomorrow morning. Huzzah.

I have a lot to catch up on since I took quite the hiatus on this little online world of mine. I won't bother going back to Christmas...that's too far away. I will, however, touch on the year that we are now 6 days into. I got to start it off with one of my favorite groups of people. Sparklers, cider, and love abounding...what better way to start something new? I used to hate the dread of change that came with the new year...but now I see it as a place unexplored. There is endless potential, ceaseless opportunity and it is all mine for the taking. How wonderful is that? It is refreshing to say the least. I am ready and excited for the new that will enter my life in 2014, albeit sad to say so long to the days of 2013. I'm not much into new year's resolutions, but I am all for projects.

I spoke of doing a daily scavenge before, and now that I have a smart phone it is worlds easier. If  you follow me on Instagram, you've probably seen them all so far.. 365 pictures may seem like a lot, but in a world that can be filled with struggle, it will be nice to look back on the things I am thankful for. It will be a great reminder. In fact, it already is. On those days where nothing seems to go right, I am forced to find a nugget of joy. How is it we so easily overlook the purest of blessings? I am excited to keep this going every day... I invite you to join me! I use the hashtags #365grateful and #dailyscavenge

Another project is reading through the Bible this year. I am using a reading plan on my phone Bible (I use OliveTree).

I also want to write more. I feel so invigorated when I write, whether fiction or non... So hopefully I will be here weekly and make this blog feel a bit more homey. Maybe make more of an effort to make this a thing? Who knows what the future holds. Here are some of my favorite pictures from break.

Happy year of new opportunities!

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