Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Kindergarten, Serving, and The Beginning of the End

This morning my alarm rang at 6:00 a.m. and a part of me sighed with dread.  I pulled my sleepy, creaky, body up and headed for the restroom.  Groggy and not at all prepared for summer's end I started the procedure of getting myself showered and mostly human looking.  After deciding that as usual this was as good as it was going to get; I checked to make sure that teenagers were getting ready, I went into my son's room where he was praying likely for a good day on his first day of school.  I went downstairs and wrote checks for lunches and started getting myself a bagel for breakfast that I gave to daughter number one then started making the last bagel that I gave to daughter number two.  I then made myself toast while my son settled on cereal.

Today was a day that I was not at all mentally and probably not physically prepared for.  I had a fantastic summer with the exception being the continual necessary acceptance of the fact that my birthday is forgotten more times than not at this age.  Our summer was relaxing and yet exciting with anticipation of vacations and the start of this school year that happened to start today.  I had planned on getting in shape, writing a book, starting on another one and having friends over regularly to swim.  The only shape I contributed to was the shape of round.  As far as book writing goes didn't and the swim part I blame mother nature for.  It has been unseasonably cool this year and our pool heater bit the dust.  The number of times I myself got into the pool is equal to a big goose egg.

My oldest is a senior.  This was her last first day of school with the exception being college.  College, that place where she begins the part of her life that does not include me as much as my checkbook.  In just a short year she will venture off and this year is the beginning of the end of her needing me.  There are days when I count down the time because she makes me so crazy.  This morning however, I found myself dragging my feet to this beginning or ending as the case may be.

My middle child is a sophomore and she had just as much anxiety as I did with the one teacher at school that she had bonded with left to teach somewhere else.  My musician was not looking forward to band.  I am hoping that even with the changes she will find a way to focus on her dreams and make the grade.

My youngest child was heading off to another school and starting the adjustment of switching classes.  Hence the morning prayers from his bed.  He was excited but cautiously so.

I was excited to start school in my class today.  I have this thought about work.  Work isn't work when you decide that no matter what the day holds you are going to strive for nothing less than your best.  When I go to work I feel joy.  It makes me happy to serve others.  Perhaps that's the secret.  I don't really think of what I do as work.  For me it isn't really a job, it is an opportunity.  An opportunity to serve others.  I get to work with some fantastic people.  Not only that I get to work with some really cute kids.  Kindergarten is great.  I know for some people it is overwhelming and they wouldn't want to work with that age for anything.  I feel the same way about teenagers.  But kindergarten makes me feel like a rock star or Santa.  I can't even decide which.  It just has so much to offer.  The kids there smile, they are happy to see you, anything you draw they think it's a Picasso, and I can think of nothing more rewarding than hearing them read a full sentence for the first time.  Plus there is my love affair with the copy machine and the laminator.  (Seriously I get excited every time I get to use either machine.  Weird I know.)

Here is where it gets good.  So I get up dragging my feet.  I get to school and I'm anxious about my son taking a bus to get to his school.  I have a bit of jitters about a new class of kids because I loved the kids last year.  I'm a bit sketchy about what I had volunteered to take on in addition to my class and putting on my game face when God steps in.

I was outside in a sea of kids getting off of buses and getting on buses.  Taking care of business in general when God says, I've got this and sends the form of first graders.  There they were a few of my favorite girls waiting to get on the bus to get to their new school for first grade.  They saw me and I saw them and then they swarmed.  I was surrounded.  As I sit and think about it I can't help but think about how God knows just what we need.  My heart is full to overflowing and I can only think of how thankful I am to be given the opportunity to go to my job.  After all the hugs and everyone was settled and the rush inside began I realized that I wouldn't want it any other way.  It was a crazy day and I'm exhausted but while I was rushing around going here and there helping everyone I could I was content.  It was awesome.

Some people thought I didn't need to take on this job.  Some people would have thought wrong.  I can still write and I can still spend time with family and friends.  I'm pretty sure that I needed this job in order to be a better person.  I have no time to think about myself and what I think I need while I am there.  It is a great way to take me out of the equation.  It is a great way to put others back in the equation.

Maybe the lesson I needed today was a reminder.  I get really sick of me.  In the summer I get about as much me as I can really handle.  I'm here to serve others.  Sometimes that is a hard thing for me.  I like to stick my feet in the sand and I struggle with ideas of what I think I'm supposed to be doing, but it's really hard to be the hands and feet of God if you have your feet firmly stuck in the sand and you tie your own hands because of fear.    I don't know what God has planned for me.  Maybe the things/ ideas that pop into my head are of my own imagination.  We will have to wait and see what comes next.  In the mean time I guess I have to learn to get over myself and get on board.  The best way to do that for me is to plop me in a place where I am continually amazed my others so much that I don't have time to worry about me.  I want to do everything I can to help them to continue to be great.  Greatness doesn't lie in the doing things of your own making.  Greatness lies in doing what you can to further the kingdom and helping others along the way.  Maybe nothing I will ever do will be considered great, but I serve a great God.

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