The final week of summer is here. Each day on Green Acres is more precious than the last because I realize it is my “last Wednesday’, “last Thursday”, etc., before teacher in-service days begin next week. Don’t get me wrong. I love what I do. I wouldn’t trade my teaching career for anything in the world. The fact that I teach for half the salary of some recent college graduates even though I have over twenty years of experience should prove my level of dedication!! My teaching career began in 1988 at the age of 22 and I have now taught between 2,000-3,000 eager and not-so-eager middle school students about language arts and history while smiling, laughing, crying, and simultaneously pushing through fun times, hard times, exhausting times, and rewarding times. The fact that I am able to happily correspond with some of my favorite first year students and cheerleaders who are now over 40-years-old is a treasure that transcends the monetary compensation of teaching.
The days on Green Acres this summer have been gloriously full. Full of time relaxing. Full of time reading. Full of time with family. Full of time visiting with friends on the phone. Before summer began, I began making a very detailed list. A list of things I wanted to accomplish this summer. By the time I had finished my list, it was over three pages in length! It included friends I needed to catch up with, books I wanted to read, recipes I wanted to try, antique stores I wanted to browse, places I wanted to visit, restaurants I wanted to try, and plans for our family to spend time together. I am thrilled to say that at least three-fourths of my list is checked off as completed! My heart is so happy to have had such a wonderful, productive summer. The list was very ambitious and I didn’t think I would even get to half of it, much less check off the majority of items on the list as accomplished. Even unpleasant things such as doctor visits and medical procedures were completed as needed!
I will readily admit that almost all of the fun things were checked off the list so there are still things I despise staring at me without being checked off. Things like organizing, cleaning, and going through clutter are still screaming for my attention, but I have a feeling they will always be there even when opportunities to see friends and family are not. So, I made choices throughout the summer months to love and nurture relationships rather than embrace cleanliness and that is perfectly okay.
This summer has been a lot about understanding my limitations and changing expectations of myself and other people as well. At 51-years-old, I am still learning what it means to allow myself to love others in the way I love them best, to free myself from worry about false perceptions, to do the things I love best, to serve and to pray for my family and friends, and to let God teach me some heart lessons when needed. In the midst of my reading, visiting, creating, and relaxing, God has taught me a thing or two about myself, to be sure. How to guard my heart against the propensity I have to worry about and try to fix all things broken. Only He can do that. Me worrying about it is, in fact, showing a lack of faith in His ability to change things in His perfect timing. I will make every effort to do better from now on.
As the sun sets on the Summer of 2017, I am grateful. Grateful for the blessings God has given me in the form of family, friends, health, jobs, property, livestock, pets, and nature. He is so generous and loving and I am eternally grateful.