School Year: the good and the not so good

Friday, June 2, 2017

This academic year was epic. I have nothing but thanksgiving to God for blessing the kids in their schools. This year I continued my habit of praying daily with the kids for teachers, staff and classmates. 180 days of prayers to a God who sees and answers is very powerful! 

The kids' year - all my kids had a blessed year. I have three very individually unique children. I basically took a course on human behavior,  intercession and plain ole perseverance. My children had their unique set of challenges this year. God helped us overcome them all. I basically do not know what I'd do without Him and the wisdom I find in the Bible. We are all eager to enjoy this summer to the fullest and to create more memories at "Camp Listenbee." Let me tell you what worked and what didn't work this school year: 

What worked: 
Praying on the way to school - it has become a tradition and I find it to be a great way to know what's in the kids' hearts. You'd think that praying before school makes it for a perfect start of the day, every day right? Not because my own humanity was involved. I had to take a deep breath and remember to encourage, no matter what. I also learned that rushing to get the kids to school should be avoided if possible. 

Preparation - The way of peace in the morning also came through preparation. If I had clothes, lunch and everything else ready the night before, it made it for an easier morning. I also tried to prepare for the week as far as the kids' clothes. That was a great time saver! I didn't braid the girls' hair every week but when I did, that saved a lot of time in the morning. I learned that preparation is the key to a successful morning. If I had important papers to send to school, I tried to take care of them the day the kids brought the papers home. 

What didn't work:

• Losing my peace of mind -  Schools have improved their communication strategy with the use of Apps. The Apps are great but they do not tell the whole story. I lost my peace of mind a lot before I learned to slow down and actually hear what my kids were saying. I also kept in touch with teachers to get a whole picture of what was happening in the classroom. Basically, I'd get really worried about a kid 'losing points' for example. Come to find out, there's such thing as everyone gets punished on a certain day of the week and/or because the whole class suffered the consequences that a few students caused. This whole thing led us to a teaching moment. We taught the kids to stick with doing what is right, no matter the consequences. 

• Dairy - I'm not anti-dairy, I actually love cheese but cheese does not love me. It turns out one of my kids shares my 'stay away from dairy' genes. I had switched to Almond Milk a few years ago but this school year we went dairy-free in one lunchbox. I packed a lot of dinner leftovers. It turned out to be a good change. 

I took a Bible College Class in the Spring. I wrote a blog post about it here. I am very thankful for the opportunity and I am still enjoying all the new information I learned. I am still thinking about going back to get a PhD in Communications at some point. My requirements are: it needs to work for my family and I don't want to pay for it. I believe in scholarships, fellowships, etc. We will see! 

The latest lesson I learned from this academic year was to adjust my expectations. I started the school years with some high expectations. The interesting thing about life is that we have to learn to adjust accordingly. If we don't, we just walk about frumpy all the time. I'm not the best about adjusting to frustrations all the time. Still, I don't want to walk around frumpy so I have been practicing quite a bit of acceptance. It's quite freeing. 

This year I spent 75 hours in carpool. That's correct, those 20 minutes or so a day add up if you multiply them by 180. I decided to take the Zig Ziglar approach and make that my 'automobile university.' I used those 75 hours to read and to keep in touch with loved ones. I am determined to use every little bit of time to add something good to my brain. Numbing the mind is just not good over all. How would you invest 75 hours my friend?

I hope you had a good academic year. Whether you had it or not, I pray you have an amazing, joy-filled summer. Congratulations to us all, we made it through another school year!