No, I didn't sign up for any of the above, but they come with the territory. Duh, Erin. Even the biggest sigh of exasperation won't change the fact that teaching is a difficult and trying job. I try to stay positive, praying every morning for patience, a sense of humor, and wisdom about the right way to deal with anything that crosses my path, and I try to focus on the kids who make me laugh and the parents who are the strongest of allies. Unfortunately, despite my best intentions, weeks like this happen, and all of my commitment to optimism dissolves faster than the commotion of students when they realize just how angry they have made me.
It's weeks like this that really put life in perspective for me. Without these bumps and problems, life would seem too perfect. It would be too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we are self-sufficient beings, and that life on earth is the best thing we have going for us.
But it's not. And weeks like this remind me that the Lord, in His infinite wisdom and goodness, will plant these obstacles and frustrations to remind us that we can't do this life thing alone, that we need to rely on Him for our every need. It is so comforting to know that He has already anticipated the events that make me question my sanity and my choice of career, and knows just how He will use it to make me grow as a stronger person and teacher, all the while teaching me to lean on Him like crazy, and to be grateful for these setbacks that he is using to set me up for being a better teacher and human being. Do I like the problems my job presents? I'd be lying if I said "YES! BRING ON THE DISRESPECT AND IRRESPONSIBILITY!". I'm getting better, though, at being grateful for these inevitable facets of my job, rather than resenting them.
Weeks like this also make me realize, in the grander scheme of life, just how insignificant a new mirror is, and how meaningless couch shopping is. Don't get me wrong: I still get ridiculously excited about spotting 80% off signs, sifting through fabric swatches, and testing every couch in Raymour and Flanigan with saleswoman Marcia close behind (OK, well, maybe I wasn't so excited about Marcia being close behind). And I probably always will get excited about these things, because these things all are linked to the gifts and abilities that God has given me. The Lord wants us to enjoy our gifts and blessings! I just want to enjoy them with a greater sense of gratefulness, without getting sucked into the material and temporal nature of this crazy world.
So here's my goal for the new year: I am still going to blog, and I'm still going to blog about my house. But I am going to do it all with the clear understanding that the truly greatest treasure can't be found on any clearance rack, magazine page, or home decorating blog. I am going to do it without forgetting that these earthly treasures are just that: earthly. I am going to give every last ounce of glory to the One who has allowed me to have the means to buy the things that I enjoy.
Hold me to it!
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."