finding peace in the midst of anxiety

Monday, January 27, 2014

I have been incredibly thankful for a much slower month thanks to high school exams accompanied by half-days and due to some snow days.

However, I have been feeling incredibly anxious about life and questions of whats next and some-what of some quarter life crises. But God usually knows what I need to hear to reassure me.

In high school, I developed a 'disorder' of sorts in which I all of sudden would get anxiety attacks. I could be doing something and snap- I would hyperventilate. It was pretty scary the first few times. Most of the time I would be doing something stressful- like getting blood drawn. I remember it happened after school during dance practice (I was on the dance team at my school- I know, so cool right?) It was a really bad attack and they tried to call the ambulance and it was pretty embarrassing to say the least, which probably only added to the anxiety attack.

Anyways, all this I say because in a nutshell- I am a really anxious person. I worry. I stress. I try to plan and perfect. I mean, if you saw my agenda (planner) you'd probably think I was a nutjob. Seriously.

I have been constantly reminded in the past couple weeks though about trusting in God's provision for your life.

I listened to a Tim Keller sermon the other week in which he defined anxiety as 'to be in pieces' or 'multi-minded.'

My mind literally is in pieces and thinking in twenty-gazilion different directions, when in reality I need to be single-minded. Now I understand usually single-minded is used in a bad sense, but in this context it means to literally be focused on one thing; your assurance of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Instead of worrying what next move He'll make with me, why not focus on the one move He has already done for me.

Keller also said "worry is listening to your heart and peace is talking to your heart." He draws this from Psalm 142 in which David reminds himself of his salvation:
vs5: "I cry to you O Lord; I say 'You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.'" 

So this week, I am trying to rid my mind of the "what-ifs" and "what shoulds" and remind myself of the "what He has done."

im the statue

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Have you ever heard of this saying? Well today- I am definitely the statue. In fact, I have found that most days in teaching, I am the statue. I got an email today about my failure rate being too high. This means too many of my students are failing. I was then asked a number of questions in the email all about what I am doing to get the failure rates up. I am expected to report my answers tomorrow. Now I know I need to be encouraging my students to get better grades and contacting parents if necessary. But I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to feel like it is somehow my fault my students are not passing (at least that it is completely my fault...) A lot (I mean about 7 per class....) of the students come late every day, or do not come at all.(about 5 do not come at all)  A lot of them are just lazy and do not do their work. I do not have time to call 40+ parents (yup- the failure number is way high... about 40...) and talk to students individually every day about what specific things they are missing. It drives me absolutely insane. It is nearly impossible... but sadly, someone has to be blamed in the US public school system and the ones at the lowest end of the totem pole are teachers.  

I could literally go on for hours about this but I won't bore you. Just next time you hear someone is a teacher, give them a hug and thank them for trying. It is so hard to put your heart, soul, time, effort, LIFE into something with so little appreciation. 

So, today, like many others I am the statue. Maybe I will shoot for pigeon status next week...


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