I got sunburnt yesterday.
Oh, just one of those light-pink-that-will-turn-golden-in-a-day-or-two varieties, but I was surprised nonetheless, until I remembered the thirty minutes or so that I had spent chasing a soccer ball around wet grass with a bunch of teenage boys. After several days of pouting, the Colorado sun had decided to behave again, and I wasn’t prepared – I had on a sleeveless shirt and no sunscreen.
I love my job.
Sure, it has been an extremely challenging year. In addition to the regular difficulties that come from working with high school students that have cognitive, mental health, physical, and behavioral issues, our entire school has been going through a major shifting – with everything and everyone thrown off kilter. And that is hyperbole in antonym, a great understatement. Couple all that with the fact the job doesn’t pay much and you would think I’d be searching for something else.
I know I am where I am supposed to be, and I find satisfaction and hope in that truth. And honestly, I love the diversity. Not just with the student population, but with the day-to-day activities. I never know what each day is going to look like. Our time out on the field that day, with a couple of soccer balls and a football or two, had been a last minute decision. We had shorter classes due to a Senior Farewell Assembly on what was already a late start Wednesday. Our kids don’t always respond well to a change in routine and we decided some physical activity might be a good idea before they imploded.
Yes, I’ve loved the diversity of the job. But I had never really known just how physical it actually is, until my sister gifted me with a Fitbit. You know (or maybe you don’t), one of those wireless activity trackers that monitors the number of steps (and miles) you take during a day, your sleep, steps climbed and so on.
In a casual Facebook conversation with her, I had mentioned my concern that I had not been getting in daily walks or other means of intentional exercise but I had still managed to drop a couple of pounds. “Isn’t that unusual for our age?” I asked her. “Isn’t this the stage when women begin gaining weight?” She told me to quit worrying and later sent me the Fitbit.
It sat in the box on my computer desk, staring intimidatingly at me, for a couple of months until the lovely teacher I work with showed up one day with one dancing enviably around her slender wrist.
“Hey! You figured out how to use it!” I squealed. We had both been gifted with one about the same time, but neither of us had attempted the How-To.
“Yeah. It’s pretty easy. I can show you how.” She told me. And she did. (Except, tech idiot that I am, it would take me two weeks to actually sync it with my phone in order to start using more of the fun features…)
I was flabbergasted to discover that I easily get in the recommended 10,000 steps a day…and almost always a good deal more while at work. It is a pretty large school, and I walk through its halls a few times a day. Then there is PE every morning. And taking kids to off campus job sites. 5 or 6 miles at work is pretty easy to accomplish. Many days look like this:
8 miles, with no intentional exercise.
No wonder I wasn’t gaining weight – I was still physically active even if it wasn’t from the “Put on my walking shoes and hit the Canal” mode. Or on the Treadmill. It was just part of my daily routine, my daily walk. (Pardon the pun.)
And that got me thinking.
(C’mon, you didn’t think I dragged you over to the blog just to hear about my job or how technically UNsavvy I am at figuring out a Fitbit?)
Sometimes we beat ourselves up for things we haven’t accomplished, or haven’t accomplished in the way we think we should. Like lengthy Bible reading and prayer every single morning, or maintaining Pinterest Perfect parenting skills and a Home and Garden worthy home. We don’t have lengthy, creative to-do lists checked off at the end of every day. We feel we’ve failed, we become concerned we’re not doing enough.
But maybe we need a Fitbit for life.
One where we can glance back and take a look at the bigger picture. We might be pleasantly startled by what we see.
Maybe we didn’t get as much time in the Word as we wanted, but did we feed any hungry soul with words of encouragement, words of wisdom, words of Jesus? Have we LITERALLY fed the hungry? (Even always-wanting-to-be-fed toddlers and teenagers count…in fact, especially always-wanting-to-be-fed toddlers and teenagers count!) Have we been a father (mother) to the fatherless? Have we welcomed strangers, shown hospitality to others? Have we loved our neighbors as ourselves? Are we consistently walking out our faith even if we missed a moment of studying about the faith?
And the big question: Do others see Christ in us?
At a recent writing workshop that I attended, the speaker, Ruth Shepherd, said “I have never before taught on this subject “Speaking Truth to Power,” but I have lived Speaking Truth to Power.”
Amen, amen, amen.
Sometimes we might miss a moment of learning, but have we maintained a lifestyle of living the message inscribed on our hearts?
Oh, don’t get me wrong! I’m not advocating we give up our daily devotions and prayer time, or church fellowship. And we never stop learning better parenting skills. These are necessary for our growth. But sometimes we go through seasons where those intentional hours might be missed for one reason or another. If we can look back and see that we’re living it out, then I don’t think we need to sweat it so much, don’t have to worry that we aren’t healthy, don’t need to beat ourselves up. (Maybe I’m only speaking to myself and none of you do that. My counselor – yes, yes, you DID read that right…more on that in another post – says I am way too hard on myself.)
In his prayer to the believers at Colossae, Paul prayed that they would be filled with knowledge of God’s will, and that they would walk worthy of the Lord, and that they would be fruitful in works, and increase in knowledge of God, be strengthened according to His power for patience and suffering with joy, and would give thanks to the Father for enabling them to be part of His family.(Colossians 1:9-12) That word walk, when used figuratively, refers to the way one regulates or conducts one’s life, how one makes use of opportunities; it is the big-picture word of how one passes one’s life.
So, if you had a Fitbit for life…what would the big picture look like? Are you living out the Christ life? Are you living out your message in your daily walk?
But be doers of the Word (Obey the message) and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves (into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth) -James 1:22 Amplified
For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of the Light Ephesians 5:8
Grateful for this wonderful life,
Marie with a 🙂
The WHA conference was wonderful, and even more than a writing benefit for me, it was exactly the spiritual renewal I needed. Thank you, thank you, thank you to those who helped send me! It was a spiritual renewal, but it did also ignite some writing sparks into bigger flames and though I am rusty at writing right now, I hope to be back into the game and sharpening my skills. I would like to ask you to help me build my readership. I’ve never asked that before (mostly because I’ve never believed in my writing) and I know I’ve lost a lot of readers since I quit writing last year. IF you find anything valuable or helpful, please go ahead and share my blogpost via e-mail or facebook or whatever means available. I would be ever so grateful.