Monday, November 17, 2014

I think I'm becoming a self-righteous teacher...

Robbie and I went to church last week for the first time in way too long.
Ever since we've been married, we've struggled finding our "grown-up" church home.
Consequently, we've spent the past three years hopping back and forth among several different churches. While we enjoy the different experiences we gain from attending different churches, we do miss the continuity of a permanent church family. Along with the continuity of regular attendance.

But I'm getting off topic.
The sermon this past week was based on Matthew 25:14-30, the Parable of the Talents and the risk that it takes to follow God and do His Will.
And I realized something.
Something that's been in the back of my head for a while, but something I'm finally ready to fully admit.

Anytime someone talks about ministry or using the talents God gives us or helping others, I immediately get on my high-horse because I'm a teacher.

By default, I help others everyday.
I go above and beyond daily to give more to others than I do myself.
I honestly believe that God called me to be a teacher and I'm fulfilling that calling every day.
I sacrifice. I give. I love unconditionally.
Every single day.
Because it's my job. And my calling. And my passion.
The passion that God gave me.

But is it enough?

I've questioned this before but today this question is coming from a different frame of reference.
Am I playing it safe because I'm a teacher?
Am I limiting myself? Am I turning down other opportunities to give more, do more, be more, because I'm already giving, doing, being so much?

Admittedly, when Barnes & Noble asks if I want to donate a dollar to help give books to a child in need, I say no. Because I already "donate" multiple dollars to buy multiple books for multiple children in need, in the form of my classroom library and the scholastic books I give as Christmas gifts to my students each year.

I think sometimes I justify turning down mission trips or tithing opportunities or other stewardship deeds because I am already a steward in my classroom.
But maybe instead of justifying the things I already do, I should open my heart to what God wants me to do. Maybe being a steward in the classroom is enough. Maybe that's exactly where God wants to be and what God wants me to be doing.

But maybe it's not.

Maybe He wants me to do more. And I've been so wrapped up in the good that I'm doing in my classroom (because even if it makes me sound a bit full of myself...I am doing good in my classroom) that I'm missing opportunities to do good in other places too.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Only Participation Prize I Agree With

I did it.

I ran a half-marathon.
Almost a month ago, but that's neither here nor there.

The entire time I was running, I kept thinking about the epic blog post I would write bragging telling y'all all about it.

I've been in a complete state of shock since about mile 9.
I never ever had any desire to run a half-marathon.
In fact, I distinctively remember having a conversation in February with one of the girls I teach with about our upcoming 5K Glow Run that went a little something like this...

"It won't be that's not like it's something stupid like a half-marathon. Who would ever willingly run 13.1 miles anyway?"

Foot meet mouth.
Apparently, I am not that person who willingly runs 13.1 miles.

Well, the one who ran 13.1 miles. 
I honestly don't know if it'll ever happen again. 

I didn't train the way I was supposed to at. all. 
And I guess technically, my time suffered because of that.
But really, who the eff cares? 
By race day, I had one goal - to finish. 
Well that, and not keel over and die.

Once I started running I knew I wanted to make it to at least mile 6 without stopping. A 10K. Totally doable, even with my lack of training. 

Mile 6 came and went and I was still feeling pretty good so I kept going. 
And going and going. 
By about mile 10 I felt like dying forreal and started taking short little walking breaks.
At mile 11 I got scared I was getting lost. So I picked up the pace a little.
And by mile 12 I was almost tears. I had one mile left and knew I could do anything for one mile. 

Little did I know, it was THEE longest mile of my life. That last stretch to the finish line felt like the never-ending Rainbow Race on Mario Kart. 

Not only was Robbie waiting for me at the finish line, my mom was there with craisons. And let me tell you what. I have never loved craisons so good as I did in that moment. 

I was also greeted with a big, shiny medal.

Now, usually I am not a fan of participation medals/trophies/awards/etc.
The winner gets a medal. 
Everyone else gets the satisfaction of finishing. 
Personally, I think it's doing our kids an injustice by not keeping scores at sporting events and not letting anyone "lose". It's sending the completely wrong message.

However, the satisfaction I felt of finishing was HUGE but I was equally as proud of  having that medal. #sorrynotsorry

After meeting up with some other friends who also ran the race, cashing in my beer tickets (which I thought I lost mid-run...yipes), and purchasing my obnoxious 13.1 car sticker, I devoured a huge hot hamburger plate (at 10:30AM mind you) and went home to take a 5 hour nap. I was exhausted. 

My legs were screaming at me that night and it was slow moving on Sunday but by Monday I felt almost back to normal. A little sore but nothing terrible. 

Finishing that race was quite possibly one of the most out of body things I've ever done. 
It's still surreal to think that I actually ran 13.1 miles. 
My final time was 2:22 which was slooooooow but steady. 

8 months ago I was no where near "a runner". 
It still even feels strange calling myself "a runner" and the fact that I haven't been running since the race probably supports that feeling. 
But in a short amount of time, I set a goal, pushed myself completely out of my comfort zone, and accomplished that goal.

And got a medal!

P.S. I don't want to speak too soon, but I may or may not have given myself a goal to actually become a regular blogger again. Keep your fingers crossed.