fortygirl

Forty Girl…that's me! I am a recently divorced woman in my 40s, and am now a single mother with a career. Join me as I start this exciting new chapter in my life. Let's chat!

Blessings…

As I sit here drinking coffee, watching my son play on the floor, hubby sitting nearby, beautiful red Cardinal perched outside on the patio, I am reminded of the blessings of God.  My job is a stressful one, but one that I truly love. I must say that with the stress of the job many times I can get stuck looking at the negative and missing the blessings in front of me. Today, I am trying to take a moment to truly focus on the positives.  Yes, there are people in this world that drive us crazy, the economic situation of our country is a mess, but that being said, the world around us  still has so much beauty.  There are beautiful people in the world still too, and I do not mean in a Hollywood sense, by any means.  There are people that still hold the door open, allow you to go ahead of them in line, give you a smile, and on and on.  I have found that if I give positives I tend to get them back.  I am sure most of us already know that to be true, so it is not as if I am saying anything profound.  But, do we really stop and think about it?  When I leave the house I try to send positives into the world.  If I am going to wear a cross around my neck, then I should live by  His principles, right? People should see Him in me, right? 

In the scope of my job, I have tried to make sure I lead by His example. I have prayed for my staff, prayed for my school, prayed for my students, prayed for their parents. Many say that prayer in not allowed in schools, I disagree!  Prayer is alive and well.  It may not be directed over the PA system, but I can guarantee you prayer takes place in classrooms.  I pray on my way to work for guidance and to make the right decisions for the greater good of my school and community.  Do I fall short still?  Of course, after all, I am human and making mistakes still happens and always will, but I will not give up. 

I hear people comment about the demise of society, and I have even made the comment, but then again, I imagine everybody at some time or another felt the same way.  I do believe that we must focus on interacting with each other in a positive way, and become a blessing to the world. One person can make a difference, and I am determined to make a difference.

 I sent an email to my staff yesterday, simple telling them how hard I know they are working, and that while they are not always thanked for their hard work and sacrifice, I have noticed. I also asked them to lift one another up, because we had members of our community that were struggling personally.  I had no idea that my staff needed to hear that as much as they did.  I had responses from them saying “I needed that” and many more. We highly underestimate the power we have as individuals.

 Imagine if each person, or the majority of people had the attitude they are going to go out and be a blessing to the world?  Our world would begin to improve drastically!  So, let’s get out there and become a beauty and blessing to the world! That smile you give just may be the smile that keeps someone going!

 

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Struggle…

Struggle….

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Struggle…

Here is my current struggle as a Christian…how to not let other people affect me.  I admittedly am an outgoing, yet shy person. Let me explain…when I am in my comfort zone…lookout, I am outgoing, funny and relaxed.  When I am out of my comfort zone, or in a setting where I do not know many people I am rather reserved.  Some people have seen my reserved side as even arrogant, which could not be further from the truth.  The struggle is that I am amazed at how many people in this world, who do not even really know me, can make snap judgments about me…or anyone for that matter.  I really am working hard to make sure that I am not judgmental.  I do not think you ever really KNOW someone, so I try to put myself in their place and think about why people are the way they are, and do the things they do.  So, I guess it is just frustrating when I think people are very quick to make judgments based upon little information, if any.

The struggle is that we are not supposed to even worry about what other people think, only focus on what we think God would want us to do.  This is my mission, but I must say, I still get bothered, no hurt, when people think they know me and they really do not.  It hurts when you are friendly to someone and you are met with less than friendly, if not downright rude. I don’t know maybe my issue is that I am too focused on other people and what they think? Who knows, but either way it is a struggle.  I wonder if this is a struggle that other people have?

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State of public education…

I have read all kinds of articles and watched all kinds of news programs talking about the state of public education.  I cannot be quiet any longer. Poverty seems to be a big reason for the challenges public education faces, more specifically the challenges that public educators face. As an educator, I agree that throwing money at education will not help our education system.  If we want to address poverty we MUST address the decline of the family unit.  A family unit can be made in many ways, but one thing it MUST be is POSITIVE.  Children must have stability, food, positive attention, safety, and love. Many times educators are looking forward to Christmas break or summer, and yet a number of our students are not, why? Because they do not want to spend time at home.  I have worked with students whose stories leave me haunted, and as an educator I do what I can to help fix the issue.  Educators are some of the most amazing humanitarians you will every encounter, but they are frustrated because they are not only charged with teaching children, they are faced with so much more…they know that a student’s basic needs must be met in order to engage them in learning.  Educators join the profession with the goal of making a difference in a child’s life, and let me tell you that is what they do. Not only do teacher’s academically work with children, but many times they feed them, clothe them, pay for their field trips, ensure they have food for the weekend, protect them, and provide them the much needed hugs and support…none of which can be measured on a standardized test.  Now I know there are some not so great teachers out there, and they need to leave the profession, but the majority come to school everyday working to make a difference. They attend sporting events, recitals, etc. so that the student knows how much they are valued. None of these can be measured by a test, and if you calculated all that an educator does and compared it to those in other fields you would definitely see they are underpaid. Educators did not get in to the profession for the pay, but a little respect would go a long way. Many educators I know have homes in foreclosure, cannot afford the insurance for their families, and qualify for government assistance, none of which they would want anyone to know.

Oh, and mandatory retention in third grade is NOT positive. I have sat in the room with teachers as they make the call to parents telling them that because their child did not make a certain score on the state assessment their child is being retained. I have heard parents cry on the phone after receiving the news, and I have watched teachers cry because a student was being retained due to the score on a test…oh, and that does not touch on what it does to the student.   Public education can use some tweaking, but so can the state of the family unit.

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Managing my stress…

Well, It has been awhile since I have last visited my blog.  I wear many hats, who doesn’t these days?  So, I know I am not alone and that you will understand. Lately, I must say my biggest challenge these days is balancing my work life with being a wife and mother.  I love my family, and I love my job; however, I must say the stresses of my job have a way of finding their way into my personal life.  For example, due to a situation…ok, a FEW situations, I was at work until close to 7 PM.  I had to have my hubby pick up our son, I had not eaten since around 12:30, and that was very little, the situations were multi-faceted, so many factors were at play.  Needless to say, my stress level was through the roof.  I arrived home to my son, who greeted me with open arms!  He is four and he always makes me feel like super mom!  My hubby, on the other hand, was not as thrilled at the hour of my arrival.  I was on edge, he was irritated, and my son wanted my attention.  My phone was ringing, I wasn’t hungry…I was just plain exhausted!  So, I spent a little time with my son, then to sleep I went…angry with my hubby because of his reaction. In the middle of the night I was greeted with a phone call every child dreads…a parent or loved one is in the hospital, in this case my mom was in the hospital very sick…talk about perspective. So…I was left with one thing to do…

I woke up early in the morning, Saturday, thank goodness…I spent time alone with God.  I needed to pray. Prayer was the only way to get myself centered.  I knew he was the only one that was going to bring me peace.  I prayed for my mom to get well, for myself to be a better mother, better wife, for my hubby to be more understanding, and for God to handle all things work related…I just could not do it alone, and I knew if I went it alone I would not be successful.  I read my Christian magazine…topic…managing stress…talk about a message arriving at the right time!  You know what…after my time alone with God I WAS more centered, focused, at peace. It is revitalizing to know that I was blessed with another day, a beautiful morning…A  chance to think about the many blessings I have and that I need to learn to focus on those.   Fact of the matter…stresses will always be there…the beauty to me, is knowing that God will ALWAYS be there too!   Whew! Now, THAT is a relief…no, make that another BLESSING!

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