Joyful Words Blog
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.
– Psalm 119:105
– Psalm 119:105
…God anointed you with the oil of gladness…Hebrews 1:9
Holy smokes…where did June and July go? I’m a little shell shocked as I turn the page to August today and realize school starts THIS month! Wow…it seems like I just packed my classroom up and now it’s time to go open those boxes again! Someone told me that for teachers June is like Friday night; July is like Saturday and August is like Sunday night. I’ve never felt that truth as much as I do right now! I’m starting to bounce between…gosh, I’m excited to see the middle lovelies and my teacher friends and good grief; my curriculum maps aren’t ready and I still haven’t figured out the perfect way to make possessive pronouns and dangling participles come to life!
I ran into a fellow teacher yesterday and she asked me how my summer was and I replied; WEIRD! I’m not sure why that word popped out first but it’s pretty true I guess. Physically I accomplished a lot; most of the main floor of the house got new paint and a re-design. There are washed windows, a scrubbed porch, cleaned closets and a purged and organized office. There were new recipes and time to putter in the kitchen which I loved and lots of clothes line dried laundry. There was lots of ball playing and watching, the first herd of Kevin’s show cattle to help with, and a semester of study in Austria to help Shannon prepare for. I served as a consultant more than a mom which is a sign of independent children but it’s…weird.
There were some holes in the summer. For the first summer in 16 years there is no 4-H fair to get ready for. No pigs or steers to wash and pack feed for; no show clothes to iron or show boots to polish. Last weekend I chaperoned a trip with 100 high school students to a Steubenville Youth Conference. It was a fabulous weekend hanging out with 1,200 kids on fire for Christ…but none of them was my own child; that was weird! The kids have been more in than out this summer which has been a very good weird…cooking again for a family of five, extra laundry and the constant trail of “stuff’ tracked in from the barn; great, but weird to be back in that groove.
Just as I was starting to feel a little like someone ate the last piece of pie I remembered that I still have 29 days of summer left! I realized the first 2/3 of summer break had been full of lots of great stuff and even if I really did have everything on that ridiculously crazy long “to do” list finished, I’d be exhausted and there would have been no minutes for anything fun. I don’t know what I was thinking I missed out on but if felt a little ridiculous moping about turning a page on the calendar. It was right about that time, I remembered something Sr. Miriam said in one of her talks last weekend. She told the crowd of 1,200 teenagers and some brave adults, “don’t let the world swallow you in busyness and expectation, cry out to the Lord and ask him to anoint you with the oil of gladness.” That was what I was missing. I had all these crazy expectations about reading important books, creating manicure perfect lessons for the entire school year, taking long walks and growing a weed free garden. Nuts…I was nuts! Whats even nuttier was that I was feeling bad that those aren't the things that happened in June and July. I really do need a little oil of gladness!
The funny thing is though…he’s already anointed me with gladness. There is so much gladness in my life…my marriage, my kids, my home, my front porch, a job I love, people to pray with and laugh with and the list goes on! The world is kinda nuts right now but my life is full of gladness from the Lord and I let that pale in comparison to some weird expectations. So for the next few weeks, I’m gonna keep plugging away at that to-do list and I’m gonna soak up that oil of gladness I’ve been anointed with.
Just a funny side note, if you’ve heard folks say you can get anything on Amazon…I think they’re right…including a bottle of “Oil of Gladness”. No kidding…I don’t think it works like God’s, but it is available in case you need a little extra!
A Seed To Plant: Make two lists. One; the summer things you’re glad about and two; the summer things you still need to pack into the next 3 weeks…ask God to bless both lists.
Blessings on your day!
Sheri's writing can also be found at Faith Catholic Publications and on CatholicMom.com