Monday, July 30, 2012

A day for relationships

I survived the birthday, but now have a headache. I think it's from chocolate overkill. My new lovely daughter-in-law has figured out the quickest way to my heart---buy me chocolate! We enjoyed them all afternoon! (How I wish my students would figure it out and give me chocolates instead of a variety of other non-consumables...)

It was a great day because it was all spent with family! My 20 year old (Adriel) made an effort to get up to go to church with us in the morning. He usually has to work on Sunday mornings, but whether he asked for the morning off just to please his mom or his schedule just worked that way, it was special to me. (He did have to work the rest of the day.) Then my oldest (Joel) with his new bride (Breanne) came over for lunch, and despite having other plans for the rest of the day, they instead hung out with us into the evening. How special to be able to sit around the table and discuss serious topics and also laugh with them. It was fun looking at their wedding photos. What a beautiful reminder of a very special day just a few weeks ago. Our youngest (Micah) hung out with us all day and didn't even ask once to call a friend to play. That, if you know him, is quite unusual as he is our very social child. We even got to sit and watch a movie with him in the evening. Our dear daughter (Sarina) skyped us from Manitoba where she is working at a remote children's camp for the summer. I sure miss her! (It's only 22 days until I get to see her again.)

So, yesterday was a day devoted to family relationships. I am so very thankful that I can have good relationships with all my children. What a gift!

I am also so very thankful to have a fabulous husband (Gareth). He is so good to me, for me and with me! We had a mini-honeymoon this past week and as we talked, biked, read, and just were together for those few days, I realize what a gift I have in my relationship with him. We have come a long way in the last 27 years and I look forward to at least another 27 with him. My parents just celebrated their I'm aiming for that!

I also received about 50 faceboook birthday messages. It makes a person feel good to have so many people recognize you, even if it only took them 5 seconds. A few e-mails came my way, too, some with e-cards. All took some time and I appreciate every one of them.

I received some very special phone calls. My mother and my mother-in-law are both very special people and I am so very thankful for them.

Wow...this is starting off very positive. May the rest of my year of being 49 be as good!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I turn 49 tomorrow!
How do I want to live my last year of the first half of my century long life? I think I'm going through a bit of a mid-life crisis as I think about this and think that I need to make some choices and changes in my life so that I can get through the second 50 years of my life. As I have been thinking about this and talking it over with my husband, who is already well into his 50's (well, 51 anyways!), I have narrowed it down to some choice words -- LIVING DELIBERATELY.

I actually journalled a bit while camping these last few days and here are some of those thoughts. Living deliberately will mean making choices according to my goals. I will need to make decisions, have discipline and practice being aware. My goals centre around 4 areas of my life at this point. I may add more if they come to me through this time.

First, I have some personal goals. These relate to my physical well-being and health. I want to make healthy choices. I want to be able to quit taking high blood pressure medication. I want to lose some weight and I want to be fit again.

Secondly, I have relational goals. I am a wife and mother and these are two of the most important self-definitions I can think of. How can I be a better wife? A better mother?
But I don't only relate to the people in my home...I also have friends, co-workers, neighbours, fellow church people, my students, others I meet shopping or walking....
So what is my goal relationally? To see the best in people and to build the people up that I meet, wherever that might be.

Next, I have spiritual goals. I have been a Christian for as long as I can remember and it has made an indelible mark on my life. I live differently because of it. But, I don't pursue it like I should. What does having a relationship with Jesus mean in my day to day life? I'm about to question, discover, and try to live always knowing that God is here with me, now...every day and in every thing!

Finally, I'd like to live deliberately in my vocation. I LOVE being a teacher and I want to be the best teacher I can possibly be. Teaching is tough in some ways, and delightful in others. What are some ways that I can improve professionally? I have some books to read, courses and seminars to attend, and of course, a wealth of information and help in my colleagues every day. I want to be a better teacher this coming year.

So there are the four areas I want to grow in this last year of my 40's. To keep myself accountable, I will try to record things that I experience. Come along for the ride, if you dare!