This time of year, it can be tough for teachers. We are tired. We are frazzled. We are worn…and we have a LOT to do , while still trying to balance our classroom routine. Sometimes we get so busy doing this receipt or that checklist or this assessment that we let the kids “work just a little longer”, which is like a blinking red sign to our kids that the routine is a little off today because the teacher is busy. And every teacher knows, when you break that routine–especially at the end of the year–the kids go crazy, and then your stress grows. As the stress grows, it seems that the tasks grow by some magical power.
The assessments, the behavior, the activities, the paperwork, the meetings, the tiredness, the routine that threatens to fall apart–it gets to me. I feel it rising up in me on the worst days (I don’t know what “it” could be defined as…my blood pressure, maybe?). And just when I’m about to break, I feel Him. He’s there, and He’s telling me to calm down, take a deep breath, and…
Lean in to His side, and let Him carry me through the rough moments. The moments when I’m sad and hurting because “my kids” will be gone in a few weeks, leaving my classroom empty. The moments when I’m frustrated and honestly just WISH that my classroom would be empty for about ten minutes so that I could finish at least one task. The moments when I’m overwhelmed at the amount of work on my list of things to do and the time that is quickly ticking away.
Lean in. Let Him take the stress, and feel His strength to do my work and do it well with no excuses. Let Him take my snippy words and replace them with His grace. Let Him take my moments so that every single one will count.
I need to lean in.
This time of year can be hard for mammas and all parents. The kids are going to practice most every weeknight and coming home to end-of-the-year projects and tests to study for. The folders still need to be signed, the money needs to be turned in, the kids need to be cleaned…wait–do they? Didn’t he take a shower? Did I smell him yet to see if he took a shower? Did I look at him, really look him in the eye today? The grades are coming in left and right, and I start to feel it rising up. My kids are not taking their schoolwork seriously enough, they’re not cleaning their room enough, I’m not washing their clothes, our house looks like a storm hit, and I’m about to just…
Lean in to His side, and listen to His words. He tells me that I am more than what my house looks like. My kids are more than a grade, and they are more than the sports they play. We can slow down, we can actually look at each other and smile and have a real conversation other than “Where are we going tonight? What will we eat? What tests did you take today? Did you get any grades? Did you think it through? Do you have any papers for me to sign? What do you mean we need to turn that in? Didn’t I already pay for that?!?”
Lean in to His calm. To His perspective. The perspective of eternity, where none of the worldly prizes of this rat race matter. Our eternal home, where the only thing that will matter is Jesus and what we did with Him while we lived here.
This time of year…these two sweet holidays of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day…they are hard for so many of my friends and family. Sons and daughters who go through the day without their mammas and daddies. Mothers and fathers who grieve through the day alone, with their arms aching to hold their absent children. The pain rises up, threatening to overcome, until all that’s left to do is to turn to our heavenly Father.
And lean in.
He’s there, with His arms opened up wide. Ready to catch you. Ready to carry you through the stress, the busy-ness, the heartache, and the grief. He’s there, ready to listen. Ready to respond. Ready to take care of you.
Lean in, sweet friend, and let go. Whether your grief is big or small, your stress level is at its highest or just beginning to rise. Whether your tasks are endless, or whether you feel useless and dejected. Lean in.
Let Him take it from here.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28