It is Day 29 of the Slice of Life Writing Challenge by www.twowritingteachers.wordpress.com. I am also linking up today with www.ruthayreswrites.com to celebrate how Slicers and Ruth Ayres have encouraged me.
Thank you to the Slice of Life Bloggers who have shared moments from their lives (slices) in their blogs and to Ruth Ayres in her inspirational 40 Stories Blog Postings. I hope you will check the blogs out.
When I decided to start blogging last summer, I focused my blog on the topic of teaching with technology. I have enjoyed posting about my growth as a teacher and describing the projects that I’ve done. Although I will continue to post about my teaching, I have realized that I have other stories to tell from participating in the Slice of Life Writing Challenge. As I read posts from teachers who have, as Lucy Calkins would say, “found the lion in the marble”, I see that they can craft scenes from their days with such focus, eloquence and reflection. I wish that I could do more of what they have done. Due to the insightful words of the Slice of Life Writing Community, I have decided that I will post words that are helpful, even if they aren’t directly related to Teaching or Technology. Ultimately, I am a person, not only a teacher, who has been shaped into the person I am by my experiences. I think that it is time for me to share my experiences not just about technology, but also about life.
Last Sunday as my family drove to our church, it was clear that police had partitioned off part of the road to allow runners to participate in a special event run. It must have begun early like around 8:00. We were driving down this road that began to have some turns and began to slant downhill. About 9:30, when our car drove down this path, I noticed one last runner. My eyes locked on her. Her face, red and tired, told her story. A police car was driving right behind her. Suddenly, I realized, she’s the last runner. The police were trying to open the road to oncoming traffic apparently in the next few minutes, but were patiently and slowly maneuvering the police car behind the runner. I don’t know the runner but I would imagine, she would have taken a break if she could have. Like the friend of Ruth Ayers in Ruth’s post on Thursday, March 27, this runner must have hated quitting more than she hated running. Our car passed her, but I knew that soon the road would not be uphill for her, and she would be turning in to a neighborhood where the police were also waiting. If she could just not lose faith in herself, then she would make it.
I have envisioned her face all week. Sure, it’s okay to give yourself some rest and refresh time, but her stamina has given me great resolve to continue. I think it is important to have a plan when you feel discouraged. One of my friends told me recently, “Don’t lose heart. You just need to laugh.” So maybe, I need to be able to zoom in on joy instead of the weight of the world being on my shoulders on those kinds of days. I also hate quitting more than I hate doing tasks so I usually continue, but the reality is, there are days when I feel like the red faced runner, when every step is uphill and no end is in sight.
Knowing that others were reading my blog posts during the Slice of Life Writing Challenge and that some of them commented on my words, gave me motivation to continue writing each day. I have had to persevere when my life was busy and my body was tired, but I have pressed on and been a writer for 29 days in a row. Being a part of a writing community is a unique experience. The stories that the March Slicers shared have been heartfelt and demonstrate a commendable commitment to writing. I really enjoy reading the posts written daily during March by the people who are participating in the Slice of Life Writing Challenge. I also look back from Day 1 and realize that I have a publicly documented record on my blog of what I have done. I may not have written zoomed in, focused moments from my days, but I wrote about topics that grew from my teaching day. I allowed my experiences to push me because I didn’t want to abandon the Writing Challenge for 31 Days.
I appreciate the time that Slicers in the Slice of Life Writing Challenge and that Ruth Ayres have given to writing. Ruth, in particular, has caused me to think deeply especially about Faith in her 13th of 40 Stories during the Lent Season at her blog. In her March 19 post on Faith, she reminded me that I only need to have a small bit of faith for it to grow into larger faith. She referenced the Bible and Matthew 13:32: “Though it is the smallest of all your seeds (as a mustard seed), yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree so that the bird of the air come and perch in it branches.” I have had to have Faith that I would be able to rise above challenges as I pursued uncertain paths in life. Every day, I have to have faith that God will guide and provide for me. Sometimes I let myself hear statements in my mind that aren’t true about myself and that are discouraging. I have to remind myself that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me as I have faith that He IS and that He will reward me for seeking Him in prayer and in my actions.
I know that my faith in God is my anchor. Faith weaves into my thinking to prompt me into a wholeness mentality. I have questions and concerns, however, my Faith allows me to trust God and leave all the consequences to Him. Life brings brokenness in many forms and can cause us to wonder if we will ever have our prayers answered. Because of my Faith, I can say that God will make a way where there seems to be no way. I am so thankful that I began my faith journey as a small child and have held on to Faith even in my darkest hours. There will be many uncertainties in life, but with faith, I can move mountains instead of giving up.
Thank you, Slice of Life Organizers and all of the Slicers, for your encouragement to tell my story and to Ruth for the reminder to have faith. Even the tiniest seed of faith will bloom as God pours his Spirit into us and our circumstances. Discouragement leads to disillusionment and despair. I choose to see my life through the lens of faith which leads to hope fulfilled. I hope you will be encouraged and hold on to Faith.