What I Learned in September (2016 Edition)
This morning, I sit in my cozy, new chair listening to the rain crashing down on our roof. I am thankful that the rain waited until after my morning walk especially since it is now thundering and lightning. September has been a nonstop month for me, and it feels so good to just sit down. I went from having too much margin to not enough. Hopefully this month, life will balance out. In a few minutes, our team will join us for a worship time. Our house has been filled with music all week as my husband has been preparing. It is so good to take time in the middle of the craziness to just worship.
We finally moved into the house where we will be for a while now. It is wonderful to be settling and making this new place our home. The wall are a warm, suede color, and the floors are all tile. The house is spacious and connected to my one room school. The view outside my front room windows is the beach and ocean. Truthfully, this house is too big for just my husband and I, but already we hosted one guest. I am also using one of the extra bedrooms for a quiet space for students taking tests or who need some time by themselves. The students want to call it the "isolation" room but maybe the "quiet" room would be better.
Once again, I am taking time to look back on the month to see what I have learned. Some lessons are just fun. Other lessons are hopefully making me more like Jesus.
1. Your washer won’t work if it is not plugged in, and your dryer will not work if you vent hose is crunched up or too long.
When we moved, we basically just moved our kitchen stuff, our clothes, and personal items. We inherited the furniture and appliances from the last family. It was a blessing to only have to buy a new stove and bed.
Last weekend I was going to use the washer and dryer at the new house. It wouldn’t work. I tried making sure the water was turned on. It still didn't work. I was just about ready to quit and wait on my husband to get home when I noticed that the electric socket had nothing plugged in. What an easy fix!! I am so glad I figured it out without my husband’s help. So next time something doesn't work make sure it is on and plugged in.
My husband did figure out the dryer problem. It was taking twice as long to dry our clothes. He looked and found that the ventilation hose was too curved. After making the hose shorter and unkinked, my dryer did much better.
2. I am finally settling
This new place feels like home already. It has been wonderful making it ours with personal touches here and there. I loved the duplex we were in, but we always knew we would be moving which made it difficult to decorate or do anything permanent.
This house is also great for hosting people. On Wednesday, my students had a mom’s day out for the kids in the neighborhood. The mom’s came inside for coffee and goodies that students had made. It was wonderful to have a place where the ladies could sit and talk and just be without having to worry about their children for an hour or so.
One of the things that makes a place a home for me is to have a chair. A chair where I can sit and read or write. My own little place in the house. Last week Noel surprised me with this chair. I am enjoying spending time here praying and reading and hopefully soon doing more writing.
3. Sadness and joy can coexist.
This year has had so many ups and downs along with much laughter and tears. This month I have really missed my children but then I have also really enjoyed my students. I have also been lonely but have felt connection with others. One doesn’t take away from the other. Both are part of me and the season that I am in. God is taking all these things and weaving them with his grace. For me, it is a good place to be.
4. It is good and bad having the school attached to my house.
My one room school is attached to my house. It is nice when it is raining or I forgot something. Being close is also helpful when doing science experiments that need extra supplies or need to use the stove. Last week it was great using my wii fit as an indoor PE option since it was pouring down rain outside.
The downside of being so close is that I work more. I see the door to the classroom at night or on the weekends and think of just one more thing I need to do. I will just do this one thing and then be done. An hour later, my husband comes looking for me to find out where I have disappeared to. This month my goal is to find a good balance between work and home while still giving the students the education they need. It is so easy to let the job consume me but I want to be more than my job. I need time to be the me that is not a teacher.
5. Just because the food tastes delicious doesn’t mean you might not get sick later.
A friend took me to this yummy Thai restaurant for my birthday. It was a delightful time full of good conversation and being away from our compound. We shared a beef dish and some spring rolls as well as some dessert. Both of us ended up sick that night. Luckily. I was still able to do school the next day. I think I am finally rested from the loss of sleep, and my stomach is pretty much back to normal. Even thought I became sick, it was still worth it to have that quality time with my friend.
6. God’s Word Never Gets Old
This month I have been reading through I and II Corinthians with the First 5 app. The truths are what I need for each day. I love that God’s word is always new yet in many ways familiar. I pray I never lose a hunger and thirst for God’s word. I pray that same thing for my children and students. This month is Deuteronomy. Already I am reminded to remember all that God has done for me so that I don't forget and fall away.
What have you learned this month?