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Remembering to breathe

Here it comes again.. the anxiety. Deep breathing can't seem to supply enough oxygen and I feel this nervous energy taking over me. My heart races at the thought:
school starts next week.

It's excitement too of course. I can't wait to meet all the new little angels in my life who I will be caring for, encouraging, challenging (and who will be challenging me.) I can't wait to see my students from the previous years too. I love watching them go by marveling at how much wiser and more mature they are, and thinking perhaps I had a small hand in that. I'm looking forward to being around teachers again - the only other people on earth who truely know what I feel and how completely all-consuming this "job" is. It's nice to be a part of something that matters, to be working together for a common goal, and to be building together the future, which is too deep to comprehend. They are my life-line from August to May.

It's not a feeling of dread really, more of sheer panic. Is summer really over? How can that be? I didn't get to half of the things I swore I was going to accomplish. Wow! How am I ever going to start getting up at 5:30 again? How will I get the kids up? What if I have some meanie parent who hates me? How will I handle all the challenges I'm facing this year in the classroom? How many kids are they going to cram in my room this year? Is my room really ready? Am I?

Of course we're never really "ready" I don't think. We just have to prepare as much as possible and be ready to roll with the punches. Punches that seem to keep coming faster & harder sometimes. I don't know how anyone could be a teacher without feeling it was some sort of higher calling. I mean why would you put yourself through all that just for a measly paycheck? Answer is - you wouldn't. This kind of job you have to love. You can kinda hate it sometimes too and definately not always like it, but you always have to love it deep down. You love the kids, you love the job.. maybe not all the junk that comes with the job, but you just love teaching. This job you have to filter out the negative and look for the good. Me personally, I have to look for God. I have to pray for each student I have and ask for blessings for them and their families. I ask Him to renew my love for each child each morning knowing that I simply could not do this without Him.

As each evening draws to a close now, this second week of August, I get the butterflies. I get the feeling of having so much to do very soon and so little time to do it. I am overwhelmed with what if's and fears. I stare off into space when someone is talking to me because I'm lost in my head thinking of what I want to do to set the tone for the year on the first day. I can't concentrate on my grocery shopping list because I'm caught up with finding new fun things for my treat drawer. My chest is tight and I'm light headed and then I realize I've forgotten to breathe. I think that's the key to starting a new school year. I need to ask God to remind me to breathe, to take things one step at a time, and that He will give me the tools to do the job He has called me to do.
"..in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." Romans 8:37

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