Sunday, March 26, 2006

god box update

the other day i was thinking about how worried and stressed i'd been in the weeks before and how i was so stressed i got sick and ended up in the e.r. and i was trying to remembe what it was i was so worried about to begin with. do you know i couldn't think of all those things and i had to go to the god box and take out my index cards that i had written everything down on and go look at them to remember! as i looked at each card i thought, "well, that one's under control now. this one is not a problem anymore. this one is still something i have to deal with but i'm not so nervous about it now." that god, she's wonderful! she took all those worries off my shoulders (and out of my sinuses which is how the worry manifested itself in me). phew! hope next time i get this worked up i remember the god box a bit quicker.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

god box

i have been so stressed out about all these responsibilities in my life that i got sick and ended up missing several days of work and had to go to the e.r.
last night i hit bottom on freaking out. i'm sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.
last night i took myself to my bed, read some spiritual literature, prayed (help me, help me, help me), meditated. then i took some index cards and a sharpie and wrote down all the things i'm worried about: work stuff, grad school stuff, homework i'm backed up on, exams, church duties, money, money, money problems. i wrote each down on a card and then put those cards in my god box.
a god box is a container that i put my worries into and hand them over to god. i turn over my worries and trust god to transform them into opportunities for me to grow, to expand my spirit and trust in god. i find a lot of my spiritual work consists of precedents. i try something different, just to see what will happen. instead of worrying, i try putting my concerns in god's hands. i usually don't do this until i'm totally desperate and on my knees. then, god transmogriphies my BIG PANIC issue into little, surmountable steps and i take one at a time. god makes my life more manageable. when i next come up against a monster, i remember back to that time i turned it over and how that worked out. i'm ready to try turning it over again, and again.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

frazzled in new york

i'm a full-time teacher.
i'm in grad school and go two nights per week.
i am on the vestry of my church.
i'm a co-chair of my church's street fair coming up in may.
i'm the literature person for two al-anon meetings.
i'm freaking out about money, as in, i don't really make enough.

well, looking at the above list, the word that stands out for me is "i" i i i i i i
i'd like to get away from i.
i'm feeling burned out and with a sinus infection on top of it all, i'm not at my best.
so, this is lent and while this lent is not as focused for me as in years past when i haven't had all this going on in my life, i can still look to lenten practice to quiet down, slow down, listen. god is not in the earthquake. she is not in the roaring wind. she's the still small voice. i am bottoming out and need to be still and listen.
i can do this any time, but lent, in it's dark, cold way, is a special time for me to be still and quiet and listen. in the mornings (esp. in winter) i hate to get out of my warm, cozy bed and go out into the cold. i pull the covers over my head and say, "five more minutes." i love to be drowsy powsy and cozy wozy for those few minutes of warm silence, fending off the cold. i love lent because it's my time of "five more minutes" with god.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

one week into lent and i'm still a b!t(h

i've been meditating every morning this week and usually when i meditate, i am a much nicer teacher and i do not yell at my students and scare them. howsoever, today i meditated and everything, but was a screaming mimi first thing in the morning. of course, i will say that trying to get field trip permission slips and money, signed half-day notice slips, parent-teacher conference appointment time slips from 22 7 and 8 year olds, half of whom are calling out, ms. goodnow! ms. goodnow! could make anyone a screaming mimi. it's like herding cats.
i've taken to reading al-anon daily meditations during my lunch time, that helps.
i've heard it takes five years to really get teaching down. i'm in year two so i forgive myself when i get frazzled. although, i will say that while i struggle with a concept of sin in this post-modern world, i do believe it is a sin to yell at children. big time sin. i can see their faces turn stony but their shoulders leap up. ugh. if i had a teaching assistant (yes, i'm all alone with 22 7 and 8 year olds), it would be easier. but, i don't so i accept reality and strive to meditate more, pray, pray, pray to be more patient, patient, patient.
and i want to be more patient and less like sr. frances, my 5th grade math teacher and personal nightmare, because these are among god's most delicate creatures. they are as vulnerables as little fairies. they spend more time with me than at home with mom and dad. some of them are experiencing pure hell at home. i can't save them necessarily, but i can make my classroom safe, serene. i can offer them love and compassion, which i have loads of for them but whoosh, they are so exhausting!
please pray for me that i do not become sr. frances ... or sr. elizabeth (another math teacher and personal nightmare who had really flabby upper arms and when she wore short sleeved blouses in june and wrote on the board it was like watching a car crash, i couldn't stand watching that arm flab flippity flop while she wrote and i couldn't take my eyes off of it either, i don't want to be sr. elizabeth.)
the patience prayer
god, grant me patience.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

lent for episcogeeks

i love lent. it's my favorite liturgical season. i love that it's once a year, i couldn't handle it more than that (so far i do not treat advent like lent). i love that it is at the end of winter, when it seems the coldest because the end is in sight. winter seems so much less bearable when the days start getting longer and there are a few warmish days sprinkled in.
i hate winter and one of my reactions to it is to sleep more. i have very little energy when it's so cold out and i love to snuggle under the covers for 5 more minutes on winter mornings. lent feels to me like the spiritual version of "5 more minutes" of quiet; cold outside, warm inside; winter light; cozy time with god. it's like snuggling down with god to pray and meditate. oooooh, i love it!
i tend not to give something up for lent, rather, i take on a spiritual practice. one year i went to 40 al-anon meetings in 40 days. another year i bought a tibetan buddhist meditation video and did that every day. this year i have some spiritual readings for each day and i really want to concentrate on my prayer and meditation practice, as well as exercise my body, which needs it badly.
i wish everyone a wonderful, meaningful lenten season.