What a week this has been! I have been CRAZY busy with school stuff this week because next week I'm taking (along with my sweet 5th grade team) 126 people (students & parents) to Washington, DC for 3 days/2 nights. I may be out of my mind. (And if I'm not now, I will be FOR SURE by this time next week!) This is the third overnight trip we've done in as many years and the others were wonderful! A lot of work preparing, but SOOO worth it to see the look on the students' faces. SOOO worth it to hear about their memories years later.
This year is different because we're going to DC (we've been to Charleston, SC the last two years.) & it's a "new" trip--we designed it ourselves so we're not following anyone's lead really (like we've done in the past.) So I'm nervous. In the course of a week we've managed to be over budget, under reserved (not enough spaces to get us all in the White House), short t-shirts, without an itinerary, missing money...you name it, it's happened to us this week! But I tell you....I KNOW (in my heart and soul) that despite the complaints (and I fully expect there to be many more!) that it will all be worth it. Some of these kids will never leave the great state of North Carolina. Some will never leave our small county. And that's fine. But for 3 days, we have the opportunity to show them that there's a GREAT, BIG world out there. For 3 days we can teach them about our nation's capital and help them believe in a government of the people, by the people & for the people. We can help them make memories that really will last a lifetime. That makes it worth it.
So....what am I thankful for this week? I started at the beginning of the school year having a quiet time each morning. It means getting up at 5am, which is a struggle every single day, but once I sit down with my Smoky Mtn Roasters coffee, my Skinny Vanilla creamer & my Bible & listen to the absolute quiet of my house....I realize the importance of this ritual. It's my time to connect. My time to hear God. To ask Him to help me through the day. To ask Him to show me His ways in every minute of my day. To bask in His glory.
I've read a bit about devotional practices and every single one mentions having a quiet time. I must admit though that for years I was reluctant to give up my sleep. Not a lot of sleep happens in this house, so I'm pretty stingy with what I get. But now, after 8 months of this....I get it. I started in January reading The One Year Chronological Bible. I'm currently in Deuteronomy. It's been interesting. At the very beginning it was pretty fascinating. But let me tell you that I have learned that I am a NEW testament girl! Some mornings it's all I can do to hold onto my coffee cup as I'm reading. It's like my lifeline to the world. (I do a lot of REreading cause I realize 3 pages ago I started thinking about dinner or the weekend or who knows what.) So lately I've started really praying in the shower before I sit down to read. I pray that God will give me wisdom to understand what in the world I'm reading. That He'll give me insight and help me understand what it has to do with my life (cause you know that's really what it's all about!) It helps. But today....after a CRAZY week full of complaining students, parents, administrators, basically EVERYONE, I NEEDED to hear the Lord. And there it was...like He was whispering it just to me....
Deuteronomy 31:8, The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
I stopped on that verse and just thanked my Heavenly Father. Because I knew, that even though I was reading about Moses talking to Joshua before he enters the Promised Land, I was reading EXACTLY what I needed today. God was reminding me that ultimately He's in control. And that I do not need to worry about a thing.
I have REJOICED all day over that verse and the peace that it brought to my heart. So while 5am is way too early in the morning for much....I will keep it up because I've never felt closer to my God and wow! what an AWESOME feeling that is!