Honesty, Stress, and Prayer

So, I almost didn’t write this post because I didn’t really want to admit my struggles in such a public way. And then I remembered my last blog post—about honesty. So I decided to be honest.

I am asking for your prayers as I face the next several weeks of school.

My work load at school was finally getting easier and I was excited about finishing out strong. I, being the organized firstborn that I am, had everything coming together very nicely for my class to get done with their work in perfect timing. Then, school ending date got moved up a week, throwing all my nicely laid plans awry. So now we have to do extra lessons and have a very full schedule to get done on time. I know my students can do it. I’m not worried about that. But what makes it hard is that I was finally getting on top of things and now I feel overwhelmed again. On top of teaching lessons and doing checking I have to plan something for ending program.

I had a wonderful Easter vacation, but already this afternoon and this evening I could feel the stress level building up. I try to tell myself to relax and give it over to God and just live one moment at a time rather than letting the stress of 3 weeks come all crashing on me right now; but it sounds much easier than it is.

So I would ask that you would pray for me as I go through each day. That I could just give it all to God and be able to enjoy these last weeks with my students without being taken under by stress. And if anyone is bored, come on to school and I will put you to work! Winking smile

One of these days hopefully I will have time for a more fun, upbeat post with some pictures. Smile

Buenas Noches!

Leap of Faith!

Here is a post from my Instagram a couple weeks ago.

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Let go, Let God

Although I know this is true, it is so hard to do. Pray for me that I could let go and trust God. I want to follow Him, but taking that leap of faith when you can’t see the landing is very scary. It’s hard to let go of the edge for fear of falling.

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For the past month or so I have been struggling with the question of whether I was to teach school again next year or not. Soon after Christmas I came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t teach again and I had peace about that. But, that peace only last for a day or so before doubt began to arise. I thought, Well, maybe I’ll say I can teach if I have fewer grades. Because it felt scary to quit my job, which would mean I would have no job, no car, and no money. How could I get another job if I had no vehicle, but how could I pay for a vehicle if I had no job?

I continued to pray and seek God’s will; but I was still hanging on to the edge of the cliff, scared of what would happen if I let go. I thought, If I can just teach for even another year, I could buy a vehicle and pay it off and be set for another job.  And so it went. I felt like before I could quit one job, I had to have planned out what would happen next.

Finally it came to the third weekend in January—the weekend of our church’s deacon ordination. As I sat in church Sunday night I thought, If I could just take a lot and know one way or the other. Then it would be decided and I would just have to accept whichever answer it would be. Then we sang the song “I Surrender All.”

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All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
Refrain:
I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!

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And I realized that maybe I hadn’t truly surrendered all to the Lord. I was trying to be in control rather than giving it over to Him. So I sat there and struggled through the service with this heavy on my mind.

The next morning in my devotions I read this statement: “Very often it is not until we let go and commit a situation into the Lord’s hands—perhaps fearing the worst—that God works it all out.” And I posted it to my Instagram and Facebook, asking for your prayers. The struggle was very real that day. The intensity gave me a major headache. But till the end of the day I had my answer. My answer to the school board would be “No.” The peace didn’t come right away. It wasn’t until the next day that I felt the peace of surrender. Thanks to all of y’all who were praying for me! I could feel your prayers strengthening me.

And, it wasn’t half as scary making that leap off the edge as I thought. The whole time I was clinging desperately to the edge of the cliff I didn’t have peace, but now I feel completely at peace. No, I still don’t have a vehicle; I still don’t know how I’m going to survive after my last paycheck. But I do know that God holds the future and I don’t have to see what is next. I’m excited to see what He has for me!

So, I would ask you to pray for me as I seek God’s will for my future.

Also I would ask for prayers for the school here and the need for an upper grade teacher. This is something else I have to give over to God. It is hard to entrust “my” children into someone else’s care. But knowing that God has led me to quit I know He can provide the teacher that they need.

Change of Plans

Right now I am really struggling. What over? A change of plans. I know it sounds absolutely silly. It makes me feel like a kid who cries when he doesn’t get his way.

I would say I’ve had a pretty good week. Although I was not feeling top-notch, things were going pretty smoothly. Today started out pretty well. I woke up feeling decently well and excited for the day. Then, just like that, someone stepped in and totally wrecked my plans.

At first, I wanted to strike back and say, “Don’t you realize other people besides you have plans? You’re being selfish! Don’t you know how hard I’ve worked at making MY plans?!” Then God convicted me. I realized that I needed to pray for that person. I have no idea what they are going through. They may be having a very tough time and need my prayers.

I also have to realize that God knew exactly what was going to happen and He made the choice to LET it happen. Knowing that, I want to submit to His perfect will. I want to allow this experience to help me grow, to help me learn to let go and enjoy where God is taking me.

God has really been working on me to just let go and give everything over to Him. But, I hold back, afraid of what will happen if I let go of what I know. It’s scary to make that leap of faith when you can’t see the landing point. It’s so easy for me to get stressed and depressed over my finances (or lack thereof), my job, lack of vehicle, etc. But, getting stressed over it sure doesn’t make life any easier. I’ve already tried that way and know it doesn’t work. I ended up physically hurting all due to stress; and I was in a dark place that I don’t want to go back to. I’ve been trying to let go and it is freeing, but I still have a long way to go.

I don’t know why today is so tough on me. Perhaps being physically worn down from not feeling well and crazy hormones. But whatever the case, I would just continue to seek your prays. I’m so blessed with many wonderful friends! I accept Hugs and Prayers at any time! Smile  And if you ever need someone to pray for you, please let me know. I would love to do that for you!

This was my inspiration this morning from my devotions about Joseph. “Even if you are in a pit today, God can still raise you up and do great things in you and through you!” –Joyce Meyer

When I realize what other people are going through, it makes me realize how small my problems are. And I ask myself, “Why am I getting upset over a minor change of plans, when some people are facing much more devastating, life-changing circumstances?” I would ask you to pray for my friend Sharla who has just found out that she has Stage 4 colon cancer. It is devastating to her family. Pray that they could have strength through this time, wisdom as they decide what treatment to pursue, and the peace of God as they rest in His will. 

February

Well, here it is already February and I haven’t done any posting. Sad smile Sometimes I debate whether I should even have a blog. Maybe with G+ and Facebook, I don’t need a blog to keep people updated. And I hardly ever email any more. It doesn’t help that I still haven’t recovered my gmail account. Sad smile I guess I need to set up a new one. For now I am using my Martin Photography account.

A big change in January was the passing of my Grandma Martin. We miss her, but are happy that she is now cancer free and living with Jesus. Her life is definitely an inspiration and challenge for me! So a week after being back in Colorado after Christmas break, I headed back to to VA for the funeral. It was fun to see my cousins that I haven’t seen for a long time.

Now I feel like I can catch up on some stuff here, but somehow I always have more than enough projects to do. Now you now why I don’t get around to posting. Between school stuff, sewing, family, youth, and exercising, there just doesn’t seem to be time to fit everything in.

Something exciting to look forward to is that 2 of my cousins are getting married this spring. Derek and his fiancée Angela are getting married May 20 and then Connie and her fiancé Lyle are getting married June 11. I’m especially excited because I get to be Connie’s maid of honor! Smile And Connie, Kendra, Beth, and I will all be together before the wedding!

So here are a few random photos to make the post a bit more interesting: my winter bulletin board, our house and the chicken barn in the snow, my class on wacky day, and a random babysitting pic.

And, if you think I should keep blogging, comment and let me know! Thanks!

End of 2015

Well, here we are to the end of 2015. And, no, I am not caught up with my blog. Sad smile I did not recover my email, so you can still remember that in your prayers. I feel like I almost know my password, but it just won’t quite come to me exactly. :/  But I have some more important prayer request than that. On the 17th of December Twila Wingard died of cancer. (I had written a bit about her in the spring.) She leaves behind a husband and two children age 9 and 6. (They attend our school.) So just remember them in their grief. Also, pray for my Grandma Martin who is dying of cancer. I value the time I am able to spend with her over this Christmas break, because I probably will not see her alive again. She has not been having pain with it, so that is very nice. She just continually grows weaker. We local Martins went in and sang for her on Christmas morning. Granddad wanted some Christmas songs, but she wanted us to sing all her funeral songs first. She still has some spunk. Smile 

I have been enjoying catching up with people while I am in Virginia over Christmas break. The first Sunday we had “Christmas at church.” This is when everyone brings gifts to hand out to the other people at church. I got candy, perfume, lotion, socks, and more. That evening was the Berea school program. I had not been to a VA school program since I moved to Colorado so that was special. And I got to talk to Audrey, Miriam, Janine, Sarah, Janell, and Nellie.  I was at Connie’s Wednesday night and Thursday. Friday we had our Martin Christmas dinner at Uncle Art’s. Saturday morning I went out for Breakfast and then shopping with Connie and Lyle and Josh and Clinton. Sunday I went down to Uncle Art’s for lunch since they were having some other of my friends over too. Then I stopped by Granddad’s on my way home. I look forward to spending more time with some of my friends this week.

And one more note: It has been unseasonably warm! In the 70s some days! And very rainy. Looks like I’m missing out on the cold and snow in Colorado. Minus all the rain, I do enjoy the warm weather. Smile 

Blessings to everyone, and a Happy New Year!

Rachel