Today is the last month of the school year, 21 days left . My second year of teaching is about to come to a close. While I am happy to spend more time with my little one, I am going to miss these kids that I have grown to love and teach.
This year has been crazier than my 1st year of teaching, but most of it was due to personal reasons. This year has taught me strength, perseverance, and relying on my faith to see me through. While my teacher evaluation came back with high scores, I do not feel like I was able to be my best at all times. I know most teachers have to feel that way, but I plan on major reflection this summer as well as beginning my Master’s degree. My area of study is something that I struggle with…ESL/ELL. This was my first year to work with this demographic, while it can be a struggle, it comes with many rewards. Through trials and tribulations, I made it through this year and gained some knowledge along the way. After much thought, I have decided to sign on and stay at this school next year. I am ready to set my roots and expand my career. My students need a routine, a safe place they can return when things get to rough. I still haven’t forgiven myself for leaving my students last year.
April saw not only me gaining another year of age, but another year of marriage. I am truly blessed to spend another year with my best friend and husband. This time last year, I wasn’t sure we would ever see 15 years, but God gave us another chance to work together as one and for that I am truly grateful.
For now, I prep my students for the dreaded STAAR and work on finishing up the year.
For weeks I have lived in the peace in the moment of my decision, but I find myself wondering why all this to get here. I mean do not get me wrong, the man upstairs knows what he is doing, but did I really need to go through all this to finally find myself and my purpose.
I am not a in the moment tattoo getter person, but when I signed the contract for my 1st book I wanted to document the momentous occasion by having my logo tattooed on me so that I would always remember. Fast forward to now and I was disappointed in myself. Everyday I was seeing this tattoo stare back at me as a reminder of my failure, or what I was perceiving.
I told my husband just the other day of all my tattoos, I regret this one and want to get it covered up ASAP. He said “There is nothing to be ashamed of, it is to celebrate your accomplishment.” Right, to me sadly, my book has been nothing, but a failure. Many people have told me that they loved it, but it was crushed in the writing world as being subpar, career ending, a travesty. Don’t get me wrong, I have thick skin, but geez. Maybe a little constructive criticism would be nice.
For weeks I having been doing my devotions daily, trying to listen to God for my purpose and where I am suppose to be. Am I listening? Did I miss the call? Am I on hold? Can you hear me? The last time he spoke, I heard loud and clear like a principal using a microphone for a crowd. Finally, I stopped stressing and let God know I am here waiting and ready to listen.
To my surprise, this morning while I was in the shower it hit me. It was THERE all along my purpose, I was just looking at it the wrong way. Looking down at my wrist what I first saw was Jean Stone, but when I really looked to see, it was me. The magnify glass shows an apple, my calling as a teacher. Finally, I truly see and feel my calling as a teacher, not that I didn’t before, but deciding to surrender to what God has in store for me is wonderful and nerve wracking all at the same time.
At the end of this month, I start my Master’s. Although this is gonna be the hardest thing I have ever done, it will be rewarding in the end to better myself for my students. For now, I go back to packing as I prepare to head to Vegas this weekend to celebrate my 36th Birthday and my 15th Wedding Anniversary. Hey who says I can’t take a break?
The last two weeks of my life have probably been the most peaceful I have had in almost a year. The mind is quiet, no worries, no bothers, just living and enjoying my life. Crocheting, reading, snuggling with my pets, and being present with my family.
People have asked me…”When you coming back?” Honestly, I do not know. I have been able to be present with my daughter, love on my gracious husband, and spend a lot of time deep in mediation with the Good lord and his word continuing to grow my faith.
The truth is that I like just being a teacher, a mom, and a wife. My needs and dreams have changed after the last year and I know longer feel empty and alone. While I enjoyed writing to help me escape my life, I am not trying to escape now, but embrace this life the Lord has given me. Yesterday my cousin posted something on Facebook and it resonated with me.
What if you are meant to be rescued from your current situation, but rather revived through it? Psalm 71:20
My writing was meant to be an escape from the life I thought was so broken, but God has shown me that I was where I needed to be all along. That I needed to take off the dark colored glasses, see all the wonderful things that I had right in front of me that I was missing. My family, my work, my faith. I was broken, but I am not anymore and for now I am making up for lost time from the darkness.
I am even going back to finally finish my Master’s degree. Although I am nervous, I am excited for this wonderful opportunity to advance my career and earn a higher degree.
The last year has taught me a lot about loss, humility, and sadness, but I refer back to it as my rebirth. I fell, but I am getting back up and learning to forgive myself one day at a time.
When I gave my worries to the Lord, I had to be ready for what I would hear even knowing that it could be something completely out of left field. HE knows my purpose, not me. When I started this journey of writing a year ago, it was a way to escape the world during my darkest hours. I was lost, unsure, and in trouble. I felt God had forsaken me, left me behind when I needed him the most. My cookie cutter life was falling apart and I didn’t know what to do. I was losing my mind, my husband, and my daughter.
At my darkest hour, writing brought me through where I was. You see I never told one family member or friend what I was going through in my life. So my writing allowed me to get all my thoughts on paper of a life I always dreamed of, but as I wrote, my life came out in its pages, more than I ever thought possible. It was my hopes and dreams, but also my sorrows and my deepest fears. Jean’s life was following apart and so was my own.
By October I made one of the most difficult decisions and that was to get help. Through time, some medication, and lots of prayer, I am slowly becoming myself again. I still struggle with day to day life as an adult with ADD and anxiety, but for the most part I handle it the best I can. Then I noticed how much the media marketing was affecting my mood. Anyone who is a new and upcoming writer knows the only way to get your book out there is to BE OUT THERE on social media. As a person who grew up with Myspace, I found it intimidating and very unpleasant. The more I was posting, the more I was losing myself piece by piece.
Then I realized as I got better, writing wasn’t bringing me the joy and relief it once had in my life. Not more than six months ago, I was so happy to have signed a book deal. I was going to be an author, but as the day approached, I found myself with more anxiety than happiness. Book release day came along with the party, but I found myself still not all there.
Then the problems began with formatting, editing, the reviews, the judgment, the negativity and I found myself in back to back panic attacks. Is this what I was going to have to do just to publish a book? You see I am a teacher and love my career, but I was going to have to choose, just like Jean was going to, either be a teacher or a writer, because I CAN NOT do both. My family was suffering and so was I.
This past weekend, I went to mother daughter camp with my sweet one to reconnect after such a broken year. What I found was peace and hearing God’s word on my heart. My family needs me, my little girl needs her momma to be present and spend those moments with her and not worrying what some stranger thinks or feels about my book. Instead of presenting myself to the world, I need to spent that time raising my daughter and taking care of my husband along with myself.
In the next week, I am going to deactivate all my author social media accounts, but Jean Stone’s will remain handled by my publisher. Book 1 will be back up in a few weeks depending on how long it takes to get through the mess. Book 2 will still be out in August, but as of this moment, my writing is on hiatus indefinitely. While some may see this as giving up, I see this as a story with a happy ending. You see, I got my family back which is worth more than any silver or gold in this world. As well as I recommited myself to the Lord and when he decides I need to write again, he will let me know. My little girl is only 8 once and I want to spend the rest of the year with her. My website will remain up, I still enjoy blogging and who knows what the future holds.
Thank you again for those who supported and followed along in my journey. I met some amazing people who I hope to keep up with in the near future.
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At some point you have to stop and realize what is important in life, what works for your family dynamic, and ultimately what makes you happy. Today was my breaking point. Another bad review, another problem with my book. Today, I threw my hands up in the air! Really, it seems that since the book has come out, it is one problem after another and I am over it! My stress has gone through the roof and for what? I trusted and had faith in the process of the people who were my team to handle things and now I feel like I didn’t do my due diligence. As of today, I am contemplating leaving the publishing world for a break to live and not worry.
Being a published writer was not my ultimate dream, it was suppose to be a fun side project to do and I find myself with more gray hairs and less money. Yes I am grateful for the experience, yes I am grateful for the privilege to meet new people, but I am not happy to spend every moment outside of my career as a teacher fixing other things. I do that all day here. My blog will remain as I enjoy this, will keep up with my team work on a life coaching magazine, and create short stories to read for fun. For me I am contemplating a move, I think self-publishing is the way to go at least for the time being and for my lifestyle. Here I can create my own timeline and work how I please. Getting back to the basics where writing is fun again and not such a chore. As always, I will go to God with my concerns, but self love has to start with me. My family needs me and I need them.
This may just be another adventure that I have in life that I can reflect on. A few weeks ago, it was laid on my heart to self publisher like my grandfather did in the 90’s, a pioneer before his time. Now that voice is stronger and I believe I am where I need to be. Even though it isn’t the easiest decision, I am at peace and am surrounded my friends and family who support me and a daughter who is excited to be apart of the process.
A few days ago, a post popped up on Facebook. It was from a country artist I have followed over the years will a blog about the anniversary of his wife’s passing. A few years ago, I read a heart felt blog about how this beautiful young mother had decided to stop treatment for her cancer and was going home to live out her days with her family. Joey Feek was a name that I had heard before in the music world as I loved her duet song with her husband, Rory called Cheater Cheater.
Now I don’t keep up with artist personal lives, but that day I stopped and read about the birth of their beautiful daughter, Indiana, her first bout of cancer and then a subsequent diagnosis a short time later that ended up being terminal. Having a young daughter myself, I cried my eyes out for this family I barely knew as they dealt with the difficult task of saying goodbye. I would mourn her death a few short months later praying for her husband and daughter. I sorta kept up with them afterwards for what reason, I don’t know, but I found myself following along with the story. In 2016, the documentary, To Joey with Love, was released in which I was able to watch with a giant box of tissues. I remember thinking, I wish I had her faith in God. I wish I could be that selfless and strong for my family. Yesterday, I watched it again, and again I cried, but this time it was different for me. When they decided to take a year off the road and raise their daughter, they also decided to homestead, living off their land and growing close with the town they lived in.
Why does this resonate with me? Because my dream has always been to have a house on some land and homestead myself. If you know me, you would think, Morgan, you? I don’t see that happening. Could you live without internet, tv? You write, you teach why retreat to the land?
Simple, to live an authentic life. To cook the food I grow, stop the hustle and bustle of life, and grow closer with God. Life has so many interferences. While working is vital and I have no plan to quit teaching or writing, I am tired of the keeping up with the jones part of life.
While yes technology is great for somethings, it takes us away from being present. A necessary evil so to speak. I am just as guilty of coming home and scrolling through the pages of mindless news, everything negative and bad, no joy. Yet like a train wreck, I can not turn away and find myself yearning to turn the screen back on. Did I post enough today? Did it reach enough people? Did I interact? How many likes? Seriously, that is my concern?
God has a wonderful sense of humor, while writing this post, my internet went out for over an hour. At first I was furious, I really wanted to talk about this stuff and here technology failed and then I laughed as I realized, HE was giving me a reality check. Yes I could live without internet, but it was going to be harder than it seemed.Oh but what an adventure it would be. Now do not get me wrong, I have had a wonderful life. I am just yearning for a life of more moments and less materials.
I feel I am missing out on life just trying to keep up with it. Working to the bone and for what? Possessions I won’t be able to take with me, a house that is always cluttered because we need this or that, hoping someday to stop the rat race of life. Turning to social media to have relationships when people are right in front of me. Who have I become?
Lately I have been asking what is next when I should be asking myself what is his plan? God’s plan is already there waiting for me. I need to stop looking for the next best thing and be like Joey, relying on my faith in God.
The Feek’s put their faith in that God had a great story for them. He did, a story that inspired many like myself over the years. I do not know what tomorrow will bring, but HE does and like The Feeks, I will put my faith that God has a great story for me. I just need to have a little faith.