Monday, May 02, 2011

It has been awhile (again) since I’ve blogged. I’ve honestly thought about taking the blog down, and wondered whether this is something I still need. My original intentions were to have a place to communicate with friends and family, a place where I could journal and process my thoughts and feelings, but mostly it was to be a way for my sister and her family to stay in touch with me while they were overseas. Said sister has since moved home, and I see them on a regular basis. I know that I have family members and friends who continue to check this as a way to keep in touch with me, and as a way to understand what I am thinking about. Unfortunately, there are some side effects to having a blog that is open to the community at large. Throughout the time, there have been inappropriate comments left on the blog by complete strangers (which I have taken down as they emerge). It is also a way for people that I would rather not have contact with (for various reasons) to keep “track” of me. I realize that I could change the format so that only selected people can view the blog and it’s contents. This seems like a whole lot of work, which is why I’ve been thinking more seriously about discontinuing it all together. The other thought that pops into my head is that I know there are individuals out there who do read this and look for my updates on a regular basis. I know that this is one of the many ways that they show that they care for me. It is these people that I keep coming back to, and that convince me that this is something I “need” to continue. And so, I think I will. There may be stretches where I post many times, and then there may be times (like more recently) when you won’t hear anything from me. Such is life! ☺

My life has changed courses several times over the past months since January. On some subjects I am willing to expound, while others I will remain “mum” over. These months have been some of the hardest of my life as I’ve pondered what my life means to me, as well as to others. I’ve felt incredible sadness, consuming anger, hurt that I didn’t think it was possible to recover from…. On the other hand, I am finding my way back to being me, and putting the pieces back together. I have felt incredible PEACE. I have JOY in my life. I know that I am LOVED. And, I know that God is guiding me through this all and will show me His plans for me.

Eric and I have broken up, gotten back together, and then broken up (for good this time) again. I will not stoop to placing blame or badmouthing. Things did not work out and we are both hoping to move on and be better for the experience.

One of my students struggles with knowing right from wrong. There have been several incidents throughout the school year with various adults and children that have shown how serious of a problem he has. This behavior culminated in an interaction with me, which then turned into him being charged with sexual battery. I have had lots of conflicting thoughts about this, and I’ve been so thankful for the full support of the administration I’m working with this year.

I’ve begun my ESL (English as a Second Language) endorsement. Classes are in 8-week increments, and meet each week for several hours at a time. 8 weeks means lots of work out of class and tons of reading on your own. By spring of 2012 I will have my endorsement completed. I feel a bit crazy for having taken on this responsibility while I’m also trying to complete my Master’s Degree, but the school district offered to pay for the endorsement (or at least most of the costs related to it) and I realize that this offer will not come along again anytime soon.

I’m at the end of my second semester of Master’s degree coursework. I’m finishing up my final project(s) for this semester, and preparing for the summer work. I have 12 credits completed towards my degree. A few weeks ago the organization that has helped pay for most of my Master’s coursework up to this point sent me a letter asking whether I had any interest in continuing to take classes during this summer. This is the first time they’ve had enough money to offer help during the summer months, and I jumped at the chance to “knock out” some additional courses over the summer. By August I’ll have finished 6 more hours towards the degree. Slowly and steadily….

I’ve also been offered a summer position with the school district. One of the principals in the district is developing a new summer program, and I’ve been asked to help create the pilot program. I’ll be teaching Monday through Thursday mornings with 4-7th grade students for a total of 6 weeks. The principal trusts me to develop my own curriculum and activities for the students, and her only request is that it is not worksheet based learning. I’ll be taking data from achievement testing (district, state, etc…) as well as the State Standards that students need to understand and put into practice at the different grade levels and put all of that into activities for the students. I’ve already been doing quite a bit of planning in my free time, and I’m excited with what I’ve come up with so far. I’m hopeful that the kids get as excited about it as I am!

Another of the projects I’ve recently taken on is to be a spokesperson for one of the Gluten Free companies that I love. It’s a bakery called Udi’s and is based in Denver. As an Udi’s ambassador I get to meet with groups and share about the product I love so much. So far I’ve met with a group in Hesston, and will be in Wichita next weekend presenting (and handing out samples) at Green Acres Market. There are two other gluten free groups that I’m talking with about possible opportunities, and I’m excited about how I’m able to help others. Udi’s does not pay me to be a spokesperson for them, I just know how much they are a resource to me, and I want to share that with others.

I’ve been busy baking (gluten filled) treats for my friend’s bookshop. Each weekend I make a delivery of cupcakes, scones, and muffins. I’m thankful for the opportunity to bake treats, but I’ll also be thankful when the bookshop/coffee shop changes ownership hands, and I will no longer be baking on such a regular basis. Since the shop is in Newton, it is sometimes a logistical nightmare to make sure they have baked goods when they are needed.

I’ve been blessed with a new niece, as well as plenty of time to enjoy her (as well as my nephew, sister and brother-in-law). As I write this, Gustav and I are enjoying the sunshine as I wait for Mormor to show up and finish out the afternoon babysitting needs. I’ll head to the doctor and then home.

I’m praying for the final weeks of school to pass quickly. As I look at the calendar I feel overwhelmed, knowing what all needs to be packed into these days and evenings. I know it is possible, and that I will get it all accomplished, but at this point I feel stress.

Blessings to you as you enter the weeks of May. Enjoy the moments as they come and go,



A&M said...

So good to catch up with you again--you're on our minds so often. How you keep up with all your activities & responsibilities is amazing. We missed you at Gr's birthday party. Hope to see you before long. Love you.


CAS said...

Thanks for the update, Erica. Really appreciate it! You have no idea how many times I've looked to see whether you had updated your blog. It's good to know what's going on in your life and keeping you busy. We're praying for you!

acbuller said...

We think you are marvelous.

Tim and Heidi Huber said...

We're glad that you wrote again. We look often to see if you have composed another thoughtful essay on life as it known to Erica. We are thankful for every moment we share with you, whether you are here in our home, or if we are reading your words on your blog. Keep up the good work and DON'T wear yourself out with all of these projects!

Cranefarm said...

I do enjoy reading your blog because you write with such depth. I do respect your reasons for not having your writing in such a public forum.