I've been feeling down recently. Nothing BAD is happening. I just don't feel very peppy.
My workplace is where I feel the most un-peppy. I'm a teacher feeling like I've taught one too many kids. The K-5th grade students stay in my room for 40 minutes at a time and, after they leave, another batch comes in. ...and then another...and then another. Over the last 12 years I think I've taught around 9,000 sessions of elementary Spanish. That's about 187 THOUSAND bodies coming through my classroom door. That's ALSO a LOT of counting to 'diez' in Spanish and saying 'hola' and 'rojo' innumerable times. Sometimes, especially this September, I think thoughts like, "I don't know if I can do another one of these sessions!" That's what I mean about feeling down and NOT very peppy.
But I have to keep going, right? I can't just quit my job. I need to make money for the fam.
But I don't like just 'making it through.' I don't want to just live for the weekend. I want to feel like my days are meaningful and worthwhile.
So here's what I've been trying:
I've been writing the words "God is here," on my hand.
It's helping me a lot. When I remember that God is here, it helps me realize that there's something more significant happening. Something more significant than teaching basic Spanish words to little kids. God! God is here! And that means that he has purposes for this time. He has things that he feels about each of these children. He doesn't see the kids as the "next body to pass through the room" or another "instructional session to get done with." He knows each of them by name. He knows everything about them. He knows that a lot of them are hurting; that they're starving for kindness.
"God is here," also reminds me that...
- ...I am His.
- ...He lives inside of me.
- ...He wants to share a knowledge of what He's like through the way that I am in class.
- ...He wants to use me.
- ...I can pray for these kids.
- ...God can do miraculous things at any moment and I can be watching for those miracles to happen. God can even use ME to do those miraculous things!
I definitely still feel down a lot. Usually 2 minutes before the next class I feel a little depressed and then I have to look at my hand yet again and remind myself of the same things about God. And that gives me the energy I need to take the next step.
One cool thing that has happened is that some people have asked me about what's on my hand. Today a student said, "what's on your hand?" I showed the class and one student read out loud "God is here." It was actually a beautiful moment...to hear God's name being said out loud in a public school. Later in the day, during my lunch hour, I was with some colleagues and one of them asked about the writing on my palm as well. Everyone stopped chewing to listen to my answer. I got to tell them how I've felt a bit depressed at the beginning of each class and that realizing that God is with me inspires me. One lady said, "Interesting. I feel the same, actually, about it being hard to teach class after class." A few minutes later that same lady stood up to get back to work and said, "Ugh. I need some inspiration." I showed her my hand and she smiled.
My wife has started to write, "God is here," on her hand as well. I was really encouraged the other day when she texted a picture of the same words on her hand to me in the middle of the day.
How are you feeling these days? Down? Blue? If you start writing, "God is here," on your hand, please send it to me. It will encourage me. Maybe I'll collect the pictures and add them to the end of this post too!