Frustrations and Blessings

*Warning – Christian Spiritual Post Starting Now!*

There are some days that drain every last bit of energy, caring, and hope from my being (or so it seems). Days in which every student is on a crazy attitude bender, my child is exhibiting both the terrible twos of lore AND the clinginess associated with a sick toddler (third round of antibiotics and 4th of cough medicine for my 2 year old…NO FUN!), and no one seems to feel as though I can make my own decisions about anything.

This past week I have had people, NOT TEACHERS, telling me my lesson plans need to be looked over because I’m doing them incorrectly, people trying to take over my lessons or classroom, and well meaning family members telling me everything that is wrong with my parenting style, my daughter, and even my fashion sense (If they remembered what I used to wear 5 years ago, they would applaud my current style!). I have been stressed out, at the end of my tether, and left with no time to breath, let alone write. In short, I’ve been drowning. Oh the pleasures of being a teacher and single mother during the “Holidays.”

But these are also the days that I look back on and Praise God. Even as near by as 3 years ago, I would have either walked out or been so abrasive to these (hopefully) well meaning yet mostly un-helpful and under-educated or un-informed (at least about my classroom and lessons) people that I would have lost my job, had students removed, and probably lost the ability to be a teacher. My reputation would have been ruined because I was physically and mentally exhausted. However, God and The Monkey have helped me change my outlook drastically and I am more patient and less defensive (at least on the outside) than I was then.

It doesn’t stop there, however. You see, when God changes things and shows you what there is to be grateful for even the seemingly worst days can bring little blessings through your sad and frustrated outlook.

Take Friday for instance. I had teachers trying to give me advice that I cannot understand and which doesn’t really have much bearing on what I’m teaching (I’m Writing and Science and the only tech I have is a Smart Board that was just fixed a few days ago…so telling me about a great Apple TV MATH app is no help at all). I had a sick child and grandparents coming that night and I was NOT in a great mood. With all of the progress monitoring and practices for programs my students are not getting enough time in my class and it is now only one week to break…craziness ensues daily. But I bought a copy of my series for the classroom and my students were so sweetly excited that I couldn’t help but smile. Then a student who has been a big whirlwind of trouble since the beginning of school was withdrawn to move back to his home state. Though excited to see his mother soon, this young man was tearing up at leaving us. He hugged me tight and I gave him the new class copy of Dragon on My Neck, which he proudly showed off to every person he saw on the way out the door. The class will never be the same without him and, though they will be a lot quieter and a bit more on task, I know that he has left his mark on us all. He may have been trouble, but he was a blessing as well.

Then yesterday, on Short Story Sunday, as I was spending a lazy morning not going to church because the rainy weather was messing with both of us, I wrote a little whimsical poem about sheep on the bathroom wall…and within a couple hours I had 4 new followers for the blog. It astounds me how that happens. I am humbled and blessed beyond measure to have this outlet for my writings both short and not so short (like today!)

So even though I know that this week will be INSANE and FRUSTRATING and CRAZY…I also know that it will be full of hidden blessings and chances to realize just how amazing the life God has given me is. For the record, the week after this is reserved for naps and long writing sessions!

Have a not-too-manic Monday and a HAPPY Pre-Holiday Week!photo

Tyree Tomes Friday

I want to take this opportunity to remind you that our Spiritual book department (headed by Dr. Wilson Jay Tyree) is giving away e-reader copies regularly. In fact, the true purpose of his books being on Kindle is to give them away and so far Dr. Tyree has managed to pass out 850 digital copies of these books for this fiscal year. Our goal is 2,000 copies this year, so here’s where you come in! You can visit Dr. Tyree’s available book selection at amazon.com/author/wilsontyree and keep up with his free give aways by ‘liking’ our Tyree Tomes page on Facebook. One more thing, if you are a reader in Italy please download something of his! He keeps moaning and groaning that he hasn’t broken in to the market their yet. Thank you!

 

I should also mention here that I am still out there, plugging away at novel #4 and waiting on some new reviews to come in for the other 3 in that series. If you haven’t gotten the books or need to remind yourself of them, my author page is found at amazon.com/author/elizabethtyree and will link you to my four available books. I am, as I said, still awaiting the reviews or blog comments to hear what my new readers think of characters and plotlines, so I can’t tell you much about my popularity right now (hint hint *wink*). As with my father, information on my own giveaways and contests can also be found via Tyree Tomes.

Thank you for all of your support and the time it takes you to read our work. I hope that we continue to earn your readership and loyalty, and that many blessings follow you today.

Singing Tomes

As I may have mentioned once or twice recently, this week has been a big one in our household…as well as in Tyree Tomes.

Not only has Dr. Tyree given away another whoppingly large number of his kindle books (check out Paul on Paul, giveaway ends tonight); I have given away three paperback copies of my first book and, so far, have gotten rave reviews from the target audience.

Even though I haven’t had much time to write (read..none) and even though Dr. Tyree’s current w.i.p. is faring a similar fate this week, there has been much discussion of books, stories, and most importantly, what lies behind them.

Perhaps even more importantly than that (can I have something more important than the most important? Is there a word for that? I digress…) We have been privileged to spend time at home with some amazing girls, share dinner with an added great group of guys and a few instructors, and be part of a wonderful work for the church and for God. You see, Singing School may be touted as something that teaches men how to lead singing and everyone how to read the notes and follow the song leader, but what really happens is a great church camp atmosphere in which our members open up their doors and become an extended family for the students. For their part, the students spend a week singing songs and having devotionals that bring them closer to God and to each other.

Displaying CAM03770.jpg

One of our amazing men’s directors, Chris does a great job with teaching music AND with presenting devotionals that engage and delight his audience, keeping them learning and growing in Christ while he’s at it.

I was honored this year to be able to house a good friend of mine’s daughter, who just turned old enough to have her first year with us. I went to the Alva School of Music with her father and his friends (by the way, they are still goofy as all get out!) and it has been an odd and wonderful experience to watch her learning to be here and even helping other friends adjust to being here this week.

My other girls have shown me different sides of camp, of life, and of silliness…like they’re all a different side of the gaming dice and I’m a roll away from either unlimited healing or unmitigated disaster.

I have said all of that long windedness to say this…No, we haven’t written much this week. Yes, I will be scrambling tomorrow to try to get a short story written in time to complete my weekly challenge. Yes, we are all exhausted. But though Tyree Tomes doesn’t really have anything to show for this week, we have been honored, humbled, and touched several times a day…and that is worth more than all of the royalties and recognition that even someone like J.K. Rowling would have.

I hope you all have a Blessed Weekend! I’m off to start getting things ready for tonight…the big choral performance is this evening and there’s no way to get all 7 women and the one poor guy ready on time unless I start 6 hours early!

What is your purpose?

While catching up on some online episodes of my favorite television shows, I heard a thought inducing question.

“If God has a plan who is it for, me or HIM?” Frank Irving (played by Orlando Jones) on Fox’s Sleepy Hollow.

This show is an updated, reimagined small screen adaptation of one of my favorite classic shot stories by Washington Irving and has included much legend, myth, and historical fact/lore. It also references the biblical book of Revelations in almost every, if not every, episode.

I won’t be going into any of that at the moment, even though I find it all of great interest and enjoy researching those things. What I will do is ask you a question:

Do YOU (not your mother/father/sister/brother/minister) believe that God has a purpose and plan for you? If so, is that purpose and plan for HIM or for you?

Have a Blessed and purposeful day!

Cold Weather

I don’t like to be cold. There are some people who just adore wrapping up in 15 layers of clothing, 3 hats, a scarf, hand warmers, mittens, and boots; all in order to go running outside and sliding around in something that can turn your toes blue and lop off bits of your nose. I don’t get that. Perhaps my aversion to cold is the reason behind never making a good snowman, although if the wind didn’t blow so much here in NW Oklahoma, I could deal quite well with the snow (at least for a few minutes).

However, I abhor the biting cold. I sincerely believe that when the world was created, God meant for us to live in a tropical climate of day time temperatures from 72-84 degrees and evening lows nowhere below about 55 degrees. When the fruit was eaten, it didn’t just get Adam and Eve kicked out of the garden and given painful childbirth..it started real winters. Did I mention that I don’t like the cold?

Don’t get me wrong, I love the fall. Fall is my favorite time of year, with the changing leaf colors, the warm days with nights cool enough to bonfire, and the perfect temperatures for curling up with a cup of hot tea and a light blanket. I’m sure that if I moved to somewhere tropical that I would probably miss the snow on some level…right? Maybe I should try that idea out and see how long it takes to miss the cold…They take imagination as currency now don’t they? It seems like a good plan anyway.

Whether you are one of those people who enjoy freezing temperatures, or someone like me who tolerates the winter as best you can, I hope that you all stay cozy and safe this winter season…unless you live where it is warm. If you live where it is warm, and there are beaches (for my muse of course) perhaps you would like to send some of that warmth my way?? J Wherever you are, and whatever season is your favorite, I wish you a Blessed day.