Moment: Five Minute Friday

It’s Friday and I’m doing a dance for having finished another great week at school. I feel like I’m getting into a rhythm at school and I’m enjoying the process of getting to know my kids a little better. Today I am joining my fellow positive writers over at Five Minute Friday, where we gather weekly to respond to a common prompt. This Friday the prompt is Moment.

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In this moment I am…

Thankful for my faith. It keeps me grounded when the waves of this world swirl around me. I will not sink because my God is bigger than the waves.

Rejoicing over the fact that I am clear of the nasty virus that compromised my body this week.

Singing a bit of Ed Sheeran as the Pandora station became my soundtrack while grading papers today.

Smelling the hand-sanitizer a student put on just before the final bell. It smells like a fresh batch of snicker doodle cookies.

Thinking about all the things I want to get done this weekend

Walking out the door of my classroom! It’s the WEEKEND!

The Ameri Brit Mom

Complete: Five Minute Friday

I’m really looking forward to this week’s link-up with Five Minute Friday. I’ve had a tough week and knowing that I can plug in with a family of positive writers is exactly what my soul needs. Every Friday we gather at Five Minute Friday and create short posts on the same topic. This week the topic is Complete. It’s a hard one when I’m feeling fractured in so many places this week.

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The road before me is so unclear.

I tread each step with strength and fear.

The fog surrounds me as I drop to my knees.

It’s only there where I am complete.

 

I’m worn out from pushing through.

It’s not easy to talk to you.

But if I’m honest it’s what I need.

Lord, help me pray. Make me complete.

 

My heart is aching.

My hands are reaching.

I’m in need of healing now.

There’s so much hurting.

And it all surrounds me.

I want to help, Lord, show me how.

Crowd: Five Minute Friday

Here I am…another week of showing up late to the party. I had the best of intentions to post before school on Friday, but a six-month-old had her own plans for my morning. So here I am, Saturday afternoon, in my office space, drinking in the silence of a resting household and joining my crew of positive writers over at Five Minute Friday. This week the prompt is Crowd. Here is my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing:

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My eyes follow the crowd of students gathered in the hallway. Glancing from left to right I catch a glimpse of half a dozen wanderers. Our vision locks if only for a split second, but that time tells me all I need to know.

Some of those eyes crease to smile back at me. Some drop straight to the floor. Others quickly glance away pretending that they never locked with me in the first place. It’s easier that way. If they can pretend no one saw then they don’t have to share that pain they carry like the backpack on their shoulders.

But I see through all of that.

Those who want to be seen–I see you. I celebrate all that you are and I dream for you and all you will be.

Those who look down–you are not just another face in the crowd. You are special and I won’t let you slip through the cracks.

Those who pretend that they didn’t see me–I know the weight of this world and I can help you bear it.

May the students I come in contact with every day know that they are cared for and loved. May they know that though they stand in a crowd that they are one-of-a-kind. May they fight the urge to look away. May they let our glances meet for a moment and may my heart say a prayer as eyes meet.

The Ameri Brit Mom

 

Rain: Five Minute Friday

It’s Friday and I’m up early in order to write alongside my favorite linkup before work. Five Minute Friday is a group of writers and bloggers from all over the world who join together once a week to write on a common topic. The topic this week is rain. Below is my five minutes of uninterrupted writing on the topic.

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The air is thick and beckoning the clouds to let loose. The ominous skies tempt us to believe that rain is on the way. Soon the bright orb of the sun breaks through and all signs of precipitation vanquish. Air has never felt this heavy. Come, rain, bring us relief!

This past week we lived in constant anticipation for rain. As the temperatures climbed, so did our desire to see the clouds break open. The weathermen even took our hopes captive as they promised rain. But the week is nearly over and not one drop has fallen in my little corner of the world. The grass withers outside my window and my allergies are acting up.

I’m hungry for relief. If the rain would fall (if even for a few minutes) maybe it would feel like September.

The Ameri Brit Mom

Rush: Five Minute Friday

It’s been two weeks since I last crafted a post for the Five Minute Friday link-up. The past two weeks have been a whirlwind, so it is really only fitting that today’s prompt is Rush. I try to join in every week with the link-up where writers all over the world free write for five minutes on the same prompt. I love linking up and reading the unique posts that come from the same inspiration. So here is my post:

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Three weeks ago we stepped off the plane and have been rushing around ever since!

The long, relaxing trip to England cut us all off from the overloaded schedules and chores back home. There were no meetings, practices, or expectations while we stayed with my in-laws. There was only taking life slowly and enjoying the time we shared with people we love.

It’s been three weeks, but something about the lifestyle we lead while overseas appeals so greatly that I miss it already. It’s caused me to question certain aspects of my life back home. I’ll leave you with some of the questions I’ve been wrestling with lately…

Why do we fill up so much of our time?

Living rushed is the American way, but is it really a healthy lifestyle?

In creating full schedules are we remembering to pencil-in time for ourselves?

In the midst of all the rushing are we taking time to notice all the miracles, blessings, and beauty around us?

The Ameri Brit Mom

Loved: Five Minute Friday

It’s Friday and I’m joining my usual Friday link-up with the other writers at Five Minute Friday. Every week we gather as a Christian writer community and craft short posts all centered around a common topic. This week our topic is Loved. Below is my unedited five minute post.

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This week has been exhausting.

I made my return to the classroom after a seven month maternity leave, my oldest started kindergarten, my baby went to her first sitter, and I am still a little jet lagged from a month abroad. Everyday we’ve taken naps as a family when we get home. All four of us are experiencing the “first week drag.” But in the midst of the fatigue I must say that I feel loved.

I feel loved that so many people have been praying for me or checking on me during this time of transition. I feel loved that so many have offered to help. I feel loved that our daughter was welcomed into school by amazing teachers and friends. I feel loved that the Lord would call me to educate the next generation in my classroom.

As the school year began the prayer I kept repeating was, “Lord, help my students to feel loved this year.”

I am praying for energy and strength to love even the most difficult student. I am praying that my classroom is a place of peace and refuge. I am praying that during the 180 days that I am given with this group of kids that each of them encounter God’s love in some way. As a public school teacher I may not be able to speak it, but I have every right to live it.

I pray that every student feels loved in my classroom this year.

The Ameri Brit Mom

Woman: Five Minute Friday

Every Friday I like to join other Christian writers over at Five Minute Friday. Our purpose is to encourage one another through our writing and networking. This week the prompt is Woman. Below is my five minutes of unedited, uninterrupted writing:

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One of the hardest parts of being a woman is making the choice whether or not to stay home with your babies. Weighing the choice between raising your babies in the home or contributing financially through full-time work is a daunting task. But, I’ve learned that this doesn’t have to be a choice. You can have the best of both worlds.

This was lesson learned the hard way with my firstborn. At the time, I did not qualify for extended leave from my teaching position since I was fairly new to the district. Because of that, I went back to work six weeks after her birth. This time around, I was blessed to be able to spend seven months at home with my baby girl.

As summer winds down and I start to think about going back to work next week I can’t help but thank God for the time I had at home. Over the years I’ve learned that I wouldn’t do well as a full-time stay-at-home mom. My mind likes to be constant and creative and I find it difficult to express myself the way I was created to at home in that setting.

All women need to embrace self-care no matter what that looks like for you.

I’m learning what it means to be okay with working. Where I used to feel guilty I’m beginning to understand that I can be a good Mama while also being a working Mama. Part of my witness to my girls is that “you can make a difference” and I show them that by going to work each day and pouring into students and colleagues.

If you think about it please say a prayer for me this week as I return to the classroom. Not only that, but on my first day back my oldest daughter enters kindergarten. So, I’ll be leaving my baby for the first time and dropping the other one off at school for the first time. Any mom can attest to the mess of emotions that I’m bound to experience. Please pray for peace and strength as I enter this new phase.

The Ameri Brit Mom

Anniversary: Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday is a weekly link-up where a community of bloggers crafts a post based on a common topic. This week the topic is Anniversary. To check out the rest of the community and their posts click here. Now on to my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing:

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Next week I will begin my eighth school year as a teacher.

I cannot believe how fast time has gone. It feels like yesterday that my twenty-one-year-old self was nervously entering the teaching field. At the time I was unprepared and naive. I learned quickly to adapt to the demands of the job that college couldn’t prepare me for. My biggest challenge that first year was my age. My students weren’t much younger than I was. Because of that, I struggled with classroom management (although I’m pretty sure every first year teacher does.)

I did grow a lot that first year. By the end, I started to gain confidence.

Over the years I’ve fallen more in love with my job. My colleagues, friends, and students give me reason to go to work each day. I’m inspired by the people I’ve met and the kindness that exists at my school.

It’s been seven months since I last stood in front of a classroom of students. Those months were spent cuddling and bonding with my newborn. As I stare at the end of this blessed maternity leave I am reminding myself that if I have to leave my baby at least it is for something I love with people I also love. My teaching community will surround me with the love I need to get back at it. And I am looking forward to the adventures that this eighth school year will bring.

The Ameri Brit Mom

Thirteen: Five Minute Friday

I’m a little bit late this week with my Five Minute Friday post (I blame it on my all day excursion yesterday involving kayaking and cream teas.) Five Minute Friday is a weekly link-up where a community of bloggers crafts a post based on a common topic. This week the topic is Thirteen. Check out the rest of the community and their posts here. Now on to my five minutes of uninterrupted writing:

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I’m starting to miss my home. A whole month abroad has been an endless supply of joy, but the longer I stay the more I begin to sense the familiar feeling of homesickness. I truly love being in England and spending time with people I love so dearly, but when I quiet my mind I start to crave the things that make up my life in America.

Friends, church, wide roads, American food, lemonade, driving, air conditioning, my house, and pets are all things I miss while traveling. But soon, I will have both feet on the ground in Ohio. Thirteen days and I’ll be back to the states.

For these last days I plan to soak up every moment in the UK. I have to get into one month a whole year’s worth of visits. I still have people to see, places to go, money to spend. I’m still looking forward to worshipping at our church in the UK, taking the girls shopping to spend their money that their great-Grandma gave them, having another play date with our close British friends, and eating a couple more roast dinners.

If you had thirteen days in the UK how would you spend them? What would you do?

The Ameri Brit Mom

Highlighted Monday

This Monday I’ve decided to try something new. I’m a new follower of Rebeca’s blog, Books and Messy Buns. Today she has posted her Highlighted Monday Challenge and I’m going to join in on her literary fun today. The practice of highlighting good pieces of writing is all part of becoming a better writer so I am excited to try this out. Join me if you will!

Highlighted Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Rebeca at “Books and Messy Buns”. Anyone can join, you just have to do the following:

  • Pick up the book you’re currenlty reading (be it a physical or eletronical copy)
  • Find a sentence you like (because it’s funny or cute or mysterious or whatever you find interesting)
  • Highlight the sentence
  • Make a post in your own blog where you share your highlighted sentence and link back to the blog as the host
  • Share the link to your post in the comments’ section here for the book community to see

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Here is my highlighted text:

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I’m currently reading My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman.

This highlighted sentence may not seem like much outside of the context of the story, but as a reader of this charming novel it meant so much. The main character is learning about the people she thought she knew. Her worldview is being stretched beyond what any normal seven year old could possibly imagine because of circumstances outside of her control. In this quoted passage the main character, Elsa, is understanding that people aren’t always as they seem

The Ameri Brit Mom