Sentimental exhaustion

I’m hunched over in my teacher chair exhausted. This is the last week of school. Summer is just around the corner. Boxes, supplies, posters, decor, and books comprise an organized chaos that envelops half of the floor space and several desk tops. As I survey my semi-barren classroom, I’m filled with emotion.

Emotion #1: Exhaustion

I’m physically, mentally, and emotional beat. 6th graders take a lot out of you– so does planning for them, grading their work, cleaning up after them, managing them, loving them, and trying not to scream at them. A school year is just the right length– any longer and we would have all quit. Summer is what keeps us teaching, what keeps us sane.

Emotion #2: Sentimental

This is my first classroom. I’ve been in it for two years now. Both years were difficult in their own ways. Both years were fulfilling in their own ways as well. I may not be here next year. I just don’t know yet. I may be in another classroom down the hall, I may be in another school. But this will always be where I started, where I made my first mistakes, where I celebrated my first successes. This yellow elongated cave with no windows has been my home for two of the most challenging and rewarding years of my life. I’m going to miss this space.

So, as I count down to Friday (2 more days with kids and 1 without!) I’ve got a lot going on in my head. I warned the husband that this week I’d be running the gamut of emotions. I reminded him that last year I sobbed all of the way out the door. But then he reminded me of something. Brian reminded me that this year is different from last year, that everything would be different from now on.

True, I may not know what classroom or school or job I’ll be in next year. True, I’m saying goodbye to some of the craziest and most amazing students ever. True, that this week is hard and exhausting and a wee bit tumultuous. However, the difference now is that I have him. I have a husband who will always be there, no matter what or where I’m coming home from. I have a husband who will listen and console and celebrate with me. No matter what God has in store for me, I’m not alone in this journey. He also promised to put up with and love me this week through my insanity. And boy, am I glad of it!

Affect with an “a”

I tell my students all the time that the choices they make now will affect things in the future. The future I’m referring to in their cases could be the next five minutes or later in the school year. It usually doesn’t go beyond that for them. And they can still make radical life changes at their age. They can because no one is relying on them for anything– they are the dependents. I find this situation interesting because my students don’t understand the concept of “affecting” others. They’re so wrapped up in themselves and their own lives that it doesn’t make sense to them. Heck– they think the word begins with an e!

But for me, I understand that word all too well. My actions and choices affect others. And now they seriously affect another. The longer we’re married, the more I am made aware that so much of what I do or don’t do affects my husband– for good or for bad. And when there’s a big decision, like a major life decision, I have to think about how it affects me, him, and us. Oh yeah– and the future us.

That’s where I am today. It’s major life decision time and the decision making process has changed.

Let’s try this again…

It’s Friday, which means that while driving home, the weekend begins.

Brian and I have now had a few weekends together, all very different, though I’m starting to notice a definite trend: we have the best and most productive of intentions for our weekends but we turn out to be epic to-do list failures. That, or we have an evil anti-“to-do” list fairy in our house. Can’t tell.

Now, I know that everyone has those things that they simply can’t find the time to do. I get that. I get that we will never actually complete all of the to-do’s in our heads and blah blah blah. And I know that I happen to be an ambitious planner, so I probably over-estimate what I can really get done. But Brian and I have the darnedest ability to say “I’m going to take care of ______ this weekend” and that ______ happens to very thing that won’t get done.

My husband already has a couple of things on his to-do list for this weekend, but I’m trying to figure out my plan of action. Maybe if I don’t make a to-do list then whatever curse keeps destroying my productive plans will be averted. Take that, evil fairy! Or maybe if I just pick ONE major thing (though, knowing what I need to do– how could I?!) then maybe I’ll have a chance to actually get it done. Hmm. I’m stumped.

And then there are the commitments, the things that are already planned for us to do: Blue Like Jazz (an awesome movie that you MUST SEE) tonight, brunch with Laura tomorrow, church and a wedding on Sunday. But what will I accomplish in the in-between times? What will Brian accomplish? In our new epic battle with the evil fairy, who will win– me or her?

…I’m feeling feisty.

The plan for today

I had a plan for today.

I had an amazing plan. I was going to unpack the suitcases and boxes in the dresser and closet. Our bedroom floor would finally be clear of my personal debris and I would no longer be looking for work clothes in boxes in the morning, but rather, in the closet like a normal human being.

Brian had a plan for today.

Brian was going to get his garage back. He was going to break down all of the gift boxes and packages and prepare it for the recycle pickup. He was also going to get the Salvation Army to finally return his call and set up a pickup. He would no longer be parking in the guest parking, but rather, in his own garage.

Our day began like any other Saturday.

We whispered to each other as we woke up. We told each other about our crazy dreams and snuggled. And then the conversation moved to God. I confessed to Brian that God had been working on my heart to surrender everything to Him and that I was scared to do so. Brian and I talked about what it is like to love and submit to a sovereign God. Then we got up.

Brian checked his phone.

He had missed a call from his mother… a call about his dad… a call that said that the doctors were investigating his heart and may need to take action. Brian returned the call to find out that his dad would need heart surgery.

Our plans went out the window in an instant. Who cares about clothing in dressers or boxes in recycle bins? This is family. This is what matters.

We snapped into action, thinking we would be leaving for Tulsa immediately. Clothes were flung into the washer, plans were tweaked, new plans for the day were negotiated. As I worked relentlessly to wash everything Brian owns, we found out that the surgery would not happen until Monday. Plans changed again. They changed several times today.

Today was a strange day, though simultaneously glorious. Brian and I joke about being “Team Lundin” but today, I saw us in action. We are a team– and a pretty good one at that.

Brian’s dad is doing alright at the moment. We will leave tomorrow after the early service at church and head to Tulsa. I will return Monday night on a plane and Brian will drive back later. This is the current plan, though we know that plans change.

This is one of our first challenges as man and wife. I say “our” even though I can’t even fathom what Brian is going through at the moment. He has an amazing perspective on the entire thing– this is the BEST way that this issue in his father’s body could be discovered, and now he is going in with the BEST surgeon in the city with great odds on his side. Brian is able to see that this is actually a blessing in a tragedy’s disguise.

So, tomorrow our little team heads up to Tulsa (yes– Lola, too!) to be there for the surgery on Monday. But plans change. Ours do, but God’s plans do not– and we hold tight to that promise.