Well…what a week this has been.
It’s back to school time for me. My first of 3 fall classes began on Monday: Psychopathology and Counseling. As one of my required textbooks, I had to obtain the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fifth Edition). The book is about 2 inches thick and has just about every common diagnosis a counselor or mental health worker could come across. It’s pretty interesting, but I have to be careful that I don’t read it looking for all the ways my family members and I match up with the descriptions I come across. This could be hazardous to my relationships. But even that thought makes me aware just how easy it could be, potentially, to use a book like this and begin to see people as a diagnosis rather than as a hurting person. I hope this is not a trap I am going to have to worry about falling into, but I will certainly pray against it because there is one thing that my counseling education has always stressed: beware of thinking you cannot or will not fall into a certain trap because that thing is not your issue. That will be the very place where you have left yourself unprotected, and you will eventually fall.
A recurring theme for me seems to be discipline. With the beginning of class, comes the need to be more disciplined about getting my school work done, and about watching how many activities I allow to fill my days. Not only do those activities affect my school work; they affect my son’s homework schedule as well. The bad part about homeschooling can often be that, without setting solid priorities and sticking to them, it is far too easy to just go about life (just like in the summer) and put school on hold until tomorrow. But, as we all know, tomorrow never comes. For me, having a deadline of Sunday at 11:59 pm is fantastic because I always make that deadline. However, I find that there are times when I have spent too much time out having fun and have to do homework on Sundays. Just like this week. This is going to have to change.
I have been up entirely too late too many nights in a row since returning from Liberty University. I am going to have to return in about 6 weeks. I need to go back to the schedule I had before I went to my first intensives; otherwise, I’m not going to be ready to get up and get my day started at 8 a.m. Another bad thing about staying up too late? I don’t actually make up for the sleep I lost. It doesn’t seem to matter if I go to bed at 10 pm or 2 am. I am going to be up no later than 7:30 most days. I do infinitely better on more sleep than less. I know this…and yet, I’ve still been staying up too late. This is going to have to stop.
Finally, the kids and I have not made it to the beach this summer. We live 2 hours away from the Atlantic, or 40 minutes away from the Chesapeake Bay. Sand, sun, and salt water are beckoning to me. I am going to have to listen. For me, there are not many things more relaxing than the sound of crashing waves. And sitting there watching my kids build sand castles, or dig in the sand to watch their holes fill up with water. Or watching my daughter, the artist, carve animals out of the sand. Those are just the best.
So…Dear Heavenly Father, please help me to be diligent and disciplined this coming week, both for myself and my health, but also as an example to my children, for it is only by taking care of myself that I am at my best to take care of my children and to do the work you have called me to do. In Your Son’s Name I Pray, Amen.