The Ides of August


Well, it is August. The month I lovingly refer to as “the dark days.” I have had roughly seven back-to-school nightmares already, and it is only August 4th if that gives you a little insight into my psyche right now.


There are a lot of reasons for this. Obviously, teaching is a demanding job. Early mornings. Lots of grading. Big class sizes. Dwindling resources. Students with academic struggles and home struggles. I teach middle school, so it is basically a crap show 95% of the time.


But I feel like that is only part of it. The other part is the glory of summer. My sleep schedule is completely whacked. If I want to stay up until 2 A.M. reading, no big deal. I’ll take a nap or just take a little longer to get ready the next day. It’s freedom, and that is a tricky temptress to part with.


More personally, I am working on this writing thing. I took a class this spring, and I learned that building a platform, managing social media, and getting a website are things I need to do so I can get my book published. That was always the goal since I have been working on a book for the better part of a decade. But this summer I have had no time for my book because I’ve been working on my platform. It’s a real Catch-22. It’s not that I don’t like blogging, but it feels like it’s taken away from my first priority.  An entire summer come and gone and still no book published. A waste.


Maybe that’s why I struggle every August. Not because I hate teaching, but because it takes me away from my own main priority. Admittedly, they have driven me crazy on any number of occasions this summer. But that is what kids do. They push. And if I am going to be pushed by anyone’s kids, I would prefer it to be my own. I know that August will mean I miss Rory’s first day of first grade because it will be my twelfth first day of seventh grade, and I will have to rely on Nick to take the pictures and probably do the hair. I will miss field trips and other fun activities. Summers like our children’s childhood just don’t last.


It’s sacrifice. Investment. Work now. Hopefully reward later.


What are you treading water with right now? What in your life is two steps forward and one step back? A relationship? A job?  A dream? Stick with it. Keep fighting. Keep working. Take your freedom back by choosing perseverance. It may be the end of one season, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of your dream. The days ahead don’t have to be dark.


Joyfully serve where you are right now. Be faithful in what God has called you to in this season, and I believe blessings will follow.


“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9


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