Thursday, August 15, 2013

Getting Settled in St. Paul

I just finished reading through my testimony, which I wrote out to share at our annual family stay-cation with Mark’s family. Initially, when I added that item to my to-do list for this week, I felt impatient. As you may have guessed from my long silence, my application before the Board of Teaching passed, and I am in the three-week frenzy before school starts, trying to get everything done that needs to be done. Honestly, right now, being terrified has eclipsed being excited.

We just got moved in to our new apartment in St. Paul, just a bit north of Frogtown (if you’re familiar with St. Paul) on Saturday. Because I hate boxes and being in transition, we got the last box unpacked last night and pictures and clocks hung. This apartment is nice, much nicer in looks than our little house in Iowa. It’s also more expensive, and what we gain in looks we lose in ambiance. The neighbors living below us have what I imagine to be giant subs and giant speakers and at times throughout the weekend they vibrated our floors and furniture with their music. Our neighbors above are quiet, except that their bedroom floorboards (which are also our ceiling…boards) squeak. I’m a light sleeper, so being surrounded by so many abrupt sounds like a squeaking ceiling and dogs barking, and people talking loudly as they walk through the halls has been hugely frustrating. Mark, being the composer that he is, whipped up two white noise soundtracks for me last night, which helped a lot.

So, besides moving, I’ve been trying to finish up my behavior management plan, my investment plan, my long-range unit plans, my first two week lessons, my trackers and displays for the classroom, my grading system and documents, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. According to my mom, “You were able to go to Mozambique and teach with two days of notice and you weren’t stressed at all! You’re really letting this get to you.” Her words are all too true, and yesterday was kind of a low point. I was trying to work on my behavior management plan for my little first graders at a library about five miles from our house, when I suddenly felt completely overwhelmed. Basically, I panicked, went to sit in my car, and called my dad sobbing. It wasn’t pretty. And really not necessary. And really not a good use of time or energy.

In any case, to get back to my original point, I felt like adding ‘Write Testimony’ to my to-do list was just one more thing, and I was impatient. But as I read through my finished product this morning (to make sure it wasn’t too short or too long), tears came to my eyes multiple times. I may have new noises to try to sleep through. Our budget and bank account may be stretched beyond what’s comfortable. I may have a whole lot to do before the school year starts. But God has been faithful, as reading my testimony aloud reminded me. God has been so very faithful to me. I have no need and no reason to doubt Him now.


  1. and you did an excellent job!

  2. Oh Hillary, you have got a LOT going on! I think I'm a bit the same as you that I reach a moment where suddenly I just feel OVERWHELMED - it's all too much. This afternoon I got back on track by curling up and listening to music turned up really loud through my headphones for a few minutes. Your way of re-focusing was much better! xx