recharge

Recharge! Reflect! Reconnect!

Melissa Smith Teaching in Early Childhood 2 Comments

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It’s summertime! And while that provides a great time to rest before another school year begins, there are ways to be intentional to use this downtime to its best potential.

Recharge
Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.Matthew 11:28–30
Think about how you can recharge emotionally, physically, and spiritually this summer. For some of you, that may include reading, cooking, gardening, devotional reading, exercising, or taking a vacation. For teachers, time to recharge generally happens during winter, spring, summer, and holiday breaks. However, God doesn’t say, “Even though you are almost on empty, keep going; you can take a break soon!” We aren’t instructed to wait until the break to begin treating our bodies as a temple. Fuel your mind, body, and soul with all things good. Rest is a great recipe for recharging! Jesus invites us to find rest in Him (Matthew 11:28–30). In this passage, Jesus tells us, “Take My yoke upon you.” As defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a yoke is a wooden board placed between two draft animals in order for them to pull the load together. We are often yoked by many things throughout the school year that we try to handle on our own. Jesus desires for us to take His yoke in order to experience relief, comfort, peace, and rest. Do you see that image? He is holding your hand, guiding your feet, and working with you to lighten the load.

Reflect
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.1 Corinthians 6:19–20
Take time this summer to think about the past school year. Every teacher and administrator, regardless of their years of experience, has room to learn and grow. Maybe it’s learning about new classroom management strategies, improving in a specific content area, increasing your patience, decreasing your stress, strengthening technology skills, or becoming more organized. Start with just one reflective goal for how you intend to improve in that area. Share your goal with a colleague, family member, or friend, and ask him or her to hold you accountable. Research supports that accountability improves performance and increases success. Simply saying you will hold someone accountable is not effective unless it’s supported with actions. Put a plan in place with your accountability partner for the next school year. In addition to reflecting on your school year, contemplate the changes you need to make in order to be physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. What road blocks during the school year impede your ability to be a good steward of your body and health? If you are emotionally exhausted, how can you expect to be an emotional support system for family and friends? If you are physically unhealthy, how can you expect to have energy and nourishment to sustain throughout the day? If you are spiritually dehydrated, then how do you expect to see the blessings, mercies, and goodness of God? When just one area, whether it is physical, emotional, or spiritual, are deficient, all are affected.

Reconnect
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:31
Use this time to reconnect with God. The assumption isn’t that you weren’t connected to God in the first place; He’s already reconnected to us through Jesus. But there is always room to grow in your walk with Christ. How can your faith life benefit from different behaviors and habits this year? Recharging and reflecting will lead you to reconnecting with God—or, really, the awareness that God is always with you. The sins of the world drift us away from what God wants in our lives, and we lose focus on the blessings He gives. God commands us to treat our bodies as a temple. This includes the way we intend to keep our mind, body, and soul healthy. Yes, our school year and job responsibilities are filled with organizing holiday events, preparing lessons, grading papers, conducting parent-teacher conferences, and the list goes on and on. However, amidst the busyness of each day, God yearns for our attention and connection. We know this because He sent His Son to reunite us with Him. As Christians, it is important that we reconnect and renew through meditation on Scripture, prayers, and constant communication in prayer with our Lord.

Hopefully, this blog post lit a fire under you to recharge, reflect, and reconnect!

 

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About the Author
Melissa Smith

Melissa Smith

Melissa Smith is the Assistant Professor and Coordinator for the Early Childhood Undergraduate Program at Concordia University Chicago. Melissa is a former Lutheran school teacher, early childhood director, and assistant principal. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Lutheran Teachers Diploma from Concordia Chicago, a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Northern Illinois University, and will soon be starting her dissertation in order to obtain a Doctorate in Early Childhood Education. Melissa resides in Chicago with her fabulous husband and has a passion for weight lifting, playing tennis, and singing in the band at church.

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2 Comments on "Recharge! Reflect! Reconnect!"

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Brian F.
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Great writing and I am glad I read this today! Well done, Melissa.

Janis King
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Hello Melissa! What a great blog writing! i shared it with my entire staff !!! Miss you!

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