discover your created self

Well That WAS a Short Break and RJD

Be merciful to me, Lord . . .(Psalm 31:9a NIV)

It’s Random Journal Day!

 . . . and just when I thought I didn’t have anything to say or write, I found my bearings again in my journal.

Earlier this week, I was sleep deprived and stressed. I thought I couldn’t make it. I thought my life was going to be swallowed up with work that is good, but not exactly my dream job.

I found myself needing time to sort out what had happened. To give myself space to accept. And the best place I find to sort out life is in my journal. My refuge where I can say anything and write down things to get them back into perspective. I took my journal, while I got my oil changed. During those minutes, I wrote out the schedule for the next three months and somehow that bigger view eased my sense of being overwhelmed. One day at time. One thing at a time.

I wasn’t going to post here, while I transitioned into my job as a substitute teacher. Because I come home and need a nap. Because I wasn’t sleeping, because I didn’t know how the system worked, and I’m still learning. (My nephew hasn’t been sleeping well either. He says he has amnesia.) Lack of sleep. Insomnia. Amnesia. Makes sense to me, in my sleep deprived state, I forgot that God is merciful.

He doesn’t ever give us more than we can handle.

My job is to show up and see what is needed each day and do that. It’s not to be a super substitute, but a present one, who follows the teacher’s plan and keeps some semblance of calm in the classroom.

Today was my first assignment at the high school. I walked over to the school in the gray of the morning. I found where to sign-in, get the room assignment and pick up my computer for the day. I read the plans and waited for students to arrive.

I was surprised by the pockets of quiet that marked this day. The students were taking vocab quizzes and working on reading or writing assignments. In the quiet of the morning, I penned these words:

quiet morning pencils scratch answers to vocab quiz

photo 1

One of the vocabulary words was merciful. While the students worked on their assignments, I decided to write their vocabulary words on a collage, which I had made the night before. In that brief moment, I realized God was being merciful, giving me meaningful work, and space where I can still find snippets of inspiration.

photo 2

This week began with me being distressed, but in the end all I see is the mercies of the Lord and His goodness in the land of the living.

Inspiration and courage to face the next thing can come in the smallest ways. A text. A blank journal page. A vocabulary list. Here are two tidbits from my week that kept me going and believing.

A random text from one of our sons: “Let’s ponder the phrase, “constructive rest” (And from this inclusive, imperative invitation I have been passing along the challenge to ponder the phrase with friends and even strangers. I was monitoring a woodworking class during lunch today, because subs are multi-taskers. As the students sat waiting for their real teacher to return, I blurted out “Ponder the phrase ‘constructive rest,’” and one student paused and asked me what I said. I said it again. And he just went back to his work. But I do think I had him pondering.)

So ponder on my friends. Save your thoughts on the topic for later, because apparently as a follow-up text from my son says “Live with it, and we will discuss with the rest of the class later.”

photo 3

And if you would like to see my newest journal live on You Tube click here.

Happy journaling! Happy weekend!

9 responses to “Well That WAS a Short Break and RJD”

  1. Yay for Journals, you tube, substitute teachers exploring mercy and for all of us pondering “constructive rest”! AMEN!

    1. Dawn- As always I am so thankful for the journey we share through our journals and the truth that God meets us right where we are at…love pondering life with you and the RJD crew! Happy FALL!

      1. Same here and thanks Kel- Happy Fall, too.

  2. expectantlylistening Avatar

    A beautiful reminder to be present and look for the joy and opportunities where we are. So glad they found you in this harder season xxxx loved reading this post and seeing your images.

    1. Victoria- Yes my focus on the practice of the presence of God last year has helped me through the transition this year…I miss doing the collages…I don’t feel like I have time to participate in the 31 Day challenge this season, but after regrouping…I know God will lead me to what and when to post…I hope you and yours are well…I am looking forward to the new liturgical year with advent coming in a few weeks…I was listening to pray as you go today and it reminded me that we are still in ordinary time. Thanks for your encouragement!

  3. So glad for a new post sharing God’s mercies and grace in your life. It is an encouragement to me to see the ways He works in our lives. The joyous, unexpected, special ways he provides for the desires of our hearts. “Pondering constructive rest”.

    1. Iowa Girl- Great to see you here! Yes, the joyous, unexpected special ways he provides always amaze me too!

  4. I’ve been a substitute teacher, Kel. It’s not for the faint of heart. I love that you’ve written your way to peace, found moments of quiet through out the turbulence. And, of course, your son’t incredibly profound words, “Pondering constructive rest,” will work in me. They resonate. Dig their way deep into where I’ve been impatiently resting. Or passively resting, even. Both are other than this. I will ponder…and move toward doing. THANK YOU (and thank him, too!).

    1. Carolyn- You are so right, this work is not for the faint of heart, but God is showing me how to make each day an adventure…so it’s the perfect work for me. So glad the pondering challenge took hold for you…I hope to dialogue about it some more here soon…I will thank him…I’ve actually told him yet that I’ve got a grassroots think tank pondering the phrase…he’ll get a kick out of it…I had to get a class assembled for him, right?

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About Me

Hi! My name is Kel Rohlf. I am an intuitive mixed-media artist, creative writer and performer. Life is a performance. I often attend.


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