September 2017 marked the beginning of my 20th year teaching English in Korea. This was also a year of ups and downs. Two of my classes were cancelled at the beginning of September just as I was completing a course on history. I did not take this very well initially. But, it turned out to be a blessings in disguise! Due to only thirteen hours of teaching, I was able to:
1) get to know my students very well,
2) spent time tweaking lesson plans and thinking through new possibilities on old lesson plans,
3) exercised three mornings a week and lost over 10 pounds,
4) finished an Advent book that I have been working on since Aidan was a baby,
5) started to think through a blog in resilience for educators,
6) spent more time with Aidan after school.
This was the year I worked with my lowest and most difficult student ever. I had never encountered anyone who absolutely refused to try speaking English in class until this past semester. He never did warm up to the idea that he could try to speak and I would support whatever he tried. This got me thinking about how fear can paralyze and what needs to be done to get over fear and develop resilience. This will be a new project in 2018 and I look forward to delving in.
This year was the first time I got up the courage to take an online course on blogging. I signed up for Jeff Goins Tribe Writers course. Even though I still haven't finished the course (I'm halfway through as I write this), I learned so much about how to write well, blog well, and how to do marketing in a natural, thoughtful manner. 2018 will be the year where I conquer the fear of others being critical of what I write, start a blog on resilience for educators, and finish the editing I need to do on the Advent book I have finished.
And no, it's not a typical Advent book in any way, shape, or form. This non-traditional book will look at the trees in the Bible, the stories the trees tell, and the lessons that they have to offer.
All of these have involved God's heart, my heart, and a huge amount of creativity. What did God call you to in 2017? More importantly, what do you think God is calling you to do in 2018?