It's back to school
time for me. My first of 3 fall classes
began on Monday: Psychopathology and
Counseling. As one of my required textbooks,
I had to obtain the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
(Fifth Edition). The book is about 2
inches thick and has just about every common diagnosis a counselor or mental
health worker could come across. It's
pretty interesting, but I have to be careful that I don't read it looking for
all the ways my family members and I match up with the descriptions I come
across. This could be hazardous to my
relationships. But even that thought
makes me aware just how easy it could be, potentially, to use a book like this
and begin to see people as a diagnosis rather than as a hurting person. I hope this is not a trap I am going to have
to worry about falling into, but I will certainly pray against it because there
is one thing that my counseling education has always stressed: beware of thinking you cannot or will not
fall into a certain trap because that thing is not your issue. That will be the very place where you have
left yourself unprotected, and you will eventually fall.
A recurring theme
for me seems to be discipline. With the
beginning of class, comes the need to be more disciplined about getting my
school work done, and about watching how many activities I allow to fill my
days. Not only do those activities
affect my school work; they affect my son's homework schedule as well. The bad part about homeschooling can often be
that, without setting solid priorities and sticking to them, it is far too easy
to just go about life (just like in the summer) and put school on hold until
tomorrow. But, as we all know, tomorrow
never comes. For me, having a deadline
of Sunday at 11:59 pm is fantastic because I always make that deadline. However, I find that there are times when I
have spent too much time out having fun and have to do homework on
Sundays. Just like this week. This is going to have to change.
I have been up
entirely too late too many nights in a row since returning from Liberty
University. I am going to have to return
in about 6 weeks. I need to go back to
the schedule I had before I went to my first intensives; otherwise, I'm not
going to be ready to get up and get my day started at 8 a.m. Another bad thing about staying up too
late? I don't actually make up for the
sleep I lost. It doesn't seem to matter
if I go to bed at 10 pm or 2 am. I am
going to be up no later than 7:30 most days.
I do infinitely better on more sleep than less. I know this…and yet, I've still been staying
up too late. This is going to have to
Finally, the kids
and I have not made it to the beach this summer. We live 2 hours away from the Atlantic, or 40
minutes away from the Chesapeake Bay.
Sand, sun, and salt water are beckoning to me. I am going to have to listen. For me, there are not many things more relaxing than the sound of
crashing waves. And sitting there
watching my kids build sand castles, or dig in the sand to watch their holes
fill up with water. Or watching my
daughter, the artist, carve animals out of the sand. Those are just the best.
Father, please help me to be diligent and disciplined this coming week, both
for myself and my health, but also as an example to my children, for it is only
by taking care of myself that I am at my best to take care of my children and
to do the work you have called me to do.
In Your Son's Name I Pray, Amen.