return from hiatus

The Hiatus on Double-Minded Island

Good day mate!

I am back from my hiatus on Double-Minded Island. Double-Minded Island, is an Island shaped like a hand and is a place people end up who are in the valley of decisions.

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On the island, as I was reflecting about life and where I wanted to go from this point, a memory of a time come to mind. It was 11 years ago and I had been applying to different alternative teaching programs around the U.S. and internationally. It was a very confusing time. I had been praying for clarification because every opportunity that came appeared to be a good idea, but as we know, not everything that is “good” is of “God.”

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So one day, I was in an old building I used to rent for a business we owned. The new owners had made the building into a used book store that I frequented from time to time. As I stood in line to purchase a book, a man came behind me that looked like a character from a Canterbury Tales novel.

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As I was standing in line, taking my wallet out for payment, the gentleman behind me asked about a picture in my wallet of a family member. After providing some insight about that person, he went on to ask me had I been trying to make a decision lately about moving? I was surprised because I had been trying to decide on whether or not to move.

He told me to hold out my hand, he wanted to use it as an analogy. He held up my pointer finger and said, “This is your who, the middle finger is your what, the ring finger is your when, the pinky finger is your where and your thumb finger is your why.” He went on to say, “Never make a decision to do anything, unless the why makes sense. The why functions like your thumb and without it, you won’t grip very well, or hold on to anything for long.” He told me praying about it will help me make sound decisions.” Afterwards, I thanked him and he mentioned he had to go walk to the store up the road to get medicine for his wife. It was super cold outside that day, as it was circa October 2007, so I was surprised he was walking. After I paid, I went outside to make sure he was ok and there was no sign of him anywhere.

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I got into my car and sat there thinking at how much God must really care to send a man to tell me something like that when I really needed hear it. As I prayed and reflected on the positions I vacillated between; I thought about my hands, my fingers and my why. As I did this, things became much more clear. I began to ask myself, “Self why do I really want to go to these places?” I began to realize a lot of the why was not for me per say, but for the opinions of others.

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We end up on Double-Minded Island because of discontentment. Discontentment usually comes from comparing ourselves to others. It can start small, walking by someone and noticing their designer watch or bag. Trolling through Instagram, FB, or Twitter, and seeing smiling faces on vacations in nice restaurants, water skying and such. It could even come from chatting with a friend and hearing about a really great experience they’ve recently had. All of these happenings could lead to discontentment and unhappiness.

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I am so glad I had that memory after my hiatus to Double-Minded Island because it reminded me the importance of knowing my why behind each decision I make. If you are trying to decide between a decision, and end up on Double-Minded Island and remember:

Pointer Finger – Who

Middle Finger – What

Ring Finger – When

Pinky Finger – Where

Thumb Finger – WHY

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This will get you back on the Boat of Contentment, which is a much joyful and peaceful place.

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I leave you with these last word of encouragement.

Rejoicing in Trials

James 1: 6-8

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Have a peep of my Schoolspiration book! It is FREE on Kindle and only $2.99 on other tablets:

https://www.amazon.com/SchoolSpiration-Sprinkle-Wellness-Creating-Inspire-ebook/dp/B076DHB5HB

Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald
Rejection = Re-direction

Rejection = Re-direction

I saw this quote and thought I would share it because of its’ profoundness.

“As I look back over my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually re-directed to something better.” 

So many times, we reflect on our lives and feel a deep sense of regret.

  • Regret of poor choices that were made
  • Regret of choosing not to do something
  • Regret of not standing up for something
  • Regret of trying to be a people pleaser
  • Regret of taking life too seriously and not taking the time to stop and smell the roses
  • Regret of not preparing children for life
  • Regret of getting involved with the wrong people
  • Regret of choosing the practical job over the one you REALLy wanted
  • Regret of not getting up and speaking at an event
  • Regret of being rejected from something you really wanted to do

This last regret is what I really wanted to touch on. Do not feel so bad about being rejected from a person, job position, club, or organization; because the rejection is simply re-directing you to the area you are supposed to be in.

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*Encourage yourself with these wise words*

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*Here is a video of a comic book about the origins of negative thoughts and how to take control of them. I was happy to see this because I STiLL have my copy of this comic book from when I was younger.*

 

Have a peep of my Schoolspiration book!

It is FREE on Kindle and only $2.99 on other tablets:

https://www.amazon.com/SchoolSpiration-Sprinkle-Wellness-Creating-Inspire-ebook/dp/B076DHB5HB

sleep and performance, academics

The Link Between Sleep and Academic Performance

Seven Things to Know About the Link Between Sleep and Academic Performance

By Theresa Fisher

Good sleep habits correspond to academic success. The link between hitting the sack and scoring A’s bears out in grade school, graduate school and everywhere in between. This general trend shouldn’t be surprising, given that the well-rested display a host of skills and behavioral tendencies relevant to classroom domination. Compared to sleep-starved people, they exhibit faster reaction times, sharper recollection, heightened focusing abilities and a higher threshold for working under stress. Here are seven interesting takeaways from research on students young and old(er).

1. For little kids, a little more sleep helps

A new McGill University study showed that kids (ages 7-11) who increased their nightly rest by 18 minutes (on average) for five nights showed considerable improvements on their report cards. Why would 7 year olds be underslept (given that they have externally imposed bedtimes and few or no responsibilities)? Well, even fun-sized humans undergo lifestyle changes. One 2014 study identified kindergarten as a sleep-health turning point. Kindergarten, and the loss of napping that comes with it, corresponded to less overall weekday sleep and earlier weekday bedtimes, particularly for kids who hadn’t gone to preschool. (Hey, universal preschool.)

2. Snoring sets students back

A lot of research on younger students’ sleep concerns sleep apnea. The condition, marked by shallow breathing and snoring, results in less, more-fragmented sleep. Children who have obesity and live in low-income households are at a considerably heightened risk for sleep-breathing disorders. And they tend to fare poorly in school, both during primary school and afterwards. Going back to 2001, a study found that 13 and 14 year olds who struggled in school were more likely to have snored when they were younger. By extension, kids from lower-income families fall behind in school. Seems pretty fair.

3. Early(ish) bedtimes yield higher GPAs

A large population survey in Norway showed that teens ages 15 to 19 who went to bed between 10pm and 11pm had the highest GPAs. Getting too little sleep increased students’ odds of having GPAs in the lowest quartile. It’s easy to use these sorts of findings to admonish teens for staying up too late. But teens are naturally night owls, at least according to the leading research. Their circadian clocks are shifted, making it especially hard for adolescents to keep early hours.

4. Experts really, really support later school start times

The campaign for later school start times is heavily rooted in the misalignment between teens’ biological clocks and their externally imposed schedules. The big idea? Let kids learn when they’re best-equipped to soak up and retain knowledge. Not to mention, forcing teenage night owls to rise at dawn robs them of Zzzs that set them up for academic success, support their cognitive and emotional development and protect their mental and physical health. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that schools start no earlier than 8:30a.m. And, in general, experts are all in on pushing back start times.

The benefits of later start times aren’t confined to teens: According to a recent report from the RAND Corporation, delaying the morning bell would save the US about $9 billion a year. These projected economic gains are primarily due, according to the report, to the impact of improved academic performance on future earnings and the reduction in car accidents caused by tired teens.

Researchers speculated that device use only further threw off teens’ circadian rhythms. Weird bodies, bad habits, can’t win.

But, despite the strong case for later start times, only about 15 percent of public schools across the country actually kick off the school day at or after 8:30, based on a 2016 survey of US principals. Why? Schools claim that postponing start times is too logistically difficult and expensive. And, in a studyfrom The University of Michigan, only about half of parents supported later start times. But there are plenty of impassioned people involved in the campaign, so don’t expect the conversation around school start times to die down anytime soon.

5. Body clocks and bad habits are a dangerous pair

A number of studies have linked Delayed Sleep Phase (a preference for keeping especially late hours) to lower academic performance. But, in several instances, researchers found another factor underlying the link. In one case, that factor was school attendance — students with DSP did worse in school, perhaps because they missed a lot of it. Would they show up if first period started later? Advocates for bumping back first period would probably say yes.

But, in other cases, research says low grades have more to do with teens’ habits than their wonky bodies. The big culprits: caffeine consumption and late-night electronic use. All other factors aside, coffee drinkers and bedtime Snapchatters got less sleep and lower grades in one 2015 study. Even students who said they used TV and music for the express purpose of falling asleep carried out the trend. Researchers speculated that device use only further threw off teens’ circadian rhythms. Weird bodies, bad habits, can’t win.

6. Sleeping efficiently helps students score well

We can assess sleep using a number of measures. One such measure is sleep efficiency, the proportion of time in bed that people actually spend sleeping. (To calculate sleep efficiency, divide hours in bed by hours slept.) In one 2015 Italian study, sleep efficiency emerged as a key predictor of exam grades for students in their final year of high school. Researchers did not find a significant relationship between exam grades and other sleep measures, including total duration of sleep (amount of sleep logged, efficiency notwithstanding) and sleep midpoint (also called mid-sleep time). Here’s the formula for calculating sleep midpoint:

  • Take the average number of hours you sleep each night and divide that number in half. Add that number to your average bedtime on free days (meaning days on which work or school do not define your schedule). That’s your midpoint. So, if I sleep seven hours, and I go to bed at midnight, my midpoint is: 3:30 a.m. (that’s 3.5 + 12).

7. Med school students are hard to predict

But MDs-in-training still perform better when they have healthy sleep habits. One study from Munichfound a link between sleep duration and final-exam performance. But, so long as students got enough sleep, they fared okay. Neither chronotype (e.g., morning lark or evening owl) nor self-reported sleep quality appeared to affect students’ scores.

Another study on Sudanese med students found a significant difference in duration and quality of sleep between excellent and merely satisfactory students. On average, snoring afflicted 9 percent of the gunners, who averaged seven hours of sleep each night. By comparison, 28 percent of the hangers-on snored, and they only logged 6.3 hours of rest each night.

And a third study (med student sleep is well-documented) found, somewhat counter-intuitively, that “it is not the generally poor sleepers who perform worse in the medical board exams.” Students who slept poorly immediately before taking exams (during study periods) were most likely to choke, but those who struggled with sleep over the course of the semester still managed to crush it.

This story was originally published in 2016. It has been updated since then.

Have a peep at my Schoolspiration Book!
It is FREE if you have a Kindle and $2.99 in other tablets: