Today is my 22nd Birthday and an amazing gift that I will share with you all is this interview with my sister Amy. My sister is a strong, beautiful, and determined woman. She has a smile that brings such a light into this world, she also has this presence of elegance. Amy is witty, artistic, and kooky. She is the type of person to give amazing and heartfelt advice and has the ability to create a space of honest living. I am grateful to have a sister like her. She is a mother, daughter, sister, cousin, teacher, and friend – Amy is simply love.
- How do you start your morning each day?
Each morning I wake up, surrender my day to God and pray for discernment, strength, and a thankful heart. I proceed to serve my family…greet our pets (Ellie and Gracie) by opening the door for their morning adventures outside, prepare coffee for my husband, get breakfast ready for our two boys, gently wake up our younger son Evan and greet our older son Aaron, whom is more of a motivated morning person. After many years of routine, our mornings typically are like clockwork. I feel accomplished when my husband and boys are prepared for a good day by having a peaceful morning. At that point, I take care of myself. There are some sweet mornings I am able to get in a jog before anyone wakes…I love those days. On my way to work I listen to my devotional, and lift up my prayer requests. Before Aaron drove, each morning on our way to school the boys and I prayed together. My hope is they will continue this as adults to properly prepare each day.
- Do you have a personal mantra or quote you live by?
I have three.
The first is a recent scripture that God has clearly directed me to for my current professional step in faith. He called me out of my last position into a new role. It made no sense at the time, yet through pray and scripture digging…He continued to confirm. This is the scripture in which he called me from my comfort. I have been blessed beyond measure in this step of faith…it has not been easy but when I struggle I fall back on this rock in which I stand in obedience and know he has a perfect plan.
- “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8 NIV
The second is one our family has lived by since the boys were little. It is how we have overcome the desire to do different “things” yet this “mantra” per se has been a thread to weave us as one family. It has offered hope when peers have been mean, it has provided encouragement when needed, and the “reason” we all support each other even when we don’t want to…
- “Sines stick together!”
A final one that I repeat to both boys before each sporting event they participate in is:
- Have fun. Play hard. Stay humble.
This “mantra” is important for it helps with their intensely competitive nature. J
- Do you struggle with body image issues? How do you deal with it?
Body image? I have a positive body image overall. There are certainly imperfect parts of my body I would love to be different…but I know I am a beautiful daughter woven for a perfect purpose. Would I like tight abs? Better neck line? Sure…but who I am is perfect and I have an amazing storyline that no one else has…and because of my imperfections I can share, relate, and be authentic with others.
- How do you balance family, work, and alone time?
If I could bottle this recipe I would make millions. It is the delicate piece of my life that I work to improve each day. I do believe I am better today than I was 20 years ago…but I do need to be keenly aware of my love for family, teaching, learning…I can lose perspective on it all. This passion can easily consume me. I learned of this Priority List of Relationships…and it helps guide me… 1-God, 2-My Husband, 3-My Children, 4- My Ministry (my classroom).
About 15 years ago during a special class discussion about life goals, a student asked me “Mrs. Sines, what did you dream of being when you were our age?” It was a profound question because as I sat and honestly pondered…I came to the realization that when I was a little girl I wanted to grow up, have a loving husband, be a mom, and be a teacher. I responded to my students with tears of self-realization “I am living my dream.” I have never forgotten that moment. I strive daily to strike a balance of each. Some days are better than others…especially keeping balance of my health. It is exhausting yet when I start my day with surrender and prayer of a thankful heart…somehow God weaves his love and grace through my shortcomings.
- What advice do you have for the career driven women?
Keep perspective on what really matters. It is not money or status…it is all about relationships.
- Has being a teacher changed your perspective on life at all?
I believe my life has influenced my perspective on teaching. My very life defies odds. A child of teenage pregnancy in the 1970’s, parents “told” to marry, then divorced 13 years later, learning disability…yet I was blessed with two parents that loved me unconditionally. Love is power. When you are loved you can surpass all logic. Love spurs hope. Encourages. Sacrifices. Forgives. Is patient. Is kind. Love never fails. EVER! Despite the odds, my parents believed, sacrificed, guided to the best of their ability. I never doubted I wouldn’t nor couldn’t be successful. I graduated with my Bachelor’s with Magna Cum Laude honors. Went on to earn a Master’s on Dean’s List each quarter. Happily married nearly 20 years, recently earned an endorsement to be a Gifted Intervention Specialist, and have humble, talented teenage boys that are impressive in their own academic and athletic arenas. We are blessed beyond measure. So…all these impact my classroom. I am very transparent with my students. I hide nothing. I share what I struggled with as a learner, how I pressed on, and above all else…I love them. I tell them I do. I want them to know they can SHINE in this DARK world! And I expect them to…and THEY DO! I tell them all the ways they shine…I do balance it with how to shine more…but above all I let them shine! So…there is very little line between my classroom and my life. I am who I am everywhere I go. I wear no masks and I believe authenticity and love are powerful forces that nurture my world.
- As the eldest of 3 sisters, what advice do you have for them as they grow up?
Be true to yourself, honor God, and love. Listen. Discern. Forgive yourself and others. Be authentic and always look for good… for you will find whatever you are looking for!
- Any last thoughts?
I know your article is on healthy lifestyle which I believe is physical health, mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health. Pursue these. God calls us to honor our bodies. This is the balance in which to strive towards…when this is balanced…the marriage, the family, and the mission field all falls into harmony.
A lifechanging book that has helped me in my relationships is called “The Love Languages”. A Christian based book on love languages. It is for ANY relationship…husband/wife, father/daughter, parent/child, workplace, etc. ANY relationship. I share this book whenever the opportunity presents itself. I changed my life.