Friday, August 23, 2013

Keeping my my world un-mad

So this song keeps coming up on Pandora, and I was struck by the lyrics today.

As school and Jake’s new grad school schedule begins, with all the changes at work too, I have to be vigilant of falling into the worn out faces category of people described in the song. What scares me is getting so wrapped up in going through the motions and getting stuff done, that I miss those kids, the ones described in the fourth verse- I don’t want to look right through them- I want them to learn and grow and feel loved.

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for the daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere

Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I wanna drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow

And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles its a very, very
Mad world
, mad world

Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy birthday, happy birthday
And I feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen, sit and listen

Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me, no one knew me
Hello teacher tell me, what's my lesson?
Look right through me
, look right through me

And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles its a very, very
Mad world, mad world, enlarging your world
Mad world

(Gary Jules - Mad World)

It is a beautiful song- but what I appreciate is the reminder to make each day matter, to connect with people even when I’m tired and frustrated and such. Just a note to self as we get the ball rolling on Year 4 & some change! :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Evangelical errors.

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This lovely little graphic floated across my Facebook newsfeed recently.

I shuttered.

I am known to be a  English nerd and a bit of a grammarian, so of course this would annoy me. But, really? Angles?

This is an ANGLE.

This is an ANGEL.

(I’m particularly fond of this print, by the way… it reminds me of one that was in my grandmother’s house when I was little. I’m not so sure I agree with the traditional depiction of angels, but not sure if I disagree either. It’s just one of those mysterious aspects of Christian faith I take a guess-I’ll-know-someday attitude about. I don’t get the appeal so much, as I imagine Jesus by my side rather than some winged creature, but that’s just me. I also prefer to think of them more warrior-like, since God’s almighty and all that. In my head, He’s not so much grandfatherly, but beyond description- not necessarily human form [maybe?] but glowing and evoking that same feeling you get when you see Rambo. Blowing evil out of the water… I get this bubbly feeling in my heart knowing He rescued me- He’s taking out darkness and sin with a machine gun of love and forgiveness. I realize my vision isn’t exactly orthodox, but, whatevs. He’s my God. He loves ME, and until I see Him face to face, I’ll let my imagination run wild with longing for Beulah Land.)

My point, my frustration, my annoyance is this:
Whatever you do for the Lord, do with ALL YOUR MIGHT.

Colossians 3:23-24… Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

I realize not everyone who knows and loves the Lord is educated in spelling and grammar, and by no means should ignorance, a lack of knowledge, or a poor background stop someone from sharing about Jesus. He died for ALL.  (So, know that I say this next part without condemnation, but constructive criticism for a fellow believer…)
If you’re going to take the time to make a spiffy little graphic like above (and have the KNOWLEDGE and wherewithal to make such) specifically for Facebook reposting folks, AT LEAST take the time to get your spelling right (ON A 3RD GRADE WORD). It makes Christians (and subsequently, the Christian faith) seem ignorant, and in a world where we must be quick to have an answer, to be knowledgeable to defend our beliefs, this junk does nothing to spread the Gospel but rather elicit eye rolls at those ignorant “Christian” people. If spelling and grammar is not your area of strength, use another method to spread His love. Talk to people. Pray. Go on missions. Build, give, and use your talents to reach out to people in need. But for the love (literally?), don’t make silly Facebook graphics. M’kay? Thanks.

Okay, end rant.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August again?!

Au revoir, Summertime!

Next week, Jake goes back to school, and then the next week, Mak goes back. This August is sooooo weird. My usual angst has been mild- mostly anxious and excited in the good ways, most likely due to the fact that this school year will be so different for us. Mak is staying at her school, but with J’s fellowship, he has now left the classroom and entered the world of full time graduate school, meaning he will be taking M to school, coming home to work on school stuff or observe in schools, then go to class at night three times a week, while I will be continuing to teach at MICS, despite thoughts that I might jump over to the neighboring county. Nothing panned out as every position (just a few opened up) where I wanted to go involved math or science and not ELA or social studies, so instead of risking it with a school I was unsure of, I’m staying put where I’m happy and just going to make the drive. After all, we’re in that –keep calm & carry on- mode… no babies coming anytime soon that we know of, house is still on the market, waiting, and so there are no big moves or changes for our family other than J’s job. I am a bit anxious that my coworkers have jumped ship (a few of my absolute favs and best listening ears, all seemingly with the aim to leave teaching in general… understandably so with all the crap teachers are facing in NC… more on that later). I think my new team is going to be interesting- a new dynamic and fresh start. I loved last year, and while it’s going to be different and I’m a bit bummed about it, I’m staying positive that this year will be good too. I’ve got a good bit of planning done, and since I am not changing grades or subjects, I’m finally going to get to reuse ideas and start honing what I’m already doing rather than reinvent the wheel and focus on treading water, the way you end up doing your first year in a particular subject/grade. That second year is sweet- you have the framework for lesson plans and most resources already gathered, so you can focus more on refinement and improving your teaching. Maybe that’s why I’ve felt more excitement than fear this year? That or it’s just not hit. MY first day isn’t until September after Labor Day due to the relocation of our school campus. The moving was delayed because of the ridiculous amount of rain earlier in the summer, so we’re just this week supposedly going to be allowed in the buildings. I can’t wait. I love setting up my classroom. I think I like to pretend it’s my dorm room and it’s like back to college. Matching rubbermaid storage drawers, rugs, and lamps. School supplies. You know. It’s how I can pretend, at least. Hahaha.

I got a Lilly Pulitzer planner the other day (LOVE her) and it’s filling up with notes and plans already. I set up my desk at home for working (it’s rather bland during the summer) complete with cinnamon candle to keep me motivated.

Summer 2013 started a little rocky with nothing (the pool, money, vacation planning) falling into place as I expected, but dog-gone if it wasn’t a blast. Heck, just follow me on instagram and you’ll see. ;)
Between Florida, lake days, time on the river, mountain trips, motorcycle rides, paddling in the kayaks, fishing or swimming, reading tons and tons of suspense/thrillers, library days, bakery trips, summer camp and VBS, lazy days sleeping til noon, catching up with friends, and generally doing lots of cool stuff, we’ve made it fun, despite the fact that a lot of our summer traditions (like the pool, the rained-out symphony & fireworks show, Blues out Back, the rained out/flooded garden- or lack there of, etc.) simply didn’t get to happen this year, not to even mention the influx of debt from two back-to-back miscarriages (hospital/dr bills) and my teaching in SC scholarships now turned loans all calling. Ugh. But again. We’ve juggled the struggles and frustrations and had a great, great summer. We’re richly blessed.

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Oh, and not to mention a good old political debate with a local government representative that lead to me getting blocked on Facebook by the very representative I voted for who happens to represent me… but that’s a side story you can read about here.

It’s been such a good summer. I’m blown away by how much my baby girl has grown and changed (it’s scary for this Mommy!) and I’m in awe of how great my little family is.

Random additional thought: I’ve decided that I think* I’m going to go back to school after Jake finishes for media specialist. It’s been rattling around in my brain all summer. Feels good to start to see a long range plan in my head. Finally.

And, on top of that, Mak’s adoption should be final-final really soon. What a reason to celebrate. So I guess my August angst this year is more like August Appreciation. Appreciation of what we have, what we’ve done and what memories we’ve made, and what wonderful things lie ahead! :)