Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Confession 103: Last Day

So, today is the official last day of school before summer. Obviously, I have mixed feelings. I love summer break, so I'm excited for that, but this is also my last day with some of my students and fellow teachers here, so I'm also feeling a bit sad. I will be teaching summer school here (it's only 18 days) which is a huge blessing because I haven't found a job yet in our new hometown. So, God's given me a bit of breathing room, which is really all you need. I feel confident that God has something in mind for me in our new place, I just don't know yet what that is.

I heard a great quote from singer David Crowder this morning about life which really spoke to my heart. He said that he's learned from all of life's unexpected twists and turns that the only thing he can say is, "God, give me the light to see the path ahead of me and the courage to take the next step."

I feel like I am living that prayer right now. So, today is good, and a little sad, but God is faithful always.

Blessings and Peace,

Friday, May 21, 2010

Confession 102: Talking in Circles

When you live with two toddlers, running around in circles is an everyday occurrence. Take this morning, for instance. It was time to go, so I told Garrett to come on. And again, and again, and AGAIN! As he was walking out the door he suddenly told me he was wet and needed a new Pull-Up. Ten minutes later the Pull-Up was changed and we were right back where we started; me telling Garrett to come on again. And again, and again and AGAIN!!

Lately, I've noticed that not only are we running in circles, we've started talking in circles, too. Take this conversation on the drive home yesterday:

Garrett: "Did Alex try to kill the lady?"
Me: "What?!"
Garrett: "Did Alex try to kill the lady?"
Me: "What?!"
Garrett: "Alex, in Madagascar. Did he try to kill the lady?"
Me: "No, he didn't try to kill her. She was fighting with him."
Garrett: "Was Alex mean to her?"
Me: "Not really. She was being mean to him and he was trying to stop her."
Garrett: "Why was she being mean to him? Did she not like him?"
Me: "No."
Garrett: "Why did she not like him?"
Me: "She didn't like cats."
Garrett: "What?"
Me: "She didn't like lions."
Garrett: "She didn't like lions?"
Me: "No."
Garrett: "Why did she not like lions?"
Me: "Garrett, I don't know! She just didn't like them."
Garrett: "So, she was being mean to him."
Me: "Yes, she was being mean to him."
Garrett: "Who?"
Me: "What!?"
Garrett: "Who was being mean to him?"
Me: "The lady was being mean to him!"
Garrett: "The lady was being mean to who?"
Garrett: "Are you done?"
Me: "Yes, I'm done!"

Truly, I couldn't make this stuff up. It's a good thing we don't really keep liquor in the house. I might end up on the next episode of Dr. Phil!!

Blessings and Peace,

Friday, May 14, 2010

Confession 101: The Holy Cup of Zyrtec

When Spring arrives, so do our family's seasonal allergy. All four of us are taking some form of Zyrtec to get through the season. My almost two-year old takes this medicine taking very seriously. He actually threw a 45 minute fit earlier this week because I wouldn't give him a second dose of his generic Zyrtec! This taking of the medicine, or "meh-cin" as he refers to it, has taken on a very reverential air.

He stands very quietly beside me while I carefully pour 1/2 teaspoon of the liquid into the little plastic dosage cup. He then reaches up with both hands and carefully takes the cup from my hands, his big brown eyes solemn and round. He brings the cup down to his lips and bows his head. Softly, he whispers "meh-cin" to the cup and, with both hands, slowly raises the cup to his lips and drinks.

He then sticks his tongue into the cup and tries to lick up any remaining drops! :-)

I have no idea where this communion-like allergy medicine consumption comes from. It reminds me of when my sister and I used to pretend to take the Lord's Supper using Smarties candy. Wherever he got it from, it cracks me up!! Although, I'm hoping this is not something he carries with him for the rest of his life. :-)

Blessings and Peace,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Confession 100: Transistions

Wow! I didn't think a one hundredth post would be a big deal, but I have to say, it's pretty cool seeing triple digits up there! It only took me three years to reach 100. I'm on a role!!

I thought for my hundredth post I would write a little bit about transitions. It seemed appropriate, given that we seem to be in the midst of many. This week is the last week of school for our seniors, and it's interesting to see how reluctant they are to leave, now that the time to go has finally arrived. At the beginning of the year, it was all they could talk about. Now, I've had several say to me they don't feel ready anymore to go. One of my senior girls came in to my third hour already crying. "It's so hard!" she told me. "Yes," I replied. "It is. It's hard now. It's hard at college. It's hard when you get married. It's hard when you move." Transitions are just hard. There are so many emotions involved. On the one hand, there's the excitement around the adventure to come. For high school seniors, the whole world is spread out before them. They get to move out on their own, eat what they want, when they want, stay up or out as long as they want, travel where they want, etc... For those going to college, they get to put their foot into the "real world", but still have the safety net of a school and studies.

Yet, in every transition, the possibility of what is to come is tempered by the reality loss. Namely, saying goodbye. Each transition carries with it both a hello and goodbye. It's in the makeup of the word. And, for most of us, saying goodbye is difficult. As human beings, we are made to be in relationship with others. It is that essence of God within us, I think, that makes us seek out others with whom we can share our lives. And even though no goodbye is ever final, it often feels like it in the moment. Goodbye indicates change, and most of us do not respond well to change. Change feeds insecurity within us so that when it comes, as my seniors are demonstrating, we want to push it away, even if it's something we've looked forward to for a long time.

However, I would argue it is in our times of transition that we learn to trust most in God. When we have to say goodbye, when we have to leave the certain and known, when everything around us changes, God remains the same. He is our stability and security when we enter into a new place in our lives. One of my favorite verses in the Bible has always been Deuteronomy 31:6--

"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear! The Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave nor forsake you."

Blessings and Peace in All of your Transitions!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Confession 99: Make a Difference Monday

I like to listen to K-Love on my way to and from work, and Mondays on K-Love are always "Make a Difference Monday." This morning, one of the dj's offered up a challenge to pray this morning for God to use you to make a difference in someone else's life without spending a dime.

Having no money, I thought this was a great idea, so I decided to put God up to the challenge. Can you use me to make a difference in the life of someone else without spending money?

So far, not so great. I told my Seniors this morning to shut up and stop being jerks, and I've virtually ignored my Juniors trying to get my Senior gift bags organized for our English IV "celebration" on Wednesday (we don't do parties) which probably mean a lot more to me than they will to them seeing as how they consist of heart stickers, Hershey's Hugs, a band-aid, kleenex and life-saver and which they'll probably toss in the trash on their way out the room.

However, the day is still young and God is capable of much more than most of us ever give him credit for, so I'm still looking to make a difference. How about you?

Blessings and Peace,

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Confession 98: Before the Throne of God

I've been thinking about prayer a lot this week. It was a key focus of our Revelation lesson. I don't know about you, but sometimes my prayer life becomes like a task on my to-do list. I shoot something off in the morning while I'm getting ready for the day to check it off my list and then give a quick "Thanks" at the end of the day. I'm afraid between work, kids, church, dogs and cats, I don't always take the time to cultivate the relationship that keeps everything I'm juggling up in the air. And, when I'm not truly centered on God, I don't seem to be centered on anything else.

In Revelation chapters 4 and 5, the throne room of God is described. The floor is made of precious jewels, there are heavenly beings crowned sitting all around. Heavenly creatures proclaim in booming voices the glory of God. It is resplendent. Majestic. Awesome. And those biblical characters who have seen it have fallen at the feet of the one who sits enthroned, surrounded by light that fills the room.

There is a lake, as smooth as glass, in front of the throne of the Most High where all of our iniquities, all of our sins, are thrown away forever. And there are bowls of amber incense sitting on each side of The King. The incense, a fragrant offering of prayer lifted up to the Creator by his created. When we pray, it is into this throne room we enter. And our prayers rise up as incense before God. He keeps them beside him--gifts from his beloved children.

I'm suddenly feeling convicted of all of those morning prayers offered up on the porcelain throne:-) Or the time last week when I prayed that I could actually get the carseat clip hooked to the seat latch. (Although, I have to say, God did answer that prayer!) In a culture where flippancy has become a well-practiced form through Twitter and Facebook, I think we should take more care with our prayers. Not that praying for timeliness in the mad dash to work is bad, but it needs to be countered with some serious down on our knees at the feet of the great I AM time. When we pray, we are standing on holy ground, and if our bodies can't reflect that, then our spirits should.

Prayer is powerful. I think I could use a dose of that! :-)

Blessings and Peace,

My Family

My Family

My Family 2

My Family 2