Thursday, December 20, 2012

One of Those Days

I started a post on December 10th.  About the evening of November 28.  Blogging is not at the top of my priorities as you can see. 

However, since the tragedy (though tragedy may not be a strong enough word, nor is devastation, gut wrenching, or piercing) at Sandy Hook this evening is even more meaningful to me.  I hope they had moments that will sustain them a lifetime. 

Last month, the month of November, the month where it was a delight to read what my friends' treasured in their statuses, I had one of those days. 

At the time, I made notes about what made it one of those days.  I jotted down some observations, which I fully intended to write about-to get it out of my system.

You see, friends, on a dreary Wednesday in November, I had one of those days.  And it was glorious.

It started in the kitchen.  While preparing supper, I went to discard my trash.  While dumping it in the trash can, I noticed the trash can had hulls in it.  Hulls of walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts. 

And it was at that moment I realized the holiday season was upon us.  And, simultaneously, I realized that very often the most mundane, small acts can help us see how fragile and precious life is.

For as long as I can remember, my father welcomed the holiday season by purchasing mixed nuts-the kind you need a nutcracker for.  And for as long as I can remember, I've seen those shells at the bottom of the trash can. 

For about 30 minutes, it seemed as though time stopped.  I could hear the news in the background from one direction and snoring in the other. 

And for that brief amount of time, I understood just how fully blessed I am-to have a family, a home that is a respite from the literal and metophorical storms.  I saw for that amount of time how silly things, like shattered walnut pieces, helped me grasp that for that one moment, all was right in the world.

After my father's stroke, you never know what will go next.  He no longer drives and when he's a passenger with me, he doesn't critique my vehicular skills.  Just this evening, he informed my mother we needed to set our clocks back an hour.  Little things aren't the same-the way he answers phone calls, the way he stays in the house, the way he no longer jokes.

But for that one amount of time, life was good.  I know it's silly and sappy.  But one day, hopefully years from now, I will look back on this memory and smile.  Or cry.  And I will continue to celebrate the tiny, ordinary moments. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

For Me

As I sit in my cozy home, in my cozy bed, my heart aches.  If only everyone else were in a similar setting.

Tonight I attended the visitation of a long time family friend.  Her son, who was 50 something, was murdered last week.  By his wife of 27 years. 

There's more to the story, but I have problems accepting this death.  He was a good man, who worked hard.  He leaves behind his wife, sitting in a cell and his mother.

His mother buried her other son ten years ago from a heart attack.  Two sons, two untimely deaths, no grandchildren.

I cannot comprehend why.  My heart hurts deeply. 

Lately I have been listening to hymns.  Ones I heard growing up.  While I love Chris Tomlin and Third Day, they've been silent lately and the chords of songs hundreds of years old have filled my ears.

And on nights like tonight, when things just don't make sense, I hear the lyrics from "This is My Father's World":

This is my father's world
And let me ne'er forget
That though the wrong
Seems oft so strong,
He is the ruler yet.

This is my father's world
The battle is not done
'Cause Jesus who died
Will be satisfied
And earth and heaven be one

In the midst of such sad and senseless events, I must believe there is more.  I may not understand fully until my earthly days are over. 

But God is sovereign.  And holy.  And he works in all things.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Birthday, America!

A repost, but it's all I got...

"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you....You may say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.' But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today." Deuteronomy 8:10, 17-18

We all know how blessed we are to live in the United States. While the U.S. has its problems, and we are all aware of them, I still cannot help but feel gratitude that I am an American citizen.

And much like the Scripture says, whcn I look at my possessions, at our great nation, sometimes I am tempted to pat myself (or collectively ourselves) on the back and take credit for a job well done.

Then, conviction creeps in. And I realize that all I have has nothing to do with me. It has to do with the sacrifices of others, from the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives and their occupations so that we can live, work and play with freedom and security. It's about family members who sacrificed self so they could help form character and help make sure their families had all they needed. It's about the founders of our who valued worship so much they were ready to venture to an unknown.

Above all else, the reason why America is great is because God has put His favor on it. We have done nothing to deserve it, which is why it's called favor. We don't need to delude ourselves into thinking that we earned it, it's simply His grace.

So I humbly ask you this long weekend, as we celebrate America's birthday and contemplate how very fortunate we are to live in this blessed nation, to do exactly as Moses instructed the Israelites a long time ago. Eat, be satisified, be thankful! Just be sure and remember to whom those thanks must be given.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer "School"

As an educator, I strive to continue to be a life long learner. 

I have half of my master's degree completed and am spending the majority of my summer reading reading professional books, participating in a book study online and going to three days of professional development.  (I mean, who does that?  Of their own volition?  It all adds up to NERD-but, hey, I'm owning it.)

I thought the most beneficial lesson I'd learned was how to successfully teach guided reading.  Until today.

Today I learned that if you're meeting your friend Jennifer for lunch there are a couple of do's and don't s.  For example:

  • Do take the time to make sure you put some kind of cosmetics on your face.  Because it will be the day that you get interviewed for KET (Kentucky Educational Television). 
  • Don't leave the house with wet hair.   Because it will be the day that you get interviewed for KET.  And God and the Commonwealth will get to see you looking like that. 
  • Do make sure you have on clothes that are not wrinkled.  Not only will you be interviewed, you will meet your next door neighbor.  This proves that you do have clothes other than your pajamas.
  • Do be prepared to face anything, including questions about how you utilize KET in both your personal viewing and professional viewing. 
  • Don't be insulted when the KET people ask you adapt your answer.  Because your answer was too long.  (This same thing happened to me at the Houston Final Four last year-what are the odds?)
  • Don't sing "The More You Know" jingle.  (Okay, so I really didn't do that, but had to fight myself to keep quiet.)
  • Do enjoy every second of adult conversation, even if it's punctuated by diesel trucks, motor scooters and a weird California Raisin guy with Darius Miller's jersey.  (Seriously there was a man walking around in the Raisin get up, striped pants, and Big D's jersey.  I can't make up this foolishness.)
I know "they" say education is a mix of experiences in the classroom and outside of it.  And sometimes, like today, the outside experiences prove to be way more beneficial.  Life skills were definitely learned today.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Say What?

Like most southern girls I know, I've got a problem with my mouth. 

Okay, so a few months ago (like, three) a lady I worked with sent me an invite to Pinterest.
And my life has not been the same.

Aside from the fantabulous ideas and resources there, I began to notice something.

I might pin something, and then Kathie pins it.  After Kathie pins it, Amy repins Kathie's pin (which was originally mine, if you recall).  After that, Stefanie might repin Amy's pin (which if you follow my logic was originally "mine").

This whole thing (besides watching with bemusement as to just how many degrees it will go) has made me think a lot about the words I use-especially if they are not kind or encouraging (i.e. gossip).

Just like when I repin something on Pinterest, when words leave my mouth, I really don't know how far they'll travel.  I don't know where they'll end up, but (unlike Pinterest) you can usually trace the words back to the original speaker.

It makes me think long and hard about Proverbs 10:19, "Where words are many, sin is not absent; but she who holds her tongue is wise."

So this is a challenge to myself to use my words carefully and diligently-to help them build up and not tear down. 

Somewhere on Pinterest is that Proverb.  And I will definitely (and proudly) repin it.

Friday, June 8, 2012

When In Doubt, Look in the Purse

So I switched from my March Madness (yes, I have a pocketbook I carry only to ballgames-but then I got lazy and carried it all of April and May) to my summer purse. 

And found a bajillion things. 

I have now discovered if I'm ever missing ANYTHING, I'm headed to my last purse.  Because you never know what you'll find...

  • 3 free Starbucks cards (how have I not used these? Agh!)
  • 1 free chicken sandwhich from Chic-fil-a (again, why is this unused?)
  • 15 gift cards with assorted amounts (3 Visas, 1 Panera, 1 Target, 3 Kroger, 1 Chili's, 1 Hobby Lobby, and 6, yes 6, Starbucks)
  • 1 prescription a year old
  • 13 Sharpies (I have the regular ones and thin ones in every assorted color except orange)
  • 2 highlighters
  • 2 thank you notes that need to be mailed
  • 4 pony tail holders-one Carolina blue (why do I even own one that color?), two brown, and one Kentucky blue (of course I can't find it when I need to match, but's a start)

Is it too late to start a New Year's Resolution?  Maybe I can do a mid-year use what all's in my purse! 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I Can Count On Death, Taxes And...

  • unexpected visitors when I begin to prepare food (I love people, but this always happens when my hair hasn't been brushed, I'm in my pjs and have Randy Travis blaring from my laptop)
  • the nanosecond I get comfy in my bed, the house phone rings, necessitating a trip up (and because I'm particular I have to find the phone with the caller ID working so the call can be screened)
  • the briefest moment my attention is diverted from those sweet kids (who I seriously miss), they will come up to me.  The minute after the phone has stopped ringing, attendance has been taken, or the parent has left, they are totally autonomous.  Again.  I call that playing possum.
  • picking the absoulte worst line anywhere-groceries, Wal-Mart, Ticketmaster.  If there's a line, don't get behind me.  No Midas touch here.
  • Pinterest to completely disown me when I'm ready to waste lots of time devote a lot of time to research.  One day it kicked me off there so many times within fifteen minutes I gave it up cold turkey for a weekend.  Serves it right for being so sassy.