Monday, August 29, 2011

Crash, burn and get back up the last time I wrote anything I was pretty much crashing and burning as I wrote. The cool thing about God is that you can crash and burn as many times as it takes to get it right, and He will always help you pick up the pieces. I'm not stressing about school or money or whatever else I was ranting about last time. Nope instead this time I'm singing a different tune. On Sunday, Troy, our assistant pastor, talked about how much our church loves doing life together. His message really inspired me. He talked about being intentional in our relationships and not just waiting for them to happen to us. He said that sometimes if you want to be invited to the "thing" you have to make the first move. People might not know you want to be invited, or we may just not know you...period.
Relationships are a two way street. It takes two to tango. Blah Blah Blah. Yeah we've heard it all before. But have we done anything about it? Probably not. So I'm going to make a change. If you are in my phone, and we text each other, you are going to get a text from me each week with a daily word of encouragement or prayer. This is how I am going to start to be intentional about my relationships. I want each of you to know how much I love you and love doing life with you.
This is me getting back up.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Beautiful Things

I'm not having the best morning. I don't know why something in one area of my world, can totally affect my entire day, good or bad. I would really like to have a pity party and curl up and cry, but I'm not going to do that.
No, instead I'm listening to a song that reminds me that God makes beautiful thins out of dust. In moments like this, its really hard to believe for myself. I feel like yet again I'm going to fail at school and I wonder why it has to be so damn hard! I have tears welling up in my eyes, but I refuse to let them fall, mainly because I'm in a public library and that would just be weird.
Somewhere at my core there must be something pretty amazing about me, otherwise I don't think God would have saved my life 3 different times that I can remember.
The biggest thing he saved me from was being killed at my Lane Bryant store in Tinley Park, IL. If I had never gotten pregnant and had Nate, I would have still been working there and I would have been there that morning. Instead he took home a very dear friend of mine, but what I learned from that is that she had done her role in bringing God's kingdom to earth. It was her time, although that doesn't make what happened any easier or any less scary. Especially since her killer has never been found.
The next time would be at the NIU shooting just 5 days after the Lane Bryant shooting. If I had decided to pursue my masters at that time in textiles, I could have been on campus that day. What was even creepier to me was that my math class was in the room the shooting happened in. In fact my aunt called me after this shooting and wanted to know where I had been in the last 3 years, she was going to avoid those places!
The final time was an avoided car accident. My friend and I were in the car going through a green light and the car to my left, running a red light, slammed on his brakes but couldn't stop. Somehow he ended up on the other side of my car, neither of the cars being touched.
So I have to believe that I am here for a reason and I'm not just hanging out, but today it doesn't feel that way. Today it feels like I'm a joke.
I haven't had a day like this in so long it makes me think this is an attack from the enemy, playing on my weakness which at the moment is school.
I look at the boys and wish I had that carefree life again. No worries, no responsibilities....but then I guess I wouldn't be me. Someone once cruelly said to me, Life isn't always rainbows and ponies. At the time she was striking out against me because of my beliefs and I think a little jealousy as well. But in a sense she was wrong.
Lately you've read about my worry free life and for a split second, I forgot about that. Thanks for reminding me....God I give this all to you. You brought me to this school and you will get me through this road block as well. I'm giving this battle to you rather than waging the war myself. You are bigger than the battle! I'm overwhelmed by your love for me and all the blessings you have poured out on me in the past few months by allowing me to stay at home with Nate for the summer, by providing financially for me even when the numbers didn't make sense. Beautiful things indeed!

Friday, August 5, 2011

This one's for the teachers

So yesterday I'm reading some status updates in my newsfeed on Facebook. I see one that says "What's the craziest school supply on your child's list?" So I start to think about my son's list (now mind you this is the first time I've had to buy supplies so it's all weird to me): Play-doh 4 pack, large bottle of hand sanitizer, pencil grip (but please buy this at the office to insure you purchase the correct kind), 4 boxes of crayons, a snack to share with class, a 64oz bottle of juice, clear contact paper, etc... You get the idea of the kinds of things I was buying. I decided to comment and say that I think the craziest thing about my son's list is that even though I have to buy a pencil grip, I do not have to buy pencils. What will be done with said pencil grip? And I'm getting interested to see other funny things people have to buy, or not buy ;)
But instead, when I open the comments to post, I see an array of angry parents who have to buy anything at all. They don't want to help with classroom supplies just their kids. And why do they have to buy supplies to help teachers like post its and dry erase markers (hang in there teachers, I'm getting to why this is for you). There were actually some really hate filled remarks. I tried to post a rather lengthy response, but because it was so long, my phone wouldn't let me. So I tried again, cuz you know if at first you don't succeed, try, try again, right? I think maybe a teacher taught me that at a young age. Regardless, my phone is stubborn and was not letting me post my lengthy response.
Instead I'm dedicating this post to ALL teachers out there, the ones I'm friends with, the ones that teach my son, the ones that I will never meet, the ones who will never feel appreciated, ALL TEACHERS!
So as I'm reading these posts about how schools provide these things, parents shouldn't, I only see one or two posts defending teachers and schools. The truth is, schools don't provide all the items teachers need to insure your child is getting the best education possible. Truth is, we as parents are responsible for making sure our child gets the best education possible, not the teachers and principals and school boards. Yes, for most of us, those people are the ones sacrificing their time and efforts and MONEY to teach our children, but in the long run parents own that as well. So why not buy your son's teacher some post its and dry erase markers, somewhere along the way your child will probably use them as well. Schools have gone to using white boards instead of chalk boards but they don't provide the dry erase markers to write on them after the initial installment. Why should a teacher, who doesn't make much more than minimum wage after you figure all the after hours programs and tutoring and conferences, have to pay for them when they help provide an education for our children? Why is it the teacher's responsibility to provide my child, your child with school supplies? Why is NOT our responsibility as parents to do so?
So you don't want to help out other children? Why not? Their family's financial situation is not THEIR fault. Maybe supply lists do have extra on them so that all children will be provided for during the school year, but why is this a bad thing? What if you or your spouse, if you are so blessed as to have one, loses their job? Wouldn't you be grateful for a little help?
No, I don't think my parents were ever asked to buy chalk when I was in school, but budgets weren't as tight and chalk has never been as costly as dry erase markers. Then the parent might think, well that's not my problem, I didn't choose for the school to switch to dry erase. Nope you didn't but you are choosing to send your child to that school.
Whether you realize it or not, you choose to send your child to a particular school. Now here is where some parents are going to say, NO I have to send them to the school in the district in which we live. Well I disagree. You choose to send your child to that school by not choosing to send them somewhere else. You might say where else would I send them? Well what about private school? But wait, they have school supply lists too and they are typically more expensive overall. So maybe you could think about sending them to...hmmm homeschool? Oh you don't have the time or you don't feel qualified to homeschool or it costs too much money to get all of the supplies? Huh, so maybe paying for a few supplies that go towards a classroom, or a few supplies for the teacher, instead of just for your child isn't such a bad option after all. And maybe instead of complaining about how incompetent your child's teacher is this year, say thank you and be grateful that they are educated and know how to teach your child when you might not. And instead of giving them a coffee mug at the end of the year, give them a gift card to Target, Wal Mart, Office Max or the local teacher's store in town so they can stock up on some of those supplies.
Oh and by the way, all those cute decorations aren't free either, your teacher bought them. So how about next time you are out shopping and you see something that would go with the theme of their room, you pick it up as a thank you gift for one of the most influential people in your child's life. They deserve it, don't cha think?