Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Divorce and the CHURCH-a parody

I don't understand what's up with the CHURCH accepting all these divorced folks as Christians. I mean, they are D-I-V-O-R-C-E-D. Sure, some of them have their biblical "get out of jail free card" due to infidelity. But, hell's bells, a whole dad-gum bunch of them just got sick and tired of being sick and tired of the person they married. They decided the grass was greener in another pasture, so they left their pasture and found another one. Sure, maybe some of them were being physically or emotionally abused, but hey, tough luck. There's no provision for that in the black and white of scripture. And yet, we ACCEPT them! Sure, they can't be elders, deacons, or preachers(unless they are very well-connected), but still, we treat them as if they are actually forgiven Christians just like us, capable of going to HEAVEN.

Oh. My. Gosh.

I know some of them live and serve and work and do all sorts of honorable things. But, you know, the statistics PROVE that divorced people are more promiscuous as a lot than
once-only-married heterosexuals. I mean, certainly those divorced folks are just out there having sex with the next available divorcee' as if there's no tomorrow, or today or yesterday for that matter! They're a rowdy bunch, those divorcees.

And yet. We accept so MANY of them and treat them as if they are really and truly Christian?


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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Thrill of Competition

I never consider myself to be a competitive person. However, something has happened today which has awakened the sleeping dog of competition within my soul. I'm pumped.

A friend has called on me for help with her first-grader's science fair project. I can't tell you how stoked I am about this. We must win. That's all there is to it. ;)

I am a master, I mean MASTER, at consulting on science fair projects for the very young. My own boys ALWAYS, and I do mean ALWAYS, took first (one second in all those years) place in Science Fair through 2nd grade. When it turns into questions deeper than "which soda is the fizziest?" or concepts such as "learning fractions using M&M's"......uh........well......I'm out.

I'll post a picture of his board when we're finished. I'm off to assist as of right now. Notice, I said HIS board. This little fellow I'm helping will do all the work and he will learn. But, with my expertise and guidance, his presentation will STUN the judges into immediately awarding him a first place ribbon! haha!!

I may be eating a little "crow" after this post!

We'll see.


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Saturday, January 27, 2007

It Is Finished

"It Is Finished" may sound a bit sacrilegious for a title, but it conveys my feelings so well.

Here I am.

All in one piece and even smiling a bit. :) I appreciate all of you who read this stuff. Nothing like a real-time, real-live "drama" to distract folks from the otherwise hectic existence they themselves are living through. However, I do recognize that there's more to my "drama" than meets the eye. I know I'm changed. People can and do change, you know. ;) The key to everything I'm about is in staying tuned in to God's Holy Spirit (our comforter, our guide here at this time) and keeping the change I seek to be aligned with the change he seeks.

I do know that most of you, not those of you who comment of course, read about my life because you desire a distraction. I believe those who comment, and some who don't, read because you care or have come to care. And so, in this way, you are changed as well.

I was telling my students the other day that some folks have opinions and beliefs that are like bricks; they are hard and fixed and when they get chipped away, the entire belief system is chipped away. And then, there are others, like myself, whose beliefs are like a lump of playdoh. They are pliable and get squashed, dented, formed, and molded over time as various experiences occur. The basic belief, whatever makes playdoh be playdoh, remains....but the form and the expression of the belief is moldable.

I've been blessed. My chunk of playdoh has been squished and squashed, pounded flat and then re-shaped again and again. And yet, it's a beautiful work of art always in the making. And it smells good too. (i love the smell of playdoh!)

I love all of you that are a part of that sweet aroma as it rises up to our Father in heaven. This aroma includes the straight, the gay, the ex-gay, and so many in-between.

love and grace,

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Decisions and Process

The divorce will be final on Friday. Crazy, huh? It's all happened to so quickly.

The pain of this process escapes words right now. I'm hoping at some point I'll be able to describe it adequately. For some reason, though, I believe I need to get a bit further down the road before I'll be completely capable of doing that. I need to be able to look back on it a bit with a level of objectivity that time and possibly even physical distance will provide.

The problem for me, at this point, seems to be that while Tdub and I each struggled with things in our own way, there were many aspects of relationship and marriage that we did get right. We did share our day-to-day lives with one another. We did care and we did talk to one another about the things that went on in the individual parts of our day. And, outside of our jobs, we made every effort to partner up on endeavors that took a great deal of time. We didn't have separate interests or projects that we worked on. We did things together. Most of our friends were friends with both of us. We didn't maintain individual sets, at least not any that got a great deal of our time.

What's happening for me now, is that some time has passed and I've been attempting to continue to work, serve, and participate in the same things that Tdub and I always did together. And it's incredibly painful. Every time. What do I do with that? Do I PLOW forward and WORK THROUGH IT? Does enough time pass to numb the pain of that loss? I'm sure, at some point, it will get easier. Surely. My gifts, talents, and abilities haven't changed just because I'm no longer doing these things with a partner.

Here's what I want to do. I want to move away. I want to be in a new place. I want to continue to serve in the same ways I've been serving but not be reminded at every turn of the loss of that partnership. I want to figure out who I am without Tdub and without the "baggage" of that relationship being visible to everyone around me. I mean, yeah, the baggage is there and I'm the only one who can process through it and lighten it's load, but does everyone I know have to be so aware of it? It does matter. People do respond differently to you when you're burdened down as I have been. And I do thank God for that, particularly in the initial time.

But how do I move on? How do I get past it? It seems to me that there are youth groups all over the country I could work with, and I guarantee you they have the very same kids in them that I'm used to working with here. Every church has youth and children's ministries. I can serve in these same ways anywhere.

This is the sort of conversation I'm having with God right now. And he has been speaking. I have been hearing him. The truth of the matter is, it's risky either way. And so, I'm doubting what I'm hearing. Pray for clarity and for wisdom for me. God is faithful. Come what may.

love and grace,

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Snow Day

School was cancelled today. :)

This is my little fenced backyard this morning. It may not look like much to those of you who live in the North, but it's quite an event here in Texas. In fact, it's only the 2nd time that Drew (12) has seen the ground covered in snow. He spent the night at his dad's last night but called me at 7:00 a.m. insisting that I get up and look outside so that he could hear my reaction.
I answered the phone.

Me: (sleepily) Hey Drew, there's no school today.
Drew: (excitedly) I know Mom! Look outside!
Me: I will honey. I'll get up in a bit.
Drew: No up and look out, right now!
Me: (groaning and reluctantly dragging myself from the warmth of my bed) Oooooh...o. k.
Drew: (still excited) Do you see it? Have you seen it? Isn't is cool??

It's a major event here. Drew is an extremely visual child and was greatly impressed with the sheer beauty of it. And it is beautiful. Particularly so when I count the blessings of a warm home and a day to stay home, sleep in, drink coffee, and putter around in solitude.

Here's the Sparkster in the little coat we got him for Christmas.
He's such a sweet little dog.
It's been a good day.
love and grace,

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Grief is an insidious monster. He hides away, lurking, waiting. He has an arsenal of tools. Most of them look and feel like healthy activities. Maybe they are. I know he's a "necessary evil", and yet, I loathe him. I want him gone. I want to run away very far sometimes, so that he can't catch me, can't find me. I want him to disappear. He has no mercy, no compassion, just reminders of hurt, pain, past joy, past victory. He turns all the bad and all the good into something very very difficult face. And so, in Grief's world, I am faced with a choice, again and again. Over and over. What are you going to do now? How do you feel about God NOW? Try this on for size. I hate him.

He attacked me last night during the middle of a simple song that I was singing with the 3-yr-olds in their Bible class. Working in the Children's Ministry, singing, playing with kids, this was something I'm used to doing with a partner, as a team.

And so now, boys and girls, do I still believe those words. Is my God really so BIG, so STRONG and so MIGHTY? Is there really nothing my God cannot do? Yes, the mountains are his, the valleys are his, and the seas are his handiwork too. But.....IS HE so BIG, so STRONG and so MIGHTY. Is there really NOTHING that he can't do?????

And then, on the drive home, my big, strong, mighty God.....gave me this verse. He didn't speak it out loud, but he did directly speak it to my mind, my heart.

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Psalm 126:5

Grief is a scary monster. But he's not God.

love and grace,

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Bit Beaten Down

Sorry for the lag in posting. Getting back in the routine of school is always a killer.....PLUS.....this is "crunch time" for me as an English/Writing teacher. Our state-mandated test for writing is coming up in February. I can't say too much about it here, since my blog is no longer anonymous......BUT....

You know I gotta say somethin'! ha!

It's really discouraging at times like these to be a teacher. I don't care what you hear on talk radio or read in the paper....MOST public school educators truly care about kids. They/We really do. We love them. We have dedicated our lives and taken a "hit" to our livelihood because we truly love what we do.

Again, I can't say much, but, high-stakes testing SUCKS. It is NOT the way to take care of kids and to ensure that "All students can learn". This has become the sort of mantra of the public schools over the past decade or so. All Students Can Learn. As if we, the educators, the really good ones, didn't already know that. What that statement really meant, when it came out was....."don't ignore the special needs or ethnic groups who haven't had the same background and experiences that all the middle-class, well-fed white kids have had as you are teaching." Because, honestly, in the past, it seems that something like that must have been happening. White kids outscored the ethnics (well, maybe unless you were somewhere with a big Asian population)....but....anyway....that's where it seems to have come from. (this is ALL MY OPINION.....based on 18 years in the trenches)

And so now, we are living and trying to SURVIVE as teachers, in the backlash and huge compensation for that dilemma. We meet, we make lists, we meet about the lists, we teach a day or two, then meet again and recheck the lists and graphs. We have substitutes come in so we can go over the data. And then, we get to teach again for a day or two. And then we meet in the mornings or after school about the data and the lists and we revise the lists.

It's CRAZINESS. Absolute craziness.

My students are going to do well on the test. I'm committed to that. In between all the meeting, listing, data....blah blah blah.....I'm going to keep doing what is best for my kids in my classroom each and every day.

And that's why I haven't been blogging much lately. My mind is befuddled right now and my body is just now getting readjusted to the rigors of getting up and going every day. Christmas break was SO good! :)

Hope all is well.

love and grace,
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