Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sticks and Stones

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me."

I wish the author of that saying had been with me this afternoon, when I got a blistering phone call over a situation I had little to no control over.  A choice was made, a consequence was given (not even my consequence, by the way), and the caller was none too pleased with said consequence. 

No, no bones were broken, but knowing how much I love each and every child in my classroom, and knowing how much I do for each and every one of them, and knowing how hard I work so they can be successful...
No, they didn't break bones, but those words hurt my feelings and they made me mad.  

I wish I was the kind of person that could just let these things go in one ear and right out the other.

I wish I could say "I don't care."  

But I can't do that.  

I wonder if that's how Jesus feels sometimes.  We make choices, our choices have consequences, and what do we do?  We turn around and get mad at God or ask Him "why?" or "how could You let this happen?"  No, our attitudes and questions have no bearing on Who God is, but knowing how much He loves us, and knowing how much He gives us, how much He has done for us, how much He continues to do for us, and knowing how hard He works on our behalf...
No, our words have no bearing on Who God is, but I can't help but wonder if they hurt Him or make Him angry.  

I wish I was the kind of person that could just let these things go in one ear and right out the other.

I wish I could say "I don't care."  

But I can't do that.  

I can't do that because of who I am.  I do care.  I care a lot.
And you know what?  It's okay.
It's okay because that's exactly who I am.  
It's okay because that's exactly who I am and Whose I am.
Jesus cares.  He cares so much that He died for you.  Died.  And rose again.  
Jesus cares so much that He died for you knowing that you may never love Him back.  
Jesus cares so much that, if you were the only person on Earth, He would have done no less.
Jesus cares so much that He held my hand today and gave me the grace to have self-control.
Jesus cares.
And so do I.

Do I care too much?  Maybe.
Could I stand to toughen up?  Absolutely. 
Was I proud of how I handled myself today?  Yes.
Could I have done it without God?  Never.

The Joy Dare continues with 3 gifts from the past that help you trust the future.
-My grandmother's words of wisdom:  "Jesus loves the person that hurt you just as much as He loves you."  And, one of my personal favorites, "Honey, you just can't make other people behave."
-A card my principal gave me on the first day of school, "You will have all kinds of days- days full of joy, days that break your heart, and days that make you want to quit- trust me.  But every single day, you will make a difference.  Never doubt that God has big plans for you here."
-words from a sweet friend, "If God sends us on strong paths, He will provide us with strong shoes."  

Gifts that I've noticed, and gifts that I haven't.  

Keep counting, 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It's all a gift

Today.  Oh, today.

Although hilarious in hindsight and entirely too long to tell, the "big moments" of my day included:
-one of my children going "missing" while he was in specials (translation:  "specials" = art, music, PE, computer lab, library) worries, he was found in the bathroom  :)
-projectile vomit that was EVERYWHERE- all over our floor (which is carpet, by the way), all around the trashcan, all over the trashcan, all over him, all over me...yeah
-while cleaning myself off, another one of my kids got a nosebleed

Oh, today.  

Something I'm working on in my life is counting everything as joy.  Everything.  Every.  Single.  Thing.  Sometimes, I do really well with it.  Sometimes, it feels like I'm failing.

I've taken the Joy Dare- a dare to count the gifts God has given me.  A dare to count 1000 gifts in 2013.  I'm lucky that I have 4 wonderful women who have also taken the dare to meet with on Sunday afternoons.  Over coffee and around an aqua table, we discuss our good things, our struggles...and what it means to count each as a gift and all as joy.

I typically count 3 gifts a day (3 gifts a day x 365 days per year = 1095 gifts in a year).
Today's theme:  3 Gifts Seen As Reflections.  I'm reflecting on my whole day.

The "missing" child (who has autism, by the way)- not only did I know where to find him, but how to get him to come with me.  Holding his hand walking back to our classroom today was an incredible reminder of how far he has come, how far I have come.
While I had vomit all over me, I work with and for a principal who was gracious enough to let me leave school a little early to shower and change clothes.
Not only did I not get sick, I was able to find the humor in the situation pretty quickly.

1, 2, 3...and many, many more.  Gifts that I've noticed.  And gifts that I haven't.

My dog is barking.  Mildly annoying?  Yes.  But it means I can hear.  And that's a gift.

What can you count as joy today?


Why blog? Why now?

I've considered blogging for a while now, but I always put it on the backburner.  Too many things to do, too little time.  What would I even blog about?  And who would want to read it anyway?

So why blog?  Why now?  

I have always enjoyed writing- not for other people to read, but for myself.  Journaling, doodling, making lists- they're just things I do.  I decided it's time to put these things and some of my thoughts in one place, and to share them.  With you.  

I'll tell you stories from my classroom- the place of joy, chaos, frustration, laughter, and love it can be.  I'll share thoughts from my days...and nights, as I periodically deal with insomnia.  I'll tell you about me, who I am, and how I choose to live my life.  I'll share with you my struggles, and I'll tell you about my relationship with God.  

And so begins my blogging step at a time.