Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sadie's Week

It's Sadie's Week at my high school.

You know, Sadie Hawkins. The dance where the girls ask the guys. Except for at my school, it's a big dang deal. Sure, girls ask guys, but also groups of people go together for fun, like Homecoming. We have lots of events going on during the week and a huge assembly and big decorations at the dance.... and spirit dress up days all week.

Our theme this year? Time Warp. It's a Back to the Future meets Grease meets Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (which none of my students have ever heard of) meets all the decades, including "the future."

How do we get to dress up?

Well, yesterday was Hippie Day. Lots of peace signs, flowing skirts, headbands, peasant blouses, and more.

Today, 50s Day. Most girls are more for the "Pink Lady" kind of a look since they seem to all have outgrown their poodle skirts from elementary school. The boys are rocking the slicked back hair, white tees, and leather jackets.

Tomorrow, 80s Workout Day. I fully anticipate seeing a plethora of spandex and neon colors. Oh dear.

Friday we journey back to the present and have a school colors spirit day, which could result in outfits of all sorts.

For the dance itself, kids can wear whatever decade they want - I've already heard that several cavemen are attending.

Anyway, each day I've been putting on Pandora and setting it to the approximate decade of the day. Yesterday we rocked out to a lot of Simon and Garfunkel. Today, it's a lot of doo-wop and motown. Tomorrow, some Cindy Lauper.

I'm having THE best week. It turns out that I grew up listenting to 50s and 60s music because my dad is (old). Please note, my mom is not old - in fact, she's several years younger than Dad.

Regardless, I feel like I'm back in my childhood, especially today. I know ALL the words to ALL the songs. I just want to dance around and sing and be happy and silly. Forget teaching!

The downside to Sadie's week? I'll be here pretty much from 6:30 am to 10:30 pm on Thursday and from 8 am until midnight on Saturday.

But right now, I'm not thinking about that.

I'm just doing the hand jive.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Today I choose to ignore the busyness I have going on.  I choose to ignore the four weeks of chaos that stand before me.  I choose to not post about everything going on in my busy world.  I choose to be light-hearted today.

I choose to proactively do the things I need to do today.  I choose to do them with a smile on my face.

I choose to listen to my music loudly in my classroom during my planning period, because it makes me happy.  I choose to turn off the flourescents and just let the light stream in from the windows.

Today I choose to ponder. I'll ponder Jesus.  I'll ponder life.

I choose not to dwell on things that make me or bog me down.  I choose to live right now.  I choose to do the things for which I am responsible, but I choose to do so with joy and without thinking about what I am supposed to do next.

I choose to say nothing negative today, about myself, or anyone, or anything else.

I choose freedom, today.

Here's a song that came up on Pandora and made me happy.  No, it's not Jesus-y.  Nope, it's not really inspirational.  No, the message isn't the best message ever.  It just makes me happy.  I liked the original version, and I like this version, too.  I smiled and turned it up a little.  The math class next door surely would like to hear it, too.

Happy Friday!

Blog Hopping with my favorite friends for some Coffee Company. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Can I tell you the first thought that just popped into my head when I wrote the title "Margin" just now? 

It was that margin and margarine are very similiar sounding words.  And then I wondered why.  And then I was off on a brain-tangent about how perhaps it's becuase margarine affects your margin.  And then I began to wonder if you would say it increases or decreases your margin, depending on what you think a person's margin would be - the space you actually take up or the space you are not taking up.  And now that I've typed margin five times, I'm not even sure if that's how you spell it anymore. 

Whew. Welcome to a minute in my brain.

Back to my original post.

I'm slowly working my way through The Love Dare.  I assume Husband won't read my blog and read this, because I'm doing it without telling him.  Nevermind that the book is on my nightstand all the time - he doesn't pay attention to those things.

Anyway, yesterday's dare was to think about ways we need margin in our lives, because lives without margin lead to selfishness and irritability

Yikes, I'm in trouble.

I don't have a lot of margin right now.  (Aside; although if physical margin is defined as how much space you actually take up, then I do have a lot of margin, because I have recently been asked if I'm pregnant - nope, just chubby.)  I'm pretty - oh, dreaded "b" word - busy.  There's a lot on my to-do list.

Still, I do think I've been working on finding margin.  I left my work in the car on Monday and just hung out with Husband for Love Day.  I worked out this morning (and have worked out more in the last two months than in the previous six).  I am doing pretty well at making time for people, and even am really spending some more time with The One and learning. 

I even quit a task force that I was on, because I'm really trying.  Yes, people who know me, I let something go.  Aren't you proud?

Still, I haven't done this Dare yet, because I'm just not sure what I'll find, or what I'll be able to do.

What about you?

What areas of margin do you need in your life?  How do you find them or find time for them?

Let me know.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I've Caught the Bug

It's true.  I've caught the bug.

But not the bug you're thinking, don't worry.  Aside from the little cold I've been nursing for the last week, I'm as healthy as can be.

Nope, I've caught the I-wish-it-was-summer bug. 

This, my friends, is an unheard of occurence.

I love fall and winter a ridiculous amount.  Don't get me wrong, I do love spring and summer, too, but I'm not the person who starts wishing for warm weather in February.  I'm usually able to hold out until April before dreaming of summer vacation and warmth.

But I had a lovely Saturday in the mountains where I did almost no work, and when we came home today, it was about 65 degrees and sunny.  I took the dog for a walk and was hot in my jeans and long sleeve, and it was beautiful and bright and there were people out everywhere.  (I know 65 isn't that warm, but hey, we had -20 a couple of weeks ago.) 

I put some fun music on and unpacked and started the laundry while the windows were thrown wide-open and the sunlight was streaming in the house.  I got the urge to do some cleaning (although I limited myself to cleaning the toilets since I knew I had hours of school work ahead of me).  John and I put on our swimsuits and took "before" pictures because we are motivated to get fit and healthy.

It just felt like summer.

And now I'm craving it. 

Oh summer.  I can't wait to see you.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Oh, Friday. Oh, Thoughts.

When I was younger, one of the TV networks had "TGIF" on Fridays.  There were about 4 sitcoms showed in a row that were all referred to as "TGIF."  I think Step-by-Step was one of them for a while, and maybe Sabrina....?  I don't really remember anymore. Regardless, when someone says "TGIF," I still think of a TV line up.

But seriously, I'm glad it's Friday. I'm T.I.R.E.D. today.

A few days ago I posted on The Fork in the Road, my thoughts about needing to make a choice.  This week has been good in that area.  I've spent some consistent time with the One, have been listening to some awesome sermons from morning radio, and have been blessed a lot by reading some of your thoughts on things. 

It's been so good that my brain is pretty much on overload.  There are so many thoughts turning around and around and around in there that I would like a day to just stop, pause, listen, and think

My thoughts range from how to love my Husband to how to love others to what forgiveness is and some things I need to let go of.  From what it means to follow Jesus to what it means to be healthy to what my relationships should look like.  From seeing my flaws and my beautifuls. 

It's just a lot.  I could write a dozen blog posts on what is in my head.  I'm not even kidding.  The very thought of which thought to start with is daunting. 

This weekend we're going to the mountains to a friend's cabin.  I'll have to work on online stuff (which I am starting to hate) part of the time, but I'm hoping to also use the time to play a little and spend some time processing all the things I'm thinking. 

Being in the mountains always helps me reset.

The main thing I'm getting, though, is that God hasn't been silent recently. 

I just wasn't listening.  The minute I started was the minute I heard what He was saying.  About a lot.  A lot.  (Have I mentioned it's a lot yet?)

But it's Good.  Which excites me.

And now it's time to go back to teaching for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Pow Wow

If you've ever read me before, you know by now that I am a high school Spanish teacher and a Student Council Advisor.  I LOVE teaching.  I love the a-ha moments when a kid finally gets it, I love it when they answer their own questions.  I love playing and speaking and listening and being with these students.  And I'm tough.  I have high expectations, and I don't back down from them.  I show grace, but also accountability.  And usually, my students rise to the occasion.

The real reason I love teaching though, is that I love my kids. 

I do.

I just love them. 

Some of them are in desperate need of that, you know.

Every so often I hold a pow-wow.  We turn the flourescent lights off, gather up in a circle, put on some mellow music, and talk about life.  Stories range from the mundane to the silly to upcoming events and athletic tryouts.... and then someone shares something big.  My parents are getting a divorce.  My dad has been deployed for a year and is coming home this weekend, and I'm scared of how things will change.  My mom has cancer.  My friends are into drugs and alcohol, and it's hard for me to stay away from it. 

The atmosphere in the room completely changes.  There's a spirit of love that flows out from each student, almost immediately.  They begin comforting each other, sharing stories of how they've dealt with similar circumstances, giving advice. 

Don't get me wrong - someone always throws in a funny story or two in the midst of the serious that sets us all to laughing hysterically - it's not a depressing pow-wow. 

When the pow-wow is nearing it's natural end (be it a feeling or the end of class approaching), I insist we end on a positive note.  Each person shares something they love about their life, and the smiles and laughter finish out the pow-wow.  They hug each other and walk out of the room feeling connected and cared for, some of them for the first time in a while. 

I love pow-wow.

What most impresses me is that I never lead them to share deeply.  Given the opportunity to do so, they just do.  I don't tell them, hey, encourage him, hug her.  They just do it.  I don't prompt them to share their similar stories and make supportive connections.  They just do.  They are dying to be loved, to know that others care, and to show that they care, too.

Some teachers would say pow-wow is an irresponsible use of my time.  I say not.  I'm teaching them to be people, not just to conjugate verbs.  In 10 years, they won't remember half of anything from my class, but maybe they'll remember what it felt like to be heard, to listen to others, to show and be shown love

And maybe they'll do the same for someone else.

The day of a recent pow-wow, a boy (a cool, tough, basketball playing, has-it-all-together boy) came to class with a class-transfer paper.  He'd switched in at semester and, after a couple of weeks, decided it was too hard for him and was going to switch to an easier teacher.  At the end of the class period, after sharing and listening, he looked at me and simply said, "I'm staying."  The next class day he walked in with his transfer paper, tore it up, and threw it away.  He had experienced pow-wow. And love.

Now, I'm not saying I am wonderful, or that I'm doing anything special or worthy of praise.

What I am saying is that I love teaching.  I work with kids who, although they are punky little pains sometimes, have a lot more to them then I'd know if we didn't pow-wow. 

And they are full of love, ready to give it, if someone just would show them how.

Joining in on the conversation "Love is a Verb" over at InCourage. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Fork in the Road

Truth time.

I cannot have my heart healed if I am not even in conversation with the One.

I cannot have my relationship with Husband grow if I am not in Relationship with the One.

I cannot feel like I'm living with purpose if my purpose is not rooted in my Relationship.

I can sit in church on the very few Sundays I convince myself I have to go and cry in the back because I am alone and pray that God will heal me or release me, but nothing will happen if I am not even in conversation with Him.

I can think about how my relationship with my Husband could be improved and how he can and should grow, but nothing will matter if I do not have first and foremost my Relationship with the One as a priority.

I can feel sorry for myself about how I feel like I have no people and define my worth based on the number of people who call me to do something, initiate conversations with me, post on my Facebook wall, or comment on my blog.  In that case, I'm going to feel rather worthless.

I can invest my time and energy and care and love into my students.  A good thing, except that I tend to make a good thing the ultimate thing, and when I have time to sit and breathe, I realize that while that is rewarding and fulfilling, it is not Enough.

It is time to make a decision.

I'm here.

Or here, just for a laugh. (because I can't be serious all of the time)

Where will I go? 

I know what I need to choose. 

I want to choose it, too. 

But I am weak, and easily sidetracked. 

Still, the time has come.
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