Tag Archives: Church

Stories of the Bible: People Edition

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Stories of the Bible: People Edition

As previously discussed in a recent post, I have decided to try to start documenting stories of the disciples and important people from the Bible. I have no idea how long I will keep up with this post or what will really come of it, but I am curious to try. I would like to start getting more “into” the Bible to connect more to my own Faith. After yesterday’s service at Church, I got really excited to learn more about the people outlined in the Bible. For now, I’ll start with the few we discussed yesterday.

Isaiah

From Isaiah 6:1-8: Isaiah’s Commission

During this story, Isaiah sees the Lord surrounding by a number of seraphs. He starts stressing out because he has unclean lips and does not feel worthy of being in the presence of the Lord. A seraph touches his lips with a hot coal and tells him his sins have been atoned for. Immediately Isaiah’s demeanor changes; he is willing to spread the word of the Lord and do good in any way that he can.PF

Simon Peter

From Luke 5:1-11: The Calling of the First Disciples

Jesus shows up at the Lake of Gennesaret to spread the Word of God. When he is done, he has Simon throw out nets to catch fish. He, along with his partners James and John, catch so many fish that the boats begin to sink. The men are shocked and immediately shore their boats to begin to follow Jesus.

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A Short Update

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I feel like I have not only been neglecting my blog lately, but I have been neglecting myself by not writing at all, in any form. Yesterday, through some randomness, I got the idea to pull out the Bible and read the scriptures while they were read during church service. Even more than usual, I found myself getting information out of the readings that I’m not sure I ever picked up on before. Then I had this idea: If I found some time soon, it would be really awesome to start a blog post detailing the people that I have come across in scripture. Our sermon yesterday was all about different people in the Bible, how they had become disciples even though they were not even close to examples of perfect people. I got to thinking; while I recognize many names from the Bible, have I ever really taken the time to learn about these people as individuals and take inspiration or lessons from their stories? No, I have not. I’m thinking that a list of people from the Bible that I come across with short descriptions of their life events might be super helpful for me as a reference. I figured I’d post it here so that anyone can see.

Before I get started on that, I just wanted to let everyone know about a super cool idea that one of my friends suggested to me. During grandma’s funeral, we got plenty of flowers; I got to keep the flowers I had wrapped around my memorial lantern and we each got to keep one from the grave site. At first they were just depressing and I knew they were, like everything else, just going to die. Then I started noticing how nicely they were drying out. So I laid each bud out on a solid surface and allowed them to dry. Over the past few weeks, I have been talking to different people to find out what I should do with all of these flowers. Luckily, one friend had a great idea!

There are some people who dry their flowers after their wedding and preserve them in a floral layout that gets put into a shadow box and hung. When my friend suggested I do the same with the flowers I have, I was ecstatic. This past weekend, I went out and bought a 12×12 shadow box to fit the flowers in. I’m super excited because the leaves around the lantern dried out really nicely too so that I can mix up the colors in the box!

In addition, my friend offered to put vinyl decals on the glass of the box. I’m supposed to take it to her house this weekend as we celebrate her oldest daughter’s birthday. My only issue now is what wording do I want on the box? I feel it would be awkward to put Grandma’s name on it or something like that. I’m thinking it would be better to do something like “Love always” or “Family Forever”. I just cannot seem to decide.

In any case, I’ll keep thinking on it, but thought I would share in case anyone else had some dried out flowers. I could see this being done for so many occasions; senior prom, a big performance of some kind, a wedding, a baby shower, a birthday party, a funeral… really any major event where flowers are provided.

If you ever do decide to do one of these, I’d love to see them!

~B

Advent or Adventure?

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I know I keep talking about me in all of my posts. There hasn’t been much mention of teaching or anything else lately. To those who follow me for those reasons, I apologize for not providing. However, today I want to look a bit more closely at this Advent season and what it is meaning to me. 

Yesterday, I realized just how low my life feels at moments lately. I know I’ve written about this often, but on Friday it all came to a head and I truly realized how saddening and frustrating my life can feel right now. In my opinion, it’s for good reasons. Though I want to be happy, I just have so many negative things on my mind. I wish I were one of those positive, always happy-go-lucky people that you see out there; unfortunately, my anxiety makes that a super difficult pursuit. I still try but I find myself wondering right now, is there more meaning to this than what I’m seeing and feeling right now? Is there a deeper reason for all of this negative and horrifying news? 

I even posted to my Facebook page at one point that I find myself wondering if just simply knowing more people means that I am going to encounter more negativity. Surely that would make sense right? If I only know, say 5 people, the chances that bad things happen to those 5 people will probably be much smaller than the chances of something happening to people I know if I knew, maybe 20 people. Plus, being a teacher means I know just 120 kids from this school year. Let’s not count my kids from previous years, my coworkers, my family, or my otherwise known friends. It’s actually kind of scary to think about how many people I know. My anxiety does not do well with the thought that I am a bit of a social butterfly now that I have grown up; I’d much rather still sit at home in my pajamas reading books and playing games with my sister. But I digress…

On Friday it came to my attention that knowing more people is probably the reason why so many more negative things are happening right now. I also know that my grandmother’s illness makes any negative thing seem 100 times worse. (Anyone with anxiety can tell you that you become overly dramatic in stressful and tense times in your life. Sitting here, I’m even aware of it, but that doesn’t mean I have the full power to stop that dramatization.) 

So I thought about my list, the list of “bad” things. Without going into detail, here are just some:

  • My grandma is dying of cancer
  • My husband’s grandma is sick
  • My husband’s aunt is sick
  • My coworker just had some kind of procedure done. While I heard it wasn’t a big deal, it hit me kind of hard that something was wrong and I had no idea.
  • One of my students lost their home on Thursday to a house fire. Officials said it easily could have started with her in the house. Thank God everyone is okay, but they’ve lost everything.
  • Three families that I know of have recently lost young children, less than a year old. 
  • I have watched friends mourn for loved ones lost in the past month more times than I can count.

It’s just now that I’m starting to put this picture together, to see the whole story. The illnesses happening in our families right now are unfortunate, but God has given my grandmother such a full life. At least she is not scared of dying, worried about missing out on adventures and things she could or should be doing yet with her life. My husband’s grandma is doing okay for now, and we aren’t even sure that it’s a terminal issue. My coworker emailed me yesterday to let me know that all was well with them. While my student lost her home, no one was injured. She was even strong enough to show up to school the next day to carry on as best as she could. While the families that I know of who have lost children and homes recently may not be close friends, I also know that I have been able to help them through my fundraising efforts. And I know it takes a community to raise the funds that will truly help them, but I am happy that I can at least advertise these events to our student body and get the word out about these families needing help. These actions I take in my own little way will hopefully make their lives better somehow. 

So maybe instead of sitting around being all gloom and doom during this Advent season, I should turn these things into an adventure instead. Instead of hanging on to every Christmas opportunity to try and cheer myself up with twinkling lights and extra cheerful songs, maybe I should really be embracing these negative items and these struggles. Organizing fundraisers and talking to those who have lost doesn’t make me feel like some kind of hero, but it gives me this boost of positive feeling like nothing else does recently. In my time of desperation and worry, helping others makes me feel like things will be okay. It reminds me that at some point, there is light at the end of the tunnel. While I’m not saying this will be the best Advent season ever, this is a great time of change and promise for the Church. Hopefully this is God’s way of bringing my life great change and promise for the future as well. 

I am going to do my best over the next few days to keep my head up. I feel like it’s important that I work harder and stay even more motivated to help others. I have another fundraiser to organize for this week, and even if we don’t raise a ton of money, I need to remember that there are other ways that I can help out as well. Through my actions I am beginning to learn that helping others, donating even a few dollars, and organizing groups of people to do good makes me feel good, makes my life seem good. I hope that this is the path God is asking me to take right now, I hope that I serve all of these families well, and I hope I can find other ways to do even more good in the future. 

For now, this is just an experiment; just a way for me to find some happiness and test the waters of being a truly selfless and giving person. I guarantee I won’t be perfect at it, but I hope that I can find a way to stay positive and incorporate these actions into my life all the time. I hope those around me can see how much I’m struggling and yet how I am still trying to be helpful. As I’ve always said about teaching, if I can affect even one student in the end in some positive way, I have done my job. Maybe now this is the job God has for me. 

If anyone else has gone through similar times or has any advice for me, please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you. 

~B

The Windows of Life

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The Windows of Life

There are six windows in my church. Six stained glass windows, each with a different story. Today’s story caught me by surprise, mostly because it related so well to the post I made earlier in the week.

1 Kings 17:2-16 New International Version (NIV)

Elijah Fed by Ravens

Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”

So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.

This exact text borrowed from biblegateway.com

The above scripture was from our first reading in church today. While I didn’t really get the point of it at first, my pastor put it together for me in a pretty neat package that makes a lot of sense to me now.

Prior to this reading, we had learned the Elijah was a man scared and in danger. The most powerful man in the land was after him in order to kill him. Elijah had a lot of anxiety and was afraid that he would be found and killed. When the Lord spoke to Elijah, it was his way of showing the man a route to safety. Though Elijah was still fearful, he followed the Lord’s will and ended up living through the help of the ravens.

The moral of the story, at least according to my pastor from his perspective, is that you need to lift your anxiety and worry to the Lord and let Him take care of you in times of need. There will always be worry and anxiety in the world, but we believe that we can overcome this fear and worry through our prayers and belief in the Lord.

I found this really interesting, especially since I have been struggling with my anxiety lately. I know that every year around this time, my stress increases and my worry starts to worsen. Yet I also know that I will get out of this little rut that my mind puts me in. There is light at the end of that tunnel.

I’m now wondering how strong my faith truly is. I feel like today’s lessons have pointed to the fact that maybe I am even stronger in my beliefs than I ever thought before. Maybe I use my faith and trust in God to get past the worse parts of my life. Though I complain about them and struggle with them like every other human, I do always seem to know in the back of my head that everything will be okay.

Or maybe I’m overthinking all of this, but I’d like to believe that today’s message was given to make a point to me. I often feel like the sermons connect so well with what’s going on with my life. After all these years, I have trouble believing that they are all coincidence.

~B

P.S. Super excited that I might be able to go and help my church members with our Habitat for Humanity house again next weekend. My husband and I originally helped build the porch and put the roof tiles on. They are now looking for help with the interior, like painting. I’m definitely going to take pictures and update my blog about this endeavor soon! I’ve never realized before this year how good volunteering really feels!

Struggling Today

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Yep, that’s right. I’m having a rough day. I mean, everything is working out okay, but I am struggling to understand why some people step into leadership positions (for jobs or otherwise) when they have no intention of being kind, considerate, or helpful to others around them. The biggest thing I have ever learned from teaching is that the job is NEVER about me. I have to force myself to look out for my needs, my health, and my happiness. Luckily, I like the job, but unless I focus on doing things for myself, they don’t get done. Other people have equally (or more so) selfless jobs, but not everyone treats those jobs the way that they should.

Why am I struggling with this in particular? Because at the same time that I land a job in a religion-based private school, I am also having to switch churches. Don’t get me wrong, my faith is not changing or being swayed by anything going on, but I have never been so ashamed to be in a church before in my life. Moreover, the person who is supposed to be giving me religious guidance is doing nothing really but to make me wish people weren’t so gossipy and selfish.

As I sit here writing, I’m trying not to sound selfish (or feel selfish for that matter) about the decision I have made. I’m trying to remember how much it means to my grandmother for me to attend church with her (though she’s never said so out loud). I’m trying to remember how important family is to me and how I feel so amazing knowing that I am sitting in the same pews that my ancestors have sat in for over 80 years now. And yet I cannot bring myself to go back.

So this week, I’m determined to go to the same church that our wedding officiate will be attending. In fact, he’s the senior pastor there and is more than understanding of circumstances that change your life in ways you never see coming. He, thankfully, has recognized that I am trying to lead a faithful life and to be a more regular attendant at church. And more than anything, he believes in me and would sit down with me any day at any time to give me advice or help through any situation.

I haven’t had a super great pastor or reverend to look up to in a long time, and I’m not excited about switching churches (again), but I feel like this is a change my life needs right now. I just pray it turns out well and that I can find myself with less anxiety about simply attending my church on Sundays. Here’s to hoping!

92 and Counting

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As of yesterday, I have 92 people following my blog. I assume, for the sake of these 92 people, that they don’t read every post that I write. My life surely cannot be that interesting! But what I find extremely interesting is that at one point and time, even just because of one thing I said, those 92 people decided to follow along with me and see what happens next. (Or maybe they are just following me to try to get me to follow them back; I’m sure some people will do it just to make themselves feel more popular or interesting to the rest of the internet world.)

In any case, I wonder what makes these people hit the follow button? What exact moment or thing that I said led them to feel I was a good person to follow along with? Some of them have talked to me via comments in the past. Of those people, many have a blog similar to mine. Then there are others who are on here to write short stories or argue about politics. So what gives everyone? I would absolutely love to know why you chose to follow me! Yes, even if it is because you wanted the extra follow on your own page.

In other news, at church today the deaconness decided to bless each and every one of us in the congregation. What she didn’t bother to tell us what that she was not using holy water, but a blessed oil that has an extremely RANK smell. She must not have thought about the fact that people have very sensitive noses sometimes. I immediately got a headache and felt dizzy. I felt ashamed for washing the oil off before I even left the church, but I didn’t trust myself to drive home with that buzzing pain in my head. Even after I got home, the headache didn’t go away. And neither did the smell. I ended up having to take a shower as soon as I got home to get rid of the stink. Hopefully no one will take offense. Isn’t there some oil that they use in those ceremonies that doesn’t have a smell though? I never remember a smell any other time, though it’s not like our old pastor used to bless us randomly during a normal Sunday service…

In other news, I completed the training for my second substituting job. I now have 3 different jobs in 2 different states. Sometimes I think I do things the complicated way! But as soon as they put me into their computer system, I’ll probably be working close to full time! Not sure that’s an exciting thing, but even if I get extremely nervous, I’m excited to think that I won’t have to stress so much about my budget in the coming months.

~B

 

 

Step Two (And three, and four, and more…)

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Step Two (And three, and four, and more…)

This weekend has been entertaining to say the least. T and I did go to see a house yesterday morning, though it was super awkward at first. We showed up before our realtor and there were already other vehicles in the parking lot. At first I thought a bunch of people would be joining us for some unknown reason, but then I realized that they were a realtor and another young couple, also being shown the house. I guess we showed up too early? Oops…

In any case, I was super hopeful about the house once we got there. A super ugly trellis had already been torn down, which would make our lives easier in the end. The interior was also cleaner and roomier than I had originally imagined. Though simple painting, re-flooring, and other minor jobs would need to be done, we were starting to see the positives of this cute and manageable house.

Until we got to the basement…

Let’s say when we went down the stairs, it sort of went downhill from there. The entire foundation was cracked the entire way around the house. We could look with our bare eyes and see the dirt peeking through the other side of the cement walls. So, let’s just say we didn’t buy that house or even consider putting an offer on it. The wall was only one of two major things that the websites failed to point out to us. And I get that, I really do. They are trying to sell the house on their end, so they don’t want to post pictures and information that make the house impossible to sell. But be serious; we could have saved ourselves about 30 minutes of time and even more hassle for the realtor who showed us around if we could have just known these two facts before scheduling the meeting.

The day wasn’t over yet though. We went back to the realtor’s office; it’s down a super long hallway, down some stairs, and back up a huge set of stairs. It’s a nice cozy place but it was pretty empty since it was Saturday morning. The realtor (a friend of my mom’s) made us feel at home and gave us all of the possible information that any first time home buyer could ever want. We had a great experience talking to her about the home buying process and learning about the things that we should do next to be successful.

After leaving, it became pretty clear that we were both thinking the same thing: this realtor is going to help us find a home. She was absolutely amazing and professional; she didn’t push us to divulge personal information and made sure that we knew not to speak about our finances or our love/hate of a house in front of any other realtors or the sellers. (Apparently in real estate, this is house hunting suicide.)

Needless to say we were less discouraged about our unfortunate first house viewing after our meeting. We are hopeful to find something new to look at soon.


 

In the meantime, I had to attend church today because I was the lay reader. I know I’ve discussed this in previous posts, but I wish my church would not assume that I can be in attendance when they have never even spoken to me about my schedule. (For those who don’t remember, this is one of many reasons why I have not attended church for almost a year now.)

Knowing how long it had been since I was in attendance, I decided to go and serve my time today. I don’t mind reading the scriptures really; part of me (the teacher part) enjoys being in front of the group and controlling my reading pace and pronunciation of words. It’s just that church is… well church. I know I’m not a “good Christian” when I say that I would much rather be hanging out with T, doing my chores, or even sleeping in rather than attending a service. Especially when our church is so small and there is no one else my age. Especially when the new deaconness that is sitting in as our preacher is… strange. But I digress…

I decided to go to church today knowing full well that T would go home before I left. This meant that I would spend the rest of the day away from him. I am pretty selfish when it comes to our relationship, and I did not want him to leave. I briefly suggested that he go with me, though I thought there was no way in this world he would ever want to go to church. To him religion is not something that is super important in life. It just never popped up after his family stopped attending when he was young. And I hope he realizes that, at least to me, that’s okay. I would never expect him to attend services or do any religious thing with me that I choose to do (unless we one day get married…) I understand that I am deciding to spend less of my Sunday around him, but I am also consciously making the choice knowing full-well that he will not come with me.

Which is why I was surprised when he took my crazy suggestion seriously. Hence T and I ended up at church together. My dad and grandma were there as well. Both seemed surprised to see T with me, but no one said anything. Pretty much the entire time I was sitting beside him, I was more focused on whether he would have some crazy thing to say about the service or whether he would be completely supportive of me and my public speaking.

Turns out he was both. Well sort of. We actually both sat through that service trying not to laugh and roll our eyes. I know, that sounds awful. But the person who gave the sermon today based her entire lecture on groundhog day. She spent at least five minutes reading off the names of all of the groundhogs in the country (and in Canada) that had not seen their shadow on Tuesday. This led in to a discussion about candlemas (the only part that truly connected to any scripture that I read), and ended with a discussion of how religious people (preachers, priests, etc.) are super in-tune with nature and seem to know when winter is ending and spring has begun. Again, not sure how that last part really connected except that it involved priests.

I sometimes wish that I attended a church where there was a good preacher. I’m not actually saying she was awful or that any of our past preachers have been either. But there was this one minister at my old church; he would discuss his daily life and things that had gone on during his week. And even though it sounded nothing like he was preaching, he would somehow find a way to connect his life with our lives. And then all of our lives to the scriptures. Not in some majestic, unfortunately complicated way. Instead, he was like another person speaking to each of us on a personal level. And for some reason, events in his life and the scriptures at the time seemed to line up perfectly with events in my life. I used to walk out of church feeling better, happier, and more hopeful about the upcoming week because at least someone could describe one strange, complicated, or crappy part of my life in words that I would never be able to find. And then he gave us advice; not personal advice per say, but advice in general. Sometimes it would be things about praying more to God or even taking deep breaths in the face of fear or difficulty. In any case, I always got something out of it.

Today, not so much. No offense to anyone out there who was involved in the making of today’s sermon.

I think I sort of strayed off onto a completely other topic there, but oh well. I really just wanted to say that I hope T reads this and realizes how much his actions today meant to me. He held me when I was crying earlier (about some super stupid drama) and then he held me hand through church even though it was completely against his beliefs and usual routine to attend such a service.

Thank you hun. It meant the world.

And to all of you out there who are reading this but are not my boyfriend, stay tuned for more about our house hunting adventure. I have a feeling it’s going to get pretty interesting real soon!

~B

Church of Drama

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I haven’t written in a while about anything religious. For that, I apologize. I know some of my followers like the posts when I talk directly about my beliefs and my opinions. Unfortunately, the reason that I have not been writing about these topics is because they have fallen a little bit to the wayside in my life lately. No, I have not stopped believing in God or praying throughout my days. I have just taken more of a backseat in my church lately and have been very frustrated with the organization that we call church.

Here’s the thing: my church joined up with these other churches in town to form a group that is “run” by a board. I think of it sort of like a school district with a school board and superintendent. Anyway, I know that church attendance is going down all over the world, but joining up with these other churches has hurt my church in particular way more than just struggling for attendance on our own. For the past few years we have been sharing pastors with other churches in the area, have changed all of our hymnals to new books that some of our members cannot even read or follow, have amended the way that our services run, and have even changed the types of meals and items that we offer during our summer picnic.

Now I know that everything must change to adapt to the new parts of the world that arise over time. I’m not saying that I expected everything to stay the same forever. All I’m saying is that my church has become (at least in my eyes) more about politics than speaking of God or singing those songs that I grew up loving to sing with the choir. Now I go to church… pretty much never, and I try to participate as little as possible. After I volunteered one time to read the scriptures, the coordinator decided that I had elected to read scriptures for an entire month in a row at random intervals. I feel like the worst person in the world to admit this, but I was unable to attend church during some of those weekends. There were one or two when I would have been available, but even then I came up with something else to do simply because I was upset that I had not actually been asked to read. It’s nothing like thinking you are walking into a group of like-minded, kind, and understanding people only to find out that they don’t understand your schedule or priorities at all. I still stand by the fact that I fully believe attending church is not necessary to be able to believe in a God or higher power. I also don’t think that I need to attend church for God to forgive me when I make mistakes or that I need to attend so that he does not stop listening to my prayers.

In any case, I’m getting tired now and don’t have much else to say on the subject. Part of me feels like more people in the world need to believe in some source of good to make Earth a better place. The other part of me sees how much drama and politics are being brought into my church right now and I don’t understand at all why anyone would want to start going or go back to a religious service again. It’s going to take some convincing on my own part to get me back to a service. That, more than anything else right now, makes me sad.

Cabin Fever?

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Cabin Fever?

Today, my first day back to work for what appears to be a full week, was a disaster! Anything that appeared to be able to go wrong basically went wrong in some way. (Okay, for those of you who don’t know me personally, I admit to some exaggeration. But for those of you who know about my day, you will realize that some of the things that occurred hit me really hard and… hence the exaggeration.)

One thing that bugs me the most is that coworkers still treat me as though I am a child, one of their students. I got it at first; this is my first year teaching and I still have a LOT to learn. But now that we’re almost done with this year, I think I have proven myself in enough ways to ensure that I am clearly defined as a teacher, not a student. And yet today, it happened again. 

That might seem silly, but today was also the first day when a student told me, to my face, that I am an awful teacher. Sure, it was because they weren’t getting exactly what they wanted, but it still hurt to hear the words. I teach for a reason. I teach because I want to make a difference in children’s lives. I don’t do this job for the money or the pride; I do it because I care about them. So to hear this kid, even if it was just one kid, say that I ruined something for them and that I am the worst teacher they ever have… well, it’s a slap in the face! It was some weird, dramatic wake-up call that seems to be playing out in front of my eyes via a slow-motion camera. I cannot stop replaying the entire scene over and over again, not because I want to but because I cannot grasp the concept that I wasn’t dreaming. Someone actually told me that I am a horrible person. Maybe out of spite, but they thought it and said it anyway. 

This was not all that was wrong with my day, but it was the biggest slap in the face that I have received in a long time. I guess I had perfected myself this little bubble of peace, where coworkers liked me, my students appreciated my time and effort, my family loved me, and I was motivated to finish college. Now that bubble is popped and I feel lost.

For those teachers out there, I would love to know how you stayed motivated. I’ve heard all of these stories about people burning out in their first year, but that doesn’t describe my situation at all. I’m not burn out; this situation almost makes me more determined than ever. But I also want to retract my trust and understanding of my kids to ensure that people have less to say about me for the positive or the negative. That way I figure I can fly under the radar and do my job without being emotionally attached or liable to an emotional attack! 

I wonder what would happen if I open my Bible right now… It’s sitting right beside my bed and I could easily flick on my lamp to read a passage or two. But here’s the funny thing: as much as I rely on my belief in a higher power to keep up my faith and hope and get me through my days, I’m not sure if I opened that book I’d understand anything that I read out of it. I never have really understood the Bible, except for the simpler parts (such as the Christmas story, the way God made the Earth, the animals, etc., and the Easter story). All of the other bits inside of that text normally need to be explained to me by someone else. 

Which may be the reason that I am not as religious as I could be. I simply don’t have the time or the motivation to sit down after a long day’s work and try to listen to someone explain this ridiculously complicated text. Sad, but true.

That also reminds me that, at Church on Sunday, my grandma almost got hit by a piece of the ceiling which was falling down under the weight of the snow. Thankfully I wasn’t there to witness the scene or I would have been a mess. Needless to say, how much faith can we put in God if even our place of worship is (quite literally) crumbling around our feet? And then I think, well at least she didn’t actually get hit. Maybe God couldn’t stop the ceiling from falling but he could stop anyone from being hurt…

I find it funny how I often see two sides to every story. Less so when I’m directly involved in the story of course, but I definitely have this idea of putting myself in someone else’s shoes. Even now, as I sit and think about these things, I see two aspects to every story. For my student- it is apparent that they are still an adolescent who has not learned the true meaning of a “good” person. To them it seems that a good person is one who bends the rules and does what they must to make the child’s life easier. May be a sad perspective, but it cannot be said in any way that kids have the best outlook on life…Then there’s the ceiling incident; God may have acted in a negative way or he may have acted in a small, yet positive way. 

And the worst part about these situations is that I have no idea which “side” is “right”. Doesn’t it depend on who you are and what you observe? Doesn’t truth really become a relative concept, as time or space, based upon the location and motion of the observer? 

Then I think back on the ways I have acted today and the things that I have said or done… I wonder how people perceive my actions; do I look as immature and crazy as my student (thus explaining why my coworkers treat me the way they do), or am I perceived as a mature and intelligent individual? I believe my friend sees me as mature and intelligent, as do my parents. Then again, since I asked my friend some crazy, ludicrous, completely random question this afternoon, I’d be surprised if they didn’t change their view of me in order to protect himself and save his life from the affects of my insanity. 

I am getting tired now and starting to ramble. I guess the moral of this story is simply this: We all make mistakes and we all see things differently. Only by seeing things from another’s perspective or simply being able to recognize that there are different perspectives can we ever begin to truly know another person completely. 

Maybe one day it will be possible for me to understand all of the workings of someone else’s mind. Maybe…

~Me

Come Hell or High Water

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The past few weeks have been rough. The past few days may have been better. But now, as I sit here in my room contemplating my life and having just a few more minutes in the night to relax, I wonder if things are really better or if people just know how to mask their hurt and confusion.

I wrote that Dear John letter and successfully have made no attempts to contact my ex. It makes me proud to know that I am so strong. Yet tonight, for whatever reason, I sit here wishing things were different. Honestly, it may not even be him I want; it’s more that I just need a friend to talk to, one who I can trust with anything. Lately, I’ve been too scared of opening up to anyone about my feelings.

Life has been busy lately. It’s been absolutely insane. I’ve worked over 13 hours in a single day recently, and woke back up the next day just to do it all again. Sometimes I wish I had never returned to school; knowledge is something I thrive off of, but sometimes the stress and time consuming process seems less worth it than I had originally thought it would be. Studying for my Praxis exam may or may not be the death of me….

I guess it’s really not that bad, my life. I have plenty of things to continue to focus on. Tomorrow I am attending Church for the first time in the past few months. It will be good to do some singing in public and get a (hopefully) meaningful message to help me through the coming days. I feel bad for not going to the service each week, but I just cannot risk my mental, emotional, and physical health by waking up extra early on my only day off from work every single week. I, thankfully, know that God understands.

I’ll be reading the Scriptures tomorrow. I emailed my Pastor and asked him for help in setting me up with the readings. I know my grandma will enjoy it, and I plan to surprise her completely by doing the whole thing! Yet, even though I’m a teacher, I’m nervous about the entire thing. I even pulled out my Bible to practice reading the Scriptures to make sure that I am less likely to stumble over any words tomorrow. Not that anyone would care if I messed up a little… no one but me anyway. 

I’ve been keeping my Bible on my library shelf since I do not have any room right now on the nightstand beside my bed. This is actually the first time that I’ve pulled it out in a while. I took a few extra minutes before I turned the lights out to read a few extra verses and see what I could find. I’m going to try to be more in tune with my Spirituality. It’s so important for so many reasons.

I need to write another post about my kids at school. We had a very interesting conversation on Friday about the “Winter Break” and the use of the term Christmas versus Winter. I also did an amazing lesson on Privilege and helping others, that I know some of the other teachers in the world would be amazed by watching. I’m tired for the night though, so stay tuned!

~Me