Friday, January 24, 2014

Anything is possible on a snow day….

As a southern-bred girl, snow has always seemed magical. It was pure, innocence; it hid away any blemish on the surface and present a pristine, white surface for the world to work with. There is that moment in the morning after the snow has began to lay, where the world is still, nothing moves and peace floats across the surface. Ahh, it was so magical, especially for the one snow day we got each year, when school was closed due to the blizzard of 4, count ‘em, 4 INCHES of snow that fell. Those were the days…..

 Well, I moved to Philadelphia and needless to say, the Polar Vortex has not been my friend this year. The one snow day in December was magical. The three snow days so far in January, sub-zero temperatures, heating problems and the foot plus of snow on the ground are getting irritating. The snow looks magical when it falls. The extra sleep is wonderful. So much hot chocolate and cookies was consumed. However, the reality part of life is mixing with the snow day. I wanted to get into my car because I needed groceries. I was annoyed that I didn't have school because now my lesson plans were off, and I have so much to teach my students about Russia, sports statistics and forces and motion before the Opening Ceremonies on February 7th! #sochi2014 (SO EXCITED). Snow days are fantastic to rest, rejuvenate and remember what it was like being a kid, but I think it is a sign of growing up that I crave being back in the real world after being locked away for a bit, and that what I am doing with my life right now is fulfilling. 

So anything is possible on a snow day. It still has the magical powers from childhood, the result of the magic is just a little different now a days. It reveals to us more about ourselves as a white blanket of snow strips the earth down to its purest existence. 


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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Gotta be something more….

" There's gotta be something more, gotta be more than this"…and well, that's about as far as that song goes with the theme of this post. The next line is "I need a little less hard time, I need a little more bliss…" and while that would be a welcome addition to a busy life, that's not really the point.

There has to be more than just merely existing on the planet for your own benefit.

I've quoted him before, but I think Woodrow Wilson quote perfectly summarized how I feel: 

"You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget that errand." 

I keep thinking about finding an easier profession, or one were I wouldn't feel so tired or stressed or feel helpless with the impending doom of the education system/poverty level/general suckiness of the world sometimes (#pessamisticwinterblues). But then I have to step back and ask myself why I am doing this. Why do I think what I am doing has value, has a purpose for the world. 

I was complaining to a friend, a fellow teacher, joking about when I decided to "sell my soul to this profession". The response I got wasn't a humorous agreement but a humbling reality check. 

The response was "when I realized that I wanted to change lives."

Well THAT sure as qualifies as something more. 

it is hard to see the affect of my actions from inside the trenches, when I am tired, when I have a mountain of papers to grade, when the kids won't stop talking and when I read article after article about negative things going on in education. It's hard to see the effect when I want to buy a plane ticket to go home, or wish I could afford to buy the purse I really wanted or faster internet connection to use to watch Netflix. 

It's hard to see the effect when I am constantly thinking about me, not about them and certainly not about Him.

Jesus calls us to serve. He call us to care for "the least of these" for, "Amen, I say to you, whatever you do for the least brothers of mine, you did for me" Matthew 25:40. We are not called to be comfortable, to fill the selfish desires of the flesh and mind, to serve only our own need in the world. We are called to help protect and serve the least of His Kingdom, to work on bringing others to Christ, to try and bring other saints with us as we work towards Heaven. 

That is the something more that we crave, that I have been craving. The realization that there is a greater need to be served, a greater purpose to the life I am leading. I need to rejoice in what I have been given, in the opportunity to serve in the way I have been called in this moment, and try to channel the words of another song, of Audrey Assad's "Sparrow" when she joyfully acclaims "I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free, His eye is on the sparrow, and I know, He's watching me" Rejoice, for this is the day the Lord has made.