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Showing posts from 2013

Any dream interpreters want to take on this challenge?

I finally had a new kind of dream last night! And what a relief! You see, my whole life I've had the same sort of dream--always running away from something dangerous or through a stressful scenario on my way to pursue an impossible job or goal.  For example in my weeks before becoming a teacher, I had all sorts of dreams where I had to park a mile away from the school on the first day and run through a very crowded Countyfair that had been set up next to the school only to find out that my photocopies were not ready so I had nothing to teach. In one case, I had to fight huge crowds going up and down a series of unlabeled escalators to find my new classroom since it had been moved into the nearby shopping mall. And in another, I had to take people with me to a party supply store across town to bring back supplies for my first day's lesson because I had shown up late and unprepared. 
I had dreams like this as the kid too, and they all had that similar feeling of needing to escape…

Spreading the good (gluten free) news

When I went gluten free in June of 2012, I spent a LOT of time researching everything related to gluten allergies and intolerances. By the holiday season of 2012, I had adjusted pretty well. And by "adjusted," I really mean "found a way to completely cut gluten out of my personal diet." But during the holiday season, I realized that although I had fully adjusted, my loved ones were still new to the burdens of accommodating gluten free living. It was a tough season together, to say the least. This year, however, friends and family have been eager to share the ways they managed to adjust their holiday plans to include me.  After last year's tears, it's been especially sweet to see how much effort my loved ones have now made on my behalf. 
Eventually, I found it so normal to maintain a gluten free home that I settled into my own gluten free rut. So this winter, I wanted to start branching out and trying new recipes and strategies for the holiday season. I went…

What if stubbornness is closer to weakness than to strength?

It's Saturday at 7:30AM  and I can't go back to sleep.  My neck is bruised and a little swollen from yesterday's steroid injections and my stomach still feels the queazy warmth that knocked me down after the shots hit my system. Instead of rushing out of the house to a coffee shop to push through my homework today, I'm laying in bed eating dry, gluten free toast with butter, and surrounded by two half-empty cans of 7UP, two prescription bottles that I haven't touched in days, and a vase of flowers that my husband gave me because he knew I needed the encouragement even though I hadn't asked for it. As per the doctor's orders, today, I'm taking it easy.

I normally pride myself on my ability to keep functioning, or keep up a good front, while dealing with stress or pain, but as I answered the doctor's questions yesterday, I felt more stubborn or foolish than tough or responsible.
"So, your neurologist wants us to administer an occipital nerve blo…

Love despite

Do not think too  highly...or too lowly...of yourself. No matter how broken you are--and we are ALL broken--you are loved and valued by Christ. These ideas struck me during today's sermon on the book of Romans, and I connected them with my recent attempts to reconcile our world's views on self-image and value. 
I wish more people could manage to love and value each other *despite* our brokenness. Instead, some people act like their own value is increased by finding or judging others' faults, while some act like love means never acknowledging the faults of those around us. But I think we need to be willing to see those faults--in our friends, family members, employees, students, and ourselves--and then we need to help them see how very loved they still are *despite* those shortcomings. This is how we build trust as a unified body and how we inspire growth as a source of encouragement. 
I don't want friends, family, employers, students, dancers who ignore my faults. And…

Worlds apart

Most of the time, I don't mind helping my students push through their teenage lives as they figure out who they want to be and what they are really capable of. But sometimes I wish I were less aware of their world, and I definitely wish I were less impacted by it. Some of them do, say, and think things that sadden me, and even terrify me at times. And even some of the "good kids" don't understand the value of kindness, respect, self-respect, humility, privacy, loyalty, trust, responsibility, grace, or gratefulness; they just fake it better than the rest. My heart breaks a little every time I learn what they're really like. I wish they could see themselves the way I believe they could be.

And I hope it doesn't sound selfish, but I'm so worn down from trying to teach these things to people who are practically adults--Teachers can't change a lifetime of habits for every single kid. I'm told that some teachers just want to teach their subject matter …