Here on the right is a mess, but without knowing the story, you can’t know how it got to be there, why it’s the way it is and why certain pieces are part of this particular mess. That is because you do not know the planner or the purpose of the planner.
On the left is the outcome of such a mess. Inside the box are lessons that were planned from the mess. Inside the box, are lessons tailor made for the player of the box. It took a mess to get to the plan of the box. The things in the mess are not invaluable. The things left out of the box weren’t insignificant, they just weren’t needed. They didn’t belong in the plan, but they were part of the planning. They were sifted through, and put aside to be used at the right time.
As I look at both sides, the box with a plan and the mess, I ask myself, “Which do I prefer to work with?” I think and the answer is that I prefer the box with activities that I know will work for the player. I choose the box because the things in it have purpose for the growth of the player.
Think of these things. Chew on this analogy. What does it fit in your life?
I had a bout of insomnia a week ago and in the course of that fitful night, an image much like a repeating meme came to my mind.
My (meme) was of a head of romaine lettuce being cut with a pair of kitchen scissors and no matter which way I tried to fall asleep, I kept seeing lettuce being snipped.
(I know, crazy right?)
I finally fell asleep, but in the morning, the image came to mind.
I often feel like God talks to me through my dreams, but an image, or vision of lettuce??
What could the God of the universe have to say through greens?
I felt compelled to put salad on the menu for the coming week. I bought romaine lettuce and other salad ingredients and was ready.
The day came for salad and I eagerly “stepped up to the plate” a little to eager with scissors in my right hand and dripping freshly washed head of romaine in my left hand –salad spinner on the counter.
I shook the head of lettuce over the sink to remove the excess water and before plunging in with the scissors, I gazed at the innocent head of lettuce, took a breath and began the snipping. Just as I thought, the snipping sound itself gave a satisfaction. I smiled as I snipped, snipped and snipped again.
As more and more leaves fell into the salad spinner, the core of the romaine became smaller and lighter. I cut again until just the heart was left, devoid and bald in my hand.
I then put the scissors down and inspected the heart. I turned it around and looked at the stump. After a minute, I very satisfactorily chunked it into the trash can.
I went back to the salad spinner, filled it with water, drained it and began pumping the water out. I used this time to think about what just happened and then fitting words came to my mind. I felt content, satisfied.
I continued spinning the leaves until they were only damp and left the kitchen counter smiling.
I woke up refreshed because I slept. It’s amazing the difference solid sleep can have. And so, today, I’m finally able to write. I’ve been wanting yc.to write a sort of spiritual mission statement. These days, people write books, tweets, or put up articles that show who they are and what they believe. They face persecution for their beliefs whether they are left or right winged. They are judged, challenged, insulted and in the worst news cases, they are killed and this has been true for centuries.
But, what about me? Where do I stand you ask? What do you want me to stand for? What will I march for? These are all good questions and in the state of the world, many are searching for solidarity, followers and like-minded thinkers. I get that.
So, today, having a bit more head space, I decided to write. Not to mention, Sunday’s are the day I allow myself time to think, contemplate, ponder, wonder, envision, dream and grieve. I’m not a part of any congregation currently, but that doesn’t mean I don’t worship, pray or have communion with God, my guide, my companion.
So, to answer the question, I’m a Christian, meaning that I attempt to follow in the ways of Christ as written in the bible. I’m not a perfect follower, nor do I believe any human can be a perfect follower. But I choose to have faith. Basically, faith is believing in what you can’t see. I understand what a stretch Christianity can be and how those who believe are believing in a “virgin-birthed” human who performed unbelievable miracles among other things, like walking on water and such. I get how these things go against any branch of science. The good news is, you have a choice! God is “pro-choice” in that way, he will never force you to believe in him, because force, continual unhealthy coercion and other non-loving tactics go against love, God’s love. But, regardless, I choose by faith, to believe. You can call me a believer.
So, just relax everyone! No true Christian will take your arm and bend it unnaturally in attempt to have you follow. (Sure there are extremists in every religion) A true Christ follower will love you no matter where you are, who you are, and whether you follow in Jesus’s way or not. There is no fear in love, perfect love casts out fear.
If you find yourself curious, seeking, lost or broken or have found yourself feeling disconnected, (as I have) there’s a reason and an answer in many books. But, the truth remains, you have a choice to seek for an answer, for love and this is your journey alone.
It was the decision to follow in the way of Jesus that began my walk with a God. A walk is an active practice. But, there’s also sitting in silence and listening as well. God speaks, but his voice is inaudible, however, he speaks in abundance, if you’re listening.
Thirty-one years ago, and despite many ups and downs in my walk, it still seems to good to be true, to be loved me just as I am. That I didn’t have to perform, earn or give up anything to receive his love. But there was one requirement it seemed. And here’s the part where faith comes in. If I was to be a follower of Christ, then I needed to understand his whole story. That not only was he human, but also God. I realized that it would take faith, not human knowledge to believe that God sent a son, his only son to earth to live as a human and eventually end up dying a terrible death on a cross and later rising defeating death to save all of humanity. I was like, “What the?” Growing up catholic, I’d been raised going to a somber church, reciting prayers while being reminded of how Jesus died. I would say the catholic prayers, looking up occasionally to see the cross and Jesus, bloody, hanging on it.
Well, after attending the young adult bible study and reading the bible myself, I learned that there was more to Jesus’s story. That him hanging on a cross was only part of it. He didn’t stay dead. He rose. That is what Easter is about, not some chocolate bunny and egg finding holiday. There is a God that is alive. He lives.
Anyway, that is my humble beginning with the faith and 31 years later, I’m frustrated because of social media, I have been feeling compelled to share my faith, to profess my faith and beliefs, but I knew what would come next, I’d be damned if I did and damned if I didn’t. My relationship with God had always been a very personal relationship, so to put it out there where others will judge it or misinterpret it wasn’t worth it for me.
But, now, more recently, I’ve come to peace about my beliefs. In part it came from living in a liberal city where uniqueness is celebrated. Sure, the opposite is also true. Thankfully, I’ve had the opportunity to live in many places across the US. So, I’ve had to think and reflect about who I am and what I stand for continually. So there it is. I follow Jesus. Jesus is the personification of love. So, if he is about all things love, then I need to attempt to be as well by his empowerment.
What a challenge in this world to be about all things love!
But, there is the challenge. The greatest commandment, to love God and to love others as yourself.
The Learning and the Brain conference is one I highly recommend to all educators. Thanks to Book Smart Kid, I was able to attend. It did not disappoint. The speakers passion and shared visions inspired and affirmed some of what I’ve long believed as an educator. I admit, though, that some of what they proposed was challenging.
What inspired me most during the conference is how much the cognitive scientists agreed with the philosopher’s of educators who taught me many years ago that the work of children is play, and that it should be preserved. That the brain is the most malleable during childhood and how much development is still happening for teens. That educators should strive to maintain positive, nurturing relationships with children because it enhances the educational environment of a child and that the educator and the learning environment must tease the curiosity of a learner rather than squash it.
The challenges I took away had more to do with letting go of what the system convinces us we must do. To throw out old time-wasters such as the ever popular Calendar time with younger students and homework. And to think more about filling the students work day with activity and work rather than the educator being the one talking, working and decorating.
Another challenge is for educators to stop filling the day with boxed up one-dimensional curriculum. Today’s children need to step our in courage to learn to make mistakes. It’s in the mistake where many learning opportunities lay. Teachers also need to become open and model their own mistakes and share what they’ve learned from their own mistakes. Scaffolding is a word that was used often at the conference and it makes sense because of the conference speakers emphasis about learning orientations. There was no science to back up the difference in learning styles. Instead, the differences are now called orientations. One student may be creatively inclined while another analytical while another might be motivated to learn by how practical the content studied.
There is much more to report, but I’m still processing much of what was presented. More soon.
I’m actively pursuing peace, because, that does make sense and it’s what I’ve read to do in the bible, but I didn’t know one actually needs to hammer it out of life…
This morning, I woke up early, but not early enough to have my morning shower. It didn’t matter, I would just put on comfy clothes and makeup and make it work. I was proud that I had at least put my contacts in and made a straight enough line with my eye-liner.
I proceeded to my morning, feeling justified in calling a Lyft. I was awake and ready, no use being late if I could help it. Plus, parking is a *&%.
I arrived, sat near an outlet, plugged in my half-charged phone and smiled listening to an old, experienced man talk about having been in business for 45 years so far. He was still in business! I think that alone was worth the drive. And then…
When the 2nd speaker walked in, I had a dejavu feeling, and then the material seemed especially familiar. “Had I taken this workshop before?” Cue the “wut” look on my face.
After the 3rd speaker walks in and starts speaking, it was undeniable. I knew I had heard all of this before. UGH.
I paid 85 dollars for the workshop. Again. Really?
Peace, Lyft, sit, peace, listen, repeat, peace, Lyft, home.
I had a case of “morn-somnia”, that is when you wake in the wee hours* of the morning and fail to go back to sleep, and so I thought I’d do a quick update and feel somewhat productive.
Okay, so the update:
Though I’m a writer at heart, and enjoy work in pj’s, I’ve pretty much launched myself headlong into the work-out-of-home arena. The good news? Well, there is the income thing, sure, but I think the w.o.o.h jobs have put some balance into my personality. I tend to withdraw from the world happily, and even though that’s nice for me, it does nothing to help the world at large. And in my opinion, the world at large needs every one of us to give of ourselves. So, like a good cup of coffee, each day, I attempt to pour myself out onto humanity to see what good I can help do. And if I can’t help, then at least, I have tried.
When I’m home, I try to recuperate so that I can then pour myself onto the people in my life that truly matter. All 5 of us were together for Thanksgiving and it was great to just be together and talk, eat and enjoy each other.
So, here it is Monday and it’s a new week. There is much to do, more to work on and love to pass along to others. I’m thankful.
I want to share a post I just wrote on my other blog. Why? Well, it’s kind of proof to myself that I have, in fact, been writing. No, I have not written much fiction, or my next novel or whatever, but I have written. And today, I realized that if put together just so, I might have the pieces s of a potential future book about tutoring young children…so there. 😉
Anyway, to update, I have been pretty busy lately, not with just writing necessarily, but with 3 part-time jobs. And one of these jobs isn’t quite like the others, but I do know why I like it, more on that later.
But, for now, I want to share about a conundrum. The holidays are coming at a fierce pace and I’m not ready. I told myself that this year I wanted to enjoy the holidays, but what does that look like for a busy woman? What can be accomplished without spending too much money and with little planning time? And sadly, I don’t have a dining table!!
Anyway, that is my conundrum that I feel it has been self-imposed. Though I may have an imaginative mind and devotion to traditions, I had completely forgotten about how one of my jobs is linked to the one tradition, that happens every year, that I hadn’t really cared to participate in: Black Friday! But, here I am, a cashier on the busiest shopping days of the season. How’s that supposed to make my holidays merrier?
But, that said, as cashier in the heart of Seattle, I have enjoyed chatting with tourist/customers and learning about various cultures and their favorite traditions and foods. I have enjoyed getting to know new co-workers and experiencing challenges in a field I know nothing about.
But, I have also struggled with time management, time for personal relationships, marriage, homework, cooking meals, etc… and finding balance with life in general. My dreams, melt-downs and messy house tell me so. Of course, perfection will never happen and I don’t expect to have all the answers, but I trust that if I follow the way of peace and kindness, I will be okay. But, along the way, if you experience my dark side, I’m sorry. Really, I am.