It’s the thought that counts…

February 24, 2009 at 3:39 am (Uncategorized) ()

I have much floating around I’d like to tack down and spend some time developing on my blog, but I have not taken the time to do so, as of yet.

Tonight lesson plans await me, so the blog will have to wait another day.

I will say that I am ever so grateful for those who have taken the time to read and comment here and on other sites. I am finding that as I have begun to speak up about how I’m feeling, both in written word and in dialog with others,  I am not alone.

I have felt so isolated, so disjointed for months, years actually, believing that no one else was asking the same questions. When I spoke up, I found that many are asking the same questions. I am cautiously optimistic about the conversations that have begun and the connections I have found, some in unexpected places.

The knowledge that I am not alone gives me confidence that I can rest in this place of unknowing for now…that I can continue to question and search, to reach out into the unknown looking for deeper truth.

I hope to post more in the near future, but for now, a weekend away has rejuvenated my spirits and I continue to move forward on this journey we call life…

Advertisements

Permalink Leave a Comment

Losing my religion

February 13, 2009 at 4:09 am (Uncategorized) ()

Several days ago I received an e-mail forward as part of a list serve and the subject line read: “God is sosoo Good.” the email went on to explain that friends had received good news about something they had been waiting for and were emailing everyone to share the news!

Since I received the e-mail something about the title has been troubling me.

That subject line brings up serious questions for me about who they believe God is, what they believe about God…what most “christians” believe about God and in the interest of full disclosure, what I have believed about God for most of my life.

And what I now find myself feeling angry and irritated about, unable to pass it off as “just a subject line” in an e-mail.

I can’t brush it off, because at this point, that statement represents all the questions I have had, all the struggles and challenges I’ve been wading through these many months.

It seems to me that the God the church teaches its members to follow is more like a figment of man’s imagination or as Lewis so aptly put it, “the great magician in the sky.” A deity who is good when you are “blessed” and teaching you a lesson or mysteriously working for your good or waiting until you figure something out or get it just right before he moves on your behalf or swoops in to save you, when you are not. A god who simultaneously exercises great acts of kindness and grace on some, while pouring out judgment and wrath on others.

Following this god is like living with a bi-polar parent. You never know what you’re going to get. You live day by day wondering, will he be angry or good today? Will he grant my request or throw it back in my face. Questions and struggles that are far too often compounded by others encouraging you to pray more and just believe and everything will work out for your good…or it wasn’t meant to be.

There is much beyond my understanding right now. Here is where I am…

If there is a God and He is good, then being good must be a constant state of who he is. Goodness cannot be interpreted by our circumstance and situations. Our lives are in a constant state of flux. If goodness of a supreme being is judged by the state of humans lives, that goodness is a very fragile thing indeed and not worth staking the time it took me to type this on.

This means if there is a Creator then he must be completely other than me. He cannot merely be the best version of me or the best version of the best human being I have ever known. Even that is not that great. Its just the best of what I know. I don’t want to follow that. I don’t trust in that, there is nothing reliable in trusting the best version of me I can imagine.  So its wholly other or not supreme, not good, just a good invention.

And for a wholly other being to be truly good, this goodness must continue when bad things happen or when things occur that just don’t make any sense. When no matter how hard I want something it just doesn’t happen or my friends who want to be parents struggle with endless infertility issues, when loved ones are lost, and the list continues on and on. Let’s face it, sometimes things change and you have a happy ending, but more often than not, they don’t. Perhaps in time, something else occurs that moves us beyond that point, BUT this does not take away that moment in our history and the pain and agony and mystery of WHY. We are the sum of our experiences, so we carry these things with us, even into new seasons…

I think  goodness and life’s  circumstances really have no connection to one another. These things that happen – these really  painful things that we all struggle through just are. They are a reality of living in a world where things are far less than they should be.

I can’t really go beyond that right now. All I know is that in the past, when I’ve faced struggles and pain, there has always been an end to them. I have always been able to push through it and find the end. To find a way to make sense of things.

This is beyond anything I have ever experienced. There is no forseeable end to it. It just is. And I think that God might still be good. Because if he is at all, he just is. And he continues to be. And he still will be at the end of this, whenever it may come.

This actually gives me a small place of rest, if even only for a moment, to know that I can beat the ground and scream at the mountains and curse all that is unanswered right now and the Creator of the Universe just continues to exist, unmoved by it.If he exists, my questions won’t end that. If he is good, my doubt won’t make him other than good. If he is loving, my hatred towards all that I’ve known won’t destroy his love. If He is, He is…and what will be, will be. For now, I am where I am and I’m going to travel through this spiral and get wherever it takes me in time…

Maybe its changing me, but if He is, that will not change.

Permalink 2 Comments

Homework

February 11, 2009 at 2:36 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

I broke my 30 day goal… I think it was probably too lofty of a goal with the amount of homework I have every night . Besides blogging would cut into my daily nap time.

So I’m jumping back on the blogging bandwagon. Maybe not everyday, but I am back.

I have some worthwhile thoughts floating around I’d like to give some attention to, but again that would cut into my daily nap time – a necessity that is non-negotiable right now!

We have a 3 day weekend coming up and I’m hoping to carve out some alone time for long overdue introspection. I’m looking forward to a few hours of just me, a cup of chai tea, deep thoughts and some Dean crooning in the background. Ah, sounds like heaven!

Some interesting tidbits for this blog…

A fellow teacher sent me a fun website today. We had a good laugh at some of the items in my 3rd period class. Check it out here… This is Why You’re Fat food creations

Also, I figured out how to make showing a clip from The Office relevant to my Foods classes. Sweet. Remember when Michael burned his foot on the GF grill b/c he makes bacon in his bedroom every morning? Check out that hilarious clip here…Office clip

On a more serious note, I have taken over the daily duty of correcting the 5th grade math homework. It is quite a task. You would think having a genius (her, not me 🙂 would help, but a 5th grader is still a 5th grader.

The parental figures were doing a sub par job with the daily math. Even after correcting it most papers came back with 3-9 problems marked incorrect (the teacher’s grading criteria is a different story completely). Besides the fact that they haven’t looked at this stuff in decades, they wait until the end of 30 (yes that’s right, 30 long and tedious problems EVERY night) to pay attention to what’s happening.

It also seems that any madness that is going to ensue in the house that evening, including people constantly coming and going, occurs right at homework time.

So homework now occurs with myself and the resident 5th grader holed up in my room, away from the madness, reading and solving each problem. She does all the work, but I follow along so that if she makes a mistake or has a question we take care of it right away.

This strategy seems to be working, but the results will tell the real story. Last week my first night of take over came back with 2 problems incorrect. One of those was right, we forgot a hyphen.

My question for the teacher – what happened to partial credit – we’re in 5th grade. Guess that’s not the way she rolls…

I’ve become painfully reminded  of the fact that children have no concept of time. This is a beautiful thing, most of the time. When you’re staring down a 15 grid double sided page of math problems…not so much.

What could be easily accomplished in 15 minutes most often takes just under an hour to struggle through. It is agonizing, but at the same time, refreshing. It is a much needed reminder to stop struggling to get to the end and just enjoy the process.

Yes distractions arise and the pokey little puppy needs to be constantly refocused, but eventually we always get there. On a good night, when I’m engaged in the activity, the process is actually fun…laughs & teasing and a few jokes, occasionally with a thick cockney accent and a cup of tea thrown in for good measure.

Recently I stumbled upon this quote…

“For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. but there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. at last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. this perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. happiness is the way. so treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. happiness is a journey, not a destination.” ~Souza

With that I’m off to accomplish my grown-up teacher homework for the evening. With an episode of Lost in the background and a warm sleepy dog curled up next to me I’m ready to enjoy the process…

Permalink Leave a Comment

Reducing my carbon footprint…

February 5, 2009 at 4:59 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

One meal at a time!

Check out the green tip of the week:

• Eating 1 lb. of meat emits the same amount of gases as driving an SUV 40 miles
• According to Environmental Defense, if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than a half-million cars off U.S. roads.
• Americans eat about eight ounces (of meat) a day, roughly twice the global average.
• Meat consumption is reaching an all-time high around the world, quadrupling in the last 50 years

Currently celebrating my 9th year anniversary as a vegetarian and all the carbon I do not need to work on erasing…

It’s just a preference for me, but here are some websites of interest on the topic…

Week in Review

The Case Against Meat

Go Veg

Permalink Leave a Comment

Ace Ventura

February 5, 2009 at 4:28 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Caught the tail end of Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy on Oprah today. Don’t usually tune into Oprah but I happened upon the show and something Carrey was saying caught my attention.  The depth and insight of Carrey’s statements resonated with me. I find it intriguing that his public persona and movie roles seem to be so different from who he is as a man. But maybe he isn’t all that different. Perhaps this side of him is just another facet, one that the public has not been privvy to.

These days I don’t always have time to process what I hear as quickly as I once did. I need to revisit the clip before I can begin to “connect the dots.”  Two things that have stuck with me were his comments on nervous breakdowns and our words, what we “put out there” really influencing our lives.

Carrey said that he and McCarthy refer to nervous breakdowns as nervous breakthroughs. Here’s a little clip of the script from Oprah.com

“I call it a nervous breakthrough,” Jim says. “I think people have ways of hiding their emotions. People think their emotions are ugly, but when she finally broke down, we were in the kitchen, and I kind of grabbed her and I wouldn’t let her go until she dumped it.”

For years, Jenny says she hid anger and guilt behind a beautiful smile. “Her therapist told her there was anger there because she felt guilty for giving her son autism,” Jim says. “This is what a lot of mothers deal with—this terrible guilt for giving their child a disease.”

Over the years, Jim has been Jenny’s shoulder to cry on, as well as a voice of reason. “‘When you feel it, you heal it’ is what he taught me,” Jenny says.

I love that saying, “When you feel it, you heal it.”

Also…

Jim says women should keep in mind what they do want—not what they don’t want—from a partner. “If you go around saying, ‘It’s impossible. No one will ever love me. A good man is hard to find,’ then you’re saying to the universe that you don’t believe in abundance,” he says. “This universe that created the stars, galaxies, Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon and the duck-billed platypus is quite capable of finding someone for you that has the capacity to love you, no matter what your situation is.”

If you convince yourself that you deserve to be loved, Jim says it can—and will—happen.

Jim refers speficially to matters of the heart here, but I believe this theory is true in general. Universe is a very general descriptor, but his point is well stated.  We live out of a place of hope and abundance, even in the waiting, or a place of scarcity and doubt, which can become a trap, a moment we become stuck in.

These 2 thoughts connected seem to be a powerful theme. It’s not everyday that you can walk around feeling hopeful about something that has caused pain or a place of doubt and fear and unbelief. BUT more important than magically feeling positive all the time is the need to recognize that the doubt and fear exist. From that place of awareness comes the ability to “feel it to heal it” Eventually you may even have a nervous breakthrough 🙂

My thoughts are incomplete tonight, but that’s where I am at for now. These things have struck me, but I’m still processing… “stay tuned!”

Permalink Leave a Comment

All Work and No Play

February 4, 2009 at 4:39 am (Uncategorized)

Created a Kitchen Safety poster and rubric tonight for school tomorrow instead of blogging. Laid awake last night connecting the dots to some blog thoughts. As I tell my students…”Stay Tuned”

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Big Cheese

February 3, 2009 at 4:26 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

OK, so I am going to wuss out on tonight’s post. I’m tired, its late, I’ll hate myself in the morning if I stay up writing a blog rather than grabbing every precious second of coveted sleep I can. Let me get to the point. Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. It’s not a holiday I put much stock in. I think it is a money making scheme.

I think it is ridiculous to convince the women of the world that men should pay double for flowers and that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Simple, unexpected gestures are much more powerful in my opinion.

That being said, I definitely buy into the cheesy movie, sappy moment mentality. I have been known to DVR many a Hallmark movie. I am up for an Anne of Green Gables marathon anytime. True love and chivalry are not dead. AND I will be watching every movie Lifetime and Hallmark offer (in the romance category, not much for the Lifetime melodrama, I see enough of that in high school every day) between now and Valentine’s day.

In the interest of full disclosure, I think The Office is freakin’ hilarious. BUT that is not my primary reason for watching the show… I think my favorite clip just about says it all. And yes, crazy as it may seem for a rational girl like me, I think Jim Halpert just may be the perfect guy. My favorite office clip.

In my defense, check out one of my favorite “funny” clips… Let\’s Get Ethical

Permalink Leave a Comment

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

February 2, 2009 at 2:25 am (Uncategorized)

In the Steelers case, “friends” being the refs. I have not seen another team that has consistently won games due to calls from the referees like the Pittsburgh Steelers. Currently it is the third quarter and the Steelers lead the game by a 13 point margin. The game has certainly not yet been decided, but I would like to go on the record at this point and make my opinion known.

Even the announcers have made reference to this phenomenon. When the call was made that gave the Steelers a first down after a field goal was kicked, they mentioned Mike Holgram (the SEahawks now retired head coach) and his “flashback” to a previous Super Bowl. My dad also reminded me of the game earlier this year where the refs made a call at the end of the game that won the game for the Steelers. They called a touchdown when the ball was clearly not in. The rest of the day sportscasters replayed the game and repeatedly determined the call was incorrect and the Steelers had won a game erroneously.

Now as we’re watching the game, we’ve also begun to notice that not only are the refs making calls in favor of the Steelers, when the Cardinals make a big play, a penalty brings it back. Currently there are 96 yards in penalties against the Cards and only 15 against Pittsburgh.  Hmmm….coincidence? I think not.

I have to give the Cards defense credit. Ranked as one of the worst in the NFL, they have really stepped it up in this game. Twice within the span of a minute or two they stopped the Steelers cold for 3 plays straight inside the 10 yard line.

I am not, in life in general, big on conspiracy theories. Granted I do believe there is much that goes on in government that I am not privy to. I met a man last weekend who confirmed this belief. He is a career navy man who works on submarines and also spends months at a time on some private government island in the South Pacific. He also by the way wrote the manual for FlyWire and conducts all the trainings on it. The man is a genius! He was entertaining us with stories about his adventures. He mentioned how high his intelligence classification is and the madness of some of the information he has been privy to. He assured us that we are better off not knowing what truly goes on behind the scenes.

Even as I’m typing this there has been yet another call against Arizona which resulted in a Pittsburgh first down. HA! I wonder if anyone else finds this as obvious and comical as we do right now? If this continues I may be going to bed earlier than I planned. With The Office set to DVR I have nothing to lose if this game continues down the drains at this pace

Government and sports are the two areas in life where I entertain conspiracy theories from time to time. Especially when so much is on the line and there are such glaringly obvious holes in events that occur. From time to time I’d thrown religion in there too. Perhaps the Cards will make a comeback and put all my theories to rest. We shall see…

*Addendum* The game as a whole began to turn around in the last quarter. The refs even made several good calls, including the safety for holding. Unfortunately they really flubbed up the call against Steelers #92 pommeling the life out of a down and defenseless Cardinal player.

Funny, I’m not even a Cards fan and I  am left feeling like a sore loser. Perhaps I am still holding a grudge from several years back? Better still, I was hoping the Cards would win and my conspiracy theory tendencies would be put to rest. Instead, I add one more note in my book of suspicions. Maybe there is more to this than I realized after all…

Permalink Leave a Comment

Tea and Sympathy

February 1, 2009 at 12:11 pm (Uncategorized)

Technically I missed a day, but in my defense I am sick again, for the second time in as many weeks. Needless to say I am sick and tired of feeling sick and tired! I am thankful to have an explanation for my melancholy state of exhaustion over the past week. I was beating myself up for feeling so tired I could barely function all week long. I forgot that I typically feel that way right before I get sick.

While being sick still sucks, it is nice to know I’m not going to live in a permanent state of exhaustion. I’m just going to suffer through one week… I’ve been spraying zinc and drugging myself all weekend long. Let’s hope this is the worst of it.

Stay tuned…

Permalink Leave a Comment