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Showing posts from 2016

Fear and Love

Today, I am dealing with overwhelming anxiety at 4:00 in the morning. It's really late. I've been up since about 1:00am, and I'm really tired. Yet, I cannot sleep.

I'm not the up-all-night type of girl. For example, when my husband was having chest pains and I thought that he might be dying, but he refused to go to the hospital, I went to sleep. I reasoned that later on that night, once he finally decided to head to the hospital, I'd need all the strength and focus I could get, so i slept until he woke me up to go to the hospital.

There is nothing I can do tonight to remedy the situation. In fact, sleeplessness would only make the entire thing worse. I'm heading into an emotionally turbulent situation where I'm likely to lose control, and I know that extra sleep is what I need, not less of it. But what am I doing? I'm wide awake.

I'm so sad. Even though I have a really awesome life, and my connection with God is strong, there are things beyond my co…

Free to Fly: A Defense of the Single Life

When I was 15 years old, the biggest tragedy of my life was that I felt alone and disconnected. I wanted a boyfriend with all my heart. I longed for a romance that would begin right then and last until the end of time. I don't know if you have ever felt such a longing, but for me, it was everything. Every book I read, and there were a lot of them, and every program I chose to watch on television had a happy ending with the girl finding herself in the loving arms of some guy who had started out gruff or mean, but ended up having a heart of gold. You've seen that story. I tried so hard to live it. Thankfully, however, I ended up with a wonderful husband without all the gruffness and ignoble character traits that were so popular during my teenage years. And thankfully, God didn't give him to me at 15. Sadly, the poor guy was stuck with me from 16 years of age and on, and he's still stuck with me today. 
We married a week after my 18th birthday, and within 3 months of our …

I'll Never Do That to My Kids...

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a teacher. I wanted to be like those ladies who knew everything, or so I thought at the time. I wanted to have the power to help young children learn, and I wanted to be nicer than many of my teachers. I would be the most understanding, patient, and kind teacher to ever walk the earth. And then, I grew up and became a teacher.

I'm not the nicest teacher to ever walk the earth. My students often wondered if I had gotten out of bed on the wrong side. They asked me if I was alright, and got quiet when my reply was less than patient. My students loved me, and I loved them, but we had those moments that I swore I would never put a child through, and I did it probably as often as all my teachers did to me. I'm so sorry now, but there's no going back. I was not a compassionate paragon of virtue. I was a woman who loved kids and was trying to do the very best job for those children. And like all teachers who really want to do great, I h…

Moving Past the Past...

Last night, I had a really scary thought. What if I can never move past my memories, my assumptions, and my fears in order to finally accomplish a lifelong goal? What if I never move forward?

Is the past so alive, real, and concrete to you that you can't seem to escape it? Like huge iron pylons framing a skyscraper, do these memories seem to take up all the landscape in front of you? Is the framework of your life being built around this old structure because there seemed no way to build without using the old framework? Or have you built small, kept low, and avoiding the structure altogether, not allowing yourself to lean on it for the future, but not allowing yourself to grow higher or spread wider because the past is always in the way?

I'm not strong enough to pull up that destructive framework. I can't see past it. I keep expecting to knock into it just when I see myself finally moving beyond it.

As I look to the Master to give me direction, I feel the need to tell you t…

How can I retain an air of mystery ... without ruining my reputation?

Remember when you were told as a young woman not to reveal everything to a guy, to retain an air of mystery about yourself? He would find it irresistible, we were told. He would chase us all the harder for that unique hidden gem that we wouldn't reveal until just the right moment. But in reality, though it may or may not have worked for you, I find that mystery sometimes just looks like mental illness.

Now, hold on for a minute. Bear with me. But look at it from the outside. One day, we're holding hands and smiling at one another. But oops, we need to retain that mystery, so next time, we're pulling away and running a little ahead on the path. When he asks what's wrong, we say "nothing." Later, when it's time to eat, we're not very hungry, and we nibble on fries and a shake while our stomachs rumble quietly within, starved. Don't we look crazy? I know that I probably did.

Why do people go to psychiatrists? They have an eating disorder. They can…

Babies - The Absolute Truth

A young couple who are friends of ours just had a new baby two days ago. Their little girl is a gorgeous, teeny little thing, who though premature, looks to be perfect. We're overjoyed for their happiness. We prayed over that little baby during that pregnancy where it seemed like complications might be inevitable. We knew that with God all things are possible. In the end, another joyful birth has come out of this time of uncertainty. It's a happy ending, yet also a new beginning.

I've always had room in my heart for babies ever since my late teens when I finally, truly fell in love with kids. Before then, I had babysat, and while I enjoyed the money, I honestly didn't grow very attached to the kids. I could take them or leave them. But I was pretty decent at it, and I had a steady influx of kids to babysit until I became old enough to begin working fast food jobs. All in all, it was after I stopped getting paid to spend time with kids that I first discovered how much I…

Prepositions, Propositions, and Dreams

For the past few months, I've been teaching my students about prepositions. One student was absent for some of the key lessons, and this child hasn't caught on as well as the others. The student dreams of being the high scorer in the class, and this child has the potential to do it. But that one key -- prepositions -- is keeping that student from unlocking the gate to that dream.

Don't I often feel that way -- as if during one of the biggest life lessons, I wasn't there to receive that instruction. I know that all of us feel that way at times, but with my dramatic soul, I feel it more than most. Or so I like to think. The reality is that all of us are missing something -- and sometimes it's just what we need to unlock that gate standing between us and our dreams.

For me, it's stick-to-it-ive-ness. Or what is more commonly referred to as grit. I start things well, and I work exceptionally hard during the critical first stage of development. But when the time com…