Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Answer to a Tough Question

I don’t care about politics.  At least, I’m not willing to die on the battlefield of what law gets passed or doesn’t get passed.  The gay marriage thing is tricky.  It’s definitely not a place I’d want to start a conversation.  I’d rather get to know you well, and build mutual trust  before we go there.  But it feels like a question that we’re all being forced to answer.   
So, if you must know, I believe that the bible says that homosexuality goes against God’s original design for mankind.  That it’s not what is best for us.  At the same rate, I believe having sex with your boyfriend of several years, masturbating, or even thinking sexual thoughts about someone other than your spouse also fits in that category.  Homosexuality is not something I find disgusting, or to be the worst possible thing a person could do.  Rather, I believe that God created man and woman in his image.  That God put certain characteristics of himself in man, and certain characteristics of himself in woman.  When the two come together as one—in marriage—a full picture of God is put on display.  You can see how that picture would be incomplete if the marriage is between two males, or two females. 

That said, I don’t oppose gay marriage.  I don’t think our country should force people to live out biblical principles.  Even though I think those biblical principles are what’s best for people.  Imagine the difference it would make if everyone saved sex for marriage?  We wouldn face as many issues with STDs, unwanted pregnancies, strugglin single parenting.  Or think of a world without divorce and broken families--something else the bible speaks out against.  Still, I don’t think it’s our country’s job to enforce God’s rules.  If Yahweh truly is a God, then he can take care of that for himself.    The only thing that motivates me to try and model my life after the teachings of Christ is the loving relationship I have with him.  Even still, if the USA decided to ban using harsh words with your husband or thinking prideful thoughts I’d be in big trouble.  To ask someone to follow Christ's teachings apart from relationship with God seems ludicrous to me.

Which brings me to what I do care about.  I care about the gospel.  The unconditional love that the one in control of this whole universe has for everyone in it.  Gay or straight, virgin or prostitute, conservative or liberal, homeless or millionaire, devout Christian or devout atheist.  He sees us all the same:  broken, imperfect people that he loves with all that he has.  I want everyone to accept his gift of the cross to cover for their shortcomings and heal their brokenness so they can begin to live in the richness of personal relationship between Creation and Creator. 

No matter who you are, what I want most for you has nothing to do with a law passing, or not passing.  It is that you realize how loved you are.  That you would understand that you have infinite, internal value.  That you would live an amazing life!  I believe that someone who knows you better than yourself has dreamt up a plan for you that uniquely reflects who you are and involves love, adventure, and a  happy ending.  That in the beginning God looked at you and saw that you were good, and that even though mistakes, and messiness get in the way he’s willing to work through all of that to be in restored relationship with you.   

At this point in my life, this is my view on things.   I am no better than anyone else, and no worse than anyone else.  This is all something you have to decide about for yourself.  Know that I will support you despite any differences we might have.  I hope that, no matter what you choose, we can still be friends.   Because I believe in tolerance, but I believe that it must go both ways.

Feel free to give me any thoughts, encouragement, or constructive criticism you have for me.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patty's Day!

My husband has a deep love for St. Patty's day.  It is his second favorite holiday.  I think his blood runs green through his veins.  Mostly, he just loves any chance to prance around wearing something goofy.  On St. Patty's day, he always goes out looking like a Leprechaun.  His family goes to a St. Patrick's day parade every year, and then has corned beef and cabbage at his Grandma's.  The last few years I've joined in the fun.  I use the word "fun" loosely here as I don't exactly count freezing my Irish buns off in the crisp, early-spring weather with a bunch of kids running after candy and adults who've had a few too many green beers, fun.  Plus, I'm not a huge fan of corned beef or cabbage.  I do enjoy time with his family, and especially enjoy the glee in my husband's eyes.

So I try to be a good sport.  I have figured out that the only way for me to get excited with Phil about St. Patty's day is for me to use it as an excuse to buy new clothes.  Does that make me vapid and shallow???  I hope not.  Either way, here is my St. Patrick's Day Outfit this year.  And my very green, very cute husband.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Loving Mother

I have taken over teaching for all of my mentor teacher's 7th grade classes.  I have almost no classroom management issues with my 7th graders.  Most of them are little sweeties.  Sure they have a little angst, and sometimes act out due to their desperate need for attention.  But really, they don't give me many problems.

Some of my 8th graders, though, get on my nerves.  There is one kid in particular that loves to blurt out inappropriate things at inappropriate times.  He gives myself and his peers attitude.  Sometimes, his lack of social skills, and politeness makes him unpleasant to be around.  Getting him to do his work is like pulling teeth--I've learned that being a teacher is pretty similar to being a dentist.

The highest form of punishment that a teacher can dole out at my school is what we call a "Choice card."  It basically means they get sent out of the room to someone who gives them their real punishment.  In the semester-and-a-half I've been there, I've only given out two choice cards.  One of them went to none-other than this young man for back-talking me.

Awhile back, the 8th graders were learning about metaphors and similes and had to use figurative language to describe various things.  On this list was "school."  School is...  We got a lot of answers like "prison," "funeral," or "hell" (not very creative).  To which I would write "Sadface sorry to hear that," or "Sorry you feel that way."  One kid, though, wrote "School is a loving mother."  Who, you ask?  Yep, it was that kid that really knows how to get on my nerves.

I work in a low-income area and have already heard some of the horror stories my students call their home lives.  Perhaps said pain-in-my-behind has one of those stories.  Perhaps school is the closest thing he has to family.  I want to have patience with my students and to see the potential in each of them--even the ones that make my life difficult.  I need to remember that I have no idea to which of these students school provides the nurture, structure, and discipline they may not get at home.  I want to do my best to walk in the Spirit and demonstrate the love of Christ to my students, because they may not be getting it elsewhere.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Channeling My Inner Hipster

Hipster Formula=Skinny Jeans + Button up shirt + Grandpa Cardigan + Bangs in your eyes + Beanie Sag.

It's more hipster if you look away from the camera.  And if you look like you only have one leg.  Yep, that's a bonus.  

Can you tell that these pants have little polka dots on them?

I have wanted them so bad ever since I saw T-Swift wearing something similar for her album pics for RED.

I found them at Old Navy forever ago, but decided against purchasing them.  The other day they were on sale for less than 10 bucks!  And they only had one pair left that was a size zero--which is at least one size smaller than I probably should have bought.  It was destiny!  They are a little tight, and a little bold but let's just say that, for me, loving them is red.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Reading Nook

Like many of you, I have been addicted to Pinterest for quite some time now.  While perusing I found lots of ideas for reading nooks.


Naturally, as a nerdy English teacher with a love for curling up with a good book and a cup of tea, I was smitten!  I filed the idea away for my future home.  I'm always dreaming about that.  Planning for the home that I have no idea if/when I will someday own.  I am still in college so it feels like everything is put on hold.  Sometimes I'm left living in the imaginary world of the life I hope to have one day.  The job, the house, the wardrobe, the potential cute kiddos.  But I want to live the life I have right now.  Because the truth is, I'm not promised anything more than today, and I certainly don't want to miss out on the miracle of right now!  So I thought, "Forget it.  I'm creating a reading nook right here, right now, in our crummy little one bedroom apartment with things we already have."

Wall art a friend made me with a quote that I LOVE.

Book shelf   (The quote and photos of kids from other cultures reading kind of tie in with the travel/world theme we have going on in our living room decor).

A bucket from our wedding that now holds magazines.

It may not be perfect.  It may not be pin-worthy.  But it's mine.  And I am enjoying what I have here and now.  How do you live in the moment and make the best of what you have now?
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