Who tied my shoes?

I get caught up in my own contributions to things sometimes. Concerned about: my ability, my time, my space, my privacy, my peace of mind. 

Then I am reminded that this life really isn’t about me.  How many times do I miss opportunities to be a good friend because I’m either more concerned with the advice I can give or the advice I need, than with anything the other person may need or have to offer?   

My self tries to justify moments like those with thoughts like: “but you wouldn’t give advice if they didn’t ask,” or, “but you were transparent enough to recognize you needed their advice.”

True – but what drove my communication to start with? Sometimes it’s just me. And that isn’t always good. I wish I could say that my advice giving were based on God’s inspiration more than my experience. I wish I could say my search for advice came from a willingness to change rather than a feeling of hurt that needed to be soothed. 

I’m thankful for wise friends who do soothe my hurt emotions with insight beyond my words. Their offering may actually sting my hurts, but it’s like an antiseptic – cleaning out the part of me that really needed it instead if the part of me that was insulted. 

I am thankful for God’s patience with me, and his assurance that whatever I think I’ve suffered – he has suffered more. He knows my hurt and whether it is real or merely a result of my choice to take offense.  And even though I may have every reason to be offended, according to any sense of decorum, I don’t necessarily have the right.

God is so patent, so good, so willing to hold my hand through everything I go through- why do I try so hard to be an independent and grown-up person? I picture Him laughing at me so often: like the smile on a parent’s face when they are watching a child’s attempt to tie their shoes – enjoying the child’s attempts, yet knowing that they will be called on to untangle the laces before much longer.

Thank you, God, for never tiring of tying shoes.

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Veteran’s Day Preparations

Please, take some time to show your gratitude for those who have fought to preserve the life you enjoy today. 

I’ve enjoyed the tears that came so swiftly while helping students to write letters that will be given to local veterans at our school’s celebration tomorrow. I’ve been embittered at a world so torn that soldiers fear the situation at home more than the enemy at their side. I’ve been overwhealmed with pride as a tradition of loyalty and patriotism is passed to new generations. And all of that has only been on Veteran’s Day Eve.

I cannot imagine what I will feel tomorrow!
I’ll share more later – it’s been a long day, and I have miles to go …

Aaaaannnnd… They’re Off!

NaNoWriMo with mostly sixth graders is a truly unique experience. They start out thinking that they should have a word count goal to rival the adult sized 50,000. Then it hits them that they have to work hard to get anywhere close. And when even the ones who write nonstop during their waking hours – annoying all but their wonderfully encouraging English teacher (haha – ’tis I, ’tis I) – realize just what 30,000 words has to look like as a daily goal, they start to freak out just a little bit. And the ones on the other end that realize their dreams of fan fiction stardom still include – gasp! not plagiarizing someone else’s work- and actual writing an original idea about the characters they love so, it can get to be a fairly sticky wicket.

On the other hand- they are writing – without me having to threaten bodily harm (who me? Never!). It’s a beautiful thing. 

What I’m learning:

  • Word wars work
  • Allowing secret stashes of food for writers is engenious 
  • Earning Badges for crazy mad writing skills is one of the coolest motivators I’ve come across in the educator forums
  • Having “old fashioned,” no-tech allowed writing days, keeps the slackers in PE and keeps their negativity from invading the writing space of the tried and true (because skipping PE to predend to write isn’t cool guys – and while your crashy road score is your highest priority, it isn’t helping your brain or your body like what you should be doing will).

So that’s where we stand so far – trying to hit our first ten percent on word counts and finding the motivational secrets to good writing habits. I’ll keep you all posted.