Thursday, November 15, 2018

I Need to Belong Not Just Fit In

Fitting In
Is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be to be accepted.
Belonging,
On the other hand.
Doesn’t require us to change who we are; 
It requires us to be who we are. 
Brene Brown
The reality is we all want to belong and be with others that belong. But work so hard at fitting in that we don’t trust others with our true selves. Marketers get this and that is why there is a unigue way to order Starbucks and Inn and Out Burgers has a secret menu. It makes us feel like part of the tribe. It makes us feel like we belong because we know the lingo. How devastating to order a small coffee when you should know it is a tall. But this kind of belonging is not what connects us with others. I try to call others that my path crosses throughout the day by their name when I can to get a connection rather than just receiving whatever service they are providing. Being seen matters But these brief encounters are just that moments between two people who happen to need each other and at best make eye contact and exchange smiles. Including a name just helps us feel seen while we walk through our days.

Real belonging seems to be fading away these days. My mom had friends over with their kiddos to play and she never would have thought to spend hours readying the house for their arrival. Their lives were intertwined and they saw her house just as it was everyday. They were comfortable enough to do each other’s dishes or put on a pot of coffee if the pot was low. The familiarity they had in each other’s space made them a part of each other’s lives. I admit I only have a handful of friends who come and spend time in my home with that since of belonging here. That is something I must intentionally work on if I am going to have more refrigerator friends (comfortable opening my fridge and helping themselves).

Perhaps meeting regularly in each other’s homes could help us belong to one another more. Although, I know people who prepare for a week or more for their Bunko groups, Bible studies or book clubs. Maybe there is another way to become familiar enough to trust and beilieve that we can just be ourselves with each other. This is something that I desperately need as I once again step away from my classroom. I need to belong and if I don’t have a work family I need to create a home family that includes others. If you read my blog you know I have an orphan spirit and that is an almost urgent need to belong not just to fit in.

In Him,
Joyful
11-15-18hy


Monday, November 12, 2018

Please Come Back Walter Kronkite

Calling Walter Kronkite- America needs you.
Doesn’t Walter have a son like Billy Graham had Franklin to carry on spreading love?
We need a news person who does one thing. Read the news.
Not interpret, give opinions, commentate. 
We had 60 minutes for getting that.

Now America is divided and I don’t see any other way to bring us together 
but to get Kronkite back on the air and cancel all cable news channels. 
If we are all hearing slanted news from such differing opinions 
there is no hope of us bridging the wide divide that is politics in America.

It used to be that PBS Newshour and BBC were more balanced but even they are reporting one sided.

I am sick or right and left, Democrat and Republican
I am frustrated that our representatives don’t put our countries needs over politics.
I am tired of friends and families disconnecting over varying points of view.
When did we become a people that think it is okay to call each other 
Horrid names for having differing opinions?

My hope is that Walter or some network will go back to reporting the news in our country without giving us what they want us to hear based on right or left politics.
United we stand- Divided we fall.

Let’s go back to only bashing people for the sports team they like instead of all this political drama.

There is good and bad to both sides.
Intellectually we know that. 
Whether you are a Trump lover or a Trump hater 
you are part right and part wrong.

The one sure way you are wrong is when you judge others for their views.
Because just like them you are both right and wrong. 
I know for sure I am wrong in my opinions at least as much as I am right. 
But I am still entitled to my thoughts and beliefs.
What I am not entitled to is condemning others for theirs.

In Him,
Joyful
11-12-18

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Ready for the Next Door

Here I sit at another fork in the road of life. My classroom days may be a mere 27 days from ending. The choice to return to teaching after retirement has been the right one and filled me with self-confidence and joy to be back with a work family, kiddos and their families. My leaving yet again is to spend more time with my Mom. This is a good choice but somehow I greedily wish I could be with Mom and in my classroom as well. Some don’t understand that it takes more courage to step away from work than to stay. When work is filled with heart kids that I get to impact daily, it is a very hard leave. On my desk calendar there is a count down to Christmas break. It is not a countdown to freedom but a reminder to treasure each moment that I get to share with these precious gifts.

I had an idea of what I would do when I stepped away from the middle school behavior program that was my home for seven years. My thought was that retiring was just a repurposing of my life. My heart believed I would somehow support young adults with autism since there were so many that I was blessed to walk beside when they were younger. God led me instead to working with wee ones in the Early Intervention Program for birth to three year olds. What a learning curve! This included a very different and fabulous work family as well as travel to homes and preschools to support families. What a gift that year and a half was to me. That led to me following a couple beautiful three year olds into a preschool program with a work sister that I adore.

This year I was once again given the opportunity to teach full time with kindergartners to third graders. I went into this program believing that my heart was really for middle schoolers. Although I will always be a middle school teacher at heart, I must admit that this opportunity was my favorite for this time in my life. Yes, I can have more than one favorite when it comes to working with kids.

This time I look forward to God’s next adventure for me as this time back in the classroom melts away. Too often I make my plans and then He opens doors that challenge me and grows my heart. The future awaits and the one thing I am sure of is that as this door closes the next one is ready to open. It will be exciting and filled with just who and what it should be.

In Him,
Joyful
11-11-18

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Ronnie B. And Me~ Remodeling Team Extraordinaire

What a gift to be married to my Ronnie B. I swear this man can do almost anything. Watching his mind work on designing and building our new home has been enlightening. The way he sees the details has made our home beyond incredible. It always amazes me how he can just see what needs to be done and make it happen. There are little sketches all around the house how he figures angles and just how to fit things together.

Perhaps the greatest gift is how he lets me work beside him on this project so it is not his but ours. I have had a small hand in plumbing, electric and even stair building. We have managed to get heavy, bulky plywood and 5 gallon cans of paint upstairs on a ladder with just the two of us. Ron on the roof and me pushing from below raising one rung at a time. His confidence in my has given me the confidence to do more than I thought I could.

This is truly our forever home with our sweat-equity lovingly embedded in every detail. There is really nothing I would change about the past year of remodeling. Working long days together has not only given us a beautiful new home but a much closer us as well. So although I will be so glad when the kitchen is in and our days are not filled with tape measures and hardware store visits, I have enjoyed the journey with my Ronnie B.

In Him,
Joyful
7-5-19

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Turn STEM to STEAM or A Little Art Will Do Ya

Let’s expand STEM into STEAM
Scienc
Technology
Engineering
and 
Math
Each of theses is crucial to learning and mind development.
But
Art ties it all together.
Let’s get steamy and add Art to this new focus in education.
There is most certainly a place for it.
Heck, maybe we could even throw in a sonnet or two.

In Him,
Joyful
7-1-18



Friday, June 29, 2018

Balancing Grace

Balancing grace for others and protecting my own heart is tricky. When I feel excluded time and time again it comes to a point of when do I take the hint and move on? This is especially tricky when it is family that leave me out. I worry so about including others and not hurting anyone’s feelings because I am so sensitive to getting my own feelings hurt. Ron supports me by pointing out that some people are just more sensitive and some are more self centered. My orphan spirit woke me up at 4 am this morning when pictures of smiling faces that left me out but more importantly my 13 year old daughter and 84 year old mother. Hurt me~I hurt. Hurt them~ I want to confront the situation.

Pointing out to these family members how unfair their treatment of us is only makes them see my whining not my heart. I truly believed that raising our kids while Ron and I volunteered, pitched in, and helped others out would make them generous, compassionate adults. If only. Now I have vented and shared way too much. The good news is they don’t read my blog either.

My grace should be that they may not intentionally hurt me. Like when a mom just washed the kitchen floors and the kids come running through with mud on their feet. Are they conspiring to dismiss her efforts or simply enjoying life. I do recognize this is my heart and not necessarily their heart to hurt. How do I become less sensitive since I can only control my reaction not their actions. Praying for wisdom and grace even when it is difficult. That’s what Jesus shows me and asks me to show others.

1 Corinthians 16-14 Do everything in love.

This blog was not that. Or was it about loving myself, mom and granddaughter.

It occurs to me that more than I know, others are probably feeling left out by my choices and I have no intention of hurting them or awareness of how my actions affect them. I guess it is time to spend my sensitive side on being a more inclusive person myself.

In Him,
Joyful
6-29-18

Thursday, June 28, 2018

My World Is Not Perfect

This can’t be easy. I am so sorry. How can I help?  We all share those words with others who share their heartaches with us. Just listening is what we all need when we are walking through life’s bumps in the road. None of us have everything just perfect in our lives. This is so true but so misconceived. Too often we wear our burdens live a heavy chain around our neck all the time looking at others with envy. Envy that they couldn’t possibly be dealing with the same struggles that we are dealing with. And we are right.
They aren’t living with our struggles but their struggles are just as challenging.

Our relationships are what make it true that there is never a moment where something or someone is not going through a hard time. But our relationships are also how we lift each other up to get through the tough times. What a gift to care enough to ache for those we love when life throws punches. I feel sorry for those who don’t share their hurts for fear of being judged. Let’s face it much of the tough stuff is self-induced. Reality is that most of us have made mistakes and can relate on some level to others shame. Social media is a window to other’s lives. Sure some of it is glossed over to impress and some is complaining about every little hang nail in life. But it is also a place to celebrate new births, grieve with other’s losses, and to support with prayer and finances when moved to do so.

Connections get us through life. Holding hands on this walk whether physically or virtually makes life so much richer. I for one am glad that my world is not perfect. That means that my heart includes not just me but so many others as well.

In Him,
Joyful
6-28-18