Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Juxtaposition of a Wednesday

"...if you have the capacity to experience huge, engulfing joy, then you can also feel its equal and opposite level of pain."
-Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin

Opposites butting against one another.  That's all I can say to describe this week.  Opposites of my emotions, feelings, etc..

 The one hour late start for Hamilton Southeastern Schools.  Should be good, right?  We should be hopefully working on professional development and planning exciting lessons to teach our kids and engage them in learning.  Well, no.  We don't do that.  Our staff spent the hour ticked off in front of computers attempting to navigate the new teacher evaluation system given by the state, which will determine if we are worthy of our salary and a raise next year.  Ok.  So we spent an hour realizing that the hours that we have to put into this is really just collecting data (that can be totally fudged, by the way) and pretty much turn our assistant principal into just a data collecting machine who will in turn just spew data back at the state; not spending time with kids, not helping kids, not helping teachers.  My blood began to boil.  My "extra degree" was about to steam me right through the roof.  I know I am being risky stating this publicly, but it needs to be said, and we need to not be afraid to say how ridiculous this is.  The tax payers need to know what their money is going towards, not helping teachers be better teachers or kids be engaged to love learning, but to go through mindless data collection and fill out stupid forms.  Done.  You've been given the information, do with it what you will.  (By the way, the state will totally say it helps us track higher level learning, etc..  They're wrong, and if they were educators and actually thought out how this would play out, they would know that; but educators do not run our educational system...just sayin'.  When the rubber meets the road, we're being asked to give out more tests in order to track data and then spend all of our time collecting the data rather than spending our time researching, planning, and executing phenomenal lessons.  Don't let anyone blow smoke up your butt.)
This literally made me want to vomit.  I took a half day to do one thing:  go home and cry my eyes out. The mourning of a 16 year teaching career that leads to this.  The trends are not good, folks.  I don't care what school district you're in.  Every public school educator has to do this.
Steve comes home a bit early.  He holds me and lets me cry, cuss, be utterly sad that I spend time away from my sweet children to play this game.  Beautiful.  And here's the other end of my juxtaposition:  as I lay there crying, I'm surrounded my his sweet arms, telling me that it's going to be ok, we'll figure this out together.  That was Jesus with me there.  That was my husband.  I love him so very much.
We decide together that this could very well be a God thing.  We confirm it, we pray about it, we discuss it more, and ask God to use this for His will.  Joy, excitement, anticipation.  

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday:
Recovery.  The realization that there is a lot on my plate, but there are a few things that mean so very much to me, the rest can go on the back burner.  Things that are priority:
Jesus:  How can I glorify Him without burning out?  How does he want to use me in this season of my life?  Listening, obeying, trusting.
Family :  Being a wife and mom who isn't always stressed out over the next item on my to do list. Being present with my family.  Enjoying the funny moments, being patient through the tough moments.  Making pancakes :), going on Alex's field trips, jumping on the couch with Jesse, dreaming with my husband (we're good at this).
Friends:  Saying thank you!  Sometimes saying no, so I don't stretch myself too thin.  Being someone who actually is hearing and taking in what they have to say rather than being stressed in that moment about twenty million other things (maybe you can relate). 
Young Life, Ethiopia/Africa, Ministry:  What makes me tick as the woman I am.  Spending time and being with crazy teenagers, planning another trip back to Ethiopia (hopefully one to find Jesse's birth mom, our sweet Mama Alemetu) to serve, give, love.  To stay connected with the place that made me feel what life is really about.  Write, write about what's going on, how God is moving and changing the culture of my life.  Yes!

One more quote:
"The stars don't look as good when it's not cold.  And places that have to transitions make you feel like change isn't possible.  I believe in change, even now, even after everything that's happened.  Maybe because I grew up in a place that can be scalding and freezing both."
-Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin

With God, there's nothing to be afraid of.  He's got this.
PS.  If you haven't seen this video, you much watch it.  I want to live my life like this drummer:

I bet he's experienced great loss along with his great joy, but who can resist living like this, even amidst the madness?

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