Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pardon my Conservatism

Last week I went to the International Civil Rights Museum. It was hard to walk through, but they're educating people and sometimes that means that you have to share some ugly moments. There was one section of the tour that upset me in a different way. I decided that I would write a letter to the museum to let them know how I felt.

Here it is:

Good afternoon,

Let me first begin by saying that I am so delighted that your museum is open. For years I have been mesmerized by the courage of the "Greensboro 4" and others like them. I am glad that you uphold your institution as a place of peace, where all people can come and learn and be challenged to fight to make the world a better place. That is why I was taken aback by a comment that one of the guides made while on the tour. When we got to the section of the tour that was about how influential media was in the fight for civil rights, the guide said, "There was no Fox News clouding things up." Of course this was received as a joke by most of the guests, but I personally found it disconcerting. If you are to claim that the International Civil Rights Museum is a place of peace for ALL people then there is no place for polarizing statements such as that to be made. It is a blessing that we live in a country where all points of view can be heard, whether or not we agree with them. As Gandhi once said, “Intolerance betrays want of faith in one’s cause.” Let us be tolerant of all or what we claim to uphold seems false.

Thank you for hearing my thoughts.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I think that

there should be an Olympic event where someone has to climb as many floors as possible with their arms full of groceries

by themselves.

I would win that event because I have been training for years.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

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I feel as though all I do is say goodbye to people that I really love a lot.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Art of Apology: Death to Self

Today I wrote an apology. As I wrote it, I cried. Not because I was sorry though. I cried because I felt like part of me was dying. To write an apology, not explaining myself, not saying "but don't you see, you've hurt me as well" was a death to myself. I had to put aside my pride, my feelings of right vs. wrong in order to make this apology and that was a painful experience. Part of me wants things to be fair. Part of me wants my side to me known and understood. Part of me wants to insist that I also recieve an apology since one was demanded of me. As I put my letter in the mail, I will imagine that those feelings are sent away too so that I can move past the hurt and anger.

I hope my dreams don't mean anything.

Last night I had a dream that I was in a speech competition. There were three of us on on a team and my first two team members went and were terrible. I had written a really beautiful speech but as I stepped up to the mic, I realized I'd left it somewhere. I couldn't even remember what I was supposed to be talking about. I said some ridiculous things and then, unsure of how to end my speech I said, "In the name of Jesus, Amen."


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gotta keep working on that grammar:

Today I got hit with a paper ball. When I opened it up, it said "Your cute" with a heart.

Catch 22

I have always loved school. I have always loved learning. Lately I have been so discouraged by kids' lack of desire to grow mentally that I have simply given them work and required that they turn it in at the end of the period. What a joke! I can't decide if I would rather my classes be a joke or if I would rather pour my heart and soul into my lessons only to find that the kids still don't care at all. It seems like a waste of time if it doesn't matter to the kids. I can slide by with busy work. It doesn't break my heart when they don't care about busy work. I didn't put my soul into creating it. I didn't give up any time to make it. Last year I had so much fun teaching my eleventh graders. We did a lot of fun activities and I learned just as much as they did. I would dream of the lessons that I could teach. This year I only dream of working at Macy's because folding shirts is painless and achievable. The catch is though, I love to teach. I love to develop lessons. In the wake of ease, my heart is breaking in a different way. I feel as though in one way or another, I will be unsatified and disapointed. In the end, I think I'd rather feel satisfied with myself. If the kids still choose not to learn, than I can't take responsibility for that. I can take responsibility for the quality of the education that I am offering them.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Season of Redemption

Today at church I was feeling really emotional. There were several points during the service when I teared up. I was thinking about my students. I always think about them. Lately I can’t help thinking about their need for Christ. It’s the middle of the year. I know my kids fairly well by this point. I know what’s going on in their lives. Last year as I drove home to my parent's for Christmas, I wept as I left the city. Their hearts are broken. The relationships that they have are broken. This is true of me too but unlike me, they have no hope. They have nothing to motivate them. They think that getting high, finding the right person, making good grades will give them life. And they are surprised to find that it doesn’t. Highs don’t last. Relationships aren’t easy. Grades are fickle. They pass from meaningless to meaningless. Or maybe, they can't even tell that these things won't get them anywhere because these things are deceptive. Sometimes I feel like I don't do enough. I know that I don't save anyone, but I can't even tell them who can save them.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Today one of my students made me laugh until I cried. I mostly do have the best job ever. Some days.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

pillow talk

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End of a chapter: Saying Goodbye to the Farrards

Today was Greg, Beth and the boys last Sunday at Spring Garden. I have a lot of thoughts on my mind but since I was asked to share a little today, I'll just share what I said today.

When I went to college one of the things I was most excited about was getting to pick my own church. The first place I heard Greg speak was not Spring Garden, but was at a UNCG InterVarsity meeting. He spoke (this might come as a surprise to you) about the prodigal son. He spoke of that dignified Jewish papa standing in the road scanning the horizon for his boy, hiking up his robes and running to meet him when he finally saw him to welcome him home. In all my years of church-dom, I'd never heard the story told with such heart. That Farrand heart (Greg's, Beth's, the boy's) has been one that has been such a blessing to this body. The heart is one of our heavenly Father's which has been beautifully shared week in and week out, whether through a hobbit song, a hug from Beth, or the exuberance for life brought by each of the boys.

When I was little, my Mom used to tell me that the baby bird can't stay in the nest forever - one day the mama bird will push the baby out so he can learn to fly. (This was a metaphor for becoming a teenager and growing up and used to terrify me.) We (the body) and the Farrands have been sharing a nest for eight years. It has been comfortable, it has been safe, it has been home, but now we are being called out of the nest. Take heart; God provides for the birds of the air just as He does the birds of the nest. God has been developing Greg, Beth, and the boys, and us the body of Spring Garden for just this moment. He knew it would come and He is delighted to continue shaping us all for the works He has prepared.

I am feeling sad today because change is hard, especially when it wasn't one that seemed needed. It's hard to see the unknown looming up ahead. I am also excited because I know that our futures are in the hands of a good and powerful God. I know that the heart that Greg has demonstrated through his sermons each week for Beth and his boys reflects the heart that God has for each of us.

In closing, I would like to share a quote which comes from a story which was not written quite in time to be canonized(The Return of the King). Frodo has accomplished his goal of destroying the ring, Middle Earth is at peace, and Frodo and Gandalf are saying goodbye to Merry, Pippin, and Sam because they are sailing away with the Elves while the other Hobbits are returning to the Shire. As the friends say goodbye Gandalf says, "Here at least, dear friends, on the shores of the sea comes an end to our fellowship in Middle Earth. Go in peace! I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are an evil."

Greg, Beth, boys, we love you and we are sorry to see you go but we look forward with great expectations to what the Father has for you as we wait to see what He has for us as well.