Thursday, April 29, 2010

Psalm 30

Have you ever felt that some serious efforts you had put into things made no difference whatsoever?? This has been one of the most trying weeks I've had in quite some time. The 30th psalm is one of my favorites. It's been playing in the back of my mind since the storm hit Monday. Not a literal James Spann kind of storm, but that mental, emotional, spiritual kind of storm. The kind that Paul referred to in Ephesians 6:12. Last Sunday, our pastor preached on facing the storms in life. I have to admit, I left church feeling more prepared than ever to face the week. I had on my spiritual raincoat and rainboots. My super sized spiritual umbrella was ready for the rains to come. I had my life raft inflated and ready to go. I stood ready to face the storm. The only problem was, I expected the storm to come from the Atlantic, and it creeped up behind me from the total opposite direction. (That would be the Pacific for you geographically challeneged folks.) I totally didn't expect the first storm. I've shared with some about this particular one. I'm still praying my way through it. Knowing now that it could be a slow moving storm, I've actually been able to turn this one over to God pretty easily. Now, remembering I'm a control freak, that should speak volumes. Anyhow, I had no other choice but to turn it over - I had NO clue how to navigate through it.
Coming from Alabama, especially the eastern-central part of Alabama, we have a lot of weather. For everyone knows the weather pocket is here and Birmingham doesn't experience weather. (Katrina and Brandon - that one was for you..the lady from O'Charley's sometime back.) Before you question my ability to effectively teach science, I know we are not in a weather pocket and Birmingham does experience weather. Moving on...many times when a severe weather system moves through, more storms appear due to the unstable atmosphere and the way God designed things. Well, somewhere along the way another storm developed. This one - I'm not really sure which direction it came from. I was focused on the other one. It just seemed to come out of nowhere and slap me in the back of the head with seriously strong winds. By now, my umbrella is blown inside out, my life boat is punctured by a stick from someone's campfire debris at Talladega, and even my raincoat is soaked inside and out - no longer offering a dry haven for my weary self. It's just me and God. I've not yet shared this battle with anyone. It's still just mine. I don't know if pride keeps me from calling in my prayer partners or if it's some deeper issue I don't realize because I stink at psychology unless it's concerning 5th graders. I can figure out 5th graders, it's the rest of the population I struggle with.
There have been times that I've honestly wondered what impact I'm having. I seem to be getting no response in one particular service area in my life. I work really hard at it. I have a deep passion for it. I'm not the best at it, but I think I'm pretty average. Why then do I not see some evidence that it is impacting someone? I'm trying to muddle through and figure out if this is God's way of telling me that it's not what He wants me to do or if I'm just not going about things the right way. Either way, I'm really anxious for the answer. Before my dad and grandmother get hold of this...I'm not changing careers. It probably would panic both of them if I quit my job. I know without a doubt I'm in the career where God wants me. I wish James Spann had some kind of spiritual radar that could map out this storm and it's path. At least I'd know where I'm headed and the severity of things. Of course, on second thought, I'd probably be scared to death if I knew what was ahead. I think I'll just wait on God and hope that I don't mess up things too badly.
I wish certain people could see the passion I have for this particular service and know really where my heart is. My head knows it really doesn't matter, because, after all -- it's really all about HIM and what He thinks. Convincing my heart of that is easier some days than others.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Birds and ugly words

Several months ago, we purchased a family membership to the local museum. Wow. We are such smart parents. The world of knowledge that is contained within those hallowed walls - The Anniston Museum of Natural History......(the readers gasp with amazement and awe at the wisdom of these two parents.) Actually, we did it because it was a cheap way to entertain our children. Anyhow, Andrew reads very well and was challenging himself on reading all the posted information. We arrived at the bird section. The display is rather nice. Beneath some very fancy panels, one will discover the name of a species of bird and a description of its habitat and behaviors. Welllll, the very first one Andrew opens is spelled b-u-s-h-t-i-t. As you can imagine, no pronounciation he could come up with turned out well. Lots of people were around to hear - yay!! He treated them to several pronounciations which either sounded profane or vulgar. Of course, he had no clue. Each attempt included a loud emphasis on a syllable of an undesirable sort. Woo-hoo for phonics. We couldn't choose the owl or flamingo - nooo, that would not embarrass mom nearly as bad.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Today was a usual Monday. Life started off in a rush because I like to sleep 5 minutes past when I really should. Administered the science assessment today - don't really know what to expect from it. Oh, well. It's out of my hands now. Life began to improve when I heard there was no faculty meeting. Now, those of you've who have experienced a long faculty meeting at the end of a hard Monday, when the weather is know how it is. Oh yeah, and you are all out of caffeine free cokes and skittles to help you through the meeting. Improvement was short-lived.
Stephen picked up Aaron and John Curtis from day care. When Andrew was in preschool, we didn't have to keep a weekly log of how many times he got on yellow or red. Welllll, Aaron is another story. Not just another chapter. Not just another book. A whole new series by a different author in a completely different literary genre. Now, Aaron is a whole LOT like his daddy. There is one major difference. Aaron is not nearly as sly or sneaky about his mischief. He pretty much puts his michief out there for all to see. Last week, ONE of his many incidents included rolling down the hallway at school. Mrs. Lucy told the children to line up. Aaron did just as she said. Well, she obviously didn't tell him that this was not the national "practice your stop drop and roll" day. Hey, we have talk like a pirate day, Aaron just figured this was a good concept. So, since Mrs. Lucy did not specify that he was to WALK down the hallway, Aaron decided he would practice rolling down the hallway. I know exactly what he did, because he's done it a thousand times at home. He lays in the floor. His arms stretch out above his head. His toes stretch as far as the can. Let the rolling begin. Aaron is rolling down the hallway like an escaped log from the show Ax Men. Mrs. Lucy abruptly interrupts his session of perfecting his stop, drop, and roll technique. I guess she realized that fire safety week is coming later in the year. Now, to the good stuff.
Monday's misery.....
Mrs. Lucy has a policy of letting children in her classroom earn back their green status after their name has been moved to the yellow apple. Not only did Aaron not earn back his green status, he decided to promote himself to the red apple. This qualifies one to take a note home to mom and dad. Ohhhh, the dreaded note that is clipped to the sign-out board with my name on it.
As Stephen lumbered through the doorway with the two little ones, he sent Aaron straight to his room. Of course, Aaron forgetting that he is some serious trouble, skips to his room. Eyes twinkling. A bounce in every step.
Upon entering Aaron's room, he notices THE NOTE in my hand. I explained to him that we needed to talk about what happened at school. The conversation was as follows:
Me:   Aaron, I'm about to read you the note Mrs. Lucy sent. It tells me what you did at school today.
Aaron:  Mommy, you see, I reeeeeallllly tried to stay on green for a long time. But I didn't.
blue eyes twinkling - attempting to lure me away from employing consequences
Me: I read the note. Aaron, why did you hit someone in the face?
Aaron: I really tried to stay on yellow, but hers had to put me on red. It's alright though. I can be on green tomorrow.
Me:  Aaron, you know that you are to keep your hands to yourself. You are certainly not to hurt your friends at school.
Aaron: Welllll, I really tried to stay on green for a long time, but then I got on yellow for a long time, and then hers had to put me on green.
Letting me know that he thinks repeating his argument over and over will wear me down. Little does he know that I am the queen of stubborn humans. I will overcome the deceptive nature of this youngster.Me: You know that there are consequences for your actions. I'm going to give you your consequences now.
Aaron: That's okay, mommy. I don't want them.

He really, seriously thinks he has a choice in this matter. While enduring his consequences, he repeatedly screamed for PawPaw to come help him. I guess this lets me know he recognizes the lack of compassion flowing from his mother's heart. After all, one of Pawpaw's strengths is compassion. Oh, well, at least he's figured it out early.