Thursday, February 27, 2020

If I Could Be Anything...

Santi and I used to love the show, Seinfeld.  Whenever George would lose a job, you could find him and Jerry going over the probable jobs available.  "I like sports.  I could be a sportscaster."  Jerry's job was to remind him the feasibility of his plan. 

All day long, I remind my students to dream.  Recently I was talking with a student.  I asked him what he wanted to do.  He told me that after graduation he was going to work construction like his dad and uncle.  "No." I told him.  "What  would you do if you could do anything?"  His eyes lit up for a minute.  I could see him dreaming.  "I like to draw, Miss.  I would like to do something with fashion design."  My heart hurt me a little bit.  When did you stop dreaming, Kid?

I have people asking me what I want to do.  I can teach K-12... as a last resort.  In fact, my boss was like, "Listen, if you leave here only to do what you do hear, what are you leaving for?"  I hate to admit it but he is right!!!  Don't tell him.  I thought I would find myself a quiet classroom with younger, kids but... even now as I write this I'm thinking NO!!!!  I have found something out about myself during this time.  I didn't mind my job when I was writing IEPs and METs.  I didn't mind my job when I was testing.  I didn't mind meeting with parents and children.  I like meeting with people.  I don't even mind teaching but I don't want to cajole or entice.  I don't want to get yelled at by the people I'm trying to help for doing my job.  Yeah...  There's that... I want to help people who want to be helped.

I like words.  I like doing a good job.  I like being able to do a good job.  Does this mean staying in the field of education?  I don't know.  My first idea of a job was to be a nurse or a doctor like the ons that helped my mother. Then I developed this affinity for words. When I was younger, words were a mystery.  I was not a reader but I wanted to read.  I learned to love the library and the mystery found in books.  I remember going to my library almost every day.  I would take home so many books and read them over and over and over again.  In 8th grade, I thought of becoming a child psychologist.  In high school I thought to become a high school English teacher for at risk students.  I thought of being a lawyer and was in the Mock Trial Club all 4 years of high school.  In college, I thought to be an accountant but that quickly changed to writer.  After I graduated from college I wanted to be a singer.  It was only when I was pregnant with David that I allowed myself to think about becoming the thing the career assessments led me to... Teacher.  At this moment, I have been all of the dreams and more with the exception of doctor...  for now.  God is good to me.

Pray that God opens doors.  Pray that I listen and follow the right path.  Pray for my continued faith in God's perfect plan.  I'll let you know what happens.  So exciting!!!

Monday, February 24, 2020

Thoughts on My Hair

As a child, my mother would let me grow my hair all the way down my back. She would struggle as she brushed my tangly, unruly hair.  Her fragile skin would bleed.  When I was in 3rd grade, I wanted hair like Peggy Fleming.  My mother allowed me to cut off all of my hair.  My family was not happy.  It was long again by the time 6th grade came along.  I then cut my hair again in 7th grade.  It was so short!  It got it styled after it grew a bit.  My hair was hard to manage.  Gel and mousse were barely a thing.  Nothing really for my crazy curly hair. 

I look at my hair today.  I love my hair.  I love nourishing it and putting in the crazy colors.  White hair is like a white t-shirt waiting for tie dye.  I only need a few products to get the curls that make my hair look amazing.  A low humidity state also has a lot to do with it. 

I have longer hair.  My whole life I had short hair.  I had it long for my wedding.  My husband liked long hair.  I liked it short.  Now that I"m old.  I like it long.  The longer the better.  I know so many tricks to work with my hair.  Before I had nothing.  I don't know what my hair will look like in a decade.  I guess I'll keep growing it.  Curly hair is cool. 

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Step Into A New Day

Several years ago, my boss took us to Flagstaff to do a ropes course.  We started out with team building and ended up with a ropes course about 45 feet off the ground.  I don't know if I was thinking about doing the ropes course but I thought that I would try it.  It was a scary idea.  I was putting on the harness and listening to the directions and it was getting scared.  Several people were going to sit it out but I said that I would try it.  When they asked who would be the first one, somehow, I raised my hand.  

My short arms and legs meant that I had to reach up incredibly to the next rung.  The metal hurting my hands.  I was out of breath.  I had been working out and it was still a challenge.  I got thirsty at some point.  There was a man half my size trying to encourage me as I attempted to heft me and my extra weight up this telephone pole.  Below, I could hear my co-workers cheering me on.  It was their cheers that bolstered me up to the top.  I don't know how but somehow I made it to the top. 

I tried all of the activities, very slowly  I was conscientious of the height.  Later I discovered that to get down, we had to zipline down.  I was not upset about it until it was my turn.  Here is the thing.  Me, being me, set an example.  There were some that told themselves, "If Miller could do it, then I could do it."  Condescending, I know.  And yet, this is what they told themselves to get to the top.  When it was time to get down, they took off my front harness.  This is what held me the whole time.  They should have left it on and psychologically, I would have been able to go down.  There was nothing to hold on to, so I panicked.  It took quite some time to convince me to go down.  It was only after I realized that the harness should be placed in front of me, even if it didn't count that I was able to go down kicking and screaming.

Later, my display had caused other people to become fearful.  They had followed me up and now I was balking!  There were some that could not go down and struggled to get down.  I don't even remember now how they got down. A former co-worker told me that I really messed up by punking out the way that I did.  He was genuinely angry at me.  But I struggled!  In looking back, I understand what he was saying but there was nothing I could really do about it.  

I feel like I'm ready for a metaphorical zipline in my life.  There is a song that has to do with burning ships and starting fresh.  It has to do with stepping into a new day.  I have wallowed and lingered.  I have mourned and grieved.  I'm okay with having to touch base with myself from time to time and if I still have lingering moments of grief then I will cry and allow myself that moment.  I'm ready for the next new (right) thing.  And yes, it is scary but it is an exciting scary.  I'm not going to make a spectacle about doing down.  I'm just going to do it.  This is what I think about: 

I Corinthians 9:24-27
"Do you not now that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize?  So run that you may obtain it.  Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.  So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating air.  But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified."  

It's hard and scary but I'm moving forward and stepping out.  Praise the LORD!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Rain on My Parade.

Today is 02/22/2020.   All of these 2s this past week and I have not been able to celebrate them, or commemorate them.  I have not been able to write a word.  It has been a busy week, so busy. 

Monday came and went and I made plans for the week.  I sat and soaked in the day.  I had to work on President's Day so there were some things that I had to do.  Tuesday was another busy day.  There was a lot of running around to do and students were even more interesting because of President's Day.  That evening, I went home tired and got my children to drag them to the basketball game.  It was our final one.  I don't usually go because when I go they lose.  This is a solid pattern.  I tend to not go to the basketball games, but I went to this one.  I left early but not early enough.  They lost. 

Wednesday was church and open house.  I had such a day that I didn't even get to put on make up.  My dear friend, Kayla came to Arizona to visit and in her plans, she brought me a wonderful cup of coffee.  It was good to see her.  I had to run home, get the kids, change and then come back to work.  I changed my clothes and put on my make up in the car.  I then went to church to pick up the kids. 

Thursday was parent teacher conferences after work.  More running around and less time to relax.  There were classes to teach.  There were fires to put out.  Every day I am counting down my days to the end.

Friday was a full day of work.  Melissa, sweet friend and sister, brought my children to church.  What did I do?  Did I go on a hot date?  LOL!!!  I met up with another dear friend and sister, Jenny.  I had missed her.  I needed her to speak truth and pray with me.  I needed to bring her into my life.  Anya made it a threesome where we laughed and for a little while were with people we knew loved us as we were and not with any other thing added. 

I had planned a day for Saturday.  Wake up early and go on a hike.  We bought Gatorades and we prepped.  At night, Indira called me to tell me it would rain.  I imagined a drizzly walk up the mountain.  It was late when I heard it rain.  I would wake up periodically and hear it rain... literally on my parade.  After the hike there were other things I had planned and then there was the dinner at church.  I hate the rain.  I appreciate what it does but I don't know if I could ever move to Seattle.  All my well laid plan were way laid. 

I am sad now.  I am thinking about the things that the busyness were keeping at bay.  It is the end of a chapter.  I told a co-worker that it would be last year.  She was a former student.  I told her it was my last year and she cried.  I cried.  Esther cried. I know that there are tears coming up the pike, many many tears.  I am waiting.  I hate waiting.  I am waiting for the rain to stop.  I am waiting for answers.  I am waiting for and on God.  There is a plan in place.  All of these changes that are happening are combining for a reason.  I am tired of waiting out all of the rain currently happening in my life. 

What am I supposed to do while waiting?  I am finishing up my degree.  I am finishing up my school year. I am trying to decide what comes next.

Hosea 12:6
"Therefore return to your God, Observe kindness and justice, And wait for your God continually."

Psalm 27:14
"Wait for the LORD, Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD."

Psalm 37:7
"Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes."

Psalm 123:2
"Behold as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the LORD our God, Until He is gracious to us."

Jeremiah 14:22
"Are there any among the idols of the nations who give rain? Or can the heavens grant showers? Is it not You, O LORD our God?  Therefore we hope in You, For You are the one who has done all these things." 

Okay.  I wait.  God works.  He brings the rain and the sun.  Praise the LORD!!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020


I have been needy of late.  I have been emotional.  Not tired, not overly worried... yet; I have just been in need of attention.  I think I need to be seen.  I never understood this before, this need for attention.  I understand it now.  Am I being seen?  I am being seen but I want to be seen as more than just a teacher or a mother.  I want to be seen as a thinking individual, as an adult.  I think this is something that people can relate to.

I was sitting with Esther in her office (I technically don't have one) and I was feeling so emotional.  I remember pulling out my phone and looking at my app.  I understand my problem.  I'm hormonal.  On my way home, I had some beef.  I know to stock my fridge with broccoli.  I should probably be taking multivitamins but I don't currently.  I'm sure that soon I will stock my medicine with a whole battalion of vitamin and supplement bottles.  I'm amazed at the health of the young having two such youngsters at home.

I would like to be independent.  I would like to not feel needy or need attention.  I mean, other people do it!!!  Don't they?  What makes me different?  Because I'm a widow?  Being a widow is honorable but I would not recommend it.  Stay married and make it work.  Have you heard of Broken Heart Syndrome?  Look it up.  It's a real thing.  I personally would not like to continue in this sad state of affairs.

I looked it up and there is every possibility that I am an Alpha Female.  This doesn't necessarily mean anything negative.  I think it means that I walk tall and I know it.  LOL!!!  My friend and co-worker is 6'7" and there are some days when I talk to him and it surprises me at how high I have to look up.  Today I ask him, "Am I really this short?"  At 5'3" ish, I'm not exactly towering.  He looks at me and smiles.  He is very handsome.  "As if you didn't know."  He tells me.  "You walk tall."  I do.  But even confident types like me need attention every now and again.  Some may even go so far as to say I'm a diva.  I'm not.  I have diva ways but I'm not a diva.

I'm embarrassed to bring this all up but I promised myself when I started this blog to be real and honest.  If I need attention, maybe I'm not the only one.  I don't have any solutions.  Maybe I should go somewhere  and get the attention I think I would like.  Maybe I should go out with friends and have a make over.  I'm telling you, I don't know what attention it is I think I seek.  When I come to some consensus, I'll let you know.  As for now, I will write.  I will keep going and I will praise the Lord.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Loyalty and the Long View

I get glimpses of a future life.  I see possibilities surrounding me.  I talk to my children.  We play "what if" games.  What if we moved away to another state, another country?  It's is amazing to me that they will go wherever I go.  There are no qualms.  You can see the resolve in their faces.  They are Ruth and I am Mara.  It is clear.  Where I go, they go.  They do not see me apart from them.  Somehow, this makes me more responsible for them not less.  I am scared for them.  They have inherited somehow, my loyalty.

My daughter is clear in her commitment to me.  You can see how she is with me.  My son, my son is more like me in his loyalty.  I started climbing a mountain yesterday.  I took it slowly.  When I turned back, I saw him.  He was watching me.  He eased up more.  This man-child was not about to let his mother climb up a mountain without him.  I got stuck and he raced down to me while his friend raced up to help me.  I made it down with both of them.  Good sons both of them.  Such blessings from God.  When he was born, I would sing to him a song dedicated only to him.  I knew it was his song from the moment I heard it, long before his birth.  The song is The Pretenders', "I'll Stand By You."  It's his song but he's the one who won't let anyone hurt me.  My sweet boy!

There are a lot of unknowns in the equation.  There are a lot of variables.  I don't have all of the answers.  I stand and I listen.  I'm waiting on God.  I have a recurring dream about a house in a field at night.  I don't really know what it means.  The only thing that I really understand is that I need to write.  Maybe I'm supposed to write about all the stuff that I am going through.  I wonder what my simple, little words can do to help.  I have the long term view in front of me.  I don't like my feelings.  This is a hard truth to write.  I fight with them because they want to drive the car and they don't.  God drives this car.  So every day, I wrestle with them and tell them to simmer down and let the Master do what He will do.  My human feelings tell me things about what is seen and evidence.  I have to remind my feelings that we walk by faith, not by sight.  Something else my sister, Paige has recently reminded me of.  Hope this helps. 

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Being Real about Valentine's

There have been bad days within the last two to three years.  There have been days so painful that I felt that I had to hold myself together with Scripture and masking tape in order to make it through the day.  Usually the anticipation of a bad day is the bad day.  It has been the case that when the day comes, such as an anniversary or a birthday, it is not as bad as it is.  This is not the case for Valentine's Day. 

This particular day is what I call the last of the woken days.  You see, in March it will be two years that my Love has left this earth.  The first year everything was so incredibly numb.  I'll tell you that the second year when the letters are not as consistent and you get less "check-ins", that the emptiness feels so loud,  that is the problem.  I feel that there was a similar issue when it came to childbirth.  There was so much attention and help leading up to the birth and times at the beginning but the real work came the first year and after when you were left to your own devices as a parent. 

Esther, my work best friend surprised me with a bag of goodies the night before Valentine's.  She did this not just for me but for my children who (if I'm honest) I didn't buy anything for because I didn't have the energy to do it.  I thought about it.  I went into the store and I said, "I should get some Valentine's stuff for the babies."  But I left.  You want to know why?  Because it hurt.  Because it brought up bad feelings.  Because it was too much for me and this "Too much" made me feel weak and needy.  I never realized how hard it was for singles until today.  Maybe you are not that type of single person  Maybe you love your singleness.  I don't think that I am there yet. 

Esther texted me throughout Valentine's Day.  I know what she was doing.  As I got her messages, I knew that she should be celebrating her own day.  Sweet woman!!!  Instead she was loving on me.  I felt her love.  I got some messages.  I got two cards in the mail.  One of my students found that I was gluten intolerant and gave me beef jerky.  It was the sweetest thing.  I walked around with them as if they were two long stem roses.  All the male teachers looked longingly at them.  If ever I have a Valentine again, I will send him a bouquet of beef jerky.

There were a few moments yesterday where I felt... unlovable.  Everyone has someone but not me.  My someone went home.  I am an odd man out.  These are the feelings that I have not allowed myself to feel.  Just cause you avoid them, doesn't mean they aren't there.  They aren't true.  I am loved.  I may never be in love again but I am loved.  There is every possibility that from now till the day I die, Valentine's Day will be hard.  I sit and I look at this hardness.  It hurts.  I think of the other people I know who have lost someone and who continue to mourn trying desperately to live.  I am not alone.  It is painful, very very painful.  What would I do to avoid this pain?  What have I done to avoid the pain?  What do people do to avoid the pain?  Make bad decisions?  Use people?  Is the pain that great? Yes!!!  Today, I sat and I felt it.  This morning I am sitting here allowing myself to feel it.  I am praying.  It hurts. As it all washes over me, I can see it.  The pain passes.  It passes and I process and I cry and cry out to God. 

Psalm 34:17-19
"The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears; He delivers them from all their troubles.  The LORD is near to the brokenhearted; He saves the contrite in spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him from them all."

Isn't that the best Valentine of them all?  Praise the LORD!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Bad Days and Love

It has been hard to write this week.  I have more thoughts than usual, none of them clear.  I had a long terrible day yesterday.  I teach a class, it is the last thing I do in my work day.  Yesterday, it was a hard day.  Today I was tired.  I was tired and my body ached.  I prayed.  This was my prayer: 
Dear God.
Dear God.
Dear God.
Dear God.

I am not sure what I was praying for.  I think I was praying for the students to behave.  I was praying for strength.  I was hoping that I had the energy to teach in the limited time that I had them with me.  I want to tell them all of the time to take advantage of the time they have.  I want to tell them to be thankful.  I want to tell them so much.  I have a lot to say.  I wanted it to go well though.

God answered my prayer.  The class went well.  On my way home, I was thankful.  I am sitting in front of my computer.  I am aware that tomorrow is Valentine's Day.  It was a favorite of mine.  I used to love my favorite color, pink splattered everywhere with pastels and red spouting the message of love.  It makes me think of my mother who was born on February 14th.  

Next year, I'm sure that no matter what, I will walk into a store and love Valentine's Day once again.  No matter what happens today, tomorrow will be better.  All the tomorrows will ultimately lead to forever.  

II Corinthians 4:18
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 

The pain in my neck and back, one day, gone.  My students will be grown and so will my biological children..  I will not last long.  How many years do I have in me?  Only God knows.  I write my little words.  I believe in my big God and I breathe in and out.  Until the next post, Friends, love as hard as you can cause life is short. 

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Tell Me Something Good

There is a song by Demi Lovato that is titled, "Tell Me You Love Me." I resonate with this song a lot.  I'm not in the habit of lying, so I will tell you that after Santi died, I would listen to this song with the tears pouring down my face.  I put it on before writing this blog.  It was so relevant, those days after he had gone.  "Tell me you love me.  I need someone, on days like this I do." 

On work days when I would come home crying, I would go to Santi and I would tell him, "Tell me something good."  He would tell me things like: "God is good.  You are loved. You are a Child of God. God loves you.  I love you.  You are not your bad day."  There were days when this was not enough.  He struggled to tell me the good things.  I'm not sure what I wanted to hear from him.  Was it a test?  Relationships are funny.  How easy is it to put all of our emotional eggs in our spouse's basket!

Psalm 121:1-2
" I lift up my eyes to the mountains- where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth."

My friend, Paige sent me this Psalm.  She sent it to me out of the blue.  You see, these days, when I ask someone to tell me something good, I have to go to God.  I pray, "God, in Your infinite wisdom, please tell me something good."  God's Word is full of good things, every good thing.  Nowadays, I need to be told something good, I go to God and His Word.  I know God loves me, even on my worst of days.  And because He loves me, I can face tomorrow, even if I'm scared, tired, sad, and/or lonely today.  Because He will be there tomorrow too.  Thank You, God.  Praise the Lord!!  God is good!

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Outside in the World

I sit here a little broken in my small pink world.   Outside there are scary things.  Our once great nation is imploding.  We are scared of small things that we need to see under a microscope.  There are some who wonder what will become of us.  There are some who wonder why this is all happening. 

The legend says that it was Pandora who let out all of the evil out of the box.  We know it was Eve.  You will tell me it is all story.  Is it?  We must live and die by something.  This is the something that I choose.  Sin has entered our world and now we must deal with its repercussions.  So... I watch and I live in my small world.  I am thankful that I am older. My tenure on this world is limited.  I pray for my children.  I pray for when they stay.  I have been eating Doritos.  I have eaten the candy.  I think about what I plan on leaving.  I keep writing.  I write in my neat penmanship.  I point them to Jesus because they will want to know what I think when I'm not around.  Prayer and writing. 

What of this world? I am asked.  A wise man gave me this advice: Pray. Listen. Act.  I pass on this advice.  If you don't know what to do.  If you do know what to do but it's hard.  Pray- talk to God.  Tell Him everything.  Tell Him the truth about what you are scared of.  He already knows.  What does it matter.  Listen to hear what He has to tell you.  Then act.  Write to the soldiers who are on the front lines.  Tell someone you are praying for them.  Be kind.  Forgive.  What if your little good in your world puts out a fire somewhere else? What if your quiet prayer saves a person who saves many?  I don't know.  I don't have all of the answers. 

Whatever you are doing; wherever you are going, pray.  Pray for the scary things.  Pray for the people who are faced with the scary things.  I don't know if you can hear me.  There is every possibility that my tiny voice is not enough.  It will never be enough.  I'll pray anyway.  Please know that you are not alone in the scary things.  There is a big God that will stand with you.  Believe.  Please, it is better than drowning in nothing.  That's all for now.  Believe.  Then maybe you can start praying for someone else. 

Saturday, February 8, 2020

This Weird Time of Year

I knew this time of year was coming.  It is the strange time of year after Christmas and at this point, before Valentine's Day.  There is too many days that have too much darkness.  I often wake up confused.  Am I meant to wake up?  Why is it still so dark?  When I wake up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and I see that I still have 3 more hours left to sleep, it is with deep gratitude that I throw myself on the bed in abandon to sleep deeply for that time.

Add into this strange season the fact that my husband's 2nd death day is coming up in between my children's birthday season.  I think, "Man, is it really going to be 2 years that he's gone?"  So this makes me think that I really should be done with this grieving thing, right?  I need to pack up my stuff and move on.  I need a change.  I know this.  I just don't know how to do this.

I got a random text the other day which reminded me of my husband and I went into my co-worker's office and just started crying.  No, I was not hormonal.  I wish it was.  These days it's an easy fix.  And there is the possibility that I am hormonal.  I don't know what to expect as I am closer to fifty than forty.  I mean, should I be doing research on supplements?  I don't know.  Every year I live, I find issues that I wasn't prepared to encounter.  What is going on with this ache here?  What is going on with this change there?  I don't know.  I hope that if you are reading this that you are asking your friends about all of these changes.  Talk to your mothers and publish articles titled, "What You Don't Know About Aging."  I wonder if JLo feels any of this.

Friends, as I wait for longer, brighter, warmer days, please keep us all  in prayer.  Please keep me in prayer.  I'm trusting in God.  I'm dealing with getting older.  I need summer to appear and I have hormonal teenagers in my house.  There is also me telling myself that I need to get off of the grief horse while remembering at this time two years ago, I had a husband and now I don't.  I am tempted to think that this is what I get for being the worst person and not a very good Christian.  If I ever did something wrong to you, I know you are thinking, "Elle is finally getting her comeuppance."  Yes, I am.  You can stop wishing bad things upon me.  I'm learning my lesson and I will continue to be a hot mess.  I know.  I think it's a congenital sin disposition.  Instead, do me a favor and take some time to send my prayers my way.  I will be praying for you all.  Thanks.  God is good.  Praise the Lord!!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Remembering Bed Picnics

I'm thinking about the days that we don't prepare for.  These are the days that are sad and lonely.  These are the days filled with pain.  We pretend, don't we?  We pretend that we don't have these days.  Maybe you are one of the lucky ones that have no idea what I'm talking about.  I pray that this is the majority of you.  But if you know what I'm talking about then walk with me as I remember.

I miss my husband still.  I'm amazed at this.  You see.  I can't recall the bad as well.  What you remember is the good.  It takes work to remember the bad days.  The fights where you thought that you were going to have the police at the door because you were yelling so loud.  Or the times when you were so mad.  I don't remember.  I don't want to remember.  I only remember the good.  I think back on our good days, our great days.  I had moments that I didn't even know I was going to miss.

On days where I was feeling bad, I would go to the Dollar Tree and I would get pepperoni or salami and some type of cheese with chips or candy.  When Santi saw the bag, he would follow me into the room.  He would put on a show for the kids and he and I would have what we would call a bed picnic.  I would recall my day while eating salty snacks with my love and this would make it all better.  I would lay on his belly and he would tell me that everything would be okay.  He would pray with me or read the Bible with me.  The show would end and the bubble would break.  Tomorrow would be another day.

It was a silly thing, but it was one of our things.  As I become strong enough to remember.  I want to remember the good days and our silly rituals.  I need to remember.  I want to be thankful that I was blessed enough to have all of those warm memories to keep with me.  I want to thank God for that happiness.  Even now, I am grateful.  Praise the Lord!!!

Monday, February 3, 2020

Burning Words

This is a digital generation. When I'm talking to the younger generation and I'm reading their thoughts, there is a lack of words but I hear them talk constantly.  So I sit by them.  I listen to the words that they have to say.  These are the words that are more important than instruction.  These are the distracting, destructive words that need to be said with such imperative in a classroom.  So I want to hear them.  They are snippets of stories.  Things that happened to them when they were in another class or on their weekends. 

I have this idea.  If you're talking, you're not listening.  If you're not listening, you're not learning.  What makes them talk?  What makes them talk and say nothing?  Did they save those words?  Are those words burning their lips to be said?  Why is it that they aren't saying anything important?  Am I missing something?  I want to listen to what they have to say.  I ask them questions.  And sometimes, they tell me things.  But... I'm not hearing anything that is so important that I need to stop a lesson to listen to them.  And they don't want me to hear their stories.  They want to talk to someone else about their weekend. 

I hear that they don't know who they are supposed to be.  I hear that they are scared about the future and it is easier to talk about a party than the stuff that I want to make them think about.  They know.  They know that they will be able to come and tell me about their life next year.  They will come.  They will look for me to tell me, or reprimand me.  They come to tell me that I was right.

I sit and weigh my words.  These are the words that will help or hinder.  I'm the adult.  I'm the one that knows better.  I pull back the bow and when I shoot my dart, I aim for the heart.  My words burn as I am to teach truth when all they know about are lies.  The Truth shall set you free.  This is what I think about as I sit there or stand there.  What do you need to hear?  What will you remember?  What are the words you need to remember to keep going when you get stuck and I am not there?  I don't know. 

So I pray:
Help me be a light in dark places.  Lord, give me the words.  Give me burning words to sear into the hearts and minds of people that need to remember that they are loved.  I'm a hot mess Christian but Lord, in Your infinite mercy, let the mess that I am direct people to You and Your ability to make something out of messes.  Even me, Lord. 


Sunday, February 2, 2020

Lessons from 2020 Halftime Show

I claimed the widow's prerogative of not watching the Super Bowl.  In fact, yesterday when the flirty cashier asked me which team I was rooting for, I had no idea what he was talking about.  I didn't even know who was playing.  Chiefs?  What town do they represent?  49ers?  No, just no.

I learned through my thorough friends on social media that Jennifer Lopez and Shakira were performing the halftime show.  The benefit of living in this day and age is like the Aerosmith song, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." Therefore, I don't have to.  With my trusty little mini me, I quickly logged on to watch the Super Bowl Half Time Show on the computer.   

As Shakira came on, I thought about how proud my father would be to see Shakira performing.  My father raised me Puerto Rican but my roots are clearly Colombian.  Any Colombian he would ever see he would proudly point out, "Colombian."  Shakira was no exception.  My daughter watched rooted on the spot as she watched Shakira.  In that moment, she was so proud to have Colombian blood pumping in her little body.  As Bad Bunny came on, I felt the baton passing on to me as I called out Puerto Rican.  My dual heritage was on display tonight as I watched proudly with my little girl.

 As JLo took the stage I whispered that she was from the Bronx.  My daughter smiled at me.  This was exciting for her.  This was a woman that was like her mom.  She was Puerto Rican and from the Bronx. She was on the television.  She was singing.  And then J Balvin came on.  As far as we were concerned, it was our show, catered for us.  Two women, one partly Colombian and the other Puerto Rican from the Bronx.  Two men featured, one Puerto Rican the other Colombian.  And when JLo opened up her feather boa vest into the Puerto Rican flag, my daughter exclaimed in what I can only call pride. 

There are not a lot of Puerto Ricans in this state.  There are even less Colombians.  I think my daughter looks for confirmation of who she is in me.  It helps for her to see others like me, like her.  Funny that I found it on a show I deliberately evaded.  You never know when you are going to learn something. Same goes for teaching.  You never know where the next teaching moment will come from.  My prayer will always be to raise them toward Jesus.  LORD, hear my prayers.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Valentine's Day 2020

Should I even write about this?  This will be a problem.  I don't know about any other year but this is the year that it will be a problem.  I'm tracking my hormones because I don't need to have PMS around this time either!!!  Listen to me!  If you get a call or a text in the middle of the night, answer it because I will not be okay!!! 

What doesn't make it better is that I love pink!!!  Everything is pink and filled with pastel and sweet messages.  NONE OF THEM FOR ME!!!  Don't get me wrong.  My children love me and I will buy them candy and stuffed animals that I will end up keeping until they move out of the house and leave it all so I can throw it all out. 

Step 1: Be happy for those celebrating.  For 24 years, I was one of those celebrating.  Santi gave me a silver ring with a heart for my last Valentine's Day with him which brings me to...

Step 2: Remember the good times.  I had no idea the last time would be the last time.  I will break out the ring and wear it.  Maybe I'll try not to cry.  It's my mother's birthday as well.  Man!!!  It may not be a good day for remembering. 

Step 3: Spend it with my loved ones.  I have friends.  I have children.  Valentine's Day candy all around for everyone.  Maybe we will make gluten free pizza shaped like a heart. 

Step 4: God is love.  God is love and He gave Love to save us.  Why?  Because He loves us.  He will never leave us nor forsake us so in a way, I will be spending Valentine's with a very special Someone. 

That's it.  That's the plan for February 14th, 2020. Yes, there is every possibility of me writing a weepy and nostalgic post or an angry anti-love diatribe but you can't say I didn't TRY to come up with a plan.