Thursday, November 2, 2023

The Davids in My Life

 I am not one to believe in coincidences.  Yes, I do think that circumstances arise that are more accidental in nature but... not really.  Lately, I have been surrounded by Davids.  They arise out of nowhere.  It just so happens that I tend to pay a lot of attention to Davids because I am the mother of a David.

The plan was not to name my son, David.  I had plans to name him something quirky.  I liked the idea of bringing back a name that had fallen out of fashion.  However, I also thought that my first-born son should have a Biblical name.  We went through, Caleb, Joshua and Christian.  But as a first-year teacher pregnant with her first child, I had a whole host of names NOT to pick from.  Many names were vetoed simply because another child had the name; possibly a child in my class; possibly a child who was challenging.  I'll leave it at that. 

We had settled on Harry James.  I felt that Harry was an old classic throwback type of name.  I thought of Harry Winston.  I imagined him with curly hair and round eyes looking like his dad.  Harry Potter came out and all the plans of naming my baby, Harry went out the window.  Instead, we contemplated other names until we were tired.  I had been listening to Fred Hammond at the time and Fred had done a song similar to the old Spanish corito we used to sing in church about David.  I had thought about incorporating my father somehow as Papi is a beloved figure in my heart.  But Papi's name is kind of big for a baby.  His name was Virgilio, and his nickname was Rafael.  I somehow couldn't fit it in with David.  Dad's favorite movie was "Lorenzo's Oil" and he was enamored of the name.  When my best friend, Joanne had her son and we would watch him, Papi would often call him Lorenzo and I thought that I would use this name somehow to honor my father.  

So, I gave birth to a David.  David was a good strong name.  It means beloved.  I had an aunt who was married to a David.  I went to school with a few David's.  I had a dear friend who is named David Mercado (Love you, Brother).  I look at my son who is almost a man and I think that he looks like a David and no other name would do.  

Lately, I have had Davids coming out of the woodworks.  I prayed for a David last night.  I prayed that this David would receive salvation in the four days he has left of life.  I prayed recently for a dear co-worker who was ill named David.  But I have noticed that the name David appears to be in the wind.  

Coincidence?  Probably not, I am praying for my dear son as he gets ready to turn 18.  It seems impossible to me.  I thought he would look more like his father but instead he looks more like my father.  I pray for his future and for all the things that I didn't teach him and all of the things he just never learned.  I pray for his future wife and his studies.  I pray that someone would love him well and see all the wonderful things that I see in him and more.  He is easier on me than his sister when it comes to aspects of my parenting.  I am so thankful for his grace.  

When you have a chance, pray for the Davids in your life and if you have an extra second, pray for my David and the life he has before him.  May he follow the path of God.  May he know happiness and love.  May the road go well for him and my he attain salvation so that in the hereafter, I may see him again.  Tears spilling down my cheeks as I pray this utterly mother's prayer and I ask with the same mom's heart to bring him up to the throne of God unabashedly.  This is all.  Praise the Lord!

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Grace That is More Than Enough

  II Corinthians 12:7-10

"So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.  But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong."

I have been marinating on this Bible passage.  I am having a difficult season.  I could understand going through a hard season to keep me from becoming conceited.  Ego is a huge thing.  It can take over your life and lead you away from your true purpose.  I have seen this more than a few times.  We begin to think that we can do everything on our own.  Humans were made to live in community with each other and with God.  Who are we when we think that we can do everything ourselves with no help?  I mean, isn't this what happened with Adam and Eve in the Garden. They thought they could do it all themselves with no help from the Creator of the Universe.  Who am I?  I can't do everything.  Am I more valuable than anybody else?  Are you?  Honestly, as I think of it, there is every possibility that I am not that special.  

In the same vein, I think about the people that I work with.  I am a teacher.  I wonder every day if anything that I teach will make a difference in this world.  I wonder about the students left in my care.  You may not know this but teaching is rough!  I'm working with pre-teens.  I have friends of mine that dare not tread the path I choose to teach.  Yet... I think about grace.  Grace is a gift that we as humans find hard to give and yet God gives grace freely and he is telling me that it is enough to last me my hardships.  It is enough to last me my hard year.  I can bear with being week and having issues and bad situations because God's grace is enough for me.  If it is enough for me, then it can be enough for you too.  

I'll add another note to illustrate my point.  I turned on the television today and I saw that "A Knight's Tale" was being offered and I recalled the last time I watched this movie.  It was Sunday March 4th, 2018, the day before my son's 12th birthday and two days before my husband and partner of 24 years passed away.  This was the last movie I saw with him and just remembering this one thing brought the grief back.  Pain so sharp that it instantly brings tears to my eyes.  As I sit here now I can fast forward to where I am now.  I don't have to relive that pain.  God has shed His grace on me.  It's true, I can withstand a hard year because God is with me and He has helped and me and He will continue to help me.  He will not forsake me nor abandon me.  This is enough.  God is enough.  Praise the Lord!

Monday, September 25, 2023

Where Have I Been?

 This is the question that I am asking myself.  I have been... transitioning.  I have been transitioning to another life and now I find that I think I need to develop another dream because the dreams that I have had in the past have not served me well.  Let me recount them: 

When I was younger, I thought that I would be rockstar.  There didn't seem to be any doubt in my mind that I would be an entertainer.  I would take those personality quizzes only to find that I would be an excellent teacher.  I ran from teaching with every fiber in my being.  I entertained teaching for a brief time in high school when I thought I would revolutionize the world ala "Dangerous Mind." Alas, I nodded off the idea.  It would come back to me later.

I thought I wanted to be a child psychologist when I was in elementary school.  I thought it would be great to work with children in therapy.  I don't know when this dream left me, but I get to diagnose children, in a way.  

When I went to college, I flirted with the idea of being a teacher again, but I shook my head, and I ran away from teaching.  I felt that God really had to hold me down and leave me with no other resort in order to be an educator.  This year is my 18th year teaching.  This is my second year working in the particular setting I am working with.  If I'm honest with myself, I will tell you that I am tired.  Teaching, this noble profession, wears on the soul.  I find that I am tired of convincing younger students to invest in their own education for their own good.  My motto is, "So that it will go well with you."  Pay attention.  Listen to the lesson.  Do your work.  Be respectful.  Follow instructions.  So. That. It. Will. Go. Well. For. You.  They want what they want regardless of what I tell them.  I don't know how to reach them this year.  I'm praying.  Teaching has become harder somehow.  

And so, I'm marinating in what this harder season is leading me to.  I find that I pray more.  This is always a good thing.  This summer I struggled finding the voice of the Shepherd.  I am reading the Bible more.  I need to find my center at all times.  I need to remember what is important in this short life. 

I feel like I'm coasting and as I'm coasting, I feel the need once again to write.  After all, writing is what makes me happiest.  Maybe that is what can be next.  Maybe I will write the next great American novel.  I'm not sure that I have that kind of story in me.  A student of mine asked me how many stories I had inside of me.  I didn't know what to answer him.  He mentioned that I would do well to write them all down.  Maybe I will... Maybe there is yet more work for me to do.  Let's see what is next.