Archive for March, 2010

Havoc, roach-spider bites, and rainy days…

Oh, spring break… You can NOT come fast enough. I about lost my cool today. I asked for a student to be suspended… please hurry before I snap.

In other news… Today started out on a ‘high’ note. My class and I were walking to our building. I made a student mad by making him stop and he began making gruntish moans. I assumed this was because he was mad. Of course, I find out after my entire class starts freaking out that I had a ‘spider’ on the back of my jacket. I, like any other perfectly normal human being, ran into my room flung my jacket off and began flipping my hair hoping it hadn’t made it into my hair.

But wait… were my students telling me the truth or just having one over on me? I assumed they were trying to trick me. However, about 30 minutes later when my shoulder began to ache I wondered if they hadn’t been… then slowly my face started to feel a bit numb and swollen on the right side. So, benadryl came to my rescue until my arm started tingling and I started to feel half-drunk on benadryl.

Needless to say, I called it a day 45 minutes my kids went to specials and high-tailed it home to talk with the doc and see what to do. Come to find out, my students were telling the truth… problem is I’ll never know if it was a spider, a ‘roach-spider’, a giant black beetle, or a centipede.

I also had another highlight today when one of my students gave me her signed sentences. She is a ‘good’ student who has been floundering a bit lately. She doesn’t seem to feel the same rules apply for her as everyone else since she is good. So, this is the note I received from her father today.

“Getting very tired of this _____. If you have a problem with _________, please call me, her father. I will deal with it, and furthermore she will not be writing anymore of this nonsense. If I hear of it again, I will come down and bring havic (yes, that is how he spelled it) on you.

And that my friends is one of the many joys of teaching where I do…

love of a Savior

so, in the last few days I have felt completely cared for and loved by the Lord through His people. it was sooo needed. i don’t think it could have come at a time i needed it more.

there is at stress at work. stress where i live. stress with decisions. stress… stress… stress…. and while i may not be handling it the best, i can tell you i am trying. i am trying so hard, but it is hard. i don’t think i have shed so many tears since my last big trial 5.5 years ago.

i have been burnt out. joyless. ready to run. full of tears. angry. exhausted. hurt. unstable. and emptied…

and then wouldn’t you know that my Savior knocks my socks off through the love of people who should not love me and desire to serve me.

i was provided with a place to escape to for part of spring break. a place that will be healing. i am blown away by this chance to get away and rest, relax, and listen. to be built back up.  i am anxious to see how the Lord will use this time in my life.

and then today, yet another demonstration of the Lord’s love brought me to tears… i was notified by my pastor that someone had anonymously given me $200 towards an upcoming expense. i could sit here and tell you of the few that know of this upcoming expense and try to guess, but that isn’t the point. the point is that someone was used of the Lord to demonstrate that He does give us good amidst the bad. that He does love us. that He does care for us. i was completely overwhelmed and beyond thankful. i wish i had the chance to tell this person(s) that their gift was so much more than a monetary gift. it was an encouragement of the Lord’s love that was so needed at this stage in this life.

and i write, so i won’t forget… and to give God the glory.

Remembering…

Part of me doesn’t think I will believe some of this years from now. Part of me can’t imagine all of this is real. Yet, it happened. It is real. Life is hard for lots of people. Sin is prevalent. Our world needs a Savior… Here are some of the things I do not think I will want to remember, but will forever be changed by knowing… This is only what I know 9 weeks in. I can’t imagine what another 9 weeks will bring. Nor do I want to.

A student has a mother show up at a meeting 1st semester and say to him in front of a teacher, “Where have you been the last 2 weeks?” What? You’re his mother and you haven’t done anything to find him or search for him for two weeks.

A student is absent several days in a row. I have no idea why. Find out later it is because CPS has been called. She is not living at home. She was having sex with her 4th grade brother. They share a room with their 1st grade twin siblings… please no, Lord. Please.

This same student is writing her name and a male’s name all over her desk. When asked who he is she responds, “He’s my ex. When he gets out of jail I am going to give him another chance.”

A student writes pornographic notebook entries about another student. Several about others. One about his dad being a crackhead and how much he hates him.  I read them to decipher whose handwriting it is, but try my hardest to only skim them.

A student steals from the school and is suspended for 5 days. Less than a week after coming back she has stolen from another student and is suspended again.

Another student repeatedly steals petty, small objects from my desk and other students. Stealing is stealing is stealing.

I confiscate a cell phone from a student who is texting in class. I deal with the situation there and am about to give the phone back to the original owner when I discover lots of DIRTY, X-rated messages. Yes, folks, I now know ‘sexting’ is alive and real.

Mom comes to collect said cell phone. I mention there are lots of ‘interesting’ text messages. She just hands the cell back to her daughter and is upset not over the text messages, but that I went through the text messages.

A student complains her throat hurts and goes to the nurse. She is later picked up by mom to be taken to get x-rays. Mom had hit her so hard she was having trouble breathing. Thankfully, everything checked out fine.

A student creates a website about another one of my students. www.(insertname)isfat.com We make her delete the site.

A homebound, bullying student is creating videos and posting them on youtube. He is badmouthing his classmates and posting them, mentioning them by name, calling them ugly, using obscene language.

My students write an obscene explicit command on a post-it and post it to the library specialists back. Of course, she walks around like this for a while.

A student I have for reading is suddenly expelled when it is discovered she is hiding knives in the girls’ locker room. She wants to hurt another student.

A fight is broken up in my room as two students seem angry enough to kill each other. I am punched in the face in the process.

One of my students calls another one a choice word. The brother of the student called this choice word decides he has had enough and a fight begins.

CPS is called on a student whose mother comes to pick him up. He is smacked across the face and thoroughly cursed at when she arrives, having to leave her job because he was in trouble.

Falling flat on my face

I really should be working on report cards, or getting caught up on household chores, or email. But, in some of my reading today I was incredibly encouraged and if I don’t process now then I won’t find time later.

Psalm 37: 23-24

The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.

List of what encouraged me and gave me hope today:

1) The steps of a man are established by the Lord– He is sovereign. He knows this road I take and He knows what my next steps are.

2) and He delights in his way– God delights in the way He has for us. That He would delight in anything tied to us is incredible.

3) When he falls– Not if, but when… So, good to know that God never promised this wouldn’t happen, but I take heart in knowing that He knows it will happen.

4) he will not be hurled headlong because the Lord is the One who holds his hand– Picture this! I may fall, I may stay down, but I will not be hurled . ( to throw or fling with great force or vigor, to throw or cast down, to utter with vehemence). I will not be flung, hurled, thrown, or cast down vehemently. Rather, the Lord, our sovereign King and creator, HOLDS MY HAND! He is there holding my hand, so even when I fall I can stand again. Even when I fall it is not because I was hurled. He is a gracious and merciful God.

Got Listening Skills?

So, over the weekend one of the things I processed with the Lord and prayed through was my HUGE frustration with my kids over their lack of listening skills. It never fails that while I am talking one or more will start and then soon we have a whole mess on our hands. Or one will raise their hand and ask/say something. Rather, than wait for me to answer my kids will jump in… it’s chaotic.

Or there are times they don’t want to listen to a thing I say. They just want to argue back over and over again. The minute I open my mouth, they open theirs, bigger and louder.

They talk over me, at each other, or back at me. But, tonight I was thinking over this again and this is what I realized… in some ways their listening skills can be parallel with my listening skills…

I ‘talk over’ God when I refuse to listen to Him– when I don’t spend time in His word (or do so with other ‘noises’ around), when I don’t pray, when I don’t practice just being silent before Him.

I talk at others when I go to them with my day to day issues instead of God. I let them give me counsel and no matter how good or wise, it is wrong if I let it drown out the voice of God, or listen to them more often than God.

I push Him out by not being in His presence or not letting Him be the primary voice in my life.

I talk back when I grow impatient with Him and plead with Him to change something in a grumbling way– when I’m saying Lord, I don’t like this, I don’t accept it. Change it. I deserve better. I despise this. I talk back when I tell God what I want and make it more important than what He wants…

Definitely not perfect parallels, but there are some. It was convicting and has been a reminder not to be soo harsh on my kids this week (although this has been one of the worst with listening skills).

So thankful for my Lord, who is daily conforming me to the image of my Savior. Chipping away at me one piece (and sometimes chunk) at a time.

Tidbits of eclectic encouragement…

I spent quite a bit of time reading this past weekend. I’ve been in the Word, been in some books, been journaling, and been in prayer. Taking Friday off was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a loooooong time. It has allowed to be much more emotionally, physically, and spiritually stable this week.

That’s what faith is- a looking away from yourself to Someone else.   — E. Fitzpatrick

The more we learn to fear God the less we fear anything else.   –E. Elliot

1 John 2:1-6

Being in submission to God far outdoes any joy given by my chasing my own whims.   –E. Elliot

Let us not make the mistake of directing our energies toward what is not today’s business. The best preparation for the future is always the conscientious carrying out of what is given today.   –E. Elliot

Ephesians 2:1-10

One cannot always control feelings, but one can choose not to walk into temptation.   –E. Elliot

Psalm 71:3

But even with all the crazy ways that popular books try to inflate our self-esteem, there is a biblical message in it all. The massive interest in self-esteem and self-worth exists because it is trying to help us with a real problem. The problem is that we really are not okay. There is no reason we should feel great about ourselves. We truly are deficient. The problem is much deeper… — E. Welch

Psalm 125:2