Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just Me

I don't actually have a lot to say. I can completely relate to the content of this song. I've spent many, many hours in prayer trying to force myself into a set vision - a narrow box - of holiness that matches my understanding of what it should look like and be. While the Church gives the example of the Saints and in the Communion of Saints we are united in the faith their lives displayed, we are not called to be exactly them. We are called to live like them - in surrender to God's will. But we were not created to try to shove our holiness and spiritual growth into the exact imprint left behind by their lives. In fact, that doesn't make sense anyway because what made them holy was that they embraced their own unique journeys; they offered everything they had and were, just as it was given to them.

It is easy to approach God as a set of "holiness rules." It is much harder to approach Him as "just me."

That "just me" is all He wants. He isn't looking for a complicated string of rigid devotions and mimicked paths.

He is looking for the simple me. He waits for me to come to Him in the simplicity of who He made me to be.

He wants just me.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Daybook: Something Coming

(September 7, 2011)

Outside my window... I'm loving the weather! I can smell and feel the coming fall, and I couldn't be more delighted! The heat of the summer got old...especially when it crept into September. I'm ready for some nice crisp air!

I am thinking... that this whole confusion thing is going to look really great when I see it as a display of God faithfulness and power to work in my life. When I see Him with the glory of it all then I will see greatness. Until This has been a long battle.

I am thankful for... my students. So far, they have made the start of this school year smooth.

I am wearing... PJs! I've been wearing a skirt to school most days. I'm thinking of going for a dress tomorrow.

I am creating... a Big Dream. However, if all is right in the world (and my soul), it's actually going to be God who does the creating.

I am going... to learn how to sew. I need to find a place to buy a new belt for a very old machine. Then comes the fabric. Then comes the sewing.

I am reading... I just finished The End of Molasses Classes by Ron Clark. If you want to read the story of a Big Dream becoming a very successful reality, read this book. From a teacher standpoint, I loved almost all of it. From a person standpoint, I'm inspired to enter into greatness. I've become a huge Ron Clark fan.

I am hoping... for a miracle. There. I said it. I've prayed it. I'm surrendered. It's all Yours God. It's all Yours.

I am hearing... a doubtful voice inside me that really should just go away. It is not welcome here.
Around the classroom... we've really got things rolling in 2H this year! Math groups on Tuesdays are a great new addition. Writing Skills time during the week seems like it just might work out with a limited number of headaches. Math Challenge time is lots of fun too! With all of that plus the regular joy of Reading Groups and general teaching activities, AND 45 minute art and music breaks this year, I'd say things are shaping up fairly well!

One of my favorite things... joy at the sight of adventure and possibility.

Visit Peggy for more daybook entries!

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Things (Ron Clark) Says

" One by one, I got in the face of each child, saying, 'You can do it! You don't have time for fear. You don't want to regret that you didn't do this!' And one by one, they took their journey across the gorge.

And then, they were all gone. And I was by myself.

Crap on a spatula.

I realized I had to do it."

From The End of Molasses Classes by Ron Clark.

Crap on a spatula. I'm going to start saying that.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Come to the Feast of Heaven and Earth

Do you know the song "Table of Plenty?" If so, the title of this post probably has you singing it in your head.

This was the communion song at the mass I attended yesterday. You know what I realized?

Sometimes the Table of Plenty looks a lot like a tomb, with a stone blocking the entrance, and guards standing just outside.

When I think of the cross, I think of Jesus suffering there. In my mind and prayers, He is always dying - not dead. In my prayer, when I meditate on His dying, He is dead on the cross for only an instant. Then His side is pierced, and He is taken down into His mother's arms.

Don't you think that in the moment when Christ died, for those who loved Him standing there, the world stopped? Don't you think that moment was frozen in their hearts in a way that seemed beyond the normal rhythm of time?

And as Mary held him dearly in her arms, I'd imagine it was one of those tunnel moments - a moment when all of the surrounding life and movement goes unseen.

Jesus Christ died.

He was laid to rest in a tomb. A stone was rolled in front. Guards stood in the eerie silence and finality of the moment.

And the people walked away.

Have you ever noticed that the Bible doesn't tell us stories of His followers holding vigil as they waited outside the tomb for the Resurrection? Rather, they allowed His death to reign in their hearts. They accepted. Any hint of anticipation of His rising was not outwardly expressed in the actions taken in their lives.

Maybe it was alive - somewhere - in the depths of their hearts.

Regardless, for 3 days the Table of Plenty - the altar of our Lord, the life-giving eternal flow of mercy, grace, and love- manifested itself on earth as the still and silent tomb of death.

So often, I rush to the Resurrection. He died, yes. But He rose. And so we have been given the great gift of living as an Easter people. We can live and move and delight daily in the glory and power of Christ's rising.

But perhaps we should remember the tomb. Because it is in that tomb that God works undetected by us. It is in that tomb that He descends into hell, defeating death once and for all, claiming the victory that has been and always will be eternally His.

Sometimes in our lives, our relationship with God looks a lot like it probably did for His apostles during those three days. He is working in ways we cannot see. And somewhere perhaps, in the depths of our hearts, we know, somehow, that even if we do choose to sit, hidden from the guards, in the stillness of the garden where we see that stone, that the death matters.

And somehow, in the stillness and heartache of those days, we find peace. We know - and commit our lives to everything that this belief means - that the table of the Lord is always a Table of Plenty, even before the stone is rolled away.