Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Day a Writing Prompt Called Me Out as a Liar

Today, when looking over some potential lessons for next school year, I ran across the old advice, "Write when your students write, and share your writer's notebook with them".
Right up there with "sleep when your baby sleeps," this is probably wise but practically difficult.
So I tried a test run of sorts.
I decided to write a "mentor text" of a personal essay prompt to inspire next year's budding writers.
It was standard stuff, an introductory essay to tell them a bit about my family, my preferences, my goals.

And y'all, it was hard.

Hard for lots of reasons.
Hard because writer's block shows up every spring with the same regularity as allergies.
Hard because I could hear myself rambling.
Hard because I can't share anything meaningful about myself without sharing Jesus, and that must be carefully navigated in public school.

As a teacher, I believe this practice will help me in the long run.
It will probably make me more empathetic--which is important to remember when the powers-that-be seem to think all children-of-the-square-peg variety can be jammed through the same round hole-of-testing if only
their teacher is differentiating/summarizing/reteaching/tap-dancing enough.

As just me, I think this practice will help me, too.

A few months ago, I confessed to a friend that I felt God might be leading me to write down what He was teaching me in John.
She laughed, and said, "Of course."
A few days ago, I confessed to this same friend that I was feeling ill with insecurity--that I didn't know how to begin.
She said, "Good!  I'm praying you stay insecure so that you always know He is your source."

She's a very good friend, and a very good pray-er.

To paraphrase one of those Pinterest-y inspirational signs, here I go confidently in the direction of my insecurity.
(Or insecurely in the direction of my confidence?  That might be a better way to say it.)
Maybe in the meantime, I'll share my writer's notebook with you.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Multitude Monday: In All Things Edition

It was a terrible week, and it was a beautiful week.
There was hope, and there was happiness.
Peace alongside pain.
Anxiety and acceptance.

It was a week to remind me why I need a Savior...and a week to praise God that I have One!
A week to examine my heart, and a week to realize that He redeemed my heart and made it new.

Counting gifts through storms and sunshine:

A husband who prayed and helped when my back went out this week
Students who have been surprisingly kind to their turtle-paced teacher
A breathtaking sunrise Easter morning
DD#1 taking over the grocery shopping when I couldn't drive, much less push a loaded buggy through the store
Salted caramel candles
Tiny chartreuse leaves of baby lettuce
Pink dogwood
Pain killers ;0
Praying with a young missionary to be and seeing her excitement to follow Christ
Three books worth reading: Love Idol, Jesus>Religion, and The Utter Relief of Holiness--much to chew on
For better or worse, testing will be over soon
At the start, He was there.
In the end, He'll be there.
The tomb was EMPTY.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

On Writing

Writing is both solitary and social.
Solitary, because sooner or later it is just writer and blank page with no mediator.
It's the heart or the brain on paper, as public as a blog post or as private as a prayer journal.

Yet writing is also social, because every author seeks an audience on some level or another.

This question of audience puzzles me.
It makes me realize that establishing a legitimate audience for my classroom of I-wish-they-were-writers is an important component of my teaching that I've neglected.

Then my question becomes, " Who is my audience?", and I struggle to answer that.

I'm in the midst of my annual spring blogging slump, and every year I ask my Audience of One if I still have a purpose here.
He hasn't really answered yet, except to give me this post--which I suppose means I have today's answer!

I do know this. 
About two months ago,  He whispered to my heart that there are words waiting for me from the book of John, and while fear and self-doubt assail,  He's been faithful to encourage.  

So I wait for the solitary and the social to find their meeting place.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Taking a Walk

It's spring break here at the 'House, 
and all God's children said, "Amen!"
So even though the weather hasn't been particularly spring-like, 
this morning the sun was winning,
and the light and the green were calling,
and I took my walk in defiance of wind and pollen.
Want to come along?

I love this little stream that feeds the neighborhood pond.

Yellow dandelions polka-dot the road...

...while the dogwoods above are just beginning to bloom.

When I was a little girl, I picked these tiny violets by the handful, filling old vanilla bottles with their sweet, fragrant blossoms.

This calf never would come near enough for a clear close-up, but he posed nicely while I tried to figure out the zoom on my phone camera.

Another lap around and we'll have done two miles.  

Meanwhile,Big Red is braving the wind to plant phlox on our steep hillside.

I'm dashing off to the dentist (and tomorrow to another appointment, and the next day to another...poor planning on my part!)
Thanks for visiting!