Wordless Wednesday

Jesus loves me…

A path into the ravine.…and I love Him, too.

I am glad to know our human experience does not last forever. I believe in a God who does. I do not fear the hereafter. The life I’ve been given is so full of blessings and wonder, and the Word says there’s even more when this body ends. My curiosity about what is next is strong, but I’m not even close to finished with the exploring here. So thankful for a God willing to hold my hand.

My views on religion are not posted here. I never want to talk about religion–only about God.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forever. Psalms 16:11 (ESV)

Day 4 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge

Five things that drive me nuts

Why is it we almost never hear the word “peeves” without the word “pet”? I’d tell you these are my pet peeves, but I’m not totally clear on just how extreme a peeve can be. Also, the words “pet” makes it seem like these are things we love to hate. I avoid aggravation, so there’s nothing here that I cultivate a dislike for. Nevertheless, here, in no particular order, are a few things I wish could be banished from the face of the earth, just because I say so.

1. Stuff on the dashboard of the car. I know, I know, this seems awfully petty, but even one item on the dash to be reflected in the window as I drive is too many for me.

2. People who don’t know how to listen. You know someone like this. You can tell when you’re talking with them that they are somewhere else in their heads, maybe framing the next thing they will say, or judging the quality of your shoes. They make me want to walk away mid-sentence.

3. Overuse of the word “very.” Another one that may seem silly to some, but a truth I spend some time explaining to students. I think the word works against the writer. Rarely is a point made stronger by the use of this word. It’s a filler, a stall, not an effective intensifier.

4. Errors in there/their/they’re. Trust me, this is not just an English teacher thing. One slip and your ignorance(or carelessness) is showing.

5. Unattainable goals. Today we reviewed our school’s improvement plan. Because the state says to do so, our goals for increasing scores are projected out to 2015. By that time 100% of our students will be reading and doing math at grade level. 100% of parents will attend freshman orientation. 100% of AP and IB students will pass all the exams they take. The state says we must show that as our goal, essentially making the whole document bunk. Are you laughing yet? I am, because if I don’t I might cry.

This is day three of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.

Ten years from now

I love my job most of the time. This year is especially sweet because I have such a nice crop of students. At the same time is it stressful because of the silly changes coming in education, the intense focus on test scores at the cost of almost everything else, and the coming reality that student performance will be tied to my paycheck. I refuse to spend much time worrying about that. Like every year I am trying new things, reading the latest research about what works, and keeping the ball rolling in English class for 88 students. It’s fun in some ways, a drudge in others, yet I am proud of the work I do.

But how much longer will I love it? Will I still be doing the same thing in ten years? I doubt it, but it could happen. I confess, I’ve never been into over-managing my own life. I’ve talked with a few colleagues about starting a charter school, but I’m not sure I have the energy. I know I’ll begin the transition to teaching college level classes this spring and perhaps a full-time college position is in my future. Only the Lord knows. And that’s okay with me.

So, where do I see myself in ten years? Hanging out with some grandchildren every chance I get. Spending more time writing each day, gardening, loving life. Truthfully, I don’t spend much time looking that far forward. It is as pointless as spending time looking back. This week and next keep me pretty busy.

My verse for today: Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

This is day two of the 30 day Blogging Challenge.

It’s ridiculous how much I love him

I may live to regret it, but rather than beat myself up for not doing enough of my own writing, I’ve decided to participate in this 30 day blogging challenge along with @_SimplySara_. After all, misery loves company, right? And I often just need a prompt.

Day One is about relationships. Now, I could follow Sara’s lead and tell you a little about the many relationships in my life, but I’d rather just tell you about my fella. We’ve been loving each other for 32 years now, and I know it’s sappy but I think our relationship is still getting better. Now, as you might imagine, after 32 years neither one of us is getting substantially better. Health problems crop up, we’re both starting to forget more things, but the way we feel about each other is still pretty darn wonderful.

Dennis is not the man I imagined I’d marry when I was young. I was into stocky blond types with big muscles. My guy is tall and lean, with hair that used to be dark brown. So, what did I fall in love with? His voice, his style, his sense of humor, his willingness to have fun. Over the years I’ve also come to love his character, his work ethic, and of course, the way he loves me. It’s been back to just the two of us for a couple years now, and we’re not tired of each other one bit.

So, what makes a marriage work for 32 years? Giving, loving, biting your tongue sometimes, talking, laughing, shared interests, a few routines, and good sex. How do you make all that happen? The only advice my mother ever gave me works; when you’re feeling aggravated or not getting along, treat him just like you treated him when you were first married. Now, that was so long ago that I doubt I ever do that anymore, but you get the idea. The other tip is an easy one. Simply ask yourself this question: What’s it like to be married to me? Doesn’t take much reflection to see how this gets results. That golden rule really is golden.

If we’re celebrating relationships today, I’ve got a reason to have a great time. Sure hope you do, too.

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday