Today began, for those of us who believe in Jesus' life, Holy Week. Dave and I attended a Palm Sunday service, at which we listened to the betrayal of Jesus prior to his crucifixion. Without getting too religious (I honestly believe I''m not talking religion, I'm talking about my own spirituality), I felt so humbled by what has been given to me.
Let me be the first to tell you that I have made some incredibly dumb mistakes and some really scary choices in my lifetime. Whether you want to call it a guardian angel, God, a Higher Power, or whatever...I have been spared some pretty deservably negative consequences and instead have been granted an extensive amount of grace. Why me? All I know is that, despite not deserving any of the beautiful things in my life, I have been granted one day at a time filled with something nearing serenity. Do I still fret and worry about things I cannot control? Sometimes. Do I still get disappointed when I don't get my way? Sometimes. But the fact of the matter is: I have been given a life beyond my wildest dreams. In fact, I am going to admit something on this blog that I have told only one or two people in my entire life.
When I was a little girl, other girls would say, "I can't wait to get married and have children and be a ballerina and ......" ad nauseam. I, on the other hand, could not picture what adult life would even look like for me, because I was somehow convinced I would not live to adulthood. I am not trying to be maudlin about this; I just honestly couldn't picture being an adult, so I assumed I must not be destined to become one.
Lo and behold, I not only have reached adulthood, I have done it on steroids. Despite some major league poor choices at some times of my life, God (my Higher Power as I understand Him) has granted me some pretty amazing grace. He has paired me with my soulmate for the last 25 years---Dave---the best spouse a person could ever ask for. He has honored me with a passion for a career in education that has far surpassed anything I would have ever imagined when I played school with my stuffed animals when I was six years old. The life I live today was unimaginable when I was a little girl. My relationships with my family and friends are a dream come true.
And it's all due to God's grace in my life, certainly not by any accomplishment or achievement on my part.
What has grace done for you?
Please share with me----I love hearing from you.
I believe in so many things, I don't know where to start. But I wanted to talk about a few of my favorite things (anyone singing the song from Sound of Music or is it just me?)
1. I believe that, while I am fundamentally flawed in many ways, I have the capacity to do better and be better (with the help of God, who I believe is my Higher Power).
I make mistakes, I worry (in fact, I have a post-graduate degree in worrying, I think), I waffle between thinking I am confident and thinking I am worthless. I think about when I was first teaching ---my first year teaching in San Antonio. I was assigned the class of students who were labeled Severely Emotionally Disturbed. I went home the first few days, crying my eyes out, saying, 'There is no way I can do this. I'm too inexperienced." But, each night, I thought about each one of those kids (who I will always and forever be able to name every single one by name and tell you at least five great things about them) and figure out what I needed to do the next day to make it better than the day before. My crowning achievement, I honestly believe, was in building relationships with them. At that time, they were earning points for their behavior and when they reached a certain milestone, I would take them to places in San Antonio (out to lunch, to the Alamo, and mainly to the bookstore where they could pick out a new favorite book).
2. I believe that teaching is the hardest job in the world. With all the mandates, curriculum updates, politicians who think they know better than teachers themselves, and then catastrophic events that rock the world of schools and their employees like a school shooting. I so very strongly believe that arming teachers is simply a responsibility they should never in the world have to deal with (excuse the ending the sentence with a preposition). I've worked with some pretty bad-ass teachers in my day (many of whom still work at the elementary school where I was blessed to be principal ) but I don't know too many of them who want to be armed or even to have any sort of weapon in a class of Kindergarten students (or any other grade level, for that matter). I'm not pretending to know the answer to this enormously complex issue, but I feel that having MORE weapons in schools is not an answer to keeping weapons out of schools. I just can't mesh that concept in my brain.
3. I believe in kindness. I believe that, since we are all flawed humans, nobody has the corner on the market of being superior to another human being. For that reason, I strongly feel that all children (and adults for that matter) should be taught how to be kind to one another. My grand-niece, Chloe, visited last week, and I wish that every single child in the entire world was as compassionate as she is. She gets it from her mom and grammy, but at 8 1/2 years old (8 3/4 she actually corrected me), she was amazingly compassionate. We were talking about the dogs we foster and we told her about the tri-pod Lab we had right before they came to visit. The pup had had its leg almost chewed off in a kennel. Chloe got tears in her eyes and she asked, "How could that happen?" We talked about the fostering, etc. and she said she thought it was so great that we did stuff to help dogs. How can we keep fostering kindness in humans? I say "model, model, model".
What are your beliefs? I would love to start a conversation about them (mine and yours).