Monday, August 23, 2010

I Was Chosen

This morning, as I trudged through the bedroom like a wounded animal, my husband said, "Honey, are you ready for your day with the kids?"  I said with frustration in my response, "Of course not!  It's Monday and I don't wanna go to work!  The kids aren't trying to be there either!"  He replied with sweet sincerity, "You were chosen for those students and they need what you have to offer.  You may not be teaching the kind of students you are used to teaching, but these kids need you and you were chosen for them."

I had to stop in my pity-tracks and think...He's right and I need to realize working within my purpose may not always be so warm and fuzzy!

I left for work today feeling better than I had felt all summer.  I no longer felt that sense of frustration that taunted the joy of my morning, but I felt inspired and encouraged to do what I have been "chosen" to do!

Upon arrival in the classroom I am teaching in for the summer program, I discovered that, since my departure on Friday afternoon, someone had come in and thrown papers all over the floor.  Since the classrooms remain open from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m., this could have happened with little or no notice.  And quite honestly, even if someone had noticed, I'm not convinced anyone would have cared enough to stop them.  Oh well, I thought, clean it up, and get the room ready for the children who I have been chosen to serve!

This day was unlike any of the previous 15 days of summer school.  Today, most of the students said, "Good morning" and meant it!  Today, I said, "Good morning" in return and meant it.  Today, the 7 students who were absent saved all of us a few headaches.  Today, the 10 students who came to school really wanted to do their work and make me proud.  Today, I realized that my husband was right, and I was chosen to teach the 10 children who may or may not be so bright, so prepared, or so accustomed to learning. I was chosen to teach. Period.  That does not mean I get to choose who or where I teach!  I simply must choose to continue to fulfill my purpose!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Remembering When...

When I close my eyes
I see buttlerflies and sunflowers
Walking on clouds
That dance above sudden rainbows.

When I inhale your love
I feel orange blossoms
Touching the core of my sun
Blowing kisses in autumn's evening wind.

When I sink into dreams
I sail on oceans of melodies
Floating away on fantasies
Bringing petals of perfect pleasure
As I relinquish all control
and become a blend of new bliss
Into the fabric of your being.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Entitled Children of Today

I have had a summer to reflect on the effects my husband's and my parenting have had on my 19 yr. old daughter.  She has been home from college since May.  We were pleasantly surprised to find out that she had earned a 4.0 for the second semester, distinguishing herself as an Academic Scholar worthy of a special certificate from the university.  Recently she was offered a small scholarship from  her Armenian professor in recognition of her achievements.

I didn't accidentally or carelessly use the word "surprised" when saying we were pleasantly surprised.  She was a good student all of her prior school years. However, upon entering Fresno State as a freshman, moving away from home and into a shoe-box size dorm to share with a girl who snored loudly every night, having had no idea that skating to class in 100 degree heat would be an issue, and that the food in dorms would be disgusting...she managed to study, do homework, pass exams with A's, and successfully manage to lose weight instead of gaining the traditional 15lbs!  I failed to mention that the second language course she selected was ARMENIAN!  She aced Armenian speaking and the writing...go figure!  None of this success was the result of us pushing her or reminding her of the seriousness of her doing well considering the deep financial crunch college was putting us in.  We let go and let God.

Now, it is summer, and this scholarly daughter of mine has been home, unemployed, and glued to the television and/or novels since May.  She sought employment the way that teens do nowadays...through Craig's List and on other sites that allow them to submit applications online.  Hmmm, when employers never meet you how do they determine your value to the company?  But this is not to be debated with a 19 yr old.  She had ONE successful interview, leaving with a feeling of accomplishment and possibilities, and then never got the job.  Hmmm, maybe perseverance and persistence would have helped, but a 19 yr old is "not going to keep calling!"  OKAY so no money, no plans, nothing but CHEAP fun this summer, fighting villains through PS-3 and reading courtroom drama novels by Sandra Brown!  Will she be able to return to campus in a few weeks with any semblance of scholarly motivations or intentions?  This has nothing to do with how we've parented her.  We say now she is on her own path and we have laid the foundation appropriately.  I HOPE!

We, teachers, often see the results of parents "entitling" their lovely children to more than they need and sometimes more than they deserve.  The result is the lack of motivation to work hard for the sake of accomplishment, but rather they work lazily and EXPECT rewards and success!  When a student doesn't get constant tangible rewards but is taught the value of education, he/she has a profoundly more positive demeanor in the classroom and much greater respect for teachers and for learning.  So what I wonder is...since my daughter did not get any tangible rewards from her hard work, was only offered one scholarship which wouldn't even cover 1/3 of a semester's tuition, and she basically starved at home all summer, will she value her education and realize this was her one and only summer to be "entitled" to be the princess of the house.

In closing, I will reminisce on this summer in a few months and deeply miss the former princess as I return to my reign as QUEEN!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pleasure Echoes

Resounding from within
me all day
into the night
at sunrise
Your pleasure echoes.
In the wind's touch
Upon butterflies' wings
Temptations in a sunset song
Rising up
As I lay
Watching midnight endure
Sleepless dreams
Mind's eye staring
Your pleasure echoes.

Stacey Joy, 2008

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Cancer Battle

Me, Mom, and Sis
Sadly, another loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  My dear friend's big sister found out that she has Stage 2 breast cancer.  I remember many years ago, when we heard someone had cancer, it was shocking and we would fear the worst.  Now, I add another name to the "People With Cancer" list, begin my prayers for that person and the family, and trust God to do what He does best...take care of His children.

What do we need to do to win the battle?  How many more names will be added to the list before we have truly won the fight?  I am thankful that I don't have to fear the worst anymore, but I would much rather go back to that feeling of shock, knowing that cancer just doesn't happen to us, and if it does then there is nothing to worry about.

Dr. Keith Black, one of the top neurosurgeons in the world, operated on my mother over 10 years ago to remove a benign brain tumor.  I wonder now, as ovarian cancer is fighting to control her body, why isn't there a Dr. Black kind of cure?   He said that he creeps up on the brain like a thief in the night to avoid disrupting normal brain function.  Why is there no thief in the night to creep into the body and destroy the cancer cells?  Why is cancer such a cancer, so ravenous and unpredictable?

Please continue to pray and fight for our loved ones who are courageous with cancer.  The battle is not theirs, it's the Lord's!
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