Tuesday, December 29

A bad case of the "Wondering Whys"












God is in control. 
And I'm very thankful for that.

Because as we all know
I would most certainly stink that job up.

But today as I run in the blustery winter wind and snow
Away from the reality
that is once again made known to me.....
I want to be in control.
for just a moment.
to just tweak God's plan
just the slightest bit.

Because quite possibly
He didn't hear me
quite right......
When I prayed and begged and pleaded
for the desires of my heart.

But the answer is once again no.
It always hits me in the face harder each time
it's said to me.
And today it feels really hard.

So I put on my boots.
And I run and run and run.
Away from reality
and towards it all at the same time.

And as I run
I think
and pray.
and ask why.

I run farther and farther.
I'm angry.
I feel sad.
and upset.
and wonder and cry and yell why.


Eventually, of course...
I stop running.
Partially because the truth hits me again in the head.
Partially because my non-running ability hits me too...
because of too many pieces of Christmas pie.
Followed by too many pieces of Christmas cookies.
And Christmas chips.
And not enough Christmas salads.

You get the point....

Anyway...
because of all of the above mentioned reasons....
I start walking
and i remember once again it's not for me to know why.

But even in that moment of undeniable truth
that it's not for me to know...
still want to know.
Just this once.
"I'll never ask again if you tell me now" I pray.
I try and barter this and that and say pretty please.
I say why a hundred-thousand times again.


Eventually
I just decide to shut up.
Excuse my language.

I'm just quiet.

And at first my prayers seem to be met with deafening silence.
Because the heavens did not open up and give me the answer
to my why.

But eventually
as I stay quiet,
I realize
that my prayers are not in fact being met with silence........
but met with peace.

The peace that passes all understanding.

when I finally do stop talking
and complaining
and questioning
and start listening...
I do stop asking why.
I don't ask even one more time.
not even silently.
not even a little bit.
I don't even want to know.

and I feel at peace.

So I calmly turn around
and walk back towards home.
thanking Him for peace.
and asking Him for nothing else.
because surely and positively He's given me more than
I deserve.
and that needs to be enough.
It is enough.
and it's not for me to ask what or when or why.

I'm just to stay quiet
and keep aspiring to please Him
in my actions and words and thoughts
and say
Thank You.

and then say nothing else.

even when it's hard.

Wednesday, December 23

2nd Grade Says

Preciousness flowed out of the mouths of 2nd grade today. I have been going over and over and reading version after version about why we celebrate Christmas and why exactly Jesus came. Today marked the 5th version we read of the story and their saucer eyes and quiet bodies were still present. It is amazing to see God working in even small children. I was truly blessed to be a part of that today.

Before our Christmas breakfast of munchkins, fruit, and Hawaiian punch (of course), I took "two" volunteers to pray. When 10 out of 12 hands quickly rose, I decided to let each of them pray. To hear each child's sweet prayer of thankfulness for Christmas touched me to the deepest core of my heart. It was so neat to hear most of my students center their prayer around the true meaning of Christmas.

The following (to the best of my feverish attempt to record his words in my brain) comes from a sweet little boy who is still learning about who Jesus is.....his words were so touching and my heart melted faster than Hershey meltaways..... (and those little guys melt fast)....


Dear Jesus, 


Make this be the best day ever. Make us be good. We love you so much. Make all our sins go away. We believe in you. We really love you. Make us have a "green" day and we love you. Make us have a fun day. 


Amen.


I felt extremely blessed today to be a part of such a special prayer time
filled with similar prayers of love and belief and thankfulness.


It certainly helped
refocus my focus
and calm the hustle and bustle
and recenter my heart to the center of Christmas.



I am the teacher, but sometimes my students teach me.
And after these past two weeks of teaching, I truly find myself desiring...

that the story never feels old...
that my eyes always be saucers of wonder...
that my body and soul stay still and quiet whenever I hear...
that my prayers at Christmas and all year round be filled with belief and thankfulness
about who Jesus is.
why He came.
and being eternally grateful for his eternal forgiveness and life.



Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 21

I would possibly consider marrying snow days...

because i am in love with them so. much.
almost as much as cvs and acme.
and that's saying a lot.


Snow days are filled with indescribable fun.
And I've decided to create an informative post about the "can"s and "cannot"s of snow days.

First and foremost, there is to be no dressing up.
and because you want to anyway,
you can run around your house and scream
"I'm staying in my pajamas and no one can stop me!"

and no one can.

You can watch talk shows like it's your job.
You can eat like it's your job.
You can not shower like it's your job.

I'll certainly be working on my new careers today.

You can eat cookies for breakfast and chocolate for lunch.
well, that's every day thankyouverymuch.
but today, it can be while you are screaming about your pj's.


You can wrap Christmas gifts or unwrap candy wrappers.
You can work on doing both at the same time.
I can teach you.
They call me #1 Pro Wrap Attack.

ok, that's a lie.
but possibly my secret wish.

Anyway...

You can dance.
Sing.
Create raps about wrapping and songs about snow.


No matter what your fancy, snow days must be filled with fun, dancing, and food.
There should be no cleaning.
No bed making.
No un-pajama clothing.
No vegetables.
And by all means, no exercise.

Shame on you if you did.


You just need to focus on partying like it's 2009. since it is.
true story.


so a big ho ho ho
and a merry
snow filled,
eating lots,
exercising none,
brain wasting tv watching,
dancing and singing
day to you.

may yours be as merry and bright as mine.

Wednesday, December 16

2nd Grade Says (unofficially titled *I deserve a medal for bravery....or at least for awesomely faking it"

Written in a journal entry:

"Mrs. Steevens is brave. She is brave when she sees spiters in chaple."



i remember this chapel day like it was yesterday....
pretty sure I said something on the lines of
"a spider? cool! let's let it crawl all over us and adopt it into the family!!"

oh wait...i think it actually went like this....
"a spider? super! i was surely hoping to see one of those today! take my picture with him!!"

mmm...ok...it's all coming back...i may have said
(in as calm a voice i could muster (picture high pitched voice with a couple squeaks)....)
"Wow...a spider...Mrs. Stephens doesn't really like them that much....let's let him crawl the wall and we'll try not to look at him. Mrs. Stephens is a little afraid. let's scootch over a bit"

yup. true honesty people.
and apparently true bravery.
because usually 2nd graders (and possibly sometimes on the occasion me)
scream and yell and beg someone to kill it.
and won't stop screaming and freaking out until it's dead.
and bravery simply equals staying calm.


but i was brave that day. (or was I too scared to kill it myself? i can't really remember...)
brave enough to let the spider live.
brave enough to not vomit in my mouth.  (except that i secretly did)
and pray that chapel would end soon. (possibly begging on my knees in my brain)
because i was certainly not going to kill that "spiter".


i love journal time.
children are just adorable.
i can't take their cuteness.
and i love that spiders and me and brave were all in one sentence.

but so help me heaven's beauty...may they never be in the same room as me again.






Thursday, December 10

2nd Grade Says.....

While journaling:
"Can I please put 3 excited marks in my story?"

After a moment....I realized this creative child meant "exclamation marks"
and I thought...wow...that pseudonym should take over!

And I almost called...
whoever the people are that came up with the ridiculous hard names for parts of speech and end marks.....
because really, isn't "excitedness" exactly what those marks are for?

pure genius.


After a recess disagreement....
"I know she called me that!"
Me: How do you know?
"I recorded it!"
Me: What do you mean?
"My brain heard it and recorded it for me through my ears."

Right. Perfect sense. I always record things through my ears. How silly of me to forget!




In other news....my blog has been...well...quiet lately.
It's been one of those couple-of-weeks.
And I'm not complaining.
Because the faster this month goes
the sooner Christmas is here.
But between work and work and couponing and work.....
I haven't much time
for creative juices.

Just a lot of time for milkshakes.
And collecting fat for winter.
I need to be warm you know.....
It's all for survival.



But I promise I will be back soon.
Because I'm been eating ever-so-much
And ever-so-deliciousness at that.

And I'm making 18 dozen cookies this weekend.
Which surely will bring at least one blog
............if I'm not in the ER for pumping of stomach
because I'm shamelessly thinking about
making a huge raw-eating dough ball
just. for. me.