Monday, August 25, 2008

As the sun sets...

I was noticing the sunlight this evening as I was driving to Hastings to listen to some lectures for my Church Ministries class. It was about 8:30 in the evening and there were a few fluffy clouds in the sky. The light was a dull yellow color and it seemed as if everything was in state of suspension. As if time had stopped.

If I hadn't been surrounded by timepieces, I still would have known the day was coming to an end. If I have been asleep for a long period of time and woken up at that moment, I would have known I had awakened at the used up end of a day.

I wonder what life would be like if we didn't have schedules and time trackers. How would life be different if we just woke up when our body was ready and started our day at whatever time it was. (Of course, if we didn't keep track of the time, it wouldn't matter. I know, my brain hurts too.)

It is a bit mind boggling to think about. We live our lives around our watches or cell phone clocks. We arrive at work at a certain time; we eat at certain times. We leave at certain times. What if we just gave up timepieces all together? What if we woke up when our body was adequately rested or ate when we were hungry? Would mass chaos ensue? Would society as we know it fall apart?

I think it would be so freeing to be able to just live by the sun. Have you ever noticed how the sunlight changes throughout the day? How morning sunlight is crisp and fresh or how evening sunlight is worn out and tired? Maybe I am just a dreamer. Maybe I just see the world so differently that these are mere ramblings of an eccentric mind.

Or maybe I am suffering from sleep depreivation and I need to go home and go to bed. Yes, that must be it. Thanks for reading. (If inquiring minds want to know, the picture is one I took of a sunset at the top of a mountain in Taiwan.)

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm bringing home a baby bumblebee....

Well, here it is the second day of school and I am worn out. The kids are taking a nap right now so I am taking advantage of the quiet to sit and rest. So far, our school days have been great. We were concerned about lots of crying since we have some new students this year, but for the most part, there have been very few tears.

I was telling my teaching partner yesterday how I am always drawn to jobs which involve children. My very first job was in the nursery at my church. I worked there until I graduated from high school. At that time, I swore I would never work with children again. Especially after I spent one day at a different day care with eleven 18 month olds by myself.

And I didn't until after college when I served as a summer missionary at a children's camp. It wasn't really a job, but it was definitely hard work. I loved it. It had to do with children, but I loved the children and I loved the work. I even went back and worked another summer a few years later.

After I returned from Alabama the first time, I worked at the Disney Store. It was a lot of fun. I was able to interact with children and play with them. Again I loved it and again I swore I would never work with children.

And then I took the job at the library. My position wasn't directly related to children, but I was often times called upon to cover the youth desk or do a storytime. I loved it, but I still held to my position. I was never going to work with children again. After I quit that job, worked another summer at camp and moved to Alabama, I was once again in a position where I needed employment.

I became a photographer for Sears in Mobile,AL. Most of my subjects were children and most of the time I enjoyed the work. And apparently I was good at it too. When I was forced to move back to Texas, I transferred to the Sears in Amarillo. I can't say I loved this job, but there were days when I reveled in the privilege of capturing precious moments for loving parents.

The photographer stint was only a seasonal job so at the end of December I was again in need of money. I was also slightly depressed at this time. My mother, being the wise woman that she is, knew I would feel better about myself if I had a job and suggested I do some subbing at the school she worked at. I was not really thrilled at this idea because, well, it had to do with children. But because I knew I needed to get out of the house and make some money, I did it. And I loved it.

So here I am. A teaching assistant in the preschool at the same school. And guess what? I love it. My first degree in college was in English. When I would tell people this, they always asked if I was planning on teaching. I always answered with an emphatic NO. Maybe they knew something I didn't. I have no plans of going back to school to become a teacher, but I think I will work with children for a long time.

I made the comment to my teaching partner yesterday that sometimes I feel like God brings me back to children to torture me. I don't really believe God would do that, but there are some days when I am with these little angels and my heart breaks. I am so ready to be a mother and I am still unwed. But there is a reason for that. I just have to learn to be patient with God's timing. It is perfect. He has a plan for my life and I hope it includes children.

Maybe He keeps bringing me back because there is so much to be learned from children. Maybe He wants to show me something. My prayer is I am receptive to His lessons and that I am not too blinded by my desires. So until the school bell rings again on Monday...thanks for reading.

(If you are wondering, that is a picture of me at about the age of my students. Wasn't I cute?)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

As time swings by...

I was swinging on the swings yesterday morning on the playground. Occasionally, I like to have a good swing. It clears the mind and freshens the blood. At least until I get nauseous. But there is always one point in my pendulum when panic sets in. It is almost a terror.

I realized as the fear gripped my belly that it happens when I stop controlling the swing. It is the moment when I have decided I have swung enough and it is time to stop. It is the moment when I stop willfully making the swing go. It is the moment when gravity takes over and I am at its mercy. At this point in my free fall, it came to me that I like to be in control. That is why there is always that terror that sets in. I am no longer in control.

Maybe that is part of my problem. Maybe I am too controlling. I don’t let God just take over. I am always thinking of ways I can help God. What a laugh! Me helping God? He doesn’t need my help. He is the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing Creator of everything we know. How can I, a mere human of little worth, think of a better way to do things?

I didn’t start driving until I was almost 19. I was always scared of driving. I was always afraid the car was going hit a curb or run into another car. It wasn’t until I started driving that I realized it was because I was not in control of the vehicle when someone else was driving. My life and safety were in the hands of someone else. I had no control over where my body was being carried.

I think being scared is also part of my problem. I have been scared almost all my life. Scared of being hurt, scared of being betrayed, scared of feeling anything in case the person didn’t return my feelings, scared of failing. The risk involved seemed to be outweighed by the desire to maintain control. My timidity has left me lonely and companionless. I am working on this. But pain has never been easy for me.

There have been times in my life when I have handed over the reigns and let God do His thing. When I moved to Alabama on a whim, for example. There were a lot of things out of my control then. I was never sure I was going to have everything I needed from one day to the next. I had to rely on Him for everything, even the will to get out of bed some days.

I believe with all my heart I was supposed to go to Alabama. Getting me there was too easy for it not to have been a God thing. I am still not entirely sure why He sent me there. I thought at the time I was going to be there for a very long time. Maybe it was just to teach me that I can make it on my own if I truly rely on Him. Maybe it was just to get me out of Amarillo during that specific time. Maybe it was just to place me in someone’s life for a brief moment before moving on. Whatever the reason, I am thankful for the short time I was allowed to be there.

Thinking back, there are a lot of things about my life now that would be different had I not moved. I wouldn’t have moved out of my parents’ house. I wouldn’t have a job I love at the school. I would still be working at the library. Maybe not in the same position but still miserable, I’m sure. I wouldn’t have had the experiences and revelations of maturity. I am not even sure I would be the same person I am today.

It amazes me how the things we survive affect the way we grow. I think about the events in my life that have had a major impact on me. Some were good; some were bad. But they all had a part in making me the person I am today. In ten years, after all the experiences I haven’t had yet happen, I will be a different person than I am today. I wonder what my almost 37 year old self will be like.

Well, for now, I am trying to be happy with my almost 27 year old self and enjoying apartment life. I am trying to meet new people and do new things. I am trying to open myself to more experiences. One never knows when one of those life-change moments will happen. Thanks for reading.