So I have recently been pondering the question of how we all get labelled the way we do in this crazy life – I remember teaching second and third grade and being branded as the teacher who was good with children who had emotional problems and therefore needed some extra TLC. You know what happens to teachers who get that label? You got it – Clockwork Orange from 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. One of my co-workers was a phenomenol reading teacher – can you guess the struggles her students had? Yep – not one of them could read “Sam the Sea Cow” with the fluency we expect of a second grader. My point is that I loved each of my students wholeheartedly and I know my colleague did as well – it is just that we would prefer to not have 25 of them altogether in the same room for eight hours. I guess my thought is, how did I come to be known as such a teacher and as far as that goes, how do we as people build pictures of who we all are? My reason for broaching this subject is that there is a person that I am forced to play nice with that I don’t really want to play nice with anymore but I absolutely have to – I can’t go into anymore details without divulging my source, so let’s leave it at that. This person has me pegged as someone who gets her nails done, works out with a personal trainer, and plays tennis, which truthfully, I am all of those things – but that is not what defines me. Though on paper I do engage in the forementioned activities, though admittedly the nails thing is a special luxury treat for when I really need a mental health day, it does not mean that I have forgotten the heartbreak of hearing the voices of a young boy and his brother say they don’t want to go home because they are tired of the beatings, or that I have suddenly erased the pain of knowing my father resided in a homeless shelter for about a year while I was in college, or, while I am on my Debbie Downer horse, forgotten the lifeless fall of a hand being held while it crosses from among the living to the non-living. Not for one second do I take my life for granted because, truth be told, I have travelled a path that would make your skin curl. So the thing is, I have endured snide comments from this person one too many times and quite frankly, it makes me mad at myself for not recognizing the fact that this person’s insecurities are what drives her ridiculous negativity. But at the same time, dammit, why do I allow HER issues and crap to suddenly become mine? I am in no way suggesting that I do not have issues – in fact, I have enough to have loyal yearly subscribers and special give-aways. I have worked hard over the past 34 years to figure out who I am and trust me, I am still working on it- one of the best quotes about life was said by the great Michelangelo at a very old age (80 something) ” I am still learning”. Yes, I continue to learn and yes, sometimes the learning I do is painful and not fun. However, I do know that 1) I am real, 2) I am not going to bullshit you, 3)Integrity wins over anything else and 4) We are all going to leave a legacy based on how we model for our children. I believe in a whole lot more but you will have to read “This I Believe” to see the rest. I guess the moral of this little story is the age-old adage of “Don’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover”. Do so and it will end up biting you in the arse every time. OK, off my soap box and moving on to more pressing issues like which Disney princess dress-up outfit to buy Missy Moo for Christmas…
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When We Think It’s Impressive to Be Busy
* Friends, I’m in Book Launch Land. I’m feverishly working to prepare for the release of Heart Sisters: Be the Friend You Want to Have. I’ll be re-posting some oldies (but hopefully you’ll think they’re goodies!) now and then so I can focus more on the upcoming release. Thanks for understanding . . . Oh – and I so appreciate you taking the time share on social media. This is the way of the writer these days and will help get the word out about Heart Sisters! A few years ago, I was talking to a woman who was in ..
For When You Wash Your Phone in the Washing Machine
Last week, I found myself with an unplanned hour and a house of beckoning chores demanding immediate attention. So like any woman with a house full o’ kids and a husband that works long hours, I thought I would just cram as much as I possibly could into those precious 60 minutes. I arrived home, put on my running shoes and started to RUN throughout the house, checking this and that off my list. A few minutes into my Wonder Woman mission, I grabbed a load of dirty towels and, clutching my phone in my right hand, loaded them in ..
Five Ways To Raise An Anxious Child
I know, I know . . . Who wants to raise an anxious child? Who would ever read such a post? Of course, none of us intentionally tries to raise a child prone to anxiety and stress. But many of us are. Myself included. I’m not preaching to you from the pulpit – I’m talking to you as a friend sitting with you in the same boat. And at times it feels like we’re wearing life preservers and praying for rescue, doesn’t it? The more I think about this though, the more I realize that perhaps parenting is really not ..
Church Shopping: On Finding a New Church
If you’ve been hurt by the church, then it’s likely the thought of ever going back to church again is right up there with oh, say getting your teeth pulled (sorry, Honey.) (My husband’s a dentist. I have to watch dental jokes and comparisons.). I need to confess I once felt the same. Honestly, when those wounds were still raw, the thought of ever stepping foot inside another church again was enough to make me physically ill. We (Jason and I) talked it over incessantly. “Maybe we could just follow Jesus and just not go to church?” we asked each ..
Why Christians Don’t Always Have to Agree
We sat contemplatively around the table, speaking softly about the struggles of marriage. I complimented her on her courage because for some reason, we feel shame when we admit our marriage is in trouble. I know because I’ve been there and felt it, too. I begin to share some of my own heart and experiences with my ten year old marriage, wisdom attained through the really hard places. Unfinished wisdom that still percolates and wisdom I know but don’t always allow my actions and choices to show it. I then share some heart changes I had to make in order ..