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I'm a mommy, wife, chauffeur, zookeeper, reader and book reviewer

Friday, November 13, 2009

Breaking out of the box

One of the things I have learned from working with kids, nobody fits in a box. I got my BA in Elem Ed. I was sure God called me to teach 3rd grade and would never teach preschool. So, I taught preschool for 4 1/2 years. I have watched parents and teachers label children and make predictions and assumptions based on those labels, all under the impression they were helping the child. (Now, I'm not saying kids shouldn't be tested [when necessary] for challenges [such as dyslexia, ADD, etc.] and then help them learn to overcome those challenges)
I have found that people, young and old, can be refreshingly unpredictable. Picture if you will pioneer times when they would cook in a large pot over a fire. We are like that pot on the fire of life. We are a unique, maybe even weird, mix of genes, nature, nurture, and time. When and where I grew up there were limits to what I could try. When and where my girls are growing up, they have so many opportunities: art, sports, dance, gymnastics, etc. And there are teachers out there who are willing to work with students just because they love what they do and are not preoccupied just divine talent. I am trying to be careful not to overwhelm my girls or myself with trying everything; we're pacing ourselves. But there's no reason we should limit ourselves to what we've always done or what our parents or grandparents did or just what everyone else is doing--stretch, grow and have fun!
But, I think sometimes I try to put God in a box, too. I'll be going along, same ol'-same ol', then there's a pleasant surprise. "Wow, God is amazing!"--but then I think about that. Well, of course, God is amazing--He's GOD! As humans we try to keep God in the box of our finite mind, but He doesn't fit. He's God and He's bigger than our finite minds can ever imagine. Maybe what's amazing is what He's been able to do with small, insignificant me.
Let's Breakout!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lord, help me be imperfect

One of my favorite movies as a kid was Mary Poppins--Practically perfect in every way. Mary Poppins I am not. I'm not perfect, I'm not even practically perfect. Surprising, I know. I remember the time in highschool when I shared with a classmate that I still struggled to tell time with an analog watch or clock--her jaw dropped. Or the time I returned to school after my driving test. Another of my classmates asked how I did, I said I failed. He was started to act annoyed that of course I passed, when he realized I said I failed--surprise, surprise.

Unfortunately, I didn't get the point of those lessons then. Maybe I was a people-pleaser and being good and perfect made people--especially adults. Maybe, for some strange reason, I didn't understand that it's ok to be wrong. Who knows, who cares. Several years ago I finally did get it--I'm not perfect, I don't have to be perfect, nobody is perfect.

But really, isn't that the point of Jesus? We aren't perfect. We need Jesus. We can't do it on our own. Forget about getting into heaven, we can't even survive this life without some help.

But it isn't just about needing Jesus. Sometimes it's about needing people. For a brief moment I thought aobut taking up guitar to learn to play some children's songs. Then I realized that I barely have time to do the things I want and need to do now, without adding something else into the mix. That's all right. That's why God brings people into our lives who have the talents and gifts we lack.

Dear Lord, help me be imperfect