The anticipation on so many levels…

12 08 2012

Although I have long considered myself an adult, my self-imposed bed time (of sorts) has gone completely AWOL in the past 3 months. Given the heady days of chaos leading up to summer, the summer holidays with minimal to no agenda whatsoever, and the current developments in my life, the sleep quality and quantity in my life at the moment is unreliable. R is the most recent cause for my lack of good quality sleep, and the inconsistency, as well as the uncertainty, is very trying.

Tomorrow, school starts again for another year. I’m frantically trying to feel mentally prepared, even though I know that I am ready.

Will I ever feel like a “legit” teacher?!

Maybe not. It is, after all, my 8th year of teaching. If it hasn’t happened yet, and I haven’t begun to feel, more consistently, that I am a decent educator, it’s not likely to happen, as they say. But there is hope, because I know that what I’m doing has value, and a purpose. I am here not of my own choice, but because of something greater. That is what I need to cling to. The improvements that I have observed over the years is legitimate proof of my growth as a teacher, so there is that.

Going back to my parents’ place and seeing this sweet face is always encouraging though, even if he is naughty.


Something to believe in

3 05 2011

When I read the prompt for today, to write about something I used to believe in, the thing that came to mind was the no doubt scores of people who would post about the loss of their faith in God, Jesus, or, more likely, the institution of the church. A lump formed in my chest when this thought came to mind, that when the faith is not rooted in truth, it can be washed away with so much tribulation.

News over the past day or so has revolved around events in Pakistan, and I have felt very convoluted about what I’ve been reading, hearing, and seeing. I don’t understand how a people, who have taken it upon themselves to be deemed the world’s police, and the poster child for freedom, could so openly and jubilantly celebrate another death to add to the scores of lives already lost in this current fight.

The question from this comforting blog post by Brian McLaren articulates it for me:

Joyfully celebrating the killing of a killer who joyfully celebrated killing carries an irony that I hope will not be lost on us. Are we learning anything, or simply spinning harder in the cycle of violence?

Premonition Of The Night“The Night” by Max Beckmann 1918-19, Kunstsammlung Düsseldorf, Germany

And thus, although these days are hard, and things happening in and around me are confusing at the best of times, there is light, and understanding.

Being manipulated, but hopeful still

6 03 2011

Reverting to decision-making as a result of the current assignment I am working on with this programme, and I recall again the words of Selina in our last session, that I need to learn to make decisions of my own. The only thing harder than making hard decisions is starting to make any decisions at all.

The decision to move out was made about 6 years ago, and it has taken that same amount of time to put the words into action. And now, the choking anger that rises as a result of what goes on here is suffocating, and heavy in the back of my throat are the many words that are dying on their way out.

It is appalling to me that someone who is so decisive and so full of the potential for leadership struggles with what should be insignificant issues. Decision-making should come easily to someone like me, but it doesn’t. On the route to becoming self-sufficient, and dealing with daily obstacles, there is a lot to be broken about.

But I will stand firm, because I have hope. Things will get better, and then I will look back upon these days and smile.

A moment, please

6 12 2010

A student wrote me an email the other day asking if I was alright. I wrote back, saying that I was fine, but I was a bit down because of the generally lousy day I was having, a day on which one bad thing seemed to happen after another, with scant regard for the havoc being wreaked by each. The truth of the matter is, since that email, I’ve been reading through some of what I’ve written in the past, and I’ve been understanding afresh, as though by some sort of divine revelation, that our voices are unique, and God-given.

This may seem so commonplace as to be redundant, but it’s as though I’m looking at the whole issue with new eyes.

It’s true that some days are better than others, and it’s not always the case that I can say life has been better since I became a Christian and started teaching at a Christian school (although there was an intermission of around 6 years between the two events). Some days are better than others, but in the moment, whatever the moment may be, I have joy – in the students, in the content we’re going through, or in some aspect of conversation that is engaged in, or even overheard… it’s how we understand that there is purpose to all this. The unmanageable mess that the tangle of Everything may be could be the thing that helps us to comprehend that in spite of the grades we strive for, the friends we have, the recognition we gain, or the things we like, we are not, and cannot, be perfect.

I think anyone who says their life has miraculously become “perfect” after coming to a salvation decision for themselves is either lying, or deluded.

Life doesn’t happen that way, no matter how much we pretty-pretty-please-please-let-it-all-be-perfect want it to be. I’ve been finding encouragement in Hebrews 10:14, and the different tenses: we have been made perfect, but we’re still being made holy.

Life is tough-as-nails, and we get all kinds of junk thrown at us on a daily, hourly, constantly, basis. Anne Lamott writes, which I have quoted in my Facebook profile because I found it so relatable, and so profound, that

Hope is not about proving anything. It’s about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us.

This is something to cling to, when all hope seems lost, and questions remain unanswered.

No matter how hard things seem to be, there is hope. There is hope in the tears, in the furrowed brows, in the hands clasped tight in prayer, and the urgent whispers of the soul. At the times when all seems lost, may we understand always, and above all things, that we have hope, and that, at the end of the time we have been allotted, all things will be made a l r i g h t.


Currently can’t stand Christianese

21 04 2010

Went for my second counselling session last Friday, and talked about some of the issues that have been bothering me, specifically those to do with my past and what’s happening right now. The one thing I don’t particularly worry about is the future, as I really can say that I trust God with it.

Now, if you’re reading this and thinking that this is going to be  an in-your-face-with-my-faith kind of post, it isn’t.

I heard some shocking news from a student of mine today, and I was brought back to the knowledge that whilst it is true that we are loved, and that this knowledge should guide our every step and shape our perspectives, the truth of the matter is that trotting out these same truths and this same knowledge does not help when the reality of life is that it gets mucky sometimes. It’s not always that the statement, no matter how sincerely expressed, that everything will be okay, is inadequate.

Because sometimes it’s not. Things we want to happen fall through the cracks, and people we care about and want to show love to hurt us, and life throws shit at us.

But. “Hope is not about proving anything. It’s about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us.” – Anne Lamott

WWW trip to Tokyo

30 04 2009

Had a good meeting with 3 of the parents tonight, which was efficient and informative, then had a long chat with the mother of one of my students. The conversation renewed my hope for this school, and showed me what I felt like and anticipated when I first decided to come to this school. Why is it always so easy to criticise and lose sight of the original intention? Oh, that the people who spend time in this school would fall in love with God again, and know that his plan for the school far surpasses any hopes, fund-raising activities, or ESLR.

And may the change, may the revival, start with me.

Never before

15 03 2009

Since I became a teacher, I have been getting catching colds/bouts of the flu with increasing frequency, like every 6 weeks or so, I’m down with a cold for 3 days or something. I hate this aspect of the job, I really do.

On the up side, I’ll be doing better next year as I’ll be done with studying… just finished a midterm paper today, and so am feeling good in spite of the pouring sinuses and blastifying sneezes and foghorn-sounding blowing of the nose.

Why am I blogging when what I really should be doing is sleeping??