Relation to Race

Deep Thoughts No Comments

**This is from my heart. It’s my attempt at processing and feeling through these experiences, and not intended to simplify or pretend to know what anyone else experiences**

brothers and sistersToday I visited a small town, just north of KCMO, with my family. Since it’s Tuesday, there weren’t a lot of people out on enjoying the shopping and incredible weather. In fact, we were the only shoppers on the block.

I spotted some vinyl records inside one of the antique/jewelry shops. The Captain and Tennille and “Love Songs of the 50s” were on top. The covers were in good condition and still brightly covered, and I thought of a friend who is a music producer.  When my parents were getting rid of some of their records 15 years ago he nabbed some, so there was some schema there.

I sent my friend a Facebook message about the records and described the street where the shop was located, as well as a couple other stores since he mentioned looking for decor.

As the conversation was winding down, I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that was incredibly unsettling. Was I sending my friend into danger?

Let me be more specific: Was I sending my black friend into danger in small town Missouri?

As I was thinking, my friend posed the question as to whether or not it was a friendly place for him….and my heart felt as sick as my stomach.

I couldn’t answer with an immediate “yes” because I didn’t know that to be true.

As much as I wanted to say it, I knew the answer would be based on my own experiences; which are provided by a whole lot of privilege.

I reached out to two other friends familiar with the area to see what they thought, and while I waited for their replies, I was taken back to other times in my life where I was confronted by racism concerning my friends.

Around ages 21-22 (I’m almost 35 now) some ladies and I went to a late night bar in Gladstone with a long-time no one is born hatingblack male friend. While sitting a booth, as a group, my friend became uncomfortable because an older, white, bearded man at the bar was turning around frequently to stare at him. I had not noticed this one bit, and when my friend explained that he should probably leave, I became indignant. In my mind I was indignant FOR him, and put my arms around him in what I thought was a show of support and an “eff you” to the man at the bar.

What I thought was a good move, or something I could visualize happening on TV, was naive. I’ve looked back on that moment many times over the years and realized how stupid I was. I could have endangered my friend. Although I could never imagine someone harming me, the reality may not have been the same for him.

Another time, also around the same age (It’s the bar-going age, after all), several friends were going to a small bar in Northtowne for karaoke. I invited a ton of people and my friend (the same from the current “records at the antique store” tale) asked if it was safe for him. I looked at him strangely, as if he was nuts to as that question in the 21st century, and said yes. Just after I did, two of my friends, who were/are married to each other, looked at each other, then looked at me and said, “no.” The husband was/is in law enforcement and is Latino. We didn’t go to that bar. In fact, I never went back again…..

How was I so oblivious?

That answer is easy. I’m white…and I was naive.

But I’m not anymore, and that is why I couldn’t give my friend an immediate “yes” when he asked about going to check out the records.

Eventually, the two opinions came back in agreement that it would be “friendly” for my friend, but that doesn’t mean it’s correct.

In fact, it feels very wrong to have to ask if a place is safe for a black person near our world-class city.

I know racism is alive and strong in so many places. I know it doesn’t look like a man in a white hooded outfit. It doesn’t sound like the vile N word.

It manifests in more subtle ways, and that’s scarier to me because it’s harder to recognize with my eyes and ears…

who wants to changeYet somehow, my heart still senses it every day as I scroll through Facebook; watch TV; and see generational, cyclical poverty.

 

The only thing I know to do about it is to acknowledge it; to stop pretending that it doesn’t exist just because we check certain milestones of the list.

Much like any true change and conversion, it doesn’t come with just acting better and watching our language in public. It doesn’t come from a checklist. (I would say all of this about “Religion,” too)

Meaningful, long-term change….It comes from the heart.

How’s yours?

Love,
Lisa

**This is from my heart. It’s my attempt at processing and feeling through these experiences, and not intended to simplify or pretend to know what anyone else experiences** Today I visited a small town, just north of KCMO, with my family. Since it’s Tuesday, there weren’t a lot of people out on enjoying the shopping […]

“When the Waves are Crashing…”

Deep Thoughts | Getting Personal (aka a little TMI) No Comments

Hey everybody! Anyone still out there?

Long time, no post…I know.

From Pinterest

From Pinterest

I’m hesitating with how to start this off, because I don’t want it to seem like I am always struggling.  The thing is, when I’m in the midst of a tough internal (and external) struggle, I do a lot of thinking, and when I do a lot of thinking it leads to a lot of feeling.

What I’m realizing today, as I write this, is all that thinking and feeling, that feels like chaos and pain, is really me wrestling and breaking through into a moment of growth.

So, I think I might have to reframe my processing. Instead of referring to it as struggling, from this moment henceforth (I hope you’re using an English accent in your head like I am)….henceforth I shall refer to these moments as times of growing…not struggling.

The gamer in me says I’m gaining XP and leveling up. *nerd alert*

Aaaaaaanyway….

The last few weeks I’ve really been in my head and heart and relying on some old ways of thinking and acting; unhealthy and scary, really.

It’s been pretty isolating; to feel so unworthy that you pull away from most things…and then the isolation and shame begin to poke holes in the life you’ve fought for and spiral into the most critical and demeaning thoughts. I felt very much like I felt 5 years ago before I accepted Christ; and that was pretty low.

Honestly, some of the thoughts I had last night were deep and dark.

I was feeling alone. More and more I have felt like I don’t fit in with my closest friends anymore. A lot of this feeling comes from thinking I’m left out because of this phase of life I’m living.

It used to be that my friends were married, but we would still hang out after I got divorced. Then it progressed to them having kids, like, on purpose…then more than one…on purpose. Their families were building and there were baby showers and births and 1st birthdays; reasons to get together.

And then there’s now…and the families are established and growing up…and I am in my parent’s basement; alone. Forgotten, or at least an afterthought…according to my own thoughts and feelings.

This is how the thoughts start….and they spiral from there; but I want you to know this is truly a hopeful post, so I’m not going to dwell there because it’s not where I am right now.

Image belongs to Suzanne Davis Harden

Image belongs to Suzanne Davis Harden

So while I’ve been “growing” these last few weeks, I’ve been praying to God to come get me out of it. Take me by the hand and pull me out…wash the dirt off me; and let’s move on.

Today, at church, listening to the story of Jesus walking on water toward his disciples, my mind began to shift away from “get me out of this” to something totally different.

When the disciples were in their fishing boat on the stormy waves, they weren’t too shaken up by the conditions. They were used to stormy seas. What got their attention-what made them afraid-was seeing Jesus walking toward them on the waves….like a boss. They’d seen him do amazing things already, but this? I can’t imagine how crazy they must have felt, and in awe at the same time, to know they knew well the man doing that impossible thing…surely he must be who he says he is.

Jesus never told them to quit being wusses. He didn’t try to offer a silver lining to what they were going through, or minimize the situation.

who caresGod’s not looking at me going “Hayden, seriously. I have these people with cancer, and this ISIS thing, and Trump…don’t even get me started….and you feel ‘lonely’?! Cut the crap, girl.”

He’s not watching me waiting for the most meaningful moment, right before my fingertips get submerged, to reach in and pull me out.

While I was feeling unworthy in my relationship with my creator, I was making Jesus into something he isn’t. I know my verb tenses don’t match…just go with it.

Jesus is an “all-in” kind of God. He’s not just gonna stand around and watch while I struggle, and in the moments I look to him give me a half-hearted shrug.

He’s here fighting with me already. He is IN the mess. He’s not a “wait outside until the messy part is over” kind of God.

Jesus doesn’t want me to “give up.” He wants me to surrender. And there’s a big difference between the two.

And so I will.

Because He is “I am.”

And that’s greater than any storm.

john 6 15

Hey everybody! Anyone still out there? Long time, no post…I know. I’m hesitating with how to start this off, because I don’t want it to seem like I am always struggling.  The thing is, when I’m in the midst of a tough internal (and external) struggle, I do a lot of thinking, and when I […]

Untitled

Deep Thoughts | Getting Personal (aka a little TMI) 4 Comments

I’ve never written fully about this experience before. I barely talk about it.
Before I do so now, I want to warn those of you who have been through a sexual assault of any kind, that this post may contain triggers. It will not offend me in any way if you can’t read it. To be honest, my writing this is triggered by hearing that Bill Cosby has finally been charged with one of his numerous crimes.

I’m not even sure I can post all the details; nor that I should, but since a new year is coming, and we like to look at those things as new beginnings, I think I’ll get this done. Please forgive any errors in language. This isn’t something I want to read over and over.

In 2009 I was in the beginning stages of a divorce. Most of you know the end of the marriage included a miscarriage and my ex-husband attempting suicide; then 5 months later we were officially separated. To say I was grieving and bearing a great deal of emotional weight would be an understatement.

I was a lost woman, and I was acting out in ways that were unhealthy and also unknown, so no one could help me.

When I became unattached, married men came out of the woodwork to support me, and much to my own shame, I appreciated the attention. In my testimony of becoming a Christian, you can read that I slept with a married man (once, for the record, and never again), but something happened before that, with another man.

I’d dated him a decade earlier, as a very innocent freshman high school girl (I remember we broke up because I wouldn’t have sex with him), but now he was married with a happy family, and I was headed for divorce. They took me under their wing when my marriage ended. His wife was very kind to me.

She went out-of-town around his birthday, and he asked me to celebrate it with him. I agreed to go to dinner with him, his kids, his mother and her friend. I even asked his wife if this was ok, as it was eerily similar to the catalyst that ended my marriage.

I didn’t intend it, but just me asking caused a fight between husband and wife. That should have been a sign.

The day of his birthday approached and the plans for celebrating kept changing. We weren’t going to dinner with his family. His kids were with a sitter. Some friends were coming out for dinner instead. Another sign.

I arrived at his house to watch what now seems like a charade of friends cancelling on him or not answering their phones; so it was just the two of us for dinner. Another sign.

He paid. Another sign.

We picked up alcohol because people were going to join us back at the house. That wasn’t completely true. One more female friend came over. We drank some. I felt very drunk-very quickly. Another sign.

At one point he showed us his guns. He put them on his bed.

We listened to music on YouTube. Music that still triggers me back to this night.

He put his hand on my knee. I assumed it was out of excitement. He was incredibly attractive BUT married; there was no way it was flirting. I was convinced I was a bad person for thinking he would flirt with me. His wife was beautiful and I was fat. More signs.

Eventually I could no longer keep my eyes open. He made me listen to a podcast about binary code, but it was only on his phone which he couldn’t turn up very loud, so we had to sit close together. Another sign.

I’d had a lot of tequila and the podcast was super boring…I knew I couldn’t drive and was going to sleep on the couch.

He insisted I sleep in his bed and he would sleep on the couch. I refused several times. He did not back down. Another sign.

At some point he told me he’d set out things for me to sleep in on the bed. I was thinking shorts and a t-shirt. I was stunned to see 3-4 of his wife’s negligees from which to choose. Another sign.

I vehemently declined; told him I was fine; and got into the bed fully dressed (minus shoes). He insisted on staying to show me how to work the remote for the TV in the bedroom.

I covered my face and asked him to go. He insisted saying it wouldn’t take long. I remember pulling the blankets over my face.

valid sexual assaultAnd all at once we were kissing. For about 17.2 seconds I think I thought it was ok, until he hurt me (there were bruises from this). Although that was scary, the pain jolted me back to reality and I told him to stop. He didn’t.

I shouted for him to stop as I tried to hold my body together like a brick.

He did.

My thought processes were shot. I knew I had just interfered in a marriage, but I didn’t stop to think that I needed to get out of there; that I was in danger.

I just couldn’t think clearly.

I told him “we” should not be doing that.

He begged me to stay and said he would go to the couch.

I laid there and knew I needed to leave, but my shoes were by the couch. It was winter and there were at least 6 inches of snow on the ground.

I went to retrieve my shoes. He apologized and asked me not to tell. It was completely dark. I sat down next to him and asked if he was ok. I asked HIM if HE was ok!!

Suddenly, his hands were on my head pushing my face toward his exposed genitals. I yelled at him to stop and twisted to the floor. His hands were around my neck and head still pushing my face down.

I grabbed his thigh as hard as I could and he let go.

I ran out; leaving my footprints in the deep snow.

Somehow I made it home and called a friend at 3 in the morning.

For the next several days I watched the bruises on my breasts, thighs, and neck change color and fade away.

It took me 8 days to realize I was the victim of a crime. I thought I was a slut who had broken up a family.

When I went to report it to the police, I was made to stand and tell the story in the lobby through a vented window to a male uniformed officer on the other side. Someone else was reporting a car accident next to me.

Once I finished the officer had me wait while he called a detective. After a while he came out and said he was instructed to ask me one question: “Why did you wait so long to report the incident?”

My reply, quite simply, “I thought it was my fault.”

I started having nightmares after that. I had to sleep with my lights on. I would dream that I woke up with him standing above me in my room.

Just as I began to move on, I ran into him, with his whole family. Thankfully my best friend was with me. I was shaking so badly. The nightmares started again, but went away more quickly this time.

What happened to me was minor in comparison to so many other victims, and yet it still had those effects on me.

Twice in the last 5 years the man’s wife has contacted me. Most recently (this year) she asked why I had never showed up to any of the court dates. I replied that I had never been made aware of any court dates. My address has not changed, nor my phone number, for 15 years, yet I was never informed. I even called after the first time she contacted me, yet no one in the department could find information for me.

The man is still a public servant, and is probably quite good at his job, but I will always believe his position kept him safe.

If you read this, then you probably know me, and maybe even feel some kind of warm feelings toward me. Thank you, for that, by the way. But maybe reading the story of someone you know will help you to judge victims of assault less harshly. No matter what I did/wore/said/drank that night, nothing would add up to consent for what happened.

I KNOW I was in the wrong place. I KNOW there were lots of warning signs.

Even though I know those things, NONE of that granted him permission to place his hands upon me once I told him to stop. NONE of it meant I deserved and earned the bruises on my neck, breasts, and thighs; nor the scars to my psyche.

There is so much more I could tell you to make my point so much more clear, but I don’t feel like I can write anymore about it. I’ve said what I needed to say.

I’m still ashamed. I’m still embarrassed. I’m still scared, at times.

I concede I ignored my intuition, and I learned a hard lesson for it.

Do you think he learned his?

<3, Lisa If you or someone you know is the victim of sexual assault and you don't know what to do, please check out these websites: http://mocsa.org/services/24-hour-support http://www.safehorizon.org/ https://rainn.org/get-help/help-a-loved-one https://www.victimsofcrime.org/help-for-crime-victims

I’ve never written fully about this experience before. I barely talk about it. Before I do so now, I want to warn those of you who have been through a sexual assault of any kind, that this post may contain triggers. It will not offend me in any way if you can’t read it. To […]

Perhaps a Proctologist Could Help?

Deep Thoughts | Getting Personal (aka a little TMI) 5 Comments

Friends. I’m struggling inside. I’m mostly happy, but I can’t seem to let go of some bitterness and anger, and it’sdont fake beginning to overpower the general “happy” I work with daily.

This morning, on my way to work, I was trying to figure out how to get past these things that I’m letting upset me and something on the radio sparked a thought:
If I’m struggling to feel the peace of Jesus in my heart, then it means I’m relying on something else to make me happy, so what am I letting get in the way?
The answer was easy after a few seconds: my relationships.
I rely on relationships with people in my life to make me happy.

This isn’t all bad because I really like people and I love making them feel loved, but I’ve failed at this lately because I have felt so disappointed with most of my relationships lately. I don’t even have the will to reach out anymore.

When one person lets me down I am bummed, but when it feels like a repeating cycle of friends cancelling plans, or not inviting me to things, then even tiny things like not answering a text or a phone call becomes the biggest insult ever. And even the legitimate reasons for cancelling become “just another excuse” to me.

I’m at the point where I’m isolating myself from my friends because of the hurt I perceive. I’m on the verge of shutting down to most people in my personal life.

I know no one is doing these things intentionally to hurt me, but it certainly feels like I’m not being considered at all.

And it’s not just isolated to one group of friends; It feels like it’s everyone. That’s not realistic, but when it happens so much it feels like everyone.

20 years ago the easy answer would have been “Find new friends.” That’s not an option here; and not because I’m not friendly or capable of making new friends. No; these people who I feel so hurt by are truly my friends who love me and have invested in me. These people mean so much to me, and I know that is part of why I am hurt so much.

give and receive loveOpening your heart up to people and relationships means opening yourself up to the chance of being hurt. What I’m failing to absorb are the wonderful chances I have to feel loved.

I can love people rather easily, but allowing myself to feel loved is so much more challenging-Nearly impossible, in fact.

So how do I let it go?
Pray more? Read the Bible (admittedly, I struggle with the Bible, in general)? Quit everything?
I’d love 5 practical steps to get on over this, but I don’t really think that’s gonna happen.

Have you gone through something like this before? If so, do you have any words of wisdom or other advice for healing?

Realistically, I know I need to pray, and I am and will continue, but that makes me feel like I am asking God to solve my problem instead of working on it myself.

In 4 days I celebrate 4 years of knowing Jesus as my savior. As you can see, that doesn’t make everything hunky-dory, but I have no doubts about that decision.

This is just part of my journey for now.

Thanks for reading.

Would you pray for me or send positive vibes my way?

Lisa

fix my attitude

Friends. I’m struggling inside. I’m mostly happy, but I can’t seem to let go of some bitterness and anger, and it’s beginning to overpower the general “happy” I work with daily. This morning, on my way to work, I was trying to figure out how to get past these things that I’m letting upset me […]

(Untitled)

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Today I read a post by one of my favorite author/bloggers: Donald Miller.

It was titled “How to Overcome a Past Success to Make it Happen Again.” Here’s the first two lines from that post:

“Success can be the worst thing that ever happens to you. Many people can handle failure, but very few can handle personal accomplishment.”

greatest loveThe post goes on to talking about folks who have received notoriety and how it can really be a detriment if you let it all get to you.

I spent a bit of time thinking about if and how this applied to me while discussing it with a close friend once I realized why it struck me on a hurtful chord.

You see, my first year as a school counselor, after at least a dozen interviews, I was desperate for a job and really did all I could to get a position in the KCMO school district. The school year had started and I showed up to the district headquarters in downtown KC ready to show how much I wanted the position. I brought lesson plans I’d made while pursuing my degree. I had multiple copies of my resume, cover letter, and curriculum vitae. The district big wig with whom I was interviewing displayed some kind of emotion when she said to me “Oh, look at you. You really want this job, don’t you?”

I did.

And I got it.

And I loved it.

I was hired for a K-7 position in an urban school with another first-year counselor. We kinda knew what we were doing, or at least we knew what we thought we should be doing, so we did it.

I think we did alright. 🙂

But did I let that go to my head?

At the end of that year our positions were cut and I was very fortunate to interview in a bigger, better district AND get the position.

I traveled to 2 schools and worked with 3 other counselors, from whom I continue to learn so much about being a counselor and even more about who I am, specifically, as a counselor.

At the end of my second year (end of the first year in the bigger, better district) I went to a training with some staff for a program we ultimately did not opt to use. The man facilitating that training had been my assistant principal in my first school; the urban one. At a break he approached the table at which I was sitting with two of my peers and said to them “You probably already know this, but you have a great counselor.”

I told him he was very kind to say so.give love

My peers said nothing.
Realistically, these two peers hadn’t really ever worked closely with me so they legitimately may not have known if I was any good, but the moment had some unfortunate lasting effects on my psyche.

Looking back now, I think that was the moment I started to doubt myself.

I don’t always know if I’m any good at it anymore.

I don’t always know if I’m liked by my peers.

I don’t know if I fit in.

Wait, are those even the same thing?

Nope. They’re not, and as much as I WANT to be liked by my peers, I’m not sure that’s the right place for me to focus. #notaboutme #aboutthekids

So a new school year approaches; the beginning of my 8th year as a counselor–seven of them traveling between schools.

bruce leeI’m looking forward to the Global Leadership Summit this week. I’m hoping it will help me be a better leader, or at the very least, a better person and better teammate.

If I won’t be liked or approved of, I hope I can at least still be good.

This isn’t finished, yet.

I’m not finished, yet.

Looking forward to more of the journey.

Thanks for being on it with me.

<3
Lisa

Treasured. Sacred. His.

Today I read a post by one of my favorite author/bloggers: Donald Miller. It was titled “How to Overcome a Past Success to Make it Happen Again.” Here’s the first two lines from that post: “Success can be the worst thing that ever happens to you. Many people can handle failure, but very few can […]

Not Yet Fully Formed

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Do you ever have those moments where you realize you may have formed an impression of someone too soon? Or judged them too harshly?

Tell me what that’s like. I’ve never done that before….or I’m lying because I’m embarrassed to admit the number of times I’ve been wrong about people or situations.

I made the long drive home from Colorado to KCMO yesterday, and somehow fell down the rabbit hole of this initialmistakes do not define thought:
“Man. I am so much less annoying than I was in high school…thank God!”

to

“I think I’ve actually learned a lot in the last 10 years (since college) about life.”

to

“I wish some people would stop expecting that I would be done growing, learning, and maturing just because I’m an adult.”

And then the big thought:

“Oh crap. I have that expectation of all kinds of people….I’m a jerk!”

A good deal of my thoughts this summer have been focused on how I’ve unfairly treated some people in my life. I don’t know how to make amends for some of that because a lot of how we judge or mistreat people takes place in our “cognitive worlds” and a personal apology just doesn’t make sense (and I’d like to NOT look crazy). Some of the internal dialogue makes its way into the physical world. For me that usually means judging and complaining; together and separately.

still becoming“She’s been my friend for 25 years. How could she not know that would hurt my feelings?”

“He/She is in a leadership role now. They should know how to treat people and make all the decisions.”

“He’s so arrogant and makes mean comments. I don’t want him on my team.”

Those are specific examples from my brain in the last 2 years that I know caused me to harshly judge friends/teammates/coworkers/family and treat them poorly in words, thoughts, and/or deed.

And I know I have to do better.

I know that because that friend never intends to hurt my feelings. I’m grateful my friends don’t keep track of all the times I’ve hurt them and still love me.

I know that because I’ve been put into a leadership position and I certainly don’t know what to do a great deal of the time…and I’m thankful for those willing to guide me as I lead.

I know I have to do better because that guy did play on my team again, and he didn’t act the same way…and there are people in the world who love him and whom he loves. Love is a breaker of barriers. I LOVE love.

Common ground can do a lot to walk us down the path of understanding.

I think we are living in a culture where everyone wants to be given a second chance, but we are less willing to give a second chance to anyone else.

Or even a third chance…

And a fourth chance.

greatest charity

Instead of expecting the worst…

We’re human. We’re going to mess up over and over again and some of those mess ups are going to hurt people.

And sometimes we are going to be hurt, or annoyed, or mad, or disappointed.

Accountability and grace go hand in hand.

I don’t mean we should let ourselves be walked on like doormats, but that we should display a fair amount of grace.

How much grace is a “fair amount?”  I think we should show the amount of grace that we’d like shown to us.

So, I’m sorry for the times I judged others and expected them to be fully formed.

I’m not done growing yet,

and neither are you.

Love,
Lisa

Do you ever have those moments where you realize you may have formed an impression of someone too soon? Or judged them too harshly? Tell me what that’s like. I’ve never done that before….or I’m lying because I’m embarrassed to admit the number of times I’ve been wrong about people or situations. I made the […]

Mother’s Day-It’s Not Easy for Everyone

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On my way to work Friday a DJ mentioned that Mother’s day used to be a tough holiday for her. She shared that in college she’d had a crisis pregnancy and ultimately gave up the child for adoption. Although that situation is what brought her to faith in Christ, it was also understandably difficult. The DJ shared every year at church, on Mother’s Day, they would ask the mothers to stand and be recognized, and how conflicted she felt about that.

Now she has a family of her own, but she expressed empathy for those in tough situations going into this weekend.

I’m one of those people.

In the past I’ve shared that I had a miscarriage. I would have an almost 6-year-old right now. Sometimes I wonder if there’s a parallel universe where that path of life actually plays out. As hard as it is, I am thankfulyou are near I’m not living it.

This school year has been a rough one for my students; several of whom have lost their mothers, and another who will have their last Mother’s Day with their mom this weekend.

My dad lost his mom 14 year ago and it’s still hard. I think of his brother and sisters.

I think of my friends who lost babies.

I think of my family member who gave up one of her babies for adoption.

I think of my friends (and myself) who yearn to be mothers but it just hasn’t happened yet.

I think of my grandma and my Aunt Sue, who haven’t heard their mother’s voice or laugh in decades and how I am so scared for that to happen to me.

I think of my friend, Travis, who lost his mom when we were young.

I think of my sweet friend, Elizabeth, who lost her mom so unexpectedly, and how this has to be such a hard holiday for her; such mixed emotions with being so grateful to have a relationship with her own wonderful daughter and missing her mommy.

I think of all of these things, and I feel the pain of them (because I am a feeler, that’s what I do), and I remember that I am so very blessed to have my mom.

motherMom,
Thank you:
for being so thoughtful of everyone all the time
for loving my dad (even when he’s grumpy)
for showing me Christ
for holding my hand when I’m scared or sad
for thinking of me
for loving my brother
for loving the people your kids love without question
for being funny
for making our family and friends feel welcome
for being my biggest supporter all the time…even when I mess up
for never giving up on me even when I am tough to be around

Mostly, mom, thank you for being my mom, and for loving me so well.

I love you.

And for those of you who struggle with this holiday, I am sorry that I have no healing words. I can only say that I am thinking of you, and my heart is with you.

Love,
Lisa

On my way to work Friday a DJ mentioned that Mother’s day used to be a tough holiday for her. She shared that in college she’d had a crisis pregnancy and ultimately gave up the child for adoption. Although that situation is what brought her to faith in Christ, it was also understandably difficult. The […]

They’re Not Teachers

Deep Thoughts 1 Comment

I have something to say, and I want to say it as plainly as I can because it is painful. This pain is shared by many today, and I hope they can find solace in their brief time in service to some lost children.

I’ve said before I work in a low-income, high-needs community. No education job is easy, but when you work in this kind of community the skills required of you are a little different.  Most of us weren’t prepared for it when we started, but once you’re there for a year you find you can’t imagine doing anything else:

Buying supplies for your classroom? Sure, a few of them will come in with the full list, but most of them won’t. That’s on you.
Snacks (aka breakfast)? Ok, I can buy some granola bars.
Clothes? Shoes? Underpants? Wait…what? Ok, if they need it, I’ll get it. Anything that helps them learn.
Halloween costumes? Valentines? Birthdays? Done and done.

mandelaEventually you just start keeping a stash of those things so you can take care of it, move on, and get to learning.

That’s not intended to be harsh or uncaring, it’s just that what you can teach them and what they can learn could change the course of their life.

NBD.

Or is it?

It is. It’s a big effing deal, guys.

Sometimes, big families with big needs move in.

Sometimes, you know, with absolute certainty, that the adults working in that school are the only adults truly caring about those kids and making sure they get loved and heard.

Sometimes, actually every time, you open your heart and you love them because they need it and you can give it.

You’re an educator working with a low-income, high-needs population.

That’s who you are now.

You’re not just an educator; You’re a lover of kids.

That isn’t always easy, but you do it…Every. Damn. Day.

And you know what sucks? Sometimes they go; they leave. You don’t even get to know they’re going. They just stop showing up. You might never get to know what happens next.

But that doesn’t stop you from worrying.

Today was a first.

Today my fellow educators found out what happened to one of these families for which so many had worked so hard.

It’s not good. Tragic car accident. Ramifications for all of them; at least the ones who lived.

It’s heartbreaking. Truly.

And that’s why I think I will name this week something other than “Teacher Appreciation Week.”

It’s not big enough.

The truth is, if you take a job in a school you do so knowing you championwill have contact with younger and smaller humans.
Custodians, Classroom Teachers, Nurses, Paraprofessionals, Process Coordinators, Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Resource Aides, Nutrition Helpers, Focus facilitators, Administrators, Administrative Professionals, Registrars, Counselors, Library Clerks, Library Media Specialists, Instructional Technologists, Physical Education, Art, and Music Instructors, Special Education Teachers, Band and Strings teachers, and anyone I missed; Thank You!
To me, you aren’t teachers; You are Champions.

Champions.

That’s what you are; if only for a few months of their little lives–You were their champions.

And there are still kids who need you.

Keep fighting.

Every Day.

Champion On!

Love,
Lisa

I have something to say, and I want to say it as plainly as I can because it is painful. This pain is shared by many today, and I hope they can find solace in their brief time in service to some lost children. I’ve said before I work in a low-income, high-needs community. No […]

Jesus Loves A**holes

Deep Thoughts No Comments

As a Christian I battle the stereotype (almost daily) that I am also someone with her thumb up her a$$ and head in jesus equals lovethe ground…or just my head in my a$$, really.

That is how so many Christians are perceived because of the media and others who get more attention because of their closed minds and hearts.

I’m calling out my fellow Christians today because I think too many act like bigots but hide it by professing to love everyone.

But you don’t love everyone.

Admittedly, I don’t love everyone either. I try very hard, but there are individuals who test my human capacity for love.

I am flawed.

represent jesusBigotry is most simply defined as “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.”

Christian brothers and sisters, many of you consider it a victory when civil rights are withheld from the LGBTQ community in our country.

And that is something worse than bigotry.

To be fair, I also don’t think it is just or of good character to single out Christians to maliciously sue them for holding different beliefs. Bigotry can extend in many directions.

Back to my point:

I understand the term “marriage,” in the Christian connotation, specifically refers to holy matrimony between a woman and a man among God’s chosen people.

Why does the local government have dominion over your holy union? Why don’t marriage licenses come only from churches?

You can tell me the historical timeline of how it came to be that county governments were handed the reins to marriage and that still won’t satisfy me. What I want to know is why you aren’t demanding that the “Non-Christian” government STOP issuing marriage licenses and demand they be ordained ONLY by God’s church? Why aren’t you livid about this? Why aren’t you fighting to get this domain returned to church control instead of fighting to withhold rights from others?

I mean, then you could have your religious exemption protection from performing gay marriages, right?

But I’m gonna make this bigger:

Why are you ok with the multitude of atheists or non-Christians who get married each day; oftentimes in a church, by an ordained person?!?

I used to be married. When I got married it was as a non-believer to a non-believer in a Christian church. I applied and paid for my marriage license at the county offices.

Here’s my real problem with your problem with gay marriage:ellen

For most of you it has nothing to do with protecting your ideal of marriage, but only serves to keep that status away from others. They don’t deserve to be married because of their sin.

They don’t deserve service because of their gayness.

They don’t deserve entrance into God’s presence because off their gayness.

I apologize if my terminology is uncouth. I’m really hoping my point gets across

It’s a very human thing to rank sin, I think.

Is a Christian business owner in Indiana going to refuse service to an adulterer or alcoholic or a child molester?

Probably not, and probably not even by choice, because those sins often stay hidden.

draw people to christBut those gay people, geez, they are just all about being gay. It’s all they talk about. They wear clothes that let on to what they are and jewelry with their icons on it and try to talk to people about their life choices and talk them into being like them.

No, wait. I might have actually just described a Christian. Just change the underlined word.

And realistically, Christian and gay are not mutually exclusive terms. And if you’re a Christian who thinks homosexuality is a sin, then you inherently believe that statement because there is no way Christian and sinner are mutually exclusive terms.

I know many will disagree with me, and that is truly ok; especially if it’s respectful.

I just want to end with this thought:
When you meet Jesus, will he be impressed with your refusal to serve? And maybe even more impressed because you can point out how the Bible supports it?

Jesus really supported all those religious rule-followers.

Well, maybe not, but he did love and serve them, too.
john 314

As a Christian I battle the stereotype (almost daily) that I am also someone with her thumb up her a$$ and head in the ground…or just my head in my a$$, really. That is how so many Christians are perceived because of the media and others who get more attention because of their closed minds […]