Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Reflecting on Life

As a lifelong learner, I am pretty curious.  I enjoy thinking about new ideas and looking at research about all kinds of topics: space, education, Biblical studies, science... you name it.  I like to be stumped and have to think on things for long periods of time so that when I learn something new I work to see how it fits into things I've already learned.  Sometimes my views change, sometimes I wait and see, and sometimes my views are reaffirmed.  There are a few things that have me thinking, growing, and changing.  They also are reaffirming.

  • Parkinson's.  My dad has it, and I've watched it take a brilliant, funny, humble, and godly man on a personal journey that tests his faith, and reaffirms it.  They say when people start losing their cognitive abilities you see who they truly are.  In my case, my dad is even more humorous, more godly, and more humble than he's ever been.  He's also just as brilliant, he just can't find the words to show it.  I'm so proud of him.
  • Education.  I made the choice to move to a school of choice middle school from a wonderful position teaching gifted students.  I loved teaching gifted students, but I also wanted a challenge. This middle school is very much a challenge, and it has pushed me to shore up my beliefs about education.  It also reminded me how much I love middle schoolers, even when they drive me crazy.  They have real issues going on in their lives, and I want them to know my class is their safe place.  
  • Mother-in-law.  This year I welcomed two daughters-in-law into our lives, and I am so amazed at how God brought together the perfect helpmates for my sons.  They complement each other perfectly and push the boys enough to encourage growth.  I love their new traditions they bring, and the fact that they are both letter writers. They have strong values.  I love them. 
  • Growth.  I finished my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction in 2017, and I have used what I learned SO much.  That education changed my thinking about what good education looks like, and made me a better educator.  However, I'm not finished.  Another masters is on the horizon, and once I committed I became more and more excited.  I'm happy to say I will be pursuing a Masters in Educational Leadership and Policies beginning at the end of August.  I look forward to learning from this same university again.  
  • Personal conflict.  My eyes were opened in a big way after hearing and understanding about covert aggression.  It is something we have been dealing with for many years and was a way of life for us for a while but I haven't been able to put it into words.  Hearing this term and what it represents was so joyful for me, because it describes perfectly the problems we have been dealing with.  That affirmation was life-changing because  I now know how to deal with them and that the hope they would someday change so that we could have a relationship we once had will never happen unless God moves and changes their hearts. I do hope for that, but I'm more realistic about the possibilities. 
It's good to be in this place of reflection before school begins again.  I'm blessed. Not because our lives are free from difficulties....they're not.  Not because we are reaping financial gains.... we're not. A lot of people confuse those things with being blessed.  Sometimes God blesses us with difficulties so that we can know him better and can grow and change.  Growth comes from struggle.  I love that.