living. loving. laughing.

living.  loving.  laughing.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

January = the busy YL month

It's a love-hate relationship with Young Life in the month of January, to be totally honest. I LOVE that January is traditionally a "training" month, but I hate that it takes me out of the area, takes me away from the comfort of home, and leaves me Mr. Darcy-less for two plus weeks on end.

I love my little puppy. that's a no brainer.

yet, like a cup of my Bad Ass coconut rum (flavor-flave) coffee that I'll drink in the morning, I'm brewing over the many muddled thoughts running through my mind right now. I've learned a ton. I experienced true life and journey with kids who'd never experienced such a thing as YOUNG LIFE this past weekend....and loved it (both parties, to be sure).

And as I get ready to head to bed, it's interesting because that task-list is long, and I'm ready and excited to tackle it - YET I know that a day of rest - a sabbath, mind you - is imperative. A day of running and walking and playing and resting with Mr. Darcy is essential. A day of not answering emails and not making phone calls and more "asks," and not doing the big and little things is necessary...yet it's hard. So as tomorrow starts in 1 hour and 17 minutes, I think it's interesting that I'm almost worried over what tomorrow holds because there's so much personal empowerment and satisfaction in checking off the list of to-do's.

Yet I know that's not true.

And I know it's not true satisfaction.

But it's almost like I don't know how to stop....

Once you start, you just can't....stop?

miss mac's back

Subby subberson. I wish I could make the title, "substitute teacher" sound cooler than it really is, but alas, I wear the curse. The bottom line is, though, last week I had my first (full) day of subbing at Aragon HS; the goal is that I'd be able to sub once a week or once every couple of weeks to merely meet kids and connect with the school. And it's AWESOME. I loved being back in the role, yet I loved leaving my work there for the day. I loved that because of the small (English!) classes I was in, at the end of the period, I went away knowing 10 more kids from AHS than I had the previous hour. I love that there are teachers and para-educators there who know and love and support YL, and want to see it happen and thrive with their kids.

And I'm reminded that this takes time...

I'm reminded that I don't need to explain or justify myself to anyone there...

And I am humbled that God would use me right where I am, with my gifts (even if it's not in full-time teaching) to reach kids. I am reminded that I'm just supposed to be "me"; I used to beat myself over the fact that I wasn't able to be the "cool" coach who then got to relationally kick sports-butt and build relationships with kids. But there's a reason why I was an education major, and why I taught school for four years; there's a reason why I DO have a heart for kids, even if it doesn't mean that I'm to be or live my life within the confines of the classroom forever.

So that was pretty cool.

Miss Mac - she's back.

Friday, January 18, 2008

a room with a view

I wish you could see the view from my room. It's breathtaking. I've been in Florida for the past week and a half, the first five days of which were at Young Life's ASC - All Staff Conference. it was a mass of 3500 staffers + some significant others all rolled into one big mass at the Marriott in Orlando. It was exhilarating and exciting and exhausting all at the same time... I saw many staff friends from WA, and...it....was...good. I played mostly with my Bay Area peeps and continued to feel right at home, even in the midst of the cattle herding crowds.

so now I find myself in Daytona Beach, land of the slightly white trash "top two spring break destinations!" beach town; the hotel we're staying at was halfway destroyed in the hurricane two years, and one can continue to feel the effects of such devastation and recovery, all at the same time. We've been here in area director training, and this is what it feels like:

I used to assign my students a fatty research paper their junior year; it was molded after my own high school research paper experience, and it was intense. "Hated" was a daily word of the kids in their vocabularies towards me. One of the initial projects they had to do upon gathering information was compile 100 note cards, each with a separate citation on it. So here these cards from their five or six different sources would be put together, and between slit-eyes, they'd start to build up their bundle of paper. Soon the stack would be completed, and then the "fun" would begin: they'd have to start organizing the information they'd received.

They'd take their cards, and lay them out on the table in front of them, and start grouping and color-coding them together. And eventually they'd begin to see the different sections of their paper come together, with main paragraphs and sub-points and everything in between; at that point, they'd be able to "plug" the cards into their rough draft, and "hey, the beauty is that your paper is virtually written now!" I gleefully say to them. But of course that would only - again - be part of the process, and the outline would turn into a final outline. And then a first draft, and a second draft, and a final draft edited by another teacher, until it was time for the final draft production (including all previous drafts, and of course, the note cards).

So that's where I'm at: I've got all my note cards in front of me. And there is SO much information - great information! - at my finger tips, but frankly, I don't even know where to begin. In this job, I don't know where or how I should lay my cards out, or how I should color code them, but the cards are there, and the nerdy English teacher passion to start "writing" the paper is present as well. But it's daunting! And what if it doesn't work? And what if my first draft is rejected or isn't turned in on time? what if I disappoint? What if I fail? ...

And these questions, regardless of whether they're aimed at an 11th grade American Lit class, or a Young Life area, can be daunting and can eat us up, to the point that we just sit there, and do nothing...

The choice is in front of me.

And it's real.

And I know that in the midst of this, as one of my cheesy - but witty - friends said that I have the best "graders" one could ask for. I already got the A.

But sometimes I'd just rather watch TLC.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

i think it's still christmas in my heart

Mr. Darcy, on one mopey of an evening when we put the reindeer antlers on him. He is SUCH a drama king - oh MD, you proud little thing you.

3 dear friends: Bianca Jane, Jeannie and Joanna! (although I rather affectionately like to blurt out and call her JO JO, much to no one's chagrin).


Among other recent highlights:

1. I got to see my friend Mark/Polo PREACH it on Sunday - way to go, Mark!

2. Good Jesus time and Lizzy time and Mr. Darcy and Bruce are reunited time at Whidbey Island.

3. I'm SUCH a fan of books on tape...although I suppose we could move passed 1992, and call them as they are: books on CD. Books "read" on the drive back: God's Politics (LOVED IT), and The Kite Runner (LOVE IT....still present-tense in the middle of, so please don't give it away).

4. Good time with the fam. Yes. Good time.

5. Hoards of rounds of Speed Scrabble. I might need to start attending meetings. Take 2 Anonymous?

6. Eating sushi. Making sushi-adventures with Aleah and Eric. Deciding that I probably won't be a sushi chef anytime in the near future.

7. Arriving back HOME today. Truly, home is where the heart is, and as I drove down the 5 today through northern California, I couldn't help but look at the sunset and the mountains in the distance, and giggle accordingly. It wasn't a schoolgirl giggle, mind you, but rather a welling-up-inside-of-me, I can't help myself because I'm HAPPY outward giggle. And you know it's a good chuckle when it's just you and the dog in the car. it's real. it's genuine. it's of the soul.

8. FRIENDS. FAMILY. FRIENDS. FAMILY. Yes :: soul food.

9. Celebrating the new year's with two dear buddies...and more speed scrabble. :)

10. happy '08!