Wednesday, August 19, 2015

and she's back!

greetings, my friends, from the lovely world of "Mith Nobaw". how are things out there?
for MONTHS now, I have been planning on returning to this little internet-canvas of mine and throwing some brightly colored paint on my world... then my laptop died.
so here I've been, holding my thoughts in until an innocent bystander asks how my day is or what I'm doing the next weekend. and then out trickle my observations and convictions and decisions and ponderings, with the force of something much fiercer than a trickle if I'm being honest.
there are many things that have changed semi-drastically since I last mentioned them out here in the blogosphere: I got a new car, I moved into a sweet rental house with my sister, I obtained and began a job as an elementary music teacher in a lovely little school in a heart-wrenching school district, the seester and I got a puppy (he's mostly hers), Casey and I got back together (which happened a while back but I don't think I've mentioned it here), I began and ended work at Bath & Body for the summer, and my Mee-Maw died.
-----> all of that happened in an order very different from how I listed it but who cares.

so life has looked like a lot of things lately:
it's looked like wet hair being slung around on the 7 AM drive to school (leisurely late-morning, compared to Spring semester!)
it's looked like being terrified of/for my achey-breaky old car and thrilled for/over my new one.
it's looked like my first ever panic attack the week before I started school because 1) I loved these babies before I met them and 2) Satan uses that against me.
it's looked like falling asleep at 6 PM because I was working two jobs for a while there-- and I have a whole new respect for anyone who has a full-time job AND another job on top of it.
it's looked like forgetting, for probably the first time in my life, that skin color is an actual thing that affects some people's views of others, and often finding myself having this sudden, shocking realization that I am not, in fact, African-American too.
it's looked like sitting in 'my' house being absolutely mind-blown at how God has worked and provided in just one year.
it's looked like renting five movies from the library at once because that's the max, and watching them all as fast as possible.
it's looked like eating out too much.
it's looked like being really unsure about all the grey areas in my relationship with God.
it's looked like trying to learn how to rest.
it's looked like occasionally hating myself for being so empathetic.
it's looked like getting to hold a loving, bearded face in my hands, and realize that the kind of relationship we have is one of rare vulnerability and depth [and it's wonderful that we get it but so sad that some humans forsake this for their own comfortability] and cry-laughing the happiest tears out of my eyes because Casey Key is a living, breathing, hugging answer to prayer.
{the kind of prayers that aren't happy and pretty and well-formulated. the kind of prayers that contained the occasional curse word and a good bit of yelling and a lot more crying and all kinds of groans from my heart. the kind of prayers that I had never prayed until I suddenly woke up on August 25th, and every morning after that, needing to grab the door handles of God's heart and shake them and scream and pour out bitter tears because He had wrecked me in an awful, beautiful new way that brought about so much dependance.}

and, of course, being a teacher now, it's looked like doing a lot of things that "aren't my job".
Translating as much of his class as I can for a 4th grader who can't speak English "isn't my job".
Teaching a 5th grader to read because no one took the time to when she was younger "isn't my job".
Helping administer pre-testing so that students who need reading intervention can get it early on "isn't my job".
Squatting down to tie the shoes of a 3rd grader who can't tie his own "isn't my job".
But yet... all of those things are my job.

and one day, amidst sharpening a few score pencils, I started pondering. on pencils, and what 'is' and 'isn't' my job.

I'm weird about the kind of pencils I buy for my students. I only buy Ticonderoga #2, even though they cost a bit more, because the lead doesn't break as easily as off-brand or even Dixon pencils. Now Dixon pencils, I swear, were made by Satan himself. Just when you ease them into the sharpener to bring them to perfect sharpness, they come out with the lead at an awkward angle. You touch it with the tip of your forefinger to see if it's sturdy enough to write with, and the lead falls out. So you slide it back in the sharpener, and out it comes: the wood rounded around the end of the lead to the point that it can't be used to write at all anymore.
It's one of the more infuriating things I experience in a given day.


and it makes me think: I don't want to be a Dixon pencil. I don't want to break off when people need me and say "that isn't my job today" or "not feeling like it, sorry." I don't want to be the kind of person that when Christ draws me in to sharpen me, I pull my shell up around me and protect myself to the point that I'm not even a tool worth utilizing anymore.

I want to be the kind of writing utensil that is the worn-out, tried-and-true, tiny little knub of a pencil because it has given every bit of itself being sharpened and used and sharpened and used and broken and sharpened and used. It has loved others by simply making itself available and sharpen-able.

which reminds me.
Someone needs to tell Taylor Swift that love is NOT
"a fragile little flame that could burn out."
On June 2nd I wrote:
I'm learning that love is not 
some "fragile little" thing that I have to keep 
hidden away and protected.

I'm learning that love is fierce and strong
and a weapon for the battle to find
and create joy every moment.

I'm learning that love is gorilla tape that 
binds and corrects and sticks and stays.

I'm learning that love is 
misunderstood by everyone,
most of all me.

I'm learning that love is the heart-wrenching
waiting and staying. It is the
sitting-in-the-silence-and-not-fearing-it.

I'm learning that love can be found 
in absolutely any situation,
circumstance, or emotional ecosystem.

and today I'm adding:

I'm learning that love doesn't ask me for 
anything but my SELF.

I'm learning that love doesn't ask me where I'm going,
it asks me where I am and knows
that I sometimes just need to be held there.

I'm learning that love doesn't ask me
to always be energetic or enthusiastic or positive, 
but simply to be real.

I'm learning that love isn't always painful,
isn't always perceived as beautiful, and 
isn't always noticeable to eyes unfamiliar.

I'm learning that love's motto is just:
"wow. you."


I guess I say all that to say I'd rather be a knobby pencil and Gorilla tape than a Dixon pencil or a Taylor Swift song. and I really want to hear what you're learning, whether it's about love or not, because I want to know if I'm kinda close to the target or if I'm just really far off. share your hearts, friends, I look forward to it.

welcome to midnight.

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