Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Harry Kwannukkmas!

It's that time of year again! Time for snow (if you don't live in Texas), evergreen trees, Bing Crosby songs and crowded malls filled with lovely decorations and not so lovely people. That wonderful time of year when all men are wished goodwill and peace on earth and reminded to be politically correct.

Seriously. I don't mean to be cynical, but this whole arguement bothers the crud out of me. I really don't understand why it is so offensive to hear the words, "Merry Christmas!" I understand that not everyone celebrates Christmas as I do, and I respect your choice to celebrate as you see fit. Have fun, make merry, be happy and filled with hope and goodwill. What I don't understand is why it became so offensive for someone to wish you well in their own manner. It is estimated that 89% of Americans celebrate Christmas, 5% of Americans celebrate Hanukkah and 2% celebrate Kwanzaa. I am not trying to disregard the smaller percentage that don't celebrate Christmas, but how am I supposed to know that you celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or something else besides Christmas?

So why do you take my smiling, "Merry Christmas!" as an insult? I'm wishing you well and a happy holiday season. I'm not shoving my customs down your throat. If it really bothers you, stop me and tell me that you celebrate another holiday and I will probably put my hand on your shoulder, my other hand on my heart and say, "Then I hope you have a wonderful insert holiday here!"

And to all of you Christmas celebrators, stop being angry that people have started saying, "Happy holidays"! It totally defeats the purpose of the reason you celebrate! For you, this is Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Savior of the world. But you don't shove your Christianity down other people's throats during the rest of the year do you? You try to show them your faith gently and with love. So why is Christmastime any different? Please stop making this wonderful time of year a source of contention and just accept the "Happy holidays!" that the clerk has offered you, and if you feel so moved, you could say, "Yes it is a happy holiday, because of the love of God."

Monday, November 22, 2010


Tis the week of Thanksgiving
And all 'cross the nation,
Families are gath'ring
In glad celebration!

Now that I've gotten the rhyming bug out of my system... Happy Thanksgiving!!! I saw an interesting phenomenon on Facebook this November: People listing the things they are thankful for in a status update each day. I didn't do that, so I've decided to ponder the things that I am thankful for and list them here. I also would like to know what YOU are most thankful for this holiday season. It's cool to see things from other's perspectives.

Here we go! I am thankful for...
  1. My fiance
  2. My family
  3. A good job
  4. The kids I work with
  5. My paychecks
  6. A warm place to live
  7. A lovely place to sleep
  8. Good food to eat
  9. Fusion (Bible Study)
  10. My church
  11. Godly coworkers
  12. Sweet friends
  13. A new apartment
  14. My guitar
  15. Music
  16. Smiling faces
  17. Giggles
  18. Books (and the fact that I can read)
  19. Funny movies
  20. Calculators
  21. Computers
  22. Bottled water
  23. Kleenex
  24. Modern medicine
  25. My pillow

I saved the most important thing for last. I am thankful for the sacrifice that Jesus made for me, how He shed His own innocent blood to pay for my sins. I am thankful that God has chosen me to be the recipient of such marvelous grace.

May God bless you richly this Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Waiting for Superman

Director Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) has struck again. This man who seems more interested in political propaganda than facts and reality has a new film out. It's called Waiting for Superman.

The film documents the academic journeys of five public school students who are desperate to escape the public school systems of Washington, D.C., New York, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles because they are, to quote chancellor Michelle Rhee of the DC ISD, "getting a really crappy education."

The basis behind this film is that the American public education system is horrendously behind in the global eduaction market. The movie postulates that the root of the problem is the teaching staff. The problem with this postulation? While the impact a teacher has on his/her students accounts for 10-20% of school-related success, non-school related factors impact student success by a whopping 60%! These non-school related factors include family income, family status, etc.

I bring this to my blog because it is amazing to me that people are looking to place societal blame everywhere but where it belongs. Since when is it a teacher's job to raise the children in his/her class? Since when is it a teacher's job to teach his/her students manners and personal hygiene? Last time I checked, those responsibilities were assigned to the family. Which means that the root cause of these societal problem is the deterioration of the family.

Isn't that a novel idea?

I understand that it is hard for unmarried mothers and fathers to raise their children and work at the same time. I understand that it is hard for grandparents who've adopted their grandchildren to have the energy needed to raise a child. I really do. But at the same time, anything that's worth doing is often hard, and I'm not sure I can think of anything more worthy of doing than raising a child well.

So, to those dedicated to education reform, you might want to start thinking about reforming the divorced, drugged, dead-beat, abusive, and neglectful family. It's a societal cornerstone that is currently crumbling.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dear Sir or Madam,

I started a new job this week. Encountering new people is always an adventure. I'm finding that everyone is really nice, and even though I sometimes feel that I'm swimming in mud, I think I'll find my feet before too long. This week has been such an emotional roller coaster. I didn't cry today! Haha. Monday I cried because I felt really overwhelmed at Convocation because I showed up and didn't have a clue as to where I needed to be, what I was supposed to be wearing, and who I was supposed to be looking for. Tuesday I cried because I hit my head on the corner of an open cabinet. Today, there were no tears and I was so relieved.

Something that I always find interesting is people's reactions to respect from a peer. I'm one of several Educational Assistants at my school and one of my coworkers, who happens to be older than I am, has been really helpful and on Tuesday he told me that if I needed anything I should let him know. I said, "Thank you, sir," and he stopped dead in his tracks and told me that I didn't need to call him sir because we were on the same level. This same type of thing happened to me a few weeks ago with a coworker who I was pretty close to at my last job.
All of this makes me wonder why my mom worked so hard to teach my sisters and I to show respect to our elders and even our peers. I was taught never to call my adult relatives by their first names only, always to say ma'am or sir, please and thank you.
Why is a society that is so focused on tolerance and acceptance and equal treatment seeming to run away screaming from politeness and respect? What do you think? If you have kids, what are you teaching them? What did your parents teach you? If you were raised like me, tell me what you think. If not, please explain your point of view! I want to know what you're thinking about this!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Here's a question for the general public: If you're satisfied with where you are and what you have, do you constantly wonder what else is out there? If you love your job, do you think about leaving it to do something else that pays better or has better prospects for advancement? If you're happy with your body image, do you spend time wishing you looked more like someone else? If you're completely in love with your significant other, do you wonder what it would be like to either be single or be with someone else?

I know those questions are really dumb, because the answer to all of them is NO. Of course not! When you're satisfied in your job, family, yourself and most importantly, in Christ you don't need to go chasing the wind. But I find that's what I want to do in so many cases... I want practically any job but my own, I want my tummy to look more like Britney's than Betty White's, etc.

Sometimes, I know that discontentment can be used as a means of motivation. I'm unhappy with my current weight, so I must change my eating and exercise habits. I'm unhappy with my job, so I must go back to school and get my teaching certification. I'm unsure of my relationship, so I must pursue a relationship that is centered around God.

But what if my general discontentment is merely a sign of a lack in my relationship with the Lord? Is this discontentment a nudge from God to say, "Come sit with Me and listen to My will."? I suppose doing that would help clarify everything... Duh.

Sometimes I feel so far away and so devoid of hope. In fact, I feel that way much of the time. Most of the time I can ignore it by thinking of nothing at all, but what kind of life is this? It is not the full and abundant life Christ promises... It's not really life at all. I want to thrive and grow and be joyful again, but it's as if I've forgotten how. And I can say this here, in cyberspace where I know it is unlikely to be read, but those around me are unaware of the depth of this pain. I try to keep it hidden, mostly by inadvertently avoiding those who can read me too well...

It's a strange place to be, wanting help, but not knowing how to ask for it or if I'd be able to take it if it were offered. That all boils down to my laziness and pride. I want this to be rectified quickly, but it's not a quick-fix problem. It's going to take time and effort and right now I don't know if I want to exert the necessary effort. I'm so tired... I don't know if I have the drive to change right now, and that scares me and makes me feel even more hopeless.

I have no answer.