The thing about horrid sights is they progressively loose their edge the longer you look.
There was a time that innocence is all we knew. There was a time that the dark branches in the woods of Snow White terrified me, and the serpent in Adam and Eve cartoons made me cry.
We begin life so acutely attuned to the what is good and what is evil. There are good guys and there are bad guys, and we don’t recognize those four letter words.
Teaching my beautiful five year olds has taught me a lot about desensitization. They are at a bit of a turning point in their young lives. Depending on what Mommy and Daddy let them watch and play, they could start crying over the Jaguar in Tarzan or they could glaze over, bored and unimpressed. It is the beginning of the time that the sparks of innocent start fizzling out.
Paul told the Philippian church, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” I believe that, however few, we all still hold on to some our “sparks of innocence.” How precious they are, how stubbornly we must protect them.
It our fast and visual world, it is beyond easy to kill off most or all of our sensitivity, and go meet our mean world all calloused and cruel. In fact, our society tells us that accomplishing this is strength and bravery.
I disagree. We are not called to fall to and conquer the standard of an evil world. No, we are called to transcend and set an example worth reaching. God wants us to revel in the beauty of his creation and the wisdom of His people. He has given us too much beauty to justify such an interest in the ugly. We must be set apart in this way. We are, after all, the salt of the earth.
Please know that I am not preaching. Conversely I am lecturing myself. This is a daily struggle that is supremely difficult, especially in college. But we must weather on. The battle will not be won in one day, but in the fighting there is honor and there is pride. So fight on
This is the summer I am a preschool teacher and a fiancé.
Where emotions are raw and the morning are early.
It is a summer of child-like wonder and being a grown-up.
The jumps are high, and the falls hard.
It’s a summer of blue bruises and raised welts,
But our hands get stronger every day.
This is a summer of big girl choices and not being afraid,
Of commitments that make me more free.
These are the years between the monkey bars and marriage.
It’s lovely here.
So I’ve been learning lately that hard work is hard. What seems so achievable when you’re watching What Not to Wear marathons in May, isn’t as easy in the trenches. I was convinced at the beginning of the summer that I was mechanical, that my spiritual gift was robotic focus. I have learned how truly human I am, and am at long last ready to admit that I am over extended.
I was overwhelmed this summer between my three jobs and summer college from the get go, but at first it was more fun. Now as I’m wrapping it up, I feel adult in a not so fun way. I feel my first taste of burnout and utter exhaustion.
Do I regret this? No. God helped me make the choices I made for my summer. Such soul changing, perspective molding good has happened to my heart in the long drives and longer hours. Many truths have come at my heart in the Still Small Voice.
Truth has come through my students’ innocence, my fiancé’s understanding, and my family’s softness. But my favorite of my lessons? How vitally important the small kindnesses are. It truly is the little things that make life worth living.
When I just cannot get off the entrance ramp and I’m already late for work, one woman stopped her car to a halt and waved me over. I remember her face perfectly because I loved her in that moment.
When my students are wound up and hopping and one sits still. Criss-cross applesauce and wise beyond her years. I feel my work is doing good in her.
When I am so so tired. And so so broke, and a friend buys my coffee. I was so deeply thankful.
When I cancel plans to take more hours and my friends/family/sisters/fiancé smile warmly and send verses and love on me. I know how blessed I am to know them.
The example of the wonderful people God sent down my path to lighten my load one critical pound at time have changed me.
I stop and let strangers on the highway, waving with a smile. I empty my change into a needy hand, and don’t judge too hard in my heart. I clean the kitchen without excuses or needing praise. I give such small presents because I know now that they matter. I hold hands, hug a little longer, and listen without touching my cell phone.
I would like to love as I have been loved. It is my calling right now. To do what I can and do it happily. Love is the cheapest, purest, hardest, and most godly gift that any person can give. Of this I am sure.
“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
– Mother Teresa
Welcome! I'm a wife, third year music teacher, Jesus follower, and am chronically curious about just about everything. Join me as I kick off this adult life.
"I am the Vine, you are the Branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."