Tonight was the night of parent-teacher interviews. It went well. Thanks to all of you who know how stressed I get about this and prayed for me. It was impossible to get to all the different teachers of all my kids so I concentrated on 1. the worst problem; 2. the teacher shared by two of my kids with serious problems; 3. the principle.
The worst problem is math. It was the lowest mark so I waited in line to speak to that teacher first. She is a good teacher and so when I presented her with the information about my daughter’s learning difficulties, she immediately suggested some appropriate solutions.
The next visit was to the teacher of Christian Ethics for one kid and History for the other. Sort of killed two birds with one stone. History can be quite a challenge for a kid who doesn’t( and can’t easily) see the big picture. And the Christian Ethics problem was mostly about attitudes or lack of good ones. I still think that if whe was really on the ball and connecting to the kids that she could have made a spiritual learning moment out of some offhand critical snide comments on the part of some teenaged guys with care less attitudes.
The principle of our kids school is a gem. She is pretty highly respected by all the parents and students. She seems to care about them and knows many of them in special ways so that when I go in with my list of problems, she can identify which one of the kids is my child. She brought some special resources to my attention that should be very helpful for one of my kids.
At my worst parent-teacher interview, I made the teacher cry. This is not my usual style but she was being unreasonably, ridiculously harsh and was attacking my baby. What is a mother to do??? Tonight I would rate as one of the best parent-teacher interviews. No crying and I came away feeling like the teachers and I could work together to get my kids learning better.
The local paper carried an article about Leo’s push for making our city smoke free by next summer. Made top of the front page. I’m quite proud of this man of mine! He’s working hard for this. Hope it is successful since we now have a mayor who is not too much in favor of this. You can read about it here.
And I’ll tell you a secret – well it is not exactly a secret but Leo used to smoke many years ago. His whole family smoked(except his sister) and his mom died of congestive heart failure that was certainly not helped by her smoking. Leo succumbed to my wishes that he stop smoking when we were just dating. I supplied him with carrots to munch on instead of his lighting up a smoke. He turned orange but he kicked the habit. And we were married and have lived happily ever after!
We just came back from a show by Lorne Elliot. It was one of the best evenings I have spent in a long time. I don’t think I have laughed that hard for ages. If you like good comedy and ever get a chance to go hear him – do it. Leo bought one of his tapes. And as Lorne was lamenting, we on the praries are frugal. He usually only sells one tape per show in small town Saskatchewan – then the whole community just passes it around and tapes copies of it. You just don’t get his body language on tape though!
And we got home and our daughter called. She will be getting more from the student loan people than she was told – they made a mistake and forgot to calculate in her tuition and books. And her friends came over and looked at the apartment so maybe she will get some roommates.
I sit here just having gotten off the phone with one child after dropping off another at a friends. It has been one of those jam packed days and it’s not over yet. I should be watching Sara play soccer and I will go there in a few minutes but I need some time to catch my breath! I am tired. It was a good long day.
Yesterday, we were in the middle of a crisis. Today, given some time for everyone to calm down, everyone is feeling much better. Our daughter who is having such woes, got a shift at work and may have a roommate wanting to move in. That is cause for rejoicing – even just the fact that she is feeling more optimistic.
And wonder of wonders – she found her lost wallet. Someone phoned her at work today and had found it. The cell phone is gone and so is the $5 that was in the purse. But she doesn’t have to replace all the lost ID. Another answer to prayer. She knows we are praying – I don’t think she understands how much she is loved by God and by us even when she gets angry and frustrated and pushes everyone away.
When I get very frustrated and can’t handle any more I need to withdraw to a solitary place – to some place where I can reorder my thoughts. Sometimes this lets me rethink my reactions to situations and react more appropriately. Being in a quiet place surrounded by nature lets me reconnect with God as well and usually these times are when I need his wisdom the most. I guess you could say that I go to a place of prayer even though I may not speak to God – in words anyways. Sometimes just sitting in his presence is enough to revive my worn out spirit.
Today was one of those days. I didn’t expect it to be. It started out great – planning for a worship and prayer event and then spending some time with friends at the church ladies craft fair and bake sale. I was even getting my grocery shopping done.
Then I got the phone call. Over reaction and anger, frustration and flying off the handle. Not being able to see that her misjudging of time needed has led to upsetting several people and then not being able to graciously handle the situation – because she cannot see her own fault in the matter – cannot appologize.
And then I get caught in the middle! And I end up feeling like crap just because I happen to be the mother of the “child” who is no longer a child. I might as well have been in on the fight the way I end up feeling.
So I escaped to the riverbank. I won’t be able to do that much longer. Things are becoming very grey and tonight they are wet and who knows – but I expect soon they will be very cold and snowy.
So today was one of those one step forward, two steps backwards kind of days. Sunday tomorrow. Maybe I’ll regain some footage. I need to.
The following quote by Dallas Willard – picked up over at Frank Dorion’s site made me stop and think about my own concept of discipleship.
“We need to clear in our heads about what discipleship is. My definition: A disciple is a person who has decided that the most important thing in their life is to learn how to do what Jesus said to do. A disciple is not a person who has things under control, or knows a lot of things. Disciples simply are people who are constantly revising their affairs to carry through on their decision to follow Jesus.”
It seems to be a constant learning; a constant listening; a constant putting oneself at the feet of Jesus – and then living it all out.
It strikes me that it is very much like the constant learning that goes on in a profession – if you want to keep yourself at the forefront of it. There is a lot of continuing education. There is a lot of study. In fact we have study clubs for those who really want to improve their practical knowledge or be at the cutting edge where things are most exciting and where innovations are happening. It is a lot of work but there are rewards gained in no other way than by by study, the practice of what has been learned, then the interaction with others who have been doing this thing longer who help you learn from your mistakes.
We shouldn’t expect less than this in the process of being disciples of Jesus.
There are times when I question things that I believe. The whole question of free will that I struggle with at this time – well I do not so much question that this is the way it is and has to be but that I have to deal with the results of my own free will and that of my children – and everyone else around me. I am not patient with myself. Sometimes I am not patient with my kids, fellow workers, etc. I want them to see the light and change now!
As Philip Yancey says in his book, “I want God to take a more active role in my personal history too. I want quick and spectacular answers to my prayers, healing for my diseases, protection and safety for my loved ones. I want a God without ambiguity, One to whom I can point for the sake of my doubting friends.”
Would the people of Jesus’ day have understood a God that acted to save them from the Romans? I guess that is what the parable of Lazarus and the rich man is all about We’ve been given enough to believe. God isn’t going to push himself on us because he wants our love not our rote actions; not the movements of puppets.
Just the same, there are times when I wish… I am human and I want the easy way for me.
But God waits, patiently, for me to trust in his ways. He doesn’t force me to give the “right” response. Instead he accepts my feeble attempts to follow him, my inadequate worship, my childish displays of love for him.
So I return to that place of utter awe at how he works.