Archive | November, 2011

You make beautiful things

30 Nov

Sometimes, in the middle of all the chaos that I call “life” I forget to look around and see all the blessings in it.  I get so overwhelmed by the “what-ifs” and “should haves” and the pain and worry, that I forget who is really in control.  I think about my mile-long to-do list, the hours of work, the lack of social life, and I completely overlook what God has put right in front of me.  Lately, I’ve been getting reminders. And they have been in little things, like a smile of a child at work when I play with them, or someone saying hello at church, or even a simple conversation while standing under the first time guests tent freezing, but knowing I am serving the Lord and that my presence there may make a difference in that person’s church experience, and therefore spiritual state. I forget that God is working in my life to bring His glory.  I am part of a grand plan. So when things don’t go my way, I need to remember God is working in my life and it’s for my good, I just can’t see it yet.  God’s understanding is WAY bigger than mine, because he is uncreated, and I am the thing he created. I need not worry.  I like the way JD Greear put it in “Gospel”…

Worry springs from not being convinced of a sovereign God’s absolute love for you. Worry disappears when you realize God loves you unfailingly and will let nothing interrupt his plans for your good.

I don’t have it all figured out.  I am struggling in this phase of my life.  There is a lot of loneliness and heartache, but I am thankful because through this time, I have grown closer to the God who loves me unfailingly.  I know His plan for me is great.  I know he is making a beautiful thing out of me.  I’m still a work in progress.

Being alone for the holidays is hard

28 Nov

This is the first year ever I won’t be surrounded constantly by people I love around Christmas time.  Work is pulling me away from my family.  I don’t know a lot of people in Raleigh.  And it’s tough. Being together is something that is so emphasized during this time of year, and yet, I will admit, I feel so alone.  I will be around people, it’s not like I’ll be isolated. But it is different when those people aren’t the people that you are closest too.  All the commercials are a constant reminder that I will be alone.  Even listening to Christmas music makes me melancholic.  Usually I love Christmas.  And I still do, but I’ve been finding it much harder to get into the Christmas spirit this year.  It seems that one thing after another keeps trying to pull me out of the Christmas spirit.  To make matters even harder, I’m single with no looks of that changing any time in the near future.  I’m not complaining about that, I know God is using this season of singleness in my life to help me grow and glorify Him in a way that I could not do if I was dating someone. I want a boyfriend, but I trust that time will come.  I am complaining about how difficult society has made it to be single during this time of year.  Places like Starbucks, with their ad campaigns celebrating being with that special someone, commercials on TV, so much influence on my life telling the world “if you are single at Christmas, something must be wrong with you. Everyone has that someone special this time of year.”

So I have realized I need to shift my focus.  I may not be with my family as much as I usually am during the Christmas season, but that doesn’t mean they love me any less.  I may not be dating anyone, so I can focus on falling more in love with God.  I won’t be alone this Christmas season, no one will, because Christmas is all about God sending his son to be forever with us.  Fellowship with my Savior, and nothing can get me down.  Nothing can separate me from God’s love for me, so how could I be alone? As long as I keep reminding myself of this through Christmas, I will make it.

Lessons learned at Marbles

26 Nov

Yes, I work at a children’s museum. It’s getting me through grad school. And yes, I really enjoy my job. I’ll admit, it is not what I want to do for the rest of my life, but it is somewhere I believe will always hold fond memories.  I’m glad this is the job I took, for I believe I am learning so much from this job, much more than I expected from a job where I play all day.

  1. Playing is hard.  I value my imagination so much more after working there for a couple of months.  Children are so creative, coming up with so many different ways to play in the same areas of the museum. It’s a lot harder than I remember when I was a kid. Children are so smart in their playing, and going to work everyday where the children have better ideas than I do, a graduate on UNC, is definitely humbling.  I also realize that playing is a learning experience for kids, they learn how to do real-life things by playing. Play is so very valuable to children, and it’s not easy.
  2. I need to stop being so judgmental. This one is really hard for me to face, because I try to be accepting of everyone.  But then, I’ll see someone who doesn’t look like they would make a good parent and they are the ones down on the ground playing with their child. They are the ones climbing around Moneypalooza to fill up the pig so the balls can drop on their kids.  And then there are parents who when they come in, look like they would be great parents and they sit around and talk while their children are playing all alone, or getting hurt. 
  3. I will never put my child on a leash. Yes, people come in all the time, with their children on a leash, and the kids look miserable. How in the world is a kid supposed to have fun and play if they have a leash attached to them? If you are that worried about your kid getting away, hang up the cell phone and pay attention to your child. 
  4. No matter how bad your day is going, one smile from a child can remind you how worthwhile your job is.  I have those days where I really just don’t want to work. We all do. Days when I feel too upset or exhausted to play and inspire kids, or pick up toys. And then, I get there and I’m not feeling it, but a kid comes up to play and I look at them and they say “hey” and give me the cutest smile, and how can I not smile back?
  5. I can be a superhero. Yep, that’s right. When I reunite a child and adult that got separated, when I bring a toy to a child when other kids aren’t sharing, when I play with a group of kids, when a child calls me their friend just because I show them the rubber ducks squirt water… those moments make me feel like a superhero to those children.
  6. I’m stronger than I thought. I HATE confrontation, but when I have to do it, I can. It happens with inattentive parents and chaperones, and I have to tell them to pay more attention, or when I have to tell people no food in the galleries… I can do it, and people listen to me, and they seem to understand. It makes me feel good that I can do it. 🙂
  7. I’m where I’m supposed to be. I don’t know if Raleigh will be a long term thing. I haven’t really made any roots here.  Nothing is holding me to this city.  I won’t deny, I enjoy being here, it is the best city to live in.  But for now, I’m where I’m supposed to be. It’s hard to understand in the middle of this stressful time in my life, but I know God has me here for a reason.  After I finish grad school, I can teach pretty much wherever I want, special ed gives me that flexibility, and Wake County isn’t the best place in NC to teach, with all the changes the school system is going through.  But I’ve got my church to help with community until I figure where it is I need to be after Meredith.

Yeah, my job is pretty wonderful