Photographs

Coincidence?

 

Compass

Life keeps moving forward. Right now, I’m just sitting back and allowing life to fall into place.  As of June 1, I am a retired public school teacher.  I tried retiring early a couple of years ago and a ton of chaos occurred…it simply wasn’t the right time.  As I look back on the two years that took place after trying to force retirement, I understand now that I simply had some people to meet up with.  Those people made me a better person and I think I left a bit of myself with them as well.  Retirement this time around is much calmer and is the right time in so many ways.

A teacher is never really retired.  Teaching continues.  Yesterday, I received a message while I was at the lumber yard.  It was hotter than blazes, but I stood in the brick section and face-timed with a student that I had my first year of teaching.  I hear from her occasionally, but not usually through the face-time way of communicating. She was walking through a crossroad of life and reached out to talk about it with me.    As we talked, she reflected on how things in her life seem to be coming back around to the same place, no matter where she went, no matter with whom she was with.

Two other similar conversations took place over the last few weeks with two other former students. One from my 5th year of teaching and the other from my 10th year of teaching.  All three of these young ladies faced trauma in three totally different ways in their childhoods. All three are extremely strong willed and determined young women trying to figure life out.  They each are raising babies of their own now.

As I think about the commonalities and the differences in these three young ladies lives, I realize the common thread among them is myself.  I was placed into their lives in their upper elementary school years.  The traumas each of them faced, were not easy situations to go through at the 4th or 6th grade level. I remember just loving them through it all, that’s all I knew to do.

Interestingly enough, these three and the recent contact I’ve had with them are feeding into my latest journey of “what’s next” in my life.  I’ve got a pulling on my heart, been happening for a while now, to put together a plan to help young  mothers and older women facing financial and emotional challenges in their life.  I have placed chart paper on my kitchen wall with the sketching of some sort of plan and interestingly enough, those three girls’ names were on the chart before they even contacted me over the last few weeks.  The plan is unfolding more and more each day that goes by.

The conversation in the middle of the bricks yesterday, led to a question “Is it just a coincidence that I keep coming back to this one place?”  My response was….”The more I live out my own life, I understand that nothing is a coincidence. Pay attention to those things that keep reappearing, there’s something there that you need to work through. There’s something there that you need to do for yourself or perhaps someone else.  Don’t ignore their reoccurrence. ”

That young lady didn’t know it, but she helped to verify the path I’m on today.  The compass keeps pointing the way, it’s up to us to keep moving forward in the direction that is laid out for us.

Today, I realize more than ever, that not only does the teaching continue, but the learning as well….nothing is a coincidence.

 

*** As I started to leave this website, I went to my email….I was reminded that another young student from 2 years ago contacted me back at the first of June.  She sent me a random email through my school account to ask how my last school year went.  We have passed several emails back and forth.  Significant? Coincidence? ….only time will tell. Ha.

Peregrination

Map    ZcwR1pSdQeqT3YNXKGaAQQ

Lines drawn create order,

progression  is predetermined and known by everyone

Arriving in a timely manner increases when wandering

away from lineation is avoided.

Are you a line follower?

 

October 10, 2019

Lines that zig and zag

brings adventure and the unknown into light

leaving an arrival time undetermined

and filled with destination anticipation.

Are you a zigger, zagger?

 

 

What’s Important?

I sat down to a cup of coffee this morning, glanced down at the notepad on the table and put yesterday evenings events into perspective.

Here in this part of Kansas, our evening was full of weather alerts and anxiousness about family and friends in the path of a destructive tornado that was reported to be 1/2 mile wide. It stayed on the ground for over 40 minutes moving wherever it pleased at its own pace. The last report I heard before going to bed was debris being dropped onto the Kansas City airport runway stopping all flights.

Not everyone is getting up to their morning routine this morning. Their lives changed within moments. Their lives altered by something that wasn’t in their control. Life took a turn in an unknown direction for the small city of Linwood, Kansas and those south of Lawrence, Kansas and other areas as well.

As I look at my grandson’s grocery list and think about questions and explanations that came up while the weather reports and photos appeared on the tv screen, it really comes down to “people” regardless whether we know them or not.

There are a lot of things we control, like our grocery list, but there are so many more that we can’t and never will be able to control.

We are living in a time of staying ahead of those things we can’t control. Storm shelters, weather watchers, alarm systems, better house construction, dams etc. are the ways we try to have some control in flooding situations, or tornadoes or a hurricane situation. Flooding has been threatening our area for over a month now. The dams that man has built are holding but clearly can only do so much.

Praying and a faith that God will take us through whatever comes at us is called upon to comfort and to give us a sense that “something” larger than us will have to protect us. When you are sitting in a storm shelter waiting for the storm to pass, praying is all that’s left.

Right now, I pray for those of you reading this that the safety of our Heavenly Father wraps around you and your loved ones. May you know that whatever storm you are passing through is only temporary and can be placed in Hands larger than ours. Control what you can but leave the rest to our Heavenly Father.

Last thoughts; Last nights storm could have taken so much more than it did…last report I heard 6 people went to the hospital, all alive and recovering. The pictures I saw this morning shows the control that wasn’t in anyone’s hands, yet the control of a power larger than us that protected so many from injury.

Stories of advance warnings, narrow escapes, time in shelter, rescue workers and recovery efforts are being shared. It’s truly all about the people.

Reality

It was the right time for me to go,

the black and whites that once surrounded us turned gray.

Silence filled the chaotic space to capacity,

leaving an impenetrable thickness that barricaded us

in a place where I couldn’t breathe and you gasped with grief.

It was the right time for you to go.

Purpose-filled Restoration

Isaiah

Of all the books in the Bible, I find myself in Isaiah, more times than not,  rereading and studying the words written long ago about individuals and groups of people who followed God’s law and those who didn’t.   I reflect on and study God’s part in individuals lives;  I reflect on and study God’s part in groups of people;  I reflect on and study in order to perhaps find answers for myself. 

A long time ago, I started writing in my Bible…notes, dates, comments, questions.  Some people disagree with writing in a Bible, but I find the study of “myself” in my notes….I find the growth of myself in my notes.  There are times when I can read a verse and it will be just words on a page and other times,  I will be taken to tears when the words are exactly what I needed to hear.

Isaiah 49:16

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;   your walls are ever before me.

The verse Isaiah 49:16 is one that brings me comfort in times of need.  Knowing that there is a “higher power” who is at the wall before I even get there is comforting.  I have at times come to this verse and thought, “Who am I, that You would want me “on the palm of Your hands?”  I have come to express gratitude and thanksgiving for placing me on the palm of His hands.

Isaiah 50:4 

The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned…..

The verse 50:4 has given definition to “my purpose” throughout life.  Close to thirty years ago, I chose to become a school teacher.  One of my goals was to ensure that every child in the classroom had a voice.  There are students who stand out in class, they speak up, they act out, they make their presence known.  It’s the quiet ones, the struggling ones that I wanted to make sure they knew someone saw them.  As I near my last week of teaching in a public school setting, I can look back and know that I reached that goal many times over.  Names and faces appear in a flash and tears form as I realize how many children and parents God brought to me over the years.

Leaving the classroom doesn’t take away my purpose, it will just be in other places, still with faces that need to hear the words that will be sent them.

Isaiah 51:16

And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.

Isaiah 51:16 isn’t one I have marked as many times as some, but today touches me in a realization of knowing that there have been those whose paths I’ve crossed that are laying their own foundations and plants because of the interaction arranged by God between me and them.  I simply carried a message.

Isaiah 51:9

Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old.

While there are days that I am tired, I am so grateful for the strength and purpose given for each day.  There is so much more to be done.