This morning I read the well-known story from Luke 22:19-30. My mind began wandering at the beginning of the story for I have read it over and over and over before. So I took a moment to pray and asked God to show it to me with a new perspective… and HE did!
Happy, Merry Christmas Eve! I hope you all had a fabulous time with your friends and family today. I slept in, had my coffee in bed before getting on with our celebration. First, we headed to the theater for the showing of SING! It was an incredible movie, I highly recommend it. Then, we came home and fixed dinner. Nothing special really, just some Tacos for the three of of us. Tho my husband would say differently, as it is one of his most favorite meals. Tomorrow is our big dinner with homemade Pierogies; my childhood family Christmas tradition. Once we finished eating we headed out again for Christmas Eve service at a church we have been newly visiting. It was a nice time of worship and hearing the greatest story of all times.
Back at home, after the service we made some hot beverages and sat down to watch Charlie Brown’s Christmas. Another one of our family’s Christmas traditions. It is one of my favorite Christmas stories, mostly for the character Linus. I know the movie is all about making sure Charlie Brown understands the meaning of Christmas, outside of the commercialism that he is surrounded by. But it is Linus and the unsaid story that reminds me what Christmas brings us. Charlie Brown learns that Jesus is the reason for the season; yet it is Linus that shows us what this means.
Throughout the show, similar to all Charlie Brown episodes, Linus carries his security blanket around wherever he goes. A lot of emphasis is placed in this characters need of protection and comfort from this object; teased by his peers, states that he will continue to bring it with him as an adult by turning into a sport jacket, and uses it as his costume in the Christmas school play.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’
While he answers Charlie Brown’s question in what Christmas is all about with what he is saying, he shows us with his actions what this story means. Why is the meaning of Christmas important? Why do we celebrate the birth of Jesus every year? Because it is the reminder that we are no longer alone, we no longer have a reason to be in fear. IN FACT! While Linus says the words “Fear not” he purposely drops his security blanket and leaves it on the floor during the remainder of his monologue. He shows us that the meaning of Christmas gives him a reason to release of his security blanket.
I have completed a lot of projects around the house this week, it is amazing at all the things you can complete when you are not bound to studying, reading, listening to lectures, writing papers, attending class, and completing homework assignments! Ahhh the joys and freedom of summer. In all the productivity, I forgot to read Chapter 2 by Wednesday (June 15th). Oops.
Well, I finally took the opportunity this afternoon to catch up and I am so very glad I did. This book is fantastic and is a perfect read for this summer as I prepare for my new adventure at Idaho State University.
Here are a few things that caught my attention in this chapter:
- The mindsets were born on the idea that there are two meanings to having an ability. A fixed ability and a changeable ability. A fixed ability is one that needs to be proven; where as, a changeable ability can be developed through learning (p. 15).
- These abilities place a person in one of two worlds. In one world, fixed traits (abilities), success is proving you are smart or talented, it is about validating yourself. In the other world, changing qualities (abilities), it is about stretching yourself to learn something new, it is about developing yourself (p. 15)
- Mindsets are beliefs, extremely powerful beliefs. You have a choice. You have to thnk about where you would like to go (what are your dreams, goals, aspirations) and choose which of the mindsets will take you there (p.16).
“Becoming is better than being”
- Failure is a painful experience for those in either mindset. The failure in a growth mindset does not define you, but it is a problem to be faced, dealt with, and learned from (p. 33).
“You have to work hardest for the things you love the most.”
- The top is where the fixed-mindset people hunger to be, but it is where many growth-minded people arrive as a by-product of their enthusiasm for what they do….
- (Cont…) This point is crucial!!! in the fixed mindset everything is about the outcome. If you fail – it’s all been wasted. The growth mindset allows people to value what they are doing regardless of the outcome… They are tackling problems, charting new courses, working on important issues (p.48).
I took the Praxis I this last winter, a requirement to enter the ISU College of Education. I received recommended scores for two out of the three tests required. I missed the required score by two points! I was humiliated, upset, and defeated….. For about three hours. And then I brushed off my ego, deciding it was time to get to work. I found out what I needed to do, researched the test more clearly, and created a plan. I re-tested on that portion on the 10th of June, and I am waiting for the results. It’s a difficult journey for me, I want this really bad.
Over the last few months in preparation, I have learned a lot. A lot about the subject and a lot about me. I struggle with having to put so much effort towards this test to prove my worthiness to be allowed to earn my Bachelors degree at this institution. I struggle with test anxiety, and I know it is part of the setback that I endured in this requirement. But this is not an excuse, it is a reason for me to keep on keepin on. Growing stronger in my abilities… Not to prove to those that I can do it, but to fulfill my dream of becoming a teacher. This is my journey. I accept it as it is. I will do whatever it takes (lacking confidence and being nervous about the outcome causes me to think that this means taking the test again) and I will do so if that’s what it takes If I can achieve a 4.0 during one of my hardest semesters and if I can earn my associates degree/ graduating with honors… I can meet the requirements necessary for the test!
What an amazing story I will have one day. I can imagine the inspiration I can instill in a student who is struggling to read a new level or trying to master a new concept? Our students need to know that their abilities are endless. That they can achieve whatever they put their minds to!
Have you had any moments that you allowed to define you? Do you have any moments that allowed you to feel defeated? Did you give up or did you push on? I would love to hear your story, please share in the comments!
Head on over to the host of this summer’s book study, The Kindergarten Smorgasboard, Kindergarten Chaos and Chapter 2 Guest bloggers Lisa from All Ya’ll Need and Dana from Common to the Core! Keep an eye out for my upcoming post Chapter 3: The Truth about Ability and Accomplishment.
Update: Friday June 24th I received my Praxis Test score and met the requirement for entrance into ISU College of Education. I am still waiting on results of my Teacher Education Admissions interview.
This picture was posted on Facebook today, which gave me a whole bunch of warm fuzzies. Teachers are uniquely placed to make the change they want to see in the world. I was about to comment on how I felt in regards to being so blessed to have this opportunity. So I opened the comments section. And to my surprise, I found the top posts to be not so warm and fuzzy 😩
Comments such as:
but the teachers have to cope with School Boards as well as principals who have other agendas, often at distinct odds with what a good teacher hopes to develop. Why do you fire the best teachers first and keep the less effective ones? Ask about this in your school system and you will be horrified
And yet they are not respected enough or paid enough to deal with things placed in front of them.
AND ( this one almost made me shed a tear)
Nice thought, but it’s so much harder than it looks, folks. Kids are already stamped by early messages/experiences when they come to us. You can spend a huge amount of teaching time trying to get them to just be kind to one another!
There is so much negativity in social media, on the streets, and inside the school walls. People (teachers, par nuts, administration, students) bickering about how schools should be, what is wrong with the the education system, not getting compensated for a job completed, etc…
Should this change what we do in the classroom? Should this be the reason why we give up?
Should this be the reason to make a difference? Should this be the reason to persevere?
I believe it is all about planting seeds, wherever you go. NO MATTER WHAT. There is both negative and positive things around all of us, all the time. IT IS A CHOICE. Whether it is our children or our students all we can do is plant seeds of goodness, kindness, patience, self control, love, etc…
Over the years these seeds are nurtured, cultivated, and or (unfortunately) destroyed. We have no control of this, we can only hope and pray that the seeds are able to fully mature within the child.
Yet, overtime the seeds we planted CAN make a difference!
Just think of Death Valley and its recent super bloom… For years the land laid dormant, without any growth; however, when the right environment was present, the seeds that had laid there were able to blossom into a beautiful masterpiece. Our students have this potential too!
We never know if we are the first one to lay down these seeds or the one that is able to fertilize the ones that have already been planted… Therefore I plan on planting them no matter what!
What is your choice?
Each week I change my phone wallpaper screen to change things up a bit. I am going to start placing my favorite motivational quote that will keep me going each day, why not place it on something I will see numerous times. This Monday is a reminder to always do whatever it takes even when you do not feel like it.
Last week I wanted a nap more than I wanted to attend my afternoon history class; however, I reminded myself that I also want to be a teacher more than anything else and doing this one thing is a part of the big picture. So I went! I felt so good that I went, I was not even tired after class 🙂
What is your big picture? What are your baby steps to reach your dream?
This post started as a Facebook status when I returned home from church this evening, but I thought it would be better placed here.
I cried at church tonight. Tears of joy, tears of sorrow, tears of love, tears of past pain and tears of overwhelming sense of His presence. The first time in a long time I cried because I felt something. I felt emotions. Real solid valid emotions and it was okay. I have been off my medications for 14 months now, I know what my triggers are and I know what to do when they come. My medications did not allow me to feel such emotions. I could not live like that anymore. I felt like a zombie going through the motions in life. I learned through them what I needed to learn and now it is time to move on.
I cried at church tonight. Tears of joy, tears of sorrow, tears of love, tears of past pain and tears of overwhelming sense of His presence. The first time in a longtime someone noticed and was there for me.
Only question asked when they saw my tears were, Would you like us to pray with you?
I accepted, graciously. My fear, anxiety and the feeling of unwanted did not allow me to be open to such moments as these. I isolated myself behind closed doors to avoid anymore situations that I could not handle. I could not live like that anymore. I was alone. I learned through this what I needed to learn and now it is time to move on.
This last year I learned hands on what sustainability is all about. My daughter and I moved to Twin Falls last October with my mother-in-law, months later my husband joined us. We moved to Twin Falls for a fresh new start, something that my husband and I never really had. Our family was mostly pre-made (blended family) when we began and things were difficult for us financially from the very beginning and it just continued to get worse through many things out of our control. My husband began working two jobs and he was tearing up his body with constant manual labor. This stay with my mother-in-law was suppose to be for just a few months, yet here it is 11 long months later.
It was not easy, in fact at times I wanted to give up. I wanted to crawl back to my comfort zone of Puyallup, Washington where I lived a majority of my life, where I know people. I wanted to run back to my mommy when times got hard. There were times it just felt as though this would never end. When will we be able to be on our feet and start anew? When will the bills stop coming in? When will we be able to stand up straight again?
It was emotionally tormenting but it was worth it. When you have the ability to survive, when you posses the power to persevere and you live the experience out to it’s fullest to continue the process, and you have the capacity to endure. When you keep on keepin on… you will find the light at the end of your tunnel and find a stronger, empowered person on the other side.
I am smiling as I write this because this Summer I just began pursuing my dream to become a teacher, my husband began college this semester to become a paramedic (no more manual labor jobs for him) and tomorrow we move into our new place.
We didn’t quit, we took every step it took (together) and as a family we are ready for our fresh start. I once thought that because we struggled so much we were unsuccessful but now I know that we are successful because we gave it our all and did not quit.
I believe that is how sustainability impacts families as well as individuals.