Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Hardest Part

One of the hardest parts about working is what to do when your child is sick. The school currently has a nasty head/fever/cough thing going around. Not surprisingly my youngest (my baby!) is down for the count. Yesterday we were able to work it that my husband took a half day while I was working. I was greatly hoping that there would be a miracle recovery and L. would be better today. After a looonnnggg night, that is not the case. I hate to disappoint people and not live up to my obligations. The school is small and there is not a lot of back-up. The usual substitute's son is also sick. I had to make the call at 7.00 this morning and say that there is no way I (or L.) could come in. Wonderfully (amazingly?), the Directress took it in stride. Luckily there are two other aides in the classroom and with several students out sick, she felt they could manage. I really appreciated her saying that. I don't like leaving people in a bind and was thankful that she didn't make me feel worse. Hopefully L. will recover soon - I am downing Airborne in hopes that it doesn't hit me too hard!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Creation Care vs. Environmentalism

One of my favorite NPR shows is "Speaking of Faith". If you haven't listened to it, you must go there now and download some episodes! In this past Sunday's show, the host (Krista Tippett) interviewed an Evangelical Christian. This person has been an ardent environmentalist for numerous years and has tried to get fellow evangelicals to follow suit. Very admirable. I found the interview to be interesting, but it brought up a very sore point for me. Mainly the phrase "Creation Care".

From what I understand, Creation Care basically is taking care of the Earth because it is (if not directly stated) implied in the Bible as something we are supposed to do. So even if you don't call yourself an environmentalist, at least we are working towards the same goal. What bothers me is the motivation behind it. I will never understand why doing something because the Bible tells you to is OK, even if common sense has already made it obvious. For instance, I don't need the Bible to tell me to protect the Earth. I protect the Earth because it is a marvelous wonder that I hope my grandchildren and on will get to enjoy. I find it disheartening that people need a reason beyond the reality of the situation to make them take action. It is frustrating to watch people demand so much for their children and families, but take no steps to protect their long-term future. I am glad that Creation Care is coming into vogue among Evangelicals, but saddened that they won't do what is right, just because it is.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Could it be...

Working is getting easier?!?!? I must admit it was a HUGE change to start working. I haven't worked outside the home in over six years. Plus, I am a Taurus born in the year of the bull - so I don't really respond that well to change (I think my husband would agree). After going through a range of emotions such as "what was I thinking?", "why do kids sneeze so much?", "there are germs everywhere!!", "why did I do this to myself?", "what if I accidentally kill a kid (yes, that thought went through my head)?", I think I might actually kind of like it. These last couple of days I have been able to sit down and really help some of the kids. I have enjoyed that. I like teaching. Now that I am slowly getting over my germaphobia, I find that I look forward to seeing the kids and helping them with their work. I also have the added benefit of seeing my little one progress. Today he started word building. He was so excited and I got to see it! Of course, there are many rough days, but it seems like they are getting fewer and fewer. I am very grateful for that, because at heart, I like being there.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tired...

I am so so sick of being sick. Pretty much the moment I started working at the Montessori, I have been sick! My youngest, who attends the school, is getting over strep. When oh when will it be better!?!?! I hope all of you are faring well!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Circle of Life

Every January our congregation has a Circle of Life service. Fellow congregants tend to have the following thoughts on this:

1. They completely avoid the service and sleep in.
2. Have no idea it is happening and just show up.
3. Have a baby that is being dedicated/named and are very excited to have them welcomed into the congregation.

Except for reason 3, it is a shame that this is what the service has come to mean to a lot of our congregants. It traditionally has a low turnout. The service, though, actually has quite a few components. For example, we honor anniversaries, job transitions, major goals accomplished and those who have died in the previous year. When my husband and I celebrated our 10th anniversary a couple of years ago, I was excited to stand-up. These are accomplishments and should be honored by the congregations - by people we care about and who care about us. I find it to be one more way that we can connect as a group - a way to be there for each other, through all of life's ups and downs.

While I was sitting in the service, I was disappointed by the overall lack of reverence and celebration these events should have incurred. It felt like a canned presentation that lacked a real personal touch. It was like the ministers showed up and read the required scrip. I know that may be a little harsh, but it is how I felt. We are a large congregation, a lot of things happen. I know they tried to contact people who had babies, but beyond that, there was little effort made to really acknowledge what people did/happened to them throughout the year. It was a bit pathetic when they asked people to stand for the generic categories, and there was hardly anyone there. Additionally, they cut some of the things they usually acknowledge. For some of the anniversaries, roses were handed out. After the second service, the lead minister still had almost a dozen left. What does that tell you? 1. He has no idea what is happening to his congregants and completely over bought (my personal thought) or 2. Twelve people to-be-honored overslept (doubtful).

If done well, Circle of Life services have the opportunity to be a great time of reflection and inspiration for a congregation. I love the idea of honoring all the events that have affected my fellow congregants' lives. It brings us closer and encourages a greater understanding of each other. If done well, people would come. They would see it for the value it has and want to be part of of it. I hope next year much greater thought is put into this service and it is not relegated to an afterthought.