Thursday, August 8, 2013

7 Quick Takes - School Dazes

A friend of mine went back to grad school recently and she was telling me about it this past week. It sounded so great! So fun! Relaxing even! And for a moment, just a moment, I forgot. I forgot that I hate school. You know there are people who love taking notes and tests and listening to someone else tell them how the world works? Yeap.. Not me. I'm not saying that I needed to figure out E=MC2 for myself, but I'm just not the classroom type! So this list is a few things to remind me to take a few more years before going back for my Master's: 

I'm glad my life doesn't include reports anymore.. I'm thinking back to when I did one on Marie Curie and I have to laugh. I found it so fascinating that she married a man with the same last name: Pierre Curie. I was an adult before I realized that Curie is her stupid married name! Yeah, I'm an idiot. 

I always got in trouble! Anyone who knows me would not be surprised by the fact that my progress reports were typically focused on my inability to shut.up. Mrs. Mentekidis, my 8th grade religion teacher said it best at parent/teacher conferences in 1999. She said (in her Long Island accent): "Mrs. Beadmo, I cannot put ha anywheas! I put ha next to da quieat kids, she makes da quieat kids twalk! I put ha next to da loud kids, she makes dem louda! I could put ha next to a brick waoll and she would make da brick waoll twalk!"


How could I add more books to the stack I'm currently reading? Yes, I'm one of those who will put a book down, start another one, have a third in my car and a fourth at my desk. Here's the list I'm reading now: 
Wedding Night by Sophia Kinsella
Rebuilt by Michael White & Tom Corcoran
My Sisters, the Saints by Colleen Campbell
The Great Gatsby by FS Fitzgerald
How to Stop Starting Other Books by Neve Gonnahapan

This is off topic, but I just reached 100 stations on my Pandora and apparently that is the max! I'm going to have to delete a few, but here are my current favorite stations that aren't going anywhere:
Phil Collins (don't judge), Dolores Keane, Ellie Goulding, Des'ree (seriously, stop judging!), The Commitments, Four Voices, Sharon Shannon, Cher Lloyd & Declan O'Rourke. Amen. 

Oh,yeah. I have ADD. 

Which brings us back to the list. 

I make teachers mad so easily! For example, I had this Math teacher in high school named Mrs. Winslow, who we of course called "Harriett" after the mom on Family Matters. On the morning after Senior Night (where the seniors stay out all night and T.P. the school), I fell asleep in Math class. She set the clock an hour ahead, had the whole class leave and I woke up thinking I'd slept through two class periods! When I started to go to lunch I saw her yuckin' in up in the library with my class thinking she was so clever! *Eye roll*. So I went and hung out in the art room. She gave me a detention for skipping class! Even my mom said, "Uh, yeah. You're not serving that." So I skipped the detention and got five more!

Don't get me started on the campus minister who punished me for falling asleep during a retreat. We were outside and I had sunglasses on so she didn't realize for hours!

Actually, it sounds like the problem was a lack of sleep....

I doubt they take reports in poem form anymore.. My AP English teacher senior year allowed me to do my reports in poem form, which helped distract from the fact that I rarely actually read the books. You haven't seen anything until you've seen a report on the Color Purple in 62 stanza iambic pentameter. Yes, I really did that. 

I wish school was like this: 

Hope you all have a great week, whether you (or your kids) are headed back to school or not.
Go check out Jen at Conversion Diary! She had a great post this past week about back-to-school!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Why I Dont Believe Everything Happens For A Reason...

I don't believe everything happens for a reason.

I know.. It's a shame, huh? Because it's a seemingly perfect response to most undesirable outcomes!

"He broke up with you the day before your Birthday by text with a picture attached of his new girlfriend?! Aww! Well, everything happens for a reason."

"Someone beat up your kindergardener after school? Poor kid. Well, just tell him that everything happens for a reason!"

"Hey, I just heard about this thing.. The Holocaust? Whew! Sounds pretty bad! But.. You know what they say! Everything happens for a reason!"

The sub-text is: nothing is ever really wrong.. Just not yet right.

Nope. I just don't buy it.

Here's why: God never desires for us to suffer, to run away from Him, to hurt each other. The fact is, free will allows us to choose freedom and beauty and goodness, but it also allows us to submit to weakness and fear and destruction. God never, ever wants us to suffer. Unfortunately, we don't believe Him when He tells us how to avoid it and, since we live on this earth together, we cause each other much pain.

On a sidenote, I think it's good to really understand suffering, because it's not all negative. We can use it to gain things; virtues, a heart for others, even faith. God may allow suffering to help us gain the things we're not achieving on our own. Here's how I think about it:

I once heard that when a little lamb keeps running away from the flock, the Shepherd breaks the lambs legs and puts the little guy around his shoulders. (Shepherds reading this, can you verify?) The lambs legs heal and he learns to stay right next to the Shepherd, with his flock and living a happy little lamb life! While I don't believe God ever desires us to suffer, I think He knows that many times we cling to Him when we do. Suffering is not the worst thing. Being away from the flock and alone for eternity is. Can we ever believe that's all God is trying to avoid? Losing you?

So! Back to the topic. I don't believe everything happens for a reason, but I do believe that everything is in God's control. Because God is the Ultimate Garmin. The King of Correction! El Presidente of the United States of Revitilization!

I remember watching my mom write before I really knew how to. She would make mistakes and be able to fashion the mis-placed letter into the correct one so quickly! Make that "2" into a "5", or whatever. God is the best at this! With our hurt and sin and sadness, not only can He correct it, He'll take a royal mess and turn it into the most beautiful creation; even more stunning than had there been no wreckage at all!

Our God is such a gentleman! He doesn't come barrelling into our lives, demanding the honor He deserves! He allows us a place of honor ourselves! Think about it.. The God who created it all, from gravel to gravity, allows us to choose the good for ourselves! That's free will, baby!

And we can feel that we're abandoned sometimes, reaping the not-so-swell benefits of free will. But I don't think we'll ever understand the protective hands He guards us with. No one hurts more than God when we suffer. And the ones who usually get in the way of His love for us.. Is us. He loves us so much! How happy we would be if we let Him.

Consider putting away all the images that other people have drawn for you about God, His will for you and what this life is all abouts! :) From one extreme (it's all about rules!) to another (it's all about YOU!).. Perhaps a relationship with Him isn't about being perfect, but being His.