Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Love

I fell in love with my husband when we were seventeen years old. He literally tackled me, and even though he and I had been close friends for almost a year, it wasn't until he tackled me that I really noticed him. A few days later he tackled me again, but this time he ended the tackle with a first kiss. I knew that kiss was going to be my last first kiss.

And now, here we are, almost two decades later. Two children, two houses, two dogs. I am his queen, not his princess. There is a difference; although, I do not think most people realize the difference. Queens are loved. Queens are respected. Kings fight for their queens.

Years ago when the movie "300" came out, my husband saw it. (Gasp...I know! It is rated R.) He came home and told me that I should watch it. I was in my adamant "I will not see a rated R movie" stage. I said, "Yeah, I don't think so." He told me again, but this time he told me that there was a deeper meaning to the movie that I would appreciate. (Seriously, he knows me so well. All he had to do was invoke the English teacher buzz words to entice my curiosity.) It took a few weeks, but eventually I relented and saw the movie.

My husband was right. I loved the movie. It was beautiful. There were ugly parts, but the ugliness made the beauty more profound. There was a point in the movie where King Leonidas talks about his Queen. He talks about her strength and passion as a woman. He talks about how much he admires and respects her. He honors her.
As a King, he is not only devoted to his country, but he is devoted to his Queen. In defending his country, he defends her honor. In fighting against tyranny, he fights for her freedom. In his dying words, he tells that the bond between him and his queen needs no words to be spoken.

I know this is a movie, but what a profound statement of love and marriage it was to me. And to hear my wonderful husband talk about the meaning of this movie, made me love him even more. I am his queen. I have no doubt. Words need not be spoken for me to know that even after almost two decades, he loves me more now than ever before, and my love for him is stronger than I ever imagined possible.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I awoke early this morning to put flowers and yellow ribbons on our friend's doorstep. Today marks two years since our friend's daughter, S, passed away. S was 12 years old. My family wanted to let them know that we will always remember.

As I was driving to their home, I asked Heavenly Father to please not let me be the only one who thought of this wonderful family today. As I approached her house, I learned that my prayer was not needed. Her daughter's wonderful friends had already decorated the house with love for this amazing family. There were balloons, expressions of love, a collage, and even a small glass angel in their front yard. They wrote in sidewalk chalk on the driveway wonderful words of love. I arrived at 5:30 this morning. Those sweet wonderful girls must have gotten up so early to make sure that this family knew how much S was loved and missed.

It was beautiful. Even though these wonderful girls are excited for summer vacation and eagerly awaiting entering high school this fall, they still remember their friend who was taken home so young. They miss her. They love her. They love her family.

Monday, May 17, 2010

"There is a divine purpose in the adversities we encounter every day. They prepare, they purge, they purify, and thus they bless."


I love James E. Faust. I love this quote. It reminds me that patience in necessary in facing our adversities. I am not a patient person, but I am working on it. Actually, I am being made to work on it. While this is not a bad thing, patience in the Lord shows that I have faith in his timetable and not mine. I know that my Heavenly Father knows what he is doing. I know that there is a grand purpose in all things. I know that all things happen for a reason and all things will be for my benefit in the end.
 
And even though I know these things. Even though I have faith that everything happens for a reason, I still struggle to wait. There are things that I want to know now. Not doctrinal things, temporal things, life things. I want to know how certain events and discoveries are going to change my life. This is interesting considering I always talk about how much I hate change. But, the funny thing is, I actually embrace change when it comes to life. My life is ever changing. My children are growing. My son starts middle school in three months, and I am excited for that change. I am excited that he is growing up. Don't get me wrong, I am terrified of middle school. I hate middle school. Sixth grade should be in elementary school and ninth grade should be in a junior high. (Wait...tangent...I will talk about that another time.)
 
The point is, I do not mind change when it involves growth. I do not mind change that enlightens (and sometimes even shatters) my world view. I like change when it is a gradual change. My son did not magically become a middle school student. He started out as a baby and has slowly turned into a fiercely independent 10 year old.
 
Back to being patient. I am actually waiting for something to change my life. I am waiting because someone else is is control of this. I must wait for someone else to decide that she is ready for a change in her life. And when she does decide she is ready, my family and I will be here. We will be ready for whatever change in brings.
 
Until then, this test of patience is an adversity, albeit a small one. I have no control on what is going to happen. I cannot change the timeline. All things happen in the Lord's timeline. I cannot say that I am being patient, but I am trying to be.
 
I am preparing and purging and hoping to be purified and blessed.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Teaching

I love teaching. It is a second home for me. I love my students. I have to make a big decision that will affect my students. I have to choose several for leadership positions. This has been a difficult decision for me; one that I have weighed and considered all of my options. A decision that I have prayed that I will make the right one.

The thing is, there are students who are going to be disappointed because they will not received their specific coveted leadership position. I will talk to each on individually and explain the reasons why, but, in the end, I am sure that I will lose some students over this decision.
I have some kids who are ecstatic, truly ecstatic over their new position. They are nervous. They are afraid to let me down. They are worried they do not know enough. I know each of them will be great. They will learn. They will rise to the occasion. They will shine.

They are all good kids. They all deserve a shot at leadership, but some deserve this chance more than others. It is interesting because I firmly believe that not getting what one wants is just as valuable as getting what one wants. I do not think the generation I teach understands that. There is a sense of entitlement. A sense of "If I don't get what I want, then it is your fault."

I even had one student express to me his disappointment and anger over not getting his coveted spot. He told me that he will take the position, but he is not at all happy about it. I asked him, "If you are not going to be excited about this opportunity, then why take it?" I also explained that I have several others who would be ecstatic if I gave them this position. I chose this student because he has worked hard. He did not get exactly what he wanted simply because he does not have the skill set for those positions. I explained that the opportunity in front of him is a stepping stone and that if he was going to take it reluctantly and begrudgingly, I would rather him turn it down.

He kept the position, and I am hoping that he will step up and be the leader I know he can be. However, I cannot deny that I have my doubts.