Tuesday, July 26, 2011

summer :: day 15

i struggle to write when my world, my life, my heart is a mess. (i guess that's actually kind of always. that things are a mess. sin exists, after all. but you know what i mean. more than the usual mess. extremely messy, actually.)

or maybe i should just say hard. confusing. exhausting. emptying. oh so very heavy, taking effort to raise even my eyelids to the day, much less my body and soul.

that's when i shy from writing, because i want to be real but disdain complaining. and i can't find the line between the two to be sure i don't cross it. so here i am. draw your own line.

thanks for listening. let me get that out there. i need to be here. i need to share. it's a means of God's grace to me right now, to talk, to share, to receive love. it's humbling. but really - thanks.

i know this is kind of a blindside because last my blog heard, i loved my job. i was blissed out. head over heels, feet in the sky. now, i've fallen. hard.

you don't really need the details or gossip or whatever it's called. but things have shifted. what was up is down now. what was easy is hard. what was good is...hard too.

i doubt my calling these days. i doubt my sanity. and my ability.

i pray, and i give up my imagined right to success - even perceived success. even success in the eyes of others. i realize that maybe this is one big objective on learning humility in God's lesson plans for me.

i try to remember that He never asked me not to be human. (kls)

and i search for comfort.

random things cross my brain and stand out, like the fact that i relax completely when i drive but my body has kinks in it afterwards, and isn't that counter-intuitive? i make a list in my head of lists to write:  
}"easy things to take care of myself" (when i don't have the energy to exercise...or really anything else for that matter)
}"things that people's words/attitudes cannot take from me"
}"why i actually truly like kids" (so i - maybe - can remember)
}"possible reasons why couples would have children when they plan on sending them to childcare?" (are there any? i mean, seriously. what is the point of having children if you are not going to raise them?)

some reasons you should not worry (another list, actually made this time):
-one thing i actually fully trust at the moment is God's goodness. call me crazy, but without this i actually would be. crazy, that is.
-i suppose that if i do truly trust that goodness, all of these other overwhelming things can be reasoned into ok-ness. (note to self: good point, emily. think about that.) that's actually not a reason you shouldn't worry. just thought progression. sorry.
-there are people on my side. my family gets a big shout out here. my parents just held me in the kitchen for almost half an hour. (giant sigh of relief)
-the fact that i am sharing this is proof that i am ok. if i wasn't "ok," i would be hiding, silent, dark. for an introvert, a tiny bit of drama is actually healthy. sometimes. (see: i'm trying to convince myself.)
-because God said so. just putting that out there. to myself.

reason #2 i don't like writing at times like this: it feels selfish. (goes back to that humility thing.) please know that you are under no obligation to either read or comment on my blog. (but you've read it now, i know. and i really meant that thank you.)

xo all, and please add a grain of salt. thanks.

Monday, July 18, 2011

day 14 :: 30 days of summer

have i mentioned God's sense of humor before?


so today, two weeks into my new child care job and loving it (yes i know. loving it. and settled. and thinking - wow. this is going to be my life! after only two weeks. and trying not to disbelieve how amazing it all is but continually gaping at God's uncanny work.) ...i found a message on my phone on the drive home.

"hi. this is [so and so] from [such and such] child care. i'm calling to schedule a meeting for an interview, we'd really appreciate it if you would get back to us if you are interested."

[such and such] child care just happens to be the one that was my number-one-pick job when i was sending in applications. the dream one.

now i'm settled in my new dream job. (except that it's a 35 minute drive out-of-town. and they don't have a group health care plan. and there is very limited personal/vacation time. but otherwise? i like the people. like the kids. like the child care center. almost everything seems a plus. also. did i mention i kind of like it?)

so i'm back to the drawing board with God. stretched in my mind between loyalty to a center where i've worked for two weeks and who would be thrown into a lurch should i leave...and an idea of maybe an even more perfect opportunity. feeling potentially crazy either way.

all i can think is have Thy own way, God. i'm along for the ride.

fasten your seat belts. re-entering a little bit of limbo here, even if it is primarily consisting of mental acrobatics.

on the other hand, this looks fun.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

30 days of summer :: day 13


my brother was sick last weekend. how is it that sharing works with things you don't want, too? i've spent this week with a teasing sore throat...holding off the rest of the symptoms (hopefully, 1 day to go) until the weekend. thank God for immune systems. literally.

do you know what cliffsnotes are? (google it.)

tomorrow is water day at child care. that means we get to change a dozen or so two-year-olds into water clothes, then play in sprinklers and waterfalls and sprayers for an hour...and then change them back (imagine the soaking clothes and bodies). i have a feeling that hour of bliss will be worth it. so much fun.

do you know what a positive mental attitude is? (yeah. don't google that. i just did and it's not exactly what i was going for. how about..."count it all joy?" except that's out of context. anyway...)

tomorrow is also pay day. my first full paycheck. cha-ching. it's not all about the money, but a salary is a wonderful thing. responsibility = rewarding. finally.

today i made my classroom prettier. paper chains, child's artwork, and pictures from the zoo, anyone? it beats blank yellow walls in my opinion. maybe sometime when i've settled in even more and the kids aren't in the room and the light is good (and, and, and), i'll take pictures. that would be fun.

yep. this is my life, or at least what comes to mind at the end of a day. more cohesive thoughts later.

Friday, July 8, 2011

stories from day 12, the mulled-over edition

this morning, my team of back-up for dealing with two-year-olds gained a father. that child that spent all of yesterday testing my boundaries and concluded in the end that he needed a new teacher (because he is so used to working his way either by manipulation or sheer outlasting of effort)...he started right in again this morning. and the assistant director called his dad (which was nice. that she was supporting me). and his dad came.

half of me thought he might be mad. the dad. but what i saw was relief. apparently he's been fighting this battle alone at home (the mother/siblings are all under this youngest's sway). so the dad was glad to gain an ally, too, and glad to come. and have the child know he would come.


there's a little one who shares my name in my class. she sooo reminds me of myself, and i so love her. she melted down today because her new pull-ups (which have the exact same dora pictures on them) have white on the sides instead of pink. it took me a few minutes to figure out the difference and then i couldn't help a personal laugh inside myself as i eased that pull-up onto her writhing body which protested with every ounce of her being the change to her "status quo." her normal. once i finally got on her pull-up (and got it to stay on against her will) and her skirt and her little green crocs, it still took about five minutes of holding her until she stopped trying to take them off again. (plus a few more for her to calm down enough to eat her snack.)

it's amazing what you can do even with a two-year-old in your arms.

but i love her for it. isn't that crazy? all i can see is my who-knows-what-age self shedding desperate tears over a velvet dress with seams that poke her tummy.

it makes me think of God. watching me throw figurative temper tantrums of worry at change, or things out of my control, or silly doubts and anxieties...and yet loving me more for it. is that possible? that He's that...tender?

i like getting to be tender and strong. firm, but kind. i think that maybe, just maybe, i can make a difference even with these twos to whom i tell the same things over and over and who never seem to listen. but maybe it's not the things i say that matter so much. maybe it's the love i show.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

the lesson of day 11

is just this: when a two-year-old looks at you at the end of a long day and declares that he needs another teacher, take it as a compliment. it means it might be sinking in to his brain that he's not going to get away with much, no matter what he's used to.

once it sinks a little more he'll realize he actually likes the fact that i'm in charge.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

30 days of summer :: day...10?

i have fourth of july pictures to share that are really from the first of july.

i haven't had time or energy to edit them.

oh well. i decided that actually coming here and sharing something was more important than editing photos. maybe another day?

things i have learned/relearned about two-year-olds:

-you must pick your battles. because every one you pick will be a full frontal combat. two-year-olds don't do anything half way, and that includes...well...everything.

-when a two-year-old is mad at you (say, for encouraging them to share...or ending their turn at the art easel or the swing...or helping them to use the bathroom when they "don't have to"...), one of their main tactics of expression is to sit down and throw off their shoes.

-the above action (of taking off their shoes) only introduces a new struggle: they must wear their shoes at child care.

-so i get to pick another battle. except i can't really pick this one. so i just pick my approach carefully. sometimes butting head-on with a two-year-old only encourages their head-butting (figuratively, of course).

-enter the shoe-sneak approach. pick up the child, and their shoes. sit with them calmly (as calmy as possible in a room containing 9 two-year-olds and one adult, which is actually more than you might expect), and explain that they may either wear their shoes and get down to play, or not wear their shoes and remain in your arms (where not-very-much cuddling is going on, by the way). they will very emphatically proclaim that they don't want to wear their shoes. so you go about your business, quietly, with that child on your hip. you rescue toys and heads and you play with other children and generally ignore that one. this is a sneak approach, remember. after a while, you sit back down, and while talking to another child, you put those shoes back on. then you walk around some more until that absolutely-no-shoes child has forgotten that she is now wearing shoes, and you "inadvertently" set her down as you wander the room. and maybe, just maybe, she will look around a little dazedly and toddle off to occupy herself...with her shoes on. win.

-and lest you think that the two-year-old actually won, remember that bit about not encouraging their head-butting. 

that's my lesson for today, at least. more to come, tomorrow.

[and fyi: i like it, peeps. at one point today, four of them were surrounding me and taking turns giving me hugs and each protesting that, "no, she's my miss emily!!!" and yes. two-year-olds always use that many exclamation points.]