Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Middle School Blues

so recently i've been thinking a lot about middle school. mainly because i work with a group of inner city k-8th graders, and undoubtedly the hardest sector of that group are the middle schoolers. i mean where did they learn to be the way they are. so aloof, and unresponsive, but then at the turn of a head totally giddy and playful. it's like they're handed some book on the first day of 6th grade that is the handbook to being an intimidating, hard to handle, hard to understand, and just plain moody middle schooler. honestly, i wouldn't go back to middle school if you paid me. bad hair, bad friends, bad acne, you name it. but there is something totally unique and wonderful about these kids. just like i was, they're finding out who they are. and they're becoming real people, and not just some unruly kids. they want to be treated like adults, and yet they still need the boundaries of a child. it's a tricky place to be, and i wouldn't ever go back. so as frustrated as i can get with them for being so hard, i totally understand why. who can blame them, they're middle schoolers.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

i never used to cry at weddings

i'm not a big crier, but there are some things that are guaranteed to make me cry. i never used to cry at weddings. sure they were sweet and all that, but they never jerked tears out. same with babies. i love kids, and babies are always cute, but they didn't used to make my heart leap with just a look, or a sound coming out unexpectedly.

but now, at weddings, i usually end up having a tissue in my hand for most of the ceremony. and when i call my friends to hear how their new baby is, i well up before they even tell me the answer. i guess you could call me a "softy", but i think it's so much more than that.

today as i witnessed a wedding, and yes, as i blotted my eyes, i was surprised by how encouraged i was by the ceremony. it was completely unique, and yet, extremely familiar, too. part of what i love at weddings is how beautiful everyone and everything is. seeing what these two people chose to be a part of their special day. but on a deeper level, i love knowing what is ahead for the beautiful couple before me. i love that i know that in the aftermath of all the wedding hoop-la, all you want is to be is in your lover's arms. that after opening all your gifts, the biggest gift is having each other. that through the journey, yes you will be hurt, but knowing how worth the journey is. and that when you've been married for years, you can still be caught off guard by feeling the same jitters you felt in those first moments of knowing you were falling in love.

i think what encourages me the most, is knowing, like i was reminded of today, that I can't do this thing called love. it must be done by "Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us". and that, my friends, is good news! i know that i fail miserably in and of myself, but praise the Lord that i don't have to fall back on myself. i can ask Him to do it. and He is more than able.