Wednesday, May 30, 2007

necessity vs.excess

i have been thinking about these two words a lot lately. i recently read my friend sherry's travel blog about her trip to uganda, africa. i read about the places she went, the kids she met, and the organizations she learned about. in reading these i was struck by the kids generosity even in the lack of having very much at all. i marveled at the idea that these kids are more than willing to share themselves and what they have with someone who is a stranger and so generously. this made me think about my life. i know that i cannot compare my life to the folks in africa. my circumstances are different in many ways, but it makes me think about what i own and what things i think that i need.

where do we draw the line between necessity and excess? is it different for everyone? what makes it different? how do we determine what is excess and necessity? is there a way to determine? how do i manage to draw this line in my own life? these are some of the questions i have been struggling with. i have had conversations with a few folks about them and thrown ideas around. then i asked....what would God want me to do? what does God say about this? still to no avail there is no clear answer in black and white. there is no where in the Bible that specifically says this is excessive and this is necessity. my friend jen pointed out that many times God tells us to be humble.

so then i ask am i humble about my belongings? do i really need more than one pair of jeans to be happy? why and what is the reasoning for all my stuff? i don't really think that i NEED all the junk i call mine which in all honesty is just on loan from God (that is a whole different blog). what do i need to survive? i thought about the basic needs of humans---food, shelter, water, clothing (i might be missing some here but feel free to add to this). i have all those things. i have a shelter, i have clean water which many people do not have, and i have clothes. do i really need to have all the clothes i have? all the shoes? why do i covet these things? why do i think i need all of this stuff? why do i struggle with cleaning out my junk? why is it hard to let go? do i not trust God with my life? he says that he will provide all my needs. am i of little faith?

a few weeks ago at church the pastor gave a message on fear. he talked about how where there is fear there is no faith and vice versa. he also mentioned that when we fear that is related to sin. he referenced stories in the Bible---adam and eve feared God after they sinned and clothed themselves because of shame, then peter had fear when he tried to walk on the water, and all the guys in the boat during the storm which God says to them....."you of little faith"

my question then iswhat am i afraid of? where is my line of necessity and excess? how do i make the decision of what i need and what i don't need? i know that God is having me struggle with all of this for a reason and he has spoken to my heart.

if i stop and reflect on the things i need to make me happy these are the things that come to my mind--community, Christ, unconditional love.

im in mourning...........

yes, grey's anatomy is over for this season and it is a time of mourning. i miss them already. i hvae tried watching the other episodes but it is not the same. i long to know what the fall will bring.....

will mcdreamy and meredith still be dating? is burke coming back? what is george going to do? will he and callie have a baby? how is cristina going to manage? will izze get over george? what is the chief going to do? is addison going back to LA where her friends are? is the new show going to make? will alex find his jane doe again? what is bailey going to do now that is not the chief resident? is mcsteamy going to stay at seattle grace?

all of the questions to think about ALL, life is tough. have i mentioned that grey's is my favorite show?!?!?! :)

thoughts and ponderings........

the year is almost over and i am praying that i can make it to the finish has beena hard couple of weeks. the only major task to do is write report card comments which i know to the non teaching folk that may seem like a simple task, but it is not. i basically have to give a 900 word dissertation on this past semester for each child and be specific as to what the child needs and such. after about #5 everything seems to sound similiar and there are only so many ways to state "_________ is a pleasure to have in class." they are due next thursday so i am hoping to become inspired long before then. :) i have started so that hump is over.

my kids have been very testy and difficult recently too which does not add to the fun of the end of the year festivities. it makes me irritable and them crazy. we all have summer-itis so bad it hurts. if i can just make it through next week to 4:30ish on june 8th the challenging part will be over. the last week my mom will be here and i plan to do lots of fun activities to finish up. it will be "help miss foster organize the room" and games and such. woo hoo! thank goodness that my kids still like to help.

i miss home more than ever these days and i am sure it is because the end is near and i am dying to be spend quality time with family and friends that i live across the pacific from. :) i just want to be able to run errands and not have to hand gesture to death to get my point across. i want to go to target and eat the places i look forward to. yum! i miss catching up with folks. i miss being out of the loop. i miss you all.

things have been pretty crazy busy, but at the same time a bit overwhelming. i know that i have a million things to do just have the hardest time getting motivated to get them done. i have to figure out the care of my kitties over the summer, finish up the end of the year, think about the beginning of next year and what i might need to bring back with me from america, get in shape, lose 50 pounds to be considered at a point of low health risk, think about the things i need from america for my life in korea, and so on and so on. yes, i have made lists.......but they too are crazy. i also have to think about this summer.......what to wear, bring home to wear, what fits, what looks cute, what makes me look frumpy b.c that is not going with me, etc. then there is always the list of things i have to get done while in america----hair at least twice if not three times, eat at my favs, run errands for the wedding, take photos, hang out with peeps, fine down time for me, hang out with God, have decaf starbucks, a mayan mocha or two from diedrich's, hang out with fam, see everyone...........the list goes on.

ok, enough ranting and venting about crazy my life is. i am sure all of you are thinking the same about your own.

Friday, May 18, 2007

17 and a half more days.....

i am really excited about school being out but i am also sad. after the 10 months of teaching the same kids you get attached to them even when they behave in less than desirable manners. this will be the fourth time i have said good bye to students and it never fails that i cry. i wonder if this year will be the same. i often where they all will be ten years from now and whether or not they will remember me as their teacher. i remember my grade school teachers.......1st grade--Miss Vargo, 2nd grade--Mrs. Jackson, 3rd grade--Mrs. Lake, 4th grade--Miss Cooksey & 5th grade--Mrs. Illg. wow.......of course i had teachers that i preferred over others as i am sure we all do. so i wonder if many years from now when these guys are in college or working at a professional job that they will reflect on their teachers as i do. sometimes the only reason i think of mine is because i am a teacher myself. who knows? i just hope and pray that they remember how hard we all worked to get through the year and that no matter what i cared dearly for them. making a difference is a goal of mine but often as a teacher i never really get to see the difference i make because it may not happen while they are with me, but much later. i just pray each morning for God to help me love them just as He loves me-----unconditionally.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


things here in my life have been pretty non-eventful lately. since i last blogged i got a manicure, pedicure and eyebrows waxed, i taught a reading assessment training, stuffed all the invites and got them in the mail, decided on the favors for the reception, discussed music with paul, had lots of coffee, went to a new church, bought an easel and paint supplies at a proper art shop in hongdae, tried a new indian restaurant, hung out with some new friends, and also with some old ones, watched grey's anatomy, read some pretty thought provoking stuff, and now i am sitting on my couch listening to the "noise" coming from yonsei university. :) all week they have had some sort of function every night and the music travels to sfs and since the weather has been nice i have had my windows open i can hear it. fun fun fun!

today was a tough day. i was really ready to come home after school and just be able to veg out. i had a headache and the day was really trying. how do you teach kids how to be appreciative and respectful without some form of physical coersion? this has been a really hard issue for me the last few weeks. the kids that i teach do come from homes where they are priviledged. the thing is sometimes it overflows in their attitudes at school, their lack of care. ugh! i want so badly to make an impression that all of life is not handed to them on a silver platter. i just feel by adopting this silver platter theory i am doing a disservice to the kids. i want to hold them accountable for their actions (or lack there of), have high expectations, and teach them how to be compassionate to others. i want them to want to treat others the way they want to be treated. is that too much to ask? i feel as if i have hit a wall. my ideas and bag of tricks are depleted. i think i a also depleted and deflated. how do you manage to get this idea to kids without going crazy? my only solution so far is to pray, and pray hard. so far i just feel like i am thinking and talking to myself. i know God is listening, but i wonder if there is more reflection for me before i sort all this out. what does God want me to learn? patience? gentleness? tough love? i am not sure but still trying to wade my way through. at this point i feel as if i am just limping to the finish line. i am praying that i can at least make it that far.

for now, the weekend cannot get here fast enough.........