Saturday, March 10, 2012

Drama, drama, drama

There is DRAMA going on at my church.  We have an interim minister right now and a budget that's totally in the red so we have to make some drastic cuts.  Some of those cuts include staff cuts, which were presented to the session last week.  They were supposed to be kept confidential, but it seems like almost everybody in the congregation knows about them.  I have  decided that I don't want to know about them before we're "officially" supposed to because there's nothing I can do about them anyway so all it would do is stress me out.  That's the major drama.

Add to that what happened last week in two of the three church services (of course the ones I wasn't attending). The interim minister made some fairly harsh comments to the congregation about clapping after music during the church service.  He said that they weren't performances; they were worship.  So you shouldn't clap after them.  Too bad that these comments followed the congregation's clapping after a piece the handbell choir played so it came across as a reprimand.  It's also important to know that we Presbyterians are known for our lack of clapping, so when we do clap it's a big deal.  That's even more drama.

Add to that the fact that I'm serving on the nominating committee that is in charge of finding elders, deacons, and trustees, which we've already managed to do, and this year we're in charge of finding the pastor nominating committee, who will be in charge of finding our next pastor.  We're in the process of finding the pastor nominating committee and I'm not looking forward to our next committee meeting because the interim pastor, who seems to insert himself in all of the committees in the church, will be there.  I don't really feel like he should be there since we're basically discussing the committee that will be in charge of finding his replacement.  But then my opinion is only my opinion, which isn't broadcast from the pulpit during worship services...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

One of the reasons I teach

Today I had a student who reached the chapter in the book we're reading that contains what I've been referring to as "the twist,"  sometimes also known as "the big twist" depending on how dramatic I'm feeling that day.  It changes the way you look at the book and the characters in it.  I have told my students over and over and over how angry I will be if someone reveals "the twist" to someone who hasn't made it to that chapter in the book.

So today this student was sitting in math class.  He finished his math homework and decided he would read some of the book we're reading.  (If you know anything about my students at all, you know what a huge accomplishment this is that my student would actually read the book by choice.)  He was sitting there reading and then got to "the twist" and he freaked out.  The math teacher told me he started yelling out loud, "No way!  No way!" and then after that immediately said, "I've gotta go talk to Gretchen!"

I'm in the middle of writing questions for the last few chapters of the book while my creative writing students work on an assignment.  I look up and see this student standing in my doorway saying, "I have to talk to you about the book."  I figured from the look on his face that he had gotten to "the twist" so I told him we could talk in the hallway since I had a student in my classroom who hadn't reached that chapter yet.  I went out in the hallway and he started talking to me about what he'd read.  I don't know if I've ever seem one of my students so engaged in what they'd been reading.  He told me all about how he never expected that to happen and how he was "not really that into the book" before that chapter, but how now he's "totally excited to read it."  This made my day.  Seriously.  And I made sure to tell him that.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

On keeping a positive attitude

I definitely struggle with keeping a positive attitude.  Sometimes it's just so easy to give in to the negativity and complain about the things that are bothering me.  If I'm actually to complain and then let the negativity go, then it's fine.  But most of the time, I end up stuck in the negativity and the complaining and whatever else seems to go with that.  (Thankfully, that is not what happened today!)

The thing that makes keeping a positive attitude even harder?  Having to deal with someone else who is stuck in negativity.  What do you do when someone else simply refuses to move on from the negativity and complaining?  Whether it's my husband, my family members, my coworkers, or my students, I know that (most of the time) I'm not the reason for their negativity.  And I know that I'm not in control of their feelings.

But there are times when I'm stuck around someone like that and it seems impossible to ignore them and their negative attitude.  But lately, I've really been working on not spending time around people with negative attitudes (if I can avoid it in any way) and not letting others' negative attitudes drag me down.  I don't always succeed in these things, but I do find that being aware of how other's attitudes affects me helps me to not let it affect me.

Monday, March 5, 2012

March goals

  • Work out more than I don't work out in March
  • Drink more water
Relationship with God
  • Finish reading The World-Tilting Gospel by Dan Phillips
  • Attend church and Sunday school
Relationship with Andrew
  • Start reading He Said, She Said: A Devotional Guide to Cultivating a Life of Passion by Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles
  • Continue reading The Bible
  • Go on a date to one of the restaurants during Northside Nights
  • Start using our new cleaning schedule that Andrew and I agreed on 
  • Finish 10 scrapbook pages
  • Knit this scarf (my first attempt at cables!)
  • Throw Sarah a fabulous bridal shower
  • Get bridesmaid dress altered for Sarah's wedding
  • Register for IUPUI classes this summer

Sunday, March 4, 2012

February goals update

  • Work out more than I don't work out in February - I didn't accomplish this one
  • Take a multivitamin daily - Or this one
  • Drink water - Or this one
Relationship with God
  • Read The World-Tilting Gospel by Dan Phillips - I'm 42% of the way through this book.  I'll definitely finish it in March.
  • Attend church and Sunday school
Relationship with Andrew
  • Finish reading Let's Get Real: Bringing Authenticity and Wholeness to Your Marriage by Dale Forehand and Jena Forehand
  • Start reading He Said, She Said: A Devotional Guide to Cultivating a Life of Passion by Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles - We haven't started this book yet, but we did start reading the Bible together.
  • Go on a date to see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (opened January 20th) - We didn't do this either, but I did manage to watch Breaking Dawn without Andrew though.
  • Go on a date to dinner at Olive Garden - We also went on another date to Boombozz Pizza and Handel's Ice Cream.
  • Do 30 more things on the Declutter Calendar
  • Scrapbook 10 pages of our wedding - I scrapbooked 4 pages of our wedding and 6 pages of our move into the house so this gets counted as done.
  • Knit this scarf (my first attempt at cables!) - I didn't do this, but I plan on doing it in March.
Mary Kay
  • Listen to the Mary Kay tax call
  • Take inventory of the products I have for taxes
  • Call the unit hotline every day - I did this most of the days.
  • Check in with customers
  • Order product to remain active
  • Complete the library reading program by finishing Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girlby Harriet Jacobs
  • Send out invitations for Sarah's bridal shower

A Declaration of Faith

Today was the last day of studying How to Spell Presbyterian by James W. Angell and even though I didn't read the last chapter before going to Sunday school, which I got a stern look from my father for, I did read it when I got home from church.  I really liked this excerpt that ended the book.

In Christ God gave us a glimpse of the new creation he has already begun and will surely finish.
We don not know when the final day will come.
In our time we see only broken and scattered signs that the renewal of all things is under way.
We do not yet see the end of cruelty and suffering in the world, the church, or our own lives.
But we see Jesus as Lore.
As he stands at the center of our history, we are confident he will stand at its end.
He will judge all people and nations.
Evil will be condemned and rooted out of God's good creation.
There will be no more tears or pain.
All things will be made new.
The fellowship of human beings with God and each other will be perfected.

-from "A Declaration of Faith" prepared by the Presbyterian church U.S. prior to the 1983 reunion