It's been an amazing, amazing week. Such blessings to relate that I can hardly keep them in, even with strangers sitting next to me at the coffeee shop (more on that later). But even with these amazing blessings, something has come to me over the last many months of how wrongly focused I can be. Maybe you'll be able to relate. I hope not so much, because if you do, we both need some changes to happen.
I'm talking about how my mind tends to focus on what I DON'T have in my life, instead of focusing on what I DO have in my life. And that just makes for depression, anxiety, self-centeredness and ingratitude. Is that how I really want to live my life and what I really believe in?! NO WAY! Because of this I've taken things and people for granted way too many times. This way of thinking undervalues too many things. So, for all the ungraciousness I've shown to friends, family, a girlfriend, co-workers, and other acquaintances, things are changing. I realize just how much of a blessing everyone has been to me, and now see what is IN my life. What is in my life is LOVE from so many people, and from God.
This way of wrongly thinking has also led me to try to be someone I'm not. Foolish at this age, huh?! I guess God is leading me more and more to be the person I am...and for that I am very grateful. Let's hope that comes across in all my life and in my relationships. I trust that it will, and wish you the peace that you can be just who you are too...and that is great! XO
Check out these blessings - they go on and on, so I'll make them short and sweet (sort of). Remember, I'm sharing these to show just how much love God is giving me, not to show me, but Him in my life.
1. Went on this crazy good trip to Colorado, all as a thank you to me for teaching someone's son, which I would continue to do even if I won the lottery. Teaching is my heart, so being thanked in such a gracious way for something that comes from the heart was very special. And as you can see, got to spend some serious play time with my two sisters. Plus, had the best experience on horseback, really connecting with my horse, Rimington. Thanks to Steve, Harrison and Justin too. Here are some photos from the trip. One more thing about leaving for this trip - many friends, including Tal and Claire, made sure my mom was okay while we were gone. Thank you!
2. At my Box Project session at Youth for Christ on Monday, with middle school boys, two boys had great comments/reactions: one said his box was the best thing he had ever made (!), and a second boy gave me a bro handshake, leaned over to give me a hug, and asked for graph paper to take home. So, so cool!
3. As many of you know, the Box Project from my class has really taken off. I'm working to get teachers from around the country to do this project with their students - it's that cool. So, I've been speaking at conferences, and am set to speak at two more so far. The idea came, I think, from two seeds: working with sixth graders at Golda Meir School in downtown Milwaukee six years ago, and inspiration coming to me while walking down a food aisle in a grocery store. Well, I always wished I had taken some photos of that sixth grade classroom project at Golda, because it would be nice to have documentation of the start of the Box Project. Which leads me to this crazy good story that happened two days ago.
As I was writing at Alterra/Colectivo, a student from that sixth grade class walked in with her mom and younger brother. Since she had just graduated from high school, I went over to say hi and congratulate her, and find out what the future holds. We talked and then they asked what I was up to. I explained where I teach and other things, and then asked the former student, Fiona, if she remembered the project we did in class, and she did. I then said I never took any photos and wished I had because of its connection to my current Box Project. Fiona thought for second, and then said she thought a friend of hers on Facebook had photos of the project on her page. And sure enough she did, as evidenced below. HOW COOL IS THAT?!! :) Great to see you Fiona and best of luck in the future.
And it was so cool after talking with that family that I leaned over to the guy next to me at the coffee shop and shared a bit. He had a couple of books about God on his table, so I asked him if he was studying to be a minister. He said he was studying theology, so I told him I just had a God moment and asked if he wanted to hear it. He was excited to hear and thanked me for sharing.
4. And there's one more! A former student of mine, who is going into seventh grade, was playing guitar and singing at a small place in Waukesha that same night as the coffee shop story above. I thought I'd go and support him. As I was listening and chatting with his dad, Emmett dedicated a song to me: Superstition by Stevie Wonder, since I had asked him about the song when he was in my class. What a nice thing to do for a teacher, dedicate a song unexpectedly. Of course, I recorded it, and don't think Emmett would mind me sharing below.
And to top that day off, between the Alterra experience and seeing Emmett, I ran into an old high school friend of mine at Brookfield Square, who I hadn't seen in ten years. :)
See, what IS is what counts. I'm learning. Hope you are too. Blessings. XO