MLKJR

If I were a better user of wordpress/the internet, I would find some way to fancy up the presentation of the links below. Alas, I am not, so I’m really not going to try this time. The links below are a few audio documentaries related to the Civil Rights movement, as well as a link to speeches by prominent leaders in the Civil Rights movie.  One of those speeches found under link number 5 is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s last speech.

This year and last year are the first times in my life that I have had the opportunity to actually observe MLKJR day. In elementary/middle/high school,  my private school didn’t observe the day, saying it was just too close to the beginning of the year, when really it was just their way of disrespecting this man, this movement, freedom. Unfortunately, in showing their disdain for this holiday (again, with the vague excuse of inconvenience and a not-veiled hatred of government holidays because they thought the government infringes on our rights by making us take days off….) they displayed their disregard for the great things this man and this movement accomplished.  Whether they were so passive-aggressively hateful from ignorance or intention, I’ll never know. I don’t really want to know.

In college, school was not called off, but they day was honored with special chapels with topics relating to MLKJR and civil rights. Better, but still not quite good enough.

Take the day, observe it, celebrate it. I didn’t do anything particularly special, except write this, and think about life in America. I’m overwhelmed sometimes by how bad things were and how bad things still are in regards to civil rights and racial reconciliation. When I think back to what I’ve learned about the Civil Rights Movement, particularly Freedom Summer and MLKJR’s assassination, I wonder on whose side I would have been.

I want to be the kind of person who was marching, who was registering people to vote, who was involved. I don’t ever want to be on the sidelines. Ever.  I don’t know who I would have been, I just know who I want to be. That’s why I take my job working with children with disabilities so seriously and so personally. It’s a different fight than the one about ending institutional discrimination based on the color of skin, but it’s still important. Again, while I can’t go back in time and know where I would have stood in 1964, I can say I’m in the thick of it for the mostly silent battle for respect, honor, and dignity for those with disabilities. I refuse to stay on the passive sidelines, letting other people do the work.

I’ve stood where MLKJR spent his last moments, where he died. I’ve stood where his assassin fired. It was a moving, sobering experience.  That museum, that whole week in Jackson and Memphis still stands as an important marker in my life.  It’s partially because of that journey that I take a day like today so seriously.

It matters.

Audio-documentaries

  1. http://transportationnation.org/backofthebus/
  2. http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/blackspeech/index.html
  3. http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/mississippi/
  4. http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/oh_freedom/index.html
  5. http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/blackspeech/

Skipping

I skipped a comprehensive review of February and a preview of March for a number of reasons. One, at first I just forgot.

Two, February was really nothing to write home about. Snowpocalypse. I literally didn’t leave the house for most of the first two weeks of February. Seriously. It started snowing on Monday night January 31…and I didn’t go anywhere until Saturday February 5. Even after that the roads were so bad that I still didn’t go many places.  I watched a lot of Netflix. And rearranged my room a thousand times. And pretended to study for the GRE.  Among other things. Really, the first two weeks of February 2011 will not go down as the most productive period of my life.

I didn’t really go back to work until Valentine’s Day. Whereupon we had VALENTINE’S WEEK at work. Yayyy, the single life. But really, it was Valentine’s week, it was like we celebrated every day, parties, candy, etc. This is what happens at preschool.  We celebrate everything. EVERYTHING.  Even Singles Awareness Day.

The latter part of February got more exciting, with Christmas in February, also known as the Book Fair at a local private school.  I can’t even really count how many people were in my house, because my sister’s friends just kept coming and coming.  15 maybe?  And we woke up super early on a Saturday to buy books. And I must say, it was an excellent book shopping year. Highlight? Our Mississippi, a Mississippi state history textbook from the sixties.  Also, lots of pretty travel books.

[background noise for writing this post is one of my favorite episodes of Bones, Two Bodies in the Lab. and my favorite song from the show is about to play. Hurrah for my love of appropriately used electronica. Who knew I liked Depeche Mode? I didn’t.]

The rest of February was tough.  Children can be difficult after long periods of being cooped up.  Hey, I’m difficult after long periods of being copped up thanks to Snowpocalypse.  I just have slightly more self-control.  My job is great, but it’s draining, it’s exhausting, it’s demanding.  Let’s just say my three week spring break/rest was desperately needed, despite the bonus two weeks of Snowpocalypse.

Also, I was just beginning to build a social life before Snowpocalypse snowed all over it, so I felt like I was starting all over socially in late February. Finding friends without having them right next to me is difficult.

Three (I’ve rambled for so long anyone reading may have forgotten I was listing reasons I hadn’t written what I’m writing yet), I was afraid that somehow March of 2011 would turn out like March of 2010. With bitter disappointment.  With expectation turned to nothing. With growth that was really good but really really hard. I just didn’t want to think about that possibility, no matter how remote. Nor did I really want to think about last March. Or this past February for that matter.

Sometimes I need to write in the heat of the moment, so I will remember how I really felt. And sometimes I need to step away and wait so the heat of the moment doesn’t carry me away to extremes that are just exaggerations of my actual feelings. Last year, I needed to remember how I really felt. Now? A little distance is good for me.

This time last year I was in Jackson. Oh how I miss that time. THAT part of March 2010 was fabulous, but I pretended that was April anyway. And that the hateful part of April was just nowhere. Nevertheless, Jackson and the work the Lord did left an impression on my heart, my soul, my mind that will remain forever.  Like a tattoo, but I detest the word tattoo.  Every word I think of to describe it just isn’t right. It’s not a stamp, not a weight, not a burden, not a tattoo, not a calling, but more than just a simple impression.  Inscription. [I really have a thing for precise language]  The Lord left an inscription on my heart for/with/by Jackson. This inscription has so much to say, but that’s for another time.

March 2011, you’re almost over. Sorry I tried to ignore you, you’ve actually been rather super. Keep going strong.

So much changes

This time last year I was getting ready to do something completely crazy. It did not turn out as hoped.

Do I love my life anyway? Absolutely. Am I glad I did that crazy thing? Yes. Would I like my life if it had turned out as I had I hoped? I’m not sure. Most likely, probably not.

My current tomorrow will be filled with crazy, just of a different sort.  Children, hugs, discipline, grace, cleaning, running, remembering, being.

The best part? The Lord was with me then and the Lord is with me now.  And He’ll be there tomorrow and the day after that. Even when I think He’s nuts. Even when I’m nuts. Even when He prompts me to do crazy things. I like this adventure.

More on February thoughts and March expectations later.

Let’s just say that February 2011 will not go down as the most productive month of my life. Also, March 2011 holds much more promise and much less inner turmoil than March 2010.

uncertainty

I’ve had the year 2010 in the back of my mind for years. I’ve known since elementary school that I would be graduating from college in 2010.

I graduated seven months ago and now 2010 is nearly over. It’s time for 2011.

I don’t know what to do with 2011. Life has been planned only up until this point.  I don’t know what to do next or when things will happen.  This is not bad.  It’s actually fabulous, it’s just taking some getting used to.

In January of 2010, I wrote a list of things I wanted to have accomplished over the next year, prompted by questions I found on Boundless Line. Not quite resolutions, but really some thoughts and dreams and ideas for this last crazy year.

The first question was “What would you like to see different about your life one year from now?” My first item on the list? Not even anywhere near accomplished. However, it was “I would like to have gone on a date” so that’s not exactly something I can take care of on my own. I was much more successful with my other plans, such as “I would like to have a steady job, preferably at LLH” and “I would like to be saving money.” Hurrah for an amazing job that pays!

As to what I wanted to have accomplished by now? Playing ultimate well was one of my goals. I don’t know if I play it well, but I’m infinitely better than I was last January. I play a sport now. I have frisbees. It’s weird and awesome. I can’t even begin to describe how my decision to play Ultimate changed my life. I’m healthier, more athletic, less fearful, more confident, and more. The Lord did those things. It’s kind of amazing. Also, I’m pretty sure that all that happened with me and Ultimate and other choices I made in 2010 have given me the confidence to quit grad school and change directions a bit. I’m seriously considering getting an MBA or MNFP [master’s in not-for-profit management], something I wouldn’t have dreamed of a year or two ago. Honestly, probably because a year or two ago I didn’t think I could do that. Accounting? Math? Administrating a non-profit? Those are potentially terrifying prospects. Well, they used to be terrifying.  I’m not afraid.

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” [2 Timothy 1:7]

I, of course, had other goals and dreams for the year, but this isn’t the space for them. Some were accomplished. Others are dreams still left unfulfilled.  As I look back on what I wrote about every month, I know the year has been good. There’s always another year for dreams to come to fruition.  To be made beautiful.

So what will the year of 2011 bring? Unknowns. Exciting unknowns. I don’t really know what to do with you, 2011. Fortunately, I’m not the one who has to know.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” [Ecclesiastes 3:11]

Merry Chri-Chri

I love Christmas. This year, I celebrated Christmas approximately five times.

  • LLH Family Christmas Party
  • Classroom Birthday party for Jesus
  • LLH Staff Christmas Party
  • Crazies Christmas [friend Christmas]
  • Today

This abundance of celebration has not been overwhelming or stressful–instead, it has been a blessing.  I see the work of the Lord in the lives of my friends, family, co-workers, students, and more. It’s been pretty amazing.

So, in the words of one of my beloved students: Merry Chri-Chri.

December, It Always Happens in December

The last month of 2010 is about to arrive.

Whirl. Wind. A whirl of wind. [30 rock is in my brain]  That’s the only way to describe this year. As I think about the year, I almost don’t recognize myself from who I was last December. But it’s not the end of the year yet, who knows what else could change in the next 31 days.

So November.  The last 30 days have been like each month before it, full of busyness. I’ve been trying to figure out my life, what I want, where to find friends. I have had mixed success.

I love my job. I can’t wait to quit grad school. I’m excited to find another program that fits me better. In my heart, I think I know where I’ll head. But I haven’t done enough research or found a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow to do it.

This last day of November was long. I’m exhausted. Life is good.

 

Coldplay releases a new song tomorrow. I want it badly.

I love Christmas music. Coldplay’s new song is entitled “Christmas Lights.” I hope this combination is good.

December, be splendid.

Dream Degree

I want a graduate degree that includes the following components:

  • research
  • disability studies
  • special needs ministry
  • special education
  • assistive technology
  • non-profit management
  • children’s ministry
  • family ministry
  • global missions
  • reading
  • writing
  • knitting
  • public relations
  • marketing
  • grant-writing
  • theology
  • graphic design

Why do I like so many things?