Sunday, December 26, 2010

Authentic Beauty

I believe that each and every day of my life is part of a journey.
I find it true that every experience and moment is a thread.
Like a stream that flows over rocks, through forests, winding to waterfalls.

I am sitting here now at this moment, entirely spent and yet, I cannot rest.
I always write when this feeling overtakes me.
Today, I want to write a little about my journey.
The journey that my life has taken.

I have been broken.
I have been shattered and emptied.
There have been paths in my life that have went places that I never imagined possible.
Crossroads that smashed my heart to pieces.
But through these moments. That seem so hopeless.
I found an amazing truth in my life.

Beauty that is broken, is beauty that is true.
When one becomes truly broken, and finds oneself in a seemingly hopeless place.
Once you have experienced being shattered into the earth.
You become authentic.
Beauty that is broken is authentic beauty. True. Real.

I have felt pain so deep.
I have felt so hopeless.
Yet, it is in this moment when we feel utterly hopeless, that we are presented with a choice that otherwise we would never have.
We can choose to fear. To give up.
Or we can choose to cling to Hope.

Perfect love casts out fear. (1 John)
Love. It is strong it is beautiful. It is forgiving.
Love is a choice.
True love is not based on what we will get in return.
It is given whether or not we will be loved back.
True love. It is a choice to accept, cherish, care, and be.
No matter what.

Authentic Beauty.
Brokenness. Hopelessness. Moments of Fear.
These all lead to a beauty that can be so authentic and true.
We must choose to not be hardened by these experiences.
They can shape us into beautiful people.
People who can truly love. Truly care.
Because we have truly been in moments so shattered.

I cling to one Hope.
He is my Perfect Love that casts out fear.
So I slowly pick up my shattered pieces and love.
I am learning to Love. Authentically.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Place of Missing

I have been in a place of missing.
Missing things. I try not to dwell on the past, because I don't want to become wistful and discontent.
However, some things in my past are so lovely, I feel they deserve the thought.
I don't know if it is the holiday season, or that I am finally slowed down enough to pause and think, but these days I find myself missing many things.

  • I miss standing in a freezing ballet studio selecting music for class, when a little 4 year old comes and gives me a drawing she colored just for me. Or the 3 yr old who brings me a pencil with a puffy-feathered top.
  • Seeing the 9 yr old girl who I know has a broken home, open like a flower, little by little through the months while I teach her to dance.
  • Taking off my point shoes to find missing toenails and blood. Accomplishment.
  • Going to bed and being able to feel every single muscle in my body. Every night.
  • Not having a care in the world, besides thinking of the next adventure to embark on with my siblings and neighbors.
  • Making perfume out of flowers with my next door neighbor.
  • Being able to run fast, and beat all the boys at Awana.
  • My little "brother" Micheal from Ethiopia.
  • Waking up early and running outside barefoot to play in the swing set with my siblings in the early sun.
  • All the holiday parties that my mom would plan for my friends with arts and crafts and yummy goodies.
  • Mick, my cat.
  • My best friend growing up, my older brother.
  • Sunday school.
  • Being able to do 32 fouette turns on pointe without effort. I had no idea.
  • The ballerina that I was.
  • I miss seeing the extreme joy in little girls faces when I autographed their programs and talked to them.
  • Adventuring through the slough with my brother.
  • Running cross-country
  • I miss my great grandma, taking care of her every day. Her sweet tooth.
  • My other great grandma, and her toffee and stories she would tell me for hours on end.

      I miss laying on the grass, almost every sunny day, and looking up at the blue sky.
      For the longest time, just thinking, and dreaming.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Junior Achievement

I want to take a moment to reflect on something that was one of my favorite things this Fall 2010 quarter.
Life rushes on so quickly, and it seems all to easy to move on and forget the moments the shaped us into who we are now in this moment.

This last quarter, I had my first class that actually directly correlated with my currently planned major, elementary education.  I had a course in Intro to Education. It was a wonderful experience and I learned so much about education and teaching through my incredible instructor.

What I learned from the most, was by volunteering with Junior Achievement.
I was able to go and teach in a 1st grade class at Irene Reither.  I was so excited to be able to work with 1st graders, as that is the age I have been hoping to be able to teach after I graduate from a teaching program.  I can not explain the joy that teaching in the classroom brought me.  I was ecstatic to be able to work with the kids. They are so very eager to learn, and all so very different from each other.  Walking in on the first day, I knew that I was in the correct major in school. I felt completely at home with the kids.  Being able to help them with worksheets and projects while teaching them made it possible to be able to interact with each and every one of them on a personal level.  The best part was that each time my teaching partner and I returned to teach a JA lesson, the kids were super excited to see us. They loved us! How could that not melt my heart?!  I love kids, and sometimes I am so overwhelmed by the fact that each and everyone of us has the power to greatly influence the children around us.  We influence children by each and every action, whether it be negative or positive.  So many children come from broken homes, or are abused, neglected, or just overwhelmed the the current circumstances in their lives.  I see teaching as a little way to bring positive joy to children.  Any and every way that you can/are involved in a child's life, should be moments that you take to your very heart.  You never know what a person has been through, or where their life is in that moment. You never know where a person's heart is, whether its broken, crushed, depressed, empty, eager, hardened, fragile, or just putting on a very brave front. Very often it is just that, a very brave front.  Whether children or adults, this is all around us.  Take every encounter that you have, as a moment to just be there for someone. What kind of simple and beautiful difference can you make? We all can make one, no matter where we are in our life ourselves.
Children especially need the power of positive influence and encouragement.  While teaching JA I was reminded of the years I spent teaching several different aged ballet classes.  I saw firsthand the huge influence that a little bit of encouragement makes, and how the act of truly caring made a dynamic difference in my students lives.

I am so very thankful for the wonderful experience I have had while volunteering with Junior Achievement, and for everything that it has taught me.
~This moment is now~