Friday, September 26, 2014

Standing Up

I posted a little on Instagram about the shirt I am wearing today. It is from an organization called Fight the New Drug ( ). I urge you to watch the video on their home screen.

Anyone who knows me knows that when I discover a problem, I do my best to stand up and find a way to fix it. I am too stubborn to just sit down and accept defeat. I fight for the use of the word retard(ed) to be erased from every day slang vocabulary and for the world to recognize the worth of those with special needs.
I am passionate about this topic and...

But I realized that I have been missing a passion toward fixing the biggest issue of  all: Sin.

So I want to start this with my shirt, with a beginning to warn the world of the dangers of pornography and that area of sin.

Pornography has been so normalized by our society that to the world, there is no problem... It is just another form of entertainment and sex is just a bodily desire created to be satisfied. When we view sex in this way, we lose the beauty in its purpose that was created by God. Sex is not a bad thing when kept in its proper context, and we should treat the subject with respect and speak of it in a mature manner.
Porn does the exact opposite of that. Not only are people now having sex for their career, they're doing it for others to watch. The whole idea completely objectifies the human body and loses the beauty of love. It gives viewers completely unrealistic expectations of the opposite sex. When you really think about it, there are pictures and videos of the perfect men and women plastered all around us. We see them wearing little clothing and begin to imagine and desire traits that are just not realistic or even respectable. It can cause us to dismiss a wonderful person as "not good enough" in terms of physical attraction. Pornography, however, is on a level even deeper than Victoria's Secret or Hanes underwear ads.
It is the ultimate form of sexualizing humans and defaming the perfect plan God made when He created man and woman and sex.
I don't know about you, but I would never want a man I love to look at women portrayed in these ads or in porn, and compare me to them.I would never want him to look at them at all! The thought triggers a feeling of jealousy. Not that I see myself as inferior, but I don't want those women to have his attention.

I realize that porn is not just a man's problem. Women have desires, too. We can be tempted and tossed about in the same ways and porn is just as available to us as it is to men. But I obviously cannot speak from the man's perspective.

We wonder why sexual violence is rising and why teen pregnancy is a major issue. We wonder why children (yes, I mean CHILDREN) are becoming sexually active...
And the answer is right in front of our faces. And we SUPPORT it.

As I said in my instagram post, ignoring the problem is the same as supporting it.

Ignoring SIN is the same as supporting SIN.

I wanted to preface this post with the issue of pornography, but the real issue here is sin in its many forms. We lie, cheat, steal, curse, smoke, lust, live through greed. We are selfish and we give in to fleshly desire...we forsake our God...

We fall. And sometimes it's really hard to get back up from a fall into the pit of sin. But it is possible. We can never give up... Jesus died for us to have the opportunity to rise above it. We need to stand up against sin, refuse to never sit down and fight it tooth and nail. And I don't just mean for ourselves. We need to fight for our brothers and sisters and help them out of that pit. Trials are so much easier to face when you have those who love you right behind you, supporting you with every step.

We have to make sure others know they will not be dismissed or written off as a hopeless sinner if they come to us. My goal is for people to know that they can tell me their struggles and their temptations so I can do my best to help them through those tribulations. I have people I know I can tell my most secret of sins to and I can get support... but not everyone is comfortable enough to confess those things.
Fellow Christians, we need to make it a priority to open ourselves up and tell one another our problems. This is the most important kind of accountability buddy and we NEED them in our lives in order to win the battle against sin.

You can't win a war alone. But with Christ and those who love you, you can defeat the enemy and rise above your sin.

This is not the end... Please, please...never sit down against sin.

Saturday, September 6, 2014


I've noticed more and more how this life is a balancing act. It's like standing on a tight rope, one-legged, and juggling a bunch of hats- while wearing a sparkly two-two of course, because you might as well do it in style.

What we strive for is balance. No wobbling and gasping and flailing hands, but lasting stability.
Sometimes we sacrifice for balance...we drop a hat or instead of the two-two we go for yoga pants because let's face it, they're practical for tight rope walking and what not.
We may never find perfect balance, but that is what keeps things interesting. There's give and take.

There's so much to experience in this world, and for me, this is such a short and valuable time in my life that I can't afford to waste it. So I try to flow with the give and flow with the take.

Sometimes you call it an early night and sacrifice time with others.
Sometimes you stay up until 3 laughing until everything hurts and tears roll down your cheeks.
Sometimes you get up and go- try new things, wear new clothes, adventure.
Sometimes you stay in your pajamas all day and watch movies.

Sometimes you stay by yourself.
Sometimes you stay with everyone.

Sometimes you are responsible and go to class, do your work, go to work..
And sometimes you skip class to go to Disney World.

And in their own ways, all of life's options are beautiful and worthy of appreciation.

From this:

To this:

Magical, I tell you. Magical. It may have been "irresponsible"...but for the sake of balance, we have to be irresponsible every now and then, right?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Call me Crazy...

As I am finishing my second Monday of the semester and beginning the second full week, I am....tired. Nothing philosophical about it. I am dead tired. I could go to bed right now and easily not wake up until tomorrow at 8:00. I crave a hot bath with soothing music, where I can just soak for at least an hour- refilling the tub with freshly steaming water every 15 minutes or so. I would slip my head under the water and close my eyes, basking in the comfort calm and darkness. But instead, I have lesson plans to analyze and write and I have to clean and I have to do laundry and 10,000 other things and I am back to the majority of my year.
It is so easy to get bogged down with all of the things I need to do that I forget to enjoy this experience. I am only in college for one more year after this, and then I will be out in the world. I am hit with this realization more often this year than ever before. I have found myself putting off doing dishes, or pushing a pile of laundry aside, or closing my textbook to just sit and laugh with the people I hold so dear and know I will not always be with. College is a unique experience, but what is even more unique is college at FC. This place is not normal...No, it is far from your usual college. This place creates family out of people who start out as total strangers making awkward small talk. Family that will separate after just a few years of being together and roam the world to shine their lights. This is not time to take for granted.

But I knew all of that. What I am realizing more than ever in the short period I've been working this semester is that my heart is where it should be. As I write these lesson plans and read about truly teaching children and educational policy, I have a thousand thoughts. I think "No wonder people complain about the education system" from time to time... But more than anything, I see the faces of the children I have already worked with in my life. I think about that time one of my kids finally understood place value and had a celebratory dance session. I think about the love I have for these children who have touched my life so exponentially and I think, "How could I want to do anything else?"

I am reminded that through hard work and determination can come beautiful successes. And I feel a ball of excitement (and a twinge of nerves) well up within my stomach.

I recently had to write my "educational philosophy" for admittance into the education program, and it felt like spilling my heart onto paper.

It read,

When I was six years old and sitting in my first grade classroom, I decided I wanted to be a teacher one day. I remember watching my teacher, Mrs. Cheatham, writing new spelling words on the overhead projector. I scribbled them down, picturing how much fun it would be to be a teacher and get to write on an overhead every day. While my reasoning may not have been very sound then, my dream never wavered. Once I entered high school, my future goal became a true passion. I encountered teachers who made me realize the impact that educators have in the lives of their students. It was then that I also started realizing how lucky I was to have the life that I have had. My eyes were opened to situations that some children are helplessly tossed into. I heard phrases like “never had a chance” and “well, look at his family” used to describe my peers or those younger than I. I don’t remember the exact moment, but one day a light bulb went off and I knew that I was meant to use my love of learning and my care for children to fight for those who “never had a chance” because “look at their families”. I don’t expect to be a teacher who has a Hallmark movie made about her, but I know that I have a chance to represent Christ in a way I wouldn’t have in any other profession. I will have the chance to be a role model for children who may really need to know that someone cares.        

To me, education is more than books and math problems. It’s a window into this world and a chance for a better life. I’ve seen people I love destroy their lives with drugs, I have seen promising young students give up, and I have seen where they ended up. It is my mission to prove to children at a young age that learning is a beautiful opportunity and regardless of their educational success, life circumstances, and all else, that they are loved and important. They are too good to succumb to the evils of this world and throw away the incredible things they could accomplish. Teaching isn’t just a job or a paycheck, it’s the chance to help even just one child recognize their potential and rise above circumstance. I want to teach in low income schools. I know it will be hard, but I also know that this is what my heart is meant to do. I could never imagine doing anything other than teaching and I am willing to work as hard as I have to in order to become the best teacher I can possibly be.

My goal, my purpose, is to show children that they are so so valuable. And while I can't tell them, I want them to know that they are in fact, so valuable, that someone died for them. Someone suffered pure agony and torture for them. That what they are born into does not hold them hostage and that they are loved.
I recently found a quote online that  I have on the door to my room now.

The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
I think I have opportunity to be that crazy person right in front of me...and I think I would be even crazier if I didn't take it.

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