couch time

a friend of mine calls it "couch time"... that time when you just need to sit and pour out your thoughts and worries and listen to sage or sympathetic advice. i like that term. i'm pilfering the term.

anyway, this week's "couch time" for me came in the package of another goodie from isaac anderson of jacob's well. this time about joy. this is good for me to hear. i'm not good at joy. my two primary thoughts when listening to this, however, were:
1. joy doesn't have to be the ONLY thing i am able to feel at once. i know, i know, joy isn't really a feeling, but for the sake of this thought of mine, let's just run with it. anyway, a person is capable of experiencing joy and fear, joy and sadness, joy and heartache, trouble, worry, grief, weariness, etc at once. because joy is less about all things being ok and more about experiencing all things WHILE simultaneously walking with jesus, who gives us full lives. lives that are full of all of those emotions and experiences and yet still we live.
2. isaac references a biblical analogy of joy as an object, a burden really, that one might carry around on one's head, like laundry, or a basket of food, or a load of bricks (have you SEEN those crazy national geographic photos of workers in, like, indonesia or malaysia or somewhere carrying literally loads and loads of bricks using only their heads??). this reference was vivid for me as i pondered thought #1. if joy is experienced simultaneously with myriad other emotions, positive and negative alike, then joy really is like this great burden on my head. it's there, with me, but it may not always be the easiest burden to lift. strange that i think of joy that way? it resonates with me, though, because sometimes to have joy is strangely very difficult for me.
anyway, you should listen. perhaps my thoughts will be more coherent after a listen.

Click here to listen: Joy - Isaac Anderson


the un-blog

i'm so terrible about blogging as soon as school starts... i think it's because all other areas of my life come to a screeching halt! i abandon projects on the house, i neglect my yard, i don't clean, i don't cook anything creative, i don't go anywhere or do anything interesting, and i decrease my already minimal social activity. i thought maybe i would have to turn this into an un-blog, like instead of being a blog about home renovations, photography, cooking, and decorating i would have to start writing about my FAILURE to do these things. remember when i had the anti-decorating post showing off my piles of dirty dishes and unmade bed? well, i don't think i'm quite that desperate yet, but felt the need to post about something, ANYTHING, so...

i actually feel i've done pretty well so far this school year: i've had TONS of work, with my new position as the special ed department chair (in addition to the same job i already had as special ed teacher for students with emotional and behavioral disorders), but i've managed to keep quite a few other things on my social and personal agenda! here's what i've been up to:

*reading: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand; loving the stodgy old Major and his ever-changing perceptions of people he might have once viewed through prejudicial lenses.

*running: not really that much. want to do another race in the near future but having trouble figuring out how to fit running in with work during the week. best time for me to go would be right after i get home, before dinner, but it's been SO BLASTED HOT. and i'm so darn tired right after work that usually i just plop down on the couch and then there's NO chance! i've thought about starting a series of unglamorous facebook posts about running... you know how people will post their workouts, like "i ran 29 miles and felt great!" well, good for you! aren't you just awesome! i kiss the ground you walk on! so, i thought about posting things like, "i plodded for 5 miles and felt like dog poo!" or "i dragged myself along for 3 miles and my face exploded like a bubbling volcano of fire!" what do you guys think? i think they would be very popular posts. anyway, i created a training plan for myself on runnersworld.com and do plan to give it a good effort, but so far i'm logging most of my miles on the weekends and laying big old goose-eggs on the weekdays.

*sweating: the theme of school this year so far has been: let's-see-how-many-days-the-AC-can-break-down-before-the-students-start-to-riot-and-teachers-resort-to-violent-episodes. plus we had a power outage last friday in which we first evacuated to the football field and then were told to re-enter the building and try to conduct class with no power (no lights, no AC, no phones, no computers, no projectors, no intercoms, no security cameras, no metal detectors, no common sense... oh wait, that last one is purely editorial).

*socializing: i have managed to have enough energy this year to not entirely abandon my friends! i've had some quality time with co-workers, the Timmers, Laura and Tiff for brunch, Laura and Sporting KC for some excellent soccer:
and soon to come i will be enjoying some KSU football and US Women's National Team Soccer (again with Laura... i'm getting lots of good Laura-time!).

it's amazing how full my life is now that i'm not taking classes AND working! yay!