If my calculations are correct, I *think* I am in the midst of my 19th year of “formal” education. I continue to pray that this blog will continue our ability to learn, BUT…Before we dive into the deep ooey, gooey theological/spiritual/life stuff, I thought it might be helpful to give you a quick glimpse of who I am. Since wisdom is more precious than rubies, I am going to approach this “about the author” attempt per lessons I have learned via people, places and things. (I owe credit to my English teachers for teaching me that those are commonly referred to as nouns.) Ready? Let’s do this.
(Sidenote: Most of these lessons are still WIP… Work in Progress. Just saying.)
- Mom– Mama taught me how to be creative & resourceful. She taught me how to cook (Brandon says thanks, BTW.) I learned from her “constructive criticism” that dying my hair blondish-orange-yellow in high school was a “bad life decision.” I am thankful for her lessons on how to “play nice,” be independent and be an amazing wife, (future) mother and friend.
|My amazing parents drove to Manhappiness last December to support me during UCC Christmas Concert in which I sang a short solo. Thanks guys!|
- Dad– Oh, my red-headed Irishman Daddy. He taught me to be passionate about life. He taught me how to sing and gave me my first lessons in the art of auctioneering. Thanks to him I have a deep appreciation for agriculture and can install drywall screws with the best of them (Sidenote: We have approximately 24,878 sheetrock screws installed in our family’s home. I should know. I did them all <ok, most of them. Minus the ones I was too short to reach or dropped on the floor/mud/etc>.)
|After running our first 5K together, we did
locks of love…
- Kathleen (Sister)-- My little sister (18 months younger) taught me how to share (although we typically failed… see Mama lessons.) Kathleen taught me to do what you want. And she taught me that if you need to fight it out with your sister following a statement from your Mama saying “Don’t get blood on the carpet, take it outside,” you should make sure to change from your swimwear into normal clothes and NOT fight/wrestle in fireweed. You could get “burnt.”
|We love each other lots.
Can’t you tell?
- Dal (Brother)– My lil bro (12 yrs younger) taught me to embrace/anticipate surprises. (AKA, “You are getting a baby brother.”) He has taught me how to nurture, how to make “Simple Apple Cobbler” by using a hairdryer to melt the butter instead of the microwave, and how to have fun in life!
- Brandon (Beloved Husband)– My Beloved Drill Sgt husband Brandon has taught me how to love another person more deeply than I have ever imagined. He has taught me how what it means to sacrifice for someone/something, how to use the word “AMERICA!!” in daily conversation, become fluent in sarcasm and read the Bible. (Sidenote again: One year ago today, he returned from Iraq. 10 months ago today, we were married. Thanks for everything, Barn… I love you!)
|The epitome of our relationship.|
- Friends– (Blessed with too many to mention, but you know who you are)– I would love to write by name all of the friends who have changed my life for the better, but I am afraid this blog might have a word limit My friends have taught me how to laugh, cry, pray, enjoy Dara’s slushy runs, share space in close quarters, make good “bad life decisions” together, roadtrip, and dance in the living room just because you can.
- “Non-friends”– Ok, all the rest of teachers in this post make sense– so why include these folks? As much as we would like to deny it, we all have some of these “non-friends.” It says in Matthew 5:43-45 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” From these folks, I have learned to love at a new level, to be cordial and professional even when I want to act like a 2-yr-old, be stronger, forgive and grow in faith.
- Colony, Kansas– This “teacher” has taught me to be bold when branching out, maintain humility, that “loving your neighbor as yourself” might (sometimes) be a little easier in a community of 400 people, and that if you don’t know what is going on in your life, somebody else in town surely does.
- Manhattan, Kansas/Kansas State University– KSU has taught me how to start and end strong, to be a leader, to make the most not only of Christmas vacation/Spring break but to also enjoy the “in school” times. I “learned how to learn” and discovered that your major (Animal Science) may or may not apply to your life’s calling. Oh, K-State has also taught me that going out on a Wednesday is fun but not always the best idea (sometimes it is though!) and that purple looks good on EVERYONE!
- Jefferson City, Missouri-- This locale taught me that faith, leadership and hope are truly forged in the furnace. I learned the true meaning of perseverance and that sometimes putting hope in the Lord is all you’ve got. Psalm 130:5– “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope.” Oh, and JCMO also taught my body/mind/soul is a little less than “compatible” with the night shift.
- Church (UCC, Eternity, CCC)– My various churches over the last three or so years have taught me the importance of belonging to a Body of Christ and vitality of community. They have taught me dedication, the art of Christian love, and that if you are hungry, bring a covered dish because a potluck probably isn’t far away.
- FFA– This remarkable organization taught me how to lead, speak, present workshops, network and developed a love of traveling. It also taught me that ag teachers are stereotypically um, “adventurous” drivers, you will never leave anywhere on time, and staying at a hotel called the “Thrifty Dutchman” is going to “Leave a Legacy.”
- Missouri Auction School– Auction School taught me to be slightly random. Check it off the bucket list. You don’t always have to have a REASON to do something. Practice your tongue twisters. And this is a fantastic skill to sporadically practice at a church small group meeting or in the shower.
- Citizen’s Police Academy– Due to this experience, I have a deeper appreciation for law enforcement, can identify a variety of illegal substances, and will forever maintain a sick thrill of excitement via pulling people over during the police ride-a-long. (We broke a record that night for the department. Don’t worry, we only gave a couple of tickets.)
- Liberty University– My education at Liberty for my Masters in Christian Leadership has brought MANY concepts of theological and biblical nature to the forefront of my mind. It has affirmed my call to ministry and has taught me to never trust the online system to appropriately upload your assignment if there is any type of time constraint.
- The United States Army– Oh, where to begin with this one? They have taught me patience (definitely still WIP), being logical is occasionally overrated and we live in an incredible, strong and determined country. I am more patriotic (possibly with higher blood pressure) because of the experience as a military wife. Oh, and they have taught me to PRAY non-stop. AMERICA!!
- The Bible– His word has taught me that He has a lot of great things to say, people are cyclical in their ability to repent, behave, sin, war/fight, repent, behave etc, God has quite the sense of humor sometimes and I am thankful that if Life is a test from God, He has already given us the Study Guide in the Bible!
Well, that’s all I got. Peace out. Oh wait… I knew my memory was slipping… I forgot Three People:
- Father (God)– He has taught me the true meaning of sacrifice when His son died on the cross, which a concept so awesome I believe that I will never be able to grasp. The Lord has taught me about grace and the concept of TRUE LOVE, because after all, God IS love.
- Son (Jesus Christ)– Ah, the greatest teacher! Jesus has taught me HOW to love, even to those who don’t deserve or return it. He has taught me not to judge but rather to seek the heart. He has blessed me with lessons on salvation and forgiveness.
- Holy Spirit– Lessons from Him include “hushing up” so I can actually HEAR what God is saying. The Holy Spirit has instilled in me the value of comforting quietly and how to seek Him on high when making decisions in this world.
So… Who are the precious teachers in your life? What lessons have you learned? What grade would you give yourself on your ability to gain wisdom from our ultimate teachers in the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit? How can you “study” to learn even more?
Enjoy “marinating” on those questions (if you choose.) Be encouraged. Keep the faith.
Trusting Him to Teach,
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” ~Matthew 11:29