How Are We?

By the end of this week, we will have been in California for three months. Crazy. You regulars know that this move was major for our family. When I first blogged about it, I was still somewhat in shock….California?? Wha…?? But as we began packing and saying painful goodbyes, the shock turned to sadness, tinged with confusion. Why, God? Why move us all the way across the country, where we know NO ONE? But we kept packing, we said those painful goodbyes, we loaded up the Penske truck and our old van, and we started driving — away from the familiar into – as the old Steven Curtis Chapman song goes – the Great Unknown. The first month was a little rough – though we were warmly and graciously received by our new administrators, we...

Redefining Success

Over the last couple weeks, I have heard from several students that they are staying up until 2am or later to complete homework. 2am. First, I blame the parent — who lets their child stay up that late?? Seriously! Then, I blame the parent again — who is telling that student that an “A” is so important it’s worth losing sleep over? Finally, I blame the student. Because they are either WAY too busy, way too perfectionistic, or simply have priorities that are way too out of whack. (Why don’t I blame the teachers, you ask? Because students and parents choose the kids’ classes – they don’t have to take a course-load full of AP and Honors’ classes. You CAN tell the Guidance Counselor “no”.) Sure,...

Why I Love Christian Education

Before I start, please hear me when I say this isn’t a rant against public education. I am a product of America’s public education system. I am proud of what I learned and where I attended. My character was shaped by Christian teachers who invested in me and even by non-Christian teachers who challenged me to to examine what I believed. But God has called me (ME – not everyone) to be a teacher in a Christian school. I think we should all be passionate about what God has called us to do, and I am quite passionate about my calling. I love teaching in an environment where I’m not just “allowed” to talk about my faith, I’m required to. Christian schools – like Christian churches, Christian families, and Christian...

More Important Than the SAT

Getting into college is important. I know – I am a high school English teacher and a parent of three. My oldest, a junior, is starting to look at colleges – which means my husband and I are looking at college tuition. Yikes!! We are encouraging Emma to do her best in school, in her extracurricular activities, and on her SATs so she can qualify for as many scholarships as possible. But as I think through that – the importance of getting a college degree and being prepared for life as an adult – I am realizing far too many of us parents and educators are missing out on preparing our kids for what is most important. We stress grades and college and scholarships – the “head” – but we are neglecting the heart. As...

“Demystifying” Missions

I used a circular saw yesterday. And I still have all my fingers! So do the people around me. I’ll pause while you stand and applaud… My new friend, Cory (an actual, professional Drama teacher), and I (a passionate amateur) were at a Technical Theatre class. The ladies who taught it were experts in all things “backstage” – building sets, creating props, sewing costumes…you name it. They were awesome! And they wanted to share their expertise with other drama teachers and directors, to help us do our jobs better, to have the tools to “build” our programs. At first, they showed us pictures and gave us handouts. It was very helpful, very educational, very impressive. But then, they said, “All right, time to go out...

Obey or Die

Being a Christ-follower is becoming increasingly difficult. It used to be that Christians were respected in our country. Then, we were merely accepted (“Aw, you’re a Christian. That’s great…for you.”) Now, however, it seems that we are becoming quite unpopular. As a people pleaser, this terrifies me! But as a student of the Bible, it doesn’t surprise me. I’ve been studying the book of Daniel in my devotions, lately. Yesterday, I read about Daniel’s three friends refusing to bow down to the idol the king had built. This King was the great ruler of the then-known world, the Head of Gold in Daniel 2. What he said was law. Literally. And refusing was not an option. But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego submitted to a...