February 16 -- just past the middle of the month. February was supposed to be the month that slapped me about the head and shoulders -- so many things on the To Do list and only so much Marah to go around. Then, last week, I found out that my anticipated trip to Collingwood, Ontario for the only Link Crew Conference I could work this year was to be cancelled. After I traversed the subsequent disappointment, I found myself quite thankful not to have to get on a plane this past Sunday. Do I miss my friends? Yes. I knoweth not when I shall see this particular group of friends again. But it is amusing to me how Jesus takes care of me sometimes. When I got the e-mail asking about being a coach this year, I heard fairly clearly from the Lord, not that I couldn't go, but that I wouldn't have the energy to go. So I declined the position for the year, but made the caveat that I could go to the Canada conference because it was over my mid-winter break. It wasn't a point of disobedience -- I don't think :-/ -- but God has once again saved me from myself. While the friend time and paycheck would have been great, I would have come back EXHAUSTED, and as anybody who knows me knows, tired Marah is no fun.
At any rate, all that to say, I'm sitting in Lisa Jean's house on this very quiet Tuesday morning so thankful for the rest and love and productivity of the past few days. Friday was V-day at Davis. I'm so glad I'm not a student anymore. I don't remember Valentine's Day being a big deal when I was at WA-HI, but now each year the courtyard is a sea of red and pink mylar and the whole place smells like small mailmen. (tee hee) I had a moment with Jesus that morning when I decided to embrace the love He had provided for me instead of focusing on the lack of boyfriend/husband romantic love. So I wore pink, did my hair all sassy, and went to school smiling.
What happened in fourth period was unexpected. One of my sweetest girls (and I think she's Catholic) asked me point blank if I liked Valentine's Day. A few other kids echoed her question, so I took advantage of a relatively captive audience. I put a 3x5 card up on the document camera with the words God, Family, Friends and Romance written on the four corners. I told them I don't have a problem with the day itself, but I don't like what our culture has done. "It has taken these loves, and" I zoomed in on the word Romance, "it paints the picture that if I don't have some guy buying me flowers today, then I don't have love. I think that's bullshit. That's right. I said 'bullshit.'" I went on to tie it to Romeo and Juliet, which we have just finished reading in class. I reminded them that these two kids dove into what they were doing because that is what the culture told them real love was. Romeo thought real love was poetic and passionate, whereas Juliet thought real love was getting married STAT. They couldn't see the other love in their lives, and their warped perspective motivated them to do drastic things. I reminded them that we can choose our perspective, choose to be aware of our culture's messages, and stand on the Truth.
It was good for me to articulate all of that; I want to believe it encouraged some of my sweet girls who are lovely but not being pursued right now. Does it kinda sting sometimes? Sure. But is it the be-all-end-all? Nope.
All of that was just Friday. The weekend has continued to be restful and productive. I got a draft of my National Boards written, spent some great time with the family watching the Olympics, found some more stuff for Lisa's wedding, and cheered for our Pirates as they defeated Ike in the District Tournament. They play Richland tonight, and I'm to sing the National Anthem for that game. :-)
So I'm thankful for the extra margin that God saw fit to give back to me. Ahhhh.... room to breathe.... blessedness....