Can one be a Christian and a Feminist?

I struggle with this topic because I know that so many people will roll their eyes. both at the Christian part and at the Feminist part. But I am here to say that I believe both of these identities are not only valid, but intrinsically linked. I speak mainly to Christians in this post, but I think my principals are valuable to others as well.

One thing I do know about both Christianity and Feminism is that there are literally thousands of ways to be either one, and usually people look at them with disdain because of the most extreme examples. Say the word “Christian”, and many will think of Westboro Baptist Church. Say the word “Feminist”, and many will think of the man-hating, bra-burning kind. Now as a Christian, Westboro Baptist church is a hideous example of evil done in God’s name. And as a self-proclaimed feminist, I love the men in my life, and quite frankly, I need a bra y’all.


What even is feminism? ( Did you like my Seinfeld opening? “Feminism – what’s up with that?”) Seriously though. I’ve been hearing the word “feminist” my whole life and now… now that I am a grown woman… I have like, zero clue what the term even means anymore. It used to mean bra-burning, women-are-superior, men-don’t-matter kind of women. I don’t know if that’s true, but growing up that’s what I thought a feminist was.
Sort of like how I used to think if I got caught watching anything on MTV I probably wouldn’t be allowed into heaven. I guess I thought God would be like “Woah there. Daria is not for Christians. You can just wait outside here. Yeah right outside the gates. Now stay put. Forever.” I feel like now though I understand feminism as a very different thing. I even used to say “No way. I’m not a feminist. I believe that men are authority figures in the house and I would love to be a stay at home mom.”

I feel like many of us still have this perception. How can I be a feminist and a Christian? Is that even possible?

Image result for assemblies of god logo

I think that the problem here is a fundamental misunderstanding of both identities. This is where it is helpful to examine what you really believe, and what is really important to you. I am a Christian. I believe in God the Father, almighty maker of heaven and earth (Thanks, Rich Mullins, for your succinct little tune), etc etc. For more about what I believe, check out the 16 fundamental truths, because that sums it up nicely as well. Because of those beliefs, I think many would assume that I am anti feminist. For me though, it’s the opposite.

I see my personal brand of feminism as an extension of Christianity. I believe that feminism is celebrating women and their strengths, no matter what they are. If your strength is in the corporate world, great. If your strength is staying home with your babies, great. If your strength is somewhere in the middle, like mine, then that’s great too. I think the Bible has several very pointed and specific passages celebrating women and that it is important for us to do the same. I grew up in Missionettes (think Girl Scouts with more Bible verses – Shout out to Miss Sampson) and we were taught the rich and brave stories of women like Esther, Ruth, and Deborah. We were taught about the Proverbs 31 woman and Mary, both Magdelene and the mother of Christ. These women did not take a back seat in their own lives. They were Godly, brave, and incredible women. they are celebrated and cherished for their femininity and strength in a way that men are not.

feminist-man_2684936bBut it can’t stop there. The thing with being feminist is that so many feminist proponents also loop in other issues like fighting rape culture and how women of color need special mention and protection (Black Lives Matter) and my body my choice. And as a conservative Christian many of those issues are so controversial that they make me physically anxious. Like… When someone at work brings up politics I want to flip the table I’m sitting at and bolt. “What do you think of Trump’s policy on…?” LOL BYE

But these controversial issues, though uncomfortable, are important. It is important to be talking or at least thinking about them. It is important to understand that the Stanford rapist got away with his unthinkable crimes. It’s important to know how unconscionable It is that the rapist’s father claims – with a straight face I might add – that his son “had a moment of weakness and should not be defined by it for the rest of his life” while the victim will forever be defined by herself and others as the victim of a horrendous trauma. It is important to understand that there is injustice in our country. It is important to know that yes, that officer did shoot that therapist without cause and when asked why he did it, he said “I don’t know.”  It is important to care about these events and not just discount them. It’s important to be a champion for the championless.

So today, on National Women’s day, if you find yourself being turned off by the idea of celebrating women, remember that it’s good and right the celebrate femininity – and feminism is one of many ways to do so.


Empowering women and bringing them opportunities that they would otherwise not have access to is, I think, a biblical idea. Being a Christian and believing that the man is the head of the house does not mean that we believe women have to be docile and quiet creatures. We can be strong, and loud, and emotional, and wild, and beautiful. God created women to be special and we should absolutely celebrate that. Far too often in history, women were very much not celebrated but were oppressed. We are blessed to live in a time where women have more rights and opportunities than ever before, but there is still work to be done, which is why we recognize the women who have done so much for us.

I believe that God is a feminist. Don’t get me twisted, God doesn’t hate men or believe that women are superior, but He created us to be beautiful and strong. Feminism, in its truest form, is about empowering women. God empowers women who follow Him, just as he empowers the men who do the same. And in the same way that Christians don’t hate Christianity when a few bad apples protest soldier’s funerals with hate, we shouldn’t hate the idea of feminism just because some people will twist it to fit a sinful narrative.

You don’t have to agree with me, but I felt it was important to share what I believe about some of the most important beliefs I hold.

That is all.


Bloom where you’re planted.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything and there are a lot of reasons for that. I’ve been raising a toddler, moving, teaching extra classes, etc etc. Bottom line is life is busy. But it always is, right?


I’m in a place now where I’m being challenged in new ways. Life is an incredibly mixed bag right now. Life is good! The new house that we’re renting is perfect. We love it! Life is hard. My job has been… challenging. This year has been the hardest year for me yet. Life is good! Kai and I are doing pretty good! It’s been 10 years since we dated the first time. It makes me all mushy and nostalgic. Life is hard. My dad has been very sick. He was in the hospital for over a week (he’s getting better now). Life is good! 

I started a new diet and it’s going okay! I’m finally motivated to get healthy again, after a long time where if I’m honest, I was just too depressed. Life is hard. I started a new diet and it’s going okay. I would much rather binge on Oreos than tangerines but whatever.

This last couple of weeks I really tried to take time to reflect on my life. And what I saw was…. not surprising. Life is always a series of ups and downs. Life is always hard but I am always blessed. I realized that this was really one of the first times that I was responsible for my own circumstances. I chose my job, it’s not just the only one that fell in my lap. Kai and I chose our house. It was one of our only options, but it was our choice nonetheless. Kai and I chose this diet. We chose Asher’s daycare. This life is one that Kai and I have created for ourselves, instead of just doing whatever we had to do to get by.

I realized that through these choices, I still struggled to be happy. I have dealt with varying levels of depression in my life and I so often attributed my emotions to my circumstances. If I could just… get a new job I’d be happy. If I could just… move out of my parent’s house I’d be happy. If Asher was just… in a different daycare I’d be happy. But now I have those things. And happiness is still hard.

trollsI realized that the thing responsible for my happiness is me. I am choosing to be dissatisfied with my very satisfactory life. It’s funny, because this nugget of truth came while I was watching Trolls with Asher for the 42895704836th time. There’s a line where one of the trolls tells another character that “some people just don’t want to be happy”. (P.s. I hate you, Creek, you smug little butthole) I am that person. I have spent my entire life waiting for the next thing to make me happy. In high school, going to college was going to make me happy. In college, finding my husband and starting my life was going to make me happy. When I was engaged, it was marriage. When I was married, it was a better job. When I was in a new job, it was my living situation. I have a contentment problem.

My mom has always told me to “Bloom where you’re planted” which, most of the time, just ticked me off real bad. But as is usually the case with things that tick me off the most, she was right. (if you bring this sentence up to me mom, I’ve got other things to say about it so don’t think you’re getting off easy) This year I planned to change schools because it’s been so hard. I planned to just run away. Get out. But as I was looking at my other options I realized: I never prayed about this. I never once consulted the God who has blessed me with my life to ask what He might want for me. Guess what? It’s not what I want for me. And while at first, that realization made me cry real big girl tears (sorry Fergie), now I am at peace. I have a new peace about my job. I’m not done yet. I haven’t been doing my best here. These kids deserve better from me.


As I look back on my life I realize that every leadership position I have ever had was a case of “if not you, then who?” and that is never more true than it is of the position I’m in now. I may not be the most qualified or talented, but, God help me, I will be the most willing. and I am so much more content now than I have been in a long time.

Part of my issue with happiness is allowing myself to not be the best. I’ve been avoiding so much because I was afraid to fail. I’ve never been one to learn anything the easy way though. Failure is such a quintessential part of my identity. And so is redemption. I’m going to bloom in this place that I have planted myself. I need my child to see that happiness is not only possible, but attainable. I owe it to my family, my students, and to myself.

That is all.

Come together.

I recently saw an ad that I want to share with you guys. It was posted according to the article it was attached to, as a response to the heinous Pepsi ad that got a lot of backlash. Pepsi actually removed the video and apologized for its content, since it was seen as so offensive. (If you’re unfamiliar with the story, read it about it here) Since that though, Heineken has actually put out an ad with a similar theme of bringing people together. Now before you watch it, I want you to understand: I am not making any kind of statement about whether or not I agree with alcohol use or any of the political statements made in the video. Please hear me. I am not agreeing or disagreeing with any of it here. If you want my opinions, we can talk privately where my heart and personal experiences can be properly heard. I do not believe that the internet is a constructive place for controversy to be discussed.

What I do want to highlight is the ad itself. Watch.


Now like I said. I am not making any sort of statement about alcohol, climate change, transgender issues, or feminism. That is most adamantly not my point. But what I do want to talk about is having conversations.

What Pepsi failed to understand with their tone-deaf ad was that people need to hear each other’s heart before understanding can be reached. You can just hand a riot police officer a cold drink and expect the protest to dissipate. People feel strongly enough about their causes that they are literally moved to action. In any sort of protest or demonstration, people have passion. Whether it’s the Women’s March, a Black Lives Matter protest, a March for Life, or even a teacher’s union strike, people are fired up. and in those emotionally charged situations, no amount of drink, Pepsi or cold brew, will help. What Heineken seemed to understand is that when we sit down with each other in a calm and rational manner we are more likely to hear each other out. Believe it or not, that is a Biblical principle, folks.

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
    but only in expressing his opinion.

Proverbs 18:2 (ESV)

The Lord himself calls us to use reason to understand things. (I didn’t use the famous “Come let us reason together” passage in Isaiah 1 because in context it’s about being forgiven of sins, not understanding each other)

I think we need to do a lot less forming opinions and a lot more spending time together. Jesus ate with sinners and shared his heart with them. He never wrote a strongly worded Facebook status about how their lifestyle was gross and ungodly. Jesus won followers through love and relationship. And through that relationship, people understood the truth and their lives were changed. In the immortal words of John Mayer, “Is there anyone who ever remembers Changing their mind from the paint on a sign?” conversation-1940x900_31263.jpg

Transformation and understanding is a powerful thing for both parties. And it only happens through that love and relationship. Stop trying to shout the truth into an already overloaded information sphere – speak it tenderly to friends. Support each other in hard times. Love each other as brothers and sisters; equals. As Christians we are called to point others in the right direction, not force them into submission. God will do the hard part.

That is all.



Let’s talk about Facebook. Like, remember when Facebook started and it was like, those pins and poking each other and writing your statuses like this? “Kayla Nicole is eating ice cream and it’s great!” Yeah I do. Better times, honestly. Anyway these days I find myself increasingly more annoyed at all my friends on Facebook. I understand that politics are what’s happening right now, and even as I type this, Betsy DeVos was just voted Education Secretary in an unprecedented tie-breaking vote. This is big. Life is big. But my Facebook feed is absolutely SOAKING IN IT. 

downloadWait what does that even mean, crazy lady? What I mean is that I miss selfies and pictures of people’s food and invitations to Candy Crush (Actually I don’t miss those invitations at all, please don’t start inviting me again, mom). Everybody’s an expert these days. Everyone has an opinion. My Facebook friends are split right down the middle – half über liberal left-wing democrats, half super conservative right-wing republicans. So I get articles, one right after the other, saying in turn things like “Trump and his family LIED ABOUT EVERYTHING AND WANT TO EAT YOUR BABIES” and then “Trump shows himself a godly saint who wants to PERSONALLY PAY OFF YOUR CRIPPLING STUDENT LOANS!” fakenewsNow, the discerning eye would look at both of these headlines and say “That’s probably fake news, I shouldn’t bother myself with reading it.” However I find many of my friends, who I once thought to be well-informed and possessing wisdom, to be liking or even sharing these articles with gusto.

And now the real problem here to me is not the fake news. Fake news has, and always will exist. The problem is the rampant lack of critical understanding. I have posted on Facebook before my feelings on this, but in this trying time, I find myself having to repeat it. Do not believe every half-baked article that comes across your Facebook feed. 

A recent example: You probably saw the video of the dog actor used in “A Dog’s Purpose”. a_dogs_purpose_filmIt was a rather disturbing video of a German Shepherd being coaxed into the water and clearly he was afraid. Then the next scene was the dog swimming in said water. The point of the video was “Boycott this movie! Animals *were* harmed in the making!” Anyone who looked closely though could see that 1) the trainer was being very gentle, and 2) there was a huge cut in the video showing an undisclosed amount of time between the coaxing and the dog actually being in the water. It has recently been found that the video was taken over several different days and the dog was never forced against its will unkindly. All the necessary and right precautions were taken and no animal was harmed or even taken advantage of. But the damage has been done. Thousands of people shared this video saying that the movie is terrible and should be boycotted at all costs. But the movie is about the importance of adopting shelter animals! Boycotters are actually harming their own cause!

snake_dove-214x300So bottom line here, is please please take half a second when circulating information to verify its truth. If we can’t know for sure, don’t spread it. It’s that easy.  For Christians, the bible admonishes us in Matthew 10:16 –

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (ESV)

Wisdom begins with discernment. Innocence begins with restraint. If you don’t know for sure, don’t do it. In James 1:19 the Bible tells us to be quick to listen and slow to speak. Even if you don’t profess Christianity, I think it’s still pretty sound advice. As the old saying goes, God gave us two ears to listen and only one mouth to speak. The more carefully you choose your words, the more impact they carry. SO SHUT YO MOUTH. And listen critically. 🙂

That is all.




Nothing ever changes.

I would just like to take a moment to personally thank Mark Twain. Mark the beautiful, Mark the hilarious, Mark the magnificent Samuel Langhorne Clemens Twain. See, I’m starting Tom Sawyer with my kiddos today and I’ve been a bit apprehensive about it. If aprilfool_tomsawye_540462114you know anything about my school and my students, this should not surprise you.

I work in a low-income school in a rough neighborhood. My kids are a challenge. I love them, and I choose to be here, but its tough. And Tom Sawyer deals strongly with racism and as a white girl (the only white person in the room for most of my classes) it becomes… tricky to approach the topic. Like, it was tricky before all of the recent race related riots and movements, and now, in an ever increasingly divided nation, it becomes even more tricky.

This is all on top of the fact that getting my kids interested in a book at all is like trying to rip out their own eyelids. BUT. Tom Sawyer’s first chapter begins with a redneck kid ditching school and charming his way out of trouble, 13422092then getting into a fight with a snooty rich kid. I of course assumed they would find it amusing, but my kids – my kids are totally into it. I guess I probably should have known, but my gosh they love it.

All of this is to say that things never change. My kids may feel like some fresh horror
on many days, but Mark Twain knew. He understood kids in a way that I think we forget. Kids are kids. They like humor and getting out of trouble and playing hooky and getting scrappy. So as much as we try to keep up with this new generation, we can’t even forget that kids will always be kids. At the heart of it, kids want to just have a childhood. I hope that in the midst of how hard school can be and what a tumultuous world we live in, we can give our kids a chance to be what they really are.

That is all.


Barack, Donald, Jesus.

Today is the inauguration. (Side note, what a weirdly difficult word to spell.)

It is a very divisive day. I have friends on my facebook who were at the inaugural ball last night loving and cheering on our new president. I have friends who were angry and have continued to become more and more discouraged since the election and today is hard for them. I have friends who are just posting crappy memes and making jokes to try to keep things light and non-political (I usually fall in to that category).

I published a note to my facebook page in November of 2008 after Obama was elected that said this:

Maybe I’m a little left wing about this, but I believe that God himself ordained for Obama to be our next president. Because God ordains EVERYTHING.

So I’m going to do what Christians should do. I’m gonna pray for the person that God put in authority over our country.

Now I edited the crap out of this just now because my freshly 18 year old first-time voter self was quite the little jerk and didn’t give a crap about punctuation. BUT I do think I still agree with the overall message.

God didn’t stay up on election night watching the news biting his fingers. God didn’t have to do a victory dance or sit in a cry room after the results were announced. God is not surprised. And He is not moved. God ordains all things.

And I also said this in that note over 8 years ago: “Our issues are not going to be resolved by a president. Only by revival.”

So for those of us who claim Christianity it is our sacred duty today and every day to do one thing for our new president. Pray. Pray hard. Pray often. Pray specifically. Pray passionately. If you are rejoicing in the streets today, continue to pray. If you are weeping or in anguish, continue to pray. If you find yourself somewhere in the middle, cautiously optimistic or carefully skeptical: pray, pray, pray.

And then you know what? Pray some more.

In the meantime, while we are waiting for the huge changes that are to come, be kind to each other. Be empathetic. Be understanding. Be loving. Be generous.


Oh, and here’s a crap meme, just for fun.









That is all.

I’m positive I’m negative. 

So I’m not sure how this plays out in other career fields, but as a teacher I have noticed that there is a single unifying factor among all teachers. It isn’t love of students or passion for content… It’s trash talk.

Seriously. I have never met a teacher who didn’t have a lot to gripe about. And I guess I always knew this was true, but it’s become especially clear to me in recent weeks.

See I’m just coming out of a pretty nasty bout of post-partum positivity1depression (I’m working on a vlog about it) and I’m making a new concerted effort to be positive and optimistic. So far, it hasn’t actually been that hard. We have a new curriculum this year that I actually love, we got an awesome new tech panel to use in our classroom that is totally useful, I’m teaching a super exciting elective class, and I just have a whole new lease on life. I feel good about my job and my life in general.

I’m also being required to attend some extra training days this year regarding English language learners in the classroom. It stinks that I have to take days out of the classroom, but I am actually really enjoying the training. It’s interesting and really useful.

So I’m like, asking questions and actively participating in the training when I realize… Holy crap. I’m that girl. You know, the one who keeps us all late in class when nobody else cares… And I leave the training and am chit chatting with another person in the training and I start to say how I’m enjoying it… This other teacher looked at me funny and said the training was BS. A few expletives (from her) later and I say something to the effect that it’s a bummer to have to miss out on work for it and she begins to nod her head and rip into how terrible it is to have a sub.

Apparently I was not supposed to be positive. You know the phrase “misery loves company”? I think that person was probably a teacher. Since I’ve been paying attention, I’ve noticed that teachers  love to complain about everything from principals to pencils. Interruptions to IEPs. Trainings to technology. Parents to placement testing. (Alliteration!)

66632004Now. Teachers have to put up with a ton of garbage just to do their job. In fact, at this very moment I can think of about twenty things that are hindering me from actually doing me job well. There’s so much policy, bureaucracy, and legislation that I can even send a kid to the office without being afraid of a lawsuit. And the moment I learn a new grade book system or technological device it seems like I have to learn something else. Oh and by the way, the first thing never did work right and I still don’t have a working teacher computer.

Even with that though, I still love me job. I love my students. And you know what? All of the new stuff we have to use just means we’re at least trying to keep up with the changing times.

I say all that to say this: I am not a positive person. My personality tends very easily toward cynicism. So when I’m the most optimistic person in a group… It’s a problem. We as Americans, as teachers, as humans in general, are so lucky. We are so incredibly blessed. We live in an incredible time and place  in history.

Teacher especially – it is our duty to influence our students for good. If we hate everything, what are they supposed to do? I want my imagesstudents and their parents to be proud of the school they attend. I want to be a bright spot in dark times.


I admonish us all, but specifically educators, to work hard at being positive. Even when everything sucks, which it often does, complaining doesn’t help. I’ve learned that first hand. Last year was a super easy year for me as far as workload, but I complained about a lot. This year is insane and crazy and difficult and busy… But I’m loving it. And the biggest change is my attitude.

Take it from a generally negative person… Negativity sucks. Choose to be excited and your circumstances will become exciting. Like my dad always says – right actions follow right emotions.

That is all.


Love’s conditions.

My son is six months old! He’s the best baby that’s ever existed, which I’m sure you know. He’s doing all the normal things a six month old should do: putting every possible thing in his mouth, drooling enough to drown a small animal, peeing mid diaper change, getting mad because he can’t crawl, accidentally head butting whoever happens to get in his face, pulling out my hair, yelling for fun, and pooping much, much more than seems humanly possible. He’s also becoming unbelievably adorable. Everybody says so, y’all.
We’re having a blast! We are more tired, stressed, pressured, overwhelmed, and under prepared than we have ever been. I personally fluctuate between feeling like “okay I might kind of know what’s going on here” and “holy lord of all, what am I even doing” so that’s fun. I’ve become that person who snapchats exclusively about her child and can hardly talk about anything that isn’t baby related. I hardly recognize myself sometimes but I feel more myself than I ever have. It’s amazing to me how with my wedding I felt I was adding a part of myself I didn’t know I was missing, and now, it’s happened again with this tiny baby.

It’s interesting too because the term “unconditional love” has totally new meaning. I always knew in my brain that unconditional love never ended or lessened but now I see it as so much more. I have a tiny, completely dependent creature that can’t talk, walk, or keep his dang food in his mouth, but I am still so proud of him. He does nothing to deserve my pride, he doesn’t know when he’s pleasing me or behaving properly, but I am nonetheless so deeply appreciative of him and his actions. This child doesn’t have the means to pay us back for what we do for him. He doesn’t even know that we sacrifice for him or that there are things for which he owes us. But we are so happy to give and provide for him. We are so filled with love and affection for him that those things don’t even cross our minds. He smiles that big goofy toothless smile and I’m putty.

I am an imperfect person (Duh, right?). I am small and insignificant. Granted, I don’t poop my pants and I am capable of intelligent conversation, but in the grand scheme of things, I am like a child. I mess up, I am needy, and I do nothing to deserve unconditional love. But WOW. God gives it anyway. I’m not sure where the breakdown is, because I’ve had this conversation with other moms, but it’s hard to reconcile the ideals of unconditional love from us to our children, and unconditional love from God to His children. If Asher spits up in my mouth while laughing, I love him. If he poops in my hand while I’m changing him, I love him. If he gives me a fat lip when he hits me with that giant egghead, I love him. If he pees through his diaper onto my freshly cleaned sheets, I love him. If he starts to cry because he spit out his pacifier but now he wants it back, and it happens to be the very moment I drift off to sleep, I still love him. (It may seem like I’m speaking from experience here…) practice uncondi love_75 I love him so much more than what even makes sense. He is imperfect, but he is perfect to me.

Why then is it so hard to understand God’s love for us? If we slip up with a repeated sin, he loves us. If we gossip, he loves us. If we forget to thank Him or even talk to Him, he loves us. If we lie, or cheat, or covet, or steal, or even if we decide to live in a way that we know is not what God approves of, or do drugs or get drunk… He loves us. He is not always pleased, no. Our actions hurt him sometimes. And many times our choices break his heart. He can be overwhelmed with grief at our distance from him – but. He. Loves. Us.

It makes it hard to come up with an excuse to neglect Him, don’t you think?

That is all.

Deeper than my feet could ever wander.

So two things. I just left my principal’s office (oooh she’s in trouble) and realized that omigosh I just promised him the moon for next year. business-overwhelmedI got so excited about all of the possibilities that I didn’t stop to think “Hey. How about taking it easy? No? Okay.” But before I get into that, a different thing happened this morning that I want to discuss.

I opened my facebook this morning to see that one of my former colleagues was asking for help. She explained that the school district was terminating her because she was “morally unfit to teach” and she believes that the decision was made because of her sexual orientation. Now, having taught next door to this teacher, I can assure you that her sexual orientation is most certainly not the reason she is being terminated. There are a plethora of reasons this woman should not be entrusted with the gift of teaching. But what really struck me is that I have that much more of a responsibility to be a good teacher. While I’ve known her all along, the fact that she has been terminated justdownload brings to light the fact that I may not be doing all I can to be a good influence on my students. Because for every good teacher, there are ten bad ones waiting around the corner.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I don’t dislike this person. But I vehemently disagree with her lack of personal boundaries and even her teaching methods. And I realize that I must do my best to be a light in a dark world for these desperately searching kids.

So, my principal came to my room this afternoon to ask me about a position I had volunteered for. In the course of that conversation, I also volunteered to teach a very technology heavy course I know very RISE+ABOVE-1little about. Aaaaand I found out I’m teaching a different grade than I thought. Oh, and one unit of Pre-AP. So basically I have signed myself up for voluntary slaughter. And you know what? I’m going to love every second. I have been coasting. Sure, I’ve been doing enough to earn my paycheck. But I haven’t been doing enough to earn a “well done, good and faithful.” And I’m embarrassed to admit that I have been complaining about how tired I am when I haven’t been giving it my all.

In the light of the current education crisis, the current lack of Godly teachers, in the current deficit of teachers that bother to give a crap about their kids, I am being called to rise above. Rise above the school politics, the apathy, and the godlessness.

Lord help me. I’m about to work myself into becoming a better person.

That is all.

Not knowing what’s right.

I have a student in one of my classes that transferred from a remedial class. I’ll call him Jacob. Jacob is a very sweet kid and I’m glad to have him, though he can be a bit of a distraction. He loves making others laugh and is generally a delight to have. We have a pretty good working relationship. Unfortunately today I’m pretty sure I severed that relationship.

Jacob brought a speaker to school – one of those bluetooth things. It started playing music during class. Now I’m pretty chill about things like that. I don’t take a phone away if it rings as long as it’s the first time and the student puts it away. So we laughed together and I told him to put it away. Then it happened again. So I told him, obstinatea bit more sternly, to make sure I didn’t see or hear it again. Guess what? I did. So on the third time, I told him that if it happened again I would take it. Lo and behold, the speaker announced itself once more. It was five minutes until the bell rang, but I had laid out a consequence. So I told him to bring it to me. My plan was to return the speaker when the bell rang, a whole five minutes later. Problem is, Jacob didn’t give me the speaker.

Jacob started explaining to me that it was an accident and the speaker didn’t even belong to him. Why should he have to give it to me if it was an accident? The conversation became more and more serious until I finally told him – If he didn’t give me the speaker, I would have to send him to the office for defiance. right thingHe continued to try to explain himself and I could see that he was fighting back tears. In one last attempt for peace making, I told him he could hand over the speaker and I would give it back at the end of the day. He still tried to convince me I was wrong, so I wrote him up and sent him to the office.

After he left, I cried. Did I make the right decision? How could I know? I value the relationships I have with each of my students. I especially value the relationships I have with struggling students, but what could I do? If I didn’t follow through, I would be inconsistent at best and a liar at worst. Now that I have though, I’m afraid I’ve ruined our relationship. Any sort of respect he had for me is probably gone.

I have always adhered to the biblical philosophy of letting your “yes be yes and your no be no” (Matthew 5:37). The problem is that it’s easier to passively change your mind. I do it every day (think “my diet starts tomorrow”). I suppose it’s good practice for when my son one day grows to adolescence. But I hate it. I want to make my kids like me so that we can work together peacefully. Teaching is Hard

Remember when we were kids and everybody told us that the right decision is often the hard decision? It never stops being true. And it never gets easier. Pray for me, y’all. I want to always do the right thing.

That is all.