Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Just As We Are

Someone will always be better.

A better parent. A better teacher. A better friend, cook, decorator, or dresser. Someone will inevitably show up who is faster, wiser, funnier, smarter or prettier.

There exists on the internet a virtual multitude of more eloquently written and entertaining blogs than the one you're reading right now.

In our "Pinterest-esque" society someone will give a better party, set a prettier table or make a fancier wreath to put on their door. Just when you finally get the creative inspiration to spray some pine cones gold and use some RIBBON THAT IS WIRED for goodness sake, that very afternoon someone will post a tutorial on how to transform an "hideously ugly" wreath (that looks mysteriously just like your proud new creation) into something presentable.

But just barely.

Do you, like me, have a tendency to compare yourself to others? To always feel slightly behind? To get tied up in the almost arrogant pursuit of perfection?


(I'm raising two hands over here)

Let's think about it. Do we desire to adopt a platform that makes us appear not necessarily perfect, of course, but just almost? Are we too afraid of transparency to go to the grocery store without makeup, send our kids to school without loving messages air-brushed on their lunch box bananas or admit to the world that we just absolutely cannot do it all?

How sad for us.

The arrogance in this is certainly unintended. Hopefully we don't set out to make ourselves the better one. In most cases it's purely the result of impossibly high internal standards. We truly want to be better for our family, our students, our friends. And this is perfectly good to a point. We all need to strive to be the best "us" that we can.

But what if we lose sight of the uniqueness in which we were created? What then? What happens when the 'march to perfection' mentality makes us virtually indistinguishable from one another?

When we disguise the perfection that comes from God reflected in us by donning a picture-perfect human facade, we deny the beauty and transparency that we all individually offer.

Without improvement.

Without a spotlessly clean house or a designer wardrobe, model children or gourmet meals. Without a better wreath, a more fashionable haircut or a more amazing kid's birthday party plan.

Let's stop waiting til we have more, know more, can offer more. Let's blog and teach and parent and friend the best we can with all we currently have.

Let's be us right now. This very minute.

Just as we are.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Alpha, Busy, Charlie, Delinquent.

A while back I think I mentioned something about my new job, and now it's officially time to trot out said job as an excuse for my absence in blogging. You see, I have a perfectly good reason for my delinquency.

At least I like to believe I do.

About a month ago I started a wonderful new position in the Office of the Commandant at Texas A&M. I have a kind of long and complicated job title (Scholastic Performance Specialist III), but basically I'm an Academic Advisor to the Corps of Cadets and teach a freshman level course to cadets in the School of Military Science.

About face and all of that.

Don't be concerned. I'm not teaching military tactics or maneuvers or anything.
(Insert collective sigh of relief)
The class is all about study skills and time management, learning styles and personality type. Basically a course that helps the cadets deal with the rigors of the Corps experience while maintaining a full class load in a very challenging academic environment.


I really love it.

Love the people I work with, the students, the teaching, the advising, all of it. The busy factor,though, has been ratcheted a little high for the past several weeks as I try to navigate my way through this fun, challenging, and somewhat unfamiliar territory.




Sometimes I feel like I want to do this...

These are some of the "fish" Corps members after a computer session we did a week or so ago. In their defense I told them they could do whatever they wanted after they were finished with the work, so you can see a lot of them chose the popular 'falling asleep in their chairs' option.

Their new 5:45am  'Reveille' call has clearly been tough on some of them.


In contrast...

We've had some crazy days that included a water fight between almost 900 freshman...

Photo by Tim Lai- The Battalion

Photo by Sam Craft- The Eagle

Watch for yourself!!   Class of 2019 Water Fight

And a lot of marching and physical training.

(Don't look for me in the marching and physical training pictures)


I am, however, somewhat of an expert at watching.

Then to add to the busy-ness, we've also:

-Taken numerous trips to the farm.

-Gathered up way too many errant cows who have wandered through way too many fences that have been damaged by WAY too many toppled dead trees.

-Repaired many of the aforementioned fences.

-Attended a joint Birthday Party.

-Had dinner with dear HS friends in town to drop off their freshman Aggie daughter. Hey Ann, Chad and Caroline!

-Kept a keen eye on the construction progress at Kyle Field. (!!) You'll be amazed, by the way!

-Set some kind of record for mowing at the farm and here.

-Held a Bible Study.

-And counted our blessings every single day.

I hope it's been busy-good in all of your lives too.

You're all one of those blessing I count.