Saturday, October 28, 2006

Theory #2

After much thought and reflection, I figured out why God makes people babies first.

For those of us who don't naturally relate to kids, it would be even harder to parent if they came out of the womb as 8-year-olds.

Instead, God made them really cute and cuddley for two or three years. Then by the time they're not very cute, talking back, and losing all their teeth -- we're hooked and we're already crazy about them.

That's pretty tricky. But, just like any scientific problem, it makes sense once you know the answer, eh?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Theory #1

Some people act really silly and some people act really serious.

The key word is "act."

I have this theory that everybody is equally dorky. It's just a matter of how long it takes them to let you see how dorky they really are.

I have a lot of theories. I should write a science text book.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Oh yeah

In the summer of 2003 I got to go to Haiti with a team from APU. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Let me help you understand how poor.

We hired translators to help us in the medical clinics we set up. It's a huge blessing to them to be able to work for a whole month and for good wages. At the end of our trip, we all took a fun day and visited the citadel. It costs $20 a person because you have to ride someone's horse all the way up the mountain.

One of our translators just happened to meet us at the foot of the mountain and was frustrated with our leader. Why are we spending money on something as silly as seeing the citadel when we could use that money to hire more more people jobs.

Our leader explained to him that it wasn't team money being used. Each student was using her own $20 to go up the mountain. He was astonished. "You mean these young people have $20?"

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Christmas all year long

I have this neighbor who is an elderly lady. As I've gotten to know her, I am sure that her love language is giving gifts. I've never known anyone to make their love language so obvious.

Almost every time I see her she wants to give me something. One time it was frozen strawberry pastries. Another time it was one of her humungous plants. She wanted to give me some fish once, but I found a way out of that one.

I've lent her a couple books lately, so now she knows that I like reading. Well, this is her new thing. She gets these Christian romance books in the mail. Whenever I go to see her, she has three to four books waiting for me. I haven't read any of them, and now I have thirteen of these stories. She wants me to keep them and pass them on when I'm finished.

They're not exactly next on my list of things to read, but I don't have the heart to reject her gifts. Anyone interested in a steady flow of books? I can help you with that.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Boys and Girls

Rob and I went on a date tonight. We'd been missing each other for about a week now, so it was time to refresh.

I thought that a good way to set the mood for a date is to sing 80's love songs continuously. I started out with "You're the meaning in my life. You're the inspiration. You bring feeling to my life. You're the inspiration. I wanna have you near me..." I could go on for the whole song, but I know you're already singing it in your head.

In between phrases I warned Rob that he'd have to start his love song in 10 seconds. He started in with, "Duh, duhduhduh...duhduhduh....duhduh duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh." Eye of the Tiger? Well, that's not exactly my idea of a love song. But, Rob's a boy. He expresses love differently.

Just in case you're wondering. We didn't exactly succeed at the continuous love songs. After Eye of the Tiger, I tried to keep it going with "I can't fight this feeling any longer..." But, once I was finished, Rob was out of ideas.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Boot camp

I work at a school giving individual music lessons to kids. It's a great job. I have great kids. There's only one problem. Parents seem to think that music lessons are like the sticker club or cheerleading...just another fun activity to be a part of...not something to invest time and energy into. Therefore, about 10% of our kids practice and are retaining anything of what they learn.

All you teachers out there: Can you imagine having a class where only 4 of your kids did their homework? They do their homework when it's fun or if they happen to remember. Their parents don't make them, and so you're left teaching the same thing to them every time you see them?

So, it's frustrating. But, with the help of a good friend, I came to the realization that I need to stop caring so much about teaching them music and start using my 1/2 hour with them as a chance to love them and pour into them. Use the music as the means to encourage them. That I can succeed at. Teaching them music is a lost cause.

Four weeks into the semester. Well, I succeeded for two weeks. Then I failed for 2 weeks. I just couldn't stop caring about the learning and music part. I got frustrated and pushed a couple of my kids too hard and hurt their feelings. Suddenly, I'm the piano drill sergeant instead of patient, gentle Miss Leah. Man, I feel like the scum of the earth.

Do you ever have scum-of-the-earth times and then suddenly it seems like no one else around you ever sins? I mess up and mess up bad but see no one around me who messes up just as bad so I can feel better. I keep thinking about grace and how that means giving people the freedom to make mistakes. I need to give that to myself right about now.

Any advice from more experienced teachers?

Monday, October 02, 2006

I tried it

I was talking to one of my best friends today. She read my last blog and had an idea. "Leah, I should have you over. We can put on some worship music, and just dance all over my apartment."

"Um...yeah...that could be cool. But, that would be really scary."


"Yeah, I've never danced like that before. I've danced, and I like to dance. But, I've never danced to express something before."

That's scary to do in front of people. But, how powerful. Now I understand that when people actually do dance expressively in front of people how vulnerable they're being.

Tonight I was super excited about all kinds of stuff. I felt like I had a caffine high, but I knew it wasn't caffine. So, inspired by my friend, when Rob left for his meeting, I turned on some music and began dancing.

I ended up turning most of the lights off because I was getting too distracted by myself. Less light...much better - for now.

I danced my heart out. I broke a sweat. I started getting out of breath and considered stopping. Nah. I kept going. I made myself carsick....then I stopped. Um...I like this.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


I've been playing piano since I was six. My parents gave me the amazing gift of thirteen years of piano lessons. Wow, add up all that money. Now there's an investment. I learned through classical music and pretty much played just that until I was about 18. For the last three to four years I really haven't opened up Beethoven a whole lot.

Recently I decided that I'm also a ballerina at heart. When I get really excited or consumed by something, I crave to express it through graceful and emotional movements. I do want to try to take a class soon, but for now I don't know what I'm doing.

Today I was spending time reading Isaiah and talking to God about where I am with him compared to where I should be. Filled with something...I don't know - emotion, the Spirit, my many thoughts...I just wanted to dance. I wanted to move around gracefully and speak to God about things in that way. But, I didn't feel like finding music, and I didn't know that I would actually last longer than 2 minutes in my lack of expertise.

So, I went to the piano and played the good ol' Brahms Rhapsody that I've had memorized since 8th grade. It was awesome. I haven't played that song with such purpose in years. My brow was furrowed, and I got everything out.

Now I'm the prodigal son to my classical music upbringing. Hopefully I can soon add ballet too.