Sunday, September 11, 2016

Life update and some thoughts on holiness

School started a little over a month ago, so we've had ample time to adjust to our new situation and lifestyle. Michael is staying home with Gerrit, and that seems to be going really well so far! The other day after school, I took Gerrit outside to play for a while because Michael wanted to take some time to make play dough. <3 but="" case="" dough="" errit="" gerrit="" haven="" he="" hear="" heart="" how="" i="" in="" it="" lots="" loves="" melt="" michael="" much="" my="" nbsp="" not="" of="" p="" play="" seen="" stories="" t="" the="" this="" with="" yet="">
In terms of personality, our little G has a lot of it. For example:

He's getting into the whole "wear mom's shoes" thing, and it just cracks me up! I usually try to keep him in my crocs rather than the shoes in the picture above so that he doesn't break a leg or anything, but, seriously, despite the poor quality of that photo, his is pretty stinking cute, right?

G talks ALL. THE. TIME. He learns new words every day, and even learns words that we haven't specifically taught him. He knows that airplanes go in the sky, for example: "Pane? Ky?" He also is under the impression that cows say "boooo"... which is a development that came about during our recent staff retreat, where we discovered that he's actually really terrified of real-life cows. So maybe they do say 'boo'?

School is going really well for me. I have fewer students this year than I've had in years past, which means that I have more time to change things in my classes and more time to grade things during the school day. I'm finding the transition much easier than last year's transition into the school year. I can mentally be at school while I'm at school, and be at home when I'm at home. I love that.

We keep ourselves busy, for sure. There's a women's Bible study on campus that I've started going to each week, and Michael has continued to attend the men's Bible study as well. Michael is involved with running the power point during church (not every week), and I decided to jump in and teach Sunday school this year! That's a bit of a change...but second graders are so much different from high schoolers that I think I'm going to enjoy it.

Today was my first Sunday teaching, actually, and it went much differently than I expected. 2nd graders are loud. And there's lots of boys, who are even louder. I learned that I need to find a way to deal with that. :)

Anyway, our story today was about the tabernacle being built, and how God dwelt within it because he wanted to be with his people. I started the lesson by telling the kids to draw pictures of the coolest houses they could think of - something they would love to create to live in. They took me so seriously. They had purple  houses and blue houses and tall houses and solar houses and tree houses and castles. One boy drew a tree house that was in the middle of a lake filled with piranhas, and said that to get to the house you had to get launched into it from the land, and if you missed you'd get eaten by piranhas. If someone got to the house that he didn't want to be there, he'd pull a level and the floor would drop out and it would send the person into a pool of piranhas. But he would still be safe because it's his house, and his house wouldn't let him fall into the piranhas.

Haha! I vastly underestimated the creativity of a group of second graders. It was amazing.

Anyway, we eventually got around to talking about the story. We talked about the tabernacle and how God dwelt in it, and why we don't have a tabernacle today. I (in a 'spur-of-the-moment-because-these-kids-were-really-excited-about-their-crazy-houses' moment) drew the conversation back to the ideas of perfect houses and made the point that God sent the Spirit to dwell in us because his perfect super-cool-awesome house looks like us. (insert kids names here)

I wish I had taken the time to dwell on that idea earlier, before I taught those kids. God not only loved us enough to come dwell with us as a human, but he loves us enough to make his home permanently among us.

The key verse, the one that the whole current Sunday school unit centers around, comes from Leviticus 11:45, which says, "I am Yahweh, who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God, so you must be holy because I am holy."

God is holy. He dwells within us. He calls us to be holy as he is.

What does this look like? I believe everyone will answer that question differently. I hope that you take the time to think about it and consider what it means for you. Know this - being holy does not mean acting perfectly all the time (or acting like everything is perfect already). It does mean striving to do what Christ would do, even if it's difficult.

For me, practically speaking, it means working on my attitude. Christ didn't complain about becoming human. He didn't complain about serving the lowest of the low. So why should I complain about my work? Why should I complain when things don't go the way I want them to?

The Spirit is within me. God can speak through me, even in the darkest of places and times, and bring light that I alone am not capable of bringing.

Please, LORD, may it be that way, despite my shortcomings and failures. May I be holy because you are holy.

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