Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
We hated missing the party this weekend... HAPPY 70th BIRTHDAY!!! We see this being true in your life, and pray it always is!
"The righteous flourish like the palm treeand grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the Lord;they flourish in the courts of our God.
They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green,
to declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him." Psalm 92:12-15
-- your Szrama grandkids in Louisville
Saturday, March 29, 2008
For your enjoyment, some excerpts from my students' notes of appreciation (some are from the preschoolers, some from middle school choir students):
"Dear MRS. SZRAMA...we love being in your class. Thank you for being our teacher!! We love you more than we can explaine..."
"Dear Mrs. Szrama, I like when you teach me (I like my classmates, too!) I like when you hug me. You are my Valentine. Thank you because I love you. Thank you for telling me about Jesus. You are my friend. When you teach me I love you."
"Mrs. Szrama, thank you for teaching. It's been fun."
"Mrs. Szrama, thank you so much for teaching me choir. I have learned so much about notes and stuff. :)"
"...Thanks for letting your love for music and for our Lord overflow to our children" (from a Mom)
"Mrs. Szrama, thank you for teaching our choir this year. I alreday enjoy singing but you made the class so fun!!" "Mrs. Szrama- Thank you so much for teaching me choir. I love it! You are a great, great, GREAT teacher." (don't you know I love that!?) "Choir is my favorite subject!!" Mrs. Szrama, Thank you for teaching choir this year. I've learned a lot. Hope you're my teacher next year."
"Dear Mrs. Sarama, please have "Tender Mercy." From, G." ("Tender Mercy" is a song one choir is singing) That one made me bust out laughing!
"Dear Mrs. Szrama, Thank you so much for giving your time to teach us how to sing! You are very pretty and you are a great teacher. Hope you have a great day! Thank you! Love, S. :)"
One that especially meant a lot, because I've prayed for this child over and over: "Mrs. Szarama, I love you so much. You are a wonderful teacher and person. I admire you for everything you do and I hope one day to be just as kind and loving as you are. Thank you so much for your support. You don't understand how much it means to me!..."
...And then it's always heart-warming to read "You rock, Mrs. Szrama!"
Several of my Moms were so encouraging in their notes, telling me that I have made a difference in their child's life, and that my labor has already borne some fruit. That is so encouraging!! It has also served as a reminder to live righteously all the time: as I stubbornly refused to submit myself to Christ (and my husband), these words came to mind "You are a special light in their lives and you show them Jesus every day..." Was I showing Jesus to my husband right then? What about to the angels and demons?
Anyway, those are some scattered thoughts I wanted to share... my world every day. :)
Thursday, March 27, 2008
If you were a child who grew up expecting this, secure in the comfort that Mom would be home after school-- would make after school "home"-- you know what I mean. Those of you who missed out on this blessing can imagine it, I'm sure. For us homeschoolers/private- schoolers, Mom often either never left school, or picked us up from school, but still... I remember the pan-grilled-cheese sandwiches and BLTs Mom made after school on homeschool days, or the way we'd unload from the van to get shooed outside (Mom knew we needed a mental break after school), then called back inside for our snack before we started in on homework again.
Sorry for the zoomed-out-edness of all these pics. I haven't figured out how to crop pics on Ryan's mondo desktop (my laptop still lies, useless and un-alive...)
On Tuesday, I introduced Mom to "Napoleon Dynamite" as Ryan taught at the T-house. We stayed up a full hour after we went to bed quoting it to each other, lol. I think Moms of college students can appreciate that movie as few other post-teenagers can.
Wednesday, Mom & I had a fun time on my favorite street; Bardstown Road (despite the pouring rain. I think that's the only time I've ever deposited money at a bank solely for the purpose of using their parking lot! Drastic times call for...) We ate at the Butterfly Garden Cafe, which we HIGHLY reccommend, and browsed around the White Linen Tea Company, and the Clay & Cotton. No pictures, alas. :( I think we were all encouraged by Immanuel's midweek prayer meeting that night. Mom & I also managed to squeeze in a coffee date between my classes on Thursday, and she got to watch me conduct my 5/6th grade choir! I think they behaved better with Mom in the room. :) As House MD put it, "I think the world would be a better place if everyone lived like their Moms were looking over their shoulders." Some pre-school pics:
(during our music time)
(getting ready to put our flowers on the Living Cross, for Easter)
We had a last hoorah on Friday morning before Mom left, getting up a little early so we could breakfast at Lynn's Paradise Cafe. It was SO yummy, and so much fun!! I just love that place. What more could I- a girl who loves breakfast foods best of all, and is a little on the "nuts" side- ask for? Mom & I split a fantastic omlette (a dish she raised me to enjoy... actually, that was the first dish I ever cooked! ...though I don't know how Mom ate it... I didn't even put salt or pepper in it...yuck...)
All of us after a yummy meal. This weekend Ryan dubbed himself my Mom's "baby-in-law," and the term has stuck. Lol...
Everyone who knew my Mom was in town last week is asking me this week if I miss her. I guess they could see her missableness, just from that one meeting. And they are quite right. I do miss her. Thank you God for Mommys! I'm off!
Monday, March 03, 2008
It all started out with the poem our DSCS 3rd graders are reading this week. First off, I had no idea who this poem was by, so I had to research that. (Lord, thank You for giving me free internet access, and putting it in the hearts of scholars to make anthologies available, and SEARCHABLE online. I mean that prayer!) After a little digging, I found a great gem of a story! How many of you are familiar with King Sethon of Egypt? Now don't you be scared because the lines don't reach all the way across the page. Poetry ain't scary. 'Specially not the kind 3rd graders read. ;)
by Maud Keary
From Enchanted Tulips and other Verses for Children, published in 1914
KING SETHON of Egypt
Cried out in his woe,
"My kingdom will perish,
My race be brought low.
With warriors draws near
To conquer our country
With arrow and spear.
"Our men are a handful;
In vain we contend;
Vain, vain is our struggle--
But short be the end!"
Beneath the clear starlight
Of Egypt he stood,
The invaders' camp stretched
Far away like a wood;
When lo! through the stillness
Arose a strange sound,
A scratching and scraping
Came up from the ground.
And thick as when corn-blades
Each leaps forth a tongue,
Some thousands of field-mice
From the warm soil sprung.
They scrambled up palings
And scaled pediments--
They sped past King Sethon
To the enemies' tents.
And there helter-skelter,
They seized on the quivers,
They nibbled the bowstrings,
Bit into shivers
The wooden shield-handles
The enemies used,
Who woke in the morning
Surprised and confused!
Without arms, defenceless,
They fled fast before
The happy Egyptians,
And came back no more.
Then a statue of Sethon
Was made--very grand--
A crown on his head and
A mouse in his hand!
I was like "what is that talking about!?" So I did some digging, and HERE's the background story! King Sethon was a priest of Vulcan reigning in Egypt at the same time that King Hezekiah ruled Judah. He offended the soldiers of Egypt by taking away the land allowance they’d always been given. Therefore, when Sennacherib of Assyria invaded in 713 BC, no soldiers would defend Egypt. The legend is that Sethon prayed in great anquish all night, until he received a vision from his god that the god would win the victory for Egypt. Comforted, Sethon marched out with a group of non-soldiers. During the night, they were indeed delivered, by a very surprising force!
Even more intriguing: some historians believe that this story is a corrupted version of Judah’s miraculous delivery from Sennacherib’s army by the might of the One True God, recorded in 2 Kings 19!
That story captured my fancy, for some reason. History is so cool!! WHY am I not a literature or a history teacher??? Choir... what was I thinking!?
...off to grade papers for said class... sigh...
Sunday, March 02, 2008
Thank you, Jeannette...
Please, all you aspiring ministers... don't end up like this. It would be funny, except it's so SAD!!
And read all the follow-up comments. They're thought-provoking and at times hilarious. For an example of a thought-provoking one, Byron Harvey said...
"An observation: as a recovering fundamentalist (now an E Free pastor, still solidly evangelical, so don't worry), I spent some time in fundamentalist churches, and was educated at independent Baptist schools. There was much good there, but the truth is that some of the people who defended the inerrancy of the Bible the strongest did the most absolutely hideous job of actually preaching it. In that sense, this gentleman follows in a long, but sad, line..."
Grandma & Grandpa Presley gave us a very comfy BIG blue recliner, and it graces the corner of our little living room. (getting it here in the back of our truck over the mountains was quite its own adventure) It's the spot of choice on cold dark mornings before school; I eat my breakfast and drink my coffee in coziness and warmth as I read my Bible and pray. Ryan usually finds me curled up in it grading or reading or writing letters as he gets home. Before my laptop went nuts it was the perfect spot to sit and work on lesson plans, too. Ryan loves to sit there to study himself...on Tuesdays before he teaches at the Transformation House, I try to leave the chair for him. :) And after he tucks me into bed he usually reads there... sometimes I awaken in the wee hours of the morning and he's STILL in there, quite comfortable and sleeping happily. All that to say, we love our big blue chair.
I just dropped Ryan off at the airport; the first time I've done such a thing since marriage. The last time I did that, I cried (it was when we parted ways in Cincinnati after getting engaged in Oregon, last February). This time I got it out of my system a little before the parting... in the big blue chair, actually. Ryan's boss' girlfriend was going to pick him up on the way to getting Andy (Ryan's boss) to the airport, but I wanted the extra minutes so we called and canceled...and spent the short sweet time cuddled in the big blue chair, and just being together a little more. I cried... more at the anticipation of the missing-him-pain (I remember it way too well) than actual current pain. I was against his chest, after all, still comforted by the smell and feel of him...
"I'd rather you be leaving and be married to you than be saying goodbye without being married," I said. "I'd rather be married and leaving and sad than married and leaving and not sad," he answered. "It's right that we should want to be together. It's good to be sad that we have to be apart."
It's true, what Ryan said: it's good that we should miss each other. It's good that we should be sad and cry. It's good that there is love and one heart that hurts to be apart. I'm married now; not just myself, but part of a new One Flesh... Hmmm... guess that's why the blue chair makes me sad to look at just now. And happy, too. :)
It IS only for 5 days. And we'll both be happy and doing things we love to do. And we'll both rejoice in the presence of the Lord, and pray for the other's good...like every day. :) But just right now, in the "meantime," (Dad, you'll catch my reference) I think I may curl up in the big blue chair and seek a little solace. Prayer, the Word, my journal, a book, and just maybe some of that dark chocolate my Love gave me for Valentine's day. :)
Happy Lord's Day.