Thursday, June 14, 2018

#FamiliesBelongTogether: How to Help at the Border

I've been grasping at straws trying to find ways to help with the border separations that are happening, heavily in my home state of Texas. I'm trying to get my anxiety under control to attend a rally in downtown Dallas tonight (alone, hubs is out of town...EEEK!), but in the meantime, I found this list from Alida Garcia on attorney and activist.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Lower, and Lower, and Lower

It's just one of those days.

I had a friend in graduate school who, when he was feeling beaten down by an asinine lesson, would get lower and lower in his seat. He'd start out in a sitting position, and as the hours wore on, he'd slip down to his elbows, then his head was hanging low, and finally he'd have his elbows on his knees and head lolling like he was about to pass out.

That's me today.

I realize this is a complete and utter Debbie Downer post, but some days I have to unhinge the steam valve.

  • My favorite employer is going to such crap. They're moving in the direction of mega classes which means less pay, more work, and less professional trust and respect. But it's for the good of the students (not)!
  • My campus leader is just like my old, toxic boss at my previous full-time job. So. Much. Alike. 
  • My son lost a classmate to cancer. 
  • The US is a political shithole.
  • All my empathy muscles are maxed out and it hurts. 
Amidst the mental and emotional clamor, I'm hearing a distinctive and slightly scary call to Do. Something. Else. 

This makes me laugh so much.

I don't know what that means yet, but it's coming. Whether it's a new teaching job, writing more, another degree, a different field. It's something. It's the right thing, but it's scary.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Monday, May 14, 2018

What's in that Bible, Exactly?

I toyed with the idea, earlier this year, of joining Adam's 2018 Reading Bible as Literature event, but I just couldn't commit to anything involving structure. There was much humming and hawing on Twitter, as often happens to us readers when challenges and events are involved.

Fast forward to April, and amidst a lot of Not Reading, I had this urge to dive into the Bible. The reasons are several-fold:

  • I identify as a Christian, raised in the Baptist church (not so much now, Baptists, #sorrynotsorry).
  •  I have not read the whole Bible. If I start from the beginning, I usually crap right on out around Deuteronomy. I got the usual "Bible in chewable bits and pieces" treatment as a church attendee and in a college New Testament class (that made me question ALL THE THINGS). Then I lost my faith for a few years after my dad died at the age of 39 (I was 18), etc. etc. 
  • The majority of my life has been spent feeling really stupid when it comes to Bible things.
  • I'm consistently baffled by evangelical zeal for President 45 and the ways in which Scripture and That Particular Zeal do not line up in my head at all. 
  • I'm a Christian and wanna be a good one.
SO, this undertaking is filed in my brain under, "I Must Understand For Myself All the Things". 

Breaking from past attempts, I decided to start in the New Testament because Jesus and grace and whatnot. Picture it, I started this Bible journey with my 30-year-old children's Bible (it's pink), and while it got me going, it also became fairly clear from the beginning that I wanted something....grown.

Yes, that is an "I'm Reading so Fuck Off" mug next to my Bible. I'm still me. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably started to see this whole scenario in action. This was Saturday's first pic of the day: brunch, coffee, BIG STACK OF BOOKS. 

The giant chunk on the bottom is my new She Reads Truth Bible that I really like in the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) translation which is supposedly accurate and readable. On top of that is my Scripture notebook (more on this below), my bullet journal, and my prayer notebook.

As I started reading through the New Testament, about five chapters into Matthew, I realized I have a LOT OF QUESTIONS. I have grown-up, analytical, historical questions like who the hell are these Pharisees and Sadducees on the scene? But more than "bad guys"...WHO ARE THEY REALLY? 

There has been much Googling, much researching, much downloading of apps, reading of commentaries from a variety of scholars and time periods, and...gird yourselves...I'm copying it. 

I'm copying the New Testament word-for-word. 

I know. I never would've pegged myself for this job, but copying:

1. Helps me remember all the stuff I inevitably forget otherwise
2. Sloooowwwwws me down
3. Gives me a space to copy the Scripture, write my understanding, work out my questions and connections, write notes from histories and commentaries, and then keep right on going. 

It's a lot of work, but this is scratching my-totally-ingrained-need-to-research itch along with my need to read. AND there's the added bonus of giving me these endorphin feelings much like I had when I started my English degree and was SO PROUD to understand things I thought I'd never understand. 

And it's meditative. And I look forward to it, and I'm sad when I don't have time. 

If you've been wondering where I am...this is where. I'm neck-deep in the Bible. 

Images by Freepik