Thursday, July 11, 2013

the gift of "suck it up"

I caught the bug last Friday night. we had guests and I knew I was feeling tired, but by the time bedtime arrived my sides had started to ache and I was starting to visit the bathroom a little too frequently. all that night I slept restlessly. stomach cramping.  my electric blanket cranked as high as it goes and yet still wanting it hotter. and as the fever sat over me I prayed. "oh God. there is so much on tomorrow, please make me better by morning..." morning came and if I was sensible I would have stayed beneath my sheets and slept the bug off. but my girls netball team needed a coach. and my netball team was short players for its two games that day. so I forced a piece of dry toast, sipped water and downed panadol. it was awful. mercifully, I didn't need to run off the court to the bathroom during my own games, but I had nothing. no energy, zilch. and the sulphuric sick burps that continuously kept coming up were, well, just disgusting to be honest. I pity the opposition that that encountered me that day. I felt like a train wreck. I lay on the side of the court when my coach pulled me off in the last quarter.

however. although I felt awful, I had my game face on. which means I smile and do my best to carryon with what needs to be done. for goodness sake. I turned up to play. that just seems ridiculous in hindsight.

I was also planning on going out that night and I told reuben that there was no way we were cancelling. after game number 2 however, I knew there was no way I could go anywhere else but my bed and there I stayed. and slept. Saturday night I slept approx. 14hrs. sunday morning arrived and the bug was gone. I was left tired and weak. in that 24hr period I lost around 2kg.

and here is the point of my post.

because I seem to have a rather large ability to "suck it up", I can be internally scathing when other people have little ability to do the same. I know this has been breed in me from childhood. our family motto was "johnstones never give up". I know I still carry the legacy of that. its a good legacy, but there is a negative side to it as you can see! there is probably some pride in there that needs to be dealt to. AND a bigger issue is probably that I just need to learn how to listen to my body and rest when I need to rest, and say no, when I need to say no.

I think I am going to start working on NOT sucking it up when a healthier response would be to rest, say no, or something else. I think that might help me have a little more authentic empathy for others when I currently think they should just "harden up" a bit? or maybe sometimes people can just be a bit soft?

hmmmm... *scratches head...

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

to eLearn or not to eLearn

beware. this is to be a little bit of a rant, or a "clear my head" kinda post. but that's ok. and let me say from the top. i value your thoughts on this. there seems to be a big variation of opinion..

so. our little county school is moving ahead and adopting eLearning in a big way. this is the first yr the school has offered it and this yr only in yr5/6. in 2014, the school is extending eLearning into yrs 5-8.

what it means practically is that each child has their own ipad (our school has chosen apple) and they choose when or not to use their ipad in class to learn. they still have the option to be old fashioned and write in an exercise book should they choose. the classroom itself has extra laptops and desktop computers for the kids to access (I understand this is for access to programs like "flash" and other extras not on an ipad), apple tv and other techy gadgets to go along with the whole eLearning thing.

let me say I have been pretty cynical from the outset. and here are my issues:

in order to put your kid in the class it requires the parent to purchase the child an ipad, cover, and ensure it is properly insured. the parent is also responsible to pay a $600 "donation" (the word "donation" is laughable, but if they don't put on the front that it is a donation they are in fact breaking the law). last yr they also put a condition that paying the school "donation" would also be mandatory. this condition hasn't been talked about for yr2 of eLearning though, so I wonder if they figured the whole "illegal" thing out... there are some pretty rich families in our local community - but i think financially it is a big ask. (lets remember this is a public school). if they were to have eLearning at every level of the school which i believe is the plan, we as a family would be particularly under pressure. in 2015, and 2016 we will have 4 children at the school. that's 4 ipads, 4covers + insurance, $2400 (each yr) for the eLearning "donation" and then school donation on top of that (for 4 kids that would be somewhere around the $500 mark).

i know of parents who have this notion that if their child isn't taking up the opportunity they are going to be left behind or suffer academically. as if using an ipad at 8, 9 or 10yrs old is going to set them up for life. perhaps at high school. i am quite open to that as a concept. but i just can't buy into the notion that all day screen time at primary school and more when they get home is actually going to be the best, most healthy option for my child.
*disclaimer - although it may not be the best option for my child, i certainly think that for some kids it could be a fantastic option, dependent on the childs needs. im thinking especially of boys who may be easily distracted or lack interest in learning*

i don't think i am coming at it from a naïve perspective either. i think i have a bit of a clue about the online world - its positives and its negatives. i am in it and as long as i have children who are learning about it i will need to stay in it. and so far they haven't needed an eLearning class to figure out how to use cyberspace. Isabella (9) is doing her projects online using google docs and has her own blog and wikispace. our kids are also lucky enough to have a daddy who is a software developer (funnily enough though he got into the profession without eLearning in primary school...) and as far as losing the skill of handwriting... handwriting is a dying art according to info given at a recent school meeting...

this yr there are three yr 5/6 classes. two of those are eLearning. Isabella is in a great class with an amazing teacher. she is one of only 4 yr5 girls in her class. next yr as one girl is moving away and another is taking up the eLearning option that only leaves two. the other wee girl is also a great kid. but i have BIG concerns, (and this is actually the CRUX of my issue at the moment) over the way the children are being segregated eLearning vs non eLearning. Isabella is feeling it, there have been a couple of incidents where my sensitive child has felt really excluded and it makes me pretty angry.

so tomorrow reuben and I are going to the school and have a meeting set up to discuss it. it makes me feel slightly ill that we would be put in this place of pressure. that my kid wants to be in the eLearning class cause everyone else is, but that she is actually doing exceptionally well without eLearning (crazy notion i know). that the money we might invest into eLearning could be much better used spent on other activites to enrich our kids learning (like music lessons, or sports or activities - or God forbid, clothing and other necessities. that my public school would be putting me in this position of standing strong and making the decision we feel is best (but we might have it totally wrong!) or going the other way and allowing my daughter not to feel like an outcast. segregated from her peers because of her parents stand...
what would you do?

ughh...

Monday, July 01, 2013

focus, stacking and worship

last night I took my girls to church. reuben stayed home with the two youngest as our house has been on lock down with our baby the sickest she has ever been. another post. another story.

the girls were excited as the kids along with their leaders were responsible for leading worship etc last night. and they did a fabulous job. they focused on teaching us what "worship" really is.

wor·ship
[wur-ship] Show IPA noun, verb, wor·shiped, wor·ship·ing or ( especially British ) wor·shipped, wor·ship·ping.
noun
1. reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
2. formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage: They attended worship this morning. 
3. adoring reverence or regard: excessive worship of business success. 
4. the object of adoring reverence or regard.
5. ( initial capital letter ) British . a title of honor used in addressing or mentioning certain magistrates and others of high rank or station (usually preceded by Your, His, or Her).

verb (used with object) 

6. to render religious reverence and homage to.
7. to feel an adoring reverence or regard for (any person or thing).
 
or to be utterly simple. worship is to give God his worth.
 
worship is not singing a particular kind of song. or performing a particular ritual or activity. worship is when we focus on God and not on ourselves and our own circumstances. worship is when I give worth to the one who created me. worship is when I recognise that he is in control. that he is faithful, sovereign, healer, good, patient, kind, merciful, just, gentle, loving, eternal, beautiful, superhero... and all those things that God, well, simply is.
 
I worship as I look around me and recognise the creativity of God in the root structures and leaves and trees and birdsong.  His generosity in my friends laughter and cuddles with my sick child. I worship as I remember how it is actually God who sustains me and loves me. I worship as I remember God is with me. always. that he has promised he will never let me go. in the noise and chaos of my home. he's there. God wants the whole of our lives to be one of worship to Him.
 
the second idea I took home with me was that of "stacking". that we are so used to packing in as much as we can. that we are so used to multi-tasking, and so adept at doing so that we are losing the ability to stop. to focus. [this message a familiar one to me perhaps?...]. to set aside time to focus wholly on him. it was ironic really as I sat in church with my crochet hook working away... stacking. and not that we should leave whatever is plaguing our thoughts at the door when we come to spend focused time in worship. contrary, God wants us to bring everything. and give it to Him. he is big enough and strong enough to carry our burdens. and as we hand it over to the one who holds us in the palm of his hand, we are saying "we trust you. because you are..."
 
worship.
 
thanks kids.
 
and although I know that music is NOT worship. this song currently is one that is helping me focus on God and who he is. and in turn I worship. enjoy Xx