Saturday, February 28, 2009


Omar and I have been taking a marriage course at church. We are on week 4 and it is such an interesting experience. See, marriage is like making a pizza. Except, in that context, we have never seen anyone successfully make a pizza. We were raised around pizzas that had way too many anchovies and were burnt and then fell splat on the floor. So, weve carefully navigated through this marriage thing for the last year and half, feeling much like Columbus, having no idea what we are doing, and we're finally discovering America. Except, unlike Columbus, we've realized that somebody has already discovered America, so rather than trying to do everything our own way and screwing up the entire new world, we are following their lead, surrounding ourselves with people who have already lived well in this place. Can you tell i've been teaching world history? Anyway, rather than commiting mass genocide, we are taking the smart road and have realized that maybe we arent the first people in the world that have ever tried to be married. The day we realized that was a turning point in our relationship, so we signed up for a marriage course.

If you've ever seen the movie Fireproof, you know what I mean when I say that we are fireproofing our marriage. Even though it is heaven on earth right now, someday we will face challenges and we are learning now how to overcome them. Together.

In the last few weeks, we've focused on how we talk to eachother. For instance, a few weeks ago I cleaned the bathroom. It was an epic event, and if we knew where to find our camera I would have posted pictures. I'm smack in the middle of The Semester From Hell, and anything I do beyond homework deserves to be scrapbooked. The day I cleaned the bathroom I did it in ten minutes, between classes. A few days later, Omar and I were in the kitchen and our conversation went a little something like this:

Omar: You really need to learn how to clean toilets.
Me: fsdfjasiouf832334#%$@#%@!!!

Now, were learning how to communicate more lovingly, so the next time he confronted me with an issue about housework, it was done in a way that made me swoon.
I have been addicted to this delicious "food" for the last week or so:
It is a chocolatey, delicious, FAST, breakfast and it resulted in 4 glasses with chocolate bottoms side by side on the clean, bathroom counter next to my make-up bag. Omar saw this, and what had the potential to be World War IV in our house, became this:

(This is a beautiful cup collection. It would look better in the kitchen! I Love You!)

and a giggly wife who was more than happy to do this:
“I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.” -Rita Rudner

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I have a secret, that is not really a secret

My best friends know this well. My family finds it amusing. Acquaintances have absolutely no idea. It is a thorn in my flesh/ immense blessing that has changed the entire course of my life, how I view human beings, and how I see myself. It is not a closet obsession with The Secret Life of the American Teenager, although that is true too.....

Its just that in the deepest parts of my soul, I find immense love and purpose in people with disabilities.

I didnt always feel this way. In fact, when I was in high school I did this ridiculous segment on the morning news called "Joke Time." Broadcasted to the entire school, my friends and I told jokes about whatever was relevant. They were usually incredibly clever, like "What do you call a seagull that flies over the bay? A BAYGULL!" I know. I have a gift. Dont be surprised if you see me on Saturday Night Live.

Anyway, once I told an incredibly offensive joke about "retards" and had to apologize on air after it got a very negative reaction from most of my teachers. My face turned bright red when I walked into my math class and my teacher reprimanded me in front of the entire class, and spent the next half hour lecturing us on the value that people with mental disabilities have to the people that love them and how much it hurts when other people make fun of them just because they have a disability.

Fast forward 6 years. I have been teaching kids with autism, downs syndrome, and mental retardation for two years. I had a God-breathed epiphany one summer which changed my mentality about people with disabilities from eh, ho hum, dont really care, to OH. MY. GOSH. I WANT TO SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE ADVOCATING FOR AND LOVING ON KIDS WITH DISABILITIES. I WANT THEM, AND EVERYONE ELSE, TO KNOW THAT THEY ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD AND THAT THEY ARE VALUABLE, INCREDIBLE HUMAN BEINGS.

I have another year before I will have my degree in Special Education, but I spent the entire year last year teaching in a self-contained Autism classroom. Now, I am co-teaching a class of kids with a variety of special needs, and I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed anything more. Really. There is a student in my class named C. He has autism, which in his case means that he has "abnormal" social skills even though he "looks like every other kid," whatever that means. He also astonishes me on a daily basis with the things that come out of his mouth. For example:

Me (asking about another teacher): Does she believe in God?
Mrs. S: Yes.
C (not even looking away from his computer, but with a huge sigh of relief): Phew! Good Thing!
Me: What do you mean?
C: I think God would be pretty upset if she didnt believe in Him!

Me (after a discussion on friendship and love): So, who do you guys love?
"Fuzzy": High School Musical 3!
M: My dog
E: My friends and family
C: Everybody. Everybody in the whole world.
Me: C, why do you love everybody?
C: Because everybody is a child of God, and He made them.
L: Thats so dumb.

Something equally adorable/convicting happens every few minutes in my day, and man, oh, man, how did I get so lucky?