Monday, March 16, 2015

Lessons in Criticism

I've got about 3 different posts running around in my head. I'm not entirely sure where I'm going to land on the end of this post, but I really want to write today. I'm loving this Spring Break gig. *grin* So, here goes... *grin*

The Lord and I have been talking about a lot these days. Not because anything is wrong, just because there's a lot on my mind. Some things are between me and the Lord. Some things I think are okay to share. Today, I feel like I want to share.

I am a blessed gal. In my third year of teaching, the Lord brought a friend into my life that made an impact in ways she will never know. I was a healthy gal when it came to friendships, and didn't have experience with drama. Even in college, I was the RA that watched some drama, but never participated. It all seemed stupid to me. To this day it still seems stupid. I'm more of a loyal, honest friend. If there are things that aren't of the Lord, it remains a thought bubble. *grin*

So, when I was in my first couple years of teaching, and I overheard some adults talking about someone else behind their back, I was amazed. I thought that was stuff kids did. Not adults. So, I told Teacherfriend about it, (who is a little older than me) and she said, "Yeah. People talk. That's just what happens. Yeah, they'll probably talk about you or me at some point. Doesn't matter. You can't let those people get to you." Little did I know that one conversation would help me throughout my life. *grin*

I seriously doubt Teacherfriend realizes how that changed my life. I'm not insecure, wondering what people are saying about me behind my back. People talk. I don't talk poorly about others to others, but if people talk poorly about me, well, that's their choice. Life's too short to worry about what others are saying. *grin* My heart always breaks when people get stuck there, like they can prevent it or something. It's part of life this side of Heaven, it's our reaction that shapes our character. *grin*

At the same time, I've been deep in thought. Let me explain...

Lately, the church I attend here in KC has been under some criticism in the public eye. I've gone back and forth on the entire thing. On one hand, I think that some people have had a negative experience with my church, it ended poorly, and they are just talking (or writing on blogs) about their experience. I have had one main thought on it, "That's their story, but it's not the only story out there..." At the same time, I think about how my church has brought me closer to Jesus. I am so happy living here in the KC Metro, which includes being close to the Prayer Room. I did notice out of the three (and I'm sure there are plenty more, I just didn't want to waste my time with such negativity) posts I read, not one word was mentioned about the Prayer Room. Which makes sense, as it's simply a room where the Lord is worshipped. *grin* I will also admit, that friendships can be difficult to cultivate at my church, (sometimes) so the Lord has opened a door at a local one here that I like. See, my church isn't perfect, but there isn't a perfect church. Period. Trust me, I've tried to find one over the years. *grin* Perhaps one day I'll share my story of how the Prayer Room and my church changed my life. It's a VERY positive story. *grin* So often one side gets told, without the other side being seen or told. *grin* Which is fine, sometimes it's best to let things go. Life's too short to be stuck.

Once again, it all comes back to perspective. *grin*

In pondering the whole church thing, the Lord reminded me a real case example of this in my own life. In the past, there have been judgements made about me and my classroom. Some people walk in and see my students in their "free choice" time, and think that's all we do. My para and I say it all the time, "You don't get it unless you're in my room." The part most people miss out on seeing is the meltdown that lasted an hour to get the work done to get the free choice. Or the students that act like their work is a HUGE mountain and will do all they can to avoid it, when in reality it wouldn't take that long if they would just focus and do the work. (I tell them all the time they need to grow up and become actors because some of them have great acting skills!) *grin* Seriously, I can't make this stuff up. Criticism occurs, but I don't let it get me down, because I KNOW what I'm doing is right and some people simply don't see the entire picture. They simply see one side of my classroom. What they don't always see are the kids learning on a daily basis, meeting goals, and having fun somewhere along the way. So let others see the free choice, or perhaps talk to others about me and my teaching style. Life's too short to worry about it. *grin* It's all about perspective... *grin*

One of my favorite songs right now is "It Is Well" off the Bethel Album, YOU MAKE ME BRAVE. In it, it states:

Through it all, my eyes are on You.

I believe that is the key for me. It may be something else for you, but for me it's key.

If my eyes are on Him, nothing else will matter. *grin*

Criticism will happen again in my future, I know it. But with Him, my perspective will be where it needs to be.

What about you? Will you be a critic or choose to see the best in situations around you?

You never know, your next conversation may just be life-changing for someone.

Teacherfriend will never know how that one chat changed mine. *grin*


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