Friday, March 2, 2012

Seven Quick Takes

Ya'll know the drill.  And just like Jennifer over at Conversion Diary, my quick takes are likely to be more scattered than normal.  And there will probably be some random links to various places on the web!

(1) Back In High School
Today I went and presented at a local high school.  It has brought on anxiety and bad memories all week.  Even a nightmare yesterday.  And no I didn't have a scarring high school experience, this was all based on the realization that I am SO HAPPY I am no longer a high school teacher. 
(2) It wasn't the kids 
 My hatred of teaching HS wasn't about the kids. In fact I loved them.  Were I the school counselor or campus minister, or an advisor, or in some other position that didn't require me formally teaching, I'd probably still be working in a high school.  But the teaching itself I wasn't a fan of, and the anxiety that accompanied I really didn't like.  I was miserable.  And so I'm not teaching anymore. 

(3) Anxiety
 No big surprise from the last two quick takes that I've been having some anxiety issues lately.  This isn't something particularly new for me.  I was diagnosed with depression more than five years ago, and also have general anxiety.  So when I say I'm anxious I don't just mean nerves, or fear, or being afraid to speak in front of people, as a lot of people assume. It's not always the most pleasant problem to encounter, but in the end it's just part of who I am.  We all have abilities and disabilities and areas for growth - this is mine. (Note: I love public speaking, so #1 had nothing to do with a public speaking fear).
(4) Courage
Even here in the 21st century, talking about Mental Illness can be fairly taboo.  While the days of mental institutions and such are behind us, society often looks down upon people who are battling mental illnesses.  I need to give a big shout out to, two fabulous young women who have used their blogs as a platform to help disspell some of these myths.  Emmy Cecelia over at Journey of a Catholic Nerd Writer has discussed anxiety multiple times on her blog, and Hannah Katy of and More Love Letters wrote an excellent post last week on depression, which can be found here.  Kudos ladies, and thanks for taking the time to address a topic so many people sweep under the rug!

(5) Next
This has been the recent topic of my thoughts. Next. As in, what comes next.  I'm not sure exactly what the answer is, but I hope you will join me in praying for whatever comes next on my Journey.

(6) WSU fights the WBC
Last week, rumors expected the Westboro Baptist Church to arrive here in Massachusetts, to protest at a soldier's funeral in Westfield, MA.  On less than 24-hours notice, a group of students from Westfield State University organized a Peaceful Counterprotest against the expected church members.  The WBC didn't end up showing up (Praise God!) but I am still very impressed with the WSU students for their swift organization, and their reminder to everyone involved that their job was to quietly and respectfully support the bereaving family - they were to be a "human shield" against the Church's hatred, not create a scene themselves.

(7) That said...
If I ever encounter someone from the WBC I probably will end up causing a scene.  This is a "christian" Church which preaches hatred! It is these types of organizations that give a bad name to Christians everywhere, in my mind this organization is to Christianity what extremists in the Middle East are to Islam.  The WBC is no more representative of true Christian teaching, than the Taliban is of the true teachings of the Muslim faith.  They are crazy radicals who try to use religion to teach hatred.  And while the WBC is not killing or sending out suicide bombers, their protests are still problematic and hateful.  I'm not sure how any Church which teaches that "God loves you" is a lie, can consider themselves Christian.  All I know is they need to read up on their Bible - they obviously missed John 3:16, Romans 5:8, and countless other verses about God's love for us!  

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