Thursday, February 20, 2014

5 Things I've Learned (and reaffirmed as true) after 6 Months of Marriage

Now, I'm still learning, so don't interpret this to mean I've "arrived" or have some super, deep wisdom beyond my years. No. It's more like the things I knew to be true, I found out really are true, and the things people said were true that I doubted, well they were true too. And there were also things that I discovered to be true for myself and my marriage. Here's just a few marriage insights and tips:

1) Never go to bed angry
I thought this was cliche. Before I got married, this was the most resounding piece of advice I heard. It didn't really make sense to me...until I got married. It's much better to lay it all out in the open, "fight it out" (a fair fight, mind you), and come to some sort of resolution, than try to sleep with a bitter and resentful heart. It's just no good. It's better to stay up and find a "fix."

2) Be patient with your spouse, and yourself
People don't change overnight. Most likely, you and your significant other are not perfect (shocker). When you put two people together in the most intimate relationship God created, sparks are going to fly, and not always in the positive sense. Remember 1 Corinthians 13? What's the first line? "Love is patient..." Your spouse is going to hurt you, offend you, annoy you, etc... You are going to hurt, offend and annoy him/her. Your even going to hurt, offend and annoy yourself!!! Have patience, know that marriage is an intense learning process, and remember you both submit to the best Teacher.

3) You find what you're looking for
My husband pointed this out to me, kindly (what a man), and it's oh so true. I'm slightly OCD and very detail oriented. I hyper-analyze people's motives and intentions, and tend to read into things. I also notice anything that is less than perfect in my environment and those I'm closest too. And it's not fair. For every "flaw" I find, my husband has 10 other shining qualities I fail to see. Finding flaws does two things: discourages/hurts your spouse and hurts you. Nothing can be perfect, so you'll never be satisfied.

4) If one person wins, NO ONE WINS!
I cannot stress this enough. Marriage is a union of 2 imperfect people with very different views on life. Compromise is essential if you want to survive. If you win your battle, making him surrender to your demands, you both lose. Marriage is teamwork. In a book I read, it pointed out ways to resolve conflict. You can find a mutual compromise, you can agree that your spouse is right (or they agree you or right), or you decide the issue can be confronted later (a not now approach). Whatever the situation, waving the white flag is more noble than going down in the heat of battle.

5)Never forget the Love Triangle, EVER!
It's you, your spouse, and God. God is the glue that binds. Your love for each other is only as strong as your love for God. C. S. Lewis quote: "You cannot love a fellow-creature fully till you love God." You can't. The strength of your relationship depends on your dependency on God, both as a couple, and individually. Never sacrifice your own quiet time. It's paramount.

I have so many more thoughts, but that's all I've got for now.

Learning to Love,
Jane Rochester

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hide and Seek- Poetry in Lyrics

This is not an original composition, but rather the lyrics of a fairly famous song. I just wanted to post them. The lyrics are pure poetry. She has such a unique way of describing things! (Who would think of saying "crop circles in the carpet"?!)

"Hide And Seek" by Imogen Heap

Where are we? What the ... is going on?
The dust has only just begun to fall,
Crop circles in the carpet, sinking, feeling.
Spin me 'round again and rub my eyes.
This can't be happening.
When busy streets amass with people
Would stop to hold their heads heavy.

Hide and seek.
Trains and sewing machines.
All those years they were here first.

Oily marks appear on walls
Where pleasure moments hung before.
The takeover, the sweeping insensitivity of this still life.

Hide and seek.
Trains and sewing machines. (Oh, you won't catch me around here)
Blood and tears,
They were here first.

Mmm, what you say?
Mm, that you only meant well? Well, of course you did.
Mmm, what you say?
Mm, that it's all for the best? Of course it is.
Mmm, what you say?
Mm, that it's just what we need? And you decided this.
What you say?
Mmm, what did you say?

Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth.
Mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cut-outs.
Speak no feeling, no I don't believe you.
You don't care a bit. You don't care a bit.

(hide and seek)
Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth.
Mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cut-outs.
(hide and seek)
Speak no feeling, no I don't believe you.
You don't care a bit. You don't care a bit.

(hide and seek)
You don't care a bit.
You don't care a bit.
You don't care a bit.
(hide and seek)
You don't care a bit.
You don't care a bit.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Lessons Learned in Living a Frugal Life

Living on a tight budget and "pinching pennies" has its benefits. These include not taking things for granted, character development, excitement over the "little things," and thriftiness. Here's a list of things having a tight budget has taught me:

1. NEVER turn down free food. So and so invited you over for dinner; your answer is YES. "Would you like a take out box for th..?" YES!!!! "He's throwing a party and..." "Will there be food? If yes, then I'll be there!"

2. You really don't need new clothes. And if you need "new" clothes, you should hit up the Goodwill nearest you. A good deal is worth the hunt.

3. Getting WATER every time you go out for food saves you money, and is healthy.

4. GAS IN EXPENSIVE!!!! So, don't go places unless you have a clear purpose in mind. Or, you know that someone will help you split the cost.

5. DIY will save your life. You can decorate your abode for much cheaper and give gifts without cringing as you swipe your card. Handmade over store bought for everything, if possible (and if actually cheaper).

6. GENERIC IS GOOD. I didn't really focus on buying generic brands until after I got married. Honestly, I don't really taste a difference in most of the brands, so unless it's something particular, I'll save the extra cents. Everything adds up.

Ok, that's all I've got for now. Grad school homework beckons, but feel free to share your own "frugal" tips!

Livin' frugal,

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Confessions of a Future English Teacher

I'm nervous. Notice I didn't say I was scared. I've learned to not say scared because fear creates anxiety. I'm more a mixture of excitement and jitters over the unknown when I think about the possibility of being an English teacher to a classroom of real students, real kids just like I was. I hope to teach high school. The more I read my educational textbooks for grad school, the more I realize that "good teaching," or rather "effective teaching," is a challenge. I applaud you if you are a teacher; it takes work, sweat, ingenuity, and determination. And, it takes knowing your material. I think that part makes me the most nervous. Here are my confessions of why I'm nervous (not afraid, because fear is not an emotion that cannot be resolved) of being a teacher:

1. I look like I'm 17. Will I look my students' age? Or worse, younger than my students??
2. How can I not look 17...where can I invest in a pair of comfortable heels? What kind of haircut says "professional" yet is still "me"?
3. My wardrobe is very unprofessional. Let me rephrase that: my wardrobe says "I belong to a young college student who has fun with what she wears and enjoys thrift shopping, and also hates the idea of institutional or office related work." I need to fix this...
4. I've been there, and I'm nervous to go back. I was in public high school. Kids are obnoxious, teachers are not much better. The maturity level of the teachers and students these days is depressing. Once again, I worry I will be the over-achieving, "non-experienced" prude I was in high school, but on the other side of the desk.
5. My family has been there: My mom and three of my aunts have taught in public school systems. I've seen the under-belly of the beast. It can be pretty grotesque.
6. MAJOR CONCERN: Though I love English, can write a mean essay, can analyze the snot out of a poem or novel, and can read a book for hours as pure pleasure, GRAMMAR MAKES ME NERVOUS. Grammar was never my thing. It's too much like math, in a way. I don't understand the rules, and I don't know how to explain WHY we have the rules. Help!
7. I am not relatable (apparently my word check doesn't think that's a word, ha). I grew up in a Christian home with an intact family, earned straight A's, was not a social butterfly, was clueless to most of the drama going on around me, and I wasn't very well-rounded.
8. I am an English snob. There! I said it. If you don't love books, if you don't care about proper spelling, if you don't cringe over how AWFUL your writing is, then I don't understand you. This is going to have to change if I am going to be a good teacher, quite obviously. But it will be hard.

But, on the flip side, these things could be positives.

1. Yes, I look young. But maybe that means that some of my students won't be afraid to approach me. After all, I'm only about ten years older than them and I haven't forgotten how hard being a moral and academic person was in school.
2. Maybe I should just be myself. And, having a new look, a "professional me" could be fun!
3. Shopping is fun. Time to go to the mall! (or Goodwill; they have clothes you could wear as a professional)
4. and 5. Yes, it's ugly at times. But why should I be afraid? I know who I am. I know who holds my future. I've grown from the frightened high schooler I was, and I hope that I can bring about positive change, if not in my entire school, then in individual lives I touch.
6. Well, I gotta learn sometime! Incentive to learn grammar, noted. :)
7. I forget that there are still kids like this in public schools. They need an encourager. They need someone to tell them they're not weird, and that opening up a little to others could be good :)
8. I need more Jesus. You cannot teach without a humble heart, and you certainly can't shove your love for a subject down a student's throat with THAT attitude.

Phew, challenge accepted, though it be daunting.

Preparing to face the world with Jesus, the ultimate Teacher,

Friday, February 7, 2014

Hello, Grad-school!

As some of you may already know, I started taking online graduate level classes this spring in hopes to obtain my MAT (Master's of Arts in Teaching) within the next few years. At first I was hesitant: New wife, haven't been in "school" mode in awhile, work...but then I realized if I didn't take this opportunity, I'd be ridiculous, for many reasons. My tuition is free, this is a great time before we have kids, I work part time so if I juggle things right it's not overwhelming, and I want a real job. I'm very tired of retail, and I want a job in which I can use my undergraduate degree and interests, namely teaching English. Right now, I'm halfway through my first term of grad school and almost done with two classes. Though it's been stressful at times, and A LOT of reading, I'm feeling optimistic and blessed overall. :)

More on exciting grad school life to come!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

You Know You're a Bibliophile ("book lover") if...

1. You always console yourself that you can fit "just one more book" in your collection.
2. You often rationalize a book purchase, like this: "I'm buying knowledge; books aren't splurging; they're a necessity!"
3. You freak out, in a good way, when you find that book you want at a place like Goodwill or a used book store. It's like a treasure hunt.
4. You smell used books. Sometimes they smell like Granny's perfume, an old attic, or just like pure, straight up knowledge. And other times it's obvious the book belonged to a smoker. Ick.
5. You have a list of "to-read" books, and it depresses you that the list gets longer and the time you have to read them gets shorter. WHERE'S THE TIME??? DOES NO ONE KNOW I NEED TO READ THESE?! (my feelings there)
6. You ask for Barnes and Noble gift cards for birthdays, Christmas, and any other holiday.
7. You sometimes just like to stare at your book collection.
8. You may have enough books to start your own library, you know, with a check out system and everything.
9. You bring books on vacation because you know it's the only time you may have to read them.
10. You "accidentally" open up the book you're reading to where you left off, and find yourself still sitting in the same possibly uncomfortable position you started "guiltily" reading hours later. (guilty, because you know there are dishes to clean, laundry to do, and homework, etc)

My confessions,