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Friday, June 12, 2009

Books By My Bedside Table

It’s Fun Friday once again at Blogging for Fun.Topic: Fave Five Books. This is difficult because I cannot limit my favorites to five, so I settled for seven (hehe). I call these books: books by my bedside table. Technically, these are not always by my bedside but figuratively, they are good companions in life’s journey. I have a habit of re-reading books that I have already read and I rendezvous with the author and try to gain strength from their experiences and wise words.

My all time favorite (so far) is Max Lucados’s Facing Your Giants: This book was a gift from my husband last Christmas. We were faced with a ferocious giant in the form of cancer. I HAD cancer. It was a difficult time for us, and this book saw me through.

“Focus on your giant - you stumble.”

“Focus on God – your giant stumbles.”

This book encouraged me to take my focus out of the enemy and live the best way I can, and now, I AM cancer-free!

In no particular order, here are the books that I’m proud to call companions:

The Right to Write by Julia Cameron : Julia made a writer in me. I am NOT an expert but I have gained passion in writing.

“We should write because writing brings clarity and passion to the act of living.”-Julia Cameron

Tuesdays with Morie by Mitch Albom : An inspiring book for teachers and those who we learn from.

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren : A blueprint to living a life with purpose.

Lo-carb Meals on the Go : this book doesn’t just offer meals, it offers a lifestyle, and they mean it when they used that words “on the go!” It’s something I can make in a snap. My favorites are the veggie wraps and salmon recipes.

Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby : is small enough to carry around in my bag. It’s a daily devotional that gets me back on track. Pulls me back whenever I’m falling to pieces. The entries are short enough for people (like me) who are on the go.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz : Introduced by my friend, Esa, in 2002 and has proven to be a sturdy companion for all time.

In a nutshell, here are the four agreements . . .

Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

In between these serious-sounding titles, I love to read humorous books and have plenty of magazines varying from scrapbooking, interior design, gardening, fashion, and whathaveyou. . .

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Goodbye Kindergarten, Hello First Grade!

June 4, 2009 marked the last day of school for us teachers. Another school year gone.
For the students, theirs was Wednesday (June 3) My little 5-year-olds (turned six during, and some would, after the school year) said their last chanting of “Goodbye teacher, Goodbye classmates” but when they came to the part of “See you tomorrow” (or we say see you on Monday, if the goodbye chant is recited on a Friday) they all stopped and stared at me. They are in a habit of doing that when they have a question -an unspoken one this time. I casually instructed them to say “See you around” most of them would be seeing each other in the neighborhood, but I know I won’t, I don’t live in their neighborhood.
Come next school year they would all be moving on to First Grade. It’s the same story every school year. One would think we should, as teachers, be use to it by now, well, as far as teaching is concerned, I have mastered the routine and the transition stories and procedures, but the pain of letting go, is as fresh as it has been the previous years. Every time a school year ends, a teacher dies a slow death. I know it’s coming so I try to brace myself; I prepare despite… and believe that with death is rebirth of spirit. I know a part of me will now go with them for always.
It is inevitable that one should feel sad when parting, after spending eight hours a day for over half a year with the same faces. At the end of a school year, they’re no longer just names with faces. By now, I already know their story; I know what makes them excited, sad, fearful . . . happy! For not so long ago, my world revolved around them, they were mine as much as I am theirs.
But the pain is short-lived. Come next school year, when school opens, it would be a joy to see them in their over-sized “new” school uniform, with their “new” teeth coming out (a lot of them lost a lot of their milk teeth in Kinder, it’s this grade level! We even have a tooth chart!) Can hardly wait to see their faces that would be beaming with pride, hear their little feet marching with confidence and their eyes looking out with enthusiasm for First Grade. I know they would be ready; I endeavored to make them ready and excited! It would be a new and fresh start for them as well as for me . . . yes, rebirth!
So, for the last goodbye chant last Wednesday, I made my students say Goodbye kindergarten, Hello first grade! And it was uttered with excitement and anticipation.

Congratulations, 2009 graduates!

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