JennieGScott.com - Page 9 of 18 - Enjoying the Journey
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06.07.2016

I'm so afraid that the church - the broad, nationwide collection of believers who amass to worship and grow - has contributed to a society where wrong is ignored and people are marginalized and hate is fanned into flame. Not in sermons preached from the pulpit, necessarily, and not in words from hate-mongering pastors, but in the quietly obvious lack of love and acceptance and true ministering to souls whose default is sin. We are all messed up people, sinners in need of redemption, and we all have an equally deep need for the mercy of the Savior who passionately loves us and completely forgives us. But in looking at the church, it's often hard to see that we messed up people are equal and that the church loves us all as equally as the One we worship does. The church, I'm afraid, doesn't reflect Christ. The church, I'm afraid, reflects the racism and classicism and sexism of its society.I have spent years worshiping in churches where every member looked just like me. White, middle class, steady job and active 401k. I have worshiped in churches where people whisper if a black man walks in and are offended more by a...

05.07.2016

Every morning, my daughter wakes up and immediately asks, "What are we going to do today?" (She's the curious one in the family, the one who must be in the know. My son never asks - we can be driving down the interstate, halfway to our destination, before he wonders where we're going and what we're doing. Their personalities could not be more different.)Listen, I don't fault her for wanting to know. When you're the shortest one in the house, at the mercy of the licensed drivers and decision makers, it's only natural to be curious about what's coming next. But this summer, the question "what are we going to do today" has come to mean something entirely different.And I despise it.It means, "Mom, what fun, exciting, thrill-seeking, never-done-before activity have you spent weeks planning (and a small fortune on) for us to do?" Here's the thing. I don't subscribe to the theory that my job as a mother is to make my children's every waking moment magical. Yeah, I want them to have fun and enjoy the relaxation that summer brings, BUT. I refuse to spend every moment of my life in a carefully choreographed dance of "entertain the children"...

27.06.2016

The other night, I had myself a little hissy fit.The house was empty except for me, so I had a good cry - the kind where it's hard to breathe and you make strange, unintelligible noises.Why?Motherhood.All I could see in those moments were my failures and shortcomings, the problems I face and the circumstances that overwhelm.My mothering life is likely different from yours. I am divorced and remarried, so custody arrangements and visitation schedules, especially during the summer, are inescapable truths. Our schedule is a finely tuned instrument requiring coordination and calendars, planning and production. And though it looks nice and neat on the calendar, it is its own special hell for me.It means that I, a mommy, am sometimes without my children. Those blue cells on the calendar represent nights, and during the summer, weeks, without those who grew within me. I cannot explain the agony.My tears were set off by a sweet night with my sisters. We - and their children - met for ice cream. But my own children weren't there, and it hurt. I just wanted to be "normal," yelling at my kids not to get too close to the road and cleaning up their ice...

26.05.2016

After nine years in a classroom, I'm leaving education. I will walk out of my empty room on Tuesday with books packed away and memories stored in my heart, leaving behind hundreds of adolescents who walked through the door looking for what they didn't know they needed.Honestly, I don't know if I gave them anything.I tried really hard, that's for sure. I wrote curriculum and read professional books and took classes to get better.I read adolescent novels and included the classics and tried to teach them some grammar.But as far as what they got? Who really knows. That's the agonizing peculiarity of education. You never really know how you did, even with test scores and data being thrown all around. You never really know if you made an impact that will be remembered beyond the last day of school. You never really know.I sure don't.If you're looking for a diatribe against the American education system, you won't find it here. I have a lot of thoughts on our system and a lot I think needs to be changed, but I'll keep those thoughts inside until the time is right to voice them.Here's what I do know: I can't stay. Not because...

28.04.2016

I just don't get it. It's the year 2016, people. Twenty. Sixteen.And yet here we are, with being female still being a hardship. A liability. A handicap, if you will.Today, the home page of a major news organization carried the headline, "Cheerleading Team Nixes Tryout Tips After Outcry."Here's  what this university - this institution of higher learning - values in its representatives: a "beachy glow." Hair with "volume." And don't leave out the all-important "false lashes." In other words, everything opposite of who we women really are when we wake up in the morning. Don't lose sight that the girl in the picture is also blonde and skinny. Two more traits that make a girl have the valued "look."Makes me want to puke.This week, I had a man suggest that my skirt was too short. It hit my knees. My knees. A man with whom I've had maybe two conversations in my life. A man who was bothered by the fact that my scandalous and I suppose seductive kneecaps were showing. Excuse me? First, who do you think you are? The clothes police? You have no legitimate reason to discuss anything with me, most especially the length of my skirt....

26.04.2016

I saw your hands tremble as you reached for the test. Your face displayed confidence, but your hands showed your heart. You're nervous, and I get it. You've worked hard and studied often, and you just want this test to show it. To you, right now, this score is everything. The score represents you, on a 10 point scale. It is your worth, from A to F. It is what matters, written in red.school.familyeducation.comBut sweet child, it's really not. It's really not everything. It's far from your worth, and even coming from your teacher, it's not what matters. It's just a test.What matters is what I've seen in you and from you during these weeks. The attention you've given, the details you've pored over, and the effort you've given. What really matters is the character you've shown as you've readied for the test and the perseverance you've had as you pursued what I taught.This test? It's just a snapshot. It's just a one-time indication of how you did one time you answered some questions. That's it. That's all. Nothing more.When you get your score back, I pray it's what you wanted. But if not? It's OK, because you - the value of...

17.03.2016

I want it all to be easier.I want to wake up in the morning, choose my path, and do what I love.I want the decisions to be obvious, the money to be readily available, the children to be always obedient.I want the fighting to stop, the politicians to be good, the heart not to hurt.I want to float through life, not fight through it.I want Eden. I want Heaven. I want them here.But.Here is fallen. Here is hard. Here hurts.Here, people betray those they pledge to love. Here, bodies break and brains deteriorate. Here, children die and hearts break.Here, this life thing is hard.But, mercifully, here is not hopeless. Here, in the hardship, is Jesus. Here, in the hurt, the Holy Spirit intercedes. Here, in the hostility, is God.This week, especially, the hard and hurt have been loud. This week, all around, I see pain and hear, "Why?" Here, this week, I want what isn't, and I want what is to change. Yet in the hard and in the hurt, light is shining. Faith is growing. Love is abundant. And for today, for right now, that's enough....

09.02.2016

At 36,000 feet, you can clearly see what's not visible from the ground. Miles above the surface of the planet, everything looks different, and with no effort on your part, perspective shifts and your eyes see what was once hidden.Difficulties are kind of like being 36,000 feet in the air.You need to understand that I hate to fly. Hate. It. I have to be medicated and nearly crush my husband's hand during takeoff and make people around me nervous that I'm going to lose my mind. I once nearly hyperventilated on a flight from Miami, and on my last flight from Chicago, my shirt was stained with sweat rings. There is no place I hate worse than the cabin of an airplane. My most fervent prayers have been as my flights taxi towards takeoff. I pray that the rivets will hold, the crew ate a nutritious breakfast, the fuel is untainted, the tires were manufactured properly, fellow passengers have only the best intentions...

08.02.2016

Sometimes we adults need permission just like children, so here's my permission slip for your grown-up heart.It's ok to feel what you're feeling right now.I've been struggling lately with a lot of big feelings, and rather than lean into them and learn what they're trying to teach me, I've been running from them. Ignoring them. Denying that they're there.But in the darkness and silence, those few minutes alone in an empty car, they cry out to me. They call my name and catch my breath and demand to be noticed. So I'm trying. It's so much easier for me, the one who flees rather than fights, to shut them out and pretend them away. But all that has left me with is unresolved sadness, unreconciled hurt, and unmet longings.So here I am, trying to listen to what my heart needs me to hear. And I'm giving you permission to do the same. I'm also giving you permission to tell God what you feel. Yes, He knows, but I'm learning that He wants us to trust Him enough to take it to Him. All of it. Those big feelings, where you feel alone and afraid and like He loves everyone but...

14.10.2015

Hey, October teacher.I saw you stumbling into the lounge this morning, well before you were paid to be there, fumbling for quarters to get a caffeine fix.housetalkn.comI saw the papers spilling out of your bag, the ones you graded too late last night because you promised you would.I saw that silly Homecoming week get-up you wore to promote school spirit, and I also saw you tutoring that student from 4th period because she just can't understand how to multiply polynomials yet.I saw you - see you - and wanted you to know.I also want you to know I understand. October is a hard month in this line of work. The new of August has worn off, the exultation of Christmas break is far away, and you're smack dab in the middle of it all. You're in the meat of the material, the midst of the semester. You're in the meetings and the grading and the planning - and you're wondering if any of it makes a difference.Rest assured. It does.I know in the midst of it all you start losing sight of the forest for the trees, and you focus so greatly on the details that you miss the big...