from the hole in the ceiling.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted.  I’ve been very busy.  I’m not even quite sure what I’ve been busy doing, but all I know is, I could’ve sworn yesterday was October.

Several things have been on my mind.

1.  I love teaching.  Tuesdays usually aren’t my “fun” teaching days because usually I only have 4 students, but recently I’ve gained a few more.  Yesterday was a full Tuesday and all I can say is I loved it.  Students of mine have come and gone, and yes I’ve made one of them cry, but God has blessed me with more students who have come and stayed.  I have been able to see passionate students who I can tell love playing and learning, clumsy students who come in with their instruments completely out of tune every week (I question whether they go home and bang their instrument against the wall to make it out of tune, just so they can bring it back the next week and watch me tune it again), and students who seem to just take private lessons so they can have fun.  But with each of those students I’ve been blessed in ways I can’t yet articulate.

2.  Student teaching next semester is going to be crazy.  I’m planning on student teaching next semester and I met with the chair of the Education department yesterday to have my “WheTep” (student teacher education program) interview.  Her news wasn’t encouraging because she was concerned about my consistent C-‘s in Aural Skills.  But in a way she did encourage me.  She wants me to be a teacher.  I want to be a teacher.  I’ve been working my butt off for the past 4 years; failing, and succeeding, and my opportunity to become a teacher is almost here.  That is thrilling.

3.  I am very busy.

4. Time moves too fast, and I’d prefer if it would slow down a bit.  My recital, which you should come to, is on November 18th.  And I’m freaking out about it.  I’m starting to actually practice, which trust me is a huge feat, and I’m starting to get nervous.  The 18th is coming up quick.  November is also going to be a crazy month.  I have to take my content area exam, my recital, I have many observations I need to get done before the semester is over… there are more things I just can’t think of them right now.  I feel like every time someone tells me about an event, it’s in November.  But I pray that time would start to slow down a bit so I can enjoy where I’m at.  I’m in a good place and I’m so thankful that God has faithfully brought me here.

I’ll stop with the list and get to the main ideas of my post now 🙂

I live with a family in Wheaton who go to my church.  I met them through their daughter who went to the youth group I helped out with the past two years.  I live in their attic, which is literally a hole in the ceiling that you crawl up into.  It’s pretty fun.  Although it’s not ideal, there are some perks to the situation.

First of all, I get to live with a family.  I get to spend time with their kids and I also get to interact with another generation of people (their parents).  There is life in my relationship with them, full of laughter and encouragement and I have been blessed in so many ways by that.  I’ve also had the opportunity to spend time with their kids and that has been encouraging as well.  To watch the way their parents interact with each other and with their kids shows me that families can be healthy, fun, encouraging, and loving, despite the deep sin engrained in our nature.

Another cool thing about living with a family is I can hear their conversations.  Honestly, I hadn’t heard many conversations but I did hear this one between the youngest son, Will, and his mom.  This was at probably 8 or 9 in the morning.
“You need to go out to the car!” The mom
“Aw, can I bring some candy?” Will
“No, you’ve had enough candy!”
“I’ve only had four pieces”
I couldn’t help but laugh!  I don’t listen to their conversations very often, trust me.  And Kelly, if you read this, I’m just letting you know that I’m blessed by you, even if I can hear some of your conversations.

As I was attempting to fall asleep last night, while looking at Facebook on my phone, I heard the parents having a conversation about boundaries.  I don’t have any idea what the context was or why it was even brought up.  But I can say that I was challenged by the points that were presented.  I was very encouraged by the interactions between the mom and dad, particularly because I’m not sure they agreed fully with each other.  But the respect and concern to understand that I could hear from both sides made me realize that yelling and screaming doesn’t actually have to happen when you disagree. Arguments never happened like this in my family, there was always yelling, screaming, throwing things, etc.  So that was a great encouragement.

Anyways.  I thought it was interesting because the idea of boundaries is so apparent in the church today.  I think boundaries are important, but I think we need to be careful what we use boundaries for.  In order to be healthy and have healthy relationships I think boundaries are necessary.  There are limits to emotional, physical, and spiritual connections that should be protected and adhered to.  In this sense, boundaries are used to keep from being hurt and giving too much of ourselves; in protection of ourselves but also to protect the other person from feeling burdened or uncomfortable.  But in some cases I think we use boundaries to stay comfortable.  This is especially true in the church.

We put on an act for people in protection of being who we actually are.  I saw the other day on Twitter attached to #LiesfromtheDevil “If they really knew me, they wouldnt treat me the same”. I think I totally butchered that, but you get the idea.  If we showed who we really are deep down, we would be rejected.  I think in the church we use this “boundary” to protect ourselves from the potential hurt we would feel if we were actually ourselves.

Another boundary I think we use to stay comfortable is protecting ourselves from the hurting.  When someone is hurting and it’s apparent, we are filled with fear.  Especially if we don’t know that person very well.  Our response is how should I react, what do I do, or this is just awkward.  In that time as Christians we are called to love, listen, and understand, instead we can easily put up a wall and run.  Far away.

I think this response only fuels the idea that we need to put on an act for others.  Because we don’t know how to break down the boundaries of protection from our own hearts to others hurting hearts, we lose trust in others’ abilities to care.  That loss of trust leads us to hide ourselves more, and it becomes a constant spiral downward to not being real with each other.

As a church, we need to evaluate when boundaries are good and when they are truly detrimental to the community of the Church.  Ultimately, I think the necessity we feel we need to protect ourselves from each other is rooted in a lack of trust in God and his goodness, faithfulness, and forgiveness.  Yes, we should protect ourselves, and sometimes more of something is too much for us to handle, but God is still good through the pain and the struggle we feel.  If we are rooted in him and his love for us, everything else will fall into place.  As the Church, we need to create places where we can be real with each other and break down the boundaries that protect us and trust that God is good.  Meaning, we should trust that God is greater than the boundaries we create for ourselves, and although there may be pain in the realization of truth, God’s gracious hand can heal any wound we may cause each other.  There is forgiveness in him.


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