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yoga, to me

The following is my first homework assignment for Yoga Teacher Training (YTT). The prompt: What is Yoga and Why I do I practice Yoga? Yoga is a prayer. It is a moment to pause in humility, honoring the fact that I am created, and that in this creation I can do beautiful poses–or perhaps fall out of beautiful poses. In countless classes, I have carried the weight of those near and dear to my heart, and through yoga, I have sent them my energy. On my mat, I have interceded for them. Yoga is a collective breath. It is syncopating with the Read More

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Daggers, Drums, and Differentiation: Making Shakespeare Accessible to Emerging Bilinguals

When I went to Mexico for my Master’s program in Linguistic and Culturally Diverse Education, we planned and taught English as a Second Language through TPR (Total Physical Response). Every day in the classroom, we had the students singing, dancing, acting, and playing games in order to learn and apply new English vernacular and language structures. All I kept thinking while there, as well as the follow-up reflecting on my time there, was “how does this transfer to a high school classroom?” That question was answered when I participated in “Teaching Shakespeare through Performance” program at the Globe Theatre in Read More

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let us meet in the borderlands

(This post is a contribution to the April Synchroblog “Bridging The Divide.” This month bloggers are encouraged to offer ideas on ways to heal divisions in the church.) Existence mirrors God the best it can, though how arrogant for any image in that mirror, for any human being, to think they know His will. (St. Thomas Aquinas) When I was young and impressionable, I was told my relationship with God wasn’t good enough. I believed it; there were many Scriptures and credible sources telling me that I wasn’t part of the one true church, therefore what I had with God Read More

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transitions. becoming.

There are balances and harmonies always shifting, always necessary to maintain…It is a matter of transitions, you see; the changing, the becoming must be cared for closely (Leslie Silko, Ceremony). Several people important in my life are approaching a pending change of some sort in their lives. From graduation to relocation to job searches to new relationships, they all are experiencing what some might call growing pains–even if they don’t know it. But their bodies know it, their souls know it, their cycles and rhythms know it. Because deep in their beings, in our beings, is the innate sensitivity to transition–the incessant perception of the Read More

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go ahead, ask.

We cover our deep ignorance with words, but we are ashamed to wonder, we are afraid to whisper “mystery” (Tozer). Faith has been reduced to a comfortable system of beliefs about God instead of an uncomfortable encounter with God (Yaconelli). As a classroom teacher, I know the power of questions. As a Christian, I have been subtly programmed to question the consequences of questions. I recognize as a teacher questioning shifts the power paradigm in my classroom…and I welcome that. I worry that in other arenas, such as faith, this shift in the power paradigm is not so accepted. But Read More

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The Nation of Educalculation

I grew up playing school. My friends and I would sit in a room, draw on a chalkboard, take turns playing the teacher and students, and–get this–make, complete, and grade worksheets. (I feel like I should be admitting that at some sort of teacher anonymous meeting.) Fast forward about two decades–I quit college to attend cosmetology school. I worked in several salons for several years, loving the art and science of beauty. But soon I realized there was an emptiness…an emptiness which echoed of my childhood playing-school days. So I transitioned from behind the salon chair to the front desk Read More

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The House That Built Me

Today is November 20th, 2013. Today is the day my childhood home sold. Tonight, tomorrow, this week, another family will be moving throughout the same halls in which I laughed, cried, stomped, fought, spun, broke through the plaster with my butt (that’s another post), lived and loved. Another family will be cooking in the kitchen. In the kitchen where I silently watched my Dad ritually end his morning routine: shower, shave, a bowl of Totals at the table by himself, hat/coat, leave–all while reservedly listening to morning talk news on his portable radio. Will they smell the Old Spice lingering in Read More

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In Honor of Mom–September 2013

I am not ready to share this eulogy. We talked with mom just one weekend ago about having a living funeral, where all those who loved her could gather to brag about her to her face…rather than to an urn or casket. She agreed. And yet here we are, in the overwhelming absence she left behind, saying these things. When I think of my mom, I think of place. I think of her home in West Virginia. My mom grew up very poor and very rural. She walked long distances to get water, got on in her knees to scrub Read More

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In Honor of Dad–December 2011

Even as I prepare to say this, I realize the weakness of words when it comes to describing the heroic giant that John O’Dea was. My dad lived a large life. His laugh shook his whole body, lifting the spirits of anyone around. His heart was big enough to care for the whole world. He was the man I looked up to all my life. After we went to the park, we would go to Baskin Robbins, 31 flavors. I would stand on my tip toes, look through the glass, amazed at all the sugary choices; then I would look Read More