Monday miscellany

1) I love Montessori. But I think it could benefit from some fusion with some Waldorf stuff — more imaginative play, more oral literature and music, in particular. I am not interested in anthroposophy at all; but I still think there’s good stuff in some aspects of Waldorf. Also, as I continue contemplating my prospective job as a Montessori early childhood assistant next year, and the possibility of it leading to teacher certification and Amy continuing past kindergarten, I get stuck on time — I don’t think kids get enough unstructured time, and I’m not sure I’m going to be okay with Amy being in any school, even a Montessori one, full time. Next year will be pretty pivotal, it seems.

2) Yesterday’s sermon was about having the attitude of Christ, in that he didn’t hold tightly to his status as God, but humbled himself to take on flesh and serve. This is really all well and good — it really is. But… in order to lay down your rights, you have to own them as rights first. If you think you have no rights, you don’t actually have any to lay down.

Jesus humbled himself and served people, but he did so from a position of strength and security and fullness, not because he thought he didn’t deserve better or was worthless or didn’t love himself or anything like that. My late therapist Joe Bauserman frequently said that “love your neighbor as yourself” posits self-love as a HIGH standard, not a low one. Jesus models excellent self-care as well as service — when John the Baptist was killed, for example, he wanted to go pray by himself. Finding a crowd, he took care of them first — and then stayed behind for his prayer time. Sacrifice must be balanced by self-care.

It seems unfair to tell people to sacrifice their needs, lay down their rights, without first making sure they have a healthy self-love. Yeah, it seems in our culture people are very selfish — but that’s NOT healthy self-love. The church gets too reactionary with this sort of thing. The guest speaker, for example, was telling a story of a person who, frustrated with a Bible study or biblical counseling (I don’t remember which), threw down the Bible and said “I’m done.” The preacher told him to go serve himself for six months and report back, saying he’d be miserable and so would everyone around him. But there’s more than one way to serve oneself. More of us should serve ourselves — should take time to rest, reflect, know ourselves, feed our dreams, bask in relationships, understand our limits, practice grace and compassion toward ourselves, etc.

I’ve said before and will keep saying — no one wants to be in relationship with a serve-bot. People want to be in relationship with people — and you can’t be a person if you take the doormat approach to service, without a good foundation of healthy self-love and good self-care.

3) Amy had a play date today. At dinner, she said she had such a great time. At the time, though, I felt I noticed more of the disagreements, shouts, conflicts, and sadnesses.

When you’re looking forward to something soooooo much — when you’re so excited — when your ideals come up against reality, like the reality that your friend might not automatically fall in with your already visualized plans — it’s not surprising that you might get upset a few times along the way.

I’m still learning how best to help with such things. We should probably have left earlier — but I hated to interrupt when the playing was going smoothly, and hated to stop in the midst of a conflict without giving them a chance to work through it. I took a time or two to take Amy aside and listen warmly to her while she cried out her overloaded feelings.

Good things — fun times, times of special connection and warmth, times of safety — tend to open the door to the backlog of feelings. I wish I could remember what blog post I was reading that mentioned this very thing — that times when we receive special kindness, we often feel our own backlog of feelings (especially sadness, it seems) welling up.

4) I want to be more gracious all around.

5) The Brothers Karamazov is a thousand times better than War and Peace.

6) I realllllllly miss being in a band or a good choir or both.

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One thought on “Monday miscellany

  1. Also? Jesus didn’t serve everyone equally (in life) — he had his small group that he invested most of his energy in, and otherwise he served those he encountered along the way. In these days of sooooo much small world, such access, such virtual connection, it seems even more important to set or recognize boundaries on our serving sphere. The good Samaritan, too, didn’t go around looking for people to help. He was on a business trip — pursuing his own goal — and “merely” stopped to help someone he encountered along the way. And then only helped as far as he could at the time — he then delegated the rest to the innkeeper and went on with his trip.

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