Why Did I Order a Starbucks?!?

“Grande, iced, soy, caramel macchiato,” I happily exclaimed as I ordered a drink this morning. I enjoyed every sip of that drink while walking my 7-month-old in his stroller.

Fast-forward 13 hours later. I am reading the daily news and I feel like I’m punched in the gut. This week I’ve read articles each day on the refugee crisis and the current death toll that’s reaching 1,000 people. Each night I think, what can I write about this? What could I say? Nothing will take away the pain these families are feeling (of those who even know by this point that their family members didn’t make it – I’m sure many do not yet know). Nothing I type will change the political environment surrounding this crisis. So, each night I went to bed and awoke the next morning. Then tonight’s article happened.

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Credit & story found here

And now I can’t sleep. And I sit here wondering, “why did I order that stupid Starbucks!?!” (Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bash against the company – obviously I buy their products.) But how can I walk around and sip on a fancy drink while others are suffering and dying? It (disgustingly) seems so easy to put the images and words from today’s news out of our minds and to go about our day of sunshine and roses. But to me, that seems so wrong.

Have we become so desensitized that we can read/watch such events and they not hit deep in our gut? Is it because it is “over there” and not “over here”? Is it because it’s “them” and not “us”? Is it because we do not know someone directly impacted? Yet I find myself asking, how is it NOT directly impacting ALL of us? To know that this is happening in OUR world. To know that people are dying every day. To know someone lost their child, or several of them. To know that a husband left his family to try and find a safe home for them, and now he’s dead. To know a mother watched helplessly and in agony as her child died. To know a family member died trying to save the rest of the family by journeying across the sea. How does this NOT affect all of us???

I can’t sleep.

I want to go hold my son and rock him for hours, knowing that he is safe in my arms for that moment. I want to wake up my husband and tell him that I love him and I never want him to leave our side, no matter the hardships we might face as a family. I want to call my mom and thank her for protecting me as a child. I want to say a prayer, thanking God for the life I have lived thus far because the difficulties now seem oh so small.

I can’t sleep. I’m sitting here safe and sound in a nice home that has all working utilities, clean running water and plenty of food in the kitchen.

I look at these numbers and I think, “ya, that’s nice.” So our country has admitted millions of refugees over the years (I hope they were able to start a happy and successful new life in America), but that doesn’t seem like enough. And I don’t, personally, think that relocating people all around the world is going to stop the problems that lead to this crisis to begin with.

And with all of this happening all across the world, it doesn’t feel right to simply take a stroll and sip on my fancy drink. It doesn’t feel like enough to help through volunteering with the refugee population that is being resettled in the city where I reside. There must be something more. I have to find something more. I refuse to walk around and be numb to what I see/hear and to pretend like the refugee crisis will not have an impact on my own life. And until I’ve figured out my next step, I’m going to just pick up a glass of tap water. After all, many people around the world are not even lucky enough to do that.

So let’s hear it. What are you doing to help? What have you been reflecting on? Have you become numb to the events around the world? Are you helping to bring relief/aid in some way? Tell us about it in the comment section below.

Ahmeli… that society doesn’t become even more desensitized.

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Purpose

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Book Review: Mom Connection: Creating Vibrant Relationships in the Midst of Motherhood

A few weeks ago I picked up Mom Connection: Creating Vibrant Relationships in the Midst of Motherhood in a local library. I quickly paged through and felt like it would be a book that I could easily read throughout nap-times, nursing and as I wait for the last night load of laundry to finish.

IMom-Connection-by-Tracey-Bianchi was not disappointed! Tracey Bianchi writes in a matter-of-fact way which is sure to leave many moms laughing from the “oh, too familiar” experiences. She provides a context within today’s society, which I must say was reassuring as a first-time mom. I enjoyed reading the chapters throughout Tracey’s book and internalizing the truth that
connections between mothers is very important in an effort to genuinely soak up all that motherhood is about. In addition, she provides a section at the end of each chapter with 5 brief activities that you can do to take the lesson a step further. I enjoyed taking this challenge, and if you feel like a certain area is calling out to you even more, she provides suggested additional resources on that topic.

I truly have enjoyed participating in the MOPS group in my city and Mom Connection further provided me with quick and reliable advice to deepen my bonds with other mothers, while laughing as I read the #mom’slife stories that Tracey shared from her experiences in motherhood. If you’re interested in connecting with more mothers, or simply are wanting some good motherhood content to read, you can buy Mom Connection: Creating Vibrant Relationships in the Midst of Motherhood here.

Ahmeli… that instead of tearing down other mothers, we join in building each other up.

Something to Ponder…

I recently read a very insightful blog post by fromscotlandwithloveblog. I’ve often stated by concern about how desensitized we are becoming as a nation from that which we are viewing on the media. In this post, you will hear the author’s viewpoint on one impact social media has had during the refugee crisis. I invite you to click on the link and read the entire post.

Ahmeli…that we maintain authentic and raw emotions in an effort to genuinely connect with the world around us.

If you like this post, please follow Ahmeli by submitting your e-mail (to the left), sharing on social media, or adding a comment below as we strengthen our tomorrows. Thank you!

What is Teaching? (Part 2/3)

THE TROUBLES

*I understand that my comments are not true of all schools. I can only speak of my experiences in some urban school districts in the U.S.. In addition, as stated in another post, I am going to be honest and state what is really happening without the fluff that disintegrates our ability to determine the root of the problem and tackle the real issues in an effort to discover solutions.*

 

There are many articles and posts on the Internet that explain the challenges in the current educational system here in America. Writing about all of them here would be too much, so instead, I’ll write about the ones I find the most troubling.

– Teachers only work for 9 months a year. This is one of the best jokes told! Dedicated teachers work throughout the day, and against our Will, throughout most of our sleep as well. You are constantly reflecting on how a lesson went, how you could improve it, what a child told you that day, how you could best meet that child’s emotional needs, what activity you could share with parents, how you can get parent to attend the event…the list goes on and on. You teach during the 8 hours and then you plan, grade classwork, locate materials, create differentiation, design leveled homework, complete building paperwork, complete paperwork from other sources, create a new bulletin board, restructure a center to fit a new students’ needs, make photocopies and that list also goes on and on. These additional hours throughout the mornings, evenings, lunchbreaks, bathroom breaks (ha! what are those!?!), weekends, holidays and summer months are not completely counted for in our “hours worked” (and let’s be real, not in our paychecks either!). These are the hours that weaken the teacher who’s been at it for years. These are the hours that split a marriage. These are the hours that make a mother feel like she’s failing at giving her own children the time they deserve. These are the hours that make friendships become distant. These are the hours that are ignored in society, while negatively impacting the lives of teachers around our country.

 

– The curriculum is modernly updated and laid out for teachers to then plan from. The new resources always seem promising, but then reality sets in. Technology continues to advance, and district budgets rarely do, thus leaving classrooms with equipment that is not updated and thus not properly functioning. There is also the quickly shattered hope of

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Setting up before the start of the school year.

receiving proper training for the new resources, as the school year begins and you are expected to just jump right in and begin to teach. Then you have the district that is constantly on the look for new curriculums. It seems like every year a new textbook is purchased and adopted in as the new Bible. Two years later, you are likely to see this pattern repeat. How are the students and teachers expected to really get into the meat of the curriculum in such a short amount of time? Switching resources every few years is hurting the educational development of the students, and it is not permitting your staff with the time to dive into the manuals and truly take ownership over the content. Growth takes time, yet we seem more interested in boasting at the next board meeting about our newest purchase and all of the studies around it (by the way, you know who paid for those studies, right!?!) than we care about permitting the length of time needed for honest data to reflect the effectiveness (or lack thereof) with the newest program. On top of that, with all of the lesson plan requirements with the latest programs, how is a teacher to model creativity when our ability to think outside the box appears to be shrinking with each new purchase and the mandated requirements that keep rolling in with them?

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