Well, this week passed with… some difficulty (because there will always be some level of difficulty in life), but God is our helper and he is getting us through. Actually, what I was going to write at first was “this week passed without a hitch”, but then I realized that it’s quite silly to say that because, as I wrote in parentheses, there will always be some level of difficulty in life. But, there was no major external, physical difficulty for me in my life this week – except for maybe getting out of bed while the owls are still hooting each day and heading to work. I suppose the only other difficulty is that I have honestly been struggling to really connect with God this week. But, I just keep praying little, little prayers of feeble faith here and there (because all it takes is a mustard seed of faith), and I know God hears those, and I have noticed strength and motivation here and there. Last night and this morning, especially, when …
Mom reminded me last week that it’s your birthday today, Sunday, January 17th. Happy Birthday! It was really good to see you and Grampa on Facetime last night during your birthday celebration. It was great to see everyone. I wish I could have jumped through the screen and teleported to Aunt Michelle’s living room to be there with you all. (Or at least spend more time online with you.) It’s always good spending time with everyone. I am especially longing for it lately. I’m tired of being socially distanced. Having the tendency to be introverted, I normally wouldn’t mind the social distance. But, this is too much. This introvert needs energy from others at times, and when I need it and it’s not freely available, it makes me realize that this pandemic has been having its way for too long. During the Fall semester in my classroom, there was a day when I went around to each of my in-person students to check on their work. In my closer-than-usual-in-a-pandemic interactions with them, and the energy …
So, I want to make a habit of writing in order to catch you up on what’s going on in the Oyerinde world. Or, if that’s too boring, to let you know what’s going on in my mind – which could be more exciting than the reality of my life.
I was told that you like to read. Since I like to write, and you like to read, then I thought we’re a perfect match – except that I like to read, too, and would love to read something from you, too, every once in a while. (I did enjoy reading your letters you used to write and send.)
When I was 14, I had an urge overcome me. It danced inside me and needed to come out. It was music, and it wanted to come out through the synchronized movement of my arms, through fretting and strumming, on a guitar.
No one in my family played guitar, no one that I know of anyway – not in my immediate family, nor in my extended family. I think it was the influence of Al and Amy Parker, and Rick Maxson – members of our church. They were consistent features at kids camp – Camp Olivet – every summer.
God is real. As real as the trees in the forest, as your favorite warm-fuzzy, as the coffee you drink in the morning, as your job, as whatever earthly thing is most real to you.
He really is.
And he is as real as you and me.
And he has the same emotions as you and me – albeit in perfect and holy control.
He does. He does have the same emotions.
Thirty-six minutes. That’s how long it took me to run 5K today. I am getting back into the swing of it. I had been running consistently before the school year started last August, but, with my focus on mastering my career, running had just not been happening. Now, though, since I don’t have to rush home to meet our kids off the bus, and hustle with the evening routine, or take them to extra-curricular activities – and since the professor-husband is home, too, all the time now – I DO have a bit more time. So, I have been using some of the time to get back into running.
During my run today, I was thinking about the below tweet from Trillia Newbell:
She had moved here for this. Once the night finally arrived and she was nestled into her space – her door-less space in the middle of the upstairs part of the house, which served as the thruway to the stairs and closet – she knew what she had to do. On her very first night at Olive Street, she stole away into the “prayer closet” and knelt down at the couch-thing-y.
I’ve been taking walks in the hood every day during this quarantine – by myself at times, and with my kids every time. Sometimes I get two walks in a day; a longer walk or run by myself (for the sake of my sanity), and a shorter walk with the kids (or a longer one if I didn’t have one by myself). Usually this walking happens after everyone – everyone of the kids, anyway – is done with their digital learning day work. It’s a bit of a recess and a time for exercise. Sometimes the kids play in the driveway afterward. I think this is the most exercise the middle-schoolers have gotten in a long time. Sadly, in our American public society, we don’t believe in exercise and playtime enough to put it into the curriculum of middle, high school, and college… or even to include it in our adult work schedules. We would work so much more efficiently, I am certain of that, if we had time to play and exercise every day. …
The above video alludes to the scene in Titanic when the ship is sinking, people are panicking and jumping ship, and in the midst of it all, a trio of musicians plays on. While this video is supposed to be funny (and it is funny), I am finding it kind of prophetic for my own role (and maybe your role, too?) in the midst of this pandemic. This morning I read from the Bible in Matthew 4:23 again (I moved into Matthew 5, too, which is Jesus’ sermon on the mount). But, my soul clung to, specifically in 4:23, where it says “proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom.” The word “gospel” as we may or may not know, means “good news”, and “the kingdom” is the kingdom of God, or the heavenly kingdom. And my mind wandered to the news that I’ve been reading over the past couple of days. I’ve been reading news by the New York Times of the kingdoms from all over the world. Some of the news has been good or …
My thoughts from yesterday are not yet complete, but I’ll move on from them and work out some other thoughts that have been going through my mind. This is just to show to my students (and to myself) that it’s okay to have unfinished writing, or half-ideas laying around that I can go back to later and edit and finish. I have to admit that I, personally, am enjoying these digital learning days. No, I am not enjoying the fact that we have to do this because there is an ominous threat of sickness and death looming in the atmosphere, and that many people have died. No, I am not enjoying the fact that many people are isolated from the comfort of loved ones. Honestly, and I am just being real, I am mostly enjoying it because it is a time that I can get away from the pressures of an often unsympathetic, impatient, and unloving system. Another reason I am enjoying it is because it is allowing me time to slow down, and as …