Archive | August, 2020

Corona Stress Disorder

7 Aug

I am sure there is a scientific name for this, but this is the best I can produce. CSD. CSD impacts 99.999999999% of the people in the United States of America and a slightly smaller percentage across the globe. (Okay, I have no REAL statistics to back this up. Just play along.)

Corona Stress Disorder is the stress and anxiety we feel because things are not normal (at least as we know normal). The environment around us has completely changed and there is really no definite end in sight. In the beginning of this pandemic, I believed that we would be pretty much back to normal in a few months. Or, at least we would see some light at the end of the tunnel. We are not. We do not. It is quite hopeless.

In turn, even the coolest headed among us gets anxious about the smallest things being out of place. Our response to the situations of life is much more emotional, terse, and aggressive. We are very unsettled about the world around us and it filters down into everything: Misplaced socks…. a scratch on a car door … losing a five-dollar bill… Whatever events happen in life, big or small, seem mountainous. HUGE. And our responses are getting bigger and bigger. And we make things worse. And the hopeless cycle of it all drags us down a little deeper.

After we realize we cannot control the situation of our world right now, I believe there are two ways we can respond that will help:

  1. REALIZE WE ARE IN THIS STATE OF MIND and take a deep breath before we respond to ANYTHING. ANYTHING. Big or small. Realize that everything seems worse right now. But, the event you face might be no different that something you might’ve faced last year. TAKE A DEEP BREATH.
  2. GIVE GRACE TO OTHERS because they are in the same boat. Give grace in person. Give grace on social media. Give grace over the phone or in a text. Just give a little grace. Grace is favor that we do not deserve. If you are a believer in Christ, God extended His grace to you even though you did not deserve it. Go and do like wise. Cut others a little slack. Show them a little grace.

We cannot control the world around us. But God CAN and DOES. And we can control how we choose to respond to every situation around us.

Be smart.

Building Men and Women

7 Aug

I just realized it has been six months since I last posted to this blog. I am done listening to those who tell me “bloggers are just egomaniacs.” I have no idea what their reasons might be for believing that, but there is something burning inside of me and the only way I know how to get rid of it is to write this.

I guess a good portion of my job is to write. I write sermons, letters, lessons, articles, etc… (You’d think I would be better at it, huh??) This blog is perhaps the only place where I can heavily express my opinions. I hope and pray they are laced with God’s word and His thoughtlines. But the thoughts I write are mine, perfect or imperfect .

This morning I was thinking about something and I hope every teacher I know will read this and know that it is true. There are no doubts that my mom and dad built me into the man that I am They laid a solid foundation and lived an example. I wish every parent would make that a priority. My mom and dad were not perfect, but the more I think about them I am beginning to know they were closer to perfect than I ever realized. They laid the foundation and the structure. And there were many others who helped complete the details. I cannot stop thinking about two of those today.

Miriam O’Dell was a history teacher at the school I attended. Mrs. O’Dell was past retirement age but she definitely was one of the best (so she needed to be right where she was). She poured into her students as they would allow. She saw something in me that no one else saw. Many times she told me “you need to jump into computers.” In the early 1980s, very few of my peers were exposed to computers and neither was I. But this lady studied history, studied current events, and studied her pupils. She was one of those teachers who told me that I could do anything I set my mind to do. She is long-gone, but some days I still hear her voice.

Ruth Turner was an English teacher. In the beginning, I could not stand her!!! She was HARD!!! She expected so much!!! She called me out on my bull!!! Over the years, she pushed even harder but I grew to appreciate her. When I got to college, I really appreciated her. Although I have never fancied myself a writer, she built skills into me that I still use EVERY DAY. She, too, is long-gone. While I believe old age got Mrs. O’Dell, cancer took Ms. Turner. And I think about her every week.

I wish I could go back right now and thank both of those women. They would certainly not be the only ones: There are many teachers and pastors who have poured into me and helped shape me into the person I have become. And, while I cannot thank them, I can do this:

HEY TEACHERS!! KEEP DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING!!! You are making LASTING impressions on your students!!!! Even if they do not seem to be listening. Even when they get mad. Even when your heart is overcome. KEEP DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING!!


And since I cannot say it to my two favorites, let me say it to you: