Karla Teaches

As you may or may not know, I’m nearing the end of my journey toward my degree in Special Education! If I make it through student teaching I’ll graduate in December. Yay! If you’d like to follow my adventures, you can do so here at KarlaTeaches.com  If you have ever been a student teacher and have tips for me, I welcome them! I could also use your prayers for stamina. I sold my book on autism right before student teaching started and edits are due very soon. All I need is a clone, right? Anyone know where there’s a good deal on one? Tweet this: Superpower: teaching; passion: writing, sleeping:...

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All the shiny things

Blogging is like exercise. It’s too easy to get in the habit of not doing it. I love to blog. I’ve blogged since the 90s and have had at least a dozen blogs over the years. My problem is finding a focus.  I tend to lead life that way, too. There are so many shiny things that distract me: theology, writing, music, history, conspiracy theories, politics, entertaining, disabilities, advocating for children (my CASA work), my church ministry–and I haven’t even begun to brush the surface of my family, job and college responsibilities. Because I’m attracted to so many things, I’m easily distracted. Sadly, I remind myself of that verse in Daniel 12:4:” Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Sure, I run to and fro doing regular human stuff, but I also go here and there indulging my insatiable appetite for knowledge. How far I run! Via google I can browse the National Palace Museum in Taipei and then fly over to Venice and purse the Ca’Rezzonico. If I want I can squeeze another couple of hours at the British Museum before sauntering over to study the Mona Lisa at the Louvre.  So, dear reader, I’m learning I have a need to get focused. Right now I’m in the throes of college math exams — working on my degree for Special Education — another shiny thing that is important to me. Just as important as writing. And, to be honest, there’s also a family crisis in our lives right now that is emotionally draining. But as I sit here in the library waiting for my granddaughters to get out of one of their summer fun classes, I’m filled with gratitude for a patient, loving God. I know He’s waiting for me to quit running around like a toddler and settle in and pay attention. (I’ve always said you can’t teach a moving target. Is that what I am, Lord?) I may not have been here writing very much these past few weeks, but one thing I’ve managed to keep up with is prayer and bible reading. I’m thankful for that. I don’t think I could survive the buffeting without time in His Word. I’m so thankful for the hunger God has given me for Him . And I wonder — is that what He’s calling me to focus on more? My heart is so full. I have so much to share with you. But where do I start? How do I begin? And just what is it you want to know? Your Questioning Servant, Karla Tweet this: Help! Shiny things and barking...

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Ruminations on the “F” word

When I was growing up the F word was the one forbidden word that no cussing heathen ever said in the presence of a lady. And a lady certainly never used such language. Today, F bombs are used as casually by the youthful masses as toothpaste. Their vocabularies have become so limited that it’s the most accessible word on the tips of their tongues. In casual day to day conversation it can be heard a myriad of times. Movies, music and other media have certainly contributed to this. Call me old-fashioned, but I still find it offensive. The only word I find more offensive is taking the Lord’s Name in vain. I’m not better than someone who uses the F word or the Lord’s Name as a curse, but I do hope I never become so accustomed to such language that I don’t cringe the way I do now when I hear it. I stray from movies that use those words because they cause a visceral reaction in my gut. I. Do. Not. Like. Them. Call me an old fuddy-duddy but that’s where I am on the matter. It occurred to me that people who use the F word may not realize there are other options. So I’m writing this post to solve that problem. I propose that society replace the current F word with the following: “What the floccinaucinihilipilification were you thinking?” (floccinaucinihilipilification: setting at little or no value ). I mean, isn’t that a lot more impressive? It has 28 letters! And surely our counterparts would be dazzled. Their word has only 4  measly characters! Okay, so maybe the meaning isn’t all that great. How about this one then: “Oh, fadoodle!” (fadoodle: nonsense). This one may not appeal to the younger masses because it sounds exactly like something an old granny like me would say. I like it. I’m going to adopt it. Let’s consider these instead: “Fiddle-faddle!” (An oldie but goodie; means trifling talk. It’s also some really great popcorn! My favorite is butter toffee. What’s yours?) “Fiddlededee!” (Scarlet O’Hara used this. If it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for me. Means nonsense.) “Flapdoodle!” (Means gross flattery; nonsense.) “Flexiloquent!” (Speaking ambiguously or using words of doubtful meaning. This one is rather appropriate, I think.) “Futtock!” (This one sounds way too similar to the offensive word. Besides, it means the rib of a ship, and in context of swearing would be a little silly.) As for me, I’m sticking with floccinaucinihilipilification ?/fläks??nôs??n??hil??pil?fi?k?SH?n/. The next time one of my younger counterparts uses their F word, I’m going to use mine. By the time I get done saying it, they’ll nod off. And my ears will be...

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Taking care of Mama Ellen

I’m ashamed to admit it, but my gift is not in nursing. In fact, my husband says that if he ever gets a bad disease, he’s definitely not counting on me to help him through it. And he’s right not to. I’m a lousy nurse. I have a suspicion as to why I lack the ability to nurse others. I won’t go into those here because to discuss them would require divulging secrets about other people, and I’m not into that. And it’s not that I’m not empathetic. I am, perhaps too empathetic. I can’t stand to see people suffer. In fact, when those ASPCA commercials come on TV, I have to turn the channel or I’ll cry and be depressed the rest of the day. I simply can’t handle knowing an animal is suffering. I also have to redirect my thinking on world hunger and disease on a daily basis. It causes me great despair that I don’t have enough resources to cure all that causes pain and suffering in this world. Seriously. You have no idea how much that bothers me. So, what is the main barrier to my being a good nurse? Squeamishness. When my kids got hurt growing up, if they were bleeding, I sent them to their father. It wasn’t the sight of blood that got to me. It was that I truly felt their pain. My stomach would drop to my knees. Then there’s the squeamishness of having to touch or smell icky things. And that’s where my lack of wanting to nurse Mama (my mother-in-law who lives with us) comes in. It’s not that I don’t love her. It’s not that she’s not deserving. She is a delightful person and the most appreciative woman I’ve ever known, which makes me feel even worse about my lack of desire to be her nurse. It’s this:  handling her false teeth grosses me out. It’s not that I don’t feel sympathy or compassion for her life of lost memories (she has Alzheimer’s and Dementia). It’s that bathroom accidents truly make me sick. It’s not that I feel I’m too good to handle such things. It’s that I have a tactile defensiveness to anything squishy or dirty. I thank God every day for gloves! Mr. Himself is out of town for almost two weeks. The bulk of the care he’s always done (thank God) is falling to me now. To overcome my horrid selfishness, I’m choosing to praise God as I brush her false teeth and change her into clean clothes. This is an opportunity for me to grow. I don’t like this squeamish side of me that runs from opportunities of service such as this....

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Tickled pink!

Welcome to A to Z! We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors. If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here. Today’s post is brought to you by the letter P! God is so cool. The other day I was sitting in my office in my HUGE office chair. I’d bought it because it was sturdier than chairs I’d bought in the past and was hoping it would last longer. And while I did admire its sturdiness, it was just too big. I couldn’t turn it around in the little crawl space behind my desk. My office area is tiny. “Lord,” I casually whispered. “I need a smaller chair.” A few days later, Mr. Himself found this PINK CHAIR WITH DIAMONDS on sale at a furniture store marked waaaaay down! Apparently, there isn’t a great demand for pink, blinged-out office chairs! Now, Mr. Himself knew nothing of my prayer. And when I’d prayed for a smaller chair, I didn’t have anything this dramatic in mind. But God is the God of delight. He loves giving us the desires of  our hearts. I had no idea I wanted a pink office chair with diamonds. (Okay, so they’re not real diamonds. But still–they sparkle!) Pink is one of my favorite colors. Without meaning to on purpose, I tend to choose pink accessories: My love of pink is obvious. But pink’s only my second favorite color. My first favorite color is purple–and it also starts with P! I have a purple coat, leather jacket, kindle cover, purses, earrings, shirts and blouses. I usually write with a purple ink pen. I even shop at a purple store! But today, I’m tickled pink about a chair I had no idea I’d be so happy to have. I’m thankful to a God Who hears all our prayers and exceeds our expectations! (P is also for Prayer!) Tweet this: I’m tickled pink about the goodness of God!  ...

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L, M, N, are probably not going to get me noticed in search engines. O Well.

When my computer crashed, I missed the weeks of L, M, N in our A to Z blog hop. Horrors! And now it’s already time for the letter O! So here goes. L is for lazy. I had a very lazy Christmas holiday. I slept tons. I mean, I never knew it was humanly possible to sleep as much as I did and still be alive and breathing. If there’s such a thing as Christmas Coma, I invented it. I was utterly and completely exhausted. For this reason, I’m sure God had a plan for my computer crashing and burning. And I’m grateful. My life is a steamroller of expectations and responsibilities. It’s something I’m working on changing. M is for movies. I was going to watch a bunch of them over the holiday, but L for Lazy interfered with that. N is for noshing: I did far too much of that this holiday and while I don’t really know how much weight I gained, I know that I did gain a few pounds simply because of the way my clothes feel. (The scale is broken. And I hear you laughing. No, I didn’t break it. “Not me” broke it. “Not me” also starts with the letter N.) Now my stomach feels all rumbly and icky and while I promised to detox from sugar after the holidays were over, I’ve yet to make the complete and final leap. (See letter L.) Finally we come to this week, which is brought to you by the letter O. O is for “O Well.” I’ve been using this phrase a lot lately. Living three weeks without a computer taught me a few things about submitting my day to the Lord and going with the flow. Admittedly, I have had more opportunities to learn how to go with the flow as the mother of twins with autism and the caregiver of a mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s. (Did I forget to mention the son with bipolar and the husband with ADD?)  Going with the flow should have been something I mastered long, long ago. But there’s still that rebel inside of me that wants what I want when I want, how I want. There’s that ornery little imp that kicks and screams and throws a fit if things don’t go her way. Instead of throwing up her arms and saying, “O well, that must mean God wants me to _________.” She stomps her foot and says, “Fine. Then I’m going to play 55,000+ games of Words with Friends and pin 783,278+ pins on Pinterest via my phone.” O Well would lead me down the path the Lord has lit for me to walk. As in,...

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