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Me!

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Me!
I am a retired teacher. I taught 20 years. I retired because of my weakened condition but my mind is afire. I read, write, reflect, and write every day. My POV is usually as a teacher but not always. I have a bucket list and on it is to be a published author. I have many books to write. I want a cure for ALS. I want to spread LOVE. I want my maker to use me until I'm completely exhausted. Life is for living. 
"Enjoy every sandwich"
Warren Zevon

Commitments

Pieces of our journey.

Commitments

In my mind today I’m thinking about commitments. Are you true to your commitments? Do you follow through? My mom was big on commitments and following through. I still hear her in my mind when my calendar begins to fill up. Then I hear my daddy saying, “Girl you are burning the candles at both ends or Sarah Anne, you have too many irons in the fire.” Yes, I do. You got me.

Let’s brain storm the types of commitments that are important in our daily lives. We have to be at work, church, kid functions, and keep the household running. Our lives are whirlwinds of activities. When I look at my calendar, I cringe but my mother is in my head saying you are only as good as your word so hop to it. Guess what? I do and I’m so relieved to check one more thing off of my calendar. Thanks mom.

I read this morning about marriage commitments. Remember this, “What God has bound together, let no man separate.” What about today, how do we view marriage? Do we take our commitments serious enough to our partners? I hope so. When we find that person who is our partner, we were not promised “happily ever after.” There are ups and downs, highs and lows, but we have another person there to be our sounding board. We make one unit and we do give up the “me” to form “we.” It’s about faithfulness. It’s so enduring to look at your partner and know that they chose you and love you.

If you know me, you know I’m stubborn. My husband had other lives and wives. On our journey together, this created many pot holes. Sometimes I would hit one and begin to question his commitment and love to me. It makes me sad that I questioned it so often. I was committed to the long journey of being the younger one and caretaker to my aging husband, but my script was flipped. I can’t express the genuine love we have because it’s so deep and perpetual. It is truly an endless love. Thank you Diana Ross & Lionel Ritchie for the expression in song. I hear my friend saying, “It’s getting too cheesy in here!” Ah, so it is but I need to give you a weekend assignment. This weekend leave a simple love note, embrace, share a meal or moment, surprise them with a memory, get them their favorite candy bar, or just let them control the tv(this is serious at the Alley house) to the one whom you are committed. Thank them for their enduring love and commitment. Hey, be a cheese-bucket like me! Stop sighing back-row! “Feel da 💜!”
Sarah Anderson Alley
Quotes of the Day:
“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”
Mignon McLaughlin
“Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.”
Franz Schubert
“Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. It’s the way you love your partner every day.”
Barbara De Angelis
“My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.”
Winston Churchill

 

Forgiveness

Dolly our new addition that chose us. She strayed our way and is bringing new life into our old girls. It’s beautiful. Top right she is sitting by me whilst I ponder America. 💜

Forgiveness

In my mind, I’m thinking about forgiveness. Have you ever held a grudge? Did the sight of someone that hurt you make you emotionally, mentally, and physically sick? I admit it. I’ve had those feelings before. They were toxic. It made me loose my religion and control of myself. That’s what hate, envy, and jealousy can do: make you lose your soul and control.

Did you ever try to step out of the situation and analyze the reasons behind the scenario? You should. When you are able to rationally examine the situation, you gain clairvoyance. Every problem personal and political has it’s time stamp. Each problem we face is unique in its time and place. You’ve heard the saying “You have to take the good with the bad.” Every aspect of our own timelines is a chance to grow and to forgive. Really forgive. Genuinely forgiving is letting the person you forgive freedom to be responsible for his or her actions. Love them enough to let go and let live. You cannot force forgiveness or put stipulations on it: if this then I forgive you. I think America is being torn apart by hate, because forgiveness hasn’t been genuinely been given. It is erupting into a sea of hate. The current situation is actually fueling the fires of hate.

While the media fans the flames of each side of the current political argument, where do we Americans stand? Do we really understand the complexity that this current dilemma evolved from? I fear many Americans of all ethnicities do not. It’s so much more than a black and white situation. I was born a white, Caucasian like the other 62% of today’s Americans. I cannot understand the reasons behind the forefathers perpetuating an evil institution like slavery except for money for the 1% of wealthy white land owners. See. Economics and money are all a part of the wheel of injustice. My ancestors were literally dirt poor European descended sharecroppers with a sprinkle of Native American living a similar plight during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. What breaks the spell of ignorance and poverty? Education. This is a commodity that is drastically dwindling in America.

I hope America is learning and moving forward with forgiveness among all people. I can only help what I do in my space and time on the timeline of history. Creating divisive agendas only keeps the common men and women at odds while America goes to hell in a hand basket. What should rule? Majority interests or minority’s? Our history however treacherous or spectacular cannot be undone or erased. Think really long and hard about this. We can only learn from our mistakes and try to create a better tomorrow. Whatever happened to the E pluribus unum? That’s America. We all deserve chances and freedom to make our own choices. This whole blog started out as simple forgiveness, but evolved into a plea. America can we genuinely forgive? Can we lay down our prejudices of all varieties? Can we all move forward for the good of ALL? Can we quit saying yes, but…. It’s time to truly forgive each other America. We are all losing until we do.
Sarah Anderson Alley

Quotes of the Day:
“If we don’t figure out a way to create equity, real equity, of opportunity and access, to good schools, housing, health care, and decent paying jobs, we’re not going to survive as a productive and healthy society.”
Tim Wise

“Social equity is based on justice; politics change on the opinion of the time. The black man’s skin will be a mark of social inferiority so long as white men are conceited, ignorant, unjust, and prejudiced. You cannot legislate these qualities out of the white – you must steal them out by teaching, illustration, and example.”
John Boyle O’Reilly

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
Abraham Lincoln

“The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.”
Alex de Tocqueville

“Now, as a nation, we don’t promise equal outcomes, but we were founded on the idea everybody should have an equal opportunity to succeed. No matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from, you can make it. That’s an essential promise of America. Where you start should not determine where you end up.”
Barack Obama

I ask myself if slavery can ever be abolished from America’s psyche? Eh, Nina? I answer, “I pray time really can heal all wounds. Let forgiveness ring.”
Me

 

Watching the Rain

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My impatients in the window box after the rain.

Watching it Rain

In my mind today, I’m watching it rain and thinking of rainy days of my past. I remember getting up on dark rainy mornings and going through my routine that lead me to rushing to work with a huge Tervis tumbler full of coffee. I would not have a second to spare as I leaped out of my car and to my classroom. From this point forward, my day was an absolute blur of teaching and interactions with my students. When the 3:00pm bell rang, I was totally spent. I would sit at my desk and prepare for the next day. Often students would stay with me cleaning or organizing. I would usually get out of there between 4:30pm and 5:30pm. Sunny or rainy, my days were packed full. When I reminisce, sometimes those days seem like a different life.

Today, I was up at 6am. Share a cup of joe with my husband. We talked about our ordinary things as I ate my peanut butter toast. After he left for work, I nestled into my reading and reflecting. The darkness made my eyes heavy and I drifted in and out of consciousness. Them my aunt arrived and I had my daily shower. I’m really blessed and grateful for these. Before she left, she opened my door so I could watch the rain. I sat there eating lunch and drinking coffee admiring the rain. My plants were so saturated and happy. I watched a tiny bird flit around in my deck tree. The sounds were soothing as I watched the earth be washed once again. My impatient flowers are really showing out. They usually spring to life and mature beautifully from August to October. Watching them drink in the rain brought me satisfaction and comfort.

What a blessing I have to take joy in the slow, summer rains. I looked at my clock. It was just after 12 noon. I thought about if I were teaching, I wouldn’t have this treasured time. I wouldn’t have a peaceful lunch and extra cup of coffee to rest, watch, and soak in my blessings as the flowers do with the rain. Today is a day of gratitude. Today I whisper, “Thank you God for all of your plans for me and especially the slow rains.”
Sarah Anderson Alley
Quotes of the Day:
“Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.”
Langston Hughes

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain; What a wonderful feeling, I’m happy again.”
Arthur Freed

 

Squabbles

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Squabbles

In my mind today I’m thinking about squabbles. We all have them. They happen at work, at church, and between family members and friends. They cause lethal divisions. How do you handle these in a way to save relationships and productivity?

This morning the first scripture I read stated “Does your teacher pay temple tax?” The people in power were trying to squabble with Jesus. Jesus didn’t take the bait. He sent one of the disciples to catch a fish and look in the fish’s mouth. There would be a coin worth enough to pay the temple tax. He didn’t have time to squabble about just passing through and on my way to be crucified. So do we have time for squabbles?

At work, it may be about who used all the ink in the copier and didn’t replace the cartridge. With family, it may be about jealousy over who is getting more attention from a parent. Friends can be upset because of someone’s sarcastic humor. Church family can become divisive over who is in charge of the church festivities and how they are not following the protocol to the letter. All of these mentioned can waste precious time and energy.

Students, how should we deal with the squabbles in our lives to prevent them from growing into feuds? Find a positive way to act. Don’t react with hostility and authority. Reacting causes the squabble to grow. Evaluate the situation. Could you do something to diffuse the situation? Put an extra toner cartridge in the copy room? Pray about the jealousy and bitterness in your heart. There is enough love for everyone in your family. If you give love, it grows. Admit things could be done by others in a great way, too. Competing and comparing is toxic at church, work, or home. We all want the best, so let’s work together.

What’s the goal? I hope the goal is to love God with all of your heart and your neighbor as you love yourself. Those are the ultimate rules after all. So we have to sometimes be the bigger person and act out of love to prevent a chasm from forming between us. This is a tough and crucial assignment today students. Today, think about your squabbles and be the person with the bigger heart.
Sarah Anderson Alley
Quotes of the Day:
“Arguing isn’t communication; it’s noise.”
Tony Gaskins
“To settle an argument, think of what is right, not who is right.”
Unknown
“Arguments drag out because one is too stubborn to forgive and the other is too proud to apologize.”
Unknown
“To truly forgive is to erase the transgression from your minds and lips.”
Sarah Anderson Alley

Angels and Light

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Angels and Light
In my mind today, I’m thinking of angels and light. Back row, it may get deep today as I think about these two: angels and light. Keep the comments from the peanut gallery to a minimum please. Mention of Angels and light are repeated throughout in the Bible. Today, I read about Jacob and his fleeing after stealing his brother Esau’s birthright. He was gone for 20 years. He fell into fitful dreams of angels of light ascending and descending into the heavens. He was wrestling with the angel because he knew he had to face his personal demons. Did he literally wrestle? I think it was an internal struggle between light and dark. What about you? Do you have those guttural moments when you are presented with choices of good versus evil? I do. It’s not fun and yes there are sleepless nights and bouts of fitful dreams. Know the story of Jacob? If no, read it this weekend and see what you think. Stop grumbling back row! Some weekends you get homework.

Think about your own life. Do you believe there are angels? What about light? Do you believe ALL matter has light? Pieces of divine hidden in all of creation? More homework so stop the mumbling. This weekend look at the sunset or sunrise. Look for angels in the light. And no back row, I’m not taking hallucinogens or hitting the peace pipe. Search for the light in everything around you, not just people. It’s there. I find it daily on my rolls outside with my dogs. It’s in the trees and the breeze that rustles the leaves. It’s in my pets. It’s in the flowers in my yard and even the grass. Oh, and it’s especially illuminated in the clouds. Here’s your to do list: read the story of Jacob, watch a sunrise or sunset, and look for the angels of light around you.

Sarah Anderson Alley

Quotes of the Day:
“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”
Saint Augustine

“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”
Alexander Pope

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.”
Tecumseh

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”
Aristotle

 

Time Management

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Time Management

In my mind today students, I’m thinking about time management. Ol’ Ms. Alley is burning the candle at both ends again. [insert stress emoji here] This week has been a whirl of activity and as I look into the future I see a tornado forming. I have reading assignments(4 chapters), 8 discussion questions to answer, write and reflect in my writing course, a book club book to read, prepare for my Sunday School class, and write to you my students. Students an F5 tornado is headed straight into my mind and I’ve got to start battening down the hatches. Oh, and I apologize for yesterday because I took a sick day. I was at the ALS Clinic all day. No hatches were battened!

Go ahead back row; start the spit-wad war while I organize my planner and desk. Time management is a wonderful gift. We each get 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds each day. So how does Ms. Alley hold it all together? Even though today was a rest day, I started it with reading my small devotions. They literally lit my path through this day. They told me to rest. My body is tired. I listened. All of my upcoming activities will fall into place. I have no doubts or fears. My assignments will get completed. My books will be read. My lessons will get planned. My blog will get written. The back row is grumbling, “Good luck. I don’t see it happening.” Oh ye of little faith. My timekeeper is the master of all time. He carries the lamp to light my path. He is the ultimate time manager and totally free. Need time management?
Sarah Anderson Alley
Quotes of the Day:
“So during those first moments of the day, which are yours and yours alone, you can circumvent these boundaries and concentrate fully on spiritual matters. And this gives you the opportunity to plan the time management of the entire day.”
Menachem Mendel Schneerson

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”
Bruce Lee

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
Barack Obama

Touch

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Touch

In my mind today I’m thinking about human touch. Minds out of the gutters back row! I’ve always been a person who craves big hugs, a pat on the back, and warmness of hand holding. As a teacher, you are warned about being too touchy-feely with your students. Some students cringe if you touch them. Some want daily morning hugs. You have to know your students preferences to recognition and rewards. And I did. I didn’t run around grabbing students, but there were moments when touch was appropriate and desperately needed. Discernment is needed.

At church this past Sunday during communion, I was first to receive because I’m on the front pew in a little wheelchair niche. Many times my fellow parishioners will touch my shoulder, hair, arm, or head as they pass by. Remember, I love touch and I’m grateful for those love pats. This Sunday, someone grabbed my arm and lingered. I looked up and it was a former student. This student was one of those that I taught in 5th grade and also 8th grade. As our eyes met and he smiled, I was catapulted back to my physically strong days. I remembered his hunger for more in math and how I gave him harder objectives than the others. I thought of how I had literally watched him blossom before my eyes. Yes back row, I began to cry as the memories flooded my mind. Not tears of bitterness or regret but tears of joy. God had given me this beautiful mission. Even though my student is an adult and now a doctor, his touch and eyes gave me that touch I desperately needed to say, “Thank you Ms. Alley. Love and peace be with you. I remember.” His visits home are sporadic now. He’s busy being an adult. Moments such as this are affirmations to living my purpose. Today, hug a teacher or tell them thank you. I mean it back row!
Sarah Anderson Alley
Quote of the Day:
“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”
Malala Yousafzai