Friday, August 24, 2012


This is the end of the first week of school.

I LOVE this time of year.

There is a newness that is absolutely delicious. Everybody is excited to see each other, as opposed to the mid-year doldrums when everybody is getting on each other's nerves. Everybody has new teachers, new school supplies, new classrooms. There are new friends to play with, and new things to learn. I can't resist the smell of a freshly sharpened pencil.

I think there is a reason that I have worked in schools of some sort for my whole career.

As the weather cools off and we all settle in to the school routine, I just can't help but think about the new beginnings. The fresh start. The new opportunities.

It reminds me to take advantage of the new beginnings in my life. To revel in the fresh starts. To embrace the new opportunities. And most of all as a teacher, to GIVE everyone a fresh start. To leave behind the aggravations of last year, and to see everyone with new eyes.

Because, after all, don't we get that fresh start too? God doesn't keep track of our past sins and hold those against us in a supernatural tally sheet. He doesn't remember those things we did last year to grieve Him. He gives us a fresh start, and so we should do the same for others.

I LOVE this time of year.
K :)

Monday, August 6, 2012


While in Washington DC, Carol took me to the National Cathedral. I was NOT expecting to be as moved by this building as I was. Even though it is an Episcopal Church, and services are held there all the time, it is really a beautiful Gothic Revival building.

Awhile back, the whole east coast had a pretty big earthquake, and some pieces fell off the cathedral:

I'm SO glad that this random guy walked behind them, just as I was taking a picture, so you can see how huge they really are! These are sitting out in front of the cathedral, and I'm not sure when there are plans to replace them.  If you look at the following picture closely, you can see the minarets that they fell off of. They are flat on top, unlike their neighbors:

Broken minaret - right in the center.
The main sanctuary is beautiful, and has gorgeous stained-glass windows all around it. Note the black netting on the inside, because they weren't sure if any pieces would fall on the inside:

This picture is from the main platform, looking up into the nave where a service was taking place:
As I was taking the above picture, right next to my left leg was the seat where Nancy sat for Ronald Reagan's funereal. Lots of Presidents and important people have had funereals here, and Woodrow Wilson is actually buried here. Well, not actually buried - his crypt is here.

Woodrow Wilson's crypt

The stained-glass over Woodrow Wilson's crypt.
There are other beautiful stained-glass windows also, like the Space window:
And the Colorado window. Look closely for the Air Force Academy Chapel at the top:
There is a hall with the flag of every state:
And lots of little chapels off of every hallway. This one was being prepared for Sunday Services, with fresh flowers:
I happened upon this crucifix while wandering the halls and finding other little chapels:
Carol and I went up to the 7th floor observatory, and could see several states. This is a view of Washington - notice the Washington Monument sticking up right in the middle:
And this is looking down from the observatory, on a garden that is on the property:

I think the thing that struck me most while visiting the National Cathedral was the diversity of the people there - not just different cultures, but different religions as well. I think that this place inspires reverence, no matter what you relationship with God. I'm sure that every person there was not there because of their close, personal relationship with God, but because it is beautiful, and one of the things to do. But, I really appreciate that this place is about the collision of daily life with the Holy; About how the Divine reaches down to us, regardless of what we call ourselves.

I reveled in the reverence that was there.

And it didn't matter what the people around me labeled their religion: God was there.