Tummy Tuesday

When I say I am a hot mess this is what I imagine (sometimes.)

Why, because even when I pour my heart out, and it doesn’t pan out, I can still say I tried. Other parts of life can be that way too, whether it was fun until the end, or a lot of work. With these cookies though, I expected them to loose their shape, knowing that the shape really doesn’t matter. Classes have been the same way too, the color or material might not always matter, but the idea behind it does. Hopefully by letting things like colors, shapes, and/ or material be a choice, students can at least feel like they have a broader sense of creativity, with a more ‘minimal’ concept behind it. Basically I like the idea of there being room to play!

Maybe creativity is like that, having room to play. It was what I was needing Monday when I was feeling unmotivated, as that feeling stayed with me (somewhat) until I was able to stand in the kitchen and bake. I hope you have room to play, or pour your heart out, then one day I pray you can get your fill!

Haapy Tuesday,

Juliana

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Classroom insight

For the past 7 weeks I have been blessed with a dream job of teaching (and computers too) art at a small Christian school. Over that time I have started to really get to know many of the students, and not just the typical stuff but also how they learn and create. Sadly though it has also been a crash course on discipline, as what works for some doesn’t work for others.

Like even the projects I want to do with the kids, for some it feels like a punishment, while others it is a gift. In some cases it even turns into a gift as they may take the art home and give it to a family member. It has made me wonder, what can I do? Most of that I am going to stay quiet about, but I do want to share some of the websites and things that I have been able to use.

Like these cool site which have helped some of my youngest students to better use a laptop. Some students are really advanced, while others have struggled with things like the mouse. Which inspired a few art projects that encouraged a few students.

Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 8.23.58 PMhttp://bomomo.com This site, lets you draw within the rectangle, using 20 different computer tools. Somehow making the art less controllable let the tools become more fun to control. weavesilk.com is another site that has also served the same purpose.

For volume control, I am praying that this site can help my noisier classes self monitor (before I have to step in.) https://bouncyballs.org

If it doesn’t work though I am something else will work, but it would be nice to find something that allows each student to learn. There is a lot else I could probably share, yet these sites that could be adaptable to different classrooms seem to be the best start. Outside of classroom, and the struggles of been a first year teacher I am still very hopeful, for both this job and the people I work with, then also for our future! They in fact have encouraged me to not only go on another mission trip, but to plan a what I hope turns into a group trip.

Some of the people I work with are passionately in love with Puerto Rico, as many of them have ties to the island territory. Others are passionate about justice, both inside the classroom and outside. God willingly I can model that for them, not just talk about it. Justice does not always seem like a possibility, but it is something hoped for. Truth, hope, and love can be like that too, and it is available for all, if we want it. Where it isn’t wanted though, it may be needed, which was why I want to go where I can offer whatever is need. At church we call it being the hands and feet of Jesus, but it feels like more then that.Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 9.31.36 PM

Customink.com is a site I used with some of the older students as a way to start talking to them about using the computer for creativity, and partly to talk about business. It was also a way to inspire them to know that there are tools available freely to them. In the next few weeks I may share some more about the classroom, but we’ll see.😏

Until next time,

Juliana ❤

Keeping the peace

The news can be tragic, and at times it feels like the news is only negative. Sometimes when I listen to peoples responses to the news, I wonder if there is anything left unsaid.

Is there anything we can truly contribute other then a shoulder for those who need to cry, a hug for the lonely, or a maybe a kind word or a smile as a word of encouragement? Even though time has passed and feelings have changed,  I still pray; at least when the opportunity arrises. Which can sometimes be in the early or latest hours of the day, but it can also be a quick prayer whispered through the day. In fact those whispers were part of my inspiration for this mural in my bedroom.img_1824

I am calling it a prayer fish, as it is a personal reminder of the many blessings that have reshaped my life even in the last four years. It is just tape and sticky notes, (Which was the fist bit of art supplies I unpacked when I moved) but once I had a few notes up, I thought it could be a really cool fish when fully covered. As I added more sticky note scales too, I realized this fish makes a good metaphor for prayer. The prayers are still pretty secret, even though you can start to count them, and one day they will disappear, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t matter. Maybe one day I will show a collage or a slideshow of these temporary art projects, that one day isn’t today though. 6b8a107f-0f42-499d-9631-e937fc00e1af

Maybe I should do a project like this with a friend, or with someone who can have some fun with a project like this. One day I probably will do a project like that, but it isn’t that day either. Today seems to be a day dedicated to my students, co-workers, roommates, and family, yet still I hope.img_1840

When there are no words

Sundays post was postponded a little too long, and although I do plan to post again soon I thought I would give a small preview. This is a project I have been slowly working on all year, and I will continue to do maybe for just the year. Eventually I will do something with the full collection of mirror drawings, but for now this may give a small insight to some thoughts I have been reflecting on this year.

Also these aren’t in order, but that info may be slightly hidden in the details.

Happy Wednesday🐪❤️ may your week have many blessings.

Juliana.

Repetition

At 1:11pm today I was looking at the clock and I remembered a few family moments where we would use the number 11 for passwords and other things. Because of that I as a child believed 11 to be a symbol for my family. Later when we stopped using that number so much I forgot, and other things started to have symbolic meaning. Maybe part of this was due to how my mind works, or maybe it was just a good memory trick.

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Apparently there is a hashtag I have been forgetting to use when I share things related to the book #partner

In weeks like this I am finding myself in a similar place, as I plan lessons to do with students, and as I try to pray for the victims of disaster. There were many symbols I grasped onto, numbers like 28, crosses which can mean many things like sacrificial love, or even bread.  Places like Mexico reminded me of the extended family that I barely get to see, but I have grown to love them and their community deeply. When I would hear about those places or things I realize it is all filtered through my own experience, yet I would love for that passion to spread further to new places ant to new people.

That desire has lead me to pray just a little bit differently. Instead of just praying for a persons well being as my mind wondered to them, I try to pray about similar people and situations as well. Like when my mind starts to wonder during communion at church, they may still be thinking of the prayer and text we are supposed to be reading, yet I am thinking back to my days as a Jew celebrating shabbat and other holy days. My mind may also wonder to other stories where bread was a part of the plot, but or maybe to just how hungry I am and just how good bread can be. 😅

Truthfully though, somedays are more like this them others, as symbols can just be shapes, but when my mind starts to wander down memory lane, the world seems so much more lively. It is a helpful way to engage the space around me, and in occasions like this, I can invite others into the stories.

The students I teach have their own symbols that inspire memories and emotions, but that is ever growing and changing. I want to welcome those stories in, in the kindest way possible. However, when there is a story or symbol that carries a heavy or negative weight to it I hope that somehow some good can happen there too. Thankfully Things don’t have to stay bad, or in the case of images and symbols, they do not need to carry the same meaning forever.

Stay hopefully,

Juliana

 

 

Monday Flavor☕️

My students may find it funny that I come in some mornings with such a large cup of coffee (which isn’t usually from Starbucks,) while others may ask if I need that coffee to stay alert. Sometimes that cup of coffee is thanks to my exhaustion from a long day, or weekend, but it is also something special.

It is a sweet, but strong way to start my day that can help warm me up on cold and weary days. It can be a treat for all my senses, since I also enjoy the smell, but I still aim to keep it as a treat, instead of becoming something I depend on.

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There’s not much in this world I would want to depend on, because no matter how sweet it is, coffee can’t love me back. Things don’t offer love, as the material world doesn’t have emotions, and even people cannot return the love we give. Yet that may be a blessing! Day after day I get to share a coffee with a coworker, and cup after cup I can understand those emotions that coffee lovers have for that warm and flavorful cup.

I like the jokes that people make, because it is a small way to deepen my relationship with them. Each time they comment it offers a new chance for us to have a moment. Which can be on of those old memories that is invoked my a smell, but also carries emotions with it. Sights and smells are like that, they can reinforce the things going on in our head, and even in our hearts.

I really hope to reinforce the good things, or at least the things that matter, which is why I love the jokes. If I missed something, if I failed, or if it matters it bubbles up in those moments we have for casual conversation. Lessons are to build up both short and long term memories, then everything else to give them an extra leg up…img_1736

Sometimes I wonder if this is how the world works, not in the big things we focus on, but in the small things that we can almost forget. Those are the stories I love too, not just hearing how the big miracles happened, but those “oh yeah, remember that” moments too.

It is why I love the gospel, as we hear of the God who named all the stars, and as Jesus talks about knowing every hair on your head. Even the forgotten children like Ester, and David who although they were poor, and sometimes even orphaned, their royalty shined the most through their tender (occasionally oddly emotional) hearts.

They days go by way to fast, and I struggle to keep up, but even in those slow moments there is a lot that I wouldn’t want to miss!

🌻Juliana💝

Jeremiah 2:25

 

Pineapples and pigskins

Life overflows even in the quiest days with things, with people, and with all that life holds. Sometimes it can be tiring, even simply getting up each day to do seemingly the same things over and over again, but that is life. Playing catch is an example of this, the same throw is done repetitively to the point it can be boring, but as long as there is practice progress can be made.

Teaching has offered so many blessed responsibilities that I cannot help but be thankful for the repetition at this moment! Like when there is a random football making its way through the classroom, but we were supposed to be looking at the project we had just started the week before. Or other days when something wilder happens like this…

Thankfully though it is a daily reminder of forgiveness, that even when are ready to climb the walls or just move on to something new, we still try our best. Which is why we tossed the ball out of my classroom and into the gym, but kept the pineapple. Hopefully that fruit plant can be a reminder that awesome things can happen if we have patience, and if we continue to try. Drop by drop the plant will grow, and day by day our knowledge will grow. Then when something bad happens, like a dead leaf, we can prune it and let what is good remain, then like a tree we will one day have a harvest.

But until that day I will give all I can, when I can, to whomever I can. Which for the last week or so one of those thing I have been this book, which has a semi- ironic use of sunflowers as a metaphore. Somehow plant and tree metaphore have been popping up in my life since I visited Israel fourish years ago.

Yet for some odd reason I hope to see more of that odd irony that makes me hope, and grows my joy even further. Or just maybe hear a few stories of that type of irony poping up and inspiring others too!

🙏❤️Juliana

Sunflowers Seeds part 2

Ever moment holds it’s own surprises and gifts, moments when a dream or a prayer seem like they could happen, but even when they don’t, those moments are powerfully motivating.

Sometimes I have been inspired my dreams and day dreams, as I can often be carried way with the potential. Then times my dreams can be unrealistic, after all they are dream, as I have never seen some things like I see in my dreams. There can be things like four headed snakes, or a cartoon characters wondering around, but what tends to stick with me is the emotions, and sometimes the plot. Those dreams have lead to some lofty hopes that I can barely imagine ever happening, like motherhood and marriage, or simpler things like being able to play ball with a family member that always seems to be busy. Then again, those lofty hopes can come true too.

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Like graduation, teaching, or the mission work I have been able to do, since there were time it felt impossible too. And it could have remained impossible without the little miracles that made it possible! Which makes me wonder sometimes, and their any small miracles? Or is there really ANY reason not to believe in miracles? Even the sunflowers that Philly homeowners have planted around the city have helped me to testify for this belief. Then each person I meet has helped me with this belief as well.Screen Shot 2017-09-04 at 10.12.06 PM

One day soon I should go more in-depth about this, and try and give a stronger argument for the hope a simple flower can remind us of, yet if you look hard or long enough you may prove my point. How.. because even you are a miracle.

If you want to test my theory, look to the flowers, and how easy or hard it is for them to survive. But then look at your own life, and what had to happen for you to make it this far in life!

Be blessed

❤ Juliana

Sunflower Seeds part 1

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Occasionally my computer gets confused, sometimes it is some other error that lets a post get published before I am ready for it. Yet just a moment ago I realized a post that ended with half a sentence was publicly averrable to read. It is a post I want to publish though, as I would like to give some encouragement about dreams and how they can be motivation to us.

Such as in my dreams which can be very visual, or emotion, but somehow those dreams have been used to help me understand things. Like some situations I have not been able to or willing to deal with. Last night I had a dream about my college, and a situation that I am still recovering from, although forgiveness still needs to happen. The night before that I had a dream where I was a parent, and the loving relationships I could have. Then there are other dreams that used to be nightmares, but now they are encouraging.Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 9.44.19 PM

Since the edits will not be finished by 5:17pm it will come out tomorrow under a new name, and instead of the story I had used, it may involve sunflowers. Until then I hope you have a nice restful Sunday.

Blessings,

Juliana

How Is It Wednesday Already

Somehow Wednesday’s are those fees that I just have to pause and wonder where is this week going? There are only two more weeks left of August somehow, and in September a lot of new things are beginning, which means that a lot of stuff is ending right now. For me that his jobs, and my apartment lease. All of which is make me wonder where is this time flying to ?

Thinking more abstractly time is moving into eternity. The present is slowly becoming the past, and the future is become the present, both of which are hard to change. Even those there are somethings about the past I would like to change, and something about the future I cannot wait for, which means I just have to wait and be ready for the opportunity to arise things I hope for, and to do you better than I did in the past. Reflecting on Charlottesville, and some other news, there are many who feel the same, yet our only option is to do our best in the present. There is still (and always will be) the power of prayer, yet I hope those feelings motivate us to be ready to do our best. Which is one reason the Bible ask us to be warriors of peace, and why one specific prayer is becoming a lot more common amongst my church community. (Ephesians 6) Today, may be an ordinary day, yet they can also be a day that we can readily and share our hopes cares and spread peace. One way of which you do that is by looking at her past, and I seen the potential in the future, but also by looking for the opportunities that are presented to us each day. That is my hope today, yet there are many other things to give us hope.

Like these gifts from the native American museum in DC, where I had visited this weekend. It was a nice short visit, I would like to see more about, it with the news and with an over packed schedule, the book and it’s small story seem like when I should share for now, and let that weekend visit be a sweet memory of time with my family.

❤️Juliana