Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Unwinding From the 1st Conference Marathon

Hi all,

It's Conference Week here at Christian Academy. 8 down. This means I have to put on my best professional face (and clothes) and chat eloquently and graciously with parents. Of course, we discuss their student's progress as well as provide constructive criticism, and at our school, it brings the opportunity to pray with each family. It also means that the kids don't come to school on Wednesday, which is technically Conference Day. At any rate, it's somewhat exhausting. And while I should be grading or driving home, there is something peaceful about just chilling for a second, so here I am! Please pray for endurance this week. I see many amazing families, but also some with parenting styles I am completely opposed to... I see hard families (mainly one) where your heart can almost break just knowing that your kid goes home to this. I have to preach to myself the sovereignty and omnipresence and trustworthiness of God!

I do feel like these kids are mine, in a small sense. Dustin and I can't wait to have kids - 5 perhaps... but these are some special students. You'll see their faces scattered on my facebook and some of you have even met them. (Eron, you'd get a kick out of some of Dalton's most recent theological ponderings.) I love them. Daily, I'm developing a philosophy of education. I wish I had more examples of classical education, because we are very interested in classical education. Funny that I work here then, huh? I think that's okay. It's a season. With education, it can be hard to draw the line down SO hard and SO strong that there is only one right or wrong way to do it. Well, I'm rambling here, but I come to the season (see last year's blog) where I start naturally reflecting upon the year. I see my need for growth and I'm encouraged by growth since last year, but I also realize that this is not my "career" and my heart is not primarily here. It takes the majority of my time, but my heart is at home. For now though and a few more weeks specifically, I can call these kids "mine" to some degree. Not mine to raise, but mine to encourage, help, guide, pray for, discipline, love, and laugh at... I mean with. :) They are hilarious. And to see them grow is wonderful. They had no clue how to do a major outline a few weeks ago and now they have this polished, typed, wonderful research paper. It's neat to see kids learn.

Well, we did enjoy Thunder last weekend. I had to grade a little, but a good time was had by all. I love fireworks and this show is GOOD. It's one of those things that you have to do at least once. Great picture (thanks, Alicia) of Blake and Dustin below. Fascinated by a gentleman we met. Here's his story: raised as a strict Presbyterian in Scotland (great accent), retired and moved here to work as a full-time volunteer (24-7 basically - cooks, cleans, helps, leads trips, the works) at a group home for the mentally handicapped. He's been here for 6 years. At the home, they attend a unitarian church, but he doesn't really hold to any specific beliefs. He is lost, no doubt. He doesn't claim to be a man of faith and we did have some conversations (though I wish I would have been bolder) about the Gospel. But the point for this conversation is this: how someone who does not know Christ could so sacrificially (and humbly, I might add) pour out his life for others. He had great joy in hiw work, in the 2 guys from the home he brought with him, he was smiling, loving life, thanking me for being a teacher, chatting with Dustin about cool Irish pubs, he was just a nice, nice, nice person. But there are myriads of really nice lost people. They intimidate me sometimes in witnessing. I wonder if I seem as joyful and content and I DO know Christ. I've been thinking about this. The niceness of many lost people. The humanitarian efforts (many which I think Christians should also be involved in) of so many kind, homeless-loving, people-loving LOST people. I think this is good food for thought. The whole conversation (2 hours-ish) challenged me.

Dustin is finishing up the semester, and it is busy. He should be wrapping up his classes for the day pretty soon and Tuesday nights are pretty free, so tonight should be nice and somewhat restful. I was able to attend a class with him last Thursday when I took off. It was neat to tag alon and get a peek at a seminary class.

Some consideration of a thoughtful post I ran across from our friend about the narcissism of blogging. Trying to figure out if I'm in that camp. Don't want this to be a self-propagating time-waster, but I also think the update purpose is for others (hopefully!) and the recipes are for homemaking. What do you think?

Other updates:
Running on Sarah Dodson's plan. It's going well. This week anyway. :)

We're attending a wedding for our friends from church, Will and Vanessa this weekend. They have a fancy blog, so go look at their cool pics to see them. It should be really fun and encouraging.

Mindy's coming at the end of next month. Hooray! She and I will attend the New Attitude conference, or as much as I can with some school left. AND, she'll be just in time for 5A's 1st annual milk-and-cookies come-and-go (a mouthful, I know) party at the Butts! I'm glad she gets to meet my kiddos.

Happy Birthday yesterday, to Dustin's sweet mom, my sweet mother-in-law, Mrs. Carolyn Butts. We love you!!

Reading Chapter 2 of D.O.G. Excited about it. More on this soon.

That's it for awhile.

Take care.


Laura said...

i'd say...best update yet. i miss you so much jamie. not empty words....even though we hardly get to talk. i pray for you and dustin often.

crazy what can happen in a year huh?? ;) we have so many wonderful struggles the Lord has brought us through.

i wish we were able to come to that conference. that whole job thing...real world. stinks. =)

fish study tonight---last real study of the year. (party next week).

i love you jamie!

sarahdodson said...

Definitely a good update.

I love your thoughts on "your" kids. I can imagine how easy it'd be to grow close to them and love them. I can't imagine a better teacher:)

You want 5 kids??! Now, I did NOT know that. How neat.

Have a super week. Praying for strength/endurance for you!


Chad Gerlt said...

Several years ago Erin and I had this debate going. I wanted 2 kids, and she wanted 4. Now we have 3 and I can totally see how 5 would be wonderful (if the financed hold up). Great to hear about your world. We miss you guys down here.

Mrs. Jamie Butts :) said...

Why thanks, friend. I know you are one who is truly praying when you say you are and that's a huge encouragement. WHEN can we talk? How did the last study go? Love you, too.

I can imagine plenty of better teachers, but thanks. I'm surviving. Next year, maybe it'll be more like THRIVING. 5 kids - well, that's what we have always discussed. We'll see. We actually haven't discussed it lately. Quite honestly, when we talk about kids, we talk a lot about education (teacher talk - we both love it) and names (goofy talk). My kids at school are still voting for BKButts (Batman Kicks). Not a chance, but it makes for a terrific laugh and conversation piece. :)
Love you and how was the run?

Man I miss you guys. Your kids. Home. Alias. Panda. Your glorified lemonade. Chats on the couch. Your counsel. Sitting in church pews with you guys. I love and miss your family. Hope we live in the same town again one day... if not, lots of visits, continued blogs and looking forward to heaven. Love to all,