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How a Pair of Hoop Earrings Changed My Day.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Yesterday evening I went to the 5:30 mass, which is not my usual service. There was an event at Fatima that started at 6:30, so I decided to just go to mass and then the event. Since Friday, I had been feeling really weird. I don't know how to describe it, and I don't know if you've ever felt this way, but I guess the best way for me to describe it is that I felt raw. Like my whole body was an open wound. I was very, very anxious, which is not a new thing for me, but it comes and goes in terms of severity. As I was praying before mass, I prayed that God would help me feel better because I so desperately wanted to enjoy the event after mass as well as the community service event I had signed up to help with today.

I finished praying, put my kneeler up, and sat in the pew, waiting for mass to start.

Not three minutes later, one of my students came bounding over.

Well, she's not just "one of my students" -- she's probably the most cheerful, positive, and optimistic person I have EVER met.

She came over and said, "Miss Lafferre, I was hoping you'd be at this mass!" So I said, "Oh really? Because, you know, I normally go to the 7:30 on Sundays. I'm hardly ever at this mass." Then she said, "I know, me neither! But when I was putting in my earrings tonight I was thinking about you and hoping you'd be at this mass because I wanted to show them to you. Look, hoops!" (She had recently gotten her ears pierced, and these were her first-ever pair of hoops.)

Really?! Really?!?!

Really.

We chatted for a few more minutes, just about her weekend and life and things, and at one point she said, "You know, I thought about my life, and I realized that there is not one thing I don't like about my life!"

That. is. Magic.

The thing is, this girl doesn't have the "perfect" life. Her parents are divorced, and that is tough for any kid. But she just genuinely likes her life. And maybe you want to argue that she's only 12, what does she know, but I can pretty accurately assure you that when I was 12 I could not and would not have said the same thing.

I told her that what she had is truly a gift. A gift that helps other people when she shares it with them. People like me.

After mass, she, her mom, her grandmother, and I walked across the parking lot to the parish hall to take a look at the event set up since all the classes had created artwork to be auctioned off. My student and I just stood there chatting about events and dressing up and things and at one point she said, "Miss Lafferre, will you come and teach at my high school after I leave Fatima?" And I smiled and told her I'd love to, but I can't be in more than one place at a time. So she said, "We should raise money so we can clone you!"

And I told her that was probably the nicest thing that anyone had ever said to me.

It is rare that I say a prayer to God and then have it answered within minutes. But last night, it was.

The event itself was a lot of fun. My friend Sarah came with me, and I got to sit with one of my coworkers/friends and her family. The only thing that made it tough is that I had to talk to and interact with a lot of my students' parents, and I am just so awkward. Give me a roomful of kids, and I'm good. Give me a roomful of adults, and I say and do the weirdest things. Sigh.

**********************

Today I participated in my first-ever Helpington. I had been wanting to do this for a few years but have always had scheduling conflicts. I knew I was scheduled to work with my friends and their kids, but I was showing up to a new church by myself this morning.

And, as previously stated, I had been feeling really anxious this weekend, and those feelings usually make me want to stay home and, essentially, hide. Hide from the world. But I knew I couldn't do that, so I headed to church at 7:30 with the best attitude I could muster.

Before we began our community service, we had a worship service in church. One of the scriptures the pastor shared was Philippians 2:1-5 (The Message version, which I recognized because Amy shares verses from that version a lot!)

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

I really needed to hear that today. And I tried to follow it.

Helpington turned out to be AWESOME, and I had a great time serving alongside my friends Ryan and Jana and their kids and family. I am so, so glad I went.

This is My New Favorite Thing

Sunday, April 17, 2016

I feel all the feelings when I read this.


A Little Story about My Pap

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

On the way to yoga from school today, it was super sunny out, so I moved my sun visor down. The moment I did, I was reminded of this funny thing my Pap said last time I saw him. (A few weeks ago.) My Pap lives in Morgantown, and he is just the best person. I love him so very much. And he's seriously funny.

See, my Pap doesn't really drive too much anymore, so even though he's had his car a long time, there aren't many miles on it. He keeps it really clean and neat, though. From time to time my Aunt Elizabeth borrows it, and it was on this very topic my Pap was speaking. I can't remember how we got on this conversation, but he ended up saying, "I know she's been putting the sun visor down because it's loose!" Apparently Pap does not ever move the sun visor when he drives. He doesn't like it being loose. (I mean, it's not like driving with the sun in your eyes in any sort of safety concern.)

This cracks me up for the obvious reasons, but mostly it cracks me up because

IT'S ME.

Okay, no, I don't mind moving my sun visor around (see paragraph one -- not that I don't think about it now, though, and worry), but I do other equally as neurotic things. For example, I frequently walk around my classroom when I am teaching, and while I do, I turn the hand sanitizer pump around to face the front, straighten the pencil sharpener, and straighten kids' desks (while they are sitting in them). The students started making fun of me about this months ago and began turning things around on purpose just to annoy me. (Grrr ... haha.)

After hearing Pap talk about the loose sun visor, it made me feel better to know that I come by it honestly.

Pap and me. A long time ago. (Obviously.)

2016 Reading Challenge - April!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

It's almost halfway through April, and I'm just now talking about my April pick for the 2016 Reading Challenge. And there is one good reason for that:

I haven't finished my March book.

Haha.

The truth is, my March book, The Purpose Driven Life, wasn't meant to be powered through, but to be read and studied a little at a time. Because I didn't get it till halfway through March, I still have about half of it to go. I'm okay with that though because the Reading Challenge actually has a theme that allowed me to have an April book while still reading my March book.

So, the theme for April is (was) --

A book you can finish in a day.


And my pick was --

Miracles from Heaven by Christy Wilson Beam

You might have heard of this book because a movie by the same name, starring Jennifer Garner, was recently released. I haven't seen it yet though, so I can't comment on book vs. movie.


What I can say is that I enjoyed this book. (I read it all yesterday.) My mom gave it to me a few weeks ago because we are both interested in books written by people who have had near-death experiences and/or claimed to have seen a glimpse of Heaven.

Briefly, this book is about a young girl (named Anna!) who has severe GI issues that greatly decreased her quality of life and left her in pain all the time, who fell out of a tree and should have been severely injured or died. While she was unconscious, she claimed she went to Heaven and talked to Jesus, who told her she would be healed. When she woke up, with basically no injuries, not only did she not suffer from the fall, but her GI issues were miraculously healed as well.

I thought Christy Beam did a good job telling her daughter's story. I can imagine that that would be a very difficult thing to do, to try and do her story justice.

My only criticism would be that I was waiting for a big "reveal" when they discovered that Anna was cured of her GI issues, but that didn't really happen. I even re-read some pages, thinking I'd somehow missed it. But then the more I thought about it, I kind of decided that God's miracles are often evident only after a period of time, they don't always happen all at once in a big, dramatic way.

My favorite line of the book was towards the end. Beam writes, "It makes me think about something Anna said: 'God is always there, and He has His own ways of working things out.'" Amen, Anna.


Overall, I recommend this book. It's an easy read -- it took me less than a day actually; only about 4 hours or so. I might check out the movie at some point, too, so I can compare.

If you read it, I hope you enjoy it!

You Want Me To Click Where?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

I really wanted to post today, but I was really struggling to come up with a topic. I have a few topics on the back burner, but I'm still thinking over them, and today was not the day to post. The truth is, I wanted to post today for one reason, and one reason only -- so you could see my newly updated blog. :)

Do you like it? I LOVE it. It's nice to have a change from time to time! While I purchased a design from Designer Blogs, my sister Erin spent a couple of hours helping me customize it. From updating the font of the blog's header to getting that photo to be a circle to sending me the code I needed to create new social media buttons, Erin is the person who really makes this blog work behind the scenes.

I figured I'd use this post to thank her for her continuous hard work. (She never complains, never says she's busy, never tells me to figure it out myself. She just helps. At 10 p.m. On a school night.) So, I thought I'd share a few fun photos of Erin and me growing up:


Hmmm ... it appears as though Erin knew back in 1986 exactly how she'd feel 30 years later when I said things like, "I uploaded them to imgur but can't figure out how to get them on the blog." (10:24 p.m.) I mean I feel like this picture sums up our whole life -- Me: Come on, Erin! You know you want to help me with this whilst I twirl around! Erin: Why am I forced to be related to this idiot?!


One princess and one witch. I don't know if there's a larger meaning here.


She always had the better eyebrows.

As always, I really appreciate you reading my blog. I love this little space so much. It's something that is mine.

*Also, I should add that this is my 300th post on this blog! I totally didn't plan for a big blog redesign to celebrate that milestone, but it's weird how things work out. Happy 300th Anna who is Magic.

You Keep Showing Up.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A couple of weeks ago I was spending time with my friend Sarah. We had recently seen a play starring my BFF Story, and I was sharing with Sarah how much Story has meant to me and my life. I said something to her like, "I don't know how I'll ever repay Story for all that she's done for me. I mean, I keep showing up for her plays and things like that ..."

And then Sarah said these profound words:

YOU KEEP SHOWING UP.

Wow.

I'm honestly not sure if Sarah even realized how profound this was when she first said it, but it really blew me away. I've been thinking about it ever since.

You keep showing up.

Isn't that what we are supposed to do for the people we love? I mean, we can send them gifts on their birthdays and flowers when they are promoted, but, at the end of the day, when push comes to shove, only one thing matters to the people we love and that is -- that we keep showing up for them.

We show up when they get cast in great plays. We show up when they have a hard day at work. We show up when it's their birthday, and we also show up on a random Wednesday when they are feeling defeated by life. We show up to their parties, and we also show up when they have a parent who passes away. We show up when they text at 11 p.m. and also when they need someone to tell a joke to.

The most important thing we can do for our friends is to make sure they see our faces on a regular basis. We make sure they know they are not alone. That someone is in their corner.

So, if you're my friend, I might not always be able to send you the best gift or find the perfect words, but I can promise you one thing:

I'LL KEEP SHOWING UP.


Story and me and Sarah and me. (And apparently I do keep showing up ... in the same yellow sweater. Haha.)


Two Stories about Snickers

Sunday, April 3, 2016




That is the face of a rabbit who is appalled that it took (or, maybe surprised it ONLY took) his mama three weeks to figure out why he stopped hanging out/napping behind the magazine rack.

See, I have this magazine rack in the corner of my bedroom. And Snickers frequently naps there or rests there, and I think that's because he feels protected. So, a lot of times I will put my decorative bed pillow over the top if it, thus creating a dark burrow for him, which he loves. Or, rather, I thought he did. Until about three weeks ago when he stopped ever going back there. Occasionally, when vacuuming, I would wonder about why he never went back there anymore, but I decided that maybe he just was over it. (Or forgot about it.)

Silly me.

Yesterday evening I was in my room, and I looked down at the magazine rack and it dawned on me. It was too close to the wall. I had moved it too close to the wall for him to fit. So I looked over at him (he was in the room), and said, "Oh Snicks. I am so sorry. I am going to move it out for you right now, and whenever you're ready, you can maybe ..." He came running right over. With a look on his face like, "Thanks idiot."

I felt awful. That poor rabbit. Haha.

I also had a dream Friday night that I had more than one rabbit. I have actually had this dream before a few times that I have two identical rabbits, but I only ever see one at a time, so I can't be sure that I have two, but I think I do. (I have no idea where this comes from!) But on Friday night I had a dream that I actually had three rabbits. Two were identical, but one was just a little different. I kept looking at them and saying, "Which one of you is Baby Snickers?" Then I finally pointed at one and said, "YOU! You are. You were always my favorite."

I don't even know. My life.
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