Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ode to Structure

Well, finals are over as of thirty minutes ago. Some of my finals I was glad to take and be done with them, but I had this one class, Structure of the English Language, whose final I did not want to take. It's not that I didn't want to take it because it was going to be hard or that I hadn't studied for it; I didn't want to take it because that ended the class.

Now before you go crazy or call me crazy, let me explain. This class is unlike any class I have ever taken, maybe in my whole life. Mr. Sukany, my professor, brought the material of this class to light in a way I would have never imagined. I never knew so many elements existed in the English language. We began the semester studying the sounds of every letter in the alphabet and comparing those to the International Phonetic Alphabet. Then we took those sounds and formed them into words and broke words apart. Then we started diagramming sentences, labeling each word in a sentence with its respective part of speech. But this wasn't just one label and then move on. No, this was labeling every possible function that a word or group of words, constituents, could possibly be in a sentence. We started with simple sentences and then we moved to nonrestrictive modifiers and partial predicates. Yes, I understand that sounds like gibberish to most of you.

So this final, that I just finished 30 minutes ago, was my last one. It was actually pretty simple, but as I walked into this classroom where I had spent every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of this semester, I was saddened. I had Mr. Sukany last semester for History of the English, but Structure was my last class with him. He's so passionate about English and about grammar. I won't have him in class anymore. I know I probably sound a little melodramatic, but you didn't sit in these classes and laugh so hard you couldn't breathe. The class would have intellectual conversations about grammar that no one else I know could have had with me. It was wonderful. I was frustrated sometimes in the class, like when he introduced a new concept that didn't make sense, but after you learned it, you realized how awesome it is. I never knew so much could apply to language or that so much could be unpacked in one sentence.

I gave Mr. Sukany a thank you card telling him how much I appreciated this class. I was so challenged and learned so much. So after I handed in the final, was handed my homework from the semester, and walked out the door, it hit me. I was done with Structure. All those good times. All those laughs. All the late hours spent diagramming sentences. It is done.

I cried. Yeah, I really did. I was that sad. It was like saying goodbye to a wonderful friend. I'm tempted to take the class again next fall just for the heck of it. But I don't know. It may not work out with my schedule. I didn't think I would cry at first, but I did. I loved that class so much.

Anyway, I just wanted to share. Never in my life would I have imagined I would grow so attached to a class, but it happened. I will use every bit of what I learned in Structure when I start teaching. And I know that I will never take another class like Structure for as long as I live.

So thanks for listening to me ramble. Have a Merry Christmas and God Bless.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Love

Sometimes God lets us wonder about our current circumstances. He gives us the time to mull over in our heads what's happening in our lives. We pray and read His word, and we mull some more. And then sometimes, God decides to tell us where we are, and we no longer have to mull so much.

Over Thanksgiving Break, my mulling paid off. For a very long time, and you know how long if you've read any of my blog over the past few years, I have been waiting for God to bring that special someone into my life. I feel like I have waited for a long time, which I have, but the older you get the longer it feels like you wait, which it is. Anyway, while I was at home, God kind of tore up my method of thinking. I have stereotyped myself for a long time with the two words of waiting and single. Those words are not "bad" words, but when used in the wrong connotation, they can evolve into bad words. I think in a way for me, I've been stuck with those words for so long, they have kind of grown bad on me.

But God took it a step further. Whether I am single or dating or married it should not matter what I am labeled. What should matter is whether I am pursuing an intimate relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ.

I always go back to thinking about a marriage relationship, simply because that is how our relationship with Christ is portrayed in the Bible. He loves the church as his bride. But what kind of a relationship is it if I'm complaining that my husband isn't enough or that I'm not satisfied or even if I'm not talking to him as much as I should. Jesus is so much more important than any husband I could ever have. Sometimes my flesh wants to combat that thought process with a large "but what about," but that's not fair. The maker of the universe, according to Jeremiah 29:12, wants me to come to Him with tears and just be with Him, and He will listen to me. The being who breathed the stars into existence wants to listen to what little ole me has to say. If that's not a relentless love, I don't know what is.

God doesn't look at me as single or waiting or dating. He sees me as his daughter pursuing an intimate relationship with him. When I switch my focus from the negative to the positive, being single doesn't appear so blah. God has placed me in this season for a reason. He wants me to dive headlong into this ocean of newness and love and experience Him in a way I never have.

He simply wants me to trust Him. Some days, that is the hardest thing I have to do. But why is it? Why is it that we find it so difficult to trust the maker and writer of our lives and of everything? Because we are human, and we have this awful thing called sin in the world. But thank goodness we have God's redeeming grace and forgiveness and faithfulness, and thank goodness for the cross of Jesus. Thank goodness for that love because without it, we would all be destined for hell.

So if you see me in the upcoming months and ask me if I've found a boyfriend, I will probably tell you no. But that I have found a lover who surpasses anything a boyfriend could ever offer. God is so incredibly good, and I want to love Him more and learn to love him better.

I hope this post finds you well during this lovely Christmas season. Until next time, God Bless.