Monthly Archives: October 2008

Another Random Writing…


Why does it take so long and so much to learn
When growing close to you is what for I yearn
It seems like the same thing over and over again
When will I realize there can be an end
You died for me, and I’m eternally grateful to You
But you also rose for me-and live is what you do
In me, through me, with me, upon me–Holy Spirit, acome
I’m tired of doing this myself, I want to be done
Thank you for Your patience, Your mercy, Your grace
That you so calmly and gently brought me to this place
Made me aware of my iniquities-I can’t do it alone
It’s be dependence on You constantly we can make it on our own
Thank you for the firm foundation you took years to make
It’s my life, my strength, my pride you take
It’s for my own good-it’s failed every time
Why does it take so long for me to grasp what’s Yours is mine
In You, I have power and strength-ultimate vicotry
Kindness, Gentleness, Goodness, and Patience now write my story
In You, I’ve found a life that’s worth living for
One bigger and greater and oh, so much more!
Remind me of this freedom that You’ve given to me
Remind me of who it is You desire me to be

God has been revealing so much to me over the past few weeks–a strong realization that I will never change! And, it’s been so freeing to realize that is okay–as long as I let Him live through me. I have such a tendency to control, fix, and take things in my own hands…what a relief to know that I don’t have to! Now, as for the application of this all-we shall see! And, on another random side note, today is my 8th birthday if you will. Eight years ago, Heather Trout led me to the Lord in Mozart Square! What a journey it has been!

Where were you eight years ago? What has God done in your life since then?


Ramblings of a Ref


So, amidst random massages, tutoring my Korean Student, transcribing interviews for a classmate, and other bartering of trades-I have acquired a job as a basketball official.  Tonight was my first night-and it consisted of four women’s rec league games at the YMCA.  The Water Buffalo would have demolished the teams I witnessed tonight.  Thankfully, for the most part, they all still had fun.  I had fun mostly because I was amusing myself with the random trail of thoughts that were going on in my head–some of which I’ll try to relay here:

“Wow-I really shouldn’t have eaten that pizza right before coming here….although, seeing Jamie for dinner surprise sure was nice….I wonder if she’s going to come to the game or not….Woah, what made #21 think that shot was a good idea?  Oh well….Ooops, how did both of you end up on the floor?  I suppose I should call a foul, but I’m going to go ahead and ignore that comment you just made to me and let the game continue…dang, my shoes are sexy.  Gotta love $20 Spalding ‘Genuine Leather’ all black shoes…Seriously, she’s wearing a plastic head band to play in?  That’s cute, actually-but plastic?  Does the YMCA not care about safety these days….Lord, will I ever learn how to manage my time better?….Karolyn, avoid eye contact–you just missed another blatantly obvious foul…okay, really, get over it-just play the game…oops, that’s definitely my second inadvertant whistle of the evening.  In this game.  In this half…Man, my shoes look good–they’d look even better if I were at home playing Tetris right now….but why am I losing so much lately?  How should I change my strategy?…I wonder if I started reffing ‘nubs’ style if anyone would notice…I love Nubs-style…Hmm, I wonder if the YMCA’s fees are less than 24 Hours?  Why am I still paying for a membership I use twice every quarter of a year….’BLUE BALL!”-okay, good, no arguments, that must have been the right call….shoot, I really need to bring aquaphor next time. And some lotion.  It’s windy up in this gym….but really, it just took me seven steps to make it all the way to half court….I’m too sexy for my shoes (singing this tune, naturally)…Hmmm, should I play with this team instead of reffing?  No, I need the money and this is amusing…dang, I should probably be running right now, ‘working unto the Lord’..I feel I’ve gotten progressively lazier as the caliber of these games have progressively worsened…Am I regressing in life?  I mean, back to a basketball official like in college?  Sorority style living?  Back in school?  Tetris?  God, I love the life You’ve blessed me with…88-36, close game, valiant effort, great attitudes….I am so glad I had Jen pluck that random neck hair earlier, that was so annoying…Dude, I’d love to be playing with that precious little kid right now—JAMIE!  ROOMMATE!  You made it…To pee, or not to pee-that is the question….Whew, those four hours flew by…”

Escaping to El Paso


This weekend I got the wonderful luxury of being able to go visit good ol’ G&G out in El Paso.  Really, it was my grandma’s birthday last Monday that spurred this thought-and the option of getting to go spend some time with them that made it a reality.  I absolutely love visiting my grandparents (both sets, but I’ll focus on Haskin G&G right now since I just came from there-and I’ll talk about the Martin’s when I visit there in January).

When I was little, I remember going to my granparents pretty often considering we never lived very close (Arizona was the closest at a six hour drive–the drive my dad made this weekend to join me and my grandparents in El Paso).  The things I remember about their home are plentiful.  I remember getting there and being excited to go into “our” bedroom to see how the beds were made, which stuffed animal was on our bed, and there was inevitably going to be a little gift to surprise us as well.  They also always had gumdrops out on the kitchen counter to grab as you walked by-I never particularly like gumdrops, but I always liked to have them at their house.  I remember watching 101 dalmations while sitting on their little stools they had in the den.  I remember looking at the miniature Christmas tree full of all sorts of miniature ornaments-each holding a story that was so wonderfully told by grandma.  I remember going out to their pool where there were always at least ten colorful bouncy balls floating in the deep end.  I remember cleaning the sides of the pool with my grandpa, trying to swim laps with my grandma as she counted with her rocks, and competing with my dad with cannonballs off the diving board (until he cracked the board and I became frightened).  I remember the Christmas lights out on their patio where we would eat every meal-usually joined by the Pataky’s, their dear neighbors.  I remember going to this Warehouse to buy things like dreamcatchers, Mexican Jumping beans, and dried scorpions.  I remember looking through their scrapbooks full of pictures from different crazy places all over the world and hearing all the fun stories accompanying them.  I remember just having a good time.

The same holds true for this past weekend-I definitely had a good time.  While there are no longer gumdrops (they’ve been replaced by a chocolate jar in the den), surprise gifts on the bed upon arrival (this is now saved for a departing gift), the pool isn’t a daily activity-nor are there many colorful balls left in the deep end, and the Pataky’s no longer live across the street.  Yes, things have changed-but so have we.  So, this weekend, I got to enjoy a grown up weekend in El Paso.  One that consisted of the following:

  • Arriving Friday afternoon-having grams and gramps pick me up to bring me to Jack in the Box to enjoy an Oreo shake together
  • Taking a quick little nap on grandma’s chair before getting ready for dinner
  • Meeting my dad for dinner at the Steak House-YUMMY!
  • Returning home for conversation, dessert, and laughter
  • Saturday-a lazy wake up to enjoy breakfast: eggs, cinnamon rolls, fruit salad
  • Time out in the yard-trimming trees, getting hit in the face by branches, trying to use the electric trimmer thing myself, cleaning out the pool, clearing out the gutters, etc.
  • Followed by a nap and the drinking of 4 Nalgene bottles of water-eventually ate lunch
  • Played games: Mexican Train (I won), Rummikub (I won), Boggle (I won), and Quinto (no, I did not win.  Although please note the trend here) 🙂
  • Somewhere in there took another nap and ate dinner, had dessert, and played more games
  • Woke up Sunday for breakfast (at this point still having yet to have changed out of my pajamas from Friday night)-played more games (I believe dad won) and then sent him on his merry way
  • Went to the mall with G&G for lunch-ran into some of their friends (surprise, surprise-they know EVERYONE!)-and returned home for games, football watching, and another nap.
  • Enjoyed a drive back to the airport (with grams sitting in the back seat with me so I wouldn’t be alone)-and was sad to part-but eager to return!  Had a lay-over in Phoenix where my pops met me and treated me to dinner!
  • Upon arriving in San Diego, I was greeted by my room2mate Caitlin–a fabulous weekend overall!

I definitely left refreshed and renewed-ready for this busy week of learning, working, tutoring, hanging out with friends, and typing!  Thanks, G&G, for a GREAT time in El Paso!  Hopefully you’ll remember I added my blog to your ‘favorites’ and you’ll be able to check this out 🙂  I love you both dearly!

What do you remember most about visiting your grandparents?

Then A Hero Comes Along…


So, it’s that time of year. It’s in reverse effect though. It’s usually about this time that I would start questioning my decision to teach another year…the paperwork would start piling up, the meetings would become mundane, the memory of summer would gradually begin to fade, the novelty of new students and new classroom decor would long since be forgotten. And, now, here I am-on the other side. Questioning my decision not to teach another year. Granted, I’m pretty confident I’ll return to teaching next year (of course, this is in the running with about nine other ideas I have–we’ll just wait and see what the Lord does!)-but it’s been a much more difficult transition that anticipated. At times, it’s difficult to see what good is coming out of this year when I don’t feel that I’m being productive–but we’ve been learning so much about the importance of being relationship-focused rather than task-focused, so I’m trying to remember that. And, in the words of my dear student Ladejeisha, ‘Ms. Haskin, you’re taking care of yourself this year. You’re doing what you need to do.” The Lord is definitely teaching me, molding me, challenging me, and loving me sweetly.

To help with the transition, I have been blessed by the contact of many students over the past few weeks. I’d love to share some interactions:

  • Donnie, class clown, called me to have me help him with math homework over the phone.   Something he didn’t believe I was capable of-but three hours later, he’d completed his week’s assignments and actually understood what was going on.  He made a comment that I better be around to help him get to college and I got to speak to his mom who encouraged me in what I was doing this year.
  • I visited Gompers last Friday to check in and say hello-fun to be greeted by smiles, hugs, shouts, and questions (‘are you back?’), etc.  A security guard encouraged me there-“Don’t trip.  God’s got yo back.  You feel me?’  Yeah, I feel you–and I’m working on feeling and experiencing Him!
  • I then got to go to Narbonne High School, where Ladejeisha’s going to school.  I met with her teachers who were incredibly supportive and helpful-gave me copies of books, changed her schedule to get her the assistance she needs, and exchanged email addresses and phone numbers.  It was also awesome to surprise Ladejeisha at the end of her Spanish class!
  • I had a student, Leo, call me several times.  He just wanted to apologize he didn’t make it to school Friday to see me-he hadn’t been feeling well.  Poor guy is so stressed out and overwhelmed-such a wise soul, though, for being 14.  He’s struggling with school this semester and we got to talk about some things he could do differently.  He also wanted me to watch the show Privileged since I remind him of the main character on it since I’m “nice and goofy”-I recorded it to ensure it was a compliment!
  • Tuesday, I also got to spend time on the phone with Ladejeisha practicing her reading for her English class.  She has made great strides and is growing in her fluency and confidence–she even called me yesterday to let me know she got an ‘A’ on her science homework!
  • I was also blessed by a call from a student from my first year of teaching, Kendrick.  He wanted to talk more about FCA camp (he was one of the three who went this summer) and asked about going next summer.  He’s getting all B’s this semester and told me his reading is getting faster and easier-and he’s able to read out loud in front of anybody now.  Life is definitely easier when literate!
  • Acosta, my favorite co-worker, also called and left a message during class that all my students from last year are passing their Math class–something they wanted to share with my personally.  Brings a tear to my eye!

So, even though it’s tough at times-I do feel I have the best of both worlds.  I’m not bogged down by the paperwork, colleagues, and beauracracy of the system-instead, I get to invest in relationships on a deeper level and hopefully I’ll leave half the imprint on their lives that they’ve left on mine.  It’s funny that, as I was growing up, I always had a difficult time answering “Who is your hero?”.  Now, I have so many.

[On another side note, I’ve also been tutoring a girl from Korea with her English skills.  We have a blast together!  But, let me just tell you, trying to explain English is not always easy!  She was asking about how to give directions–I told her she could say, “Make a left right there at the light”–and she responded, “Make a left right?  How do you make a left right?”.  She also wanted to know the difference between coming and going-for example, when someone calls to pick her up, she tells them on the phone, “I’m going right there.”  There are just things I’ve never even thought about-all the funny insights and exceptions.  We definitely spend plenty of time laughing and some of the time learning from each other!]

6 Random Things About Yours Truly


Thanks to dear Becky, there has been an influx in these types of blogs. Please read through to see if you’re one of the chosen ones, and work accordingly.

So, here you go–6 random things about me in no particular order (and please note I did have a difficult time coming up with these-mainly because I thought the title was 6 interesting things-and I found myself quite disappointed I couldn’t think of 6 interesting things about me…I’ll work on that):

1. I LOVE lists. Like love, live, and thrive, and survive on them. I have lists that tell me what to do today, this week, long-term, short-term, important things to do, people to call, people to email, Christmas wish list, etc. I have recently discovered and accepted that these lists help me function. I need stability and structure.

2. I really wish I could incorporate more of a hippy lifestyle to my ways. I find myself thinking about this often. I would love to one day have dreds and I plan on getting my nose pierced as soon as the money appears. I would love to wear more Bohemian type clothing with big accessories. I also wish I ate healthier and were more environmentally aware and active. I also envy the carefree mentality. I’ll work on what I can, but be satisfied with where I am now with Jesus.

3. When alone, I wonder what life would be like as a musical. Whether driving in the car, walking along the street, or riding my bike, I start making up songs to different tunes as I go along. Every now and then, I’ll find someone willing to join me in this endeavor and enjoy frolicking around the streets.

4. I could entertain myself by talking to a wall. It really does not take much to amuse me at all. My mom says I’ve been like this ever since I was a little girl. There are constantly conversations going on in my head and I quite enjoy my own company 🙂 Now, I just need to be more conscious about planning this time to devote to me and God.

5. I would say that, on average, I get comments about my height and/or dimples 5.7 times a week. I have come to view this as a blessing God has given me. Just a comment can start some pretty great conversations–one of which even led to a six-month relationship. You just never know!

6. I’m trying to think of one that might surprise people, but am not stumbling upon any earth-shatterers here. So, I’ll go with travel. I have been to fifteen different countries (Mexico, Canada, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Austria, Monte Carlo, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, England, Peru, Columbia*, Panama*), and have only not been to less than ten states (some in the midwest, the northeast, and Alaska–not sure the specifics, I’d have to check with my mom and dad)

All this said and done, I tag: Andie, JP, Schneple Schisters, Kristen**, Mom**, Dad**
*These were only during layovers, but still…add ’em to the list!
**These people do not have blogs, but should still email me their lists and I can post them for some notoriety (sp? usage/)

Coming Out of The Bitter Barn!


That’s right folks….I’m attempting to come out of the bitter barn and come play in the hay!  It has been quite a whirlwind of a few weeks here.  Lots of learning, lots of challenges, lots of growth, lots of laughter, lots of loving, etc.  There are days I feel like I have it more together than others.  There are moments I feel like I have it more together than others.  I’ve come to determine a big reason I feel so confused lately is based on the fact I have not taken ANY time to myself.  I’m talking zero.  Now we all know I love people.  LOVE ’em!  However, if I don’t take time to get filled up–I just get exhausted pouring out.  Much easier said than done though at this point in my life.  I live in a house where I love all the girls, I go to school where I’m surrounded by people I want to know better, I travel most weekends to visit people I love, and I am still trying to maintain most of my friendships via the phone, email, and snail mail–something I’m not doing well lately. 

I think I’m mostly frustrated with how my jobless life looks.  I had big ambitions of my time being filled by gardening, trips to the beach, reading books, exercising, eating healthy and lounging.  Well, that’s hardly been the case.  So–I just need to accept that, be grateful for the time I do have, and do a better job at making a plan of how I believe God wants me to be spending this time here and now.  

Any thoughts or words of encouragement?