Tuesday, April 15

Shampoo Girl...

Courtesy of Tina's Canon

That picture is of the teens in our church. Once a month, they run the church service. Greeting at the door, leading music, opening and closing prayers. Those are MY kids and I'm so proud of them. I had no idea what I wanted to write about tonight until I started thinking about this.... it's not really a weight post.. more a "getting to know Tina" read...

This afternoon after a bunch of annoying things happened at work, I updated my facebook status to say "Tina is very annoyed right now". I received a message on my wall that said "... don't be annoyed because you're beautiful and you have a really good shampoo girl.. " She is a teen in my church and is probably one of the sweetest people I know... and I could have just hugged her. That led me to another thought...

I'm not sure if I've shared this but from 1999-2004, I was a teacher at a school for kids that have different learning challenges (ADD, ADHD, ED, Asperger's, Dyslexia..). I taught Math to grades 5-12, Chemistry to the high school and computers/sign language as an elective. It was hard work, long hours, little pay... but the reward of seeing a kid complete my course.. when they were pronounced as failures and they would never succeed.. I can't explain the feeling.

During this time I was battling with my own demons.. alcohol and depression to name a few... I mention this because my best moments were when I could forget about myself and focus on someone else - my problems seemed infinitely smaller in comparison.

Years later I no longer struggle with alcohol but sometimes battle a little with depression. Not clinically like I was but just sometimes feeling a little down... worrying about my problems, my weight, how many friends I have, what people are thinking about me, being far from my family.. I kind of got in a rut and I really noticed it recently. So I decided to do something about it..

I am starting to hang out with our teenagers in the church again and am realizing that they need me. They need my investment, my care, my concern.. and maybe even the wisdom of my years. These kids are quite awesome.. they face so many challenges, many times as soon as they get out of bed. It's my privilege to be their friend..

This walk of faith, life we live.. man, it's bumpy sometimes, right?


Laura B. said...

Wow! What an awesome post, Tina! I have always felt like I get way more in return when I spend time with kids in our church. Keep it up, girl!

Kate said...

Love, Love, Love the post girl (but I always do!).

I too have dealt with some depression over the years,luckily now, I have a pretty good handle on it, and when I find myself sliding down into a rut, I know enough to pull myself out of it. Sounds like you have great things in line to help you "snap out of it".

Good for you!

MMalloy said...

What you do for the teens is amazing and you are definetly something to them.
I think its awesome that you shared all of this, I am always trying to keep my past bottled up and this is just more proof of how important is to get those emotions out.
P.S. thanks for the Nike website, I did not know I could do that and I am so making my own Pink Hope Shox! WooHoo!!!

Miss July...not...yet said...

I work in a school for ED kids so I know the types you are talking about. It is amazing work, isn't it?

So, you mentioned alcohol and it reminded me of a study I saw a couple of years ago. It said if you had the alcoholism gene but didn't "use" it, you tended to be overweight and crave sugary types of food. I guess the theory is that instead of drinking you crave teh sugar? Anyway, just thought it was interesting.

Sounds like you do amazing work with those kids. :-)

Swizzlepop said...

I hope you realize and KNOW how much you inspire people around you, even those that you've never met. I can't say that I've been in your shoes, but I have had my issues with "mental issues" (I don't like saying depression but just now realized that mental issues isn't much better sounding, but whaterver, I know you get it). I was on medication for years and still would be if it wasn't that we were TTC. Let me just tell you that I can't wait to get my meds back so that I can feel "normal" again. But I digress.. Your "travel through time" post really got me going. I started digging through pictures and found some old friends and started reminiscing. I even went so far as to stalk, I mean seek some out om myspace and I've gotten in touch with a few. It has been a great experience and healer. And I blame, I mean thank ;) you for that. That is part of the reason for not blogging as much, I've been focusing on reconnecting with some people and just thinking about life, where I've been, where I am and that I really don't have it bad at all. Never have, but it takes stepping back to realize that.
Helping people really is a great experience, regardless of how we do it. As long as you can feed your soul and can help others grow or through a rough spot. I feel that all things happen for a reason and that some things are just meant to be, but timing is important. Your reflection has brought you closer to something that not only makes you feel better but helps so many others. Don't ever stop, and don't be afraid to reach out (to me included cuz you have my email and if you came to SF I know you'd find me :D).

Thank you for sharing such a personal part of you and for helping me reawaken a part of my life that I had shut the door on.

Once again, sorry for the novel :)

Steph said...

Wow - what an awesome post. Just for the record, not only do those kids need you but your blogging buddies do too! I can't tell you how often you lift my spirits and remind me that WE can do this. You are an inspiration to every life that you come in contact with. I heart you - (((HUGS)))