Those contemplative moments are gifts from the Lord above, not because they are rare, but because they are numerous. We simply have to be quiet and still enough to recognize them. 

Since I’ve been here, I’ve done a lot of teaching. A lot of reading.  Planning. A lot of walking. Running. Sitting. Listening.

There are also things I haven’t done.

It’s interesting.

As I see my students’ creativity growing, I see my own creative outlets being put on the back burner. I’m not certain as to why this happens.

My “scrap-journals” have been with me since I became very sick three years ago. The girls who were with me during that stage knew I had 16 strictly off-limits, only-Katharyn, if-you-lose-one-you’re-dead, OCD-spastic-mine-only pens.

I also had stray paper, magazine clippings, stickers, glue and glitter all shuffled into a clear plastic box that was organized in a very disorganized fashion that is now in a travel worthy bag sitting in the 11th grade classroom.


As my wise older brother says: “It’s organized in my mind. If it makes sense to me, it’s organized.”


I’ve had three journals in three years, and they are places where I allow myself to be “disorganized.”

Journaling isn’t meant to be perfect. In my mind, the messier, the stickier, and the more chaotic your journal is, the more organized the rest of your life will be.

If you allow yourself to be free, especially in a private place, the more comfortable you will be presenting a more structured exterior to the rest of the world if that is what you desire.  

I’ve had periods when my journaling has been nonexistent.

I distinctly remember that when my life is on a seesaw in between “I’m a disaster” and “This Is The Best Life Ever,”  I don’t always feel I need a creative outlet. This is because my emotions run so high, regardless of if they be positive or negative, that my mind is so energized I don’t have time to sit still and journal.

However, when the time comes when I need an outlet, a friend to listen, or even a place to celebrate, my journals have been that safe haven.

I will even address an entry “Dear Void.”

a completely empty space
Google Dictionary

There have been times where other portions of my life have been voids, and not in a negative “without-emotion-empty-of-all-empathy” place the word “void” insinuates. It’s a place where time stands still, where silence is loud and chills run down your spine.

A choir performance.

A graduation.

A rainy horizon.

An empty classroom.

A sunset.

A side street.


It’s unpredictable and predictable at the same time. It’s filled with happiness, hope and energy that could burst if a pin drops. It’s beautiful, majestic and even terrifying.

The void is the moment that takes your breath away. When you say things like “Wow, God is so cool,” “I can’t believe I’m here,” “I’m blessed,” “This is incredible.”

Those contemplative moments are gifts from the Lord above, not because they are rare, but because they are numerous. We simply have to be quiet and still enough to recognize them. 

Prayer Requests

  1. I was in the hospital with a kidney stone for three days. I have been away from my students and I miss them. Please pray that as I return to work tomorrow, our classroom time can be productive and refreshing in a way that can make up some lost time.

  2. Bullying is increasingly an issue at Bethel. Please pray for restored wounds, healed friendships and comforted hearts.

  3. Pray that as students explore their independence, their respect for authority still remains intact.

  4. We at Bethel are getting sick left and right. We are starting to believe that it is an attack from the enemy. “In Jesus Name, sickness be gone.”

4 thoughts on “Sunsets and Side Streets

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