I've moved!

I'm still writing; you just won't find me here any longer. If you want to keep reading my writing, head over to mollyflinkman.com. I'll keep a cup of coffee warm for you.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


word of the day: hula-hoop: a plastic toy hoop that is twirled around the body

I bought a hula-hoop today. I have this new theory that if I hula-hoop for 15 minutes every day I'll get a good core workout whilst multitasking and watching tv at the same time. I'm all about multitasking these days.

If you want a symbolic twist on the matter, consider the hula-hoop my current train of thought. It's cyclical. It goes around and around, stops periodically, and has no clear end. Such is the nature of this post.

Ginny got groomed last week.
I was convinced that the experience was going to traumatize her, but luckily there seems to be no lasting damage to her psyche. Unfortunately her eyes are now wide open, which means she blinks every time a camera flashes.
I won a super fabulous gift bag from Barnes & Noble last week. I entered my name in a drawing while we were killing some time waiting for Ginny's groom session to be over. The bag was worth it in and of itself, but it was filled with posters, stickers, books, pencils, and other wonderful things that teachers ogle over.

Can you see the joy radiating from my face? I was pretty excited about the loot.

In other news, I read 8 chapters of a book last week, rediscovered my love of vanilla lattes, and have addicted myself to the show 'Lie to Me' with Jake.

If we have a conversation in the near future, you can be sure that I will be reading your face for lies based on your use of manipulators and/or distractors.

I listened to a sermon by Shane Hipps last week on the Mars Hill Church podcast. Hipps started by referencing a preposition and anytime a pastor or speaker references a grammatical and/or English related term, I'm basically hooked.

The preposition he was referring to came in the phrase 'with God'. He spoke about how so often we replace the preposition 'with' with words like 'for' and 'under'. The truth of the matter, though, is that we are called to live life with God.


He struck me most, though, when he spoke about prayer.

It's generally hard for me to wrap my mind around the concept of prayer. Like, what do I have to say that God doesn't already know? Or if God already has this situation figured out, what does my input have to do with anything? God proves time and time again to know the path much better than I do, so sometimes my two cents worth seems futile.

Shane Hipps gave me a new perspective though. He says that prayer is less about accomplishing anything and more about abiding in the presence of God.

It's more about operating in a state with God. And I like that picture better.

I also like this picture. You're lookin' at the rest of my evening.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


word of the day: why \ˈhwī, ˈwī\ for what cause reason or purpose

I should really be in bed. Really.

However, this blog sits here practically unwritten on and I feel especially compelled tonight to at least put something down on paper (so to speak). So, here goes.

It's far too easy to get bogged down when you live the life of a teacher (if you want to get straight to the point). There's always something to do. Always a post-it note of to-dos or a deadline creeping up on you. Always an email to respond to or a report to print out. Always a worksheet that needs printed three days in advance or a lesson that needs tweaked. There's always a lesson that needs tweaked.

It's easy to ask yourself, "Why?" when you're a teacher.

Why did I willingly enter into a profession that requires so much of me? That sucks my energy dry at times. That causes me to lose sleep at night. Why did I choose a profession that I inevitably bring home with me every night because I don't know where the minimize button is?

The point of this post, though, is not the question, but rather the answer.

On Monday and Tuesday, my kids recited poetry. Each student chose a poem, analyzed it, and stood in front of the class with a spotlight blinding them while they recited it for us. About 15 of my students memorized their poems and totally rocked the whole experience.

On Tuesday night, I watched a handful of my kids perform in a show choir concert and I about fell off my chair I was so darn proud of those kids.

I came home from the concert and bragged to Jake about how wonderfully talented all my students are. That's when it hit me. This is why.

I get to watch kids grow into their skin everyday. I get to navigate them through new learning and new ideas. I get to watch them succeed, struggle, learn, and grow all because of the profession I chose.

And that freakin' rocks.

I suppose that as an English teacher I should probably be able to conjure up a better adjective than 'Freakin', but there isn't a better adjective to prove the point.

I have this sign that hangs above the filing cabinets in my classroom. It looks like an eye chart, but upon further observation, it repeats the phrase "Do what you love" over and over again.
Sometimes I forget momentarily the answer to the question "Why?" Then answer walks into my room in the form of iPods and Air Jordans. The answer stays after school for help and brings cakes in to share with their classmates. The answer walks in packs and brings a smile to my face on a daily basis. I do what I love because of those kids and I hope that's something I never lose sight of.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

chalkboard dream.

word of the day: chalkboard dream \ˈchk-ˌbrd\ \ˈdrēm\

Ok, ok. So today's word isn't technically in the dictionary. The original word of the day was 'resolution', but I think by the end you'll agree that 'chalkboard dream' is way better. Trust me.

I was in Caribou Coffee today.

We have this really great Caribou sandwiched between Des Moines University and Drake University. It's big and always full of people studying. It sort of takes me back to my own college days in an 'Over the Rhine soundtrack' kind of way.

Anyways, as I was waiting by the door for my friend to catch up, I suddenly found myself face to face with a giant chalkboard wall.

I love a good chalkboard wall, so I was immediately intrigued. As I looked more closely, I started reading things like:
'Write a book'
'Climb the Grand Tetons'
'Start a family'
'Finish my first year of teaching well'
'Move somewhere warm'
'Travel one month out of the year for the rest of my life'
'Live Healthier'
'Marry Andy'
What I hadn't noticed right off the bat were the words 'Dream Board' smack in the middle of the wall. I was staring at a wall of New Year's resolutions and immediately started feeling pressure to add my own to the mix.

Now, you should know that I'm not generally one for resolutions. In fact, I'm not sure I have ever even made one in my whole life. But with that empty space of chalkboard staring me in the face, I couldn't resist.

I stood there for a second. How could I sum up all that I wanted for 2011? What one dream would encompass what I want my life to look like in the upcoming year?

The answer came to me very simply.
'Love more faithfully'
The only real goal I have for myself in the upcoming year is to love better. To love God better. To love His Word better. To love Jake better. To love my family better. To love people better. To love the nations better.

To love unselfishly, joyfully, generously, and largely.

In that moment with the chalk in my hand, it all made perfect, simple sense. Life isn't about me. It's not about how many pounds I can lose or how many days I spend in the gym. It's not about my life being organized or my desire to eat healthier. It's not even about how I finish the year at school or whether or not I climb the highest hill in Iowa.

It's about me being loved. It's about me loving others.

That's it. That's my 2011 chalkboard dream.

*I did NOT draw the sun next to mine. The person who wants to live in Florida did.