Thursday, November 22, 2007

Chance Encounters

Hebrews 13:2 tells us: "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." Now, I don't know about entertaining angels but this verse has always given me the gentle reminder that even our chance encounters can be significant. Yesterday, I have been blessed by many people that I do not know. At the grocery store yesterday, I ran across three people who significantly put a smile on my face. Let's face it, grocery shopping the day before Thanksgiving can be a less than cheerful event. Thankfully, it all turned out fine.
  • One man stopped me in the produce isle and told me to keep my pretty smile. He mentioned that when we both came into the store, I smiled at him before turning to grab my basket. He said that he had seen me smile at everyone I came across as I was looking for fruits and vegetables. I don't remember seeing him at all before that moment.
  • Another was a lady who saw my A&M shirt. Every time we passed each other, she smiled and said "Gig 'Em". Throughout the whole store. She was cute.
  • An employee that was helping me find something in the frozen food section was SO friendly. He went on and on about Thanksgiving and what a great day it was. He was so excited and it was a bit contagious.

We never realize who we are going to meet or the impact we may have on them. At the same time, we never know how we will be affected. A simple reminder for our daily encounters. What a blessing!

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Queen Esther

*Erin, great minds think alike! Here's to a wonderful semester of chiastic structure and reversals of destiny! Thank you for taking me along with you!

Tonight is the first Tuesday night in several months I have spent at home. Last week was our last week in Esther with Beth and the Living Proof sisters. I am sad. I LOVED spending my Tuesday nights in DEEP study of the scripture. Not only that but I was surrounded by women who praised God with all of their might. Women lifting up His name is by far the most beautiful thing that I have seen. In the midst of praise and worship, I caught myself staring at the outpouring of praise that surrounded me weekly. It was breathtaking! I can only imagine how God himself felt.

Last spring when the Austin group finished Daniel, I really hated to see it end. After delving into a life so touched by God, I grew very attached. Since then, I have found myself flipping to various passages from Daniel just because I actually missed the book and all I learned there. It is now one of those spots that my bible just falls open to. I miss this man of God. I did not think that I would experience that attachment again with another book. However, much to my surprise, tonight I find myself missing Esther. She has come to represent trust and assurance in our great God. Through this book, I have seen God's faithful hand all over every decision and step I have taken thus far. I know that it is that same hand that will guide all steps to come.

Until I am able to be back with Beth, I am revisiting some old friends - the Patriarchs. I have loved these men who God so specifically worked through - flaws and all - for years. I am looking forward to revisiting these men and seeing what I can learn about our God through them. Here's to old friends, new understandings, and a rapid coming of January 8th!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

You've Got Mail

Today, I checked my mail and found an actual letter in the box! That's right - handwritten, stationary, well wishes sealed and stamped just for me. A lady from West Houston wrote to tell me that she was glad I have placed membership at the church. She is 86 years old, only leaves the house to go to the doctor, and she took the time to write a whole page to me. It made my day! I smiled like a Cheshire Cat all the way back to the apartment.

I believe that writing letters is a lost art form. Someone sitting down and taking the time to share themselves with us. Carefully chosen words, beautiful stationary, neat handwriting. If a page from a lady I have yet to meet can make me feel so good, wouldn't a few lines from those we care about contain that much more joy? How nice to find something worth while in the mail!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

First Grade

I was looking over my blog and I noticed something: I haven't written about work in quite a while! What a nice surprise! How wonderful to have other thoughts and activities going on so that I'm not 100% defined by the job. However, I am going to dedicate this post to first grade.

When I accepted the position, I wasn't sure how I would like first grade. I have always heard that you either love it or hate it. I was anticipating not liking it at all only to be pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy the little ones! Sure, there are rough days and even rougher students but they pale in comparison to the good stuff.

So....without further ado: Reasons I like first grade:
  • We get to sing multiple times daily.
  • We get to celebrate holidays and other significant events.
  • The students are excited about learning and soak it up!
  • Amazing academic growth!
  • Learning all 70 phonograms and the cute movements/sayings that help us remember them. (I'll be happy to demonstrate - just ask)
  • LOTS of hugs and holding hands!
  • Losing teeth (especially when my sweet girl lost her two front silver teeth so her smile is even more beautiful now!)
  • They look hilarious when they run.
  • Two of my boys look like they belong in the Peanuts gang.
  • We play games.
  • Crafts!
  • They really do say the funniest things!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

My Piece of Heaven

Tomorrow, we are starting a two week unit of study on Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims. I'm pretty excited. That is one thing that I really enjoy about the switch to first grade. We get to actually enjoy the various times of the year. The only downfall to it is that I am having to rebuild my classroom and read aloud library. Since I don't have many Thanksgiving books, I made a Barnes and Noble run tonight and got a few. Yea for the Educator's Discount!

I know that some of you are Borders fans but I am not. I find them to be crowded, busy, and cold. I LOVE Barnes and Noble! It is slower and quieter. It is inviting and warm. It is the perfect place to unwind and relax. As a book lover, I literally get lost in there for hours. It is the ultimate escape for me. I turn the cell phone to silent and move from book to book, slipping in and out of genre, realities, and interests. There are entire worlds in there to discover and nothing to disturb the beauty of it all. There is nothing like the quiet joy of the written world.

In heaven, I look forward to a room filled with the original scrolls to peruse with the ones who wrote them and the One that inspired them.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Resembling Him

At Bible Study last night, Beth shared this quote with us by Ray Steadman:

When, because of your faith, your life too becomes perceptibly different; when your reactions are quite opposite to what the situation seems to call for and your activities can no longer be explained in terms of your personality; that is when your neighborhood will sit up and take notice. In the eyes of the world, it is not our relationship with Jesus Christ that counts; it is our resemblance to him.

This has become one of my new prayers: That my actions, words, and reactions can only be explained by whose I am, not who I am.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


About a year ago, I found a book by Frank Warren called PostSecret. I was intrigued and opened it up. In the front of the book, I found that Mr. Warren started a project as a community art project. He had people anonymously send in self decorated postcards sharing their deepest secrets. No names, all secrets. News got out about it and he started receiving hundreds of thousands of post cards. He compiled them and published them in a book. On Monday, the fourth book in the series is going to be released.

I am SO drawn to these books! Some secrets are silly and fun while others will break your heart. Some are disturbing while others make you grin cheek to cheek. What is so freeing about sharing secrets and reading someone else's? I guess it is an unburdening of the soul. Maybe the thought of "Oh! It's not just me!" or "Wow! Maybe I don't have it so bad after all." Maybe it is the joy of sharing the best news you have heard today but you can't.

There is a blog that he posts every Sunday with new postcards that he has received. I thought long and hard about whether I should link it or not because of the nature of some of the post cards. I decided to do it. If you decide to look at it, I hope you are as drawn in as I am. Talk about a look into the human soul!


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Getting Old?

As you have noticed, I have lessened on the blogging scene. I have ideas often but, truth be told, I am EXHAUSTED by the time I get home. Totally worn out. Pooped. Drained. You get the picture....

I'm not sure if it is because I am so tired or my new routine but my favorite time of day has become bedtime! I look forward to it all day. Not in the depressed, "I don't want to deal with the world" kind of way but in the complete relaxation kind of way. Honestly! Every night, I put on the kettle to heat and go wash my face. I then return to the kitchen and make a cup of decaffeinated herbal tea. I go back to my bedroom, turn back to covers and crawl in. I indulge in a few chapters of my latest book while I sip my tea. When the tea is gone and chapters are finished, I turn off the lights and snuggle down in my covers, warm both inside and out. I am out in a matter of minutes. I love it!

Hot tea, a book, and an early bedtime....I am only 27, right!?