Friday, February 29, 2008

Kneading God

I just got home from the best hour of my week. It has been a VERY stressful past two weeks and my neck/shoulders/back were feeling it, so, darn it, I went to get a message. FABULOUS! I absolutely look forward to every time I get one. I look forward to it for many reasons. Obviously the physical benefits are outstanding. Working out knots and working muscles can do such wonders! However, almost more than that, I look forward to the atmosphere: dim lights, relaxing instrumental music, warm table, and comfortable temperature. I empty all thought from my mind and just enjoy.

One of the best things about massages is that even though you go in hoping to get one area addressed, I am always surprised by the other areas that get worked out too. Tonight, I was looking forward to the areas I mentioned above but when she got to my arms...WOW! I didn't even know I needed that worked on too!

Isn't that the way it is with God? We go to Him for a specific hurt or concern and He surprises us with so many other areas He can address. Funny thing is, most of the time we didn't even know we were hurting there. All we had to do was put ourselves in His hand, be still and quiet before Him, and let Him do His work. He is there to help us in so many ways we weren't even anticipating.

What wonderful hands they are!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ticking Clock? Hmmmm.....

It seems that lately, several conversations and situations in my life are surrounded by children. That's just the stage of life I am in. Being a teacher, I happen to love them but I'm perfectly content being a single woman without children. However, lately, that has started to change (at least a little).

Starting about two years ago, I met and started falling in love with Alissa's daughter Abby. She LOVES to sing, has a contagious smile, makes the funniest comments, and is cute as a button. I have two Abby originals hanging on my refrigerator. They are signed and everything!

Then, I have had the chance to meet a wonderfully Godly woman at church who has two beautiful children. Her daughter is seven and is smart as a whip! She is fun to talk to and is so outgoing! Absolutely precious! Her son is four and he melts my heart every time I see him. He has a huge smile and is the most cuddly hugger. Between the two of them, I am sunk!

There is a couple at church that Erin and Gregg are very good friends with. They have a daughter that is a few months over a year old. I can't sit behind her because I can't take my eyes off of her. Big blue eyes, red ringlets, and a smile that goes from ear to ear. I got to hold her once and I've wanted to do it again ever since.

As if that isn't enough, one of my co-workers had her 13 month old daughter at work yesterday. She was the most beautiful chunk of a baby I have seen in a while. She was smiling and flirting with everyone. My arms ached to hold her.

As I walked away from my friend and her baby, something that I once heard ran through my head. A friend told me that women start feeling that longing for children around 28 if you haven't had them already. I never put the two together but here I am, 28, looking at babies and little ones with more longing than I have in the past. I'm not ready to be a mom yet (thankfully) but I'm wondering if this is the start of that ticking biological clock. I still have plenty of time so I'm not worried. They are just all so cute and so loving!

Good think I have the best birth control ever - teaching!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Tugging on My Alissa String

Our God is so good! I've been thinking about the family we have been born into quite a bit over the past week or two. I've been blessed to remember those that have come along side me in my greatest joys and in my deepest pains. One has been tugging on my heart quite a bit the past two days and I wanted to take some time to honor her for all that she has allowed God to do for me through her.

I met Alissa when we both started attending Southern Hills church of Christ about the same time. While I remember the first night we had dinner together, I don't remember exactly when we became friends. Thankfully, somewhere along the way, God blessed me with the gift of her. For that alone, I will forever be grateful! In the short time we lived so closely, she held my hand through my darkness, persistently kept me at church, and helped me get refocused in my life. She never doubted me when that was all I felt in myself. She has made me feel like a part of her family. She can make me laugh like few others can. She tolerates me from my cheesiest to my most serious. I absolutely love every moment that I can spend with her. From serious to silly, she is there. She is a true friend in every sense of the word.

What I love most about Alissa is her heart to know God in a deeply personal way - to experience him and seek his truth. She shines in love for her precious family. Unfortunately, I don't call like I should but I hold Alissa up as one of the dearest friends of my life.

Alissa, tonight my prayer of thanksgiving is for you!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Beaming Love

Due to bad weather, I decided to drive back to Houston this morning rather than last night. Getting up at 5:00 to get ready and head back was not my first choice but it was such a blessing! The whole drive, I was able to pick up Christian radio stations. The best part was watching the sun come up to the praise of our God. Driving in the dark, I could see very distinct rays of sunlight shooting through the sky to bless the earth. I was breathless when the sun finally burst across my face. At the exact moment that the warmth from the sun caressed my face, the dawn was full and the song "Our God Saves" came through the radio. What a way to greet the day! Beautiful, crisp, cool weather highlighted by heavenly sunlight and clear blue skies while words of God's saving grace flood the airwaves.

No rocks cried out this morning!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

God's Activity

There is a lady at church that I am growing to really admire and love. At life group, she announced that she likes to ask people what God is doing in their lives. She said she does this because she has noticed in herself that her head knowledge of God's presence in her life often go unrecognized if she does not actively looked for Him. As the asker of questions, I know that you cannot ask a question you are not prepared to answer yourself. So here is what God is doing in my life:

  • revealing the lies that Satan attacks me with so he can shower me with His truths
  • showing me where my God-shaped holes are so that only He can abundently fill them
  • speaking a word when I need it most
  • creating a desire for a specific ministry
  • opening my eyes to the use of my time and what that means
  • making known to me what He has in store
  • healing wounds I did not know were still there
  • taking my breath away with the little ways He shows love on a daily basis

Our God is good and actively pursuing us daily. What about you? What is God doing in your life?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Love is in the Air

As everyone in America is keenly aware, this Thursday is Valentine's Day. To celebrate, our school is recognizing Friendship Week. Part of the festivities is carnation sales at lunch. You would think that this would be a bigger deal for the older kids but when I went to pick up my munchkins, I had a surprise waiting for me. In the fists of one of my boys and all of my girls were carnations of various colors. The little boy walks up to me and hands me a yellow, a pink, and a white carnation. He then proudly announces that he had bought a flower for every girl in the class. As I look up, I see each girl lovingly gazing at their gift. It was very sweet. This boy is off to an early start! However, I have to give him a little credit. I've always been a sucker for flowers and I think he hit the nail on the head with my sweet little girls.

Lucky for him, there are only five in our class!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

They're back!!!!!

I had the PERFECT afternoon planned - productive and not stressful at all. Then I got home from running errands after church. There, on my window sill, were the bane of my apartment-dwelling existence - the ants are back! Here are just a few of the pictures I got before they all scattered to get away from me and the raid. This doesn't even touch the tip of the iceburg. A taste of the proof that I am not just whining and complaining. I would say enjoy but that is just wrong!

Friday, February 08, 2008

My Rivers

Being the reader that I am, I love to understand the literary symbols in novels. Rivers usually stand for change or cleansing. For me, sitting by the river has always been relaxing. At the same time, they have always represented adventure. My mind has been on two rivers lately - both in Colorado. For different reasons, I love them both. They are peaceful and wild. Surrounded by glorious mountains, they were perfect for my soul.

The first is the river that flowed outside the cabin we stayed in on our last family vacation. We walked down to it and waded in a couple of times. Erin and I talked down there for a while one afternoon. I don't remember what we talked about but I do remember it being one of the more relaxing and enjoyable parts of our vacation. I also remember falling asleep to the sound of it flowing just a few yards away from my door. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and listening to it wash away every care or concern, carrying my back to sleep.

On the same vacation, Dad and us kids hit the rapids (I'm the yellow helmet on the left). So much fun! The river wasn't the highest rated rapids but we enjoyed it. The power of the river bounced us around and kept us on our toes. We never knew exactly what to expect but at the same time, we looked forward to any turn or jolt along the way. We had a great guide and we knew we were in good hands.

Right now, I long for both. I miss them both. For the first time in a long time I am not planning a trip for the summer. That isn't a bad thing but tonight, I miss my rivers.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Slump

Every year, I reach a point where I step back and think. "I could be perfectly content to not ever teach again. It is life consuming, stressful, and like beating your head against a wall that will never give!" Usually it hits around Spring Break but this year, it has come early.

Part of my problem is that I have bitten off a little more than I can chew with tutoring groups. However, that is not my biggest stress factor. It comes in the form of the LARGE amounts of time that we are losing from out instructional block. Each week, I lose an hour and a half to a district mandated computer program, half an hour to counselor lesson (literally an Arthur video EVERY week), and half an hour to library. Grand total of three and a half hours. Doesn't sound like a lot but it is! On top of that are the ENDLESS modifications in my class and the "oh! and one more things...." that land in my inbox each day. I just step back and wonder if this is the life that I truly want for myself - and eventually for my future family. Every year I get over it but what does it mean that it happens every year?

OK....I'm finished venting! Off to work!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Completely Awed!

I know that I haven't updated in a while but there isn't really too much to share right now. However, I found this on another person's blog and it blew me away! This is a five minute clip about a man who is savant autistic. The beginning of the clip will tell you that he is nicknamed "the living camera" due to his incredible accuracy in his artwork when so little time to observe is given. At the end of the clip, you can watch other sigments about Stephen and the other works he has completed. I just cannot get over it! It is amazing how the mind works - even in those we might misunderstand. God definitely knew what he was doing!