Thursday, January 29, 2009

Being a Sheep

Since everyone that I know is doing the 25 things about me, I thought I would give in and follow the leaders....

1. It doesn't matter how many times I see a picture of my niece, I am still overcome by how beautiful she is.

2. I am am an avid reader but lately I am really tearing through books. Seriously, three in the past two weeks. During the school year, this is a record for me.

3. I secretly like the hokey movies on the Hallmark Channel. Embarrassing, I know.

4. I'm with Erin - You just can't get too much better than Hebrew and Greek word study in bible study.

5. I was recently given a glimpse into how cynical life can make someone my age. And everyday since then, I have thanked God profusely that He has shielded me from that.

6. My favorite purchase I've made recently is a sign from Caleb's shop that says, "If at night you cannot sleep, count your blessings instead of sheep". It reminds me of one of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite movies White Christmas.

7. I'm on a new medication and it has changed my taste buds. I just don't enjoy sweets much anymore. This even includes my beloved hot chocolate. *Sigh.....*

8. I've learned that I really do enjoy cooking and baking.

9. One day I would really like to get my masters in either library sciences or something biblical.

10. My current favorite praise and worship song is Sing to the King. My students really like it too. They hear me sing it a lot!

11. I am growing to appreciate and be more comfortable with silence - especially in the car. I'm hoping to hear something in it one day.

12. The first song that I remember hearing on the radio and learning the words to is "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Tears for Fears. Besides my first love of the Monkees, this song was the first song I loved on my own. Oh yeah!

13. Everyday I am more and more thankful that God has continued to mold me into what He wants me to be instead of leaving me the way that I am. I look back at even a year ago and I am humbled! He is so much better that I deserve!!

14. While Erin has some amazing friends, I have her next best friend picked out for her. When I saw her at the movie theater the other night, I may have been slightly over excited. Seriously though, I can totally see it! Now to only make that happen.......hmmmm....?

15. A glass of sweet tea has the same affect on me that a whole pot of espresso has on most people.

16. Knowing that drawing is one of the talents that God has not bestowed upon me, I do feel a bit of pride when my six year old students (who don't know any better) argue that the dog I just attempted to draw is "really good!".

17. One of the things that I look forward to the most on visits home is looking through Dad's stash of coins for that one coin he's missing. It doesn't happen every visit but I always secretly hope that it does.

18. I have that wonderful feeling that the pendulum is starting to swing the other way - in the best of ways, of course.

19. She doesn't know it but one of my new favorite things about Tuesday nights is seeing Mallory sing during praise and worship time. I don't watch her but every once in a while, I catch a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye and it makes my heart smile. She seems to have no inhibitions in singing to her God.

20. I look forward to the day that I feel free to completely praise God without even having the thought of what others will think. Getting there but it's always in the back of my mind.

21. Apparently, I am pretty emotional too....

22. I've grown aware of the fact that I use ellipsis a lot when I write. (....) I've refrained many times even within this post.

23. When I go shopping and can't find my size in what I like, I just chalk it up to the fact that either I have really good taste because everyone else likes the same things I do, I'm actually an average body size because everyone else is my size too, or a combination of the two. Any way I go with it, it's a winning situation!

24. As hard as it is to get motivated sometimes, I feel really good when I have a domestic day. When the house is clean, clothes are clean, ironed, and put away, and dinner is cooking, I feel like I've accomplished something semi-fulfilling.

25. Generally I don't drink any soda unless I am feeling nauseous. I've learned that I don't like that taste of ginger ale with real ginger in it. I'll take the artificially flavored Canada Dry brand any day!

OK, friends! Now it's your turn! Let's see what you have to share!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Two Weekend Wonders

1. There are many things that I have come to love about our God. I love His timing and sense of humor. I love how He knows exactly what I need to hear at the most significant times. I love how He makes things turn out even if they weren't "in the plans" - and they are always better than I could have even thought to imagine. The thing right now that I am newly falling in love with (and attempting to wrap my mind around) came from many places. First, it came from our morning study on Daniel at school, then a talk with Erin, and then a prayer with friends yesterday morning. God puts all things into action and knows what time holds. From the past to the present, God has set seasons into being. Because He is all-knowing and the Ancient of Days, He is teaching me that every prayer I have lifted up has already been answered. I may not know what that answer is but it has been issued. It doesn't mean that I stop talking to Him or lose hope or trust. It means coming before Him honestly and clothed in who I really am knowing that whatever I ask or say, He responds. He is not silent or absent. He hears and answers. And that changes everything!

2. I love my Bible. It has so many notes here and there that I have picked up and have significant meaning. Things like original word choice, cross-referencing, and dates specific passages made an impact on my life. I would love for it to be the Bible that I carry from here on out. However.....I think it is time for a new one. The ink that I used for notes is bleeding through to the next page and making the text hard to read. Then, today we were studying out of Acts and my eye caught a note I made several years ago. At the time, it was important but now I don't agree with what I wrote. In fact, I believe quite differently. I also remember the attitude in which I wrote it and it was so wrong. So, begrudgingly, I think it is time to break down and get a new bible. I'm such a brat! There are people around the world who literally die for one. Here I am being so...... selfish.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

One Only the Ladies Can Appreciate

Before I get going too much further, I need to tell you that if blog posts could have subtitles, this one would be called "The One with all the TMI". Now, I know that Erin will have a bit to say about this post because what I am about to write about is nothing in comparison to what she had recently experienced. It may not appear on this blog but at some point, she will let me know her two cents.

What in the world must God have been thinking when He gave women hormones!? Seriously, where did the idea of complete uncontrollable irrationality come from!? For the first time in my life, I am healthy and experiencing the full onset of mood swings, irritability, and crying for NO REASON AT ALL. What is that!?!? Most women learn to deal with these at about age 12 but I am having to start much later thanks to the amazing Dr. Levin! Don't get me wrong, as annoying and baffling as they are to me, I could not be more thankful because it means that everything is as it should be for this first time in my life. It means that things I thought would not be possible for me are now actually something that could happen. The joy that brings me is too much for words! However, I'm learning that all of that craziness of emotions I thought was just silly stereotypes are indeed realities. WOW! Apparently God made me a crier and I just didn't know it until a few weeks ago.

One of my favorite episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond is called Bad Mood Rising. Ray tries to give Debra pills to help with her PMS and she goes ballistic. Every emotion under the sun (in extreme) is swung to in the course of a few minutes. Hilarious! However, that is how I have felt lately. Here is a clip of that episode. The few minutes leading up to here are even better but this is all I could find. It's suddenly not as funny as I remember it being. :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunny Days, Keeping the Clouds Away....

The last two days have been gorgeous. It makes me wish for a house so I had a yard to spend time in. With an apartment, it is hard to just go outside and enjoy the beautiful sunshine and prefect spring day breeze (even though it was very un-January like weather). In San Marcos, there were so many nooks and crannies to go hide in on pretty days. That was one of the nice things are living where a few rivers cut through the town. Once of my favorite spots was in the park. A river cut through an edge of the park and a bridge connected the main park to an "island". People would go there for a picnic, to fish, or to just draw/read/visit with a friend. I thought about that place a lot this weekend. I've only been fishing once but yesterday I had a desire to cross that bridge, be on that island with the sun shining through the leaves, and cast a line into the river. Whether I caught a fish or not, it wouldn't matter. Just being outside on a perfect day surrounded by the beauty of God's creation would have been heaven on earth.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Memory Verse for January 15

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. - Psalm 62: 1-2

For some reason, my emotions have been all over the place in the past few weeks. There is no telling what will make me weepy at any given moment. It almost feels like God wants me to come face to face with my disappointments. I've been thinking about it and I think it is about time. In the past, facing fears and disappointments has often released me from the power I let them have over me. I've learned that in doing so, I have to approach it prayerfully. I know that God will only let us face things so far but will not let them overtake us. So this is the scripture that I have chosen to call to the forefront of my mind in struggling moments. I have chosen to pray it when I am tempted to slip into a mess. For God alone is my comfort and strength. He holds my past, present, and future. He works to redeem me to His perfect and pleasing will. He purifies me in His holiness and holds my hand when facing those things that cause me pain and fear. His love is unshakably perfect and casts out all fear. He is my rock and salvation. He provides rest. Him, and Him alone.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Two Things that Have Absolutely Nothing to do with Each Other

This has been quite a week. Can I just say - Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday! I have spent this week thoroughly confused about which day it is! The first week back after two weeks off and only four days with kids can really throw you for a loop! So I thought I would share a couple of things from this week. They are so unrelated that this should probably be two separate posts but I'm just going to kill two birds with one stone.

1) I have been very pleased to learn that the female love of shoes is truly a life long passion. I have a couple of students who can't seem to get over this hump and move on to the next reading level. It is frustrating for me but also for them. They don't know they have been stagnant but the few times I have attempted to move them on, they just look at me like I've asked them to read a Latin medical reference book. So as we trudge through the ever present "E" books, I try to put it more in their hands. I lay out about three books for them to choose from. One that I have learned to always offer is called "Shoes Women Wear". I am almost willing to stake my life of the fact that whenever I offer it as an option, my little girls won't even consider the other options. In fact, I have girls that are beyond that level asking me if they can read the shoe book. Gotta love girls and their shoes!

2) A few times this week I have been thinking about missing people. Not people who have gone missing but the feeling of missing those you haven't seen in a while. (Side note, while I was thinking about this post, I started singing the DC Talk song Colored People but I kept saying Missing instead of Colored. Sadly, it took me a while to catch my mistake.) Anyway, I have been caught off guard by how much I have missed some people recently. I find missing people such a mixed emotion. There are elements of sorrow, anticipation, and, when those we miss are seen again, great joy. For example, I wasn't quite ready to get back to work but as soon as I saw my kids turn the corner on Tuesday morning, I was overcome with a giddiness and desire to squeeze them all tightly. I was surprised how much I missed them! Then, a few days ago, my dear friend Danielle joined facebook and requested me as her friend. It sounds silly but just seeing her face made me squeal with excitement. I knew that I missed her but I didn't realize how much. It has made me wonder, who else do I miss and not even realize it? Seeing my kids and briefly hearing from Danielle made me wonder, what other faces could bring such joy if I saw them at random? What other voices are my ears aching to hear? Going a step further, who do I miss that I don't even know yet? There are relationships (mentor, friend, husband, children) that my heart longs for. I hope one day they will understand when I look at them and honestly say, "I missed you!" with all of the excitement and joy that I felt upon seeing my friend and students this week.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

And So It Goes....

I have started reading the book "A Walk with Jane Austen" and something the author says about her memoir really struck home with me. I thought it was great and wanted to share it with you. Lori Smith wrote, "We don't choose what happens to us, but I suppose we choose (even subconsciously) how we remember it and what stories we tell."

I just spent a little time looking back at some posts from this time last year. It was really interesting to go back and see what I chose to write about. Somethings brought a smile to my face and others made me scratch my head. Sweet memories forgotten vs the difficult times that I wrote about so vaguely that I can't even remember what they were about. Even the things that were hard (or bad) I don't remember as being so difficult. I guess our interpretation of life really does make all the difference in the end.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


Happy New Year, sweet friends! What a beautiful day to start off a year that I have been anticipating for a few weeks.

Usually, for me, New Year is a time of reflection - looking back over the joys and sorrows that defined the milestones of the year. This year, both were present (just as any other year) but I've taken a different approach in my mind's eye. I fully believe that God blesses remembrances because he had His people put up standing stones so that they may tell their children of the goodness of the Lord. However, along with these remembrances, I've decided to make this a year of anticipation. Set aside for the Lord, I am fully convinced that our God will be faithful, fulfilling His promises in the year to come. This is a year that, instead of New Year Resolutions that will be forgotten in days to come, I just want to seek the One who set time into motion, the Author and Perfector of our faith. I've known the hand of the Lord and want it more. I want to hear his voice so clearly that when He passes by in a gentle whisper, it will not be mistaken for any other than Him.

As I've spent time in prayer over this, I've been asking for ways to keep my focus. Yet again, our God is faithful! I am committing to learn two verses a month for the next year. It is do-able and personal. Choosing verses appropriate for the stage of life to which I have been called, I am able to see the goodness of the Lord day in and day out. For the first verse of the year, I was seeking a "mission statement" for what is to come. After finding this one and briefly reading some commentary on it, I chose Hosea 10:12:

Sow for yourself righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord until he comes and showers righteousness on you.

I'll continue to post the verses I have chosen because for me, repeated writing helps me memorize. If you would like to join, feel free! You don't have to tell anyone. Make sure you have accountability for yourself and dive in to blessing upon blessing!

May the Lord bless and keep this year for you. May He shine his face on you and be gracious! Have a wonderful 2009!