Friday, December 31, 2010

The Year of Believing

I lived so much of my life knowing things about God.

He is the healer. He is peace. He is all-powerful. He is comfort. He is joy. He is love.

The phrase "this year was just different" has come out of my mouth more than people probably want to hear.

Why was it different?

Because I didn't just know things about God..... I believed Him.

And now I don't want to forget that different.

This year was the year of believing. I believed that He could use any and every part of my life (flat out rebellious mistakes and all). I believed that He could lift the fear of relationships/marriage and even fulfill every desire that I may have in a husband (even specifics). I believed that when I said the name of Jesus in the midst of anxiety and fear that His powerful name could give peace to my mind, soul, and heart. I believed that I did not have to worry about anything.... even finding a job that I had little experience in and being successful at it. I believed that He loved me... unconditionally... no matter what I felt... I believed.

Lord Jesus, there were many moments this year that I can think back on and I felt so close to you and so strong and secure that nothing could shake me. How I long to never forget what that felt like and to never stop believing. You have told us that we will have hard times in this life and that it won't always be easy, but You also promise that You are with us and that in Your time You'll use all things for our good and Your glory. This week is one of those weeks where I wish I could flash back in time and rest in that place again, but I know that even in the hard times you are there. Will You be my portion today... my faith... my belief... Will you get me out of the way and do what You are wanting to do? Here's to increasing faith and living wide open in 2011. Have Your way... Jesus.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Organize - Jewelry

Remember that series I started about organizing? Well, maybe I should start by organizing my thoughts first because helllllllooooo I'm super behind on posting. If you would like to read my first entry on how to organize your purse - click here. I didn't intend on doing this project in part of the organization series, but it fits right in. So here we go!

Start by gathering all your jewelry. I went through and took out every piece that I have not worn and will not wear. It's wise to sort all your pieces so that you can see how many frames you will need before you buy them. Or you can totally chance it (like me. guilty.) by buying frames on sale without a clue how many you need and just make it work! You need to think about the length of your necklaces and such to help determine the lay out of your frames for the wall.

There has to be an easier way for this next step, but this was all I could come up with. Don't judge me. It's the holidays and i'm soo not a crafty person.

Trace and cut the exact size of your frames onto paper. Like so.

And then tape them onto your wall in the exact layout that you had already determined.

Admire it from all angles. Okay, really, I just wanted you to see my new chair!!! Love her!

I'm horrible and forgot to get the next few steps in pictures, but I think you'll gather the ideas. I bought cork board (about 1/4 inch thick), fabric, and used my mothers Scentsy cardboard boxes (another lady used some foam stuff) to put into the frame to hold the jewelry. Measure each and cut. Make sure that you have extra hang over on your fabric just to be safe!

You'll hammer your nail directly into the paper on the wall to be sure that it's in the exact spot that you want it. You can rip the paper off after you get your nail in the wall. (learned that from another blog as well - can't take credit for that smart move)

Once you get your frames up - start adding jewelry!! If you left your lay-out of jewelry on the floor then you should have it up in no time. I used straight pins with the pearl tip!

I'm not sure that i'm crazy about that small picture on the wall. It distracts me. Mom says it looks like a big hole without it though.... It's currently on my floor :)

Does it look like a big hole of nothing? I'm actually okay with it gone. And now is when I tell you that I reeeeeeaally want to paint my walls a darker shade of creme (cream?) but I keep thinking it's a waste of time cause i'll move out eventually.

So there you have it! I think it turned out pretty darn cute!!!
No more wasting counter space. No more tangled jewelry in a tray. No more jewelry trees. And one more plus, it can be part of your decor!

And since we are onto new things.... I made my bed this morning! :)
Please applaud.

And ignore the burgundy pillows... my others are in the wash?

Praying and Believing, Specifically

Rewind to November and the Women's retreat that I told you I attended.

I'm still camping out on that same session where she talked about abundantly more. You see a big key to living in abundance is believing it.

I can take the same circumstances of the past year... the real hard ones when I wanted to completely freak out and over-analyze and I can go back to old Meg... or I can believe that His hand is in the situation and that no matter what the facts look like He is in control and will work it out for my good, His glory.

The only way to abundance is with Jesus. Intimacy, trust, faith... in Jesus.

Remember how I told you she closed the session by asking us to think about that one person we wanted to marry or the one thing we wanted to do with our lives or the biggest dream we've ever had..... and to believe it.... abundantly more.

In order to believe some of those crazy wild things that you could never imagine, you have to increase your faith in Jesus. You have to believe that He not only cares about what you need, but what you want as well.

I do believe that He is a God of details and a God with a humongous heart to fulfill dreams for His children... for His glory. And if it doesn't pan out exactly the way you think it should, it will be abundantly more.

I came across an entry the other day where a family wrote down prayer requests on a legal pad. The mother challenged her children to not only write what they needed, but to write things they wanted as well. But not only to write what they wanted, but to get specific.

So I challenge you as you begin this New Year to get a piece of paper and write down needs and wants.... and to even get specific. And then let's just watch and see what He does... in His time, for His glory!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Resolving Resolutions

Are you one of those people who makes resolutions?

I'm going to be flat out honest here and tell you that I dont. I dislike them. I guess my issue is that no one ever really keeps their new years resolution for the entire year, and hardly anyone is successful.

Just for a second, think about it.

Is your resolution this year the same as the one you made last year?

I would almost bet that it is. Because even though I don't make them the new year does give me a little push to start fresh and make some changes. The past year I was a runner... for half the year. Once summer rolled around and then I started my teaching job that was the one thing to get knocked off my schedule. I would love to pick that back up.

New year, same story.

Here is my beef.... I don't believe in diets or resolutions (or anything similar) because nothing lasts unless it's a lifestyle change.

I'm not saying that it's bad to desire something for yourself... change is good... especially a healthy change, but for me I can't stand momentary satisfaction and success.

Here is a little personal example! The amount of time I spend online disgusts me. Ever since I started teaching, that time has increased. I blame it on the fact that i'm completely worn out by the time that I get home from work and I just crash in front of my computer screen, but really there is no excuse. It's like it has over-time slowly evolved to take up more of my time. I feel like Paul when he said (paraphrase) - "I do what I do not want to do." It bothers me. I've felt convicted about it for a while because even though the Lord may be first on my to do list... my actions show that He is not in my heart. I know Him, and He cares about the heart, not routines. I want to fix this, but grounding myself from the internet for a month will not fix my problem. I know that what I need is a heart-change and a lifestyle change. Only He can provide that.... and my soul longs for that!

So as I approach the new year I'm taking all of those things about self that I want to change and i'm digging deeper. What is really my issue? Could there possibly be a connection to my relationship with the Lord? And do I trust the Lord to fill even that place in my life and bring a change that I never expected?

Lysa Terkeurst speaks on this same topic here. And she says it soooo much more eloquently than I do.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Party Ideas

Are you planning on hosting a party for New Years?

Here are some ideas of games that we played last year at our New Years Eve Party! (all games found online)

First off, we have a little basket full of prizes that we give out to winners throughout the night. You may want to do that as well!

Guess Who? - Put the names of people who were "big" in 2010 on an index card. Examples, anyone who made the news and was very memorable, someone who won an amazing award, a famous person passing away, american idol winner, anything about some ONE that was widely known in the past year. When your guests arrive tape one index card on their back (making sure they do NOT see it). Everyone must ask yes or no questions to figure out who they are. First 3 people to guess correctly gets to pick a prize from the basket!

Charades - Cut up little strips up paper with events and movies that happened within the past year. Divide your guests into teams and have each group draw from the pile and act out theirevent/movie while everyone else tries to guess what it is.

These were two that we played last year that were really fun and everyone seemed to enjoy them as well! We are definitely going to try to do those again this year!

Some other ideas we found were having everyone put 2-3 new years resolutions in a basket and then reading them out loud and trying to guess which guest made which resolution. That one sounds fun to me, but I think there would need to be some explaining that these will be read out loud so that no one puts anything that would embarrass them on a strip of paper!

You could even make it more difficult by having each person only putting one resolution in and then selecting one person to be the "leader" of the game. The leader would read through each of the slips two times while everyone tries frantically to remember each one (without cheating by writing them down). With all the players sitting in a circle you would go around trying to guess which resolution is made by which person (goofy or serious). You only get one guess each time around. If someone guesses your resolution then you are out of the game and not allowed to speak. The object is to be the last person in the game... either guessing the most matches or having the most difficult resolution to remember. Near the end of the game you may want to read through the pile one more time just to refresh everyone's memory... unless you have a super good player who remembers everyone!

Laughter is my favorite part of New Years Eve!! These games are sure to create some of those for you! Hope your evening is filled with good times, many laughs, and the realization that His grace is sufficient to cover any regrets you may have about the last year! :)

(And speaking of grace.... this post, Grace is a gift, but you have to receive it, by Christin at incourage is simply wonderful! A must read!)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

On Giving.... again

I've been thinking about Christmas and the fact that it's Jesus' birthday... all the different views/traditions that people hold on that day. Some people choose not to give into the exchanging of gifts because it takes away from the real reason of the whole day. Some choose to imitate Christ by giving on Christmas. There are many different ways people celebrate this day.

Jesus - the Gift. and the Giver.

I find it slightly humorous that on Jesus' birthday we not only reflect on the best gift of all, but we receive gifts as well. We celebrate the life of Jesus and because of His life we are blessed. So like the Lord.... always giving instead of taking... serving... never wanting the light to be on self, but wanting to shine His light on others.

A few of us girls were going to take a shopping trip to a city nearby and stop to see a light show that a family holds at their house. They deck out the yard/house with over a million Christmas lights and synchronize it to music. I saw it a few years ago and wanted to show my mother and some other girl friends who haven't.

I sat down to look up the address so we would know where we were going and came across their webpage. I was greeted with the news that the light show was very dark this year.

Come to find out their five year old daughter, Laurel, was born with a rare disease and is spending not only Christmas, but the next three months in a hospital in Dallas so that she can go through chemo and get treatment.

Laurel is not allowed to have visitors, balloons, or plants, but she can receive cards... and she loves them. After reading all about their story and viewing their sweet pictures I found an address where you can send cards.

Laurel Good

c/o Children’s Medical Center

1935 Medical District Drive


Dallas, Texas 75235

Do you feel like giving today?

It'll not only be a gift to Laurel, but the Lord as well!
Imitate Christ today!
Shine His light!

Christmas Traditions

When we were growing up we had traditions that we did every Christmas. I never really thought of them as traditions until I came across an article in a decorating magazine one our way home from Mississippi this past weekend. Sure enough we have the same routine to our Christmas every year. I'm interested in how you all do Christmas as well.

Ours is as follows:

On Christmas Eve we each get to pick one gift from underneath the tree and open it.... just to make us even more eager for Christmas morning. You can choose to wait until morning if you wish, but as children we were always curious to see what we may have gotten. I was the child who picked the small gift because I still wanted to be surprised on Christmas day! nerd.

Before we went to bed we would all sit down and read the true story of Christmas; The birth of Jesus Christ! My parents instilled that into us when we were very small... I can't even remember when that started... but I remember it would not be the same without reading that before bed. We made sure that dad read it to us.

We don't travel to see family on Christmas day... we keep it simple and small. As a matter of fact, we have never spent Christmas day any other place than in our home. We enjoy Christmas morning in our PJ's while watching the parade on tv. After we separate everyone's gifts into piles we all begin to open them as the same time.

Did I mention the madre always video-tapes the whole morning?

As nerdy as we may be, the sister and I clean our bedrooms while mom cooks a delicious Christmas lunch for us. We always have dressing... it's a must. Mom pulls out the fancy china for us to eat with and we sit in the formal dining room - it's just about the only time that we sit there throughout the whole year.

That's basically how Christmas goes at our household. Very comfy and relaxing.

How does your family do Christmas?
Do you travel on Christmas day?
Is it small and cozy or do you enjoy a big family get together?

I'd love to hear!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Simple Approach

Typically, I don't change my bathroom with each new season. This was a spur of the moment thrill more than anything.

Last year my mom bought these cute Christmas hand towels that matched my bathroom color scheme. She knows me well! I don't like to think of myself as a matchy matchy person, but I do like the idea of the decor of the season matching what you currently have going on.

The Nester is one of my favorite blogs to visit. She's all about decorating with what you currently have and this year she is all about simplicity. I guess you can say she got my wheels turning and that lead to the decor that is... my bathroom.

I love the random ornament. Stole that idea from Nester.

And of course, more ornaments on top of the towel rack!

I moved the pine cones from the dresser in my bedroom to the bathroom counter for a few weeks. It kinda adds like a cabin feel to it. Atleast, I think

It is definitely simple... and definitely off-centered.... but I adore it!

Holiday Traditions

Every year we spend the weekend before Christmas at my dad's parents house in Mississippi. His three siblings (whom, ironically, are all girls - preparation for his current living arrangements?) also live there. It's easier for us to make the long trek eastward than for all of them to pack up and come to Texas for the Kilgore Family Christmas.

Did you notice the blonde hair coming out of Papa Bill's hat? He is a 17 year old prankster at heart.

Three years ago the new growing families were pretty tight on money so we started playing "dirty santa".... only no gag gifts. If you brought a gift you could join in on the game, if not then there was no pressure. No one knows who brought what so there is no shame on how much you spend! :)

It's truly been a blessing because instead of everyone opening their gift at the same time, we sit down for at least 45 minutes altogether to play dirty Santa. There is more interaction among the family simply because of a little Christmas game. Part of the game is stealing previously opened gifts from those who went before you - once again, interaction!

We also take pictures of each of the families while we are altogether for Christmas.

The Pace Family - dad's oldest sister

The Cameron Family - the middle sister

The Cook/Kilgore Family - the youngest older sister
(with a sleeping baby)

The Kilgore Family - the youngest sibling of all :)
(this was Stacy's first Christmas in Mississippi... the newest member to the Kilgore Family)

And Papa Bill's brother, Uncle Alford, and his family

I love spending time with Samuel... my little cousin with the gift of spinal bifida. That boy is always on the move and nothing gets in his way. His smile and laughter reminds me that life is what you make of it!

What will you make of this holiday season?
Will you see your current circumstance as a weakness and handicap, or an opportunity to let His light shine through?
Will you accept His gift of fullness, abundance, and joy this Christmas?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Abundantly More

The Lord took me on a journey last year where He strengthened my faith. I truly came to a place where I believed that He loved me... and that it never changed. And that whatever it may be that He is doing in my life, whether it feels painful or scary, it was for my good... and oddly enough, that brought peace to my mind, heart, and soul.

I began to live it out in my life for the first time.

Worry, Anxiety, Fear, Guilt... so many things that seemed to crowd my mind were removed in the name of Jesus. Yes, it was a daily thing, but I believed it... and my life was so different because of it.

It may not seem like a big deal for some of you to have a teaching job and stand up infront of people and lead, but that was a huge deal for me. That was an active step of faith for me and i'm so glad that I took it.

I believed that He could do abundantly more than I could ever ask or think when it came to this job... and He has.

In fact, that has kind of been my theme verse for months now.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine.... Ephesians 3:20

Sorry if you are so tired of hearing me talk about it, I just can't help it. I feel like i'm so passionate about that word - abundance - and how much joy that means for our lives simply because of a relationship with Him.

About a month ago I attended a women's conference and it was like she was speaking the same things that I have been learning over this past year. It hit so close to home and I found myself nodding my head at so many of the things she spoke about.

She hit on immeasurably more in one of her sessions at the conference. She closed by asking us to think about the one thing we would love to do in our lives... and not just to believe God for it, but to believe beyond beyond.

Immeasurably more.

I had been believing Him for months, but this just pressed me even further.

Later that night I asked my mother what she thought of when the speaker asked that question... and she said something along these lines... "I already have my dream... to sing with my family - that's always been my dream. Or to take it a step further, but I think i'm past the years of that ever happening."

She laughed when I told her she needed to go back and hear that sermon again.

Karen Peck and New River are coming to town January 21st... and our family has been asked to open for them! Immeasurably more! :)

We are beyond pumped!!!!!

Don't stop believing Him - He plants those desires in you in the first place! Trust His immeasurably more for your life!

Jesus, I am so thankful that a relationship with You is real.... I am so thankful that You showed me what it meant to taste and see that the Lord is good. I can't even express all of the things that You taught me last year because it's so hard to find the words sometimes. I do ask you now, as many times before, to let those Truths sink way down deep within my soul, to take root, and to never let the enemy try to diminish what You did in my life. I am thankful for abundantly more. I am amazed that You don't just stop with what we need, but that You desire to give us immeasurably more in accordance with Your power. You are good. Once again, have Your way with this blog... may those who read it believe You for who You are... and if no one reads it, then i'm satisfied with You meeting me here!!! May that never change. :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Put Her In Park

If you are sick of my teacher stories you might as well not even read this post :)

Every now and then I get stuck in teacher gear and can't seem to shut myself down.

There are many times that i've talked to my sister in Kinder terms; ooooo, those are not kind words coming out of your mouth.

The numerous times that my peers have said that I speak too "old". For example, appearently it is uncool to say... that is very kind! A more appropriate response from someone my age would be... aww, that is so sweet!

Well, my bad.

There is also that very distinct time that I spoke to my mother in a very firm tone as if she were one of my students. I very quickly reminded her that it was "Miss Kilgore" and not Megan. Do I have an off button?

Tonight we reached a peek.... I called the sister Baby. Baaaay...Beeeee...

Help. me.

She was asking if I could help her with one of her education assignments for school and I said, "I'm really busy right now... hang on a sec baby."

Do what?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bah Humbug!

Tomorrow is Polar Express Day at school. While i'm sure it's going to be total fun for the kids, I hate to admit that i'm not exactly waaayyyy pumped.

We are not only reading the book, but doing a ton of activities that go along with the Polar Express "train" theme. We will have a test over the story for comprehension and then, hot chocolate and a movie will end our day!

We have also been given permission to wear pajamas.

Here is the current conversation going on at facebook over my status -

Me: "Why am I not excited about pajama day at school?"
Guy: "Because you don't own any scooby doo jammies?"
Fellow Teacher: "Because the pajamas won't make the kids sleepy?"
Second Grade Teacher: "What? I looooooooved it. I'm sad I have to wear normal clothes tomorrow."
Church Friend: "We're having pajama day Thursday at the day school. Hands down my favorite day of the year!!!! Should've gone into the medical field so I could wear pj's all day everyday" :)
College Friend: "Because you're like me and you feel awkward wearing pajamas in public, even when you're supposed to. :) yes? No?"
Previous principal: "We had pajama day today! It was nice wearing pjs all day! Except when I remembered Trystan had gymnastics and I didn't have time to go home and change. Lol! Soooo - I went to gym fit - Rudolph slippers and all!!!!"
Me: "I am SO not a pajama girl. I don't think i'm high maintenance, but maybe I am for disliking pajama day. Just call me the grinch."

I'll let you know how this one goes down!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oh and I...

I will survive!

In case you are wondering what is on the agenda for this week...

Sunday: Christmas Musical at church in the AM, lunch with friends
Monday: Planning day at work - sub comes in at noon, rehearsal after work with the family
Tuesday: Reading Rat comes to the school to read to the First graders from 9:30 - 10:30
Wednesday: Fourth out of Six observations with my mentor in the morning (sub will be in my class for the second time this week), Faculty and Staff Christmas Party from 12:30 - 2:30 (certified parent will cover my class - will my kids learn ANY thing this day?), Singing with the family (plus Ricky) at Staff Party, Adult Choir Christmas Party in the evening
Thursday: Behavior incentive - kids will go to the movies in the AM, mom and I sing atMoore's Christmas Party, making sure everything is ready for our Class Christmas Party tomorrow
Friday: Testing, Partying, Early Release-ing, Traveling

We are going to be learning about Christmas around the world... you know, when we are actually IN the classroom.

I'm not ready for the semester to be over. Guess that's a good sign! :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

We put up Christmas lights a few weeks ago... you know annual family tradition. Not my favorite day. This year we had no tall people to help us so we had to come up with our own system. Please.... enjoy!
Passing the torch.
The padre is way up there.
And please, give a round of applause to the brilliant mind who came up with this plan.

China says, "Really guys... who put my toy like that?"

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bless Their Hearts

I had a "less is more" week in regards to my make up.

First reason - because that extra minute that it takes to put on my make-up was totally spent in my comfy bed. Second reason - because I can't find my mascara.

To end on a good note I decided to, indeed, put on some make-up this morning.

One of my students met me at the door this morning with a huge grin and i'm pretty sure a sigh of relief. With a giggle he hugged me and said, "Miss Kilgore, I see that you have make-up on."

And I digress.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On Giving

The Lord makes us all aware of how blessed we are in different ways. You may have an interesting encounter with a homeless person. You may meet someone at the store that completely changes your view. Or you may work in a public school or some similar setting and your eyes be opened to the diversity in the families now days.

For me, it is clearly the last.

I am in charge of 18 children and on many occasions i'm allowed (or forced) to look into their lives and hear their story. Some days I cry... it's just simply too much. Once again, a good reminder of my purpose.

There are many things about my job that are not so fun, but it's what I do in response to some of those things that can potentially be a blessing.

One of the things we do around Christmas time at our school is buy gifts for families that are less fortunate. When the parents come to the school to pick up their bag full of surprises, completely unaware of why we've called them, it is such a blessing to see the joy in their smiles and the light in their eyes.

Things have drastically changed since I was a child... and can I just say that I was and am so blessed. And I would venture out to say that you are as well.

Is there some way that you could bless a person or family in need this Christmas? Why not involve the whole family and do it together?

It is so cliche, but true - it is better to give than receive.

After all, we are called to imitate Christ... He is not only the gift, but the giver as well. When you take your eyes off of self and give to others, you are doing just that - imitating Christ. What a wonderful way to be Jesus to a family in need.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Good Fear

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Proverbs 9:10

Do you remember that moment when it made sense to you?

I remember I was standing in the choir loft at church in the middle of Sunday morning worship and it hit me... He is so Holy! He is SO Holy! And I am so dirty. I am so unworthy. My lips don't even deserve to stand up here before Him... I am so unworthy and He, He is SO Holy!

I remember just standing there so aware of who I was. It was like it was brought into light. But I was not only aware of who I was... I was aware of who He was. And that He loved me in-spite of who I was.

I don't ever want to forget that moment. Because although I felt completely unworthy, It felt like worship.

And so it began... this fear of the Lord.

Not a 'i'm completely scared of You so i'm going to do everything you say' fear.

It was more of a 'i'm completely aware and in awe of who You are and what You are capable of in my life' fear.

It was a 'i'm completely aware of how much i need you' fear.

A 'You are good and know best and have my best intentions in mind' fear. And if I choose any other way, whether it be my way or something that someone else leads me to believe, I will be lost and broken and without hope and all things that come from a relationship with you.

In that place, was the beginning of wisdom for me.

And he said to man, "the fear of the Lord -- that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding." Job 28:28

Choosing what was hard even when I didn't understand, because I knew that He knew what He was doing. Choosing courage in Him because anything less is false. Choosing to believe that abundant life and joy were available everyday. Choosing to let go of friendships that I wanted to chase after because I knew that He knew best. Choosing to completely take His discipline because I knew that I needed it - not because He wanted to show me who was boss, but because He could cleanse my sin, He could take it, and He could change me for my good and His glory.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7

Choosing Him.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Purpose: Set Apart

Last weekend we made a quick trip to Mississippi for my grandparents (dad's side) 60th wedding anniversary!

It's always fun to spend time at their house. Without the normal activities available at our finger tips, Casie and I are forced to find things to do. We enjoy chasing cows on the four wheeler, or you know just riding it in general, and sitting on the back porch and starring into space. No, really. Why is that so peaceful? We typically have books with us that we are reading and so we'll sit on the porch swing and enjoy the outdoors while reading.

We went to church with them on Sunday morning and the pastor preached a whole sermon on Romans 1:1. One verse.

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel...

The part that I want to focus on for this post is the last part of the verse and the point he made there. Paul was a servant of Jesus. He was called. And he was set apart. for. the. gospel.

To put it in plainer terms - Paul's purpose in life, as a follower of Christ, was to be set apart.

Immediately I began to think about my job. Because even though i'm not traveling the world telling people about Jesus Christ, I am a servant of Jesus, I am called right now to be a teacher, and my life should be set apart for the gospel.

If you are a believer, then your purpose is the same. And your job, no matter what it may be, is the avenue in which the Lord wants to use you to reach those that you come in contact with.

But to take it farther and more personal for myself, I believe that satan wants to use our completely packed full to do lists, all the requirements and things that we are asked to do in our job, and all the overwhelming stress that comes with it to take our eyes away from our purpose.

I believe he wants us to be so busy with getting things done that we lose our focus.

(Pause... Have you ever heard the acrostic for busy? Bound Under Satans Yoke)

I know personally I have missed so many opportunities to simply love on some children... because i'm suppose to fit a certain amount of teaching time into my schedule and i'm telling you, it's nearly impossible. I get so focused on creating and planning and following through and documenting that I forget why He placed me there in the first place.

To be a light. To love.

It's not about making money. It's not about getting every thing done. It's not about being satisfied with yourself for accomplishing everything that you set out to do. It's not about fame. It's not anything to do with self. It's about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Are you busy? Have you lost focus? Maybe you (I) need to adjust your lense, your zoom, and turn your eyes back on Jesus to regain focus.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

In the light of Jesus, the weight of my to do list is lifted...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful - Blogger

Let's face it! Satan is a punk.

I was going to give that last statement an exclamation point, but it looked entirely too exciting and he doesn't deserve that. The enemy is anything but fun.

The first few days of my break he tried to fill my mind with thoughts of worthlessness and incapability when it comes to teaching. Thankfully I caught on quickly to his schemes. To let him ruin my week of rest and recooperation would be silly.

Yesterday and today he has tried to fill my mind with other doubts towards where I stand with Jesus.

It's as if satan has a checklist... Starting with where you are and then moving down to older struggles if the current one doesn't work.

I don't have scripture or anything to back that up, but I know that's how it seems in my own life. Amazingly i've caught on and learned to fight.

But i'm not always successful.

Tonight I was feeling extremely beaten, so I decided to look back through my blog posts for proof of Jesus in my life.

January is packed full. But it's neat to glance even further back just a month before.

And so i'm thankful... thankful for blogger; my online journal. For evidence of Him.

Thank you for technology and the ability to quickly type something and be able to look at it later. I needed to see proof tonight. Jesus, I don't even know where to begin when it comes to praying tonight. So i'll just say thank You and ask that you not only mentally prepare me for tomorrow, but in all other aspects as well... prepare my heart. I don't want to simply be thankful on Thanksgiving or in the month of November. Will You change my heart? Will You give me a thankful heart? A heart that embraces every moment and opportunity and realizes all that I am blessed with in this life. I need You. Sometimes I just want to go outside and scream - I need You, Jesus. I love You... even when I fail to show it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sharing Ideas

Decorating is one of my favorite hobbies!! To make it even more enjoyable I love when you find something you already have and fix it up, or come up with some unique idea of displaying something.

I found this link and immediately thought of Katy, but instead of searching for her email address :) I figured it'd be easier to post on here. And now you all can enjoy it as well!!

Katy loves to make crafts with her kids and these crafty holiday garland ideas are definitely kid friendly! I might have to add these to my binder full of "things to remember when I have a family".

This post on Mason Jar Crafts also looks fun! I love nuetral colors!

Enjoy :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thankful - Truth

Typically the last day of school before a break seems completely long.... l.o.o.o.o.o.n.g. Anticipation for what lies ahead begs for your attention and you find it difficult to live in the moment.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to this break. There are many things that I need to get done. Like clean my bedroom, car, bathroom, do laundry, and of course my to do list for my classroom is never ending.

Earlier this week I came across a blog post that reminded me to live in the now.

We get so caught up in the next season or stage or even holiday week that we let it take our eyes away from the many blessings that are current.

I sat here and remembered His truth...


The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

I think many of us can so relate to the “get through” feeling that seems to overwhelm and consume us at times.

The enemy definitely wants to convince us that we aren't capable of JOY in all circumstances and that the abundant life isn’t for us, but the Lord tells us quite the opposite!

I don’t care if it’s one day before Thanksgiving break or one hour… He promises JOY in that moment (not happiness because believe me my children were loonies, but constant sustaining joy).

May we constantly choose to stop, pray and beg Him for eyes that realize ABUNDANCE and JOY are available to us TODAY, in THIS place, no matter our current mood, feelings, or anticipation for what may be next.

Believe Him for it…. fight the enemy when he puts any other thought in your mind.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thankful - Sister

Campin' is fun and all, but sometimes you have to make up your own games. This one is clearly not an original game (try to jump at JUST the right time so that the self-timer captures you IN the air... together. in the same photo.), but we had fun nonetheless. And yes, these are in the exact order in which they were taken!

We like to call this first one "Praise the Lord"!

Did anyone know Casie was all legs? me. neither.

The sister won the prize for highest jumper of the night.
And i'm glad that I finally decided that the phone was no longer a necessity. wow.

As you can see, I tend to stay on the ground.

I lied. There I am gettin' some air!

And now on our own...

It helps if you take your feet off the ground silly!

I am anticipating a head bang in this picture... like she is rockin' out to some serious music.

And finally, we have lift off!

Shorty got it on her first try! Go me!

Thank You Lord for my sister and the ability to be completely, completely transparent with her at all times with no fear of rejection, judgement, or being made fun of. I feel blessed to have her sweet spirit in my life. And I love her dearly.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankful - Friends

Yesterday evening I met my best friend from college, Megan, at the Boardwalk to have dinner and hang out for a little bit.

Testin' out the self-timer...

We tried multiple times to get a picture that we both, equally, liked.

But despite the fact that neither of us were completely enthralled with any of these...

...we can agree on one thing:

We are thankful for a friendship truly sent from the Lord and uplifting to each of our lives. A friendship that lasts - no matter the circumstances of life.

I love you Meg!

(I would love you more if you got skype. ha. jokin'.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ah ha Moment

This past weekend I went to a women's retreat and I want to share this tiny little phrase that stuck out to me while I was there. The speaker made the comment that God hates divorce.

I sat there with my ah ha and jotted down in my notes - God hates divorce, not the person.

Because how many times do we live in that place. That place where you're bound in chains because of the lies. And the distorted views.

I remember it so clear as if it were yesterday. My boyfriend, at the time, and I were riding in the car and I asked him, "do I just need to make a decision and then see how the Lord feels towards me.... whether or not He loves me according to the decision I made?"

How silly does that sound even now as I read it? Because I could have told you then that God is love. I'd heard it my entire life. Yet I lived with this distorted view that His love and feelings towards me were connected to what was happening in my life; whether a good situation or bad. There is something life-changing about experiencing and believing His love.

His love isn't based on my decisions.

The Lord loves you. He stands ready to bring you back to Him at any moment no matter how big the mess may look in your life. And at no point does He hate you.

He hates the sin and what it will do to you and those around you.

Take a moment to let the Truth of His love sink in. It never changes. And you don't for a second have to earn it back... it never left! Aren't we so encouraged to know that His feelings don't change at the drop of a hat. Stop thinking of His love in human terms. For once, take it for all that it is!!

Unconditional. Eternal.

I praise You and thank You for the freedom of Your love. It's so simple, but so life-changing. It doesn't matter how big my mess up may be or how small.... you stand ready to assure me that You still love me and that You are ready to change me if i'm willing. All the things that You have planned for me are for my good. How comforting to know! I pray for all who will read this and that if they haven't had that moment when the light came on and Your love made sense that you would allow that to happen for them. Embrace them with Your Truth. Set them free by the power of Your love. It tastes good....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful - weakness

As I was getting in the bed the other night I was fine one second and the next thing I know a horrible pain shot through my neck. I thought I was stuck with my chin to my left shoulder. for.ever.

After listening to my wise mother, who just so happens to be a nurse, I decided to go to the chiropractor for my very first appointment ever. The thought of being adjusted completely stressed me out. Trusting someone with my neck... my neck... that's an anxiety attack waiting to happen. that's what that is.

When he looked at my x-rays he pointed to some torn or messed up area in my neck and asked if I was in a car wreck at some point in my life.

If that's not encouraging then i'm not sure what else is.

To hear that at age 23 was a little less than fun.

His answer for my problem was clearly going to be a natural way back to healing. Three visits a week, electro-lite massages (which are so not relaxing), and physical therapy. And a very poor, poor Megan. That's my funds speaking.

My words were so joyful when I left.... this is perfect... perfect. It's already impossible to get everything done that is expected of me at work and that's without any thing else going on in my life, but now, oh noooooooww i'm suppose to find time to come to the doctor 3 times a week and on top of that do therapy and/or stretches at home 3 times a day. I'll be sure to squeeze that in, you know in between the documenting, lesson planning, grading...

Today as I was getting in my car after my appointment knowing that I left my room in complete chaos and had nothing planned for tomorrow, and headed to a wonderful night of worship and rehearsal, I just let the tears flow and confessed...

okay, i get it. i am not able. i am weak. help.

Life could not get more stressful or overwhelming. or so i thought. Yet here we are.

And I pause to say that life may be stressful and completely overwhelming, but my God is good. I would not still be functioning if it weren't for Him. I refuse to believe that any situation is to be endured without abundance or joy. The enemy will not rob me of a precious gift from Him. But I am not afraid to admit that it's challenging and very tough.

When I dried up my tears and got to rehearsal, with some precious women, I soon realized that each of our lives and weeks were very similar.

We are weak.

We committed to this weekend a few weeks back and you would think that the one time we need to be well and rested and strong would be this weekend. But here each of us are... extremely human and weak women preparing for a weekend to worship the Lord with a bunch of other women.... who I would guess are equally as weak.

So today I am thankful for the reminder that He only allows us to be weak so that His glory and strength may be REVEALED in us. And that He wouldn't allow it unless He was going to use it for our good.

Jesus, prepare us as we head into this weekend. May each of these women, including myself, come into this weekend real. Give us the courage to simply be real with ourselves and with each other... even if that may seem not normal or painful. We need real in our lives. I am thankful that You are real ALWAYS. Help us to take off our super woman capes and masks and just admit that it's only because of You and through You that we are able to do anything at all. Reveal yourself through and to us. Meet us in that moment and open our eyes to who You are.... You, in all your realness. Please Lord, prepare our hearts... prepare my heart. In the specific, powerful name of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thankful - Music

There is this event on facebook called 30 Days of Thankful where people only post things of that which they are thankful for thirty days on their status. It's a perfect way to gear up for Thanksgiving and it definitely changes the mood from negative daily updates to positive posts.

Since i'm choosing to go to bed early tonight I figured i'd keep it short by doing the same here on the blog as well.

Today I am thankful for music.

Not only is music a huge part of my families life and creates a bond that even we ourselves will probably never understand, but it connects us with the Lord as well.

I am quickly learning what it means to be busy. I had a third grade teacher stop me in the hall and say, "Megan, it is impossible to do all that they are asking of you.... you'll eventually learn what you can throw out. And you'll shut your door, do your thing, and it'll be okay."

silent scream

I just want to scream sometimes because i'm so overwhelmed, but at the same time I have my moments when I think praise the Lord because the Megan a year and a half ago would have never been able to endure this. God is good!

To say that i'm experiencing what it means to be pulled in every direction would be an under statement. I'm pretty sure i've said it before, but i'm finding it more and more harder to be still, rest, and sit quiet in His presence.

My days are spent moving quickly from this subject to the next and keeping my kids engaged by always moving things together at all times that everything about my life is becoming quick. It is sooo hard to sit down and spend time in His word because the rest of me has been geared towards moving quickly all day. I don't like it.

I am so thankful for music for this very reason. When my mind is going 90 to nothing and i'm not sure how to gather my thoughts to form words that utter some form of help to my God, I can typically find a song that says what i'm feeling so well. Or even if i'm not sure what to say or what i'm feeling.

It is not only comforting to know that my God knows my needs before they are even on my lips, but that we have powerful worshipful songs to sing to Him when we may not have words otherwise.

Thank You, Lord, for music.... and all the many ways it effects my life.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Story Book Parade

Today was the story book parade at school. The students pick their favorite character from a book, dress up as the character and then parade around the school with the book in hand as the other grade levels and parents watch. It's always a hit and the students eat it up!

Some of my favorites in my class were two best friends who dressed up as The Tortoise and The Hare - they were real cute. And then the cutest girl pirate I have ever seen in my entire life. I'm going to have to ask her mother for permission to post a picture because you just have to see this!

The First Grade teachers were The Wizard of Oz. Somehow I pulled the short straw and got to wear the formal dress and be the good witch. I think it's more of, let's make the newby (totally not sure how to spell that) be the high maintenance dressed one. I only tripped on my dress 10 times trying to walk to my car this morning.

... never knew there was a such thing as a good witch nor did I know they wore crowns. This one refused to wear heels.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tiger Tunes

You'll want to scroll down to the bottom and pause the music player so that you can hear these videos. Since I don't have a lot of time to post tonight I figured i'd share some Tiger Tunes with you.

And if you aren't familiar with this wonderful event - it's where the different social clubs at OBU pick a theme, find clips from songs and change the words in order to fit their theme and then put on a big show in order to raise money for future students to be able to come to Ouachita.

It's a really big deal to OBU-ers!

Here is the EEE's show from 2009.... I love this one because it tells a story and flows! Amy and Bethany, who's blog are on my sidebar, are both in this show! Amy is a native and Bethany is the little girl with the speaking part.

And the percussion section from this past weekend. yum! I like a beat, what can I say!

Here is the Eta's show from 2010 - they won the "theme" category on Friday night when we were there.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Organize - The Purse

It's really not that hard to control the mess in your purse, but so many women have a hard time with it. There are countless purse organizers out there on commercials and in magazines for you to buy in order to "help" keep your purse organized, but let's face it... i'm not buying it.

Lots of girls/women like to change out their purse depending on their outfit or season, but yet i've heard over and over, "Don't judge the fact that my purse totally clashes with my outfit today. I didn't feel like cleaning out this one in order to put everything in a new one."

I've been made fun of on many occasions at how I change my purse to match what i'm wearing... and for the record, I really don't that often unless it totally clashes. It kills me that people think it's such a time consuming task. It literally takes me less than a minute - case in point, I did it in the car on the way to Tiger Tunes last Friday night. Quick switch and then back again the next day.

So here is what works for me!

Take a look at the inside of my purse currently...

My friend's mother was joking one time that her daughter had a bunch of bags inside her bag. And really and truly, that is my system, but before we go there we clearly need to start with the wallet.

I'm sure most of us have this one already, but if you don't.... what on earth are you doing to yourself? My wallet has fifty million slots and storage places in it, but if you don't have a place for your coins then I would get a small bag to hold the change so that it's not rolling around in the bottom of your purse creating a big huge mess. How many times have you searched the bottom of your purse for a quarter for the coke machine when you could have saved time by simply having a coin bag.

This bag holds my chap-stick, lipstick, and gloss as well as feminine items on the bottom and a few bobby pins that I might need when i'm in public and my bangs are completely driving me insane :) !

Every morning on my way to work I reach over and grab my bag so that I can put on my chap-stick. And then it's so easy to just stick it back in. I don't have to dig around in my purse while driving pulling out everything that feels like my chap-stick only to pull it out and realize it was not what I was looking for. It's a quick, easy fix.

Speaking of digging around your purse to find things. I finally bought one of these after getting completely annoyed that I couldn't find (or reach) my keys in my huge purse/bags that I carried last year. You can get them all over the place in a lot of different looks. Definitely a time-saver!
Bath-n-Body Works has those things that hold your hand sanitizer and hook onto your key chain. And here's a cute one I found on etsy! If you don't like all that hanging from your key chain then put it in your feminine bag!

The next bag I have is my trash bag. I know you're probably thinking, do wha? It works for me and that's all that matters.

I can't stand gum wrappers and little balls of trash hanging out in my purse so I bought this bag to put those types of things in when i'm in church or the movies or anywhere that a trash can is not within reach. Then when you're in the restroom or close to a trash can you simply take it out and dump it when it's full. Call me crazy!

To-Do lists are a big huge part of my life. Really! I'd forget a LOT if it weren't for my to do lists.
I found myself making the same lists over and over and then losing them. There had to be a better way.

So now I have this little journal type deal in my purse so that I can have it with me at all times. Think about it - if i'm at school and need to make a list for the store all I have to do is write it in there and then there's no digging for that loose piece of paper in my purse. When I get to the store I don't have to worry about forgetting to tear off the last post-it on the grocery list on the fridge. It's already in my purse. Perfection!

And so now you have room to put your pens as well as your phone in the zipper on the inside of your purse. That just about covers it for me, but anything else that is important to you can either sit freely inside your purse since everything else is put away in a bag, or you can get a bag for that as well!

My camera is the only other thing that I typically have with me.... and yes, it has a bag!

When you're ready to switch out purses for the new season (or outfit) - just grab your bags and switch 'em over! It really doesn't have to be such a time-consuming, cleaning out the trash task.

I'm not promising that my system will work for you, but it works for me and that's the key; find what works for you and stick with it!

Hope this helps!