Thursday, April 29, 2010

It May Be The Only Time All Day

Cari is talking about peace over at her place today. I figured i'd sit here for a moment and try to find some kind of peace in my day. It was a bit challenging, but I was determined to find something.

It's reading time and seventeen 5 year olds are sitting in 4 rows on the tiny little space you call, the carpet. You grab a dry erase marker, turn around to find a "helper", and see...

air bubbles in every cheek

heads looking straight forward

hands clasped between their criss-cross apple-sauce legs

straight, stiff backs

and complete silence.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Glimpses of Him

Warning: this post may be very chaotic.

We had a field trip today. It's my third day, and we have a field trip. The older kids were taking the TAKS test, hence the purpose of our adventure.


The funny thing is, I wasn't worried about losing a child.... I was worried about parents watching me do something that I was extremely new at. This young, fresh teacher who is in charge of their children for 7 hours, 5 days out of the week.


This job is hard. That's really all that I can say right now. I don't really have the energy to say much else, other than i'm only one woman. i'm human. i'm not perfect. And for a girl who is extremely hard on herself that feels really good to admit.

While we were at Gators and Friends today one of the parent volunteers pointed out something that i'd never heard before.

The kids were standing at the fence eager to feed the donkeys as she asked this question, "Do you see what's on their backs? What shape is that?"

I leaned over to get a look myself.

"It's a cross."

Immediately I thought of the passage in the bible where Jesus is making his triumphant entry into Jerusalem. He rode in on a donkey.

I don't know if it's true that it's the exact kind of donkey that He rode in on and that He forever marked it with His cross, but I do know that I felt extremely close to Him in that moment. As I stood there staring at that donkey and the dark brown cross on His back, I thought about the reality of Jesus. The reality that He came in human form to this Earth.

I needed that. Right there. At gators and friends.

Around 2:00 in the afternoon as we were getting ready to load the buses and head back to school, I was gathering everything and putting it in my backpack. One of the students was leaning over talking to me with a cup full of animal food... and yes, you guessed it.... it all went pouring into my backpack. Tiny little drops of stinky animal food.... all in my backpack.

When I got to the bottom of my bag there was a cross that some child had given me at vacation bible school last summer.

What a nice, sweet, little reminder. haha. In a moment when I could have completely lost it.... there in the midst of tiny droplets of gator food was the cross of Jesus Christ.

Twice in one day.

I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord; no tender voice like Thine can peace afford. I need thee. Oh, I need Thee; every hour I need Thee. Bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee.

Friday, April 23, 2010

And So It Begins

Meg: Tomorrow is Friday; blue jean day. Darn it. My jeans are dirty.
MC: Ahh, No one will know... just wear them dirty. It won't hurt.
Meg: I already have.

Someone once said, your house is a reflection of your life. If your bedroom is complete chaos then your life probably mirrors that as well. Of course, there are always exceptions to every statistic you hear, but for this gal right now... this couldn't be more true.

I think a bug just flew across my bedroom.

The dust is entirely too thick. The floor? What floor? I can't see it. The laundry is incredibly overdue. And let's just stop there.

I am a happy girl! Really. God is good. But I feel like i'm going 90 miles an hour right now. Last night as I was having a girl moment and trying not to burst into tears (I did), I mentioned to MC that I wasn't sure my life could get any more chaotic.

Hello more chaos! We are so glad you decided to drop by.

The teacher that i'm an AIDE for is expecting and left this morning around 10AM. It was decided about a month ago that I would take over when she had to leave, and finish out the school year. At that point I started evaluating each individual student (especially the struggling ones) to see what I needed to be prepared for in advance in order to help them succeed when this new, new, new teacher steps in. I'm so thankful that I was able to get to know these same students all year long and develop relationships with them. They know me, I know them. I'm aware of the discipline issues as well as the academic ones and i'm familair with their schedule. It's now time to put into practice all that i've been learning for the past year.

When I first found out that I was going to be covering her class I sat down to create individual plans for each student where I knew they needed the most work. I drew out a map of the classroom in order to organize it in a way that flowed smoothly and worked for us. And I began thinking of activities that would be fun and keep them engaged while still helping them master the skills they needed to move on to first grade.

I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm pretty much all of the above.

So today was a nice adventure. Nothing like pulling activities out of your rear for 5 hours :) !!! Not to mention another teacher was out so I got 4 extra over flow students from her class along with my seventeen sweet (slightly sarcastic) students. :) Still smiling!

With all that said... this may be the last time you hear from me for a while. My life is sure to be nothing but one exhausting thing after another. I'm off to read my post from yesterday.....

You knew this day would come before it happened and that makes me smile. I love You, Lord. While i'm still sane in this moment I come to You and beg for You to lay Your Holy Spirit over and around me. There is no doubt in my mind that these next few weeks will be exhausting, but You promise to be my renewal, strength, and portion. I need that Lord Jesus - I need You. And I thank You for opportunities to grow and to learn. Have I told You, You are good? In the specific, powerful name of Jesus.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Here's what I know and am told...

Do not be anxious.
Do not worry.
Do not be afraid.

These three truths have been applied to my life over and over... almost daily the past few months.
  • When i'm tempted to worry about the future or the past..... I remember His truth.
  • When the what if's and if only's come in.... I remember His truth.
  • When fear or terror tries to consume me.... I remember His truth.
For my God is a sovereign God. An in control God. A God that is far greater than anything that makes me weary or threatens to take over.

And He tells me not to worry, be anxious, or be afraid, but instead be still and know that He is God.

No matter if the situation is your fault, or completely out of your control. My child, do not worry. Do not be anxious about that. Do not fear. For I am God.

Notice that His word doesn't say.... do not worry, unless you really messed up big time. No, it says - do NOT worry or be anxious about ANYTHING. That covers it all people.

Still is a hard place to be. But friend, when you learn how, there is freedom in the surrender.

Next time you feel worry crouching at your door... when you're tempted to back down in fear... when you swear you just might have an anxiety attack.... remember these truths and how there is no UNLESS tagged on to it.

Be Still and Know That He is God.

Lord Jesus, I am so thankful that we can come to You in thanks knowing that You are working something far greater than we can ever imagine. God, so many people need to taste what it's like to be set free from guilt of sin, fear of the future, worry from the if only I hadn't done this in the past and so much more. I am a firm believer that You can lift that burden completely away from us. If we trust that You are who You say You are - completely sovereign - then we must know that our sin may change the quality of our days, but not the quantity. You are God over and in spite of our sin. And if You allow something into our lives, no matter if it's through a choice we made or something else, then You have a plan to use it for Your glory and our good. We are NOT to worry. You can show us what it means to be still and know You. It's not just something we hear about.... it's real. Will You come and change our hearts? We can read Your truth our entire lives and force ourselves to believe it, but until we allow You to come in and transform our hearts our efforts will fail us. Will You be our portion, our peace, our stillness. Will You show us what it means to truly be set free from fear, worry, or anxiety and live in Your freeing stillness. You are faithful, You are good! I praise Your name, Lord Jesus!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Love of God

Well I said I wouldn't tell it to a living soul, how He brought salvation and He made me whole,
But I found I couldn't hide such love as Jesus did impart.
Cause it makes me laugh and it makes me cry, sets this sinful soul on fire...
When God dips His love in my heart.

Just a little chorus from one of the songs we're singing at Turn Your Radio On tomorrow evening. The messages in each of these songs that were selected are so powerful and hit home more than they've ever hit before.

The love of God is a powerful thing. It changes hearts.

I don't know how, but it does. I've experienced it. It's real. It's not just something people talk about because they're suppose to believe it. When you experience Him personally you are whole and don't want to hide what He's done in your life. And yes, it makes you laugh and it makes you cry.

Have you ever been so filled with joy that you can't help but dance and laugh? One day I was driving home from work and I just started dancing in my car and laughing this truly joyous laugh! You can't get anything better than that. He is good. The joy of worship.

Come experience Him and worship with us tomorrow night at 6 pm at ETBU.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nearing The End

My days now include nap time at 4 pm.

The wise part of me says to hold out until 8 and then crash so that hopefully my body will just eventually catch up, but I give in far more times than not. My very fun friend told me that you're only young once so you might as well embrace the night owl-ness while you can. Sounds like a plan!

You can totally tell that the end of the school year is near; From the extremely wild kids, to the completely worn out teachers. There are 37 days left. And on that note...

I have yet to fill out or send it one stinkin' application.

I know, I know. Tisk Tisk. Slap my wrist.

Someone asked me if I was just avoiding it because I was nervous. And my answer to that question is no. Praise the Lord. God has taught me what it means to trust. I'm sure I have much, much more to learn in that area of my life, but the past year has increased my faith and trust more than I ever imagined.

I'm sure that I will have nerves when I go in for the countless interviews, but as far as being nervous about the outcome of those interviews.... no. To be honest, i'm more nervous about my passion throughout my first year. My performance as a new teacher. But even in that I trust the He will be my renewal each time I need it.

I've prayed about where-ever I will end up next year and know that He has a plan. The district, the school, and the grade level. I trust Him.

I guess i've been so at peace about it that I really haven't worried about rushing into the application process. That sounds absurd because it won't just fall into my lap, but I just honestly haven't thought about it much. Is that odd?

Most districts won't even start putting out their openings until the end of this month and into the summer. Nevertheless, I have got to sit myself down and send in my resume.

The unknown - an opportunity to, once again, trust Him. The God who has a plan; a plan to prosper and not harm me, to give me a hope and a future! To rest in the peace that my life is in His hands. To wonder about all that awaits me in that place.... the relationships, growth, and so much more.

Lord, it's neat to think that You already know what lies ahead for me next year. You know the exact place I will end up; whether it be in this exact town and school, or a completely new setting. I do trust You with that outcome... for You know best. You know my heart and how bad I want a passion for what I do over any amount of money someone could give me. Will You be my passion? Will You be my portion of love for that job every single day? I trust that You will. I love You, Jesus. And I thank You so much for loving me first; for giving Your holy life in place of mine. You are wonderful! You are more than enough! And I absolutely love You! Praise Your name!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunshine :)

We had our first trip to the lake today to enjoy the beautiful sunshine!

I adore that picture. The colors. The off-centered look. The randomness.
Casie, on the other hand, hates it. Such a strong word.

These are my attempt to be artsy. I like to pretend that i'm good behind a camera; really I have no clue. But who says you have to be good to have fun with it?

This was the result when I handed the camera to Casie and asked her to take an off-centered picture of me.

Not sure whose worse - the photographer or the girl in the photo.

And who am I mad at?

I think i'll stick to staying behind the camera from now on :)


We are going through a bible study in the Sunday school class that I attend called One in a Million - A Journey to Your Promised Land by Priscilla Shirer. The focus of this study is on the wilderness times in our lives; An attempt to not only make sense out of them, but also embrace all that He is trying to do in and through them. And then ultimately, let those Truths take root into our lives so that we can be prepared for the next wilderness.

If you believe that our God is sovereign and in control then you have to accept that He allows and even plans these times on our journey here on earth.

Each week women have shared things they have learned and experienced through these times in their own personal walk. Some extremely intimate things have been shared often for the first time in public. It's been wonderful so far.

With all that said, I plan to write a few entries here of the things I have learned. Since the title of my blog is A Beautiful Journey it would only make sense to share my experiences as I travel through life.

Now be warned that some of the situations may not make complete sense to you, nevertheless, each of these situations are important to me and have spoken His truth into my life. I am going to try my best to explain those and all that I felt He was teaching me through them. Sometimes the wilderness doesn't make sense (especially in the midst of it).... but don't be fooled - any step that you take in faith, He will honor.

So here's to taking a huge leap and sharing some personal things from the past year or two of my life...

Lord God, be honored. Have Your way here on this blog. Be in each of the posts and every single word. Speak Your Truth into our lives. Open our eyes to whatever it is that You want us to see and know. If there are things that do not need to be shared, Lord, be sovereign over that. I need Your guidance. You are God and You are good. Praise Your wonderful Holy name.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

(This is a song we are singing in choir at church, although, i'm not sure who the author is. Hope it blesses your heart as much as it did mine.)

It matters not where you have been,
It matters not what you have done.
For there is cleansing from every sin in the blood of God's own son.

Though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as wool.
Though they be red, like crimson, they shall be white as snow.

Rise to walk a brand new man.
Oh how great the mystery.
By His grace you can be made whole and by His blood you are set free.

Come be washed in the blood of the Lamb. The precious, soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb.

For though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as wool.
And though they be red, like crimson, they shall be white as snow.

Praise Jesus! God sometimes I just want to say the name of Jesus and feel the power as it comes out of my mouth. The power to conquer, overcome, comfort and bring peace. Lord draw us near to You. Open our eyes to Your truth. Be our belief, our faith, our understanding, our reality. I lift up everyone who stops by this blog to you. Have Your way in our lives. In the specific name of Jesus Christ - the son of God.

The 'Rents

"My wife picked out my shirt to match hers; I feel like an easter egg."
-Wild Bill

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ramblings - Edition : Spring Fever

With the arctic blast behind us and spring finally making an appearance I have this sudden urge to make everything fresh, simple, white, airy, and clean; with little splashes of color here and there.

Have you ever found your style?

I don't just mean what looks good to you. I mean what works for you and your family. Because (as the Nester says) what may look appealing to you in a magazine may not be home to you.

Sometimes it's easy to identify, but then there are other times that you simply have to attempt it to find out whether or not something works for you.

So here are a few ideas that i'm planning on trying in my space - the bedroom and bathroom.

(I'm in one of those moods where i'm tired of stuff.... you know, those dangerous moods where you feel as though you might throw EVERY thing you own in the trash. I'm taking deep breaths. And blaming it on spring cleaning.)

I currently have no headboard... just a bed on a box frame. Instead of handing over a big chunk of money for a beautiful dark brown or black sleigh bed i'm loving the idea of a door hung sideways or some old window frames. There are some old shutters in the storage room that I thought about using as well, but i'd need one more section of them for it to be the right width.

The arrangement over my bed is probably my favorite thing in my room right now. The shelf - not so much, but without the hideous legged shelf with a rod running through it the items above it would not be. It'll be a task and a half to see what looks right above the door and/or frames. But I also might totally hate the door/frame.... one won't know until it's up.

There's also not much natural light coming into my room, which completely bothers me. I had a black shower curtain rigged up there all nice and pretty (for me)... and it worked for a few months, but it blocked the little amount of light that actually came into the room. I gave in and took it down tonight.... now my window looks completely bare and I don't know what to do with it. Since knocking a hole in the wall isn't an option i've got to come up with some way to make my room seem like it's getting more light. My lamps are constantly on in the evenings because I like a nice warm, homey feeling. But during the day i'd love the illusion of a little more sun in the room! Any ideas?

Clear jars with fresh greenery from the yard makes me want to inhale. I'll take a bunch of them in different heights on my bathroom counter. Throw in a few white flowers as well. Real ones. Not fake.

Actually, as many live green plants that can survive in a room without much natural light would be brilliant! Yes.

There is something about crisp, clean, fresh, white rooms that gets me. And not on an expensive budget, but creating from things that you currently own or findings in nature. My desire is to incorporate that as much as possible.

So I think my style would have to be warm homey comfy and relaxing... mixed with a cottage beach feel. But I guess we'll find out if it really works for me when I attempt these ideas above....