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.