Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Increasing Faith

Well, inservice began on Monday for teachers in our district. (tear) Thankfully we have a full week to let our bodies adjust to getting up early again before students come back. And when I say thankfully, I mean, this chick is THANK.FUL.

It's very easy to get stressed out during this first week leading up to the beginning of school. Some of the stress is obvious and expected, but other parts seem to come no matter how hard you try not to let it. The many meetings cause your brain to go into overload mode and inevitably you stress out... or in my case, quite possibly have a mini-anixety attack.

I jokingly have been saying, "Welcome to my new normal" each time that my heart flutters and I feel my jaw tingle. Not sure why it's hit me all of a sudden, but the doctor (and the test results) assure me that it's nothing to worry about! :)

Not sure what the Lord's up to, but i'm totally having to increase my faith this year.

In our meetings they always give us the big spill about loving our kids, forming relationships with our kids, knowing that all kids won't progress at the same rate, doing our very best to help each child succeed no matter how small and...... not to stress or worry about the BIG TEST at the end of the year, but to focus on the CHILD.

In the next meeting they tell us news that seems to counteract what they just said.

We were just told not to worry about the BIG TEST, but to focus on the important skills to be mastered and to teach each child at the rate that we see needs to be taught. Yet when our principal comes in to observe us and basically "grade" us as a teacher so that we know where we need to work, in the future the results our the BIG TEST will affect every teacher on our campus and factor into our "grade".

As a First Grade teacher I immediately thought "how unfair".... I don't even teach a grade level that takes a BIG TEST, but yet the results of those kids will affect my teaching grade for the year.

It's not only easy to stress out, but it's also easy to become negative.

I'm begging the Lord to interrupt me when my actions, words, or thoughts do not reflect Him or benefit me or those around me.

When there is a problem I want to find a solution instead of fuss.
When there is stress I want to increase faith instead of freak out.

So, literally, as i'm sitting in this meeting my thoughts are interrupted. If I believe my God is a soveriegn God then I have to choose to believe that no matter what my score ends up being (no matter how low), He is going to take care of me. If I move to another school and yes, they see my previous scores, I must choose to believe that my In-Control-God will provide a way to get me hired if that's where He wants me.

We live in a world where numbers and competition matter, but my God is God over the competition and the numbers. So who cares that other teachers and their students results affect my score. He promises to work things out for my good and tells me not to worry about the rest.

There's more....

As I was leaving the school this evening I was fighting tears. There are currently 25 children in my classroom. Yes, that's above the state max. And since we let go of all the intervention and extra positions i'm not just "teacher".... I have to tackle a lot of things on my own. If I listed it for you, you would probably feel my stress and see why it's a bit overwhelming. I just try not to think about it to be honest.

Again, I'm learning to increase faith.

I must choose to believe that He is God and soveriegn even over this....

In the meantime, I would so appreciate your prayers! I am nothing without Him. I can do nothing in my classroom without Him. I beg Him daily for wisdom, guidance, passion and so much more for the following year.

My prayer is also to truly invest in my children, forgetting about the teachers and their students around me and if my class average is as high as theirs, but instead meeting my kids needs.... I need an outsiders eye with my insider job.

Love you all...

In Jesus' specific, powerful name.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Put a Ring On It

We just got home from a weekend in Mississippi! My Grandparents (dad's side) and the rest of dad's siblings live there. When we were growing up, we always took a song to sing at their church each time that we visited (twice a year). When we got in high school we stopped with that tradition for some reason. Not sure if you would call it a tradition, but you catch my drift. A few months ago they asked us if we would come and give a concert for their Fifth Sunday Sing. We packed up all our sound equipment, grabbed Jordan (sisters boyfriend) to go along and run the sound, plus a China and headed over.

It was very neat to sing for their church again all these years later! It was a special blessing because a lot (and I mean a lot) of our family was able to be there which doesn't happen often. We were very thankful for the opportunity and enjoyed every second of it. And since dad has a rule that we can't bring our girlfriend or boyfriend to Mississippi with us unless we are engaged or married....

Jordan popped the question! Eek Eek Eek!!! :)

No really, the real story!

Jordan was very sweet! He took our parents to eat and asked if he could marry their daughter because he just couldn't imagine life without her!

Casie and I have talked before... she was aware that he was the one and even told me about how they looked at rings! We even made predictions last Christmas about who each other was going to marry! My prediction was DEAD on!! :) I couldn't be happier for my beautiful sister! And Jordan, well it's about time he joined the family - feels like he already fits in!! I couldn't pick a better person for her to share life with!

Of course, we were all in on the secret except Casie. The plan was to go to the beach on Saturday to "lay out" and then Jordan would pop the question. I'm always down for soakin' up some sun, so I agreed to go bake with the ring hidden in my camera bag so that I could capture the moment! :)

You would have thought the ice cream truck man with his creepy music was part of the plan because his music annoyed Jordan to the point that he decided to go for a walk. Which was my cue.

When they got a good distance away I got the video camera ready and waited patiently. Okay, not patiently.... totally ansy! When they got back in front of me Jordan told Casie that he needed to tell her something. He said lots of sweet, gooey words and then got down on his knee. Just in case you do get to watch the video of the actual engagement, I apologize before hand for the shaky-ness. I was crying and shakin' and squealin like a crazy girl!! It was a very sweet moment!

I love this picture because she just looks like she is beaming showing mom and dad the ring!!!

Congratulations Casie and Jordan!!!
I love you both very much!