Monday, February 20, 2012

Awesome Conversation

.... between my mom and my little brother. I am so proud of who he is growing up to be! Heaven knows he's not perfect ;-) but he truly wants people to know about God. And he has such a funny, yet humbling way of expressing that sometimes.

Wesley: "What's in the box?"

Mom: "This is a box of toys and supplies that was put together to send to orphaned children."

Wesley: "I hope you put a Bible in the box."

Mom: "Well, this is for kids who don't speak English, so that would have a hard time understanding a Bible we send."

Wesley: "What language do they speak?"

Mom: "Spanish."

Wesley: (the gears of his little mind are turning....) "Well, I'm learning Spanish in school. I will write a Bible in Spanish so they can read it."

(Such dedication! Although somebody had better tell him they already translated Bibles into Spanish before he puts in all those hours. :-)

Me: "Do you know how to say 'Bible' in Spanish, Wes?"

Wesley: "No. But I know how to say 'fish'!"

And there you have it. My little brother may follow in the footsteps of the great Adoniram Judson or some other fellow Bible translator.
Seriously, I can't wait to see how God uses him as a light in this world. He's definitely a light in our little home!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"Christianese" in Action

God, I want to get so much closer to you than I am.

Do you mean that?

Um, I think I do.

Thank you for your honesty frail child of dust.
You know three specific things I showed you this week that are standing between you and further growth toward me.
If you really mean this desire you speak of, then you will correct these things you are willingly choosing to struggle with. Don't worry; I will help you....

(You know how it's easy to say things that sound like the right thing to say when you're talking with God? Those phrases that Christians use because they've used them so many times before and they sound nice.

Well, they mean nothing without action behind them. Listen carefully for phrases like that in your Christian walk, and then consider what ways your life would change if you truly mean what you said.)

At least, this was God's rebuke to me today.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Post that Almost Made me Late for Work :-)

Hmm, so much I could tell you today, little blog.

Today it was nice being off school (especially on such a beautiful spring-ish day). I was able to spend the morning filling out applications and working on my resume. All that paperwork stuff is getting me excited to see what God has for me next year!

Megan and I had a fabulous lunch at Panera bread today. It was good to catch up with her and laugh with her. She is such a sweet girl, I'm really glad God brought her into my life. :-)

And now, I'm off to spend an evening waitressing. If you think of it, pray for me to get everything done that needs done before I land in Africa next week. There is alot of prep work still to be done!

And hey, check out this adorable new journal I got just in time for Africa.....

Some journals, just make me want to start writing. This one is so, me. The front has all these phrases like,
God is awesome, even when circumstances aren't * What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will give us later * better late than never * He will give you the strength to endure * that's so much better then 'hang in there' * we boldly say what we believe * we never give up * we are not afraid * we stand true to the Lord * God knows our hearts * when I am weak then I am strong * when the coffee is weak then I am cranky * consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds * all things work together for the good doesn't mean they all feel good * a kindhearted word is the just right thing*

And I echo the words on the journal, "So True."

(I just realized this goes along perfectly with my devotions this morning. If you haven't looked at Hebrews 10:32-39 in a while, check it out! Such an encouraging passage to keep on enduring! Someday we will receive the reward. And the greatest one of all is SEEING Christ).

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mercy Triumphs

Isn't it interesting that in most all disney movies, the good guy is the one who shows mercy in the climax?

Take "The Lion King" for example. Simba and Scar battle it out in the epic second-to-last scene. Simba has a chance to kill Scar. He refuses, under the premise, "No Scar, I'm not like you."

I love that the movie writers do this, because it subtly speaks to their young viewers that the hero does not have to be the one who gets the upper hand and comes out ahead based on his brute force. Instead, the "good guy" is equated with the one who is willing to walk away from the fight because he possesses greater character.
It's so great for kids to see that!

And then, as if that wasn't good enough, the movie makers also see to it that justice is served to their villainous character. Rather than making the hero dish it out in cruelty, they arrange for the bad guy's last evil plan to be the one that does him in.

In Scar's case, he tries to jump Simba (right after Simba showed him mercy, I might add), and falls off the edge of Pride Rock, finally getting what's coming to him.

I bet you never would have guessed how many positive messages your child is intaking into his subconscious while watching such a carefree little cartoon. Funny how even the most childish-seeming movie can be an effective avenue to instilling a deeper message about God's design for men of valiant character.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Latest Status

Just bought a plane ticket.... Look out South Africa, here I come to do the second round of student teaching!!!

Praise God for the way He provides and works.
"The larger the obstacle, the more obvious it is that my great and loving God is the one paving the way."

I could not be more thrilled to be spending these next 2 months with those kids!!! I have a feeling that 2 months will not be enough.... :-)

And it all started tonight.
Or maybe it started last April when I first expressed an interest in student teaching over there?
Or did it start several years ago when I spent 3 amazing weeks in their beautiful country?
Or maybe it was even before that, when God first planted the seed of dream and desire to go there into my heart.
I can't wait to see what will happen next! And it will be HIS work.

Philippians 1:7 He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Flash of Perspective

I hate to complain, especially here on my blog for everyone to see.... ;-)
but I've got to write what's on my mind tonight, and I must say that vaccinations do NOT feel good!

I know you're thinking, "Thank you, captain obvious," but the kicker is that my arms are immensely more sore this evening than when the needle initially went in. (Now I know why babies cry continuously for the whole day after getting their shots).

On the upside, the nurse was running behind, so I had 25 extra minutes to read the book that I started last night. It is getting good!

One more thing, on my drive home from school today, suddenly the soft piano music of the song "I Can Only Imagine," came on over the radio. Do you ever have moments of life when, for a flash of an instant, things are in perspective and it really hits you deep down, "This life is not going to last forever"?
Here I am, at the beginning of my teaching career, passionate, and raring to go as ever.... But how am I going to feel 20 years down the road when I've been keeping on kids' cases all day about sitting in their seat and putting their paper in their folder and not gnawing on the end of their eraser?
Haha, it's going to be draining. Tiring.
Day in and day out, Lord-willing, being faithful to Him, in His grace. The days will be long, the years will be short, and then, in less time than it takes to blink, this life will be over.

As my heart sang along with that song, I was filled with hope and joy that I have more to look forward to than this life. I have the face of my Jesus waiting at the end of this long journey. So why would I let even the passion for a GOOD thing, take the place of my passion for Him?
This fresh excitement for teaching should never be permitted to take the place of my excitement for knowing Him better.
What I put into teaching is what I will get out of it....
Don't forget - the same goes with my relationship with my Saviour!

I love those little "perspective flashes." :-)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Library Run

I went to the library last night to find a read-aloud book to read with my class after lunch.

I found the book I wanted in about 5 minutes.

I spend about 35 MORE minutes wandering around the adult fiction section.

I didn't truly have the time for that ;-)

I came back with 5 fiction books that I technically DON'T have the time for.

I can't wait to start reading!!


Make time for the good stuff of life..... For me that's books. What can I say? If I want to teach first and second graders the joy of reading, I have to let myself experience it once in a while :-)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I Learned Tonight....

> that I miss living in the girls' dorm even more than I realized.

> that a fellowship at church is not the same flavor as fellowship at someone's house. (And you need BOTH!)

> that a healthy church is one where the people enjoy each other's company long after the service has ended.

> that my church in Iowa having the college group over for dinner at someone's house was more than just for sake of us having something to eat. Those were times to be treasured and not taken for granted.

> that the little baby at the house where we had dinner was pretty much the CUTEST little guy I've ever seen!

> that I need to catch up with some old friends I haven't talked to in a while.

> that it's always worth it to take the time to do that.

> that God uses time with other believers as a part of the process of sanctification. My faults and weaknesses are brought to the surface much faster when I spend time with other people (Who's up for the book: "Relationships: A Mess Worth Making"? lol) The cool thing is, it's great accountability when I'm in a room of people and am forced to ask myself, "Whoa, did I just say that out loud?" or "Was that really my first reaction?" I think God meant for it to be that way.... ;-)

> that there are so many personalities (and characters in our Sunday School class, and I have really been, up to this point, failing to reach out and get to know such cool people. I'm thinking that's got to start up.

All this from a hot dog grillout and 20 games of Catchphrase around a warm, cheery fireplace. We were laughing nearly the entire time!

If you're a Christian that hasn't hung out with other Christians for a while (just for the sake of good clean fun) Do it.

ASAP!!! :-)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ramblings of a Sleepy Teacher

This evening (while printing off some more of the never-ending lesson plans) I had to ask myself, "Am I really doing this??" I just have to pinch myself or something.

See, here's the thing.
Teaching is so close to my heart. It's something I've always thought I loved, but never really had the chance to experience it this up close and personal.
I'm happily finding that it is something God has wired me to like.
This is why I loved jobs like waitressing and guest service desk in the past.... Because I love to multi-task, and I do like a little high pressure that comes with the job.
This is why I labored over Sunday School presentations when I would teach the kids in younger grades, because I wanted everything to be just so....
This is why I am someone who naturally wants to see everyone included - it just tears me up to see someone left out....
All these ways and more, God has prepared me for it.
This is why I love teaching.

I have to say, it's all it's cracked up to be for me!
(I missed a day of it today, and I am so ready to get back into the classroom :-)

I still make alot of mistakes at it. And I'm still pretty much a greenhorn right out of the chute (pardon me for using two random expressions at once ;-) But I acknowledge I'm still just exploring the tip of the ice berg (ANOTHER random expression!) I feel it might be time for bed.
But as usual, I had teaching on the brain, and I just wanted to touch base with my little blog tonight. I hope I have a voice for it tomorrow. Although I probably still won't be able to sing. No way is that happening for a few more days! lol

Blessings to you, anyone who reads this.

For His Grace and Glory,