Monday, January 25, 2010

FIGHT!

Lately, I've been extremely aware of my human sinful nautre. It seems that whenever I set my mind to do something, I do exactly the opposite. I don't persue God as much as I would like. My self discipline seems to come and go with the seasons. God made me aware again this week that there is a BATTLE going on over my soul...
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and stranger in the world, to abstain from sinful desires,
which war against your soul.
1 Peter 2:11
I can totally testify to this! So many times, that sin calls out to me or ATTACKS me. It feels like I can't resist. But then I discovered that I am to FIGHT! God has given armed us with his armor, and we are to use his WORD as a sword against the temptations of the devil.
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Resist him,
standing firm in the faith, becuase you know that your brothers throughout the world are undersoing the same kind of sufferings.
1 Peter 5: 8-9
I think that is what I was missing on earth. Every time I am tempted to sin, it is the devil, and each time that I give in. He won that battle. But the greatest news is that the devil won't win the war. We all have VICTORY in JESUS. He has redeemed us. He has called us by name. We are His!! Even still, I don't want to give the devil ANY victories at all. So, with the help of the Lord through the strength of His word in my hear, I will fight against the devil. I love what that first verse I posted says. We are strangers here. The earth is so broken. There is so much pain, suffering, and just yuck because of our sin. Here on earth, the devil can tempt us and even has control over some, but one day....
And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you to Himself and make you strong, fim and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 5: 10-11

Friday, January 22, 2010

Livin the dream...

In July, when I still didn't have a job for this school year. I remember driving by schools in my county and longing for a classroom of my own. Now, six months later, I sit in one of those classrooms, and I am still completely humbled and thankful that God blessed me with this job this year. It was nothing short of a miracle, and I don't take it for granted.

So, I thought I would share where I spend most of my day. Come on in!

Every time I see that name on the door, I smile and think about how I'm livin the dream.

This is just inside the door. If you can't see, the orange piece of paper is a quote wall (shout out, Ford Staff!). Then the shelf which includes my bulletin board and tikki hut lights that were in my dorm, ha! Grab a novel on your way in!


This is the fridge, for awesome work, duh.

The next corner has bookshelves and my amazing flamingo lamp! It also has my word wall, and a mirror so paranoid girls can check their hair while sharpening their pencil (cuts down on trips to the bathroom).

This is the back wall with the computers and Active Reading strategies on the wall.



This is my corner. : )
















Here are some close ups of stuff on my desk. On the left are some important pictures. First, my lovely bridesmaids and myself! Then, the double picture frame is my source of teaching inspiration. The bottom picture is of my friend Katie and I at our 6th grade graduation with my favorite teacher of all time, Mrs. Cheek. Above is a picture of my mentor teacher, Mr. Jones and I. The post-it note on the picture frame says "Chin-up, you are my inspiration and you will be the inspiration where you are-I can assure you of that." That was just a snip-it of a conversation I had with Mr. Jones earlier this year. Yeah, he is pretty much amazing. He changed my life.

The picture on the right has a picture of Jas and I (sorry for the glare), random supplies, and also the Chuck Norris folder AJ gave us last year. Totally use that and take it to faculty meetings, ha!














This is the next wall. On the left is my rockin bulletin board. It says "If learning is a highway, we're gonna ride it all year long". The pieces of paper have all the standards we are learning this year. Each time we finish a unit, the car (dubbed "The reading Rider" and formally known as the Knight Rider) moves to the next "exit". My students love this, and some still ask me how the car moves. Haha! On the right is a thing called Mountain Language. It's basically a daily grammar practice thing. Each number has a specific question that goes with it and I change it out weekly. It's a really great program!


Finally, the front of the room. Complete with podium, flag, and smart board.
Ok, well eager minds are currently entering that very door, so I gotta run. I always pray that this classroom will be a haven of love especially for those students who don't often receive it. I'm so thankful for my opportunity to love and influence daily.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I will be a fool for You.

This made me stand up and say amen today...

"There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord."
~ Proverbs 22:30
"Do not decieve yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written "He catches the wise in their craftiness" and again "the Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile". So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours!"
~1 Corinthians 3:18-21
Wisdom = the opposite of faith
Lord, make me a fool for you. Wreak my plans, my ambitions, my belief that I can do anything outside of you. The "wisdom of the world" has nothing to offer me. You are the way and the truth. I long to live a life that points and brings glory to You.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What I'm Readin'...

As a child, I absolutely loved to read. My wonderful Mom took my siblings and I to the library every week (thanks mom!), we would enjoy the ever entertaining story time and then I would choose a new crop of books to devour. I loved the library. In fact, I learned to write my name just months after my 4th birthday because I wanted my own library card. As I grew, my taste changed. I loved the Bernstein Bears in early grades, went through a Biographies stage in the 4th grade, then moved to a Full House series that focused on the character Stephanie, next I believe I fell in love with Sweet Valley High books. But then, something happened. In high school, I received my first summer reading novel: Dickens's Great Expectations. It was awful. Perhaps it was above my lexile level or maybe because I had to read it unsupported or maybe because I was more interested in being on AIM chat that summer, but I hated it. My apolgies to Mr. Dickens. I spent the entire summer trying to get through that book. I don't think I finished it. Reading changed for me then. It transformed into an assignment. Sure, there were books that I liked that we read like The Outsiders, Fahrenheit 451, and Jane Eyre, but soon I began relying on sparknotes instead of actually reading the books.


For whatever reason, my reading outside of school changed too. I started reading mainly fiction books on my immature christian faith. I felt like I had to work hard and strive to mature my faith (boy, was I wrong), and I thought the way to do that was to read every young woman's fiction book there was to find. I neglected my love for reading in college too. This was due to so much time reading textbook assignments, and also my goal to read the Bible through before graduation (that took me two years). I still read many fiction books to try to prove myself as a great christian. Don't get me wrong, I still love books like that. One saving grace I did find were blogs. I think that is a reason I like blogs so much, because its a tiny novella of that person's life or thoughts. But overall, I had lost that love of getting lost in a book. That magical feeling that comes when you are totally enveloped in the lives of the characters. This is something that I long to pass down to my students as their 8th grade reading teacher. More than anything, I want them to discover or rediscover a love for reading. What a treasure it is!
Life has slowed down so much after college (amen, hallelujah). And one thing I have rediscovered is that love for non-fiction reading. In the last two months, I have read....

Redemption **
Remember
The Beginning
Crazy Love
Same Kind of Different as Me**
Hoot (with my students)
The Lucky One
**= Must reads!

Currently I'm in the middle of...
The Shack
To Kill a Mockingbird (with my students)
Love & Respect (just a few more chapters Am!)

Books on my list...
The rest of the Kingsbury Baxter Family series (14 more books!!)
The Help
I Will Carry You

Last night I was reading and Jason looked over at me and said "I love that you love to read". I smiled and asked him to explain. He said that he knew it was very important to brain development (ok, these are my words, but that's what he meant), and that it was a great hobby to have. But that most of all, he wanted that to be passed down to our children.

: ) Oh my heart, it melts.

So if you need me. I'll be under a blanket somewhere reading a novel or standing in front of a classroom of 13 year olds trying to make a classic novel come to life or at the library getting my next adventure.

Friday, January 8, 2010

give me Jesus

Without hesitation, I can say that my relationship with Jesus is the most rewarding, fulfilling, and wonderful part of my life. My Lord has been so real and so sweet to me lately. I feel His presence and I hear His voice speaking specifically into my life. The creator of the UNIVERSE loves me and cares about my little tiny old life (and yours too). Amazing. One of the coolest things Ive experienced lately is growing in my faith. I feel like in the past 6 months, God has really brouht me into a deeper place with Him.
A few months ago I saw a quote that rocked my world. It said something to the effect of how Christians today pray for safety and comfort when we should be praying for boldness and opportunities to advance the Kingdom like those in the early church did. Paul and Peter and John did not live lives of comfort and safety, that's for sure. How many times have I been guilty of this?! As a child I would recite the "Now I lay me down to sleep" and then afterwards recite a laundry list of people I wanted God to bless and keep safe. But I worried, what if I forgot to say someone! My Dad may die in a car wreck because I didn't ask God to bless him!? Then I also felt guilty to ask for my people to be safe and not others. So I developed an insurance policy of just asking for God to bless the whole world. That should cover it...
This habit continued into the start of my adult years. My prayers were usually selfish and always included a blanket of protection for those I loved most. But then as I was praying non-stop about having a job this school year, I paused one afternoon. I knew that God knew the desire of my heart for a job, and I totally believed His promise that He will take care of ALL my needs according to His glorious riches. So I stopped asking for a job. And started asking for more faith. Then some days I felt lead to just praise God in prayer, knowing that He is faithful. I just wanted to praise Him, and expect nothing in return.
After He blessed me with a job in a zero job market in July, I still continued to examine my prayer life. At the candle light service on Christmas Eve, the Father boldly asked me this question through a survey our Pastor asked us to fill out. It said "How can we pray for you?" I sat and thought about what I really wanted, and I decided that it really wasn't for my family members to be safe, I decided it wasn't for me to be comfortable or prosperous. Instead I decided that what I wanted at my core was "For Him to become greater and for me to become less." John 3:30
This is my deepest desire. I put on my facebook status on New Year's day that I was praying
that God would use me in big ways in 2010. And then during a Sunday night service I felt the whisper to stand up and proclaim that more than anything, more than money or comfort or beauty or the American Dream or safety or a nest egg or influence or power or a child or my perfect timeline or a house or a new car or a shopping spree or to look like a super model or any other dream, I wanted Christ. For I have been crucified with Christ and no loner live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in Jesus, who loves me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20).

Father, YOU are what I want. Your name and renonwn is the supreme desire of my heart.
In Your name and for Your Glory !