Sunday, November 25, 2012

So Much Thankfulness

Big time haircuts! (Funny what little impact this actually had)

Short hair don't care. Positive: I get to be twins with PM. Negative: Today a friend said, "You got a mom haircut! Looks great!" Thanks for nothin'.

Thankful for arts and crafts!

Reach Them to Teach Them. Awesome.

Thankful for being welcomed to second grade with open arms!

Peaceful times spent with my sis.

Mornings. The greatest. Sunrises make getting up at 6 so worth it. (As do getting to spend all day with kids I LOVE).

Reunions. Glad I get to experience new phases of life with old friends.

My sister. The soccer pro.

Thankful these girls can match my enthusiasm for T. Swift and will JAM to "Never Ever Getting Back Together" with me.

The champions. I told ya she was a pro.

Thankful that I got to hang out with my favorite college guy.

Impressive football dives.

Love. This. Girl.

THESE ARE MY FAVORITE PEOPLE OF ALL TIME. So thankful to get to have this crew to do life with. 

Yes to movies. Always.

Chit-chats with 6 (and a half) year olds.

Sneaking onto the championship fields. Foreshadowing? Hope so.

This book. Y'all. I will be blogging about this soon. A lot.

I am so thankful for this life. I'm learning and growing daily. So much to be thankful for. On Thanksgiving and every day. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

P is for Passion

In small group on Monday our "ho hum", if you will (I think it would be more accurate to say our "yos and woes"-whateve, our "kickoff"), was to share three things you are thankful for. Fitting since Thanksgiving is a week and a day away. Wait, what?! Whoa. In the spirit of a teacher (I've said it time and time again, someone stop me before I totally fall into this role and become a teacher in themed vests and jumpers with frizzy hair and completely awkward interactions with adults), the three I shared were "themed" in that they all started with "P."
My three thankfuls were: passion, possibilities, and perspective.
There's only time to focus on one tonight.
I. Am. So. Thankful. For. Passion.
I am passionate about A LOT of things.
Maybe that goes hand in hand with being both opinionated and a "feeler."
In this particular post, however, I'm focusing my one "thankful p" on one passion.
I am so thankful that I have a passion for teaching.
I've said this before and I'll say this again, I am unbelievably blessed to know I am doing exactly what I was made to do. My passion is teaching kids and changing lives. I get to do this every single day!!! I get to love kids and teach them and mold them and impact their lives and help them figure out what is important and who is important and who they are to become. What an unbelievable blessing!
It's hard. I'm not going to try and cover that up. I pour myself out all day long. Second graders are needy. They need help spelling and tying their shoes and communicating and working through problems and figuring out who they are becoming and realizing that their lives matter and they can make a difference. On top of that I have bunches of work for grad school. That's hard too. They're definitely making us earn this Master's degree. AND I started all the way over. Everyone else in this program is cruising in their placements and I'm learning new procedures, names, schedules, routines, management, and how to interact for the third time. Please don't view this paragraph as a rambling complaint, I just want to be honest in saying that living out my passion is not easy. There have been moments where I have to make a conscious effort to not complain, but to continue to push through. It's not easy, but it's so good.
But it is wonderful. Oh it's so wonderful.
I cannot imagine going to work every day at a job that is just "okay" or even "not bad." I LOVE what I do. And I know that is so very rare. I don't even get paid yet! Overflowing thankfulness.
Part of the mission statement that we say everyday at my school is "What I do today will make a difference." Teachers and students alike say this together, and the great thing is, we all mean it. I hope I live this out daily. What I do makes a difference. Thankful and I hope I don't every forget this blessing.
Okay, enough with that. Just wanted to share how thankful I am to have such an evident passion and encourage y'all to find something you absolutely love and is your God-given passion.
Over and out, Bloggies :)
Happy Wednesday!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Endings and Beginnings.

I always feel the need to put a disclaimer at the start of in depth blogs. So here it is. Be warned. Lots of thoughts here...

Endings are funny. And by funny I mean not really funny- or fun- at all. There's been lots of "endings" in my life recently.
The beautiful thing about endings is that the end brings a new beginning. Is that cliche? Maybe. Sorry 'bout it. But it's true.

Recent ends:
1. End of the Jetta.
2. End of YoungLife at Halls for me.
3. End of first grade teaching.
4. End of not being able to relate to Taylor Swift's songs.

"Our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off is... the truest index of our real situation." -C.S. Lewis (can I take a quick second to give a round of applause for this guy- what a wise man! He said so many good things!)
This quote so speaks to where I am right now. Longing for so much. A difficult place to be, but what a fantastic parallel to "our real situation."

Beginnings are exciting and funny and fun and sad and scary and confusing and make me want to laugh and make me want to cry and make me so unbelievably thankful all at the same time. That's a heck of a lot of emotions to feel all at once. But I don't do things just partly. I invest, engage, care, get involved, and therefore feel, deeply. Sometimes I wish I could back off and only put half of myself into things. Disappointment is easier to handle when your expectations are low. The less you care the less you can be hurt, right? Minus the car, if I had cared less about the other three "ends" I would be feeling a-okay now. ...But why settle? I'm not saying I was (or am), but why not put my all into everything? We weren't made to be average, we were made to excel. Realistically, I have no choice but to give everything my everything.  

So. These endings were the beginning of things too...:
1. ...I'm driving Dad's gold Camry. And totally rocking it. It brings me back to my glory days of driving my first car, the black Camry. Plus, sharing a car with my dad on the weekend REALLY takes me back to those glory days. Nothing like having no choice but to stay at home-home. And share a bed with your little sister. Knees in the back. all. night. long. But really, this new-old place is a growing opportunity. In many ways. (Side note: keep an eye out for my car stuck parallel parked on campus. Two weeks and counting...)
2. ...finding NEW ministries! I am so excited about this! I can't wait for God to reveal a new place to do ministry (I am blessed to "do ministry" every day in the classroom, but I'm excited about going beyond that. I did YoungLife and taught so I know I am more than capable of teaching as well as find another way to tell people about Jesus). Whether this still be through YoungLife (which I still adore) or somewhere new.
3. ...TEACHING SECOND GRADE AT MOORELAND HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL! This is the biggest blessing of the new beginnings. Truth be told, a few tears were shed over not going back to my sweet six-year-olds. But MHES is an incredible school. All the staff is absolutely awesome and truly love what they do. It's unlike any school I've been in. Seven-year-olds make me laugh just as much as the six-year-olds did (maybe even more). My new mentor teacher is the I can already tell that I am going to learn so much through teaching with her. I know, without even a tiny bit of doubt, that teaching is exactly what God has gifted me to do.
All I want to do is change the world through teaching kiddos. I can't settle not doing this. Pursing God's goal. What a blessing this new beginning is. Speechless.
4. ... Taylor's new album, Red = perfection. I love being able to blast these songs and sing along at the top of my lungs. At this moment, Taylor is singing to me. Glad this girl can speak words I can relate to in a whole new way. I probably should be embarrassed that, not only am I now pretending I'm on a first name basis with T. Swift, but also I am publicly advertising the fact that I'm relating her album to my life. What of it? Taylor rocks. Lyrical genius, that girl.  

Ohh... the irony of recognizing that something can be so good and so hard at the same time. It's a complex and challenging place to be. But it is so beautiful to know, not that God will do what you want, but that He will do what is right. I am so grateful we don't serve a careless God. He has it all figured out. He knows every need, struggle, desire. He is, after all, a supernatural God. Every moment, every experience is part of His divine plan. Whoa. Talk about humbling and motivating.
So, new beginnings,

Sunday, November 4, 2012


by Russell Kelfer 
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, "Wait." 

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word. 

"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign. 

"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply." 

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

"You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

"You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

"The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing in you.

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait."