Trust Me

Trust Me Title Slide

All my life I’ve wanted to be a school teacher. As last school year was drawing to a close the Holy Spirit, through my husband, let me know that THIS was the year that it would happen. THIS would be the year that I would do the very thing I had dreamed of my entire life, teach in a public school.
This summer was a stressful one. I prayed and waited for a full-time teaching position. I applied to LOTS of schools all over the county, no one called. When positions opened up in our hometown, I applied, no one called. I fell deeper and deeper into depression. And I questioned, “What’s wrong with my resume?” “What’s wrong with me?” “Why won’t they even call?”
But God never stopped His message, “Trust Me”. So as hope slipped further away with each now closed position I was left with two weeks of summer vacation and a speck of hope the size of a single piece of glitter when my husband and I went up for miracle prayer at church. It was short sweet and to the point – effective. That next day I marched my portfolio into the elementary school principal’s office and basically demanded an interview for the last open position. I didn’t get the job.
Yet through the depression, that blasted piece of glitter refused to sweep away and God continued His refrain of, “Trust Me”. Then precisely seven calendar days before school was to start, there was an opening. The glitter bomb exploded, my time had come. And now here I sit, at my TEACHER’S desk, two weeks into school, past the chaos of the last three weeks realizing what God has done.
He is faithful.
He really IS the God who can do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we can ask or imagine.
In all my years of dreaming and thinking and planning and imagining I NEVER placed myself into this particular role in the school. And yet here I am, sitting on the other side of the summer with every door that I had prayed to open successfully shut in my face. Everything that I had dreamed for myself God looked at and said, “Close, but not quite good enough for MY beloved child.” While I wrestled with rejection all summer, God was lining things up *just* right to set me into the place that He had created for me all those years ago when He had birthed this dream of teaching into my heart. Never, in thirty-six years, had this position crossed my mind as part of the plan. And I’ll be honest, in those first days through this particular door I was a little mad that it hadn’t been those other doors. Yet here I am, with each passing day realizing how perfect this job and I are for one another. A match made in heaven… and it had never been part of MY plan. Go figure.

Categories: Writing Through the Bible in a Year | 2 Comments

An Outstanding Teacher Who Can Find?

So I’ve spent a LOT of time this week of Spring Break working on operation “Get a Teaching Job”. I spent an entire day working on my Resume’, that was fun. And so far I’ve spent all of today working on filling out an online application. Although I will admit that the majority of that time has been spent writing what I’m about to share with you. One of the questions the application posed was, “Describe the skills or attributes you believe are necessary to be an outstanding teacher.” Now, I don’t know about you but that just wasn’t something I could answer in just one sentence and do it justice. And the more I wrote, the more I found myself thinking about the Proverbs 31 woman. It begins, “A wife of noble character who can find…” and then goes on to list all the qualities of a good wife. I found myself writing my own version of the Proverbs 31 Woman… The Outstanding Teacher!

A truly outstanding teacher is a good leader by being good with people & organization. As a leader & an outstanding teacher she works with people of all ages from students & their parents to the administration and co-workers. An outstanding teacher strikes a good balance between being too soft and easily pushed around and being too hard and pushing everyone else around. She is a likable person who stands her ground when necessary (especially with students) but will happily accept constructive criticism & follow those in leadership above her as well.  

It’s always best to know where we’re going before we leave! For this reason I believe an outstanding teacher, in addition to being good with people, must also be organized.  The students & their parents are trusting her to lead them through the daily activities of school, field trips, projects & homework. Those are a lot of plates to keep spinning and it takes a great deal of organization in order to spin them in an outstanding manner.

In an average school year of 180 days, the outstanding teacher will spend approximately 900 hours with this next generation. This is why an outstanding teacher is passionate about her students.  Nine hundred hours influencing the future is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. The outstanding teacher is passionate for the entire well-being of her students, from education to personality development she takes it all seriously. It is the outstanding teacher’s goal to wake up the thinker, the researcher, the artist, the dreamer, the future person inside each and every one of her students by teaching them the skills they will need to be that future person.

In conjunction with passion, the outstanding teacher must possess compassion. Within those 900 hours of teaching and skill building, many of her students will unfortunately have the worst day of their lives. Whether it be as small as the temporary loss of a friendship or as earth shattering as the permanent loss of a parent, these students will experience life and it’s cruelties. An outstanding teacher knows how to be compassionate when these events take place under her care. For a teacher to be unfeeling toward her students during these traumatic life events, no matter how seemingly small, is in my opinion a tragedy. Every moment of life is a teachable moment and sometimes there are more important things in life to learn than the times tables. With that being said, I also believe that many times the best way to weather a life event, is to engross yourself in the glorious routine of school and learning. Knowledge has a way of soothing life’s aches and pains like nothing else can.

Last, but certainly not least, the outstanding teacher possesses adaptability. As a teacher there will be curve balls thrown at your head all day every day, from Johnny throwing up in the middle of science class to tomorrow’s meeting getting moved to today… in five minutes. It is an outstanding teacher’s job to be proactively organized & plan the way for her class every day knowing that those plans can and probably will change at the drop of a hat. An outstanding teacher has the ability to make those changes without even making it noticeable that there were any changes at all. In addition to adapting to the daily changes, an outstanding teacher is a timeless one; she doesn’t use the same exact lesson plans for 25 years straight. It is the outstanding teacher’s responsibility to prepare her students for their future, one that doesn’t even exist yet. In order to do this the outstanding teacher knows the world her students live in today and anticipates the world they could create and teaches them to create tomorrow.

So what do you think? Would you agree with those statements? Would you hire me?

Categories: Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

*GULP*

A couple weekends ago, at church, Pastor Steve challenged us to tithe regularly. He even went so far as to have us sign a card letting the church know our intention to tithe in the next 90 days. Now, I’m not new to tithing, in fact, I believe pretty strongly in it. However, I’ve gotten out of the habit and had been thinking about it a lot lately. So when it was brought up in church in such an official way I knew it was time to make a committment. So I did.
Now, I’m not going to lie, this last week has been very financially stressful for me. I feel like money has been tighter this week than it has been in quite a while, and that’s saying something! HOWEVER, this morning I was talking to my co-worker who has a small side business and she was telling me about this weekend. She sold more high dollar funiture items in two days than she’s ever sold in that amount of time before. And while I thought that was great, I wasn’t quite getting where she was going with the story. Then she reminded me of their tax situation. Aparently their annual raises brought them just over the tax line where they owe taxes this year instead of the other way around. BUMMER! But it’s not just a little bit of taxes, it’s an amount that makes you GULP when you see it. Especially since they weren’t expecting it. So when she sold that much furniture in one weekend, the obvious message was one of God’s provision. She was so excited about it this morning that her enthusiasm was contagious.
Later this afternoon as I was sitting in the orthodontist office with my son Gabe for a “pre-braces” appointment, I was quoted an amount that made me GULP. And as I sat there silently worrying how in the world was I going to make this work out, I remembered her story.
God will provide.
The peace came and I calmed down for a bit.
But when we checked out of the office they quoted me our monthly amount that will start at the end of this month and my peace fell away. Then I went to put gas in my thirsty car and checked our account to find less there than I had expected, GULP, Peace was gone, and Worry was back. Sigh…
And thankfully that’s not the end of my story for today because God is good, and faithful and just.
When we got home I opened the mail to find a letter from Pastor Steve thanking me for my leap of faith to tithe. I had forgotten all about that today! You see, my signature on that tithing card at church is a spiritually binding contract between me and God… and the Enemy knows it! He knows that God’s word says,
“’Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me!’ You ask: ‘How do we rob You?’ ‘By not making the payments of the tenth and the contributions. You are suffering under a curse, yet you—the whole nation—are still robbing Me. Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this way,’ says the Lord of Hosts. ‘See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure.'” – Malachi 3:8-10
I have committed to tithing and a blessing IS coming.
The blessing of the Lord makes rich; and He adds no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22

Categories: Insecurity | 1 Comment

Never Enough

Do you ever feel like you’re never enough? Like no matter how hard you try, no matter how hard you work, it’s never enough? I don’t know about you, but I certainly feel that way… often. And honestly, right now I’m really tired of feeling that way.
I’m never going to be pretty enough, I’m never going to be a good enough mom. I’m never a good enough wife. I’m not a good enough teacher. No matter what I do it will never be enough. At least not in my eyes.
But there is one person who you will always be enough, Jesus. In His opinion, just the way you are is enough for Him. Or did you not know that you are His workmanship. You have been created in His image, not perfect on your own but perfect in your union with His perfection.
It’s incredibly easy to get down on ourselves when we’re functioning in our own power, especially when we are functioning in our own power for a long period of time. Eventually we run out of steam, usually far short of the goal throwing our imperfections and our “not enough-ness” into perfect view. We can’t reach the goal without Him. And we were never meant to.
Our “not enough-ness” was crafted into our being from the very beginning! He didn’t make us to be self sufficient, He made us to be dependent on His Grace!
Paul ran into a similar situation that I think, I know, I needed to hear today.
“Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Can we get to the point where we’re OK with not being enough for ourselves, where His Grace is sufficient for us? I have times when I have the confidencde that Paul speaks of in this passage. And then I have the, knees on the ground, moments like this. I relapse. But Jesus recovers me. Praise God! He loves us!

Categories: 2 Corinthians, Insecurity | 4 Comments

Don’t Freak Out on Me

I just wanted to give those of you who are subscribed to this blog a heads up. I’m sitting here clearing out my local drafts! I had several pieces written (usually at school where WordPress is blocked and I can’t post things) but not posted. And since I just finished writing a piece to post I figured while I was at it I would post the others as well. But since I didn’t want to swamp your inboxes I have scheduled the rest for one a day for the next couple of days. But I also know that some of you might think that since you were recieving daily emails again that I might be blogging daily again. Don’t get your hopes too high for that folks. Sorry. : ( Life is crazy, but I am hoping to start writing at least a littl emore often. Probably sporatically, but maybe a post per week. We’ll see.
I am realizing that I am not processing things very well lately and should probably get back into writing more. We’ll see friends, we shall see. : ) But for the time being enjoy these next few days!
God bless you!

Categories: Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

No Pencil? No Problem!

image

If you’ve been teaching very long then you know what I mean when I say that a pencil is a very highly sought after commodity in a school setting. They are CONSTANTLY getting broken and lost and there is always someone in need of one. A teacher’s supply of pencils is a precious thing indeed. So what this teacher did today, is in my opinion a stroke of genius born out of pure necessity.
Picture this, it’s the week of ISTEP, tensions are high and the pencil supply is low – it is the first week of March after all.  The English/Language Arts practice test is stacked up on your front table and you’ve got seven pencils to your name, seven. And those seven pencils have to last you all week long through two days of practice ISTEP and two more days of the real ISTEP. How on earth are you going to guarantee that those seven pencils will be returned to you and in usable condition? You demand collateral! A pencil for your SHOE! And even though they all complained and there were plenty of stinky feet comments, she got each and every pencil back at the end of the class period.
This is totally an idea I am filing away for future reference! Thanks Nina Lechner!

Categories: Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

WORKmanship

Hey guys!
Long time – no see! : ) And here I am after all this time with a confession to make, I’m a fool. For a very long time I’ve been actively avoiding my writing table, almost as if it would bite me. And honestly, I know why. It’s because the writing process hurts sometimes. I sit here with pen and ink and pour out my soul upon the page only to offer it up to an audience of… well, it’s supposed to be only one, but it never is. I’m supposed to write because it’s who I am and it’s what He made me to do, not because I have an audience of thousands.
A year ago I sat on the edge of my bed weeping and gave a dream to God… I gave my will to God. Every day I had sat, with poised pen and wrote about the Word of God. It was a GREAT GIG! I was constantly surrounded with research and wisdom on love and grace. To say that I was encompassed with “positive vibes” would be an understatement. And yet it came to an end when I got a job in a middle school. I sat on my bed and told God, “If it’s Your will Lord, I will never step on a stage again – bigger than the stage of a teacher in a classroom. And I’m OK with that.”
You see, HE made me a teacher. HE put that in me, and it’s precisely the reason I wrote, why I write. Because a teacher’s gotta teach, teach, teach, teach, teach. And a writer’s gotta write, write, write, write, write. So I, shake it off, shake it off. (smh. I can’t believe I just wrote that. Yup, still a goofball – I know.)
And yet it’s the truth. A teacher just has to teach. If it’s what God has truly created in us, then eventually we have to just give in and do it or we explode!
And leave it to God to squeeze me, through my circumstances, until I explode the ink of my soul upon paper. Just like He created me to do. Looking back through this week, I can see Him poking holes in the wall I had built up against writing that created a dam with a resevoir behind it.
Although I have yet to step “on stage” as a teacher in this last year, I am very pleased with the work that has taken place in the audience and backstage as an instructional assistant. I have put in  100% of my effort like I do in all things. And I have seen a return. A smile – just a simple but pure genuine smile – is a VERY powerful tool. As is a genuine love for people and helping them heal.
I have loved watching troubled students find their way down this path we call life. It’s HARD and heartbreaking and yet there is good in it. Especially when we have purpose. Am I where I want to be? No. Am I where I’m supposed to be? Yes. So am I happy with where I am? Yes. Most of the time anyway. It helps to remember that, like a skyscraper under construction, even though I’m not finished, or “there yet”, I’m still a skyscraper.

We are GOD’S workmanship, created to do good works, which GOD prepared in advance for us to do. Eph 2:10

Your worth isn’t about what you do or don’t do. It’s not about how many books you write or how much you make to stand on a stage and talk for twenty minutes. Your worth, my worth, comes from GOD – and God alone. Go and be His workmanship today. He created you to do good works, go teach, or farm, or work on computers, or write, or cashier for Him TODAY. It’s what you’re made for.

Categories: Ephesians, Insecurity | Leave a comment

A Dream Fulfilled & a Fear Faced

Yesterday was a BIG day for our family. It was State Fair day. 

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

One of the first years we watched the State Fair derby our friend Roger Murdick was running and ended up with another car on top of his. They separated them and finished the heat. And I told Sean then, “you’re never running here!” Then in the feature someones car caught on fire. Not a little wimpy fire under the hood, happens all the time. No. This was a fire ball that completely engulfed the car, driver included. And in complete and total seriousness I told Sean, “you are NEVER driving here!” And until yesterday he hasn’t. He’s always wanted to, but for various reasons hasn’t. When trying to make his decision to run I said absolutely nothing. I refused to comment. A big part of my ministry is encouraging people to go for their dreams. How could I let MY trauma-based fear stop the man I love from doing what I encourage others to do. If I did that it would make me a liar, not to mention I would be miserable knowing I was the reason He didn’t go for his dream. 
So on State Fair day I had to push that fear as far back as I could possibly push it. I had to put my faith and words into action and actually TRUST GOD to keep my Beloved husband safe in the palm of His hand.
During Sunday morning praise and worship I actually, in fear, visualized Sean dying and God reminded me that He HAS resurrected people from the dead before and that He can do it again. There are some commentaries that say that Abraham believed that this was God’s plan when He asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. 
Now, did I REALLY believe that Sean was going to die in the derby? No. That’s what Fear wanted me to believe. Do I believe that God wanted me to face this fear all along? YES, in order to get rid of it once and for all! Do I believe that it’s please God and infuriates the Devil if Sean lives out his dream and drives out into that arena in front of hundreds of people with forgiveness written all over his car? Yes!

image

Do I think Satan is ticked that two people accepted the written word of God into their lives while we were there?

image

You betcha I do!

image

Every single one of those people in those stands SAW how forgiveness through Christ works.

image

No matter how hard they beat Him and cursed Him, He forgave them. No matter how hard we fight Him and run from Him He forgives us. Over and over and over and over again until WE give in. My friends, Christ wins every time. Give in to Him. He loves you, He forgives you and HE accepts you, JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.

image

image

P.S. Sean did NOT die! Although I will admit to crying a little while it was going. I am NEVER like that at derbies. Usually I’m out there shouting for him to hit them harder. Last year he had his fuel pump break in the seat behind him spilling gasoline all over the back of his car. They called the fire truck over and were spraying it out and the announcer was saying that his car was on fire. Even in that moment I was concerned but I wasn’t afraid. The State Fair derby was altogether different. I was terrified with an unnatural fear that was unnecessary. But as I stood there with fear-filled tears crawling down my face, I remembered something God taught me about emotions – feel them! Feel them and don’t hide them. Don’t push them back and deny their existence and role in your life. So that’s what I did. I stood there and basked in that twitching anxious feeling of fear and terror that was forcing my hands to shake and my legs to wobble. I stood there and focused on the feeling, the sensation of this fear that had held me prisoner for years and I found myself… enjoying it! It was strange and yet exhilarating! And just like that, it was gone! It’s power over me had ceased, and just as quickly as that I was back to yelling at him to go for it! I was back to myself in 15 seconds flat.
Yes, it was a very BIG day! 

Categories: 7x70, Choose: Fear or Faith | 4 Comments

Olaf’s Dream

As I went into my daughter’s room for one last kiss before I went to bed myself, Olaf’s tender voice greeted me from across the room. If you don’t have a young girl in your life then you may not be familiar with Olaf from the Disney movie, Frozen. Olaf is the snowman that the two main character’s, Anna and Elsa, played with as children. When Elsa’s ice powers were discovered she fled from her castle leaving it and it’s village in a perpetual winter (in the middle of summer). After her escape she flees to the north mountain where she realizes that there’s no point hiding her powers any more and that she might as well start seeing what all she can do with them instead. Among many amazing things, she creates a snowman named Olaf, this time instead of just being a snowman he comes to life!

When Anna comes to the mountain to try and convince Elsa to return home, she meets Olaf. In the scene Olaf introduces himself and sings a gloriously hilarious song about his dream to see summer. Obviously the hilarity is in the fact that he’s a snowman and he would melt if he ever saw summer. This is the song that greeted me as I entered into my Anna’s room tonight to kiss her one last time before falling asleep myself. There he was, singing on her CD player that she had set to repeat the CD while she slept. As I was walking toward her door he sang, “When life gets tough I like to hang on to my dream…”

You what’s funny is that I’ve never really noticed that line of the song before. Not really. Isn’t that what dreams are for? They’re that thing that we hang on to when life get’s tough and we’re not sure if we can keep going. There’s our dream, shining in the darkness just begging us to keep trying… just one more time. Hang in there!

The more I thought about it the more I realized just how profound this little snowman’s song really is. His dream of laying in the summer sun seemed ridiculous to those who had actually experienced summer and it’s deadly effects on ice and snow. Yet to Olaf, who had never seen summer, it sounded glorious and wonderful. And isn’t that precisely what often happens to those of us that dream? We dream about things that we haven’t experienced, usually because we want to experience them. And all too often we’re dreaming them because they’re simply out of our reach or control. And there are even times when we may come across those who have experienced them and they aren’t too encouraging to us in our dreaming.

But then I went just one step further with Olaf, while his dream was WAY beyond his own capability and seemed ludicrous to those around him. It was completely within the ability of his creator! When the movie is at it’s end and summer has returned to the village Olaf immediately begins to melt. But the moment his creator Elsa notices she immediately remedy’s the situation by creating his very own flurry. And in this moment Olaf’s dream is realized, he gets to fully experience summer!

My friends, do we not also have a creator who is able to do so much more than we could ever hope or imagine? Yes, your dream may seem ridiculously out of your reach and capability, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t ever see it realized! In Genesis there was a youth named Joseph who had a dream that his mean older brothers would bow in submission to him. At the time it seemed ridiculous to even think such a thing, and yet wouldn’t you know it, by the end of the book of Genesis not only are his brothers bowing in submission to him but so is his father and everyone else in Egypt except the Pharaoh himself! God didn’t just realize Joseph’s dream, He exceeded it abundantly above anything he could have asked or imagined! And you know what else, if God’s willing to do that for Joseph, He’s willing to do it for you too!

Categories: The Crazy Mom Blog | Leave a comment

Dusty Tumbleweeds

It’s driving me crazy! Every time I open up the internet on any of my devices the blog pops up (because it’s my homescreen on all my devices) and I can practically see the tumbleweeds blowing across the screen it feels so empty and deserted! I just HAD to write something so that it wouldn’t feel so hollow and abandoned anymore!
I have one more week of online classes left and then I will qualify for my license renewal! Yay! School has been out for a week now, so that lifted an enormous time burden from my shoulders… but left a huge hole in my heart! I miss going there every day and seeing these kids I have grown to love so much. Two more months til school starts again. In the meantime, it’s summer fun with MY kiddos!!! And we’re having a blast! We’ve done something every day this week, I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to last at the pace, but we’re enjoying it so far.
I made a Summer Fun Planner that I’m hoping to upload to Teachers Pay Teachers soon, when I do I’ll put a link on here for you. It’s the lesson planner I created for myself for next school year modified for the summer. Yup. I’m a teacher at heart.🙂
Also, quickly, before I forget, Sean is planning on driving in a derby this Saturday. It’s in the Indiana State Fairgrounds grandstands at 4:00 pm. This will be his first derby of the year so we’re feeling pretty excited! Please pray for his safety (and all the rest of the drivers as well), and for those who need Bibles to get them this weekend. We have plenty!
God bless you my friends!
Live your dreams, they’re worth it.

Categories: 7x70, The Crazy Mom Blog | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 197 other followers

%d bloggers like this: