Writing Through the Bible in a Year

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

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!

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No Pencil? No Problem!

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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!

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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. 

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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!

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

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You betcha I do!

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

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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.

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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

Sunday. It is Finished!

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Zephaniah 1:1-3:20

Categories: 365 Life, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year, Zephaniah | Leave a comment

Friday

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Zechariah 12:1-14:21

Categories: 365 Life, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year, Zechariah | Leave a comment

Thursday

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Zechariah 7:1-11:17

Categories: 365 Life, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year, Zechariah | 1 Comment

Wednesday

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Zechariah 1:1-6:15

Categories: 365 Life, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year, Zechariah | Leave a comment

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