Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bountiful Life

Happy Thanksgiving! :) I love this holiday, it's one of my favorites. I love having the time to just relax and reflect on the plentiful blessings that I have in my life. It is so easy to focus on the things that I don't have and what I 'need', but how much more amazing and rewarding would my life be if I instead focused on the amazing blessings that I experience on a daily basis. So, in the spirit of being thankful, here are a few of things that I am beyond blessed to have...

My relationship with God. It hasn't been as easy road, there have been a lot of bumps and detours on the road, but it's been so worth it. He has truly carried me through some difficult times and brought me out on the other side a more compassionate, loving, and faithful woman.

My family. Seriously, they're awesome! They have been such a wonderful support system; I know that they are there for me and love me unconditionally. A girl couldn't ask for a better set of parents who have stood strong for their faith and loved each other and God through the difficult times.

My friends. Truly a blessing. I am so thankful for the amazing men and women that I have been blessed to walk through life with. I've heard it said that people are lucky if they have 1 or 2 close friends, praise God that I have many more than that. If you don't know my friends, you should! :)

The man. Yeah, the rumors are true, he really does exist. I'm thankful for his strength, his sense of humor, his work ethic, his compassion, his protection, his support, his encouragement, his hand to hold, his great communication, and his ability to push me out of my box and make me a better person. :)

My job. Okay, I know that teenagers can be agrivating, but I really do love my job. They are my mission field, and I'm so thankful that God has called me to serve these students at this time in my life.

My health. Yeah, I know, here come the back jokes and how often I crush my spine. Let's be positive, I keep doing it and I haven't been paralyzed yet! So thankful that I'm able to function on a daily basis and I'm not that hindered by physical restraints.

My house. Wow, who would have thought I would be able to own such a gorgeous house at this point in my life. God totally had me at the right spot at the right time. Love my new bathroom, closet, and bedroom!

My education. I know I complain about doing homework and writing papers, but I'll be almost finished with my doctorate by the time I'm 30. That's freaking awesome! Then I wont ever have to worry about taking another class ever again!

Okay, there are so many other things that I am thankful for, but it's time to get ready for some turkey!!! :) Enjoy your time with loved ones!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Missing in Action

Wow! I can't believe how long it has been since I last blogged! It has absolutely flown by... I blame it on crazy schedules and absolute exhaustion! :) Life is good. Life is really good. I'm happy, and I'm content, and I'm absolutely confident that God has a plan for my life...

To be honest, last year sucked! I hated my job, I hated the classes I took, and I hated where my personal life was. This year, I love my job, I just kinda hate the classes I'm taking, and I love where my personal life is. Thank goodness for God's promises and the fact that He doesn't give up on us. Life is truly an experience and something that isn't easy, but should be embraced and enjoyed. This can be a struggle for me to remember since I'm so busy and always have 50 things to do on my to-do list, but it's an important thing to keep at the forefront of my mind. I'm just so thankful for the people that God has brought into my life, I truly am blessed by my family, friends, and "other" people... maybe more on that later! ;) So, on that note, I'm headed out to spend time with some of my favorites and enjoy this thing called life!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

God's Promises

Over the last few months I have come face to face with a realization... I love God, I trust Him, I want to serve Him, but I struggle to believe Him sometimes. I know what His word says, I have so many examples in my life of times that He has provided, yet I still question if He is going to do what He says. I know this is illogical, but it is still a struggle that takes place in my life...

I was able to have such an encouraging conversation with a good friend the other day where I was able to see God absolutely shining through her life. It was such an encouragement to be able to see how God is working in her life, and such a reminder to me of how He always provides and supports. That was super amazing, and such a blessing in my life. Then, as we were driving back from Canada yesterday we drove into a terrible rain storm. I prayed that God would clear the rain and give us good weather to travel, and like that - it stopped raining!!! Seriously, right after the words came out of my mouth. Then I looked out the window and saw the most gorgeous rainbow I have ever seen. Talk about a reminder straight from God that He will keep His promises and hears our prayers! I'm so thankful for the little reminders in my daily life that God cares about what happens to me and that He promises to always be there for me.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

World Traveller!!!

I love to travel! I love the excitment that leads up to a big trip! I love to explore and see all sorts of new things! I just wish that I had the money to just travel all over the world, I would have so much fun... :) I got a refund back from school, and while I should have been responsible and put it towards bills, I figured I would rather have some fun. So, I bought myself a ticket to go to one of my favorite places ever to see some of my favorite people ever!!! I'm headed to Colorado, I swear I'm going to live there some day, to see my fabulous Haley and her kiddos. I figured while I was there I should probably go see my super favorite person, CHIP! I mean, I guess I should see my best friend before he ships out for a year to serve his men and get the bad guys... ;) So super excited about getting out of Lynchburg, being able to relax, and spend some quality time with some very important people in my life! Oh, the life of a teacher!!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What Really Matters

I've been reflective on my life a lot lately... I know, that's new, but I figured it was time I try something new! :) I think it has to do with school being over and I actually have the brain process since I'm not grading hours and hours of grammar, writing, and vocabulary quizzes. I like my life, I know it's where I'm supposed to be right now, but it's not my deep down dream. I'm so blessed to own the house I own, have amazing family and friends (seriously they're amazing, I have the world's greatest friends), I'm healthy, and I'm safe. I'm awed and thankful that I have such an amazing career, that I'm able to implement new programs, teach teachers, work with such wonderful kids, but really it's not what I do for the rest of my life... I want to be a wife, I want to be a mom, I want to make the world's greatest chocolate chip cookies. Forget feminism, I want to stay at home with my babies, do laundry, clean the house, and cook dinner for my man every night. That's my heart and passion, and yet, I'm single... I don't regret the fact that I'm not married. I've been close a few times. I absolutely 100% know that I'm not supposed to be with the guys in my past, it was a painful lesson, but I'm glad I went through what I did. So, the question is, 'now what God?' Where am I supposed to go from here? What am I supposed to do with my life? How am I supposed to live?

I don't know the answer to those questions. I really really wish I did. Do I think I'm going to be in Lynchburg the rest of my life? No. Do I think I'm going to teach until I retire? No. There's a lot I don't know, but there are a few things I do know... I know that God has a plan for me. I know that God loves me. I know that if I follow God He will lead me down an absolutely amazing path. I know that I love God. I know that with every fiber in my being I want to love, serve, know, and follow God. These aren't emotional responses, because believe me, tonight is a night when I don't 'feel' those things. It doesn't matter what I feel, it matters what I know. So, I will hold tight to these promises from my amazing Savior and I will trust that in His timing He will make His plans known to me.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Its all coming off...

Over the last few months I've gone through a rollercoaster crazy ride, and in the process I ate whatever I felt like and didn't exercise at all. Thanks to that great combination I put on the pounds and started to feel horrible about myself. I ended up only being able to wear certain clothes and leaving most of my closet just hanging there never getting used... When I broke my back and had to go to the doctor constantly, I also had to be weighed constantly, which is never good for the ego. The day that I saw I was 30 pounds more than my projected weight was one of the worse for me ever. I'd had it, I was going to get serious about losing this weight and I was going to get healthy. I knew that it was just going to get harder to lose the weight and look the way that I wanted to as I get older so I might as well do it now. So, I set my mind to it and refuse to back down! Good thing I'm stubborn... ;)

My mom and I both had some success in the past with Weight Watchers so I decided to try it again. I also wanted to be more active and healthy, because it's not just about how I look but it's also about my body being in the best condition it can. I've started cooking at home more and sticking with my points and counting everything I eat. I don't resistrict myself from the things I love, but I do enjoy them on occasion and in small portions. Now that I'm on summer break I've got a lot more time to work out and be healthy. I walk about 4 miles a day plus working on toning and everything else that I can do, and it feels great! I still want to eat junk and lay around on the couch, but I can't deny that I really actually do feel a lot better and healthier now that I'm working on changing my lifestyle. I've lost 9 pounds now, and I can't wait to lose the remaining 21, and I'm so excited about it!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

When passion and ministry collide...

Do you love your job? Like seriously, can't wait to spend all day there, nothing makes you happier, love your job!?! I do! Seriously! Don't get me wrong, there are days I don't want to get out of bed, a few extra hours of sleep would be fantastic. And there are days that I come home so mad that I can't stand it. And there are days where I think that if I have to see another teenager I may lose my mind. But, overall, I love my job, and I know without a doubt that it's exactly where God wants me right now.

If you had asked me 5 years ago if I could ever imagine working where I work, I would have died laughing and then ran for cover... Who would have ever thought that a middle class, white, preppy, Canadian, big city, sheltered girl would be working in a poverty, black, ghetto, American, rural school!?! Especially someone who didn't want to be a teacher? That ladies and gentlemen, is God at work! God has given me such a heart for those kids, and when everyone else is ready to walk away and give up on them I'm ready to dive right in and love them. I love seeing a kid's head pop around my door to my office, smile, and then yell that they love me as they run down the hallway to their next class. I love walking down a hallway and being stopped by 50, 000 teenagers who have to tell me a story, give me a hug, or just smile and say hi. I love getting back to my office and finding it or my door covered in sticky notes from the students. I love being in the middle of a class when my door flies open, students from another class run in, steal everything on my desk, and then run back out of the room. I love sitting at athletic games with students sitting all around me. I love realizing I could have left work 2 hours ago but I was having too much fun hanging out and talking to my students that I didn't even realize what time it was. I love seeing a group of huge teenage boys running across a parking lot yelling my name and then giving me hugs. I love the fact that the kids know that they can come to me and I will do everything within my power to help them. I love seeing my students learning, laughing, and growing to become amazingly awesome people!

To have a God-given passion is an amazing thing that I can't even begin to find words to describe. To have a God-given ministry is an inspiring responsibility. To have those 2 things collide is an incredible experience.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Slowing Down...

I don't do slow. I don't like to just sit and do nothing. I don't do lazy. I don't like to put something aside that needs to be done now. So, needless to say, I'm usually doing something or about to do something... Don't get me wrong, I'm all about curling up on the couch and watching a movie, but usually only with a tall, strong, handsome man! haha Seriously though, I'm not a lazy person and I don't feel that anyone would describe me that way.

4 days ago I was up and about early and decided to be a model employee, so I was going to go into work early and get caught up on some work that needed to be done. It had snowed the night before, but other than a little bit on the steps outside the house there wasn't any that would get in my way. I went busting out of the house in my cute little shoes and was trying to go slowly down the stairs, which was working great until my feet went flying out and I bounced down the front steps on my butt. I have truly never experienced pain like that before. I broke my back about 10 years ago, and was very aware of the fact that I had just done it again... Since I've stupid and stubborn, I figured I could get myself back in the house, take a couple ibuprophen, and just chill on the couch. I wasn't there long until I was calling my dad to take me to the hospital, not fun! I ended up with 2 vertebraes broken, not cool at all!!! So, I'm in a back brace for 6 weeks, and I've got 2 bone tests scheduled in the next couple of weeks...

I've had no choice but to sit or lie on the couch for the past few days, and it has been difficult! I don't do bed rest well. It's amazing how many people have sent flowers and cards, so if you're one of them, thanx! I really appreciate it!!! Most people have told me that God allowed this to slow me down, and you know what, they're probably right. It's been really good for me to not be able to control everything and to let people do things for me. I've needed to realize that I'm not the only one who can accomplish things and to let other people try, and be willing to accept what they've done. My family, friends, and roommates have been awesome, they've gotten all of my food, helped me get up off the couch, and even changed my socks for me... It's amazing how much we use our backs, you really notice it when you can't! So, I'm choosing to be so thankful for this time to slow down and reflect on what really matters, and for the amazing people that God has placed in my life!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Strength & Hope in Light of Tragedy

Last Tuesday morning when I was driving to work there were 2 things on my mind. One was that I was really glad we had a workday without the students, and the other was that Christ's love would shine through me in all situations that I found myself in. Little did I know that in just a few hours I would face one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with... Little did I know that the community I love would be devestated... Little did I know that people I care about would be in a very dangerous situation... Little did I know that 3 of our precious students would lose their lives that day...

I don't know that we will ever understand what made a man snap and kill 8 people. I don't know that we will ever understand why God allows for such horrible things to happen. I don't know that Appomattox and the hearts of her people will ever truly heal. But, in spite of all of that, I do know several things... I know that God loves us. I know that God feels our pain. I know that God hates sin and evil things. I know that God has a plan for each of our lives. It is those things that I will remind myself and others of. The reminder of God's promises will be what holds us together and gets us through this horrid situation. I'm so thankful for a loving God who is holy and has the ultimate control over all of our lives. I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that I don't have to walk through it alone, and that God holds my tomorrows in His hands. So, during these difficult times I will run to my heavenly daddy and ask Him to carry me through my days and be all that I need.