Jul 8, 2009


So far I have had a wonderful summer. The kind of summer that a girl could only hope for. In my pessimism, I thought 3 months off would be long and boring. Not so, my friend, not so. I started teaching summer school for a month. I did a unit on Mexico, we made pinatas, cupcakes, ojo de jios, paper piercings, ... you name it we crafted it, danced it, or tried it. We took field trips, and my favorite trip every year is the aquatic center. This year was more special because I got in the water and splashed around too, it was fun to just play again. I also rock climbed with the support of a 7 year old chanting "You can do it, don't quit" repeatedly as I climbed. Not necessarily a huge feat in an of itself, but it was for me. You see, I never, I repeat never have reached the top before rock climbing. So this was a feat, and my little cheerleader really did help keep me from quitting. My brother and his 3 toddlers came for a week, which was great. We went to Fantastic Caverns, a ride through cave, and I babysat the 3 wee ones for a couple days while mom and dad got away. My nephews and niece are 4, 3 and 2... ya (self explanatory). Loved seeing family in town. Also, we bought a house early May and have remodeled the guest bedroom and are in process of the bathroom remodel. I have enjoyed hanging out with my girlfriends and a weekend getaway with my husband. God has been good to me this summer, really good.

Apr 12, 2009

The most powerful Easter service

"This is how it feels to be free, this is how it feels to know that I am forgiven." The music plays in the background and then something amazing happens. Grown men in suits come to the platform carrying signs, beautiful women come to the platform carrying signs. An older man held up a sign that said ALCOHOL ADDICTION- then he flipped it over and it read, SOBER SINCE MAY 2006 PRAISE GOD! A young woman held another sign MOLESTED BY MY UNCLE, LOST MY VIRGINITY TO FILL A VOID, flipped it over and it read, NOW JESUS FILLS THE VOID, a beautiful woman in her 50's held a sign FATHER AND DAUGHTER COMMITTED SUICIDE/ JESUS GIVES ME PEACE DAILY, and the names and the signs continued. Fancy dresses, fancy ties, carrying large signs displaying to a large church their former sin or struggle and more importantly, proclaiming that Jesus broke the chain. It was transparency like I have never seen in a lifetime of church attendance. Not only did they display their sin or struggle to an audience but they also proclaimed Jesus in the most effective way possible. The admitted their deep need for a Savior and by doing so, found common ground with every man, woman, boy and girl in the building. A pastor's wife held a sign SCARED TO SHOW MY FAITH/JESUS GAVE ME THE POWER TO BE BOLD. And next to her, a younger woman held a sign BECAUSE OF HER BOLDNESS I WAS SAVED JUNE 2007. Does it get any better than that? The Gospel at its purest is the good news. So here's my sign SEVERELY DEPRESSED AND SUICIDAL/CONFIDENT BECAUSE OF GOD'S EXTRAVAGANT LOVE. If God has turned your world around, I challenge you to share your sign with a comment below. Because it is only when we are transparent, can people truly see the power of our Amazing God. Thank you to the brave men and women of Seminole Baptist, MO.

Mar 29, 2009

The In Betweens

Life is full of transition. My life seems to always be full of changes. Hopefully the last snow of winter has fallen ushering in spring weather. Spring means I will be saying goodbye soon to this class and hello to the next. This year I am learning how to be a wife, and I feel like I fail more than I succeed. I realized today I have lived in Springfield for five years now. I will always be a Florida girl at heart but for now my feet are planted in Missouri. I have transitioned from student to teacher and I have found myself lately yearning to be a student again. As silly as it sounds I love to learn. I miss sitting in class and analyzing processes. I want to learn to paint, desperately. The practical side of me would love to take a cooking class. I want to decorate and decorate well. I want to know more about my God. I want to be a student of Him. For now, I am learning to be content. Content to wait for the Lord to move in the changes. Content to know that all things work together for good. I want to be content in my imperfections. Maybe I am too hard on myself, but I want to do it all right. And in striving to do it all right, maybe I do none of it right. I think about my learning curve of life and how many times it takes me to get it all right. I think about how disobedient I am at heart when it comes to following God's law. As I examine all these ugly realities about my own humanity, I feel a need for grace. Grace from God to allow restoration and grace given to my students and my husband when they need restoration. Maybe all the couples at church have life all figured out, and maybe they're like me, wearing a pretty dress and a pretty smile, searching for solutions. In all this transition, I wish my life had more transparency. If I saw others struggling at times, maybe I would not feel so alone. I know this in between is a season, and it too shall pass. In the mean time, I will work on being a person of grace and trust that the God who holds my hand will take care of all of life's in betweens.

Feb 12, 2009

Pimp my Valentine

These were to good to not share. I did a Valentine box contest at school. I awarded certificates for Most Unusual, Most Heartfelt, Most Glamorous, Most Masculine and Most Environmental. I had a box that had a working fan. When you touch the paper clip to the metal post, the fans begin to spin. His concept was that as the cards were dropped in, they would spray out the bottom. I had a boy who dressed up in a suit and created a box in his likeness. I had a pig made out of a 2 liter bottle and I had a remote control "love truck". This ain't your ordinary box my friend. Gone are the days of a simple paper covered box. Be inspired by my 9year old future artists. :)

Feb 10, 2009

Making His Day

This weekend was my husband's birthday. He told me I was in charge of all the plans and made me promise that no-one would sing him happy birthday. ( I myself love the sound of people singing to me loud and offkey.) But for some strange reason this is not a custom my Brazilian husband is fond of. So, I thought about his likes and dislikes and proceeded to plan. I decided we would go see his brother (his favorite person in the world, next to me of course). I also chose a nice historic Bed and Breakfast we could stay in. I knew he would like it because of the random farm animals that would be roaming the property and because of it was a certified historic building from 1840. I bought him a football highlight DVD and his first fishing pole. I made him his favorite cake, strawberry. I planned a weekend with him in mind. We went, and we both had a wonderful time. The innkeepers saw to it that we had all manner of luxury, including a three-course breakfast! We loved the hot-tub and we got to watch our nephew make his first basketball shot of the season.
While we were there, my brother-in-law took us to an Elk Park and a bird sanctuary. At the gift shop, I found a dinousaur egg that I knew one of my students would love. You see, Brian, is a special needs student and for his age, very short. He is aware of all of this and consequently has a low self esteem. Despite his struggle to read, he loves dinosaurs and his only goal in life is to be a paleontologist. I knew this egg, would make his day. I gave it to him today for no reason at all. I could tell I made his day. And by making his day, I made mine.

Jan 21, 2009

Kids say the darndest things

Below is a copy verbatim of a student letter

Jan. 20, 2009

Dear Mom,

I hope the baby comes but when I there I am bored. So trie to make it fun.

Your Friend,

I asked my students to complete the following proverbs. I compiled a list of some of my favorite responses. Hope this makes you smile.

Strike while the.... pitcher throws

It's always darkest before..... the sun rises

Never underestimate the power of ... Mom

You can lead a horse to water but.... you might fall off

Don't bite the hand .... that is dirty

Love all, trust... all

The pen is mightier than the ... pencil

A penny saved is .... 1 cent

Children should be seen and not.... hiding

If at first you don't succeed... you will

You get out of something what you...want

Where there's a will... there's hope

Birds of a feather.... prevail

Ignorance is ... bad

Every dog has his... bone

Don't put all your eggs... in the trash

Jan 18, 2009

Things Pondered

I read once, "Remembrance is the key to faith", and I agree wholeheartedly but I would add to that "Remembrance is the key to faith, love and friendship." I think back to when I first met my Jesus. I was 9 and at camp. I knew all about Him, but I really had never known Him until June 10, 1990. He sought after my heart, I believed completely He was who He said He was, and I was saved. I remember the moment I realized God loved me "as is". It was after I read "A ragamuffin gospel". I had never felt so liberated in my faith. I remember when I fell in love with Scripture, I remember the first time the Holy Spirit illuminated the Word. I felt so special that God himself would come and speak with me. I have fallen away and returned in my faith walk time and time again. It is remembrance that always brings me back. My Father has been so good and I have been so unworthy. I remember, and it always makes me smile.
My first year teaching, on the first day, I remember looking into the faces of all my new students, hoping I would not screw everything up. Now, as I look back at that class, I remember how I made it through all the unknowns that came my way. And remembering gives me hope, as I sometimes look at my new class wondering how I will ever get through to them. I prayed so hard for my first year's class to come to know my Jesus. This year, I saw answers to those prayers. One of my students came up to me this year and told me she got saved! Then a week later, a boy in my class this year came up to me and asked "Guess what I did this weekend?" "Caught a big fish?" I replied. "Nope, I got saved!" he responded with a big smile on his face. My husband and I were able to watch him get baptized the following Sunday. I had my students write a paper called "I have a dream" papers in honor of MLK day. Joey wrote " I have a dream to be a pastor. I dream to help little boys and girls understand more about God." I could not have been prouder. I wish I could tell you that all my memories are this pleasant. I also remember the day Sara told me " I didn't do my homework last night, cause our house was on fire. " I remember the time a parent told me she had no money to provide her daughter basic necessities like warmth and clothing. I remember a student in my class bring a knife to school and threatening to bomb it. I remember being heartbroken as I realized the affects of poverty on the faces of children I love dearly. Remembrance is truly the key to love. Because as I reflect, I remember why I love being a teacher. I love knowing, that no matter what chaos happens at home, my students are loved and prayed for in my classroom.
Remembrance is the key to friendship. I remember my friend Debbie on my wedding day. She filled in all the gaps and wore herself out, to make my day extra special. I remember my friend Katie and how many times she has patiently listened to my very long stories. I remember my friend Emma and all the times we have laughed at things that sometimes, just weren't funny. I remember my sister Amber and I shopping till our feet hurt and making cookies just to prove that our recipe was better. I remember the birthday party my husband threw for me. As I looked around the room, it was filled with people and memories that made me very thankful for the life I have been given. Someone once said "The happiest people on earth are the people who want the life they already have." By remembering, I am truly one happy girl.