I'm so glad you've stopped by my blog! I am a Women's Minister and a former Pastor's Wife. I love finding God in my regular-everyday-stuff. I struggle with keeping up with the laundry, I love blogging, and my kids are my first line of ministry. I am recently widowed. So God and I are on a brand new journey as I try to find peace and understanding. Please grab a cup of coffee and let's get to know one another as we journey on our faith walk together.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Today's Objectives

Each day I'm finding more and more my "Teacher Routine".

Before I leave at the end of the day, or first thing the next morning, I put several things on the board.  They are:  a quick Bell Ringer activity (to be done as soon as they arrive), the day's Learning Objectives, and their Homework Assignment.

At first I had to remind myself to change these each day.  But now as I'm in the middle of Week #2 - it's becoming more routine.  The Daily Objectives keeps us all on task.  There's no question of what they will be doing in W-127 - it's clearly outlined on the board.

The Objectives keeps our class on target and helps us avoid chasing too many rabbits.  They ensure we learn what we are supposed to learn and helps to maintain order.

Did you know that God gives us Daily Objectives too?!  Of course it requires that we walk into His classroom and look at the board.  Or better said - we must open up our Bibles and see what He has for us that day!

Today I saw my Objectives in the New Testament.

2 Corinthians 4:6-9 (ESV)
So we are always of good courage.  We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.  Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.  So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him.

Today's Objectives:
1.  We will act with good courage.
2.  We will walk by faith in all of our actions.
3.  We will aim to please Him.

I know this will help me focus on this great assignment God has given me!  It is my prayer that with these Objectives ever before me that I can accomplish what my great Teacher has planned for me.

What are your Daily Objectives?

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Mission Field of W-127

I'm drawn to my blog this morning... even though I only have a few moments.  Today will be short and sweet.  I desperately want to share with you all how my first week as a teacher went... and the journey that I know lies ahead of me - but I will have to save that for another day.

After only 1 week, I know that I have been given a huge responsibility.  An incredible mission field.  W-127.  This is my room number at the high school.  At this time - there's no need for me to go to a foreign country... I only need to walk down the hall to my room to experience those who are in need of a light and a real hope!

I have many prayers for my students.  This verse talks about just one... being unveiled to the hope that lies within me.

2 Corinthians 3:12-13(a) (ESV)
Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 
not like Moses who would put a veil over his face...

I want the students and fellow teachers to see the light of Christ in me on my good days and even on my bad days.

Today is just a simple message...

Remember your hope.
Be bold!
Be unveiled for Christ!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

His Word Sunday

Where is it?

Have you ever lost something and prayed God would reveal to you its exact location & quickly?! Like your keys when you're running late?  Or an important piece of paper - that you know you just had in your hands - and now it's no where to be found?

As I was reading my One Year Bible this morning I saw where Job reminds us where a very important thing is found... just in case we've lost it.

I'm talking about wisdom & understanding.  So often I wonder if I've ever had these to things to begin with... or if I've just misplaced them momentarily.

No worries - Job tell us EXACTLY where to find these priceless items.

Job 28:20-21, 23, 28 (ESV)
"From where, then, does wisdom come?  
And where is the place of understanding?  
It is hidden from the eyes of all the living 
and concealed from the birds of the air.  

God understands the way to it, 
and He knows its place.

And He said to man, 
'Behold, the fear of the Lord, 
that is wisdom, 
and to turn away from evil 
is understanding.' "

Friday, August 26, 2011

Great first week!

Wow!  I think this is the first week in quite some time where I have not made a post at all.  Please know that this is not my new norm.  I'm just getting adjusted to my new school schedule.  I'm hoping next week I can ease back into my commitments to one of my favorite places... Living Above!

It's finally Friday!  I made it through my first entire week of being a Science Teacher at Lufkin High School!

It was GREAT!!!  Not without challenges, not perfect, but if I had to give a rating - I would say an 8 or 9 for sure!  The main thing I must change is my shoes!  I must find some cute, (not flats), comfortable shoes.  Got any suggestions?

I already love my students, I'm getting the hang of the timing out my lessons to last the entire 75 to 85 minutes, and I'm learning to eat lunch really fast!

I haven't had a lot of time to listen to much music this week... well... if I did it was all instrumental praise - something that was just soft and easy on the ears - so I could focus on lesson plans and understanding what conference period duty meant.

So this morning - instead of a song that has related to a specific thing of my life - I thought I would just play one of my favorites.

Life can get so busy - and hard - we often wonder if it's really all worth it.  If taking the time to truly love others and the Lord is worth the sacrifice.  Let me say with a resounding YES it is!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

His Word Sunday

He's Got Really Big Hands!

One of the very first sermons I ever heard John preach was about hands.  He talked about how big his Dad's hands were and how that fact comforted him as a little boy.

Then, after we were married, I too was comforted by this genetic trait... I loved how John would always hold my hand no matter where we went!  His hands often kept me from falling, as he would hold me up when I would trip on a rock or bump in the road.

I miss John holding my hand... but the Lord is still holding it!  Check this out...

Psalm 37:22 (ESV)
The steps of a man are established by the Lord, 
when he delights in His way; 
though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, 
for the Lord upholds his hand.

Our job here is to delight in the ways of the Lord and hold on tight!  Yes, we're going to fall - but He's got us in His hands!  What a comfort!

I love you all dearly!  Let's all hold on tight together!

Friday, August 19, 2011

My World of 85

Today is Open Assembly for every Lufkin ISD employee!

I can't wait!

I've heard our Superintendent say all week that he hasn't met a man or woman who doesn't look good in purple... so I've got the new Purple Football T-Shirt all ready to go for today's attire.

I know today is going to be a pep rally for the teachers - to get us pumped up for Monday.  Another phrase I've heard all week of In-Service is this, "They're coming on Monday!"

Everyone keeps asking me if I'm ready.  "Is your room ready?" - they all ask.  Whether I'm ready or not - they WILL walk through my door on Monday.  So far I have 85 students.

Of course I have many academic goals for my classroom.  But this song talks about many that are not on any standardized requirements document.

I want to ready myself to shine the light of Jesus.  I want to be a voice of hope in the wilderness.  I want to be the hands & feet of Jesus....

I love this video!  Until the whole world hears... my goal is that my world of 85 would see Jesus through me... starting on Monday!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Reviving the Stones

It's just one more week of prep time and then the students arrive!  Sometimes I still have to pinch myself to see if this is all reality.  The Lord has done some amazing things in my life lately.

My children have friends and are happy.  I have a job and a great one at that!  I have family & friends who love me and are doing many things to help me smile daily.

In some way, almost every day, the Lord shows me that He is reviving me - in spite of all that was lost.

I read something that scoffer said in scripture to Nehemiah - and although he meant it to hurt - it couldn't be more true!  Check this out...

Nehemiah 4:1-2 (ESV)
Now when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he jeered at the Jews.  And he said in the presence of his brothers and of the army of Samaria, "What are these feeble Jews doing?  Will they restore it for themselves?  Will they sacrifice?  Will they finish up in a day?  Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, and burned ones at that?"

Just a little history, the Temple of the Lord had been utterly destroyed and ransacked when the children of Israel had been exiled.  And now they have been allowed to return and rebuild the city wall and the temple.

Do you ever feel like your life is just one big rubbish pile?  That possibly it's even burned it parts?  Totally destroyed?

On December 30, 2010 I felt like my world was destroyed.  All the dreams John & I once shared were now just rubbish.

But today, almost 8 months later - a resounding YES to Sanballat's question... Yes!  My God can revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish  Yes!  He can even rebuild using the burned ones at that!

I don't know what this next school year is going to hold for me.  I'm nervous and very anxious.  I know I will mess up - I know I will edit and revise and learn many lessons.  But for now, I'm very proud to say that my God has revived the stones that were once in the rubbish pile - and He can do the same for you!

Let the rebuilding begin!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

His Word Sunday

Understanding = Great Joy

I absolutely love Sundays!  I love getting to see my friends that I haven't seen all week.  I love getting to sing in the choir.  I love opening my Bible and gaining new insight from God's Word.

I know however, that as I'm listing all these, "I loves" - there are others who may not "love church" or love opening God's Word because it may shine a light on things they would rather keep hidden.

I read something this morning that just might give someone hope if this is how they feel about Sunday!

In Nehemiah, they were rebuilding Jerusalem after a long exile in Babylon.  In other words, they were very far removed from knowing God's ways.  So one day, Nehemiah (the Governor) had Ezra (the scribe) read from "the Book of the Law" - basically the first 5 books of the Bible.

Imagine how these people must have felt when they heard how God really intended them to live!  I'm sure much like we do today when we go to church and hear sermons that bring conviction!

But then Ezra told them this... and it is my prayer that we all go and leave from church today with this mindset.

Nehemiah 8: 10(b) - 12 (ESV)
"For this day is holy to our Lord.  And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."  So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved." 

And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.

May we all be strengthened, rejoice and experience His joy as we leave with a better understanding of our God and how He wants us to live!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Still my heart will sing...

It's official!  
Today, the teacher's officially begin 
the 2011-2012 School Year.

I'm really excited!  I've been working in my classroom for about about week now and just about have the parts you can see ready.  This morning as I began my prayer time, I asked the Lord to give me strength for this new journey.

Eight months ago if you had said I would be teaching Science to 9th graders I would have probably laughed!

My life certainly doesn't look like what I expected that's for sure.

My sister - the sweetest sister anyone could ever have - sent me this song one day while I was working in my room.  I fell in love with it.  It's my prayer that no matter what life looks like - familiar or foreign - that this will be true in my life.

No matter what... still my heart will sing!

I hope you enjoy today's Friday's Song!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Back up the bragging...

Okay, I think my new favorite OT book is now Ezra!  God has really been showing me some amazing truths through this very short (it's only 10 chapters) book.

Today I read about something Ezra did that I have often done myself - but it's his response that I want to adopt into my own life.

What did he do?  He boasted in his God.  Sounds simple.  We should all do this... and often!

However, when it got time for him to travel - which was a dangerous thing at that time - listen to what he did....

Ezra 8:22-23 (ESV)
For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, "The hand of our God is for good on all who seek Him, and the power of His wrath is against all who forsake Him."

So we fasted and implored our God for this, and He listened to our entreaty.

Oh my!  How often I have bragged about how awesome my God is... how He is an all-powerful God - and then go running to a weak human for support or protection BEFORE ever turning to my all-powerful God!

Basically Ezra realized 1) the king just gave us a TON of resources to rebuild our Temple and 2) is letting us return to Jerusalem after being exiled and 3) I just boasted about how God will be for our good.... so how can I ask him to send soldiers to ensure our safety?!

It's great to brag about our awesome God!  But we must back up what say by doing more than just talking about Him - we must actually  TRUST Him.

We must actually  TURN to Him in times of our greatest need.

We should never act like, "this is too big for God," or "this is too small a deal for God" - and as a result act in such a way that actually negates what we really believe about Him!

This morning I find myself again wanting to do what Ezra did - fast and implore of the Lord.

I can attend class after class about how to be a good teacher.  I can walk up and down the halls and copy the practices of exiting good teachers, and yes, I can even ask others to pray for me - BUT I MUST FAST & PRAY MYSELF!!!

A long time ago, I asked my Mother to pray for a particular situation in my life.  At the time I was not walking with the Lord as I should and she knew that!  When I asked her to pray, she said, "Yes, I will pray.  But you need to be praying too!"

Today, don't take everything to everyone around you - take time first to seek the Lord.  He's WAY more powerful than anyone around you!

Quick note... just 2 things....
1) Did you notice he fasted & prayed?  When was the last time you fasted?

2) The reason I bring this up is based on the results of Ezra's actions.  Read verse 23 again.

"He listened to our entreaty."

I want desperately for the Lord to hear my cries for help.  I'm not saying fasting is the magic formula, but it certainly shows the Lord your heart - to empty everything out so you can be filled completely by Him and Him alone.

Today, show God you believe what you say about Him - go to Him first.  And then give Him your complete and total attention!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Set... Do... Teach!

You've probably heard, "Game - Set - Match" to indicate a tennis victory.  I read something in my prayer time this morning that sounded very similar.

Just two weeks from today I will be standing before many new bright & shiny 9th grade faces - ready to learn Integrated Chemistry & Physics (IPC) - right?  Probably not.  I know that Science is not most kids' favorite subject.  I also know I will probably be facing an uphill battle in truly reaching these kids this next year.

Therefore, I'm praying for all of them now!  I know I have a HUGE task before me.  While I was reading my Bible this morning, I noticed that Ezra likewise had a HUGE task before him.  I read about his strategy and am officially adopting it as my own. (I've heard in the education world when you see something you like - and that works... you copy it!)

Ezra 7:10 (ESV)
For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, 
and to do it and to teach His statutes and rules in Israel.

Okay... just a little background info here - Ezra is a direct descendant to Aaron... the priest!  So wouldn't you say that Ezra probably knew the "Law of the Lord" backwards & forwards??!!

I would think "yes".  However, he knew that his task of restoring the Temple after the Babylonian Exile would be great - too great for him  - all by himself.  Therefore he "set his heart" on studying God's Word - even more!

But he didn't stop there!  Oh how I wish I could just sit in a comfy spot and read and read (surrounded by quiet of course - LOL).  Doesn't that sound delightful?!  However, after setting his heart to studying, he then says he will "do it."

Wow!  To "do" God's Word... now there's the hard part.  What does it "look" like to "do" God's Word.

Already I'm beginning to get a picture of my classroom.  I've studied the content.  I've attended many courses on how to manage the students - and now it's getting close to time to actually "do" school.  I can't just think and pray for these new students, I actually have to face them!

And finally Ezra's strategy ends with something very powerful.  So far he has set his heart to study and to do God's Word.  To conclude his preparation he sets his mind to "teach" God's laws.  We must make a habit of reproducing what God has done in our own lives.  Today we follow the example of the heros of the faith in scripture.  Don't think for one moment that God doesn't want to use you & I as well - to teach His laws to those who come after us!

You are an influencer whether you like it or not!  You are teaching just by the way you live.... so what are you teaching?!

So here you have it... 

Set - Do - Teach! 

I believe Ezra had it going on!  I also believe he had things in the right order.  To set my heart towards God.  Then... go and obey.  Then... go & teach!

I'm looking forward to applying Ezra's strategy not only to my classroom of Science students - but to my daily walk with the Lord in the every day stuff of life!

Now that is a strategy for victory!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

His Word Sunday

God Gives Growth

There are so many WONDERFUL verses in today's One Year Bible.  I must say I struggled to pick just one passage to share with you this morning.  I admit that before picking one - me & the Lord had a sweet time together.  I pray you too find a sweet time with Him today.

In Texas we are experiencing extreme droughts - little rain, lots of green things are turning to brown.... so these verses really stuck out to me this morning.

Not much around is "growing."  I know we all wonder if our "watering" with our friends and family will ever make a difference.  Will they ever "grow"?

They will!  Just keep building upon Christ's foundation!

1 Corinthians 3:5-7, 10
Servants through whom you believed, 
as the Lord assigned to each.  
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.  
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, 
but only God who gives the growth.  

According to the grace of God given to me, 
like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, 
and someone else is building upon it.  
Let each one take care how he builds upon it.

Today - build upon someone - 

and watch God give the growth!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Here Goes...

Well, I guess this week has been a wonderful indicator that a new routine and a new schedule is going to be a MUST in my life.  I got back from Disney World on Sunday night, Jordan started a Little Drill Team camp on Monday and I started working in my new classroom.

Wednesday & Thursday were required work days - meetings all day - for the teachers.  And here it is Friday.  I'm just now finding time to get to one of my favorite places... Living Above.

Please don't equate my absence from my blog as absence from the Lord.  I've still been reading my One Year Bible... but then jet setting off to parts of my new life.

I have to admit... honestly here - that I'm a bit nervous.  I've been in my classroom, I've been around my new co-workers, so I've had a very small taste of the new world I'm about to enter.  I'm both excited and nervous.

I feel like I have a HUGE "unknown" awaiting me.  My Math brain wants desperately to solve for this unknown - this "X" if you will.

So, on this Friday... I thought this song was very fitting.  Enjoy!