Wednesday, April 28, 2010

CAUTION: Big changes ahead!!

Today was the big announcement day. And, honestly, the day I decided to make the change. I have a year to go until I complete my education specialist degree in administration. I'm hoping to some day be an elementary school principal. Since I began this degree, I have had a difficult time reconciling how I could be an elementary principal and not be able to sympathize or understand what regular ed classroom teachers go through on a day-to-day basis. Yes, I bring alternate (and very valuable) strengths to the table as a specials teacher, but I don't know how to be an instructional leader without having actually taught the core curriculum!! So I'm making a professional move. Next year I'm going to be a music teacher who is teaching second grade. Like, really teaching second grade. In a second grade classroom. By myself. With 20-something second graders. Not in the music room. Seriously -- I'm going to be a second grade teacher! Surprising...yes, I know.

I've shed MANY tears over this decision partly because I don't know how to separate myself from my identity as a music teacher --- it's who I am! So I'm not going to lose my identity. I'm still a music teacher at heart....just teaching second grade. And hopefully someday I'll be a music teacher who is the principal of a school. :-)

I have a FANTASTIC team to work with next year, and I'm SOO excited to learn from them! I'm already brainstorming fun themes for my new classroom....and you know that it will have something to do with music!! So while I'm so sad to let go of the program I've built at Robinson (seriously, I've cried a lot about leaving the music room and have promised my teammates next year that there are more tears to come), I really am excited for a new chapter. It's funny...I just remembered that in my first post I said that the number 8 in the Bible symbolizes a new beginning and that my 28th year is going to be my new beginning. God is proving to be true to His word.

I'm making this promise now to my future students and my Lord: Colossians 3:23 - I promise that 23Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men.

Thank you Jesus for your continued blessings and surprises! (I'm just as surprised as everyone else to find myself in a second grade classroom!) But I know Your hand will be with me.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Semi-Coherent Summary

I've been processing all of the information I've been emersed in this weekend, and I'm still not sure that I can summarize the chaos in my mind.  But I'm going to do my best to try!!

This weekend, as many of you know, I attended the Beth Moore simulcast based on her latest amazing book "So Long, Insecurity."  I've written about some of the lessons I've been learning as I've read through her insights, but this weekend something more got through to me.  Something that bugs me to no end is that I get so bogged down with my busy life that I tend to forget these moments of truth that I experience.  It frustrates me so much!!  I'm hoping that this blog will keep me from my forgetful nature.   :-)

Beth based her message this weekend on Ephesians 4 - a passage I've heard many times --- take off your old self and put on your new self.  Blah. Blah. Blah.  What I failed to realize until this weekend is that I haven't actually done that.  I still live in my old self.  I live in bondage to my fears and doubts. 

I've heard so many times that happiness is a choice.  You can choose to be happy or you can choose to be a grump.  What the Lord has been teaching me through Beth is that security - my NEW self in Christ - is also a choice.  I can choose to live in this garment of fear or I can choose to put on a garment of righteousness and truth.  Beth said on Saturday that insecurity is not a weakness.  It is unbelief.  Before this past November, I would never in a million years consider myself someone who struggles with unbelief.  But I do struggle.  I have never truly gotten rid my old self of fear and unbelief .  I've put her in the closet where she's easy to find.  Sometimes I try to bury her waaayyy back in the back of the closet....but she's never very far away. 

I have some new professional challenges ahead of me.  Tough decisions to make.  But I'm choosing to put my old self of fear and unbelief away for good.  And to put on the garment of truth and belief.  I believe Him to order my days and to guide my path.  I am still holding onto the fact that I am not one day behind in His glorious plan.  (Although right now I'm still preferring the plan I had concocted for my life, I'm choosing to trust that His is in reality more glorious than mine.)  He has given me a spirit of power and love -- not a spirit of fear. 

Saturday during the WONDERFUL WONDERFUL praise and worship time we had, we sang "In Christ Alone."  I absolutely adore how Christ uses songs that I have sung a bazillion times before to speak a new truth to my heart.  My hope shouldn't be in anything in this world.  And I know that my fears are based 100% on temporary things.  Lord Jesus, how I praise you for the gift of music and how you use it to speak to my heart!

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

A Weekend of Worship and a Good Word

Thursday morning I found out I had strep throat. Yay. This is the second time in the past four months that I've been blessed by the strep bug. I got on antibiotics immediately, so that I could make sure I could enjoy the fun weekend ahead! I still feel blah, but here's the summary of the weekend.

Friday night my mom and I headed to the Steven Curtis Chapman concert.

Here's us excited....and us being cute. :-)

What an amazing man of God Steven Curtis Chapman is!! He spoke so beautifully of his family. Of course, I cried. But that's not exactly a shocker. We had a GREAT time, but I was a little weirded out by how much Steven Curtis Chapman looks like Doogie Howser....

Then Saturday morning I met a couple of girlfriends at church to hear the beautiful Beth Moore teach us about how to kick our insecurities to the curb. As always, Beth presented the Word in such a way that made us laugh and cry all at the same time.

It was a GREAT time of worship and hearing God speak, but we were all emotionally (and probably physically) exhausted by the end of the day!

What a blessed weekend!! Now to get over this sickness...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Not One Day Behind

I don't even know where to begin. I wasn't planning on blogging again until this weekend's craziness had passed. But I am sitting in my living room reading/listening to another blog and weeping at His truths.

Lord Jesus, thank you that I am not even one day behind in Your plan. Father, use me -- incapable as I may be -- use me. Use me to do the impossible in Your name. Don't stop Your work in me. Change my heart to love You more. Lord Jesus, my desire is that You would consume me like a fire. I just want something Beautiful.

In your ocean, I'm ankle deep
I feel the waves crashin' on my feet
It's like I know where I need to be
But I can't figure out, yeah I can't figure out

Just how much air I will need to breathe
When your tide rushes over me
There's only one way to figure out
Will you let me drown, will you let me drown?

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees.
I'm waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

And the water is rising quick
And for years I was scared of it
We can't be sure when it will subside
So I won't leave your side, no I can't leave your side.

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees.
I'm waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

In a daydream, I couldn't live like this.
I wouldn't stop until I found something beautiful.
When I wake up, I know I will have
No, I still won't have what I need.

Hey now this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
Cause I am down on my knees
I'm waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad!!

So, my dad turned the big 6-0 this weekend! None of us can believe it! Needless to say, my dad did not exactly welcome this birthday. But as we all have been's better than the alternative!!! It hasn't exactly been a relaxing weekend for any of us except my dad. But, for the most part, everything went off without a hitch!

Friday night we had a mini-celebration with a couple of my dad's friends over dinner. One of my dad's bestest buddies was supposed to come in from St. Louis to surprise him, but had to cancel last minute. We were all very sad to not get to see Gary. But, as you can tell, we got silly without him. :-)

For some reason my dad was not all that impressed with his gifts. Or maybe it was because he knew there was a party coming the next night even though he explicitly said he didn't want one.....

So my dad celebrated his 60th with a day out on the lake while the girls stayed at home and frantically cleaned, baked, mowed the lawn, etc. in preparation for the surprise party that evening. As you can tell he was thrilled by the surprise.

Meredith and I had a bit of silly time before the party began...

I got my dad a couple of marshmallow guns for his birthday to help him rediscover his youth. :-) Meredith and I had more fun with them than he did.

All in all, it was a super fun weekend but it's gone WAAAYYY too fast! I'm definitely not ready for the work week to begin again. Grad school has been beyond overwhelming, and I've spent literally the entire day (excluding church this morning) working on grad school projects and papers. I'm ready for a break!!!

I'm praying this week for the peace of God that transcends all understanding to guard my heart (still working through a lot of heart things....can't wait for Beth Moore next weekend!) and my mind (this overwhelming combination of grad school and work and everything else in my schedule is causing me serious anxiety). God is good, and I just pray He can continue His good work in me through the craziness of my life!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Healing Power

I am SOO excited about how good my God is!  I am amazed at how He brings exactly what I need exactly when I need it.  And I can't wait to hear Beth Moore preach about God's restoration powers later this month!  My mom would tell me I'm wishing my life away, but I'm SO ready for it to be April 24!! 

If you've been reading my previous posts, you know that the Lord has used Beth Moore's "So Long, Insecurity" book to really bring to light areas in my life that need His healing power.  I am praying that He would be my strength in weakness.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this blurb:

You are my security, O God.  You are the one sure thing.  When everything around me shakes, You are unshakable. [a la JJ Heller's "Your Hands"] Nothing has the propensity to reveal false gods to me like a sudden change in my circumstances.  [Hello, November!  This completely happened to me this past Thanskgiving!!  And, man, did I find some false gods!]  Help me to see them and surrender them instantaneously.  Use change to provoke what needs changing in me, Lord, and to increase my appreciation of the only One who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Hello!!  I hope that speaks to someone else as much as it speaks to me!!  If nothing else, I praise God for the sudden change in my circumstances that left me with a broken heart because it revealed some serious sin in my life.  Thank you, Jesus, for loving me enough to stop me in my tracks!  The Lord only sheds His light where He's willing to heal.  Father, heal that area of my life.  Give me the strength to allow You to be the Lord of my life.  

Him again

I talked to him this weekend. Okay, so we didn't talk talk. We chatted briefly on Facebook, which led to a couple of texts because the stupid WiFi at Panera now has a time limit. (Side note...that's REALLY frustrating when you're trying to work and you need the internet!!) For anyone needing clarification, this is the him that I mentioned in my first post. So I talked to him. For the first time in months. And I'm wondering why, if I'm beginning this new, fabulous chapter in my life, he still has my heart? I've heard all the reasons it's good that he's not in my life anymore. In fact, my family made a list of the reasons I'm better off. But it doesn't matter. As much as I would welcome the idea, logic doesn't work for me here. My heart still aches for him. And it's annoying. Last night I woke up countless times (actually, I think it was four times) dreaming of him. Annoying. And heartbreaking all over again. And, of course, he seems just fine and dandy with his new job and new life without me. Lord Jesus, fill this hole!! And although I long for the day I wake up and he doesn't have a hold of my heart anymore, I can't help but wonder if there's a reason I can't let him go. Everywhere I turn I see reminders of him: Texas this, Dallas that. For crying out loud! I can't even read my Bible without seeing his flippin' name!! And so there's a part of me that is wondering if God's asking me to just hold on. Just wait. That's probably just my overactive imagination. My mind that over-analyzes everything. That part of me that makes me an idealist. But I don't want to be naive. I don't want to wait for something that's never going to come. I want to wait for THE ONE. Is that him? At this point, that's doubtful. But there's one thing I have to continually remind myself that is NOT doubtful. HE has a plan for me. HE knows my inward being. HE knows the desires of my heart and longs to fulfill them. HE knows the man made to be perfect with me. Lord Jesus, help me to turn my thoughts and my heart to know YOU more.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Christ is Risen!

Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!!  At least in the church I grew up in, it's not Easter unless you exclaim those words! 

Wow!  It's been a weekend full of family, busyness and Jesus.  (At least I love two of the three of those things!)  And I have to take a moment and show off my latest cupcake creations for our Easter lunch today.  I so wish I had more time (and excuses) to make fun cupcakes!! 

Forget the bunny trail!!!  Peter Cottontail is hoppin' back down into that bunny hole!

I just wish I was as photogenic as those cupcakes!!!

On to bigger and better things.....

I don't even know where to begin with what the Lord has been teaching me.  I need more time to process it all!   As I begin to type this, I feel the need to offer a disclaimer --- the following will most likely be rambling that is only sensible to my Jesus and me.  :-)   

I am discovering so many things about myself as I read Beth Moore's "So Long, Insecurity."  The Lord is making known to me these insecurities that I have buried so deep within myself that they have become part of the fabric of who I am. (If you're reading the 128.....I'm embarassed to say it, but I have SOO been that woman!)  As I read, I hate that I am able to identify with so many stories of insecurity.  How can I truly live the victorious, spirit-filled life when I am this insecure??  The answer is - I can't.  Lord, rid me of these insecurities!  I feel like I have spent more time asking Him to rid me of things lately than I have asked Him to add things to my life.  In another study I'm finishing up, we spent this last lesson reading about the ugly root of bitterness.  Now, I am not a bitter person.   In fact, I tend to give grace to the point of being stupid.  And there are many a story to vouch for that .  Oh, but I have a root of bitterness right now, and I cannot get rid of it!  And while this bitterness is manifesting itself, my heart still aches for the same relationship my bitterness is toward.  How can I feel bitter towards and still long for the same relationship?!  Is that even possible??  Apparently so. 

So my journey in this season of singledom continues.  I am praying the Lord would make His lessons clear (JUST SHOW ME THE BLUEPRINTS!!!) and He would give me a heart like His.