Thursday, September 22, 2011

Type A

I am the epitome of Type A.  I am a perfectionist.  In fact, I take pride in my perfectionistic tendencies.


Uh oh.  The "p" word.  Pride.  


This week in my discipleship class we talked about consecration.  Now, if you're anything like me, you've heard that word thrown around in church a lot.  Part of the vocabulary in Christian-ese.  Here's what it means:


con·se·cra·tion [kon-si-krey-shuhn
     verb  
1.  the act of dying to oneself
2.  picking up your cross
3.  giving up your rights


Whatever I am willing to die for is what I am consecrated to.  In other words, where are my priorities?  Where do I spend my time?  What do I put above all else?  Well.....I can unequivocally say that I am currently consecrated to my job.  It is my priority.  Above all else.  Hmmmm.....sounds to me like my priorities are a little skewed here.  


Let's be honest.  Like I said before, I am a perfectionist.  I want my to-do list completely marked off every night before I leave work.  I want my lessons to be perfect.  I want my bulletin boards to be perfect.  I want my SMART board slides to be perfect.  


I. Like. Perfect.


Now, I can clothe this passion, this obsession with perfection at work in the "calling" that is education.  It's for my babies!  It's for the future of our country!  I am doing this for them!  And I genuinely, genuinely believe those things.  Hear me when I say this --  I am passionate about my job and the importance of it!!!!  It truly is a noble profession.  HOWEVER.....When it comes right down to the nitty gritty, this is nothing more than good, meaningful intention hidden among pride.  


Not only am I a perfectionist, but I'm a wee bit competitive.  (I'm also good at sarcasm.  "Wee bit" might have been an understatement.)  This school year I have a PHENOMENAL new teammate which pretty much rounds out our second grade team as the most perfectionistic (is that even a word?) teaching team on the face of the planet.  And we are good at what we do.  Here's where the competitive thing comes back to bite me.  


When my teammates have created some magnificent bulletin board or lesson plan or filing system (yes, even filing system), I feel a little bit bad about myself.  A little guilty for not having spent the time doing that myself.  A little less than.  Is this making any sense at all??


And so I give up another weekend to work at school.  I stay up late at night grading papers and making lesson plans instead of having my quiet time.  I skip the gym in the morning to get to school and finish that to-do list and try to stay one step ahead of the game.  But in the process, I have become consecrated to my job.  I have become consecrated to my pride.  Wow.  It really is too bad that the Lord sees my heart.  I'm so good at hiding these truths from the outside world!  


But here's the bottom line.  I am not going to die on the cross of room 103.  I am not going to die on the cross of perfectionism.  YES, I will continue to work my tail off at school because what I do every day means something and sometimes it means everything to a student.  


BUT......


We learned also that burnt offerings (sacrifices) were completely consumed in the fire.  NOTHING was left of them.  I will not be a living sacrifice to my job.  I will not be utterly consumed by a job that will always have a to-do list a mile long, a job that will always have new expectations and requirements and guidelines.  I will be a living sacrifice to the One and Only.  I want to be consumed by HIM.


The other part of being consecrated that spoke to me is giving up my rights.  Ouch.  If I'm honest, here are the rights I'm still holding on to.


I deserve to be married.
I deserve to have children.
I deserve to have a job that fulfills me.
I deserve to have my dreams fulfilled.


But the honest truth is that I don't deserve jack diggety dog anything good.  I deserve death.  For the wages of sin IS DEATH.  And, Lord knows, I am a sinner.  Saved by grace alone - the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  So I choose to be consecrated to my Savior.  I give up my rights to marriage and children and career and dreams.  I give up my rights to happiness when what I truly desire is holiness.  This in no way, shape or form means that I don't continue to desire those things.  But I sure as heck am not entitled to them.   Not my will, but HIS will be done.


Jesus, help me to let go of my pride.  Help me to put first things first.  You are my first and my last.  The beginning and the end.  Remind me of this daily.  I will die on the cross of Calvary with my Savior.  I will die to myself.  For whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will keep it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pictures


This is just me trying to get caught up on posting my pictures!  

China
A couple of weeks ago I had a party to thank the people who supported me financially and prayerfully in order to go to China.  It was SOOO much fun with tons of people.  Unfortunately, I was having so much fun talking with everyone that I forgot to take any pictures!!  The only pics that I got were beforehand.  These were my decorations...


For a party favor I made paper fortune cookies with the key Bible verses that the Lord used when telling me He wanted me to go to China.  They turned out super cute!



Labor Day Weekend
It's become somewhat of a tradition to go to the country where my mom is from on Labor Day weekend.  So we jump in the car and drive an hour south of Kansas City to my mom's family farm where my uncle and his wife live now.  

This is just a good 'ole country road. 

The view of the house from their gravel driveway.

My cousin Debby, me and my sister.

My aunt Ellen, my uncle's wife Carol and my mom.

My mom with her brother and sister.

It is also a tradition for my family to go to the Kansas City Symphony's Pops in the Park on Labor Day.  It's a super fun evening with the KC Symphony giving a concert outside.  We always pack a yummy picnic dinner and enjoy some beautiful music.  This year we also got to enjoy some beautiful weather!

My dad enjoyed the food.  :-)  We loved this picture!



Lots and lots of fellow concert goers...


I got a wee bit chilly....

And these two got a little too close for everyone else's comfort!  Our whole section was staring and whispering at the inappropriateness.  GET A ROOM!!!!  


 The Blakemans joined us again this year for the festivities.

What a fun weekend!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Ultimate Awkward First Date

I love sarcasm.  Dry humor is my favorite.  So when I want some sarcasm, I check in with a friend of mine from church.  I affectionately refer to him as my "funny, sarcastic friend" when telling his stories to my family.  I can't help but share this with you all.  


This is what the worst first ChristianMingle date would look like, as told from Ryan's POV.  (I am still laughing out loud reading this!)


My picture of a worst first date from christian mingle would include elements such as the following: 
1) an escort so both of you remain above reproach 
2) your suitor would likely be wearing either a short sleeve shirt with a tie or have an
Amish beard or a sweater vest 
3) awkward theological conversation 
4) obligatory questions about where you attend church & where you're ministering


You no doubt would mention your trip to China, and then you would get to play the "i've been there; did you do this" game, where he talks about how much more spiritual his mission trips have been.

And the ultimate first Christian date would be awkward street evangelism.






Randoms from My Phone

Some things that I love --- brought to you from my phone camera.


I mean, seriously.  How can you not love that little face?! 
My little Ginger.  Ornery as sin, but cute as a button.  



After the past few weeks, I needed to be reminded why I do what I do!  This is from one of my babies (aka students) from last school year. 



Here's another plug for A&D Ointment.  This was my sunburn from Sunday.  


Thanks to the miracle ointment, it's gone and it didn't peel!  I'm happy to put up with a little greasiness to avoid the peeling process!


After this past week, I have more than earned tonight's dinner.  It's sad how excited I am for this!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Minglin' Update

Well...they did it.  I thought that maybe if I gave them permission my parents wouldn't actually give legs to the "christianmingle.com" obsession.  I was wrong.

Shortly after posting about the whole thing here, my mom had signed me up, answered all of the basic questions for my profile and even posted a picture.  At her request, I acquiesced and answered the essay questions on the site as well.  After all, she is my mother and she's only trying to help...albeit the help is a little misguided.

And then the emails started.

I'll admit it.  When my inbox started to fill up I got a little teensy bit excited.  Hopeful, even.  However, I'm more about quality than quantity here.  And based on the quality of feedback my profile has been getting, I'm wishing I had included some extra "guidelines" for these gentlemen suiters.

Kinda like these...

Please review the following guidelines before replying to my profile.  If any of the statements below describe you, please know in advance that I will NOT email you back.


   1.  If you are shorter than me
   2.  If you are skinnier than me
   3.  If I can beat you up
   4.  If you you are closer in age to my parents than to me
   5.  If your pickup line is seriously "How YOU doin?"         


Looks like it's back to the drawing board....





Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 and Football

First.....

I can't believe 10 years have passed since 9/11.  I was a sophomore in college at the University of South Carolina at the time.  I remember that I was at the music building on campus getting ready to go into my aural training class (which I hated).  I had absolutely no concept of what had happened (why would I have?) and initially just wanted to use it as an excuse to get out of class (I'm embarrassed to even say it).  But by the time I made it back to the student union and then back to my apartment, it was evident that it was more than just a ticket out of class.

This was tragedy.

I have grown to more fully appreciate the horror and the heroics of that day as the years have passed.  I pray that the Lord would continue to make something beautiful out of this tragedy.

Now for football....

Today was the season/home opener for my beloved Kansas City Chiefs!  My dad and my sister were unable to go to the game so my mom and I brought our cousins Donna and Andrea.  We were excited for a fun girl's day!


Andrea is the PE teacher at my school and we have grown to be great friends!


The Chiefs told everyone to be at the game early for the pre-game show honoring and remembering the victims and heros of 9/11.  It was beautiful.

This flag covered the entire field.

Robert De Niro led the moment of silence.


David Cook sang the national anthem.  Beautiful.

We get a fly over from the Whiteman Airforce Base a couple of times a year.  We all knew to expect it today, and they didn't disappoint.  It always amazes me how you do not hear these planes until they have already passed you!  There was also a surprise flyover at halftime from some fighter pilots out of Ft. Worth, TX.  The crowd LOVES LOVES LOVES when we have a fly over!



And then the game started and all of the fun we were  having stopped.  We fumbled on the FIRST stinkin' drive.  Geez Louise.  It was long and hot.  We left at the end of the 3rd quarter because we were down 41 to 7.  UGH.  And this is what I left with....

a serious sunburn.  But I've already lathered up with the A&D so hopefully no peeling!!  


It was a lot hotter than I expected it to be today.  Here's what I looked like when I left the house.


After sweating profusely (and being forced to get a sun visor at the Chiefs store in the stadium), here's what I looked like when I got home...

Hot and sweaty!  Some how amidst all the frustration of the game, I still love those boys.

And I absolutely love my country.  God bless the USA.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Accent Vlog

Here is my first video blog attempt!!  Don't judge me too harshly!  (I don't know why the top of my head is chopped off....it didn't do that until I exported it out of imovie.  Weird.)

video


Soo....what do you think?  Accent or no accent?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Favorite Blogs

I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner again today for Show Us Your Life - Favorite Blogs.  I'm don't follow a ton of blogs, but these are my favs.


Amy is a phenomenal writer.  Love her honesty and sense of humor!


Courtney is my best friend.  We're pretend sisters.  An incredible writer and an incredible woman of God.  Between Courtney and Amy, my writing skills (or really, lack thereof) are completely put to shame. 


Apparently I just like your blog if your name is Amy.  I love reading Amy....she's become a great blog friend!!  


Happy blog reading!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wassup!

My dad sometimes reminds me of the kindergartener who gets stuck on something and obsesses over it and can't figure out how to move on.

For example, do you remember the Budweiser "Wassup!" commercials?  Maybe this will jog your memory.

video


Yeah...that's how my dad answered the telephone for a solid year whenever my sister or I called the house.

And when we were little -- who am I kidding....he still does this -- whenever he would want us to try something he was eating, he put it on his fork and stuck it in our face and said "Try it.  Try it.  Just try it.  You'll like it if you try it.  Try it.  Try it.  Try it.  Try it." until we either gave in and ate it or threw the fork across the kitchen.

So I shouldn't be terribly surprised that he's once again stuck.  This time, though, it's a little bit more personal for me.  It's bleeding into MYOB (Mind Your Own Business) territory.  Lately any time I mention going on a date or being married some day or having babies, my father replies with one-ish word.

"ChristianMingle.com."

Me:  "Man, I'd love to be a stay-at-home-mom right now."

Dad:  "ChristianMingle.com."

Me:  "I bought this really cute skirt.  It'd make a good date night outfit."

Dad:  "ChristianMingle.com."

Me:  "I need to find someone to go to the football game with me."

Dad:  "ChristianMingle.com."

UGH!  I have ignored this statement for the last couple of months....until my mom picked up on it, too. I know it's bad when my mom has started in on it.

"You know what your dad would say."   Yes, mom.  ChristianMingle.com.

I'll be honest.  I've done Match.  I've done eharmony.  I hated them both and I'm still single.  I gave up the website stuff a while back and genuinely have no interest in picking it back up again.   At least until my mom jokingly suggested she and my dad do my profile online.  This is a potentially (and strangely) entertaining idea.  So, I think I'm going to wave the white flag and give in.....and hopefully get a few laughs out of the whole bit.

But in the process I thought I'd set a few other relationship goals that seem equally as ridiculous ChristianMingle.com.

Goal #1:  As previously stated, check out ChristianMingle.com by way of my parents doing all of the leg work.  I'm just gonna go with it and see what happens.  Stay tuned.

Goal #2:  Get a date with Brandon Heath.  I mean, why not?  I'm semi-in love with him.....or with the idea of him singing to me.  Not sure which.  He's coming to town in October, so it could happen!

Goal #3:  Let Tyler Palko take me out to dinner.  I have always wanted to marry a football player.  And Tyler Palko is just about as good as any.  I don't know anything about him except he's the second string QB on the Chiefs and he is pretty!  

This is from 2010 training camp. Yes, please!

Who needs realistic goals?  These are much more entertaining.