Friday, April 27, 2007

Lucky!!!

Well this week was my lucky week...I didn't get called once!!! Can you believe it??? I guess I shouldn't have said no to them so many times in a row. Oh well...what can you do. I did, however, go back to the classes I student taught in to visit yesterday and today. It was so nice to be back in familiar territory with my kids. They are great! I went back to kindergarten yesterday and today. The teacher there is very ready for summer vacation, so she was more than happy to see me...she was ecstatic!! So I read to the kids for her yesterday and we did an art project today. So fun.

Funny thing...we had a few of the kindergarten girls eating rocks today. One of the teachers was going crazy over it. I thought it was kinda funny. Especially when I was listening to her tell one of the girls' parents what happened. How do you tell a parent that their child ate rocks that day at recess...too funny. One of them had to go home because she got sick. The rest of them seemed fine though.

My third graders are doing well also. They are going to be doing state testing for the next 2 weeks. I do not envy them, their teacher or the student teacher that is in there now. That is NO fun at all!! They were doing practice tests today. It was pretty boring. Oh well...

I have turned in another application. I finally got Redondo Beach finished. Pray that I will get a real job for next year. God will give me what is best. He is good and faithful!!!

Tomorrow, my sisters, Kyle, Chris and I are going to the kaleidoscope festival at Cal State Long Beach. We are really looking forward to it and my sis is supposed to bring her camera. If we get any pictures I'll post them so you can enjoy the fun too. Thanks everyone for praying for us!! God has been soooooo faithful.
Just thought I'd add this. I love that fact that I'm in the background giving a thumbs up with my mouth wide open. How hot is that!!??!!??!!??!! The last few days have been extremely hard in regards to missing Mike. I'll write more on that later....

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hmmmm...

Well, it has been an interesting few days. On Saturday, my friends and I played games for 6 hours and ate pizza and cupcakes. What fun! Yesterday, my sisters and I sang at the church that sponsers our church, First Fundamental Monterey Park. We sang "I'll Fly Away" hick-style. It was great! My sisters played their guitars and we sang in three-part harmony. It was so much fun!! I love doing that. Today, I didn't get called. :( Hopefully tomorrow I will. We'll see. I did go back to CSULB to have lunch with some of my friends from GAP. It is such a blessing to be able to hang out with them.

I'm filling out another application. This one is for full-time teaching at Redondo Beach. It is all on-line, so I have to figure out how to scan my documents (i.e. credential, letters of rec, ect...) into the computer. Oh wow!!! (As Mike would say :P)

Wonder if I work tomorrow. Who knows......I tell you it is just like having a baby all the time. The wait..........

Friday, April 20, 2007

It's my dad's birthday...

Happy Birthday Dad!!
Thanks for being such a great father! I'm blessed to be your daughter. Love ya!!



On a different note, the burial service went well. It only sprinkled a little bit but it was really cold. Please pray for Amy, Mike's mom and dad and Mike's brother and his family. Thanks!

Busy, busy

I haven't forgotten about this blog. I promise. :) It has been so busy around here lately. I was able to sub on Tuesday in the morning. A great group of 3rd graders. I totally messed up the reading lesson because I didn't get to read the directions carefully. But the rest of the morning was great. I got called again this morning. But I can only do half day today and all they had was full day. Too bad because I didn't get called at all Wednesday or Thursday. Oh well...all in God's time.

Today is the burial service for Mike. Pray for us. For me, it is hard to leave them at the cemetary knowing they will be in the ground. I know Mike is not there. He is in heaven. Just his shell is there...but it is still hard. At the same time it will be good closure for us. It is really raining here today, so pray the rain lets up so we can have the service. Thank you so much!

Monday, April 16, 2007

A life well lived

Thank you all for praying for the memorial services last night! God was so good and faithful to all of us. He truly helped us get through it all. I sang at the very beginning of the service which was good for me. But then in the end I sang through most of the service. The worship team did 3 songs and I sang and played for them. Then my dear friend was going to sing right before the sermon. But she lost her music and only had a copy of the first 2 verses. So I ended up going up and helping her sing the last 2 verses cuz she didn't know the words. And then we did one more song after the sermon. It was pretty neat to be able to do that for Mike. And I did not cry once while I was singing. It was all due to the fact that many many people were praying for me. I could not have done it on my own. I thank everyone who was lifting us up in prayer. God is good. He is faithful!

The service was about 2 1/2 hours long. There were over 400 people that came to pay respects to Mike. It's is amazing how many people one life can touch. There were people that he worked with at the high school he subbed at. There were people that he grew up with. The people from the church were there as well as people who only knew him because he came and prayed with the elderly people they were taking care of. There were many from different churches. Some that had only met Mike once or twice. But everyone was just impressed by the love for God that Mike had. And out of his love for God grew a huge love for people. He loved his congregation. He loved the people he worked with. He loved the kids he worked with. He loved us college kids like we were his own. And his heart of worship also grew out of his love for God. Mike was always singing loud and strong and very off key. He would crack me up all the time... He worshipped God with his whole heart. His memorial service was truly a great time of worshipping Christ. Thank you so much for your prayers. Soli Deo Gloria!!! To GOD alone be glory!!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The extremes...

Ok, I went from crying every other minute to not being able to cry at all. I'm not sure I'm ok with this or not. It's nice to have some eye relief but the pain inside is so bad sometimes that I just want to let it out. But it won't come. Ahhh I don't know. Things are so weird. Praise God my song is back though.

I am singing at the funeral tomorrow. It is actually just a memorial service. The place is going to be packed. Mike loved upbeat music...that's what he is getting. I love that he is shocking people even at his funeral. Pray that I can sing tomorrow without crying. I can cry after I sing, but I need to stay strong during that time. Just a few short minutes...

I saw Amy yesterday. She is doing incredibly well. She is in incredible pain, but she is able to get up and get to the bathroom by herself. She has a walker that she uses. She can't put any weight on her right leg, so she kind of hops with the help of the walker. It amazes me that she can tell stories about Mike that happened two weeks ago without even batting an eye. She is so strong. Pray for her tomorrow. It is going to be very painful physically...and extremely painful emotionally. You are never ready to go to your husbands funeral. Pray for the college students too. We are all having a very tough time with this...but God is in control of EVERYTHING!!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Singing...

is something I always do. Ask anyone, I'm always singing. The song is always inside me and it just comes out. There is nothing I can do to stop it...much to my brothers embarrassment sometimes. But today the song wouldn't come. May Jesus bring my song back.

I reread something today. The Lord allowed me to receive it the day after Mike died. It was an article by Elisabeth Elliot, my namesake and one of my heros of the faith. In this article, she included a letter she wrote to a friend who had just lost a child. It was so encouraging.
the redeemed of the Lord have not a dominion or lordship over their sorrow and other affections, to lavish out Christ's goods at their pleasure.... He commandeth you to weep; and that princely One took up to heaven with Him a man's heart to be a compassionate High Priest. The cup ye drink was at the lip of sweet Jesus, and He drank of it....
It is ok to weep...He commands it. Thank God for a High Priest who understands. He is good to us. May we...may I sing His praises. Mike is right now. :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Thoughts...

It is so strange to think that a week ago, I still thought everything was fine. By now last week, they had already been in the accident, but I had no idea. I was living my life just like normal. And now as I look ahead, nothing will ever be the same. It is a sobering thought. And I think that it is one the Lord wants us to think on. We cannot become too comfortable with our life here. This world is NOT our home, it's just part of the journey. But we so easily forget this. I am saddened that Mike will not be a part of my life anymore. I always saw him being a part of my wedding sometime in the future (as a girl, I have to think about it...my pastor would do the marrying part, but Mike would do something else...pray or something :p) Now my plans have to change, my desires have to be reshaped. Nothing in certain except our Lord. Praise His name, He us unchanging and eternal. Hallelujah, Glory be to our GREAT God!!

As I am dealing with this grief, so many questions run through my head. Am I wrong to cry so much? I say that God is sovereign and in control...does this strong sorrow that I feel go against Him? Am I betraying my trust in Christ? But my pastor posted an article on sorrow on our church website that answered some of my questions. It is not a sin to grieve. "Jesus wept." He took part in our sorrow. It is wrong to put a different face on it and deny that we are hurting. To just glibbly say "God is in control...He knew what He was doing" as a means to dishonestly lessen our sorrow is wrong. Yes God is in control. Yes He knows what He is doing. But we have to be honest with Him and with ourselves. The hurt is definitely there. It is real. But He calls us to come unto Him and He WILL give us rest. He will give me rest in his everlasting arms. He is faithful. So honestly...I am hurting. We are hurting my friends. But He WILL give us rest. He will be there for us.

Pray for Amy. She was released from the hospital today. She is in incredible pain still but is now also forced to face reality outside the hospital. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be in her shoes. She is a woman of great strength...strength like that can only come from the Lord. But her pain and her emotional sorrow is so much greater than mine is. She lost her other half. Pray for Mike's parents, Whit and Judy Gardiner. They are suffering immensely too. I saw them yesterday and it is hard for them. Pray for Mike's brother Ed and his family. Pray for Carson Bible Church (Mike was senior pastor there).

Monday, April 9, 2007

Thank You!

Thank you to all who have been faithfully praying in this situation. You are such a blessing to me and to all those around me. Amy is also so thankful for the prayers of everyone. It's just overwhelming. Mike was a faithful visitor to this blog. He was so proud of me for getting my credential and getting out there and teaching. He was my subbing counselor...he would give me advise on what to do. His MO as I said before was to get in their faces and yell at them :P As you can see, he was a big guy and could do that. Amy always encouraged me to take a more restrained approach. I don't know what I'll do without him there to talk to about this stuff. He would always tell me that I was his favorite piano player. He was our "bands" #1 fan...his blog title was Down in Front's #1 Fan. He love to sing although he was tone deaf. Mike was alway so excited when Grace and I would do Sovereign Grace songs for GAP. He was so interested in what I was doing. He was faithful to tell me he was praying for me...and I know he was. I miss him a lot. But a friend of mine just reminded me that Mike wanted to live his life to honor and bring glory to God. He always wanted us to live that way too. He was always telling us not to worry about what anyone else thinks or wants...what does God want? What would bring the most glory to God? That is the way he lived his life. He was such a good example for us. I miss him. How blessed he is to be face to face with our Lord right now. And thank you Kyle for making the picture above.

Friday, April 6, 2007

God is Good

My friend Mike passed away at about midnight. He was brain dead and the doctors couldn't do anything else. But God is good. He is faithful. On this day over 2000 years ago, when Jesus died on the cross, things didn't make sense. But God was good and He was in control. He had a perfect plan. Just like then, we don't know why God took Mike away from us, but God is good. He has a plan. Today was Mike's day to go home. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Update

The last bits of information that I heard last night were a bit more positive. Amy was awake and taking things in stride. She was making phone calls trying to get important things taken care of (they are also in the middle of remodeling their house). She is going into surgery probably today sometime to fix her pelvis.

Mike's body temperature and heart rate finally came back down to where they should be. This is good because now his body can focus all the energy on healing instead of on staying alive. The doctors were doing the procedure to measure brain activity and they found more pressure built up in this skull than they thought was there. This means that he may have had a massive stroke sometime between the accident and this procedure being done. He is responding to some of the tests they are giving him but not all of them. Pray that the doctors and his family have wisdom as to what they need to do. Pray that his body heals quickly.

And please pray for me. I have this cough that refuses to go away. I am subbing in 6th grade today. It could be good, but if I can't stop coughing it will be a hard day. Thank you all so much!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Update

Mike is still in a coma. The doctors founds some brain damage and have drilled a hole in his head to monitor his brain activity. They do not know the future extent of the damage. He is still not breathing on his own. The doctors said that if he had been 20 years older they would not have even tried to save his life. But because he is young and strong they are doing all they can. They say it's a miracle he's even still alive after the last 21 hours.

His wife Amy was just told about his condition. Pray for her in this hard time. She has several fractured bones and will go into surgery either tonight or tomorrow. She will be in a wheelchair for the next few months. Pray for her family as many of them are unsaved.

Pray for those of us that are close to them. God is in control. May we all remember that. May God take away our worry and our doubt and replace it with confidence in HIM and Him alone. Thank you all for your continued prayers. We need them!

Pray Pray Pray

I have no idea if anyone even reads this thing...but I'm asking you to pray. My college pastor and his wife were in a serious accident last night. Mike is in critical condition right now. He is unconscious, has major injury to his chest and cannot breathe on his own. He has had surgery already, he lost his spleen. His wife Amy broke her pelvis and some vertebrae. She can talk and should be released by Saturday? It was a hit and run accident. These are the people I talked about at the end of my testimony in my last post that were such an encouragement to me after that conference. I pray with all my heart that God spares their lives. Please join me in this. Thank you so much!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

My Testimony

Yesterday was declared Testimony Tuesday by blogger Tim Challies. I was at the court house all day and then had company over last night, so I was not able to make it. But I thought I would still post my testimony even though it was late. :)

By God's grace, I was born into a christian home. My parents made Christ the focus of our house from the very beginning. I remember praying for everyone I knew and their dog when I would go to bed. I don't exactly remember this, but one night, my mom asked me who I was going to pray for before bed. I told her that I wanted to ask Jesus in my heart. So on May 11, 1985 at the age of 3, I accepted Jesus as my Savior. I knew that I did not want to go to hell when I died and now I was secure in Him. From then on, I lived the normal life of a church kid. I went to church Sunday morning & night and Wednesday night. We were at every revival meeting and church cleanup. My parents had bus routes we went on. I sang for our church with my mom and with other kids in the church. I went to a christian school. And I can remember laying in bed at night and thinking "Wow I was really good today!" I could not see the sin I was in...I was so proud.

Thankfully by the time I was about 11 years old, I began to realize how bad I really was and how amazing it was that God saved me. When I was 13 years old, I saw the movie "The Thief in the Night" and was scared out of my pants. Was I really saved? Did I really belong to Jesus? I prayed that day that if I was not saved that Jesus would please save me now so I would never have to live through the tribulation. That was a turning point in my life. I became more serious about Christ in my life and took my quiet time more seriously. I began to grow in my faith.

As I got to the end of high school, though, God did not allow me to do what I wanted to do. I always felt called to be a teacher, and I really wanted to go to a Christian college. But we did not have the money for me to go to any of the Christian schools around, so my mom literally dragged me down to Cerritos College, the junior college, and signed me up. Boy was I mad! Some other things in my life were not going the way I wanted them to, so by the end of my first year of college I was really made at God. How could He not do what I wanted Him to do??? I was very unhappy for the next few years and by February of 2004 I was ready to give up. I was going to a christan singles conference and I told God, "Do something here or else I give up." God was so faithful and used the conference to turn my life around. He showed me how legalistic I was in my walk with Christ and how merciful and trustworthy our God really is. I met some great Christian friends while I was there that have been an incredible encouragement through the last 3 years. I praise God for His faithfulness to me even when I turned my back on Him. He was always there waiting for me with open arms.

If you would like to post your testimony as a comment, I would love to hear it!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Jury Duty

Yep...I got called to go in today. I was so sad because I missed being in 4th grade today. I really wanted to do that. Oh well... Down to Downtown LA for me. Yuck!!! I'm kinda nervous about finding everything down there.

Yesterday I got called for a half day at the nice middle school for 7th grade language arts. It was actually really nice. The kids were respectful, they participated in class discussions. I was pleasantly surprised. I think I'll go back to that school if I'm called. :)

Monday, April 2, 2007

:/

So much for the calling starting at 5:30. I got called at 4:30 this morning! Wow!! I am doing middle school again--7th grade english. It's at the nice middle school, so hopefully it won't be too bad...and the subfinder people said it is from 7:30-12. Sounds good to me :)

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Please pray...

that I don't have to go to jury duty at all this next week. It's kinda selfish and stuff, but...

-I have to call in tomorrow night to see if I go in on Tuesday. But I have a 4th grade class scheduled for Tuesday and I really want to be able to do that job!

-It is all the way in downtown LA...not fun! I'd have to get up extra early.

-I really don't want to do it!!!!!!! When I could be making some money to pay my bills.

So please pray for me! I'm going to have to do whatever the Lord wills for me, but I would really appreciate it if jury duty was NOT in His will this week!! :P
Thanks everyone...don't know who really reads this, but I trust some people do. Do you ever feel like you are talking to a blank wall? That's kinda what this blogging thing feels like sometimes. I think I need to go to bed now...I'm sounding really negative. Sorry! Good night!