Monday, September 24, 2007

Wow!!!! I'm really tired!

This teaching thing is really tiring! It's amazing! But I'm having a great time. It is a bit difficult teaching 4 levels of math in one day. And then grading 50 papers for each thing every day. That's a lot of paper!!! It has been fun getting to know each of the kids and learning about them and their learning styles. We had "Back to School" night on Friday and I was able to meet many of the parents of my students. It was a little scary because I am the actual teacher. Every other time I've been to one of these nights at a school, I have never been the actual teacher. The responsibility is huge. However, it was a very good thing to be able to meet parents and such. My parents came too and saw my classroom and everything. That was nice and fun. I think I'm settling into a routine with everything. But at the end of the day....I am soooo tired!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

School Days are Here

I am so sorry to keep any and all of you who were waiting on word about school in suspense. That's not fair at all. Things are going very well! I have some of the most interesting students ever, but they are a lot of fun. One of the other teachers pulled me aside and told me that some of the 7th graders told her that I was mean. haha!! I have succeeded!

My classroom is coming along just fine. I am trying to get the hang of juggling 4 different grades and 4 different levels of teaching in one day. There sure are a lot of papers all over the place. Trying to decide what I need to keep and what to give back to them and what to get rid of entirely. It has been very fun though. I just pray that the Lord will use me in the lives of these children to bring them to Him. I have found that so many of them come from broken homes and have little idea what God has done for them. Even in a Christian school. May the Lord give me and the other teachers wisdom as we minister to these children every day.

Hopefully, I will get some pictures of the room up soon. Thanks for your continued prayers!

May We Never Forget


September 11, 2007 was a terrible day. I can remember hearing the phone ringing early in the morning and wondering who needed to call us at that hour. Our family doesn't have a TV, so we were out of the loop with everything. Our friends were calling to let us know that we needed to turn on the radio. My mom came running in to our room saying we were being attacked by terrorists. Not a fun way to wake up. As we watched the evens unfold on our neighbor's TV, I remember the feeling of helplessness and despair. The world was turning upside-down before our eyes. I couldn't eat that day. I just wasn't hungry. I listened to the radio all day to hopefully hear something good. And it was all bad. No survivors. Another building collapsed. We lit candles in front of our house in remembrance of those many that had died. And in the middle we wondered if God was still in control. Of course He was...but it sure didn't look like it. Six years later, I still don't know what God was doing that day taking so many people in such a violent act, but He is still on the throne. He is sovereign and loves us in amazing ways. And still, may we never forget what our country endured on that day. May we never forget the sacrifice...all the lives that were lost. God bless America!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Thoughts on Mike

As I shared in July, I have been following a blog about a baby girl that had leukemia. She died in July and since her mom has been posting tributes to her little baby that other friends have written. It has been touching to see how a 2 yr. old girl touched so many so deeply.

As I read the latest tribute tonight, one of the comments by the girls great-grandma was that she just couldn't reconcile herself to the finality of loosing their girl. And I understand. Just today I cried because of the finality of loosing my friend. He will not ever be here again. I can't hear him talk again...or laugh again...or preach again...or sing off key again. I can't hug him again or give him a high-five again. It's final. I will see him in heaven and that is a comfort. But what about the time here on earth still?

As I move to thinking about tomorrow, I can't think about it all without thinking about Mike. Besides my parents, I think he was my #1 fan...in many areas. He was so excited that I was going to be a teacher. He wanted me to get deep and dirty in the profession and really be good at it. And he knew I would be. He often told me how proud he was of me. Like every other week. He was such an encourager. He loved my singing and piano playing. Most of all, I wish he was here to see me going into my first job, ready and excited. He would be so happy for me. I am so thankful for the time I was given to get to know Mike. He was a truly special guy. He taught me many things, both spiritual and practical.

I want to dedicate my first year of teaching to the memory of Mike. He was an excellent teacher and educator. May I follow in his footsteps in his love for Christ and in his love for his students.

Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the big day. The first day of teaching all on my own. It will be very interesting. The closer I get to it, the more nervous I get. But I'm excited too. I'm ready to kick off the new year. I pray that it will be a great success. I will try to take a camera to take pictures of my classroom so I can post them. I would love to share my room with you all. Please pray for me if you think about it. I'll be needing it, I'm sure.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Hot stuff

Yeah that is me...hot stuff. Because according to Channel 7, the weather report for today is "Excess Heat" with the high being 96. But I think it's much hotter than that. It's kinda unbearable. So I went on the Weather Channel website. Yeah...it's 101 in Long Beach, CA right now. YUCK!!!!! So I've been sticking my water bottle in the freezer and then pouring it over my head at intervals during the day. Then if you stand in front of a fan, it feels really really good. And then I've been to Coldstone to "visit Grace"... i.e. get ice cream from Grace. And then just driving around with the air conditioner on in my car (even though when you turn a corner the air conditioner leaks INTO the car instead of OUT OF the car....unfortunate for those in the passenger seat). That's how you stay cool...or at least try to.

Happy Labor Day to every one. I've decided that I am not going to think about classroom stuff at all for the weekend. However, I found myself going through my stuff this morning looking for things I need to take to my classroom. And trying to figure out rules. And remembering all the things that I need to do still. But it is oh soooo exciting to know that in a few days I will have accomplished my goal of becoming a teacher. (and I'll actually be making money doing it...wow!!!) I pray the Lord will help me to be the best teacher I can be.

As a continuation of the last entry, I found yesterday that once you have dealt with sin in your life, serving Jesus is so much more fulfilling and joyful. I had a wonderful time teaching Sunday school and playing the piano and singing for the first time in a long time. I shared with GAP that it felt like a burden was lifted and I didn't even know it was there. It is a huge reminder to make sure I am right with the Lord at all times.

An update on Chris and his trip to Peru. He got back on Thursday safe and sound. He did a ton of stuff and is still pretty tired, but he had a great time of learning and serving while there. He was able to help a family build their tent in a soccer stadium. They lost their home and their 15 year old daughter in the earthquake. He was able to serve them though. He went to the town that was most devastated by the earthquake, Pisco. The cities in Peru adopt a saint that is the saint of their town. The day of the earthquake is was the holy day of Pisco's saint. Therefore, many people were in the church for a mass when the earthquake hit. Other people in the town square ran into the church thinking that because it was the saint's day, they would be safe. But then the church collapsed on them killing 148 people. Incredible sadness. They were looking to another false gospel to save them which in turn damned them to hell. Chris was humbled by the fact that the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Catholics and Muslims had all already been through the soccer stadiums where thousands were staying, and last of all a few Christians came through. It is a shocking reminder that we, who have the true gospel, should be more ready and willing to go and help and share Christ in situations like this. Thank you so much for praying for him.

That's all for now. I kinda talked your ears off. Come back to check on my classroom and how school starts!!!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Chagrin

There have been so many people in my life that are so good to me, and I hate to say it, but there have been even more times that I have been less of a friend than I should have been to them. And I've found that those I hurt and take advantage of are often times those closest to my heart. I use and abuse too often. But is that not the truth for most of us? (I am desperately hoping that I am not the only one who does this) It is the people that are the closest to us that we are not the nicest to. But why?

In my reflecting over the last 30 minutes (I just had a conversation with someone close to the heart), I've seen how selfish I am. How full of pride and arrogance I am. How focused on Elisabeth I have been. Some people who read this blog have heard me talk of my struggle to see myself as the truly sinful and depraved human being that I am. It has been a prayer of mine for a while now that God would open my eyes and break my heart over my sin. Today, I was broken. I saw how my sin, my selfishness, has affected people around me. I saw how it is a shame to Christ and the body and I am broken. It is sad that it took me 25 years to see this. To experience this.

The greatest commandment in scripture is this:
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27
And that is my problem. It's everyone's problem. It is the root of sin. We are not loving...I am not loving God with ALL my heart, ALL my soul, ALL my strength, ALL my mind. If I'm not loving God this way, how can I love my brothers and sisters this way? As it goes on, the second great commandment is to love my neighbor as myself. In my depraved humanness, I have not seen others as more important than myself. To those it has affected, and there are many, I am sorry. Sorry for my selfishness.

Praise God...His mercy is everlasting. He has forgiven me for some reason. I don't understand it. But He loved me--and the whole world for that matter--more than Himself. He was the extreme opposite of selfishness. He was true love. And because of that love, He has paid for the very sins that put Him on that cross. My sins, your sins, everyone's sins. May I focus on Christ and love Him with my whole being. As I do that, it will enable me to love others as I should. My focus will be on Him, where it should be, rather than on myself. My hope and prayer is that you too will look at your heart. Is your focus on Christ?