Sunday, December 21, 2008

crazy

Well, it's been well over a week since I last posted. This for a number of different reasons, but I realized how bad it was when my sister asked what was wrong with me...not blogging in over a week!!! Oh my. So I decided to get on here and tell you what's up.

first of all, no caps in this post. sorry if that bugs anyone. (yeah leilani!)

now, this last week has not been the best. it has consisted of crying in front of my principal and other staff members, 2 flat tires, grandma in the hospital and bad days at school. not my favorite. good things that happened...and things for which i am joyful. grace came home, we had an adorable christmas play at school, and we got out for 2 whole weeks. i can't tell you how happy i am about those things.

so instead of going on and on about things, i am going to ask you to pray.

1) grandma m. (crazy grandma to some of you) is going in for open heart surgery tomorrow morning. pray that all goes well and she is able to recover well...she's in her 80s, so this should be interesting.
2) grace's friend from school is staying with us over christmas. we are so excited to have him. but he is arriving tomorrow, the same day grandma is in surgery, and we don't want him to feel uncomfortable about anything and we really want him to have a good time.
3) becky is coming home on tuesday. yeah! pray she is safe.
4) i need to buy 2 new tires. the tires on this fabulous new car of mine are about $200 each. that means i need $400 for 2 tires. wow! pray that i have enough money for them.
5) i'm really struggling at work. i had an extremely hard week, but i know God has put me there for a reason. there is only one way this year is going to turn around and that is if God does it. either He intervenes or i have 6 months of trials ahead of me. pray that the Lord works a miracle in the hearts of my students and brings harmony and peace to my classroom. i am disheartened and dis-everythingelse. i feel like crying just writing this. i do covet your prayers here.
6) pray that we are all able to focus on the Christ-child during this time. He came with hope, with a future, not just for jews but for gentiles (me) also. i don't know why. He didn't have to. but He chose to. may we remember that and focus on Him.

needless to say, i'm out of the midnite scrapper's challenge. sad! i'm working on getting a camera (thanks to those who gave me $$$ for my b-day!!!!). i have enough saved up so maybe in the next few weeks i'll get it...and i'll be ready for the next challenge. --sidenote--you know the last camera i had was stolen out of my baggage in Brazil in april 2000. amazing!

thanks for your prayers. how can i pray for you?

Friday, December 12, 2008

My dad printed up this picture for me after my horrible day last week. He didn't have time to go buy some, so he found me some other ones. Isn't he sweet. I LOVE red tulips!!!

Choosing Joy Dec 12

Tonight Peter and I sang at a banquet. Love the people there. We did a retreat for them this summer. Fun times. And then I went to go leave, got in the car, started backing up and hmmm....something just wasn't right. Yep...I had a flat tire. Where do you find the joy in that? It comes when a brother in Christ that I don't even know says not to call AAA cuz it would just be easier and probably faster if he did it. So he got down on his hands and knees, in his dress clothes, to change my tire. While his wife waited inside talking to my pastor's wife. I was blessed. It brought me joy.

RED!!!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Choosing Joy Dec 11

Today is my birthday. And in usual circumstances you can usually find joy on that one day of the year. Some are "sticks in the mud" and refuse to enjoy it. I on the other hand don the tiara and sash and parade around all day (literally and during a parent conference even...haha). It was a great day and I send out a huge thank you to all who wished me a happy day.

The best part however were the special gifts from my little Bargas friends. Man, I'm tearing up all ready. Here is joy. Opening up a gift from a 4 year old friend and pulling out a play camera that is the favorite toy of the household. Or getting a Cinderella figure and a bouncy-ball from another friend. Or a special piece of paper that says I love you in red marker. Or a special card with a hand-drawn Cinderella on it. These are so sweet and so precious. Whenever they ask for the best gift ever received on those survey things, I'll always have an answer. It was the little things that look like nothing to the untrained eye, but are everything to the one to whom they were given. Those little girls filled my heart with pure joy with gifts given from the heart. I am so blessed to call them my friends.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Choosing Joy Dec 10

There is this lovely thing in life called coffee. Not only does it wake me up in the morning, but it also wakes me up in the morning. Oh yeah, and it tastes and smells soooo good! That is one thing that definitely brings me much joy in my day. Every once in a while, I forget my coffee cup at school and so the next day I have to get out the spare and use that one. That happened last night, so this morning I had 2 coffee mugs on my desk. And you'll never guess what.....yep, I grabbed the old cup that still had yesterday's coffee in it and took a nice long disgusting swig. EEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWW!!!!!! It made me so sad! But then I grabbed the right cup and....oh the joy of nice, fresh and very warm coffee. I was happy again... :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Choosing Joy Dec 9

I try to refrain from posting on this subject because a lot of times it's down right annoying to hear about this. But I figured if I am posting on choosing joy in every day, then there's no way to get around it because it's a choice I have to make multiple times a week. Well actually, pretty much every day. And that is choosing joy in singleness.

We all know the bitter old maids who are mad at the world because they didn't get what they wanted. You know, I understand where they are coming from. It's hard to go through life alone in that way. Especially when all you ever really wanted was to get married, stay home and take care of your babies (and that is what all of your friends are doing). God created women with the desire to nest, to make their home, to be a help-meet to their husbands. It's inside of us! And when it doesn't happen by the time we were planning for it to happen (because we do plan these things, you see), then it can be very discouraging and depressing. And that is where the choice comes in. Am I going to succumb to the sin of self-pity because I didn't get what I wanted, or am I going to choose joy because I am a daughter of the King of kings?

You know, I'm turning 27 this week. So the question of "So why are YOU still single???" comes up more and more. How do you answer that??? Without the bitter and cynical (and sinful) comments Well, in her book on singleness, Carolyn McCulley suggested you answer, "So I can bless you." Wow!! Here in this time of singleness, there are joys in serving and blessing others (I love babysitting my pastor's girls!), joys in helping, joys in special relationships that would be impossible if one was married, joys in seeing others who have also been faithful in their singleness get married. There are joys all around and I'm so thankful for them.

I was telling a friend about a wedding I'm going to be in in January. He asked how I new the bride and groom. Upon finding out that I was good friends with the groom first, then met the bride, he asked if I was ok with it all. "Well of course I am!!!!," was the routine response that fell from my lips. He looked at me for a while and said, "Really??" I was happy to say that yes, really. But it made me think. He kind of expected me to be bitter because I don't have THAT yet. How sad! Yes, joy may be hard to find in those lonely times when you can't seem to stop the tears from falling. And those times can come often and hit hard. But joy is always there for the choosing...because I am His Forever.

***P.S. Carolyn McCulley's book Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye: Trusting God With a Hope Deferred is an excellent book and was a huge encouragement to me. I usually hate those "Single Woman" kind of books because they are more depressing than helpful. This was just the opposite. I highly recommend it!

RED!!!!!

I'm so glad to post pictures of red this week because I LOVE the color red!!! Absolutely love it. Half of my clothes are red. My purse is red (thanks leilani). My wallet is red (thanks joni). I love red!!! And this is what popped in my head immediately when I knew I was posting on red today.
And they are such fun pics I couldn't choose one. So....
And how about me in a red shirt (ignore the sweat in the armpits. hahahaha it was hard work!) picking red cherries...
Just reminds me of Christmas in the summertime. The red and green together.....
Happy red to you!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Choosing Joy Dec 8

Update***

This has to be quick as my computer is running out of battery quickly and I also have to wake up in like 5 hours...haha! So...

Today was a blessing. I fought for joy today and the Lord blessed me. As usual :) The kids were better. Some trouble here and there, but better. And my brother was able to hang out with me today too. He works with me now and after work I had to take the hour-long trip to the chiropractor (yeehaw!!!). He went with me and then we went shopping for a Christmas tree for my classroom and decorations. And it was so fun! For a few years, he has been working weird hours and hanging with some weird people. But he's hanging around here again, and spending tonight with him brought me such joy! God is good to answer prayers. Thanks to those who lifted me up today! You win a star in your crown :D

Help

I woke up today with the very clear realization that choosing joy today is going to be not of myself, but of the Lord. As it is right now, choosing joy seems as hard as moving the mountains I see from my classroom window. But I know that with faith we CAN move mountains. So I am coming here to ask you all to pray for me today. Pray that I choose joy. Pray that the Spirit impresses joy upon my heart. Those who were with me yesterday and last night can tell you that I seriously have no desire to be here today. But I am. For a reason.

I'll update you later.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sister love

Choosing Joy Dec 6

I babysat my pastor's kiddos again. We went down to the Lane Victory in San Pedro. It was free to get on the ship and look around. It's an old WWII ship with guns and everything. Just walking around there with my brother and the girls was so much fun. Those girlies are such a joy!

Friday, December 5, 2008

God's Love

























I actually saw this in the sky earlier this week and thought, "Wow! God loves us so much He put a smile in the sky to remind us." I thought it was so cool! And then I found a picture of it!!!
See a bigger, clearer version here.

Choosing Joy Dec 5

It was a long, hard day at work today. And some things went on that left me more discouraged than encouraged. But then on the LONG drive home....

I saw a Christmas tree tied to the top of someone's car for the first time this year... And that brought me a smile. Joy!

And then on the way home I listened to this song about 4 times. Just the title brings me such joy!

HIS FOREVER

Jesus, friend of sinners
Loved me ere I knew him
Drew me with his cords of love
Tightly bound me to him
Round my heart still closely twined
The ties that none can sever
For I am his and he is mine
Forever and forever

Jesus, friend of sinners
A crown of thorns you wore for me
Bruised for my transgressions
Pierced for my iniquities
The wrath of God that I deserved
Was poured out on the innocent
He took my place, my soul to save
Now I am his forever

Jesus, friend of sinners
I love to tell the story
Redeeming love has been my theme
And will be when in glory
Not death nor life nor anything
Can ever separate me
O love that will not let me go
Yes I am his forever

*** Sovereign Grace Music

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Choosing Joy Dec 4

I have a funny feeling that choosing joy for the next 2 weeks is going to come straight from school. Because that's what I have to do each day. Choose to be overwhelmed and frustrated and angry and.....yeah, you get it. Or choose to find joy in the little things I see each day. For example, I just came out of one of the most frustrating math classes of the century. Disrespectful sixth grade girls yelling that THEY DONT UNDERSTAND IT!!!! YOU ARE SO UNFAIR!!!!!! And it all stems from the fact that they discovered that the 5th grade knows something they don't know yet. Oh the shock and hurt to the pride!!! But instead of clenching my teeth and roaring back at them in anger................I.will.choose.joy. Because haha, my 5th graders actually remember this said information from yesterday! SCORE!!!!! I love it when they get it!



Part 2
The challenge for this month from my Midnite Scrapping friend is to Choose Joy...which is what the above piece was about. So you will be reading about joy here at Brand New Teacher...and there's more! She also challenged us to post pictures a few times a week according to themes she has given us. Therefore, I'm really hoping for the money for that camera for my birthday next week...haha This week's theme is love. So here is what I came up with...

I love all the people in this picture. This group of people is bound by love for each other and for the Lord. We support and uphold each other through thick and thin. These people represent love to me. (This was my b-day dinner 2 years ago. They all came out in the middle of Christmas shopping season to a shopping center in the middle of a downpour. So sweet!! Gotta love 'em!)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Choosing Joy Dec 3

Yesterday my class was awful. Disrespectful, rude, mean...just awful! I came home brooding about it, dreading going in today. Wondering what would happen today...if I could get through the day. My mom informed me that liking them and being liked was not an option this year. That put me into further despair and disappointment....NO JOY Friends. (Though my mom is totally correct!)

So I went in today asking the Lord for a good day. Please something nice happen. They were pretty good in the morning. A few blow-ups, but relatively quiet. Just one person in major defiance of rules. And it is that time of year--you know the time of year when there is a Christmas program to practice for every other day. Oh wow! But my class is singing Mary Did You Know...a very difficult song to sing, I must say. We went across to the church to practice with the piano.

I had them gather around the piano. I started playing the song. They started singing.....

and there was the joy... The joy of hearing children's voices singing this wonderful song about the sweet baby Jesus. I got goose-bumps.

The rest of the day went pretty well. I chose to see the joy in teaching. Because it is all to serve the Lord. These kids may be mean and spiteful and disrespectful. But I'm putting seeds for Jesus in their hearts and minds every day, all day. That is joy right there.