Friday, January 23, 2009

Finding Your Feet Again

So I lost myself. It's been awhile that I've been gone. But yesterday, I felt like I found myself again. Or really myself was given back to me. I hope I stick around for awhile. But it's been a year of coming and going. It's great to feel alive again. The same things are all around you, but you can actually feel them this time...the act of breathing, the crisp cold air, the beauty of nature, the delight of infectious laughter, the sweet sound of music, the excitement of life, the joy of kids, the camaraderie of friends, the love of family, the goodness of the Lord. Even when I don't feel them, I know they're still there, I just can't see them. Other people have to see them for me. Remind me they're still there. I just heard this song by Rosie Thomas on Pandora. It seems to depict some of the things I felt and all of us feel at some time.

Death Came And Got Me

I can't, I can't stop crying.
Everyday I’m so afraid
Afraid of dying
Death already came and got me
Cause I’m not living...
I'm not living anyway...

And who am I supposed to be?
Everybody seems to see except for me
Who cares anyway....
Cause when it's over,
It's all over, and what you gain you throw away

When will love ever find me?
All my life all I’ve craved is to be seen
Who cares anyway...
Cause when it's over,
All that matters is the love you gave away

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's the little things

Today, I went to school and had a good day. It may seem simple enough, perhaps even in your own life. But you have to celebrate the small things. A quote comes to mind, that I'm sure many of you know. "We can do no great things, only small things with great love." ~Mother Teresa

We should look to our creator as the originator of this mindset. God sent a pretty stinkin small thing (baby Jesus) to give to the world the greatest love ever possible. And He uses us, as small as we are, to point others to Him, even in the smallest of ways.

As a friend told me recently, even just breathing in and out, brings glory to God. Sometimes we get caught up with trying to be smarter, achieve more (in the work place, in our Christian walk, etc.), or look better than others, which turns us away from God instead of to Him. This may sound corny, but God loves us just how we are, if it's just you, sitting alone in your room doing absolutely nothing...He loves you. (You may be extremely boring to everyone else in the world, but not Him). He doesn't care how smart you are...Sure, He made us smart, but we're all just pions compared to His intelligence. He knows you're good looking...He made you, but you're just one speck of His wondrous creation. He knows you can achieve many things...He created you to do so. But you'll never outnumber the things He can (and has) achieved for you, through you, and in you. We are because God is. It's never the other way around. So don't try to be the savior of the world. It's already been done. And no one can top it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Girl's Night

I just finished my lovely girls night.
I know what you're thinking:
a sleepover, a few chic flicks, a pillow fight, chocolate, candles, girl talk, nail painting, and hair braiding.

Not this girl's, girl's nite. Let me enlighten you. The nite consisted of:
pizza, a movie, Mariocart Wii, snow diving, and frisbee.

A spontaneous "girl's night" fell it turned into a "night". I was with my family. We had pizza and I got caught up in a movie with my parents. Bruce Almighty was on tv and I had only seen it once before. (It's a great movie, BTW.) When the movie ended, Jonathan wanted to play me in a quick (4 game tourney) of MarioCart Wii, before I left to meet up with Sarah and Rachael. Well, I lost and my brother was talkin smack, so I wanted to put him in his place. I took him on again (another 4 games) and lost. I wanted to play again (I'm not competitive at all), so I played while texting Rach to see what they were doing. (Yes, I caved and started paying 5$/month for texts). I found out they were just talking. When it came between going out in the cold to talk (I love you girls) or staying home and playing Wii. It was a tough choice...but Wii won. I'm not sure how many more tourneys we played, but I will tell you that I did not finish any of them. At this point, my dad had asked us to take Kody on a walk (and hyped up the dog with the w*** word), so we had no choice. But to his credit, he joined us, along with my mom.

Let me explain to you my 13-year-old brother's definition of a walk. It consists playing catch with a frisbee or football and little walking. He asked me if he should bring a light-up frisbee or football. I said neither, that I'm just going for a walk. Then he brought a light-up frisbee. He said, "I thought someone would end up playing with me." Someone as in me. So my nice, quiet walk turned into a long game of catch. Regardless, it was a lot of fun. We ended up coming up with calls, so he would know which direction to run. "Hang right." "Hang left." "Dive right". "Dive left." Pretty simple, but it turned into: "LEFT, LEFT, LEFT," "RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT," "DIVE, DIVE, DIVE". I suggested that he try diving into a snow drift to catch the frisbee. (Notice, I suggested it to him, but did not volunteer. Don't worry, his wild throws sent me retrieving many a frisbee from snow-covered yards.) We set up the perfect diving spot on the way my neighbor's front yard. It took us about 30 tries. I had to use baseball terminology to get this kid to work with me. He may have me whipped in MarioCart Wii, but he could learn a thing or 2 from me with frisbee. By the 33rd time, we had it and called it a night. We also left a huge grass mark in my neighbor's snow-covered yard. Good thing she likes us.

And that is this girl's perfect girl's night.
And she lived happily ever after. THE END.

Days of Blessing

This is how my New Years Resolution of blessing is going:

Monday: Honestly, my blessings were even sad. I had to work hard to even come up with that list and even I am bored reading it.
Tuesday: Came home and burst into tears. That speaks for itself.
Wednesday: Called in sick, because I felt so sick about school that I physically could not get out of bed. This wasn't oversleeping (believe me, I know oversleeping).
Wednesday Night: Someone helped me reframe, so I could face Thursday morning. Basically told me to "fake it till I make it".
Thursday and Friday: AMAZING! :) (I could list them all, but there were too many to count!) Great day with my kids and making some breakthroughs with my lowest group. I had NINE (9!) great conversations with staffmembers. (Not even "pleasant" or "cordial", but GREAT!) I was able to have my school store, a (belated) Christmas party, and give my (belated) Christmas gifts. (I think I will always give Christmas gifts to my kids after Christmas...everything is 50% off or more. Seriously spent like 2 hours in the dollar store). I was at school very early and went home at an almost decent hour both days. I was healthy and happy. I almost ate part of my lunch before 5PM. I even exchanged a few pleasantries with my boss.

Thanks for those that were praying!

I had an epiphany about plans for this summer/next year. More to come...

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Blessing A Day

SO my "New Year's Resolution" (I hate saying that because it seems destined to failure) is to think of one blessing a day at school. One way that I have been a blessing or been blessed. My work place has been very negative and this is my way to dwell on the things I've handled well at the end of the day. On a similar note, I know a guy that instead of asking his kids "How was your day?", as kids give a generic answer of "good". He asks them, "What was one thing that you handled well today?" If they say, I got an A on my spelling test, he'll say well that's good. I'm glad you are doing well in school, but what was one tough thing that you handled well today? And his son would say, well, one kid was being left out and had no one to play with him, so I invited him to play with us. His dad would say, that's exactly what I'm talking about. You handled that situation very well. He puts the focus on his kids' interaction with other people, as opposed to focus on their own personal achievement. So this is my way to do just that. I won't record all of these, but feel free to ask what my one blessing was from the day. Today was rough, so they may seem small, but here we go. It may be a blessing in disguise.

1) I asked the kids about their winter break/Christmas. I asked them to tell me their favorite present or one fun thing they did over break. (I know kids want to talk about their presents, but the last part was my attempt to focus on time with people.) All the other kids talked about their favorite gift, but one child talked first about his aunts, uncles, and cousins visiting from Texas.

2) I'm working on blends with my 1st graders. For example, they can read "lip", but not "slip" (it comes out like "sip"). So today was day uno with blends. They also all need work on automaticity (think automatic) with three letter words. Most of them have been moving from sounding words out aloud to sounding them out in their head. My lowest student in this group, *Matthew, has not been sounding out 3 letter words in his head and saying the word, let alone 4 letter words. He tends to mimic what the other kids say and I've been thinking of moving him down to a lower group. At the end, to review the skill, I had each child read one of the words with a blend on their own. *Matthew sounded out the letters in his head and then said the word correctly! It took longer for him as far as processing time, but he was able to do it!

3) My mailbox was packed with Christmas gifts and cards.

4) A teacher said she had been praying for me over break and gave me a Christmas gift.

5) Dark of my gifts! :)

I'll stop...don't want to get too carried away on day one...