Monday, August 31, 2009

A Good Cuppa

There's nothing like a good cuppa, as New Zealanders would say. I just had a lovely cuppa, which warmed me up after the weather dipped rather cold tonight. It was a nice way to wind down at the end of the day. It's been awhile since it's been cold out, that I forgot how much I love it. Warm in my hoodie, cozy under a fleece blanket, sipping my chamomile tea, journaling, relaxing, peace. Ready for sleep.

Monday, August 10, 2009

What I Know

I've been writing this blog for awhile now in my head. At this time in my life, there are many unknowns, as I am in a mode of transition. Friendships, my job, my living situation, my life goals and direction, my interests are all changing and coming to life. One of the biggest life changes is that this coming year, I am taking (at the very least) 1 year off from teaching. And I am so very excited about it!! I have always said that I was interested in teaching and missions. Throughout college and H.S. I have said this with the strong driving force being a love for children and wanting to help others. I never really knew what the missions piece would look like. Originally, I thought teaching oversees would be splendid, but instead the Lord led me back to my hometown of Wheaton and the Chicagoland area. I have been blessed in a number of ways through support of being so close to my parents' home and having wonderful new friendships that feel like home. The last three years have been some of the toughest and best times of my life. In many ways, it has been draining, frustrating, discouraging, and hard to understand, as I struggled with health issues and the stress of a beginning teacher. In other ways, I have been truly blessed by some of the closest friendships I have ever had, by growing closer to my family, and growing closer to God. And I have found hope again. I began writing this July 17th. And many unknowns have been answered. Below I've listed some knowns. Some of them for this year. Some of them are hopes and dreams I've had on my heart for awhile now. Some are very lofty. But that's why they are hopes and dreams. Lord, take them, use them, guide me, show me, provide.

Here are some of my knowns:

~God has a plan for me (and for you). To prosper me and not to harm me. He knows the desires of my heart. He will never leave me nor forsake me. Nothing can separate me from Him. He keeps His promises and will provide. His Word, the Bible, is truth. It describes His character and is our guide to a life of hope with Him. He hates injustice. He does not want me to walk through this world alone. Only He can satisfy me. He loves me, truly, wholly, and unconditionally.

~I need a job for health insurance. God has since provided this in a Starbucks job!
~I need to stay around the Chicagoland area right now for the support system I have in place in Drs, friends, and family.
~I have amazing Drs that speak both medical and biblical truth into my life.
~My friends and family have been such a huge blessing in my life!
~I am passionate about kids, literacy, and have a heart for the needy.
~I would like to live and work in a diverse, low-income community.
~I would like to work in an After-school program or privately tutor in reading. I have a possible part-time job opportunity with an outreach center in a diverse, low-income area working as an after-school teacher!
~I am passionate about literacy and how it pertains to unemployment, H.S. dropouts, and a non-English speaking population.
~I would like to take a conversational Spanish.I'm thinking about getting certified in ESL. I would like to get my Middle School Reading Endorsement. (1-2 more classes)
I would like to get a Masters in Reading.
~I would like to become certified in Susan Barton's Spelling and Reading program, for dyslexics. (Did you know that 90% of school dropouts are due to dyslexia?)
~I would like to coach/referee running or soccer.
~I would like to become injury free, so that I could join a soccer, ultimate frisbee, or softball team; enjoy a leisurely run; take dance lessons; run in road races without pain.
~I would like to take Bible Classes.
~I would like to take violin lessons in improv/fiddling. Have time to play music. Learn guitar. Take voice lessons. Songwrite.
~I would like to travel. Some places on my list: KY, LA, NC, WA, IN, TN, OH, Europe, Africa, NZ, and possibly Colombia to name a few. ;)
~I'm attending Urbana 2009!
~I would like to have time to read for pleasure and for personal enrichment.
~I would like to have time for friends, both new and old, and for family.
~I would like to volunteer to discover areas, jobs, missions, or ministries where I would like to serve.
~I want this year to be a year of discovery. To discover and renew my passions and see where they can take me. It's about health. It's about building a foundation for the future. It's about not overdoing it. It's about me. It's about others. It's about God.

God take and use my gifts, my loves, my desires and use them for Your Kingdom. I know that you who began a good work in me will carry it through until the day of completion. Nothing will hinder Your will and the spread of Your gospel. Not ill health. Not pain. Not sorrow. Not injustice. Not people. Not ruling authorities. No nothing. Take, use, be.