Jul 31, 2004

for a friend...

God, I pray for ***. I pray that you would be her strength this week. Lord, when Peter set his eyes on You, he was able to walk on water. When we set our minds and hearts on You, You have promised that we can overcome anything. 1 John 5:4-5 says "For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world -- our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" Lord, on our own we are totally incapable of anything. But as Your children, we do not have to rely on our own ability and strength; we have Your strength within us, enabling us to do anything. Father, we often say with our mouths that nothing is impossible for You. If we really believe this, I pray that we would allow You to take control of the things in our lives that we already know are impossible for us. Jesus, *** needs You to take control of this situation. It is something that You alone can handle. I ask that her heart is filled with the assurance this week that You are in total control. Let her hands be opened, not clinging on to the control of this situation. May she know that the only way to overcome it is to stop trying in her own strength and to allow You to remove it from her life. May You be the "Great Filler" so that in this area of her life You would replace what it is she is letting go of. Jireh, thank You for answering our prayers. Thank You for caring so much about us.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God, my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not.
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

Your love is amazing, steady and unchanging.
Your love is a mountain strong beneath my feet.
Your love is a mystery, how You gently lift me,
When I am surrounded, Your love carries me.

Your love makes me sing!
Your love makes me sing!
good vibrations...

I gave and got advice from two very special friends tonight. It's a good feeling. It's awesome how God lets us learn things and then have the opportunity to share them with one another. He's awesome.

Jul 29, 2004


Yesterday was half-off day at the thrift store.  And when I say thrift store, this isn't like the junkie, dirty place around the corner from the old K-mart.  This place is actually pretty nice, as far as thrift stores go.  It's clean and well-organized and of a fairly good size.  The only downside to the place is that they don't have fitting rooms.  On average days, if you buy something and change your mind, you can return it for store credit.  On half-off days, however, which occur on the last Wednesday of every month, you are not permitted to return the items you buy, so generally, you want to be sure the clothes will fit.  The common solution to the lack of fitting rooms at this particular location is quite amusing.  This is what my story is really about.  When shopping in this store, especially on half-off days, it is common to see numerous customers making their way to the "furniture department" with cartloads of clothing.  In the store, there is an area where four bedroom sets are organized side by side.  Each set has a full-size mirror attached to the dresser next to a queen size bed.  These four areas have become the make-shift dressing area.  A somewhat obvious problem still exists, however.  You can't change your clotes in public!  Solution: snug shirts and enormous skirts.  Planning ahead and wearing a snug shirt allows for trying on shirts over your current clothing.  For the bottoms, one must borrow a large, elastic-waist skirt from the womens' area, which allows for trying on things underneath without being seen.  So yesterday, for the first time ever, and totally on my own, I participated in this local tradition.  I started off with a skirt that was far too large, however, which, as you might imagine, caused quite a bit of difficulty.  Another skirt from my pile, thankfully, was an appropriate replacement.  I was not quite as successful as I had hoped to be with finding things that fit, but I found a few good things.  In the end, I came home with 14 children's books (which were not included in the half-off sale), one pair of shorts, one sweater, and three shirts for under $27.  Not bad, I think, since the shorts alone (Old Navy) would have originally cost that much. 

To segue into another topic, I'm really excited about all the children's books I have been able to get this summer, and about the great prices I've paid.  After taking several classes pertaining to children's literature and reading instruction, I have become passionate about finding quality children's books to stock up on for my future classroom.  "Future" makes it sound so far away, but really it's only a year and a half away.  That's weird to think about!  I'm anxious to get back to St.Augustine next month and start my practicums again.  I love being in elementary classrooms.  I love teaching.  That is definitely something I could have never imagined myself saying a few years ago.  It's funny how things work out.  All my life, teaching was the one career I vowed never to do.  "I'll never be a teacher," I said.  Looking back now, I think I said that because I realized how hard it is to be a teacher.  It takes hard work.  It takes patience and determination.  I think at the time I couldn't imagine anything being worth what it takes to be a teacher.  Then, through a clever little plan, God eased me into the teaching field in a way that was nearly painless.  Once I got involved in it, I started to become passionate about it.  The stuff I learn in my classes is so interesting, and then when I work with the kids I actually get to apply it.  (I love it when they teach us useful things in college!)  I don't know if I'll want to teach forever, or just for a few years, but I do know that right now I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing, and that's a good feeling.

Jul 28, 2004


Maybe it's just plain jealousy.  Idunno.  I was reading several blogs today, by way of links from other blogs, when I came to realize that most other Christian bloggers seem to write solely about spiritual matters.  They seem deep and meaningful, and the posts I read were quite good and had valuable things to say.  So why is it that I find myself writing most days about what I had for dinner or what the kids did?  Am I less of a person, spiritually speaking, than they who write spiritually?  Couldn't they just be "praying loudly on street corners"?  I am certainly not the one to judge their sinceriety, besides the fact that I truely do enjoy most of the ones I have read.  But regardless of whether they are being real or not, I have come to a conclusion regarding my ho-hum writing.  I can't write about what I'm learning from God when I'm not taking the time to listen to Him.  To be totally and completely frank, my consistency in my personal time with God has been pushed to the back burner this summer.  Being on the back burner doesn't mean it's gone completely; it just means it is not receiving the attention it deserves.  (For the record, the stereo in my car is messed up right now, and I'm beginning to believe God let it break so we could have more time to talk!)  While I do not believe reading the Bible daily is a direct command of God, I do believe frequent Bible-reading is a critical part of one's relationship with God.  It's the main way we hear what God has to say to us and what His will is for us.  So if we say that knowing God's will is so important, why don't we investigate it constantly?  Why don't I?  Why was it so easy for six years for me to read my Bible every single day, yet all of a sudden in a single year, when I feel my life as a Christian is at a much higher level than it ever has been, it is now like pulling teeth?  Option A is that for six years it was just part of the routein.  Now that it has deeper significance, it doesn't just "happen," it takes effort.  (I had an Option B, but I forgot what it was.)  I've been talking to God daily about this for some time now.  I realize, and admit to Him, that when I do read His Word I love it.  I can't get enough, once I'm started.  It's just that "getting started" part that seems to be hard right now.  Lately, I've been averaging about three days a week on my Bible reading.  I know God doesn't keep score, but I also know that I could give Him a lot more of my time and consideration.  He deserves far more than I am giving Him.  Granted, He deserves far more than I ever could give Him.  I don't know where I'm going with all of this.  I guess this is just my confession.  In Sunday school, Bryan mentioned how we put up guards around ourselves by always asking prayer requests for other people, never acknowledging our own needs, thereby never allowing anyone to really know anything about us.  I thought of this today.  I thought it would be appropriate for me to acknowledge my shortcomings.  I also thought today about something that I heard once, or more than once: if it is easy (or costs you nothing), it is not really sacrifice.  For me, worshipping God through songs is not really sacrifice.  It doesn't cost me anything, and it's not really "hard" for me.  I don't know that I would call reading my Bible a sacrifice either, but it may turn out to be even more valuable in my life since it is something that is a little more difficult, at least right now.  These are my thoughts.  These are my confessions.

random abbey thought of the day...

Out of the blue today, Abbey (12) asked me, "Are you and Niki best friends?"  "Not best friends," I replied.  "What makes you ask that?"  "Cause you two get along so good.  And you sure do laugh alot together." 

Mind you, Niki and her mom Lori came for a visit back in the beginning of May.  Today, nearing the end of July, Abbey asks me this.  You've got to love the 12-year-old mind! 

She did make me think, though.  I really do enjoy Niki's company.  I think we have similar personalities in certain ways.  And definitely a similar sense of humor... a bit on the sarcastic side.  Funny how you don't notice things until a 12-year-old points them out to you.

Jul 27, 2004

plan ahead...

Where will you be January 2-5, 2005?  I'll be at Passion '05, Lord willing.  I've wanted to go to a Passion confrence ever since I first heard about them.  They only come around once every other year, so you have to grab the opportunity when you can.  Last time (Oneday '03) the dates were during the semester, like Tuesday through Friday, which is a LOT  of time to take off from school.  This time, however, it'll be before classes start, so I'm definitely going to try to go.  For anyone else who might be interested, be sure to check out the link.  In addition, be sure to register soon because space fills up quickly and prices go up, too.

Jul 26, 2004

the day the silence ended...

I had the house to myself for an entire week.  Matt, Alyssa, and Abbey went to Texas to visit their uncle, and Rex, Marti, and Ashlee went to Brazil on a mission trip.  I got bored at times, but it sure was nice being on my own schedule and having a quiet house for a while.  I was excited to see the kids when I picked them up at the airport on Sunday (which is another story altogether), but without Marti here to be the one in charge, I'm playing "mom" again for a few days.  I don't mind it, except that the kids are still in "vacation with Uncle Chuck" mindset, which means I'm having to nag them to clean up after themselves and all that stuff.  I hate sounding like the "bad guy," always saying "come get your cup" or "is this your plate?" or "make sure this is all cleaned up before you go to bed."  A necessary part of being the responsible adult, I suppose.  I'm sympathizing with moms everywhere tonight, though, because after cooking dinner, no one really ate any.  Well, Alyssa did have some salad, and I would have made the rest  of the stuff for myself anyway, so I guess it's no biggie.  Anyway, random thoughts of the day.  Rex comes home tomorrow, so I can at least split the responsibility.  I figure, however, that by the time I have my own teenagers, I will be well-experienced in raising them!  Later.