Friday, March 31

Second Chance

I did not get to bed until 1am last night. I had to set my alarm for 6:00am. Usually, that's a problem. But I slept so well, and on top of that, I woke up peacefully before my alarm clock sounded. I felt so alive, so awake...not nervous, not rushed, not grumpy. I laid in bed for half an hour just basking in the silence, the sun seeping through my blinds. I had extra time, after getting ready, to open the blinds and make my bed...things I usually only give a passing glance as I run out the door to try to beat traffic. Even preparing my classroom this morning was a peaceful thing. I was not running around everywhere. I was not fighting off the nervous "I have to get everything done" feeling. I took my time and when I looked at the clock I was surprised to see how much I had accomplished and how very little time had really passed. Today, was a change of pace...something I will write more about in days to come.

I woke up as if in a dream...welcoming the day...thankful for the night before. Yesterday was perfect, a day I've hoped for, but never knew when I'd see coming. Thank you, God, for showing me second chances. Lead me on and show me the way to go.

Monday, March 27

Do You Trust Me?

While I was out line dancing the other night, I met another guy who took it upon himself to teach me some swing steps. The great thing was that even though he was only about my height, he was pretty confident in his ability to flip me around.

So in the middle of the dancefloor...without too many people out there I got the hang of things pretty quickly and really enjoyed dancing with someone who knew how to dance. Then he asked the big question, "Do you trust me?" Of course, I had the ...I don't think you know how tall I really much I really weigh excuse that every girl holds in the back of her mind...but he convinced me he was pretty strong and it was all about technique anyways.

Yeah, it was fun. But the thing that stuck with me...the reason I'm writing about it is because when he told me he was going to flip me about the third time, I gave him a look that to me registered as "Umm..I'm not so was fun both the first and the second time, but seriously..." He laughed and said, "man, your eyes just totally lit up". I don't think I could trust a whole lot of people to just throw me up in the air over a hard surface in the middle of a crowd. But here he was offering this small adventure, tossing me out of my comfort zone, asking for my trust.

I realized that night, that I long for moments of trust. I know dancing seems like such a small thing...not like bungy jumping or parachuting or scouting out an indigenous country. But stepping out, trusting someone to help me do something I secretly have longed to do but never had the chance. It reminded me of the first time my brother convinced me that the front seat of the roller coaster is always the best...this, after I had concluded that I'd probably never ride again. Now, it's the only way to go. :)

No wonder my eyes lit up. It was an adventure that I didn't have to take on alone. There was someone beside me...and a risk to be taken. I'm glad he noticed, because then I was able to recognize a little piece of what I've been longing for. I know better what to look for now. I can't stop thinking about it. "Do you trust me?" the right context, this is becoming my favorite question.

Coming to the End

The tears came tonight. Actually, they've shown up a lot recently. But tonight, after talking with mom...I couldn't hold them back anymore. And then my roomate came out and I made her cry with all my crying.

I want so badly to know Christ. I mean know Him. Not just know about Him. I've grown up with Him, tasted His life, seen His goodness. But I feel like I'm missing something. I feel empty, worn out, who I am is not enough to even get His attention.

And the thing is...I can't live like that. I can't live going through the motions. I am seeing a great big empty world and I can't even do anything about it. I have friends who do not know Him. I know people who are full of sickness and hurts that need to be healed. And I want to SEE them saved, healed, set free...FULL of the life of God. But how can I do that if I am not full of the life of God?

By the world I am seen as "conservative"...quoted by a guy I had a good conversation with the other night while line dancing. By my best friend, who is in full time ministry, I am seen as a liberal Christian. I go out and blend in. And it's all the name of relationship. I go out with the teachers b/c I want to form relationships with them. I've always done that...since way back in high school. But what am I doing that's different? What am I doing that shows the life of God? What in me is drawing them to Christ? Right now...there is nothing that I can see.

And my kids. 15 hungry little hearts....waiting to be ministered to, taught every day. I feel like I'm letting them down...letting God down.

I am not FULL of life. I feel so sad, quiet, so focused on ME. The Bible says that it is the relationships between God and the gentiles that will move the Jews to jealousy. There is nothing in my life worth being jealous of.

When I was young my biggest question was..."If I was standing on a stage in front of the world, how would everyone understand my words in their own language?" I seriously pondered that. And then I would think about how to invite my neighborhood for Bible studies in my backyard. The thought of both of those things scares me now. In the back of my mind I don't think I know God enough. I don't think I'm walking in His fullness. I'm so afraid of using Him and never really knowing Him.

I need more of God. I don't want to minister to ANYone until the life of God dwells in me richly. Otherwise it is, so empty.

Sunday, March 26

The Love of Christ

Romans 8:37-39:
"In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers,
nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Saturday, March 25

Next...the World

Four to six weeks from today I will be receiving my passport!!! One step closer to stepping off of the North American continent and seeing the rest of the world. With all of this excitement I am wondering what took me so long to get to this point. There's a time for everything I suppose. And there are plans in the works....Europe this summer. :)

Thursday, March 23

Jesus Saves

I sure am missing my's sitting in the backroom of Best Buy right now...waiting to be fixed. I got the blue screen early last week. That was after the flickering screen. Ugh. I almost thought my pictures would be lost b/c my computer won't read the hard drive...but apparently they can be backed up for $90 on another computer. Thanks Best Buy....always make more money. And as my dad so poignantly reminded me after I realized my own error of not backing up my own files...."Jesus saves".

In other news, I learned that the Rabbi who is teaching my class on Jewish roots is the grandson of the guy who brought back the Hebrew language and wrote the 17 volume (or 18 I can't remember exactly) Hebrew dictionary...the most collective dictionary of any language in the world. His work and vision had a major impact on Israel becoming a nation again. I couldn't believe that in our small class of maybe 20 people (give or take a few) we were sitting and learning Hebrew from someone who was related to such history. (You can read about him clicking here.) His family has a cemetary plot on the Mt. of that says something because only prominent Jews get the honor of being buried there....and this particular plot stands out because it is the only one surrounded by a wrought iron fence. Wow, I was impressed. Monday night was the best history lesson I have ever sat through. I am so looking forward to the day that I get to go to Israel.

Tuesday, March 21

Edison Glass

I had the privilege of hanging with these guys this weekend. So cool to have known them in college and see them now continuing on with their dream.
My favorite is "When All We Have is Taken".

Cd comes out April 4.

Saturday, March 18

Shifting the Paradigm

Redeem my heart....that's my prayer right now. Plain and simple yet with so much desperation. And the truth is, He already has....I just wish my own paradigm to shift so that I can actually that I can actually walk in confidence and trust. There's a lost world out there...surrounds me every day...and yet I am still walking in need of a Savior. I am still so aware of my incapabilities and longings. I wish myself to be further down the road already.

Wednesday, March 15

Go ORU!!!

TULSA, Okla. The Oral Roberts University men's basketball team, which claimed the 2006 Toshiba Mid-Continent Conference Tournament title with an 85-72 win over Chicago State last Tuesday, has been slated as the #16 seed in the Oakland Regional for the upcoming 2006 NCAA Tournament. The Golden Eagles will take on #1 seed Memphis, the Conference USA regular season and tournament champion, at Dallas' American Airlines Arena on Friday afternoon at 1:50 p.m. More here.

I know, I know...they look like the underdogs...but it's very exciting to see my team play!!! If anyone wants to record the game for me...I'll be at work...I don't have a way to tape it. Posted by Picasa

The Truth of the Matter

"I've come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized."

Dr. Haim Ginott

Tuesday, March 14

Correcting Homework

A note written on Alexis' homework sheet today (her sister is in 2nd grade):

"Miss T., my sister did my times tables for me. I checked them though and made sure they were right."

Wednesday, March 8

1 Peter 5

8Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.
9Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset--rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.
10And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace [Who imparts all blessing and favor], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you.
11To Him be the dominion (power, authority, rule) forever and ever. Amen (so be it).

Ode To Tilex

Tilex Mildew Remover is the best. I never knew such a thing existed. My apartment is now mold five minutes without any scrubbing. Even my windowsills...totally clean.

Monday, March 6

Foreign Soil

My brother has been sending pics from Iraq. He is right in the middle of history. I'm so proud of him. And I have to also admit that I'm a bit jealous. You can read more about him on his own blogPosted by Picasa

Friday, March 3

It's Over!!!

FCAT week is officially over! Every bubble has been filled in...every child has finished the test...we are done. My 3rd graders were totally silent for at least 2 hours every about a challenge. But they did it!! Next week, we go back to regular schedules...less stressed out teachers, less stressed out principal. (That will be good for my evaluation coming up next week.) And then came the news....the teachers were laughing at me today during recess..."just wait until the last 9 weeks of school...then you'll think the FCAT was nothing!"