WHEW!!!! Back on Track???

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Ok!  Well, life took a turn!  You know how I was all about organizing my house back in January?  I was excited about cleaning up all of my disaster zones!  Yeah well…..  Instead, we moved!

Let me back up!  We very quickly went forward with the decision to renovate a split entry from the 70’s.  I mean VERY QUICKLY!!!!  I spent every free moment (between taking care of the kids, teaching, and attempting to remain some sort of decent wife) to working on the house.  It is not finished, but we moved.  We have almost everything out of our old house!  It has been a CRAZY whirlwind, but we are finally getting our lives back on track!

Updates! Superhero Son turned 5!  I am still teaching, but rapidly wrapping up year 10.  I have a whole new house to try to organize!!!!  Pics to come soon!

It is only by the grace and glory of God that we were granted this house!  We fell into a deal that we couldn’t turn down.  We are beyond excited and more than willing to use this home to further God’s will for our lives!

Blessings!

Resolution Check-up

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Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
Philippians 3:12

How are those New Year’s resolutions coming?

Are you sticking with the plan?

In January,  I assigned a writing paper to my fifth graders to make a goal and explain how they will achieve it. They had to explain why their goal was important to them. Their plan had to include clear, manageable steps they would need to take in order to be successful.

Many of them had lots of goals to choose from, but couldn’t figure out the right plan. One little girl said, “If I already knew the steps, I would have reached this goal already.” Sometimes we can’t reach our goals because we need guidance. We just don’t know how!

I am trying to train for a 10k. I have figured out through my failure in the last 5 weeks that running won’t be enough. I need weight training and some alterations to my diet. I needed more guidance in order to reach my goal.

Another student set her goal way too high. It will take years to achieve it. She was left frustrated.  Another set his too low. He reached it the second week of January.  Now he is bored and doesn’t feel very accomplished.

It is time to check those goals. How are you doing?

Blessings!

Allowing Grace

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“And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.'” (Mark 10:18)

I like to think that I am an understanding,  forgiving kind of a person. I bet you are, too. You probably don’t hold grudges, and you forgive your husband or wife when they burn dinner or track mud through the house. I bet you forgive your kids daily for their imperfections. In fact, I bet you embrace those imperfections and treasure the ones that give your family a good laugh. Do you extend the same grace to yourself?

I noticed not too long ago that Superhero Son inherited a hard trait from me. He was working on a craft and got frustrated. He couldn’t make his art work look the way it did in his head.  He began to pitch a fit and cry.

I, too, am lacking in the crafty, artsy talent. I remember attempting projects and getting really frustrated with myself when I couldn’t get it right when I was younger. I heard myself telling Superhero Son that he doesn’t have to be perfect,  and his art doesn’t have to be perfect either.

So yesterday was another icy day on the hill! Schools were 2 hours delayed. I needed 2 more! Our part of the county was slick! What did I do? Slid on ice while driving downhill. Into a ditch. Into a tree.

Yep. Into a tree.

I found myself, while thankful that no one was hurt, really mad at myself.  It took a while, but eventually I remembered that I am not perfect.  I can’t drive on ice. I can, however, fix my car.

I had to remember to extend grace to myself.

Do you allow grace to forgive you? Do you extend grace to yourself?

Blessings!

Middle Schoolers, the Life of Jesus, and Vaccines

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For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:14)

I love teaching middle school aged kids at church. I have written about these kids many times over the past year. They have a way of looking at the life of Christ and his commandments for our lives in such a funny way.

This week we looked at Matthew 7. I wanted the kids to really consider how Jesus’s teachings apply to them today. Too often we only consider what he wants for our future, as if we have not yet been prepared for a life of following him. Even though a couple of my students are only 10, I believe God has ways to use them right now!

As we discussed how difficult it may be to always do the right thing, one kid compared following Jesus to getting vaccines.  He decided that memorizing scripture and building a relationship with Jesus might hurt. We might get made fun of or ridiculed. However, it helps us combat sin and destruction in the future.

We all laughed at his analogy,  but he understood something many adults don’t.  We follow Jesus because we must! We NEED him in our lives.  It isn’t easy all the time, but we must!

How are you walking with Christ today?

Blessings!

Son of God

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Ten years ago the movie Passion of the Christ made waves in Hollywood.  It rocked the theaters with a rivoting portrayal of the last week of the life of Christ. I remember sitting in the theater and watching people walk out because they couldn’t bear to watch the torture Christ endured.

My husband and I were dating at the time. We went together to see the movie. As with everyone else, we sat in tears as we caught a glimpse of the sacrifice Christ made for us.

Now, ten years later, it is time to return to the theater. This time we are celebrating the birth, life, and ministry of Christ,  as well as the death and resurrection. A new movie, Son of God, will release in February.  A dear friend of mine shared the news with me not too long ago. We now are making plans for our youth groups to go see it.

As a teacher, I am excited that my students can get a taste of what life was life when Christ walked the earth. They can see him stand on a mountain and calm the sea. They can hear him command fishermen to cast their nets and command the dead to rise.  They can witness the awe on the faces of the crowds as Jesus heals. 

Each Sunday I try to bring to life the words in the Bible, but know I fall short. This movie can give my youth group a new way to meet Jesus.

To learn more, head to http://www.sonofgod.com

Blessings!

Sweeping Those Cheerios, Again!

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Psalm 127:3
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

Matthew 19:14
But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of Heaven.

Today is snowday number 4 in a row for me. My kids have been home much more than usual, and I am left wondering if my life is meaningful enough.

I am a teacher! I teach math, reading, writing, manners, respect, time management,  and responsibility.  When teaching is taken away from me, I am stuck wondering if I am completing the work I am called to complete while here on earth.

Cleaning, laundry, washing dishes, and wiping sticky finger prints off windows does not feel like God’s work. However, I was reminded this week that many women are called to do God’s work inside their home. Some of us are called to do God’s work inside and outside our homes.

Steven Curtis Chapman has a song that compares sweeping up cheerios to mission work. He makes it clear that it doesn’t matter what our daily tasks are. We still do them to honor and glorify God.

My job for this weekend will be caring for my kids and cleaning house. Both of these fulfill the Proverbs 31 way of life.

Proverbs 31:27-28
She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.

Creating a home where my family is warm, loved, safe, and joyful is as great of a job as any issued by God. It is challenging, rewarding, and honors Him. As I enter our weekend, my focus will remain on doing my best for our family. There will be plenty of time Monday to focus on my students.

Blessings!

Time Wasters! Caught and Convicted!

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“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

What temptations drive you crazy? Do you struggle with alcohol, drugs, gambling, anything illegal?

Perhaps you fall into a different category. My temptations are perfectly legal. We would even say harmless, but that would actually be a lie.

I am tempted by food, but able to control it with my addiction to running.

The real problem in my life is time wasters! Candy Crush Saga, Pinterest,  Facebook, television, googling topics of interest!  All a waste of my time, yet I strive to justify every minute that passes.

I know! Many of you are either laughing or arguing that Jesus’ temptation would have been greater if he had carried a smart phone in that desert with him for 40 days.

What tempted Jesus? Satan! What is the root of my temptation? Still Satan. Even if my phone is his method!

I bet there were moments when Jesus wished he could just sit back and fish with Peter. Instead, he did his Father’s work diligently. 

I bring this up because I wasted an incredible amount of time today. This snow day for my school turned into a wasted day of very little productivity. Now I have twice as much on the list for tomorrow. 

Feeling convicted yet? Trust me! I am!

Blessings!