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!

Seven Days of Blessings

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1 week! Thanksgiving is around the corner. This year I decided to do something a bit different to focus on my thankfulness. I love the Facebook comments and posts by friends, but I decided to concentrate mine here. Each day I will write about one of the greatest gifts I have been given.

1) I am thankful that God watches and protects my children.

There is a moment when you hold a tiny baby and realize you have to protect and care for that kid. It is your responsibility now! This realization is met with overwhelming fear and a sense of inadequacy. Will I be good enough? Will I be able to raise him right? Will I be able to stop evil from hurting him?

My children are amazing gifts from God. When I remember that they belong to God first, I don’t feel so overwhelmed. He loves them more than I possibly can. I am in charge of their care, upbringing, education, and, of course, loving them. However, God is always there to help. He has a plan for my kids. He doesn’t want me to fail. He will protect them when I cannot.

Stormie Omartian writes books on this subject. I am currently rereading one about being a praying parent. She reminds me that God is the greatest parent of all. His advice is better than any website or friend. He will guide me as I raise my kids.

Blessings!  

Still Talking About Rainbows

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Guess what?! It rained again yesterday!  There is just something about rainy days that make me feel like I might go crazy!  I don’t like dragging the kids around in it.  I don’t like driving when the rain is pouring so hard I can’t see well.  I just want to be home in my pjs!

Instead, I had to drag the kids around in it after school.  I needed to meet with a local Christian bookstore to try to get With Unveiled Face stocked there so we can set up a book signing.  I needed to get the kids to my in-laws so I could meet with the fundraising team from church. Finally, I had to get everyone home and in bed!

I bet you can relate!  I bet you can name rainy, yucky, but very busy days when you just want the day to end, curl up in bed, and rest!

As I was mucking through the drizzle to get to one of my meetings, I met a friend on the sidewalk.  She had her little girl, a friend of Superhero Son.  Sure enough, just as they were turning to leave, I caught glimpse of another rainbow!  This one was brighter, bigger, and substantially better than the one the day before.  Nobody needed sunglasses to see it. (see yesterday’s post)

This rainbow glowed so brightly, it overwhelmed the rest of the gray sky.  The atmosphere around me seemed to turn from dark and dreary to bright and cheery.  Once again, lesson learned!

God reminded me that my days won’t all be sunny!  That isn’t what this life is about.  However, during the darkest days and hardest rains, He will send us rainbows to remind us of His love.  Even when the sun isn’t shining, His SON is.

Blessings!

Trying to Find our Rainbows

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It started raining Thursday.  It didn’t stop until late Monday.  The sun finally popped out Wednesday around lunch time.  What did it do Wednesday afternoon?  RAIN!  Forecast for Thursday? RAIN!

Work was hard Wednesday, my husband wasn’t coming home due to an overnight trip, I needed to get groceries, my students needed more time to play outside, my own children needed more time to play outside, and I was crabby!  I did NOT want more rain!

As I pulled into the driveway of my sitter’s house, I saw a faded rainbow in the distance.  I quickly remembered God’s promise to help us succeed in life.  I also took a moment to thank Him for my blessings. Even on my hardest days, I know others have it worse than I do.

Once I saw my son, I tried to show the rainbow to him and one of his friends.  They couldn’t see it.  I realized that I was wearing sunglasses.  I put the sunglasses on the friend, and he excitedly saw the rainbow right away.  Superhero Son tried on the glasses and also saw the rainbow right away.

I am not an expert on color or light, but my glasses darkened the sky and the colors of the rainbow so it was easier to see.  Lesson learned?  Our rainbows are probably out there more than we think.  We just have to wear the right glasses to see them.  We can’t let our bad mood, woe is me attitude, and stressful schedules cloud out the beautiful gifts in our life.

I pray you each find your rainbow today!

Blessings!

Birthday Shots: The Vaccination Debate

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I know! I know! At first glance, the title took you back to your college days. Then you saw the word vaccination and cringed!  Yep this is about taking your kids to get shots for their birthday!

Superhero Son turned 4 in April.  Darling Daughter turned 1 in May.  In the past few weeks they have each had a blood test and seven shots between them.  While at the doctor’s office with Darling Daughter, I asked my pediatrician how he handles parents who do not want to vaccinate their kids.  He looked at me for a moment and asked why I wanted to know.  I think he was surprised to hear me ask because I have never questioned vaccines before.  I explained that I was curious because we have a family in our school that refuses to vaccinate their kids.

I work in a public school.  We “require” vaccinations before beginning kindergarteners, but there are ways to get waivers that excuse your child from having their vaccinations.  I also live near two universities that had outbreaks of mumps this year.  Why?  There was a population of unvaccinated students on campus!

My pediatrician explained that he believed most parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids are misinformed.  They have researched vaccines using poor methods and base their decisions on studies that have been refuted and proven wrong.  He went on to say that those who refuse vaccinations are usually too young to remember kids dying from diseases we now can prevent.

Many parents cite religious beliefs for their reason to not vaccinate.

I won’t debate either way.  Parents are free to decide what medicine they put into their children’s bodies.  I will only state what I believe based upon the Bible.

Jesus was a great healer.  He also introduced us to another great doctor, Luke!  Jesus sent His disciples out to heal others.  And you know what?!  It worked!  I fully believe that God can gift a human with the power of healing.  I also believe that our society can use medicinal technology to safely administer medication to its citizens.  I pray for the health of my children, but I am smart enough to know that God may provide healthy solutions in the form of healing doctors.

When faced with health concerns, it never hurts to turn to the Greatest Physician and ask for His guidance.

For anyone looking for more information about vaccines, here is a great website for you! http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/home.html

Blessings!

Adventures At a Fabric Store

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She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen. Proverbs 31:24

Tonight is the performance of the play I direct at school.  My drama club began putting together our rendition of Peter Pan back in October.  Things were smooth until my co-director had her baby five weeks early.  I can’t complain too much because two other teachers stepped up to help.  My amazing teammates always are willing to help me!  However, as we approached performance time, the to-do list seemed to grow and grow.  Finally, last night, I still needed fabric.

Since our mermaids needed fabric to “swim” through, I went to a local fabric shop to buy something that looked “watery.”  The lady was awesome!  She found the blue fabric, measured, cut, ran my credit card, and I was out the door before I even understood what had happened.  I was completely overwhelmed by that store.  It was by the grace of God that she came to my rescue.

That experience got me thinking about the Proverbs 31 woman and her expertise of fabric.  I don’t think we all need to understand fabric to rise to her level.  We are simply called to understand our own trade.  For me, I work hard to stay current on educational practices.  I also work on pushing forward my writing career. (Small as that may be at this time!).

What is your trade?  How are you working to promote your career, your area of expertise?  I think the point here is to take your God-given talent and use it!

Blessings!

No Fear, Even When the World Is Scary!

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” When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet” Proverbs 31:21

I am betting you, and most of America, counted your blessings yesterday.  Our hearts broke for Boston, for runners, for our children growing up in a world full of hate, hurt, and tears.  

I have to tell you folks, life has gotten scary lately.  A community I dearly love and taught in for four years made national news with a shooting at a local mall four days ago.  I taught the daughter of a police officer quoted by the news reporter.  My only thought was his daughter.  Was she scared Friday?  Did God comfort her?  

Did God comfort my fellow teachers in Connecticut in December?

Today marks the 6th anniversary of the massive Virginia Tech shootings.  I was teaching just a few miles away from Tech at the time.  I raced my fifth graders into the main building on our elementary campus as sirens blasted past me.  Helicopters zoomed overhead as my children cried in fear.  I dried tears of kids whose parents were at VT.  I held children whose parents were first responders.  I cried with those whose brothers and sisters were locked down in fear and cried for those who lost their lives.  I felt the presence of God in that library while under lock down with my kids.

Today I cry for those whose families have been ripped apart by tragedy and hate over the past 6 years and recent four days.  

Would the Proverbs 31 woman quake in fear tonight? No!  She doesn’t hold fear in her heart when the winter storms beat upon her front door.  She rests knowing that she isn’t in control.  God is!  She doesn’t have to save the world.  God will!  

I challenge the students in our world to continue to learn, without fear. I challenge my fellow teachers to continue to teach, without fear.   I challenge my fellow runners to continue to run, without fear.  God holds our world in His hands. 

A wise friend of mine from years ago once told me that we are often surprised, but God never is.  He knew this would happen.  

Like the Proverbs 31 woman, continue to live your life, without fear!

Blessings!