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Friday, August 28, 2009

Week One - Over

I must say that this may be the easiest class I've had in my 6 years of teaching first grade. We will see as the year progresses, but as of now, my discipline problems are very normal, ordinary 6 year old issues. The kids seem to be reasonably bright and capable. I have never had the "good" class, so I don't really know how to react. Every year I have had amazingly wonderful students, but also very challenging children. I am curious what it would be like to have the "good" class.

Here are some great quotes from my classroom:

Girl during career discussion, "When I grow up, I want to be a cash register." Boy, "I want to be a Target."

I caught a girl with something that's not hers, and asked her where it came from. She looked at me with her big eyes, and without missing a beat said, "I stealeded it." - ?!?

I had to talk to one student who kept inviting her friends at recess to come over to our class to play. "You should come to the fun class." She was crushed that friends can't come over to hang out in our room. They have their own classes.

The grown-up drama is a little funny as well. We have a new dress code - think business professional. To give the girls credit, I have not heard a single complaint about the clothes. Everybody bit the bullet, spent the money, and is showing up looking like movie stars.

It's the shoes that are killing us all. The first week of school, elementary teachers never sit. NEVER! I only sit during my 10 minute lunch or if I am reading a short book to the children. All day we are on our feet in our classroom and walking the halls. We are all struggling to find shoes that we can stand to wear all day. Several teachers are ordering the high-heeled crocs that I have. At a teacher meeting we were comparing blisters, redness, swollen feet, and ripped toe-nails. The winner had seven bandaids on one foot. Our principal passed out band-aids in our mailboxes yesterday. She makes this all bearable. She's a hoot about the whole thing. She even said a eulogy for our flip-flops.

My schedule is crazy. I am up a little after four to start my day. Some days I work out before school unless I am taking James to football practice at 6:15. On those days, I am having to work out after school. It is rare for me to get to bed before 10:30 - leaving me permanently exhausted. I will say that the workouts seem to add a lot of stamina to my day. A good run provides the same level of perkiness and energy as about 6 cups of coffee. On running days, I don't have the afternoon energy slump either. Weights are like having only about 3 cups. It is definitely worth the early mornings (can we all say -8 pounds woo hoo!), and I think eventually the routine will smooth out a little.

Our life is slowly improving. The air conditioning at the house is finally repaired and we got our suburban out of the shop. Now we are waiting on a friend to see if he can fix the dead PT Cruiser. I want to say a HUGE thanks to all the friends who supplied rides and loaned vehicles while we were carless. I know some of them sacrificed a lot of convenience to provide for our needs.

Keep praying for me. I have an insane weekend ahead of me. I have tons to do at work, tons to do at home, and urgent ministry projects as well. Pray that I would seek God first

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why Go?

Why Go? People ask me often why is there an urgency to mission work? Why can't we focus the bulk of our energy on people in our city, state, and nation? Let other nations take care of their own business. Why do I feel burdened by the need of the world to hear about Jesus? After all, haven't most people heard by now? I think this may be the best explanation of the value of worldwide missions that I have ever seen. Let God show you His heart for the world.

This video made me bawl as I realized the absolute magnitude of the task ahead of us. I am desperately praying that God would use my life - every single minute of it - however He needs to in order to impact the world.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The first day

This is my 7 th first day of school as a teacher; my 6th as a 1st grade teacher. Every year I am horribly nervous and beg God to keep me from puking in front of the kids. Every year He comes through for me.

It was a good first day. I have a few friends who need to change tables soon. This first part of the year makes me crazy. Training the kids on what I expect is challenging and at times monotonous. Honestly - how many times do we need to practice lining up?

I am anxious for life to settle back into a routine. Right now we have big adjustments to make with our schedules. The immediate biggie is that James has to be at football at 6:15. That means we have to leave Sherman by 5:45. This is challenging since we are currently with only one car. The other is in for repairs. We have everything worked out for tomorrow. So I guess we are good to go.

I confess that I am frustrated by all the things that are not going well. They are all minor but still frustrating - no ac at the house yet, warranty screw ups with the suburban, no ac in the pt cruiser, etc. Pray that I will have eternal perspective on all this stuff. Cause it is just stuff.

Pray that God will give our family energy this week. The first week that I go back to school is always hard on the family, but it gets easier after that. Pray that I will bring God glory every single day in my classroom and that He will use me for kingdom purposes.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Monday Morning Update 8.24.09

The Crossroads is only a couple weeks away from our official one year anniversary. Shawn spent the morning reviewing the last year of our adventure and recasting the vision for our people. It is so exciting to be reminded of where we started from and see where we are now. He reviewed our purposes of Loving God, Loving People, and Rocking the World.

The worship set turned out well. At the last minute we ended up without a drummer. Our electric guitar player has been out for many weeks, and now our bass player has left for college. That left just me on keys and Jake on acoustic. We had to ditch the first song (Sing, Sing, Sing by Tomlin) because it is very drum driven, but the rest of the set flowed well and seemed to engage our congregation in worship. I know I worshiped - I was lost enough in praising God that I forgot that anyone was listening and sang along making up my own strange harmonies. One of our new back-up babes was confused about whether she was singing the wrong notes and thought I was correcting her. I explained that if I'm singing, it is generally that I am simply lost in worship and have forgotten that other people are in the room. And I apologized profusely for being loud enough to be confusing. My bad!

Set: Everything Glorious (Crowder)
God of This City (Tomlin)
Grace Like Rain (Todd Agnew, I think)
Center (Charlie Hall)

We are still praying for a place to meet. We were not on the school board agenda this month. Hopefully next month we will be placed on the agenda. Shawn challenged us to pray for a few minutes every hour that God would grant us favor with the school or would open up an even better opportunity.

On a different note, the kids and I are headed back to school tomorrow. Please pray for us. With kids involved in extracurricular stuff and us doing ministry activities, and my teaching - life gets unbelievably crazy for us in the fall. Ask God that we would have energy for the journey. We are also hoping to work a little harder on preserving some family time each week, even if only for a few hours to stay a little better connected with the kids this year. Last year was a little rough on that end of things.

Heading into the second year of the church plant, we are looking at a significant increase from our family on the level of time that we will need to commit to be able to get multiple journey groups off the ground this year and to keep moving The Crossroads forward. Pray that we will be focused on what God needs us to be, instead of what we feel are priorities. Pray that ministering together will draw our family together and not push us apart and that we would demonstrate grace and patience to each other. Especially that I would do that. I struggle to have any patience with my family after a long day at work.

One last thing. I have finally crystallized plans for a couple of Bible studies that I want to write. Ask God to grant me wisdom and discernment in what to say and how to say it and also that He would help me to find time in my crazy world to do some serious writing.

I appreciate all of you that check this spot out daily and pray for our family. We never could have survived - no - absolutely enjoyed every moment of this first year at The Crossroads without those prayers. It's been tough at times, but I wouldn't want to live any other life.