Monday, October 29, 2012

Where have I been? Let me expain...

Good evening my dear readers! As I'm sure you've noticed I have been completely MIA for the past 6 months! Well, if you would like to know where I've been, I have recently transitioned my career into the classroom. I am currently a 7th grade English/Language Arts teacher for the local public school district here in Indianapolis. Unless you're a teacher, or you are close to a teacher, you probably will not completely understand how time consuming and demanding this career can be- especially for first year teachers. Let me explain my story.

For the past 5 years I have sincerely considered going into teaching. It wasn't my initial career path and it definately wasn't something that I've always wanted to do. There are two people in my life who greatly influenced me on this decision. Those people are my grandmother and my sister- both middle school teachers (social studies and spanish). Although my grandmother is passed away and my sister is no longer teaching, watching them in their craft has been so delightful and inspirational. I would say their teaching styles- the way they gave their all to their students and their passion for educating youth- was contagious and I caught the bug. Like them, I wanted to give more- give back.

"But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold." Job 23:10 NIV

It had been a long journey getting in where I fit in. I found my avenue through The New Teacher Project (TNTP). If any of you have seen the news or paid even a little bit of attention to it, you know that there is a high demand for qualified teachers in the areas of English, Math, Social Studies and Special Education. When I heard about the opportunities to come into a teaching career through TNTP, I applied. After a long and tedious weeding out process, I made it through and was invited into the cohort as a Special Education/English teacher. An awesome incentive to the program is a paid for master's degree in teaching. (What a blessing!!!)

The next step was Summer Institute- a summer long "teaching bootcamp" (as my cohort members like to call it) that literally took up my entire summer, nearly minute for minute. I completed all of my student teaching in 4 weeks. They stretch your thinking, push you to the limit and take you to a level of calibur that is unbelievable. I taught math, so I was stretched in a subject area that I didn't like or know much about. But after that experience, I believe that it only extended my abilities and pushed me to become a more well rounded teacher. It was hard and long, but it was worth it. The information we gleaned from the intense training made us ever ready for the high demands of the classroom.

I am currently placed in the greatest middle school in the city (I'm totally biased!!!) I LOVE my students, appreciate my administration and love what I do! The hours are LOOOOOONG. And there are many days that I am completely wiped out, only to have to go to class at night. But it's so worth it! I love the feeling of being an inspiration to my students. And it's recipricated because my students inspire me too! We're learning together. My life is so full and I appreciate all of the endless support from my husband, family, friends and loved ones. I truly feel blessed to be in the classroom- educating the next generation. It's a privilage that I don't take for granted, and an honor to inspire the leaders of tommorrow.

With all that being said, as life slows down and I get more of a rythm I'll be posting more. In the mean time, keep me in your prayers and I'll do the same. Until next time...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Choose better

I have been plagued with a situation for a while now. Finding myself consumed with the idea of it has caused me to be very unsettled and playing lots of mental chess. I find myself grumbling throughout the day about it and I just haven't been able to shake the thoughts that come over me.

Today in my reading I came across the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10 when Jesus came with his disciples to visit. Martha was in a bustle toiling over preparations and tasks while Mary sat at Jesus' feet. I can just picture it in my mind: Martha is washing dishes, straightening up the house, looking for finger foods to satisfy her company until dinner is being prepared. And I can also invision Mary who is quite content gleaning from every Word that Jesus spoke. Although Martha is a good woman, full of ambition and excellence, I do see her as a worrier. She concerns herself with matters that are unimportant and trivial. Like her, I sometimes do the same.

When Martha complains to Jesus about Mary's unconcerned attitude, Jesus replies:

"Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41-42

Wow! Just when Martha was hoping that Jesus would chastize Mary, He defends her! Mary had a revelation that Martha didn't. She understood that she was in the presence of the Saviour. She knew that her time spent with Him was much more important than tussling away at frivolous tasks. Mary chose better.

Today I want to encourage someone who is like me. To all the Martha's in the world, if you have been preoccupying yourself with unimportant situations and circumstances, readjust your priorities and put Jesus first on the list. Give your concerns and cares to Him- He's the only one who cares and has the power to fix it. Get lost at the feet of Jesus because only in Him will you find peace for all your chaotic circumstances.
Today, choose better. Choose Christ!

Friday, May 11, 2012

The blessing of a complete work

Sleepy and grumpy. Two feelings I try to avoid. Today I sat at my desk wanting and wishing all of my work would go away for the rest of the day. Wanting to put my files away for some other time, something in my spirit urged me to finish until the days tasks were done. I heard, "There's a blessing in a completed work."

What if God, in all His glory and forgetlessness, did not finish His holy work in and through us? I mean, what if He literally gave up dealing with the matters of our souls? I recall to mind the scripture that says:

"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.." Phillipians 1:6

I am so grateful to serve a God that is complete and whole, in return making us complete and whole. Like Him, He desires that we have the faith to push and press through our own physical emotions and limitations to trust Him enough even for daily tasks- but more importantly with our hearts.

Today, I encourage you to finish the tasks that lie before you. Those things you put on the back burner for "another day." Take control of your life by responsibly pursuing the God given assignments in your life. Don't ignore them. The work God has for your life is good. Allow God to also complete the work within you. In due time, the work will stand sure of masterpiece of the hands of a complete God.

God equipped you to finish your life assignments!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I am a cracked pot, a light for God

I want to spread light. Everwhere that I go, in everything that I do, I want God's light to shine in, over and through me. That is the only way people will see Him through me.

Cindy Trimm, author of Commanding Your Morning said it like this:

"Light is not only the absence of darkness, but it is also the yoke-breaking presence of God, the liberating essence of truth, and the mind-transforming potential of every revelation of God- it is all that is good within and among us."

It's amazing, yet peculiar how God can literally use anything to share His light through His people- even our own brokeness and imperfections. Today I got back from work and a woman stopped and asked me about my hair. Very simple conversation, right? Well, the conversation just seemed to bubble over into a total God moment when I was able to talk about how much God really doesn't care so much about our appearance, but rather that our heart's be pure and honor Him. It was such an inspirational moment even for me because I didn't even plan on saying those words- but God used me to spread light in a dark place.

"For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." II Corinthians 4:6-7

My relationship with God has become so exciting over the years. I love the opportunity to be used by Him. I am so thankful for holy boldness. I remember as a kid I was so shy. I had to pray to God to deliver me from the fear and for the boldness in Him. Now when I tell people that, they laugh because there's nothing shy about me! I appreciate the evidence of a prayer being answered in my life.

Today I am thankful to be a light for Jesus. Are you willing to yield and let God use you to do the same?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Trayvon Martin

As you can clearly see, this post is not so much about a beautiful day. I don't mind it though, and I hope you don't, because there are so many things on my heart. Among the most recent is the situation concerning Trayvon Martin's murder.

My heart aches so much for this child and his family. But not just for them, but for the entire situation. Even for Zimmerman. Why are we so blind to see the hatred in our society? Are we so far gone that even a child isn't exempt? I'm so disturbed that I am literally sick to my stomach. Humanity needs to turn back to God.

There are so many thoughts and words in my mind, yet nothing seems to be able to come out in a way that sums up entirely how I feel about the situation. In fact, the only thing that I can think of that is most beneficial is actually prayer. That is the only hope we have, God our Saviour. He is the only one that can heal our land. Please, in your quiet moments render up a prayer for the Martin family, and all those that are affected by the situation including Zimmerman. God has a plan that far exceeds our thoughts and ideas and even reasonings.

May God rest his soul.

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

Friday, March 9, 2012

Kony 2012- Let's help capture him

If you haven't heard about Joseph Kony, please please PLEASE watch this video and educate yourself. He is a very evil man that needs to be captured. I believe God wants to save those broken children and families. The power of God can restore that whole nation back to Him. It can be done with your help.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

God is not mad at you!

Maybe you're like me and have dealt with guilt most of your life. I can remember being just a child and mentally punishing myself for things I knew I ought not to do. Even though I knew God had forgiven me, and I understood the moral behind the life lesson, I believed that I wasn't good enough to recieve God's forgiveness nor my own.

Mentally I have tormented myself time and time again with plaguing thoughts of guilt and shame. It was my own way of fulfilling my own chastisement. This is the way of the world- to make us carry baggage that no longer belongs to us. Over time, those bags become far too heavy and they weighed down my spirit leading to unbalanced emotions and depression.
But God is not like. The revelation of God's love for us is so mind blowing and He knows everything that we struggle with and everything we will do in the future that will cause us to fall. Regardless, He still loves us unconditionally and offers us forgiveness in exchange for a repentent heart. The Bible says:

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:8 NIV

We do not have to carry the bags of guilt and shame... we are set free from that way of life. Do you realize that holding on to guilt is offensive to God? Guilt is a direct message to God that although He has forgiven us, His grace and mercy isn't enough. If this were so, there would be no reason for the Calvery! God's redemption through His Son Jesus Christ was enough to forgive and cancel out any debt (punishment) we could ever attain through sin.

Remember, God is not mad at you! In fact, He takes great delight in you! Zephaniah 3:17 says: "The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

In your guilt, consider these scriptures...
  • "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." -Isaiah 43:25
  • "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." -Ephesians 3:17-19
  • "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" -Romans 8:1
  • "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." -John 8:36
  • "As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." -Psalm 103:12
  • "Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands." -Deuteronomy 7:9
Forgive yourself... God already has!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"31 to be Exact"- Spoken Word

Focus on your own splinters

The other day I was driving home when I noticed that the car coming toward me had a headlight out. I wondered if they were aware of it. And if they were, why they hadn't gotten it fixed yet. Later on that night I was pulling out of my drive way and my husband told me to repark the car. When I asked him why, he told me that my headlight was out. How ironic that the issue I had so obviously seen in another person's vehicle was the exact same issue that was wrong with my own but didn't know it!

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. " Luke 6:41-42

It is so much easier to see and point out the flaws in others without ever acknowledging the ones that hinder our own walk. Consider this:

"...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose." Philipians 2:12-13 NIV

When we focus on the flaws in others, we forsake to fullfill the good purpose God has for our own lives. We take our own energy and transfer it to other people. The word says for us to "work out your own salvation..."

"He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher. Luke 6:39-40

When we we focus on judging others we hold them to our own standard- not God's. Our own measure is NOTHING in comparison to His! But there is a blessing in focusing on ourselves. We all have issues- every one of us. When we take the time to allow God to show us our own flaws and work them through us, we can become an even greater blessing to the Kingdom of God. Remember, it's not about us, it's about Jesus!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:38-39

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

In your frustration consider this...

Some thought food I came across on FB. Something to ponder on.....

Me (in a tizzy) : God, can I ask you something?..... 

GOD: Sure. ... ... 

Me: Promise you won't get mad?.... 

GOD: I promise..... 

Me (frustrated):... Why did you let so much stuff happen to me today?.... 

GOD: What do you mean?.....

Me: Well I woke up late......., 

GOD: Yes..... 

Me: My car took forever to start. (...growling): At lunch, they made my sandwich wrong and I had to wait.... 

GOD: Hmmmm.... 

Me: On the way home, my phone went dead, just as I picked up a call.... 

GOD: All right... 

Me (loudly): And to top it all off, when I got home, I just wanted to soak my feet in my foot massager and relax, but it wouldn't work. Nothing went right today! Why did you do that?.... 

GOD: Well let me see..... the death angel was at your bed this morning and I had to send one of the other angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that.... 

Me (humbled): Oh... 

GOD: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that might have hit you if you were on the road.... 

Me (ashamed): ............ 

GOD: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick and I didn't want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work.... 

Me (embarrassed): Oh..... 

GOD: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give a false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered..... 

Me (softly): I see God... 

GOD: Oh and that foot massager, it had a short that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in the dark..... 

Me: I'm sorry God. 

GOD: Don't be sorry, just learn to trust all things, the good and the bad...... 

Me: I WILL trust you God..... 

GOD: And don't doubt that my plan for your day is always better than your plan... 

Me: I won't God. And let me just tell you God, thank you for everything today..... 

GOD: You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I love looking after my children....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A beautiful translation- The Lord's Prayer

This translation was given to me from a dear friend. One thing is for sure, the Word of the Lord is beautiful in every language! This is the Lord's prayer in Saafi, a language spoken in Senegal, West Africa.

"Dad in the sky Your name is blessed. Your children will see your power on earth and in the sky. Give us today the bread you provide for us eery day and help us to forgive the wrongdoers. Help us to avoid anything (all things) imperfect and help us excape evil. Because only You have the power and it's only You who deserves praise. Amen."

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
II Chronicles 7:14

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Leave the details to Him

Looking back so many times in life I've been tempted to worry about the details of my life. I'm a natural planner. When ideas flood my mind I am quick to come up with my own plan of action. It's something I enjoy. I like to see the ball rolling in a progressive direction.

But when things don't go my way my flesh wants to complain and blame God as if He had something to do with it. And now that I think about it, perhaps He did! See, when we put our lives into God's hands, our life is no longer our own. And when we don't submit our will to God we aggressively retrieve it back while our spirit says "No God, I can handle this one."

Many times we view God as harsh and demanding- someone who wants to control our every move. When in reality God delights in seeing His people enjoy life. He simply wants us to submit (willingly give) to His plan for our lives because He knows all the details that concern us. When we submit we sign up for an insurance plan for supreme protection and added blessing.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD." Isaiah 55:8

Toil and worry does not move God. But our faith pleases Him.Wouldn't you rather have a blessing in the timing and manner of God than a headache?

Today, leave the details to Him!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Just say the Word...

Matthew 8:5-13
Vs. 8 "The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed."
V. 13 " Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

This morning in my devotion I was moved by a man who desperately needed a healing miracle on behalf of his servant. He was a centurion, a man of high esteem yet when he came into the presence of Jesus he became humbled and filled with faith. Knowing that Jesus was who He said He was, he made his request known... that He simply speak a Word of healing. At that moment, the servant was healed.

Today I want my faith to be like unto the centurion, knowing that if Jesus said it, then it is so! Standing on His word without wavering even in thought.

I trust you Lord today!

                "Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would." Jesus

Monday, January 9, 2012

What I'm taking from 2011

Last year I made a list of things that I want to take from the year as life inspirations. Usually they are nuggets of wisdom, but they don't have to be. I find this a better way of looking forward to the new year rather than looking back with regret. No year is perfect, but we take the good with us to help us carry on.

Here is a list of things that I learned from 2011 that I am taking with me into the new year.

1) Peace and Quiet
2) Trust- For God, for myself and for others.
3) Unconditional love
4) Forgiveness
5) Consistent exercise practices
6) Healthy eating habits
7) Innovative and creative ideas
8) Fearlessness
9) Openness
10) Appreciation
11) The enjoyment of simple pleasures
12) Laughter
13) A healthy, happy, peaceful home

I can honostly say that I have achieved a lot of my goals from last year. But when I look back over the years at all my goals and resolutions, I realize how tangible they all used to be. The more I grow as a person the more internal and eternal they become.

I am happy about that!
"In all your ways acknowlege Him and He shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:6