Sunday, January 30, 2011

Leading Me. <3

I’m not sure I ever shared this, but last spring my hubby and I left our church (the one in the big city, where we got married, where we faithfully attended throughout college) to seek out a new one to call home. We visited countless churches over the course of about seven months and went to huge churches to tiny country churches and we experienced everything from zealous welcomes to complete exile in the process of visiting and looking for a new church. We didn’t leave because of some falling out or some hard, hurtful issue, no… in fact leaving the church was one of the hardest things I feel like God has lead us to do together. We LOVED the place. Our pastor was awesome, classy in character and full of the Spirit, educated and wise, and a true family man- we loved the fellowship, the programs, everything, except the location. At 45+ minutes away (all interstate, by the way, and nearly 80 miles round trip), we were just simply not able to be there as often as we wanted. The distance made things like bible studies, choir, special programs, and night services out of the question between gas prices and the travel time. And not being able to be involved was hurting- it was much too easy to be “lukewarm” which is something you never want to be when it comes to your walk with Christ. So, since about August or September, we’ve been visiting a church nearby (about 10 minutes, just in the next small town) and have liked it enough to keep coming back. I feel the same way about the preacher here as I did at our old church… he preaches with an educated wisdom- not just the “come to Jesus or you’re gonna burn” rhetoric you often hear in the small town Baptist church- but the passionate, knowledgably examination of God’s Word, Christ’s love, and a deep look into the implications of this in our daily lives. Love the people there too. We were ushered to the front of the line on homecoming, even though we were only there for our second time. Even my parents have enjoyed it. I really, really feel like I am growing there, not just through the messages, but through worship as well. I am a cry-er when I feel the Spirit, and not a single Sunday has passed that I haven’t felt tears slip over my cheeks as we sing. I have even felt the call to raise my hands into the air and close my eyes, which is something I would be too nervous to do in many churches. I can just FEEL Him there, and feel Him drawing me nearer. I’m not saying this is where we will join just yet, but I do know I am growing closer to God this year. I have made the effort to use my 30 minute ride to and from work each day as quality time with God. I am talking to Him aloud in the car, just discussing my thoughts and worries and joys. I am being more prayerful and asking Him to bless those I am around, naming friends, family, coworkers, and students, and telling Him my deepest fears and feelings. Just laying it all out there. And I’m listening to more worship music in the car. I’ve never been to musically inclined to Christian radio simply due to the fact that praise music is all too often “technically” boring- simple chords that any mediocre praise band can play and redundant lyrics that everyone knows- I mean, how deep is “Lord, I lift Your Name on High” after about the third time? Not that the message isn’t awesome, but I just feel like my Savior deserves something much more rich and heartfelt that over-played, lack-luster praise band melodies. But, I’ve been giving it a chance, and I’ve been hearing so much more *good* worship music on the radio so I’ve been making a commitment to seek it out. Two songs I’m loving right now are Sanctus Real’s Lead Me and Chris August’s Starry Night. Anyways, to sum it all up, I love that I can truly say that I can feel myself stepping closer to Him. I have been standing still for far too long, and I can’t wait to see where He leads me and what He does in my life.

PS- School has been great these first weeks back after the break. I can’t believe January is almost gone. It’s been tiring and overwhelming, not mention the fact that I spent Friday throwing up ALL day. But my kids have been really good. I love them so much, even when they drive me crazy. Yesterday, they were even able to take over class when I had to run out of the room when I got sick… I hope whatever it was is gone now… Anyways, the kids have been working extra hard and I can see that I am making a difference with several of them, which is such a huge reward. It’s so awesome to have a job where you know each day matters, to be given the opportunity to effect a child’s life in an unforgettable, positive way. So blessed!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Back to normal… well, not yet!

The Twilight Zone continues here… a big snow storm (about 5 inches) immediately followed by 3/4 inch of ice from freezing rain has prevented us from going back to school just yet. A whole week of snow days, but I believe we will try and make it in tomorrow for our previously scheduled work day. For now, though, I’ve been at home with the hubby playing in the snow. Smile On top of it all, I’ve been sick. Not sick so that I’m down and out and everyone knows- just that sinus/cold mess that isn’t enough to keep you in the bed- just enough to make doing anything including breathing kinda annoying. Plus, Friday, my laptop’s hard drive died… Ironically, one year from the date it was purchased. I have been spending the week dealing with Dell and Fed Ex and the Geek Squad, and now it is almost totally up and running. I spent three hours on the phone with Dell, two days trying to save as many files as I could, two days waiting for FedEx to bring me my hard drive, an hour installing the thing, two more days re-installing software and programs I had, and hours making it “feel” like it used to.
Part of me has been super thankful for the snow as it gave me plenty of time to get it back to normal. Fortunately, Geek Squad gave me a partial refund since they were not able to save all my files (tears!), and Dell did everything for free as apart of the Premium services I purchased, so the whole fiasco cost me a week of my life, most of my pictures from this year, and $49.99 at the Geeks.

So, I thought that the strangeness would be gone by now and that life would be back to normal, but I continue to be stuck in that lazy, lay around and do nothing feeling that comes after the rush of the holidays and before school resumes after Winter Break. Tomorrow is a work day, so I’m looking forward to seeing my colleagues, as I hope seeing them will help pull me back into the rhythm of work. Speaking of which, a colleague showed me this website a while back so I  used my boredom today to give the website, animoto.com, a look. Take a look at what I made with my wedding photos… Smile This will be a great tool for lesson intros. I’m gonna use it next 9weeks when we begin Jane Yolen’s The Devil’s Arithmetic, and use it to introduce the Holocaust. Have a look.
 

I’ll let you know how things go once school gets underway! 4 weeks is a LONG time to be out- I miss my kiddos, and a kinda hope they miss me.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Well, since it's a snow day anyways...

As my friend Casey said on her page, it's been ages since I've done one of these, but I'm doing one to procrastinate just like I used to do in college my freshman year (ironically, my hubby and I are working at our desks, listening to our iTunes, burning a nice candle and snacking in our pjs, just like my roommate and I did then), and since we just got notified that there will be no school tomorrow in anticipation for our big snow storm tonight, I can now afford to procrastinate! :) Yeah, only in SC do we cancel school before we even have  snow! LOL... 
1. My most recent ex is… happy?
2. I should learn to… knit or crochet. I want to make scarfs. I used to know how, but I've forgotten!
3. I love… my life. Sweet hubby, awesome family, precious pooches. :)
4. People would say that I am…"an old lady trapped in a young person's body"
5. I don’t understand… why someone would shoot at an elected offical and a crowd of innocent people. I don't understand violence in general. Nothing is solved, no point is made, and no change occurs.
6. When I wake up in the morning… Watch this video... :) and you'll see me in the morning!
7. I lost… my grandmother in January 1997, yet it feels like not that long ago...
8. Life is… not worth living unless you are living it for HIM.  
9. My past taught me… that good things happen when your heart is in the right place.
10. I get annoyed when… technology fails! Like my laptop and projector bulb! :(
11. Parties are… fun when people are mature and responsible. 
12. I wish… I could convince my students that they can do anything they can dream, as long as they work for it...
13. Dogs and cats… are wonderful and terrible. I love dogs, but cats are too moody.
14. My childhood pet… is  a chow named Twinkle, who is currently one month away from her 18th birthday. She went missing on New Years and was picked up from the middle of the road by a girl who works for an animal rescue. She'd gotten scared and disoriented from all the New Years fireworks. Long story short, the girl is a friend and had really good intentions, shaving her matted hair and trimming her toe nails, but she didn't know how old and frail she is, and I think it was a little too much for her. She could go anytime and we are scared that she may have to be put down in the near future. It breaks my heart.
15. Tomorrow is… a SNOW DAY, which means, thanks to our 5 furlough days, I have not had students since Dec. 16th! Ack! I do miss them, though!
16. I have a low tolerance for... grammar mistakes, especially from people with an education!
17. If I had a million dollars… we'd pay off any debt, move, go on a nice trip, and save the rest!
18. I’m terrified of… lots of things... I'm a worry-wort. :(
19. I’ve come to realize… well, I am starting to realize it's okay to say "no" sometimes.
20. I am listening to… Flogging Molly. :)
21. I talk… too much and too fast!
22. My first kiss… happened when I was so young, I think I was driving a Barbie Jeep. LOL
23. Love is… much more intense than most think. So many don't experience love in its deepest forms.
24. Marriage is… fabulous, but it isn't always easy. But, it is so, so, so  worth the work!
25. Somewhere, someone is thinking…. about going to bed. I wish I could. Alas, I must work!
26. I’ll always be… my Daddy's girl and Mama's world!
27. The last time I really cried was… yesterday, hugging my sweet, old Twinkle.
28. My cell phone is… frequently misplaced, forgotten, or on silent!
29. Before I go to bed… I've been diligently taking my medicine. This is a big deal for Mrs. Forgetful! :)
30. My middle name… Kate, but technically now it's my maiden name.
31. Right now, I’m wondering… if  FedEx has that same "wind, rain, snow, sleet, or hail" motto... I really need my new hard drive for my Dell! :(
32. Today I… slept in, went to church and really, really felt it <3, cleaned and made cubed steak, gravy, creamed corn, and biscuits, cuddled with Jake, put on a roast for tomorrow, and now starting planning.
33. Tomorrow I will be…playing in the snow since school is canceled... and planning!
34. I really want to… see my best friend. I hope she comes for a visit this weekend.
35. My most treasured possession is… my grandmother's wedding band.
37. My favorite pictures… are from our wedding and honeymoon and trips we've been on. Also, ones of people I love who have passed away, since they can't be retaken...
38. I sing… often. :)
39. If I was a crayon… I'd be yellow... or maybe that one blue one that's really cool and teal-ish, but you have to try every other shade of blue before you find it. :)
40. Someday I want to travel…. more! I love it! Puerto Rico is next, I think!
41. I am wearing… flannel pjs and a Gamecock t-shirt.
42. My favorite vacation was… I love them all, but going dune-buggying in the mud and cave diving in the DR was UNFORGETTABLE!
43. My favorite holiday… EASTER. Jesus. Family dinners and egg hunts. Chocolate and treats. A pretty new dress. Spring Break. What more could you want?
44. I get sad when I…see some of the things  my students deal with.
45. I’d rather be… somewhere tropical, always, lol!
46. My profile picture was… from our New Years Day hike.
47. I need… to stop procrastinating, Good thing this survey thing is almost over, haha.  
48. I am looking forward to… being a mama & having kids, someday... ;)