Friday, November 14, 2014

sundry thoughts

On a recent trip to the zoo, galavanting with animals.  Meet Minnie Meerkat and Koby Kangaroo.

At the beginning of the new school year, my most challenging classes were 6th grade.  For one, they are HUGE classes and there's barely enough room for them all.  Secondly, they're just difficult.  Like, pull my hair out, scream into a pillow difficult.  BUT the tables turned a few weeks ago when we took a break from Christmas music and I played "Say Something" by A Great Big World while we sang it together.  All of a sudden I had their attention like never before.  Why?  Because I showed them I cared enough to connect with their current culture.  It made me think of church and why it is so important to do the same… Wearing jeans, having an upbeat band, serving coffee and donuts, etc. shows guests that we are right there with them… that church is not about tradition or dressing nice or organs (though none of those things are bad in themselves), but that it's about reaching people where they are and leading them to the gospel of Christ and the community of God.  I am so thankful to be a part of a ministry that does this so well.  And I'm very thankful to be in a different place with my sixth graders than I was in August.  Today in fact, we were singing through "Let There Be Peace on Earth," one of their songs for our upcoming Christmas program, and I thought I might cry at the end of it.  They were realllly singing.  And this precious boy - one of the biggest guys in the class is singing a solo... "..With God as our father, brothers all are we.  Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony."  Goodness... they might have just yet found their way to my heart.

On a completely unrelated note, it is currently twenty-five degrees outside.  Considering it was about seventy degrees a few days ago, it's a bit of a shock to the system.  The last couple days I've been waiting a few extra seconds before walking in the door of my house so that I can feel the cold for longer and think about how it must feel for those who don't have the warmth of a home to go to.  I'm so thankful for our home.  It's small and there are plenty of things about it that I'd love to change, but it's beautiful.  I mean, really, sitting here in the glow of our Christmas tree... It's a warm, beautiful home.  I'm really just writing this for me... So that perhaps the next time I'm feeling sorry for myself because we only have one bathroom, I might run across this post and remember that I am warm, safe, and thankful.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

read of the month

I actually finished this one a while back, but kept forgetting to share.

I rarely read these days just for pure pleasure and entertainment.  Typically I'm reading something to strengthen me spiritually or educationally.  Every now and then I think it's nice to read something just for enjoyment - something that takes me away for a bit - like I did when I was a kid.

My friend let me borrow this one.  It's a mystery novel written from the detective's dog's perspective.  It's clever, funny, and suspenseful.  A great read.  Quinn has a series of these, but I've only read this one so far.

Monday, October 6, 2014

a perfect day

H&M sweater, Old Navy jeans, Kohl's boots, JC Penney hat

I could live in sweaters, jeans, and boots.  This sweater from H&M is perfection... I'm tempted to get another color!

Saturday was one of those completely perfect days.  We slept in, had a big breakfast, lounged around watching shows and movies for most of the day, went outside a few times with the dogs, ordered pizza, and ended the day with s'mores over the fire pit.  It was heavenly.  I'm so glad I'm married to someone who not only knows how to kick back and relax, but sees it as important.  In a culture of workaholics, I feel pretty lucky to have a guy who relishes in vegging out from time to time like I do.

So here's to fall weather, cozy sweaters, campfires, and sleep.

Friday, October 3, 2014

hats and such

Ever since I discovered a hat that would fit my big head, I have been looking for a lighter tan version.  Below are a few inspiration pics, along with some hair accessories I might or might not be brave enough to try...

Is anyone else excited about the dropping temperatures?  This morning when I left for work, it still felt like summer.  This evening when I walked outside with the dogs, I was met by a cold wind and the need for a coat.  The urge to bundle up by a fire and cook s'mores inevitably followed. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

broken vessel

Has it really been that long since my last post?

I have missed this little place.  I assure you every day I think, "Ohhh, I should write about that," or "I should really share that."  And then the day comes and goes in a flash and at the end of it all I want to do is veg out for a bit.  I have finally gotten into a groove with my new job and balancing my other job, however there seems to always be something new to be slightly overwhelmed about.  If you've ever been a first year teacher, you know what I mean.

The last couple days I've been struggling with myself.  Yes, with me.  There's this picture in my head of the teacher I want to be, but the reality of the teacher I really am does not line up.  I am more impatient than I know I should be.  I allow one class to frustrate me so much that I don't give the next class my full joy.  I make many mistakes and I would love to go back and redo some of my decisions.  I suppose this is a taste of what it's like to be a mom... Feeling like you are far from the mother you envision yourself being.  Wishing you could go back and do something differently with a particular child...  I probably can't yet fully imagine all the feelings of inadequacy that mothers experience.

Here's what I do know:

I know that this continual struggle we feel (not just teachers or moms, but everyone) of not measuring up and not being who we would like to be reminds us in a painful but beckoning way that we are human and we are desperate for a Savior's hand to guide us, break us, mold us, and make us new. 

 When I look back through my prayer journal, I see a common thread... I request again and again for God to break me.  It's what I want - to be broken and wrecked of my selfishness and be restored with the humility, grace, and kindness of Christ.  While I ask for brokenness, I know it comes at a price, and it's painful.  It means dying… Letting go of myself and clinging to Jesus like my life depends on it, because it does.

He raises the broken to life.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

a few things...

He sleeps like this all the time.  Total abandon.  Makes me smile.

That time at the Melting Pot when I took a picture and he wasn't ready for the flash.

My grandmother recently made each of her grandchildren a quilt, and we could request whatever details we wanted. (She's so awesome.)  I decided to go with grey and white chevron to keep things neutral and so that I could pair it with different things/decor/rooms for years to come.  I love how it turned out, and I love it on our guest bed!

My sweet friend painted this for my classroom.  It sits on my desk and I love it!


My little guitar up against my piano.  I use it every day at the end of class for our goodbye song.
My friend found that guitar deserted on a college campus and took it home and restored it.  I bet he didn't know it would eventually be used to teach hundreds of little kiddos how to sing.

I really love my new teaching job.  Sure, it has its challenging moments, but the joy those kids bring me and the delight music brings them… oh my, it fills my heart.  For many of the children, music class is a release.  I love being able to provide that for them.

And just a few of my favorite student comments so far:

"You sing like Elsa!"

"You look fifteen." (I tell them I'm 30.) "Oh.  My mom is thirty."

Me: "Class, what instrument family do these belong to?"
Student: "They belong to God."
Can't argue with that.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

and so the craziness begins...

NY&Co. dress, H&M shoes

So, just a couple weeks ago I was offered a job as an elementary school music teacher!  We start next week, and I still have so much to do.  Last night I led a worship event at our church, which I spent much of the week preparing for.  I'm a little less overwhelmed now that that's over, but when I think of all I need to do between now and next Wednesday, my head swims a little.

Nonetheless, I am excited, scared, nervous, and hopeful about this new job.  While I know it will be hard, I know it will be a blessing to make music with little kiddos.