Sunday, October 26, 2014

Who I am and what I am Not!

**I am not promising to begin blogging regularly but I do miss it and miss putting my thoughts down in my little corner of the world so I am going to make more of an effort.  With that said, this is where my thoughts have been the last few weeks.

One of the definitions of failure is "lack of success, falling short".  I have spent many evenings in tears reliving my days and trying to figure out where I went wrong, what I did wrong, what I can do better and each time I walk away feeling as if I have completely failed.  Now, whether that's true or not- who knows but it's where I am right now.  I read this blog this week and I felt like Jennifer Dukes Lee (guest posting) was reading into my heart.  I even told my dad this week that I feel like a failure and that fight the lies daily that say I am nothing, that it's not worth it.  Because I have failed this week (and many weeks)- I have lost my patience, I have lost sight of ministry, I have forgotten to see with His eyes, I have hardened my heart, I have focused and listened to the lies.

You know the thing that gets me is when people (both Christians and non-Christians) berate or look down on people for struggling in this area.  Because quite honestly the struggle is real.  I know WHOSE I am but I still fight the lies that the enemy throws at me.  The seeking of approval of man is there- whether it be through relationships (of any kind), job evaluations, and even through the collection of materialistic things.  We post blog posts hoping for comments to show that someone is reading (and while they are nice that's not why I do it), we post statuses or tweets hoping for likes, comments, favorites or retweets- all in a bid for someone, anyone, to acknowledge our existence- and when it doesn't happen- we feel like a failure.
So this week as I was pondering my thoughts and dealing with the lies I had to put down What/Who I am because it all negates what I am NOT!  So, who am I really?

- I am a daughter- twice- my earthly father (and mom) and my heavenly father.
-I am not only a daughter- I am a princess- because my heavenly Father is a King and not just any king- but the King of Kings. (2 Corinthians 6:18)
-I am saved- because of placing my faith in Christ I will one day walk the streets of gold and be given a new name. (Revelation 3:11-12)
-I am a friend. (Proverbs 17:17)
-I am beautiful- I may not always feel it and it may not be the physical beauty that the world defines as beauty, but He reminds me that He looks at my heart and not at the external. (1 Samuel 16:7)
-I am delighted in and sung over! (Zephaniah 3:17)
-I am loved. (John 3:16)
-I am a treasured possession (Exodus 19:5)
I am worth it!  Just because I haven't found "the one" doesn't mean I am not worth it- just means I am going to continue to trust and wait. (Psalm 27:14)
-I am not alone- EVER! (Deuteronomy 31:8; Matthew 28:20)
-I am HIS! (Revelation 3:5)

At the end- I want to be like Apelles!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Inspiration- Calling

This is something I have been considering a lot- how do we know that we are really following His calling?  How do I know that I am hearing His voice and not following what I "think" is His voice?  How do I know when it's time? And even more- What exactly is my calling?  That last one- I have kind of lost sight of but now, in the wake of shifting tides, strong currents and hurting friends and family I am feeling my heart being tugged to revisit my life, to find my calling.  Can a calling change?  What I think has been my calling for years seems to be changing- or maybe it was the "means" to find my true calling?  Deep thoughts- maybe too deep for a Saturday night.  

So, what brought this up?  Just some things going on- including my INSANE schedule that has not allowed me any "me" time the last 6 weeks.  So, today I took that "me" time- I had work I really needed to do but I knew that I needed this more.  I had plans to go for a drive in the mountains BUT the weather did not cooperate so that has been postponed.  I ended up just taking a day and doing nothing- I ran some errands, took a nap, and I read a book (on my computer since it was a library book that couldn't be downloaded to my iPad).  While I was reading (this is where I admit that it was a "chick" book- a Christian/inspirational romance novel about a single girl who goes to Russia for a year to teach English) BUT I read this and knew why I chose this book from the library 

 (Susan May Warren- Everything's Coming Up Josey)

And then I read this and felt like I was reading the prayer I have prayed for the last few years- and while I know it's not falling on deaf ears it's not being answered the way I want it but then that makes it all about me- and it's not all about me.  So, what does that mean?  It means that when I pray this prayer from this point on I am going to try to remember that it's NOT about me- it's about what He wants to do THROUGH me and what will bring Him glory.

And I'll leave you with this:

ETA: I know I have some things missing- I am heading to church but will fix them when I get home.

ETA2: They are fixed :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Where did August go?

Seriously!  It came and went before I could blink.  Within the month of August we completed 3 weeks of school (just started week number 4), participated in the ALS #icebucketchallenge (my donation went to John Paul II research facility because they don't support embryonic stem cell research) and I had the last hurrah of traveling to Atlanta over Labor Day weekend.  While in Atlanta visiting friends we went to a Braves game- it was a GOOD game (Braves won 1-0 on a Gattis homer) but the highlight was what is my August "new/fun" thing.  August was SO busy that I literally went down to the last day!  Part of the reason we chose the Sunday evening game was that there was a concert after the game- so my "new/fun" thing- going to the after game concert- which just happened to be one of my favorite Christian bands- Newsboys.  I have been to several concerts- including seeing the Newsboys (before Michael Tait was with them) BUT I have never participated in a concert in that type of setting.  Oh my- it was amazing!  First of all, there were about 45,000 people at the game that night (crazy in itself) and at least half of those attendees stayed for the concert.  Now, you may have heard of the movie- God's Not Dead?  Well, these guys are in it and of course sing the song.  There is absolutely nothing here on earth like hearing over 20000 sing "We Believe", "The Resurrection Song" and "My God's Not Dead"- and can you imagine heaven- wow!

Now, what should I do for September???

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sunday Inspiration… on a Tuesday

This past weekend I traveled to Atlanta for the holiday weekend.  I spent time with friends, had my spirit renewed through a challenging message at the church I visited as well as through a concert that evening (more on that in another post) and left wondering, what is my dream?  What is God calling me to do?  You see, every time I leave the Atlanta area I leave with the desire to move there- but is that me or is that God?  I question because I also desire to move closer to my family and Atlanta is the opposite way from them.  Instead of moving closer to them I would be moving further.  I have friends down there who have become like family and they encourage me (at least once or twice a month) to move down there but I honestly don't know what I would do- teach?  possibly but I don't have my master's so not sure how that would work.  Health coach?  Possibly but I have a few things I need to get figured out personally before I can guide anyone down that trail.  So???  Instead of answers I have lots of questions- but the questions are the same no matter where I consider a change.

One of the many things I do on trips is listen to music and this song came on a couple of times and the lyrics struck me- do I really believe and live them out or am I just paying lip service?

"Don't know where to begin
It's like my worlds caving in
And I try but I can't control my fear
Where do I go from here

Sometimes it's so hard to pray
When You feel so far away
but I am willing to go where You want me to 
God I Trust You

There's a raging sea
Right in front of me
Wants to pull me in
Bring me to my knees

So let the waters rise
If You want them to
I will follow You
I will follow You"

Things I am pondering right now… am I TRULY willing to go where HE wants me to and when?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Inspiration: New Year, New Look, and Rambling Thoughts

No- I know it's not the new year but it is a new school year and I was playing with another blog (a teaching blog that is "private" for now as I figure out if I want to do anything with it) and ended up playing with templates.  After doing that I decided to play here.  It was free but I am just trying to figure out if it is "too much".

I just realized we are halfway through August and have not done my August "new thing".  Any suggestions?  I have no clue!

School has started- it's been crazy busy.  We are on an extended day so the students are there until 3:30 and that means teacher contract time is 4:00.  I haven't been home before 6:30 any evening this week between chiropractor appointments and running errands and staying after school.  I am still feeling a little overwhelmed so show me grace in my lack of posting please. :)

Part of the feeling overwhelmed has been brought about by falling into the comparison trap.  I follow several teaching blogs on BlogLovin', FB and Pinterest.  I see all of the pretty pictures on Pinterest of classrooms.  I see my co-workers' classrooms.  Life has been crazy enough that my classroom is not where I want it but I had to let go of a few things.  Well, looking at these pictures has led me to feeling inadequate as a teacher.  I know (and someone pointed out on FB) that it's not about what the classroom looks like- it's about what goes on inside the classroom but that doesn't change the fact that I feel like my room is blah.  I need to do some cheap (thrifty- or free) fixes that won't take a lot of time.  I need NEED/WANT to have a life outside of school this year and with already leaving later it has been rough already…  Any thoughts?  Any ideas?

The chiropractor- has been my back's saving grace these last few weeks- I had to move a lot of boxes and furniture and in the process I have been dealing with a serious stiff back and possibly one that's out of alignment (based on how it has felt and the noise it has made during adjustments- serious snap, crackle and pop going on).  Unfortunately the stiffness and lack of flexibility/pain I have had has seriously limited any exercise.  I had great intentions on Tuesday for getting a run in but right as I would have changed and left- the rains came down!  Hopefully I can shoot for this Tuesday instead.

So- my question for you- how do you avoid falling into the comparison trap?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Living Life

This post is going to be a mish-mash of "information".  A conglomeration of sorts of all that has gone on this summer!

Let's start with June:
June brought a trip to Ohio and Indiana.  It also led to my new "adventure" for the month- my new thing that I did for June was paddle boarding.  I did not make it to the standing up part but hopefully the next time I'll be a bit more confident and get it.

I got to watch my nephew play baseball and spend some much needed time with my mom and dad.

July brought volunteering for the Pilot Fireball Classic.  It's a race I ran last year but was not prepared for this year.  I still have not been consistent with my running- I am still dealing with some heel pain and issues so probably need to make it to a doctor but have held off at this point (quite honestly, I am sick of doctors).  I also was still working to find out some results of medical tests- the bottom line- my labs came back completely normal so nobody is sure what is going on and I suppose I just need to be more diligent in my choices.  It would help I suppose if I were more motivated to exercise but at this point I am still working on that.

My July adventure was a trip to the Elizabeton/Johnson City area for my friend Crystal's grand opening at her studio.  I traveled with my friend Glenneth.  It was a Monday night and we left around 2 (got back around 11ish).  We did 5 different 30 minute classes including a Piloxing class (which was new to me). There were two dance classes and two strength/cardio classes along with the Piloxing class.  My Heart Rate Monitor isn't working right now so I have no clue how many calories I burned but it was a lot- I had sweat pouring off!  Crystal's studio is called Train Dirty Fitness and she has an amazing line up of classes and instructors!  If you are in the area you should check it out!

July also consisted of moving my classroom from my PreK room to my first grade room, working on setting that up and completing many hours of training- in July alone I did about 33 hours.  I also started back to work on Thursday- kids to come on August 11.

So, there you have it- a synopsis of my summer.  It's been busy- but a good busy.  I had another part of this post that I was going to put in here but it's long enough so that will be another post for another day (which is a good thing).  Hopefully I can make some time to get it posted this week!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday Inspiration- We were Made to Thrive

I have been in the car and in my classroom a lot the last couple of weeks, traveling to trainings, visiting with family, and working to get set up for this year and this song gets me every time.  Especially this part:

We know we were made for so much more
Than ordinary lives
It's time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive

Read more: Casting Crowns - Thrive Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

For so long it seems like I have been in survival mode and am not thriving in many areas of life.  I think that's why this song resonates in my heart and has become one of those songs that I have put on repeat.  I don't want to live an ordinary life- I want to grow, I want to be, I want to thrive.  Now that I have determined that- it's time to make it a focus and a goal.