Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Fun

So for Halloween this year, I had absolutely no idea what to do. After browsing the Halloween store aisles for close to an hour, I decided that grabbing random items would have to do. I grab purple hair spray, a choke collar, fake piercings, and neon green and black tights. Yeah.

After lots of thinking, I decided on being a punk rocker...namely Avril Lavigne. So I got a couple of tattoos, dyed my hair, had a couple of piercings, and cut up a "rock" shirt of are the results:

At BT, we had a halloween party. Lots of candy, food, games, and fun! The kids seemed to really enjoy it and most even dressed up:

What did you dress up as?

God bless you all!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I constantly feel like God is challenging me in many different areas. I also feel like He never likes me to get too comfortable. For example, although I figured that I would be doing the exact same thing as last year (as far as work), He decided to move me to a new group, the 6th graders...a very difficult and challenging group. I love them, don't get me wrong, but I was definitely not excited about the change. Yet, I know God is challenging me in areas I need to grow in, hence the movement to a more difficult group of kids.

As this new year has begun, one of the things AmeriCorps requires of all it's members is to do an IDP at the beginning of the new year. IDP stands for Individual Development Plan. Basically, they want to know what skills you desire to achieve and the goals you want to meet during the our year of service. They also ask what steps you will take to achieve these goals. This is very good for me on a personal and professional level, unfortunately though, AmeriCorps is not a faith-based organization, therefore I can't state any spiritual goals/areas I want to "accomplish" or grow in.

Therefore, since I am not able to actually state these in my IDP for AmeriCorps, I decide to share with the whole world (or the 4 or 5 people who actually read this blog) what my spiritual goals and areas I want to grow in are.

One of the areas I most want to grow in is in the area of complete and total dependence on God. Sometimes, I try so hard to do the "small things" on my own...and then I wonder why I failed so miserably. Over the past year, I have been separated from my family and friends and at times I have felt very much alone...yet through these moments, God has and is continually showing me that he is very much there with me and that I can totally rely on Him.

Another area God is wanting me to grow in is in the area of servanthood. I look back at the life of Jesus and how it was completely devoted to serving others. He says, my kingdom is an upside-down kingdom; the first shall be last and the last shall be first. No master is greater than his servant. I am daily seeking ways in which I may serve my co-workers and my kids. At times, it is very hard for me because this means I must be humble enough to do things that I most likely wouldn't want to do normally. Isn't this the whole, dying to myself daily thing, though? This also reminds me that so often we as humans, we really enjoy being recognized when we do something good...yet Paul writes that if he must boast, let him only boast in the cross of Christ Jesus, our Lord.

God has also been challenging me to respond in a way that is glorifying to him, no matter the situation. So often, I respond in anger, in sarcasm (a favorite of mine) or I respond in anxiousness. But, Paul, in chapter 4 of Philippians says 2 things. He says, "let your gentleness be evident to all." In this passage, he was talking about when we are worried, anxious, upset, or nervous about something...we should respond gently. If anyone knows me, they know if I am put in a nerve racking situation or I become upset about something, the LAST thing I do is respond in a gentle or kindly manner. Yet, God says, no matter what, don't be anxious but give it to me, and through me, your gentleness will be recognized by all. The other thing he says is that "whatever is pure, whatever is noble, what ever is true, whatever is lovely, etc...think on these things." So often, I do not glorify him by my thoughts and words. I complain or gripe, I gossip, I become upset with my kids...and these things aren't pure or true. These things aren't lovely in God's sight and they do not in anyway glorify him. And God is giving me a multitude of chances everyday, through working with a very challenging group of 6th graders daily, to grow and respond in ways that glorify him, no matter how they are acting or what the situation.

I can go on and on about the many areas I'm being stretched in. I could go on and on about the many areas where I fall short, but I know Jesus loves me beyond my faults and failures. Yet, I will stop at 3 for now. I hope that all of you will hold me accountable in these areas. And I hope that you all are seeking ways in which God wants you to grow as well!

Oh, and here is a picture of some of my girls...6th grade and up! These beautiful girls are entering a time when they are beginning to get hit by a lot of pressures and they need prayer now more than ever! I know some say "i don't know them, why should i pray for them?" Well, if you know me, then I ask because you know me, pray for them because I love them so very much and each of them are very near and dear to my heart.

God bless you all!

Monday, October 20, 2008

they look a lot sweeter than they are...

God bless you all!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Teachable Moments

Teachable moments are moments during the day that someone (You and me) can use as a learning opportunity for someone else (kids, friends, etc).

My job is all about seeking out and capitalizing on these moments. That should be my official title: seeker of teachable moments. I'm sure no one has ever actually held that title. But then, I think I may be fired from my job for all the times that I've missed those moments because of my stubbornness or my temper!

These moments, though, seem to pop up at the most random times. And, although I like to always think of them as moments where through the holy spirit I can encourage or teach one of my kids, it is also moments where I am taught something as well.

Considering the violence and gravity of the situation that our students live in on a daily basis, these moments are also critical. And I pray that God gives me the wisdom and courage to find every opportunity with my children as a teachable moment.

This (along with a million other reasons) is why, for the past few days, I have written on my arm the reference John 3:30. Do you know what that says? It says: "He must become greater, I must become less." This life I live is not about me. I forget this so easily. I forget this when I let my feelings get hurt or I forget this when I get praised for something good that happened...I tend to make life about me. I tend to think that what happened had something to do with me. Yet, I am not, but I know the I am.

He must become greater, I must become less. There is nothing good that lives in me but Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. Without being fully focused on him and living my life to glorify him, those teachable moments become faint and unseen. Without having Jesus as my center and my all...I will be so busy with everything going on that I will completely miss those moments that are so pivotal in these kids' lives.

I praise God for being the best teacher! I hope all of you are learning daily from him and I hope that you begin to find those teachable moments in everything you do!

God bless you all!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

I'm a published author :)

So recently, TechMission published a story I had written about my first year as an AmeriCorps member. You can read it here.

God bless you all!