Sunday, February 26, 2012

Give Me Patience, I Pray...

They (who are "they" actually?) say to never pray for patience because you will certainly get it...

I must defy "them" right now. I need patience--lots of it.

I do love teaching junior high, but it's tough--sometimes really tough--sometimes more than I can handle tough.

My feelings toward my students closely mirror their relationships with each other. Some days I absolutely adore them, and some days I get to the point where I've just had enough...

....I don't ever want to get to that point. But it happens. It seems like it's been happening more often lately.

I want to go into each and every day overflowing with God's grace and love so that it pours out on my students. I want to have an abundance of patience so that I have enough for every ridiculous question, for every time I have to repeat myself, for every time I have to break up an argument or altercation, for every time I have to calm down a disruptive student, and for every over-attentive parent.

There is no way, in and of myself, that I will ever have enough grace and love and patience to make it through a day.

Yet, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13).

God also reminds me to fear not, for He is with me. He will strengthen me and help me. He will uphold me with His righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

What beautiful promises these are.

I cannot do it on my own, but I don't have to....


May I go forth this week and always in your strength. 
May I be filled with your Spirit so that I may love my students as you do. 
May your grace and mercy and patience fill me to overflowing. 
May your words and promises always remain on my heart and in my mind. 

Thank you for never leaving my side.
Thank you for carrying me.
Thank you for taking over when I get to the end of myself.

Thank you for forgiving me when I mess up.

In Jesus' Name,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Memory Lane

I have been flooded with a torrent of nostalgia the last couple of days.

I'm not sure of its onset, but I can be sure that it was propelled forward by connecting with some far away friends, spending time reminiscing with some old pictures during my prep today (the picture wall can be seen here),  thinking about the trip I get to take with the AVID kids in May to visit CSULB, driving by both of my former schools at different points today, seeing some of my old colleagues and even teachers after school, and the fact that my mind just refused to let it go.

Let's be honest, the torrent threatened to flood my eyes at times...

...but the responsibilities of the day sandbagged it, and I was able to hold it together.

I know God brings some relationships into our lives for the long haul--but most are only present for a time.

If I truly stop to think about my forever friends, the love and admiration alone I have for them is enough to bring me to tears. Of course they have been on my mind--they frequently are--and I miss most of them dearly, for most of these forever friends are much too far away. The nostalgia I feel towards them is a yearning for the times when distance didn't separate us. I long for the days of sitting on one's couch and watching her iron. I miss the times friends would come over to my house and drink chocolate milk and take naps. I miss having roommates (who were so much more than roommates) right across the hall. I could go on and on...

As for those that God gave me for a time? For those God is blessing me with now? For you, I am so grateful--for you have all touched me and shaped me in some way. It's you that have consumed many of my thoughts over the last couple of days.

I have to say--some incredible memories reclaimed places in my heart during this nostalgic flood.

A huge part of me wants to pour out all of these memories onto my keyboard, but I could never encompass all of them (or their importance) into a few simple words--and I know you don't want to spend your life reading this one post.

Some standout memories?

...mission trips and the teams I grew so close to through both triumphs and challenges.

...high school drama (theater)--my fellow (most of us now former) thespians will always hold a special place in my heart, especially those who took me under their wings when I was just a freshman.

...youth group--the girls in my impact groups, the leaders who helped me grow, and I'm sure I'll never forget the girls on the championship broom hockey team from Hume. dorms and the apartment--I'll never forget my neighbors, roommates, pseudo roommates, or the day I moved away and left it all behind.

...Thompson with its great staff and some of the most amazing students I could have ever hoped for.

And here I am--exactly where God wants me to be...

...thankful for the experiences and people that have touched my life over the past twenty some years.

...blessed by the opportunities I get to pause and reflect upon the past while still living in the present and moving forward.

...missing dear old friends and current far away friends.

...absolutely loving a few of the people He has blessed me with recently. :)

Thanks for taking a few moments to journey with me down memory lane. Thanks for loving me and sharing life with me.

Have we shared any memorable moments together? I'd love to hear about your favorites as my nostalgic fever rages on.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Why Not Me?


1. I am not sitting here wallowing in self pity.
2. I don't cry myself to sleep at night or sob when I watch "Say Yes to the Dress" (not that there's anything wrong with that).
3. I don't burn green with envy when I see people's dreams come true.
4. I am actually quite content in life right now.
5. I trust in God's sovereignty and I KNOW His timing is perfect.

That being said...

       ...I sometimes do struggle with where I am in life.
       ...I do deeply desire to someday have a husband and family.

So, when those struggles or feelings arise, I write--so that I don't do #1-3 above.

I want to be real and honest, so here is a little something I wrote a few nights ago (no, it wasn't on Valentine's Day!)...

Why Not Me?

I see all the black and white, 
Followed by the pink and blue. 

And I can't help but think,
Is this reality really true?

This was never my aim,
Though Your ways aren't my own.

Am I somehow to blame;
Will I always remain alone?

Why must I continue to wait?
Why them and not me?

If Your will is true and great,
Then why even let me dream?

And for all of you single ladies out there (great, now that stupid song that everyone plays for the bouquet toss at weddings is stuck in my head), check out this blog--The Sexy Celibate--yup, you read that right. The tag line?  Thirty Something. Christian. Fully Clothed. Blogging About It. I haven't read much yet, and I'm already a fan. :) 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gym Etiquette

Since most people don't know gym etiquette (apparently), I thought I'd share some advice from some friends:

1. If you sweat all over a machine--clean it up! -Julie

2.  If you see someone waiting for your machine/barbell/dumbbell ask if you want to share it- you do a set, they do a set...  -Julie

3. No thongs. Only floss your teeth. -Heather

4. Don't look for the closest parking spot if you're going to work out! -FC (Jeff) 

5. Just because you leave your water bottle by a weight machine doesn't make that its dibs and you can use two machines at the same time. -Christy

And for my advice:

6. Don't wear grey. EVER.

7. Wearing your hood doesn't make you Rocky--no matter what you may think.

8. Please don't dig your underwear out of your rear in front of me. (See #3) 

9. You're supposed to run on the moving part of the treadmill, not stomp on the plastic area. 

10. Spandex is a PRIVILEGE, NOT a right (especially if it's alligator print)! 

What other pieces of advice do you have for us, friends?!? Please share. 


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

God, is it true?

Here are some words from my heart...

Here are some words from the heart of Steven Curtis Chapman... God Is It True?

This song (and the ENTIRE album "Beauty Will Rise") is incredible. Listen to it. All of it. You won't regret it.

God Is It True
by Steven Curtis Chapman

God, is it true that you're thinking of me at this moment?

God, is it true that you hear every prayer that I pray?

God, is it true every time my heart beats, you know it?

Well, if it's all true, then that must be you I hear saying, "Trust Me."

God, is it true out of all things you're doing on this planet,

Could it really be true that you've counted the hairs on my head?

God, is it true, every day of my life, you have planned it?

Well, if it's all true, then that must be you I hear saying, "Trust Me."

Trust Me, Trust Me

I'll never leave you

I'll never forsake you

Just trust me

God, is it true that your love for us is never ending?

Could it really be true that you'd die before letting us go?

God, is it true that not even death can separate us?

Well, if it's all true, then what can I do but put all my hope and all my trust in you?

Well, I know it's true and I know it's You I hear saying, "Trust Me."

I hear you saying, "Trust Me."

Sunday, February 5, 2012

She said YES!

Who knew that a simple poll the family took last Easter would end in a proposal?

Polly couldn't join us last Easter because she was celebrating with her family, so Scotty had to endure loads of questions about when he was going to propose. The family informed him that if he didn't make it happen soon, they'd take Polly and get rid of him. ;) Laura (I believe) scribbled out this poll and started passing it around the room. It ended with Scott who chuckled and said that Polly would appreciate it. Unbeknownst to us, Polly kept that little slip of paper, and Scott went and retrieved it last week while Polly was at work.

With much planning and some help from his roommates and friends, Scott convinced Polly to go to Malibu yesterday to "meet some friends for lunch." They walked on the beach for a few minutes, and Scott dropped that little slip of paper. Only something was different--he had added his tally mark as well. That's when he said some amazingly fabulous things and asked Polly to marry him. She said yes--of course!

Meanwhile, the family had gathered at the house in Hermosa where Polly now lives with her sister, brother-in-law, and soon to arrive niece and nephew.

 The grandparents

 Polly's parents

Allison, Jason, Blake, and Natalie

We set up a "shrine" (as Polly later called it) for them...

Complete with personalized M&Ms--Polly's favorite candy--in Pepperdine colors

Polly thought that she was only coming by to see Allison and Jason, so she was quite surprised when she walked in and saw all of us. Scott thought it was great....

LOVE their faces here!

We spent the next couple of hours eating, reliving the engagement, toasting, laughing, and celebrating.

 Scotty showing off the ring box

 Show us how you did it, Scotty!



I'm eating the faces of my brother and new sister

And, as if we hadn't had enough to eat already, we ended the evening with some Mexican food. :)

Polly was practicing her new signature 

Scott and Polly, I am SO happy for you! Thanks for letting us share in this special day. I couldn't have asked for a better sister-in-law. Erickson family, good work on getting the ball rolling with the ring poll--who knew it'd have such a special part of this day. 

Now on to some wedding planning!