14 Hours 33 minutes

To Onething.

Not that I'm excited or anything.

:-)

Life.
Is.
AWESOME!
With Onething around the corner! :-)

Countdown to Onething!

I tell ya, we're less than 48 hours away from my favorite four days of the year! I am so excited I can barely sit still! Even though this year the conference will look differently because I'm serving instead of just participating, I'm still very excited. God always speaks VOLUMES to me during this conference, and I believe that this year won't be any different.

Today I drove the shuttle to help get volunteers back from Bartle Hall. I had a full shuttle, and Rich was nice enough to serve as my co-pilot as I made my way through the less-than-ideal roads. I am doing the same thing tomorrow and am praying the roads are better tomorrow. The highways were pretty good, but the side roads were rough. Rich doesn't know it, but his presence helped me immensely. I'm one blessed gal!

So, here we go. Starting tomorrow, I'm gonna be BUSY.

I. Love. It.

Life.
Is.
Exciting.
With Onething around the corner!

Jay's Christmas Letter!

So, I didn't get Christmas Cards sent out to everyone, so I am posting a variation of the official letter that was sent this year. I realize this is almost like cheating for a Christmas Post, but I thought it was very appropriate for our first Christmas together. Especially since we're snowed-in together! Enjoy! Life. Is. Good!

Yo!
Jay here. For those of you who don’t know me, I am Shortone’s new friend! Okay, I’m a dog, but I’m her FRIEND too! ☺ I joined her July 6th, after she moved to Kansas City, Missouri. Shortone decided that I could do the Christmas Letter this year! So, I’m going to do my best to let you all know what happened in her life this year.
She says that she prayed for 7 years to live here, and she really likes being here. Her focus was to be near the International House of Prayer (IHOP) located in Kansas City. We now live 15 minutes from the Prayer Room, where she spends a lot of time. She also serves as a shuttle driver for their Saturday and Sunday Evening Services. She LOVES the shuttle and is meeting MANY cool people who have a heart for God too.
I miss her while she’s gone, but she always takes good care of me when she’s here and we walk at least a mile each day! We live one-half mile from a lake, and we walk down by the lake when it’s nice outside. When it’s colder, like now, we walk a mile each day around the neighborhood. She says I’m spoiled, whatever that means!
She went out to Camp Barnabas to serve as a Cabin Mom during the Autism Week in July. She let me stay with my old family while she was there, which I loved! She LOVED her week at camp, and hopes to serve out there next year too! It is one of her favorite weeks of the year! She was different when she came back, I could tell! ☺
She started working at a new Elementary School in August. It is a brand new school and she teaches the Learning Center Classroom. She has students in grades K-6 that have Learning Disabilities, Behavior Challenges, and Autism. She likes her job a lot, and especially enjoys the fact she doesn’t have to be at school until 8:20 because it’s a late-start school! ☺ She also likes living ten minutes from her school!
The hardest part for her this year was leaving her friends where she used to live. She was blessed by a surprise going-away party from her friends in June, and her Sunday School Kids were there too, which made her happy! Email has helped her keep in touch with her friends as she started this new chapter in her life. I hate the computer, and I let her know that, but it makes her happy so it’s okay!
Her favorite scripture this year has been Hebrews 11:1 that states, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see.” She said it has given her encouragement and hope in ways she can’t even put into words. She hopes it blesses you too!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope 2010 is a GREAT year for you. Shortone does too! She’s ready for a new year, with very little change next year! ☺ Merry Christmas!
Love, Jay and Shortone

Christmas Eve Blizzard!

I am sitting in my house, and it is snowing outside. It started out sleeting late this afternoon, and I could hear it hitting against the windows. As the storm moved through, it turned over to snow. I can't recall ever being under a "Blizzard Warning" in my own home, but tonight I am. In fact, I went to let Jay out a little while ago, and my back door is frozen shut! It's a good thing I have the front door to let Jay outside to do his business!

I will say, the snow is pretty. And, I did pray for snow on Christmas Day.

Only kicker is that my family has had to postpone our Christmas gathering due to road conditions.
Hum....

See, you gotta be careful what you pray for! *grin*

Merry Christmas!

Life.
Is.
Good.
Especially when you have a white Christmas!

Derek Loux

This afternoon I was working on school stuff when I got a call from a friend who told me that Derek Loux had passed away last night. He was on a ministry trip in another state, drove on black ice, and died. At first, I didn't want to believe that. If you've been a reader of my blog for any length of time, you know that death is always something that makes me pause and ponder. Today has not been any different. I've been pondering...

For those of you not in the IHOP-KC arena, Derek was a leader at the International House of Prayer and was director of the Forerunner Music Academy (F.M.A.).

Years ago when Derek first became a part of IHOP-KC, I heard him speak several times as he told his testimony about a son he and his wife had lost, as well as his journey to be a part of IHOP-KC. I remember that prior to his move to IHOP-KC, he was part of a House of Prayer somewhere else, and they called IHOP-KC the "Mecca." I've always remembered that. I thought that was cool.

I never met Derek. I attended MANY conferences over the years where he led worship, preached, and appeared in various promo videos. It didn't take long for me to become a fan of Derek's preaching. He was a man who had an incredible heart for worship, which led me to buy several of his sermons on Worship. I also loved how he used his daughters in his sermons. You could always count on laughter when you heard Derek preach. While the stories were funny, there were always direct applications to my life from the stories. Many of those stories still come to my mind from time to time when I'm walking this walk out and I get stuck.

Finally, what I have really pondered today is how one life can make a difference. I mean, I never met Derek, but I am closer to God because of what he shared in the sermons he preached. I'm not one to listen to sermons over and over, or even buy them, but I have two of his sermons in my car that I listen to from time to time just because I can hear the heart of the Father when I listen to them. I never met him, but I was always jazzed when I heard he was going to preach or lead worship that day because I was ALWAYS closer to God afterward.

I pray that I can lead a life that can inspire others and draw them closer to God just as Derek did in my life.

Derek will definitely be missed at IHOP-KC, but I guarantee he will not be forgotten because I know I'm not the only one closer to God because of Derek.

Cool.

You know....

...the beauty of break is that there really isn't much to share. No drama. No running a million miles an hour. It's nice.

My day was filled with events such as....

First, I did brunch with Scienceguy, and we had a GREAT time. Then we ran an errand and wound up at my school where I gave him the tour and we discussed some of my struggles at work. I felt MUCH better after talking to him. After that, he dropped me off here so he could go rescue his little pup from the box.

Jay and I went for a walk after that. It was a really nice day. I guess there's rumor of snowfall in the next several days, so we took advantage of the nice weather! :-) Sidenote: It's supposed to be raining in the morning...what perfect sleeping-in weather!

After the walk, we went and bought the last of the Christmas gifts! It feels SO GOOD to be done! Ah...now I can relax a bit! Well, sort of. Now I'm doing schoolwork. My goal is to get all my work done before Onething so I can take a break and not even think about school for a week!

After returning home, we wrapped gifts (Jay tried to help!). Then we cuddled before I started working on grades. While we cuddled, I took a phone call from a new friend, which was nice. Jay enjoyed the cuddle time.

Finally, after figuring grades and watching NCIS, my friend Karen called. She is such a wonderful gal! My life is definitely better with her in it!!!

So, now it's time to crash...

Life.
Is.
Good.
While you're on break! *grin*

Jay!!!

Dear Readers,

I am enjoying this "break" thing. Shortone is on this thingy a lot, so I thought it was high-time I do some writing for a change! That way you can have something INTERESTING to read for a change! :-)

Shortone slept in today. I stayed in my box an extra 2.5 hours so Shortone could sleep in! Since we were up REALLY late last night, I was tired too, so it was really good. We came downstairs and she let me go outside to do my business. Then, she let me in to get a drink, then let me go outside to play!!! I had FUN!

After a while, she let me in and we watched TV and cuddled! I love it when we cuddle. Shortone has been so busy with stuff for work, that it was fun to relax a bit. She said she still has a lot of work to do for work, but wanted a couple days of rest first! I take it that means tomorrow is another easy day! I hope so!

This afternoon we went out and ran errands! I got to ride in the car and she scratched my belly as she drove. Sometimes I would paw her to get her to pet me, but she had to move the shifter-thingy-doodle to make the car run, so she did the best she could.

Tonight we had some people over, and the two kids were AWESOME! We ran around this place, and they even took me outside! It was SO MUCH fun. They kept talking about me going to be with them while Shortone is at Onething. Oh, and I got have pizza scaps too! Gosh it was fun!

Since they were here, I've been asleep on the couch. I just woke up long enough to write this letter. I haven't gotten to sleep like usual today, so I am glad it's time to go upstairs and sleep. Tomorrow is another day of "break." I hope that means that I'm not in the box all day again! Today was fun.

'nite all!

Your friendly furry kid,
Jay

Shuttle Highlights!

Today was a lot of fun. I started the day at FCF. (Church) It was REALLY fun. Jon Thurlow led worship, and I was once again gripped by the chorus of "my soul longs for you lord in a dry and weary land." You have to hear it to get it, but it was GREAT! Then Lou Engle preached. Love. Lou. I was pondering the depth of his sermon tonight as I drove the shuttle, and I never really thought there could be a challenge made in the midst of hearing the birth of Jesus story, but there was one. I. LOVED. IT!

After church, I bought the two new Misty CD's. I've only listened to one, but it is REALLY cool.

Then tonight I went and drove the shuttle.

The first highlight of the night came when my first group got on and I had Misty's CD going and they said, "Hey, turn it to #5 and turn it up!" It's been a while since I've had a "singing" shuttle, so it was REALLY FUN!

Throughout the night, I met some incredible people. One of the guys asked me out, so that was a cool deal.

Another highlight came when Karen called. I sat in the shuttle after I was done and we talked for a LONG time. It was GREAT.

Of course, all these things were AWESOME, but the biggest highlight was when I went into the Prayer Room to soak.

Matt Gilman and team came out, and they sang Luke 1 and 2. At one point I thought, "This is it, this is what Heaven sounds like!" It did! It sounded JUST LIKE what I have always imagined Heaven's sounds would be. It was AMAZING. And, of course, the HIGHLIGHT of my day!

Life.
Is.
Peaceful.
With Matt singing the scriptures!!!

Christmas Cards!

I tell ya, I have been one productive short person today! I managed to do laundry, play with Jay, cuddle with Jay, take Jay on a road trip to Wally World, and have done ALMOST all of my Christmas Cards! I also managed to have my own NCIS Marathon with episodes I recorded! Woop!

I know, to some of you this won't seem like quite a task, but after I'm done tomorrow I will have done over a hundred cards total!

I feel as if my day has been fun, relaxing, and productive all at the same time.

Time to go cuddle with my book!

'nite all!

Life.
Is.
Relaxing.

A Tad Bummed.

So, today Jay had a GREAT time with the kids. In fact, not even ten minutes after the kids left, he was asleep on the floor. It was cute.

I'm not even going to get into my low-point of my day. I'm just gonna say that God needs to speak to me this break. I'm not so sure I want to stay where I'm at for next year. I'm glad we have Onething next week. I need to hear from HIM.

'nite.

Life.
Is.
Disheartening sometimes.

Jay

Jay received several Christmas Gifts today at school, so he's headed with me to school tomorrow. Yes, I do have permission to do this, I wouldn't DARE do something like this without my principal giving me the A-OK. So, he has a bag packed, and is a bit confused as to why he has some of his favorite toys in a sack. :-)

The kids are PUMPED. I need to charge my camera tonight so that we can have enough battery power for all the little people to have their pics taken with him.

Ah, this is gonna be one memorable last day before break.

17 hours until I start break.

I.
Can't.
Wait.

:-)

Life.
Is.
Good.

Counting the Hours...

41 hours to break.

I.
Can't.
Wait.

Life.
Is.
Good...with a break around the corner.

Curveballs

Sometimes in life you get thrown something that you did not see coming, and today was one of those days for me. While I can't get into specifics, I will say that I'm glad each day is new and that God lets us start fresh each day. I need a new day tomorrow, and am INCREDIBLY thankful that break is almost here. I think I need to start a new year and get some perspective. And I'm determined to stay softhearted in the midst of it all.

For now, I will sign off, cuddle with a pup, and rest.

For tomorrow is a new day.

Thank You, God.

Life.
Is.
Character-building...but good... :-)

3.5 Days....

Today was a GREAT day. While it was full of a lot of action, it was also full of a lot of laughter. It seemed as if every time I turned around, another student was making a funny comment. SuperPara and I kept exchanging smiles at each other as the kids kept making comments here and there. I kept thinking how blessed I am to be at my school with these kids. I can't imagine my life without these kids. There are each a blessing in my life...even when they build my character. (And they do from time to time)

However, I am anxiously awaiting our break. More than anything, I'm anticipating Onething and sleeping in. Okay, so I still have A LOT of shopping to do, but overall, I'm just ready to not be doing the teacher gig for a couple weeks.

3.5 days...

And the crazy thing is that break is going to fly by and then I'm going to wonder where it went. But, I'll be different because of what God has done in me over the break.

Life.
Is.
Sweet.

Shuttle Radio

Tonight I drove the shuttle and had a lot of fun. I was a bit sad, as tonight was the last FCF for many of our interns, so I had to say "Good-bye" to some. Granted, they were only here for three months, and it's not as if I was close to any of them, but since they all live in the apartments by IHOP, they all ride the shuttle. It has been a fun three months, and as I was driving home, I realized how excited I am for the new interns to start next month. I can't wait to see who I get to pray for during the next 3 months! SWEET.

And the highlight for me was when Richie Rich asked if he could prophesy to me over the Radio. (For those of you who don't know, we use radios to communicate all throughout the shift so that we can work as a team to do the work of the ministry.) Anyway, the Lord gave Richie a word for me, and it made me grin ear-to-ear. The Lord is cool like that! I wasn't expecting that, as I was driving the shuttle, and I'm typically the one to give the words these days. However, God just gave me a little encouragement as I was serving Him. How cool is that?

Ah....I love this place!

Life.
Is.
FUN.

Digging My Own Well

You know, there a lot of things I enjoy. TV. NCIS. Jay. Friends. Family. Pepsi. M&M's. Chocolate Chip Cookies.

However, above all those things, I enjoy worship in a corporate setting. I realize worship means different things to different people. For me, corporate worship in music is how I connect with God.

I have spent the past 12.5 years of my life growing in God. From a dorm room at PSU, to living near and being a part of IHOP-KC, I've seen a lot of things, and experienced God in many different ways. The amazing thing about God is that there is always something new in Him and always something to be discovered and learned. He rarely does the same thing twice.

A former pastor of mine used to say "Dig your own well and have your own experience in God." That has stuck with me for several years, and helped me as I've tried to figure things out, when sometimes it's not up to us to figure it out, it's up to us to simply walk by faith.

In the past month, the IHOP Awakening has taken me to a new place. It has taken me to a deeper, and more exciting place.

Tonight after having a blast driving the shuttle, I went in to the service. And, I LOVED every minute of it. We had deep, intimate worship, and then we had dancing and celebrating in the Lord. I jumped in and had a BLAST. By the time I left, I had sweat dripping from my forehead and down by back. It was AWESOME.

I realize my experience is my own, and it's up to everyone to have their own individual experience in God. However, I find it AMAZING what happens when hungry people get together and worship together.

I would say that's my favorite "thing" to do this side of heaven. And, in the midst of that, I am digging my own well, and having my own experience in God...

Life.
Is.
JOYOUS.
In walking with the Lord.

Things That Can't Be Put Into Words....

There are many things in life that are so incredible, you can't really put them into words. I sit here tonight and think I'm blessed in ways I can't put into words, but I want to share one thing...

I went with Laura to service tonight, and LOVED IT. I found myself meeting people, praying for them, and prophesying over them. It is incredible for me to pray and prophesy over people I have never met before, and over and over again I would hear, "That was right on."

It wasn't me, it was the Spirit in me, but it was still uplifting.

There are so many lost, sad people in this world. And a few of them were touched tonight by the Lord because I was obedient and did what He told me to do.

I can't put into words how much fun it was to do that. I really can't.

But I can say, I am changed.

Thank You, Lord.

Life.
Is.
FUN.

Home

Tonight I came home and had a great time with my parents. While it was a short visit, it was nice to visit with them and get a bit caught up. They brought my tree and Christmas decorations that had been stored at their house. While the tree is partially decorated, it looks good. I'll finish it tomorrow. It's a small tree, but it really fits me.

After that I went and met Laura at IHOP-KC. She called this afternoon and asked me how I would feel about having her here, and I JUMPED at having her here! I met her and had a GREAT time at the Awakening Service.

Part of me really can't believe I'm here. I stood there tonight and contemplated what it took for me to be here for this season in IHOP-KC's history. Only God could have put me here, right now, for a time such as this.

I stood there and thanked God.

I am home.

Life.
Is.
GOOD.

Snow Day #1

I woke up at 5am to use the restroom and looked out my bedroom window and thought, "Crud, the snow isn't on the streets, we'll have school for sure." I went back to bed and woke to the phone ringing at 5:30-ish, and heard a recorded message saying school was cancelled for today! I will admit, I barely remember the message, I just remember turning off the alarm clock and going back to sleep.

At 8am, Jay woke me up. I really couldn't blame the pup, as I went to bed at my regular time, and had slept an hour past my normal wake up time. So, we got up. I moved to the couch where I took the position of a couch bum.

While I remained on the couch the bulk of the day, I was actually productive and not exactly a bum!

I got grading done, entered data in the database (not done, but closer than I was this morning!), paid bills, and even started Christmas Cards!

Jay and I even went on a short walk! (Too cold for our standard mile, not to mention he was whining and refused to walk at one point because of the cold!)

It was a nice, productive day.

Normally at this point of a snow day, I would be praying hard for another snow day. However, either way I'm good. Go, stay,it doesn't matter. 6.5 school days left until BREAK!

They are predicting wind chills 15-25 degrees below zero. So, while the roads are okay, the cold temps may keep us in one more day.

Something tells me Jay would love that, as he's been at my feet sleeping most of the day!

:-)
Life.
Is.
Good.

Laura!!!

Tonight I got home LATE and was about to start grading papers, when my phone rang.

It was Laura! She is at the top of my favorite people list, and we haven't really talked since she was here in October. Gosh, we were on the phone for about 2 hours, and it was WONDERFUL! I have missed her SO MUCH since I moved here, and it was a blessing to just get to talk to her and share what God's doing in my life and to hear about what He's doing in her life as well. Laura is a gift from God in my life. She gets me. I mean, REALLY gets me.

And I'm thankful she called tonight.

Thank You, Lord.

Life.
Is.
Great! :-)

Weird Curveballs....

I tell ya what, we need a snow day! Seriously. The kids are nuts (not to mention Holidays around the corner) and weird stuff keeps popping up.

In the span of a week, I've been in meetings ranging from, "Don't test my kid, I don't want him labeled," to "Don't test my kid, I'm afraid he won't qualify for services." Two completely different situations, in the span of one week.

Crazy.

The amazing part is that in all my meetings, we all want what's best for the kid. The crazy part is that we all simply have different ideas of what that looks like.

Today I was thrown about two curveballs that I wasn't even expecting. I stopped and prayed and felt better about everything after that.

And, as I OFTEN say, life goes on.

It will be interesting to see what other things happen this week.

I PRAY there is a snow day in the near future. Seriously...

Life.
Is.
Good.

**Oh, and I got signed up for helping at Onething this year! 3 weeks from today! WOOP! WOOP! WOOP!***

Prayed Up!

This weekend I have spent a massive amount of time in prayer for this week. My immediate supervisor told me on Friday that this was going to be a rough week due to some issues we have this week and I have NO REAL IDEA what that means, as I am in the dark on "some changes coming."

So I prayed...and prayed...and prayed.

Driving the shuttle is always good because I pray when I don't have passengers, and tonight was fairly slow so I did a lot of that! Richie Rich even commented that I wasn't my typical bubbly self. I can honestly say, I have prayed everything I can think to pray.

So now I will go to bed, and I KNOW that God has this week under control.

I'm just glad I get to run the race WITH him.

Praise the Lord!

:-)
Life.
Is.
Good.

Highlights in the L.C.

A few cute highlights from today:

1. We were playing blurt (A board game where they holler out words when I give adjectives describing them!) and my second grader says, "I can't think of it, but it's at the TOP of my tongue!" :-)

2. While we were playing, a second grade sibling of one of my students brought me Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book #4 to borrow. He's not even in my class! How SWEET is that?

3. I came up with a saying a few years back that has been passed on in each of my classes. When someone is taking TOO LONG for their turn, one person leads by saying, "Today would be good." And everyone else follows with, "NOW WOULD BE BETTER!" :-) YES, I taught them that!

4. I have a student that CONSTANTLY talks. You would have to see it to believe me, but TalkingKid is ALWAYS TALKING. I love the kid, he is one of my sweetest ones, but today during game time he was wearing me out. So I said, "Can you please give me ONE MINUTE of silence?" He set his timer, and the race was on. I figured after one minute, he would start back up. But, after eleven minutes, he finally talked again. That is literally the longest this kid has been quiet, and he was grinning ear-to-ear. I told him his new nickname would be SILENTBOY. :-) At lunch his teacher and I talked and he said that Silentboy was EXTREMELY excited about how quiet he had been. Oh, and before you go thinking I'm a mean, rotten, horrible teacher, he was our winner for the game we were playing at the time! He was SO PROUD of himself! Cute, huh?

5. I was the winner of our Apples to Apples game, so everyone was rewarded with a snack! :-) They LOVED that!

So now my day is done. I have quite a bit of homework to do this weekend BUT I get to drive tomorrow and Sunday Night! Woop! Love. It. That will motivate me to get my work done.

Two weeks from tonight we begin Christmas Break. Not that I'm counting or anything. *wink*

Life.
Is.
Good.

Things Not Seen

In my class, we've been reading "Things Not Seen" as a read-aloud. The story is about a kid who wakes up invisible one day. In the story the kid has to stay alone in his house for several days and is scared in the dark. So, he sleeps with EVERY light on in the house.

At the end of the chapter one of my students turns to me and says, "How was that possible?"

I looked at him and said, "How was what possible?"

To which my student said, "How could he stay in the house alone all night? Does he have money for the lights to be on all night like that? Wouldn't he lose electricity because he didn't pay the bill?"

I grinned ear to ear and proceeded to explain how electric bills are paid and that you don't pay each day for the lights to be on, you pay monthly.

I looked at RockStarPara, and we smiled at each other!

Once again, I was reminded that life is all about perspective. This kid had a good point, even though his perspective was that of a fourth grader. Life is different in fourth grade than it is as an adult. *grin*

Life.
Is.
Funny. :-)

Rockin' in the L.C.!

I was given another adult helper this week in the Learning Center where I teach Special Ed. kids. I had one, and was notified the day before Thanksgiving Break that I was getting another one. I was somewhat apprehensive, as I have found that having help in the room requires training and I often find myself thinking, "It would be easier if I could just do it myself."

My first para, Softheartedgal, is certainly a nice gal, but struggles with pushing the kids to do the work themselves. I often find myself saying, "You need to let so-and-so do it." Last week she tried to give a student the answer key to simply fill in the answers so she could to help another student. I looked at her and said, "No, you can't do that." I was kind about it, but was frustrated because she should know that the kids need to do the work themselves. So when I found out I was getting another adult, I was hesitant because I didn't want to have to teach another teacher.

However, the new para is WONDERFUL! She came to me from the LifeSkills Room, and she is GREAT at making the kids work and stay focused on their work. I'm gonna call her RockStarPara! She is SUCH an enormous answer to prayer! I now foresee these kids going REALLY far!

SWEET!

Life.
Is.
Rockin'!
In the L.C.!

NCIS

Today was a good day, but the highlight was sitting here watching NCIS and catching up with old friends on email and Facebook. I didn't touch my homework...I hope break gets here soon!

:-)

13.5 Days...

I awoke today and DID NOT want to go to work. I had such an amazing weekend, I wasn't ready to be in the real world again. My time in the Awakening Services and driving the shuttle has really stirred my heart for the Lord again. Not that I had fallen away, but I am soft-hearted again in a way I have been longing for. I am hungry for more and more..it's an incredible feeling to be here. I've wanted to be here for SO long...

However, I am here. I got up and want to work and had a GREAT day. Okay, so I had to wear an MU shirt to fulfill a deal I had made with my students, but it really made my day fun. I got picked on a lot, but EVERYONE smiled, so it was okay.

13.5 days until break. Then I can be in the GPR and Awakening all I want! :-)

Not that I'm counting or anything. *grin*

Life.
Is.
Good.

Surprises

Today I awoke and wondered what God had in store for me today. I figured it would be a typical Sunday. Instead, it was a day of surprises.

First, I went to FCF and Jon Thurlow led worship. It was INCREDIBLE. He did my favorite songs, including my favorite new song during the offering! It was WOOOONNNNNNDDDDDDEEEEERRRRRRRRFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

The sermon was really good, and it has made me think all day. I like that!

After the sermon, there was prayer time, and I saw this little girl go up for prayer. I knew I was supposed to pray for her. I went up, and it was fun. I love to pray for people! :-) It was GREAT.

After that, I went back to my seat and entered in. I was having fun, with Jon leading worship. Then a gal named Joy walked up and told me that I was on her heart and she asked if I was a shuttle driver. I said, "Yep." So, she said she was blessed by my enthusiasm and wondered if she could pray for me, and then for me to pray for her! How cool is that? I love it when God does that! What a surprise!

After that, I was walking to my car, and this gal walked with me, asking me if I was a shuttle driver. I said, "Yep." And we started up another conversation. Hum, no wonder God told me to drive the shuttle, I am meeting all sorts of people!

Tonight I went to drive the shuttle, and met all sorts of people. One guy got on one of my first shuttles and shared his testimony with me of how God has delivered him from drug abuse. Just from talking to him, I knew he had had a rough life. I was glad he was at IHOP instead of out doing other things, or as he said, he would be in jail right now if it wasn't for God! AWESOME!

There was a gentleman that was sitting outside FSM, and he appeared to be wrestling. I really had a heart for him, so Debra (another shuttle driver) and I prayed for him via the radio. I love praying for people with other people! That is FUN!

The evening was really fun, as I nicknamed FSM "The River", since we're having an outpouring there right now. And, I nicknamed the Prayer Room, "Home." For SO LONG I have felt more at home in the Prayer Room than anywhere else, so I named it home. Debra started doing that too. It wasn't anything huge, but it was fun to do.

Perhaps the coolest surprise was at the end of my shift tonight when Papa Bear thanked me for driving. He always thanks us for driving, and at first I blew it off saying, "Ah, you know I love to drive." To which he gave me a very heartfelt Thank You for driving. Papa Bear is kind of the father of all of us driving, and his words truly blessed me. Of course, I said something like, "You're a blessing too," not trying to make a big deal out of it, but it was the highlight of my day.

I believe that it is human nature to try to fit in where God puts you and to try to figure things out. And I believe I'm getting there, and I am so very thankful that God put me on the shuttles. This weekend has been a lot more fun because of that.

Go figure, God would know what I need before I do. *wink*

Life.
Is.
FUN.

Shuttle Snippits!

I have THOROUGHLY enjoyed driving this week, and tonight was really fun. We had 3 new drivers and 3 returners, and we had a lot of fun. Sunshine, one of the drivers, carries the joy of the Lord and was making us laugh quite a bit.

I've also come up with my own term for when someone goofs and announces something wrong on the radio. I now call them "Brain Freezes." Of course, last night two of our drivers were calling them "senior moments." I corrected them and said that couldn't be the case because I'm too young to be having those already! Then I was corrected and told that they were seniors and they should be able to call them senior moments because they had earned that. That made me pause and think. Here I was trying to make them feel younger than they really are, and they were proud of being in that stage of their life. Kinda makes ya think, doesn't it?

As for me, I'm sticking to "Brain Freeze." It sounds better and seems to make the passengers chuckle. :-)

My last trip of the night was really special to me. I have been battling a headache all evening and just wanted to not talk and worship for a couple minutes. (It's about a 5 minute drive from one building to another.) And, so I had Jon Thurlow's CD on, and I turned it up a little (not much, remember I have a headache) and turned one of my favorite songs, and the whole shuttle sang on our drive back. I'll never forget that. It was a slow song, and everyone sang out. None of us sang very good, as we were all a tad bit off key, and none of us would ever been on a stage singing in front of people. But, I know that God enjoyed hearing it! :-)

Oh, and I now have Zaccheus' hat! I wonder if he'll notice me wearing it! *grin*

Life.
Is.
Fun....especially on the shuttle!

Blessings from the Little People

I haven't even been at my new school a year, and kids are blessing me with M&M dispensers! How cool is that? :-) I am loved VERY WELL by my little people! Woop!

NewJerseyKid

Back in August I started driving the shuttle at IHOP-KC. (I'm giving a little background for those of you who don't read the blog everyday.) At IHOP-KC, we have two buildings and not enough parking at the big building for everyone, so we shuttle people from one parking lot to another. We also shuttle interns and students from the Prayer Room to FSM, as student housing is located right next to the Prayer Room.

So in August, I met NewJerseyKid. He's a young man who was living out of his car in August. He is a really cool guy who moved himself to IHOP after leaving New Jersey. He wanted God so badly that he was living out of his car and relied completely on God to give him ALL his needs. Food, clothing, EVERYTHING.

I immediately liked this kid. In time, he shared a little bit more about how he landed here, but not much. Honestly, his history didn't matter to me, his heart for God is what matters.

So, I started praying for him. Daily. I prayed for shelter, food, and ESPECIALLY for God to bring along guy friends who would share in this journey with him. I really believe that guys need guys in stuff like this, so that they can get what they need in a healthy way.

A little while later, he was on my shuttle again and I asked about his living situation and he told me that for about a month and a half he was out of his car, but he was back in it at that time. I'll be honest, I saw his car, and it was clear he was living out of it. It made me pray that much harder for him.

Well, I'm glad to report that he is now working at Burger King and living in a house! Praise God!

I went to drive tonight, and I prayed I would get to see him. And I did! (It's been a while since I've seen him.)

He is doing well, and still working at Burger King.

I'm so happy for this kid, and in a weird kind of way, I'm proud of him. He's taken a situation that could have been really bad for him, he prayed and God is taking care of him! I love that!

Tonight he said he would like to meet a nice girl. I told him I would pray that he would have the spouse God has for him. So, for those of you who pray, let's all pray that he meets the gal who God has for him! This kid has so much potential, I pray that he holds on for the spouse God has for him and he doesn't give in to the temptations of this world.

I know God has a call on this guy's young life.

I'll keep ya posted, as I see him on my shuttle! Woop!

Life.
Is.
Enjoyable.
Shuttling God's Kids!

A Day of Thanks....

Happy Turkey Day! I pray that each of my readers had a BLESSED day with family and friends today.

I did.

After spending a wonderful afternoon with my wonderful family, I came home home and took Jay for a walk. After the walk, I ate dinner and headed to the Prayer Room.

At 8:00, they had a small version of the Awakening Services that have been going on here. I grinned ear-to-ear the whole time. I mean, it was Thanksgiving Night, and the Prayer Room was PACKED of people who were seeking the Lord. And while it's hard to explain, it made my day complete. I was surrounded by people that are like me. And that made me smile.

So, on the drive home I started thinking about all the things I'm thankful for, and figured I would post all the things I can think of that I am Thankful for this year. (These are not in any particular order.)

1. I'm now not in D'FUNK that I was in last year at this time. Last year was the hardest Holiday Season for me, so this year is MUCH BETTER. It's only because of God that I am who I am today. And, I was thinking tonight at service that without God in my life, I would still be in a funk and in a battle that I could not win. Thank You God for loving me so well! I like me, and am thankful that I am living here now! :-)
2. My family is AWESOME. I am supported 110% in all I do. Even in the IHOP-KC part of my life, that I'm sure seems a bit odd to my family. I am one blessed gal. I couldn't have asked for a better family.
3. My friends. Ms. H., Kim, SingingGal, Laura, and Karen have become near and dear to me in the past year. I'm blessed that God put them in my little corner of the world. Even though I don't live near them now, I still keep in touch with them via Facebook and email. Thank You God for my friends!
4. IHOP-KC. For seven years I prayed to be here, and be a part of IHOP-KC. I love it here!!! I love being in a place that has 24/7 LIVE worship. I'm at home!!! The Shuttle Ministry has also been the best thing I have been a part of since I've moved here. I'm making friends, having fun meeting people from all over the world, and often get to pray for them! It's AWESOME!
5. Jay. He's been the best friend I needed here. He makes me smile everyday. I am loved unconditionally by the little guy. I LOVE THAT! He's cute too!
6. Facebook. It has made my transition here a lot easier and helped me stay in touch with friends where I used to live. It's been a blessing!
7. My Townhome. I prayed for a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath, and got a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath! I've already hosted many visitors, and pray I get to host many more! Plus, it's half a mile from Raintree Lake! Woop! Thank You, God!
8. My finances. For the first time in 5 years I am not responsible for filling a Propane Tank! :-) I have money in savings, whereas the past 5 years it was simply going to the Propane Tank! I'm not rich, but I am financially secure. THANK YOU, God!
9. My car. It runs well and gets me where I need to go without problems. Not everyone is that blessed!
10. My job. While I'm enjoying the days off this week, I really do like my job. I miss my friends where I was, but am making a home for me here. I love that.
11. Sleep. This week I get to sleep in. I love sleep. SWEET! (By the way, you couldn't pay me money to be at a store at 4am for shopping tomorrow! NO. WAY.)
12. Roxie, Rudy, Indy, Sidney, and Teddy. While Jay is MINE, I love all the furry kids in my life. They are all a blessing.
13. My health. Thanks to medication, I am in great health and rarely miss work! That hasn't always been true, so I feel blessed to be in good shape now!
14. Tooldude. While I miss him greatly, God taught me a lot through him. Lessons that I only would have learned through him. Thank You, God.

I know there are many more, but I hear my bed calling my name!

Life.
Is.
GREAT.

Shuttle #4

Tonight I went to IHOP-KC to drive for the Awakening Service. Papa Bear was in the office, and asked me to be Lead Driver. That made me smile. Not that it means much, I mean you make sure everyone's okay, help explain the routines, field random questions from the drivers, and help everyone fill up with gasoline. I simply smiled. :-)

It was really fun. Not so much because I was lead driver (which was cool, but not the main highlight) but because I watched a group of new drivers start joking and laughing and having fun while we drove. That was my goal, to make people smile. I know I made most of them smile, which was fun. We had almost all new drivers, so it was fun!

I was able to have my favorite shuttle too! Shuttle #4 is my favorite because it's the one that I had the very first night I drove, and it's still special to me. I realize it's not the exact one, as we got new shuttles recently, but it's still my favorite! :-)

At 9:00 we had a shift change, and Zaccheus started driving. Zaccheus is an intern that makes me laugh a lot because he's joking and laughing all the time. Tonight he was on a mission to give everyone a code name. That's kind of his thing. It is always hilarious to hear him come up with the names. I am still Pleasant, Slim gave me that name and I refuse to change it. And it's funny to hear all the new names coming out of the shuttles! Awesome!

Life.
Is.
Fun!

Mary

At my school we have two Special Education Classrooms. We have the Learning Center, which is my classroom, as well as a LifeSkills Classroom. In the LifeSkills room, we have a girl named Mary. (Not her real name, obviously) Mary is a fourth grade girl with Severe Autism. As most of you know, I have a HUGE heart for Autistic Kids, and I was intrigued from Day #1 with Mary.

About 6 weeks ago, she discovered me in the hall. We became instant friends, and she was INCREDIBLY drawn to my limp. I mean, she would hold my hand and walk with me as I would walk her to class or wherever she was headed at the moment. The whole time, she would stare at my left foot. She really wanted to understand the limp. Her aide stated it was only a matter of time before she would imitate the limp and she was trying to figure out how to do it. I would smile and let her figure it out.

Well, yesterday she took my hand, and we started walking. She just wanted to walk, and it was during my plan time, so I just walked with her. Her aide told me that we needed to go to her regular classroom so that she could give something to the kids. So, Mary and I walked hand-in-hand to her classroom.

On the way back, Mary stopped and looked at me. Then she looked at my foot. She grabbed my ankle and made my foot straight. I just looked at her, and she said, "walk". (She's pretty much a non-verbal, so that was cool in itself!) I started to walk, but it's incredibly tough for me to take more than a couple steps like that without my ankle hurting. I tried really hard though because Mary really wanted me to walk straight. We made it half-way to the LifeSkills Room, and she stopped and tried to move my foot again because I had gone back to the limp. I tried explaining it all, and it didn't matter, Mary wanted it straight. I looked at her and said, "Thanks Mary." She smiled, took my hand, and we continued to the LifeSkills Room where I let go of her hand and she went into her classroom.

Later on, I was walking down to get my 6th graders ready to go home for the day, and a kindergardener came out of the Nurse's office, and said, "This is how you walk." And, he proceeded to give me a walking lesson! (I didn't even know the kid!) I played along, making both of us smile, and in the end he walked off saying, "It's not that hard!"

I stopped and smiled.

Walking Lessons.

As I've pondered these experiences, I have come to one conclusion.

God wants us just to take one step at a time.
Just one.
And to smile with each step we take.

:-)
Life.
Is.
Good.

Sometimes....

...you just don't know how God uses you in other people's lives. I just got off the phone with someone who let me know what a difference I've made in her family's life, and I've only known her since school started. It made me smile. I'm just being me, and God has used me in her life, as well as her family's life. It's God, not me. But it's cool to know that God is using the talents and gifts He gave me to touch other people.

That's the point, isn't it?

AWESOME!

LIfe.
Is.
GREAT.

:-)

Prayin' for People!

I tell ya what, today was AWESOME! While I could write a book about how good today was, I'm going to limit myself to my favorite part of the day.

I went with a couple friends to church this morning. It was a good service, with really good worship.

After service there was a prayer time, and I was asked to pray for my friend, which was really fun. And a little while later, my friend asked me to come over and help pray for an individual. THAT WAS COOL! I can't explain what happened because you just can't put into words what God does sometimes, but I tell ya what, IT WAS FUN!

I LOVE praying for people. Love. It. I had a word from the Lord for both of them, which made it even more fun!

SWEET!

Life.
Is.
FUN!

Fun!

I went and served the Lord by driving the shuttle tonight, which was fun. It was weird at first having so many drivers, but it was easy once we had a system figured out. We weren't busy, but weren't slow either. It was fun. I was glad I agreed to drive tonight.

After that I went into service and soaked. I did pray over some people and God gave me words for them, which was fun too, but I mostly soaked. My favorite time was when we went into worship. I smiled the whole time. It made me miss the prayer room a bit less. :-)

Life.
Is.
Fun.

TGIF!

It's the weekend!

Plus...

WE GET TO WEAR JEANS ON MONDAY AND TUESDAY AT WORK!

Plus...

I finally get a haircut tomorrow!

Plus...

I get to soak at IHOP and then drive the shuttle tomorrow!

Plus...

I have gotten to watch some shows, enter in with the webcast, and cuddle with the pup!

It doesn't take much to make me happy!

Life.
Is.
Good!

I Recently...

...saw a quote that made me stop and think. It said "Author Unknown," so I can't give credit to anyone, but it has been in the back of my mind lately.

We had a bulletin board at school with pictures of the student's dogs.

On the bulletin board, a quote said:

"One day I hope to be the person that my dog thinks I am."

I realize I'm living out this walk with God thing, but I thought that was really good.

Hum...

Life.
Is.
Good.
With Jay in it! :-)

A Word From Jay

Hey!

Jay here. It's been a while since Shortone let me on here, and so I thought I'd write. Well, okay, she has stepped away to go into that weird room where she folds clothes. What is it with you people and clothes? She is ALWAYS doing laundry. Hum...

So, Shortone has been laughing at me a lot lately. I guess I make her happy because sometimes she just walks in the room and laughs at me.

Like the other day when she came out of her bathroom and couldn't find me! She saw that her bed wasn't made anymore, and said my name, and then saw me come out from under the covers! What was so funny about that? I was cold! Then she mumbled something about not making the bed again because she was going to wash the sheets after church that morning. What is it about that room with the loud machines? Seriously...

Then one night she was on her computer and I heard a loud "ping" sound, so I ran to the front door to guard the house and was barking, and Shortone laughed at me! She said something about how it was the computer, not the doorbell. I still barked for several minutes, just to let the person outside know that I meant business! Shortone continued to laugh anyway!

She also laughed at me when we went on a walk the other day. There was this HUGE blue car with two wheels on it, and I barked at it to let it know who was boss! Shortone laughed at me saying there was noone there! I had to guard her anyway! You never know what that two-wheeled machine could do!

I got sick the other day. Shortone was getting ready for work and I hid under her bed because I had puked. I thought she would be mad at me, but she wasn't! She held me, asked me if I was okay, and let me climb back under the bed so I could rest. She is really nice to me.

Uh-Oh--here she comes! Gotta go!

Later!

Life.
Is.
Spiffy.
(Isn't that what she does at the end of each one of these?) :-)

A Different Sort of Sunday

Today was day #5 of the current move of God at IHOP-KC. It's amazing to me how much can change in a week.

I got up and went to FCF this morning. We had been told last night that we would have services as usual this morning, with the Outpouring Service tonight. I was glad I went to service.

Tim led worship, and I honestly felt the intensity of worship again. I felt as if I was having a flashback to OneThing last year. It was intense, good, and anointed. I smiled the whole time.

Then Mike Bickle and Lou Engle came out and talked to the IHOP family about what was happening in our midst. I loved the fact that they didn't give themselves or any other staff members credit, but they gave the Lord credit. That was COOL. I also liked that they gave practical rules for what's happening so there is some order in the meetings. I had a deep respect for that too.

There was one comment that particularly spoke to me because I've been struggling with the lack of music in the meetings. We have worship music the first part of the meetings, and then we go into praying for different stuff. You know me, I love to pray, but I miss the Prayer Room where it's constant worship music all the time. I really do.

That being said, someone stated this morning not to get frustrated if you don't think you're receiving anything because you are even if you don't think you are. I'm a gal that gets filled up through worship music, not necessarily through others praying for me. Well, as in laying hands on me. I am a gal that can just sit before Him and get filled up. So that blessed me immensely. It seems obvious, but sometimes someone needs to point out the obvious for you to "get" something.

After soaking a bit, I went back out to drive the shuttle and finish my shift. I tell ya what, last week we only needed 3 drivers to do the shift it was so slow. Tonight we had 7 of us for most of it! It was BUSY.

However, about 6:30 I was able to go into the service. I knew I wouldn't have a seat, but I knew God would give me what I needed. I found a spot on the back wall, sat down, and just soaked. I didn't need prayer, as everything they were praying wasn't for me, so I just sat and sang when it was time to sing. I just soaked. It was GREAT. There was a bit more music than last night during the prayer times, which was better for me. I was glad I went in to service. It filled me up for the week ahead of me.

I left the service and finished out my shift driving. It was fun. I hope to drive some more this week because of the extra services this week.

:-)
Life.
Is.
Interesting.
When God's in control!

Awakening at IHOP-KC

I have spent a significant amount of time thinking about the move of God that's happening at IHOP-KC. It's exciting, in so many ways. There have been ten years of prayers that have gone up to lead to this season in the history of IHOP-KC. I know, I know, some of you are going to tune out now because I'm talking about IHOP. That's cool. However, for those of you who are still reading...

I went to service tonight and it was FUN. I am always touched when God's Kids worship together. And, honestly, there is a new level of hunger there. In fact, Karen and I were just talking last weekend before the Holy Spirit moved in like this, about how "normal" most of the congregation is with the level of worship that is present there. However, tonight it was intense again. FUN.

I don't have a big testimony of healing or anything like that. BUT, for the first time since Onething last year, I enjoyed intense worship again! Woop!

I can't wait to see what God has in store for us as an IHOP family in the coming days and weeks.

Somehow I doubt it will be boring! :-)

Life.
Is.
Exciting.
Especially when God's on the move! :-)

An Unusual Outpouring of the Spirit

I got a text this afternoon from Papa Bear, the man who God has put in charge of the Shuttle Ministry at IHOP-KC. He asked if I could drive ANYTIME today for the "Unusual Outpouring of the Holy Spirit" that is taking place at IHOP-KC. I found that interesting since I had already planned to go to the Prayer Room tonight. I said sure, but I wanted off early enough that I could go in an soak in the service.

So, I got there at 6:45-ish and took over for a driver. I started driving, and was AMAZED at what was happening. Almost all of the parking spots were full in the various lots (something I had never seen there) and we were BUSY. I mean, people were lined up to ride the shuttle to FSM. (I should mention here that we don't typically have services on Thursday evenings) I had full shuttles to get over there. The main Prayer Room was closed and the 24/7 was moved to FSM. It was incredible to see people getting on and off the shuttles after being touched in the service. I heard "I just got hammered" three separate times! It was cool.

After my shift, I went into the service for about 30 minutes. And, I will say that I've been in a lot of services over the years, but tonight was unlike anything I had ever been in. It was something I will never forget. I would have stayed later, but I came home so I could get my homework done. (It's done now, don't worry!)

I am interested to see what God has in store for us as an IHOP family this weekend. It's clear He's up to something.

And I'm SO EXCITED that I'm here for a time such as this! Sweet!

Life.
Is.
Lovely.

Amazing

It's amazing to me that I can enter in to the prayer room via the net. I'm not gonna lie, today was tough on SO MANY levels, and then I came home, opted for PJ's and the Prayer Room via the net. I needed a touch. My school is not a Christian School, and today I saw the depth of that. I knew I just needed God. And, here in my kitchen, I encountered Him. SWEET.

The Prayer Room is currently praying for the Church of KC. I love that! I have been burdened all week for the church, and now they're praying for it! Ah, amazing stuff!

God.
Is.
Amazing.

An Ache for God's Kids

On Saturday Night I went to a service that was quite a bit different than IHOP. Right before I went, my friend Karen and I discussed the scripture that talks about "My children shall perish for lack of knowledge..." There's more to it than that, but that part of the verse gripped me as we spoke.

My Children.

Not the world...My Children...

Then we went to service.

For the first time in quite a while, I sat in the back of a service during ministry time and interceded for the people in the service. I didn't go up for prayer. I didn't go up to prophesy. I sat in the back and prayed.

I was in a room full of people who knew they needed a touch from God. Otherwise, they wouldn't have been there.

I think in our society people are hungry for a touch. A touch of anything.

This isn't new to me. I've watched people over the years fill the void with things other than the Lord. I get that.

But, when I sat there and watched people run to a person and not Jesus, my heart sank.

And since then, I have had a new burden for God's kids.

I encountered God over the weekend. Not at that service, but at other services, and I know how that can change a person.

I want everyone to meet God like that.

Not just in a "Yeah, I know God," but in a "Yeah, guess what happened to me! Listen to what God did in my life" kind of way. That's why I love to drive the shuttle. I get to hear that!

So, I will continue to pray....and pray...and pray...

Life.
Is.
Good.

Different

I have felt different today. All day. The kids even noticed it.

That's what happens when you encounter God over the weekend.

Awesome.

Life.
Is.
Good.

Depth

Tonight I sit here, absolutely in awe of the friendship God has given me in Karen. It's God. Not her. It's God.

I am closer to God tonight because of our conversations this weekend.

Priceless.

Absolutely priceless.

Thank
You
God.

Life.
Is.
Amazing.

Cool...

Retreat was cool.
The weather today was cool.
Having Karen here is cool.
Eating at Olive Garden was cool.
Going to service tonight was cool.
Eating at IHOP was cool.
Now going to bed sounds cool.

Life.
Is.
Cool.

What can I say?

I love to see God move in a corporate setting. I mean, I REALLY enjoy it! I was on the worship team again tonight, and was enormously blessed by watching others get touched by the Lord. People were set free of stuff, and others simply encountered Him in a new way! IT WAS AMAZING!

I can't wait to see what He does tomorrow!

Woop!

Life.
Is.
GREAT!

The Difference a Day Makes

Tonight I went to the first session of a Women's Retreat held for various leaders throughout The Missouri Prayer Network. It's a private retreat, and when I was invited earlier this week, I was somewhat surprised, as I rarely do things with that organization. I like the group of ladies, and two of my Spiritual Mentors are involved with it, which is how I was invited.

So tonight I got there and started to enter in, and Regina walked up to me and said, "If you would like, we have bongos up there for you to play." I smiled. I had seen them, but didn't know who was playing them. So, I went up and entered in.

And honestly, it felt GREAT to play again. I haven't played since I moved here, and it was FUN. I just smiled and played, and loved every second of it. It was EXACTLY what I needed tonight. It got my focus off me, and on the Lord again, which is where it needs to be.

Then Regina preached. Oh my gosh, if there was ever a sermon for me, that was it! I was convicted. Deeply convicted.

Last night I was saddened by a situation. Which is okay, God is okay with me processing stuff.

However, there was this guy who was beaten, carried a cross, hung on a cross, and died.

Hum...makes my day yesterday seem INCREDIBLY trivial. Little. Nothing.

Conviction is a good thing, and exactly what I needed tonight. Praise the Lord!

I get to play bongos again tomorrow and Saturday!

Woop!

Life.
Is.
Fun.
When you get your focus off yourself and onto the Lord!

Sometimes in Life...

...we lead with our hearts, take a risk, and get hurt.

Today that happened to me. And honestly, while I sit here with a headache, I'm not sad that God made me like this.

I have been told I am too softhearted. And in a sense, that is true.

But, the way I see it, I'd rather get in the game and play the best I can and get hurt, than to play it safe and never get hurt.

I've decided it's not like me to play it safe.

I'm the kid that played football with the boys as the only girl as the quarterback because I couldn't run very fast. It's amazing how well I can throw a ball! :-)

I'm also the gal that supported two people in my last chapter in my life, with nothing in return except a broken heart.

Within that, I decided life is too short to not risk getting hurt.

I mean, one person has a college degree, and one almost has one, thanks to my support.

I did the right thing, even though it hurt more than anything.

And honestly, today was nothing in comparison to that.

I guess "perspective" is still the key.

And for today, I played the game and got hurt.

And tomorrow, I will play it again. And while I may get hurt, I'd rather take a risk than sit on the sidelines and never play at all...

Life.
Is.
Good.
Even when you get hurt playing the game.

An Answer to Prayer

So, I have been praying fervently for a friend here in Lee's Summit that is strong in the Lord, and I feel God is answering that prayer. While it's not a friend that I could call and go to the movies with, it is a friend who now calls with prayer requests, and I do the same with her. It's a start. Her family has also offered to watch Jay if I ever need a weekend dog sitter. And tonight, that is an answer to prayer.

Thank You, Lord!

Life.
Is.
Good.

And the Results Are In....

So, today it was official.

Crankyparent is staying in my school. Well, okay, her daughter is staying in my school.

She had put in for a transfer, had it granted, but stopped it because the other school doesn't offer what I can give her daughter.

In a weird way, it seems like justice has been served.

I know that's not what I should say. However, this parent is big on creating drama.

So a small portion of me is glad she didn't get the transfer because God can use this in her life to show her she can't bully everyone and get her way.

Of course, this means more documentation to cover myself.

But, the coolest part is that a kid will have me giving 110% everyday so that she can be successful.

And that's what really matters.

Life.
Is.
Good.

Bein' Real

Tonight's post is short, as I am wiped tonight.

I am a bottler. I tend to bottle thoughts and emotions inside and tell others, "I'm GREAT."

Well, I have made a breakthrough. I have finally been really real with God on some issues, and my head hurts. For the first time since I've been here, God and I have gone deep in stuff, and I feel better than I have in a while. The knot in my right shoulder is diminishing.

So for those of you in my little corner of the world, please pray for me.

God and I still have A LOT to process through together. Which is good, it just takes time.

For now, I'm calling it a day.

Life.
Is.
Good.
Especially when you let out what is inside of you in prayer!

Nothing

Every once in a while, we all need a day of "nothing." A day where there is nowhere to be, nothing to "do", just a lazy day. That was my day today.

Granted, I wasn't TOTALLY lazy, as the dog had a bath, the floors were vacuumed, recyclables were recycled, I checked out books at the library, took Jay on a walk, and did laundry.

HOWEVER, I also managed to watch about 4 episodes of NCIS that I had never seen before (Woop!) and hang out with a student and his family as they dropped by this evening to show me their costumes and visit for a little while.

But, I DIDN'T HAVE to get up and be anywhere.
I slept in until 10am.
And I was in my PJ's until 1pm.

It was a great day.

Now we get to have one extra hour of sleep tonight.
So, I think I'll watch another recorded episode of NCIS!

Woop!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Hebrews 11:1

During my entire walk with the Lord, Hebrews 11:1 has been special to me. However, in the past year, it has been the scripture that I have clung to as I have transitioned from one season of my life into this current chapter. Yes, I said Chapter. Mr. Hanney, a teacher I used to work with, said a phrase that has always stuck with me. The phrase was "You are the author of your own life story." I love that! While I truly believe that God is the true author of my life story, I do believe that I play a role in it. While God is guiding my steps, I have decisions to make, mistakes to make, and successes along the way. I also believe that each chapter leads me into the next one in my life.

So tonight I came home exhausted and was ready to be on the couch. I had even found an episode of NCIS that I had recorded that I haven't seen yet, so I was pumped.

At 8:15, the Lord told me to go to the 9:00 worship set at IHOP. I looked at Jay and contemplated it. I mean, REALLY contemplated it. Then I turned to Jay and told him I was going to IHOP. Afterall, who am I to tell God "No."

I went and Misty Edwards was leading. I was excited by that, but didn't expect what followed.

For those of you that aren't familiar with the IHOP model of prayer, they use music and prayer together in their worship sets. Within that, they often sing scriptures spontaneously (as led by the Spirit) in the worship sets. I have loved this because I have learned A LOT of scriptures through this model of prayer.

And in all my years of seeking the Lord at IHOP-KC, I had never heard Hebrews 11:1 sang in a worship set.

Tonight I did.

I sat there in awe of God. I have been praying that scripture SO MUCH these days that only God knows the extent of what it means to me.

So while I'm sure someone else needed to hear that tonight too, I am convinced that He did that tonight for me. Once again, I feel my bucket has been filled by Him.

Thank You, Lord.
I am loved VERY well.

Life.
Is.
Amazing.

Shoes and Sight Word Vocabulary!

In the world of walking with a limp, new shoes are often a big deal. Well, really, it's a painful ordeal. Once shoes are broken in, it's not a big deal. However, getting to the "broken in" stage takes time.

I always buy my shoes at Famous Footwear and for years I've been wearing one brand of tennis shoes because they have served me well. Back in August, I bought two new pairs of the shoes because of the buy 1/get one half-off sale. Same shoe, I just bought two pairs. I started the breaking in process, and it hurt but I figured I would get them broken in and everything would be fine. Over a few days, I got them broken in, but my back started hurting. My back hurts a lot, so that was nothing new. So, up until last night I put up with it. Yesterday at school I was in so much pain, I took my shoes off at school. (We get to wear Jeans everyday this week, so I could wear the tennis shoes everyday this week!) I came home and tried the other pair I had in the closet. They hurt just like the others. So, I took the shoes back to Famous last night, and explained my situation. I knew they didn't have to exchange it, as it was past the 30 days return policy. However, they let me do so! AND I GOT A PAIR OF SHOES THAT DON'T HURT! Woop! Plus, they're blue and their cute! SWEET!

My other cool story for today is SightWordKid. This kid is a SWEETHEART. He's in second grade, and his parents were torn up at Parent/Teacher conferences last week because their son is not progressing in reading. So, after conferences I talked to our reading specialist and told her what was up and that it has been YEARS since I've had a student that was this low. She told me to try a strategy she uses with her students. I tried it yesterday, and today the kid came in AND COULD REMEMBER THE WORDS! I tell ya, I wanted to yell from the rooftops that SightWordKid could read his ten words!!! I took him down to his teacher where he read all the words to her, and his teacher gave him 10 tickets (which is a good thing) in class! I told our reading specialist that it took 9 Weeks and two days, but he got it! I can't wait to see how he does from here!

If you ask me, that's ONE AWESOME DAY!

Shoes that are comfortable AND a kid that can now read his ten sight words!

Life.
Is.
GOOD.

Crankyparent

I have a bit of a story to share tonight. I have a parent of one of my students who has given me grief several times this year. We've met with her three times this year already, and she will be just fine in the meeting, but then she'll leave and send me an email out of nowhere letting me know what else our staff has done wrong. I have continually prayed, thinking she will get a clue. However, things have just gradually gotten worse as the year as progressed. It's all been with the parent, not the kid. While the child requires a lot of assistance, I like the kid.

So we have parent/teacher conferences last week, and I didn't make it to this student's meeting because I had an IEP meeting to do, and we had just met with CrankyParent two days earlier AND GAVE HER EVERYTHING SHE WANTED FOR HER KID. I figured it would be okay to miss the meeting since I had zilch extra to say. I have 21 other kids I need to be serving too.

I wasn't at the parent/teacher conference but whatever happened upset Crankyparent. I knew nothing about it though, as we were on a 3 day weekend.

So, Sunday I checked email and the parent was requesting the kid's records from last year. I just prayed, and asked those here for the retreat to pray as well. I didn't mention names, just that I needed some prayer support. Monday I checked email and there was a letter saying she had called the office and gotten the information from them. Hum...okay, she got her information. I was PRAYING that was the end of it.

Apparently she also set a meeting with my principal, and at the end of it, she had a transfer request completed.

I sit here and scratch my head. We gave her everything she wanted for her kid, and yet we still have a parent who wants to yank her out of my program and put her back at her old school.

Honestly, that tilts my "bucket". It doesn't empty it, because as sad as it is to say, my life would be easier without Crankyparent in it.

However, I like this kid. And, this kid is making gains in my program. Not leaps and bounds, but steps forward. And, we have a connection. I have clicked with this kid, even though I'm INCREDIBLY guarded due to the level of trust that Crankyparent has with me now. I literally had to print out EVERY email this parent has ever sent me and I have sent her. CRAZY.

I realize some people are unhappy no matter what you do. It's also unfortunate that the parent is so unstable because no matter where she puts her kid, teachers and staff are going to now be so on guard that a healthy relationship won't be possible. It takes a relationship between teachers and parents to make this whole thing work. And this parent is losing the good rapport she had with the school the more she stirs the pot.

I don't know when all the results will be in about the transfer.

I do know that when my boss did some checking and found out that what I'm giving her daughter at my school isn't available at the other school, I had to chuckle. My boss called the Mother to let her know that, she was speechless.

I'm sure there will be an email tomorrow about that too.

I'll keep ya posted.

Life.
Is.
Good.
Even when God builds our character through others.

I wonder...

1. Why sometimes God speaks louder on some days than other days...
2. Why God does some things sometimes...
3. If jay knows that I think he's pretty cool...
4. Why some people are negative all the time..
5. Why some people take joy in emptying other people's buckets...
6. If Leesh knows she's one of my favorite people...
7. If Laura knows I can still hear her laugh when I think of her...
8. Why some people struggle financially and others don't...
9. If I will ever get married...
10. Why Jay barks at Scarecrows...
11. How D.D. is doing at my old school...
12. If I am filling enough buckets everyday...
13. What it would be like to not have a limp...
14. What Ryan Gray would be doing today if he was still alive...
15. Whatever happened to Steve Mynstead? He never did his work in school...
16. If there are better ways for me to teach kids how to read...
17. Why broken homes seem to be normal instead of abnormal...
18. If Karen knows I miss her 2 hour lunches...
19. Why some people lack motivation and others don't...
20. How dogs can think poop is tasty...
21. If Jay knows that cuddling with him at the end of each day is my favorite part of my day...
22. If my Grandparents know that I miss them as they live on life in Heaven...
23. Why toilet paper is so expensive when it just goes down the toilet...
24. Why kids don't want to take their coats out to recess and come in with red cheeks saying it wasn't cold out...
25. If Cory Asbury, Misty Edwards, and Matt Gilman will ever know how their lives have helped me grow closer to God just by them being themselves...
26. When I will have friends here to hang out with...
27. If G-Man knows how cool I think he is...
28. How God can forgive us, even when we make big mistakes...
29. When God will have me be on staff at IHOP-KC...
30. If my little people know that they are BIG in my world...
31. How Chase is doing in 3rd grade...
32. If MizzouKid realizes how much it means to me that he gave me an M&M dispenser today and he filled my bucket without even knowing it...
33. If Hebrews 11:1 means as much to you as it does to me...

Life.
Is.
Good.

How Full Is Your Bucket?

Last week I was praying about what our Women's Retreat Theme should be. Every year I've gone to the retreat in Branson, there was always a theme. Well, in light of the fact the mini-retreat would be here in the KC area, I knew it needed to be something special. I also knew that with just three of us, it would be a really neat time together, as we wouldn't be juggling a lot of people. Of course, I had trouble praying last week about it due to parent/teacher conferences since that was my main focus for the week. So Friday I went to the Prayer Room, and the Lord gave me a book to share! I was pumped, as I knew it was EXACTLY what all three of us needed.

The Book is titled "How Full Is Your Bucket?" I got the kids' versions to give to Laura and SingingGal. In the story, a boy had an issue with a younger sibling, and he lets her know that he's upset. The Grandfather in the story explains to the boy that he just emptied her "bucket." He explained to the boy that everyone has a (Metaphorical) bucket above their head and when good things are said and done to a person, their bucket is filled. In that same bucket, someone can have their bucket emptied when someone says or does something that hurts them or makes them sad. He explained that it's up to us to fill other people's buckets, and we don't want to be a person that empties other people's buckets. Obviously, in the children's story the boy learns how the bucket concept works and it has a happy ending.

This story was something that a friend of mine in Joplin introduced me to, and I use it in my classroom with my students. It has really impacted me.

So on Friday, the Lord told me He was going to fill our buckets! I was pumped! My bucket has felt so dry that there wasn't a drop left. You're probably thinking, "Well, what was so wrong?" Well, nothing in particular. I just felt that God was at arm's length, and I wanted that gap closed. I wanted new revelation, knowledge, and words from Him. And, within that, I wanted that for my friends even more than I wanted it for me.

I could sit here and give you a play-by-play of how God filled my bucket, but I won't. I will just say that tonight I sit here closer to God than I have felt since the night I encountered Him at EGS when Allen Hood spoke. I am in awe of how full my bucket feels tonight. Seriously.

My friends got theirs filled as well. Between the time in the Prayer Room, EGS, FCF, and fellowship, we all grew closer to each other, as well as to Him.

It's a weekend I will never forget...

So, I encourage you to do something. Try to fill someone else's bucket. It can be something as easy as smiling at the struggling mother at the store, or saying a kind word to someone, or just sending an email that says "Hey."

Because the coolest part of it all is that when you fill someone else's bucket, you fill yours as well!

By the way, we had the opportunity to put this into action while we were at breakfast Sunday. While sitting at a restaurant, our waiter was having a rough time with his manager. Honestly, the manager was emptying his bucket repeatedly. So, every time he came to check on us, we filled his bucket by saying kind things to him! :-)

Woop!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Prayer Room Ramblings

So this afternoon after I cleaned out my garage and got everything to the Recycle Center, I went to the Prayer Room. I will admit, I haven't been there nearly as much as I have wanted to be, so it was good to go and soak.

Justin Rizzo was leading when I got there and while he isn't my favorite, the set was really good. I was able to enter in fairly quickly and join in the singing.

After Justin was a different leader, who is new to me. The only person on the team that I recognized was Misty Edwards, and she was the prayer leader, not a singer. It was a good set, and I enjoyed it.

After that, I came home and walked Jay. Jay was quite excited about that since he missed out the past two days because of the parent/teacher conference days. It was quite cold here, so it was a brisk walk, but we both enjoyed it.

This evening I have spent more time in prayer and prepared for my guests who are arriving tomorrow.

We're having a miniature Women's Retreat. Laura and SingingGal are coming. I'm quite excited to see what God does in each of us this weekend. I know I enjoyed my time today in the Prayer Room, but I'm not where I want to be with God. It's kinda hard to explain, but I am desiring to be closer to Him than I am today. So, it will be cool to see what happens this weekend.

At 4pm Sunday we have appointments for the Prophecy Rooms. I'm excited!

This weekend is gonna rock!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Soft Bricks

The world of parent/teacher conferences is an interesting one. Honestly, unless you're a teacher, it's sort of hard to understand this side of the teacher's desk. I will admit, most of my conferences went well, as most of the kids are doing fine. However, there are about 5 who are struggling with some intense stuff that we had to discuss. My mentor, Karen, gives those of us who seek her counsel, information that is often in the form of a soft bricks. Meaning, it's the truth, but packaged very carefully. I felt like I delivered some soft bricks today myself. Karen would be proud actually...

First off, AutisticKid's parent's are coming to grips with his disability. While the chat wasn't easy, it was received well and the parents are open to any ideas I may have for them. That conference was actually easier than I expected it to be. Of course, I prayed all day over that one, as well as the others.

Secondly, AvoidingWorkKid's conference was about what I expected. While the parents are supportive of my ideas, sister was giving excuses for what AvoidingWorkKid has been doing. (Lying, Stealing) Soft bricks were delivered by me, which were accepted by parents, but not sister. My thought bubble in that conference was "If you want your brother to use his disability for an excuse, I have no sympathy. If I had done that, I wouldn't be here now." The beauty of thought bubbles is that you don't actually say what you're thinking. I respect the fact that family isn't there yet. I'm praying though that God will open that door. I don't want this kid to have a crutch at all!

Next, I attended a conference for SafeSeatKid, who is in the safe seat more than he's out. While it was definitely a Soft Brick meeting all the way around, the parent was more receptive than I expected her to be. I was up and ready to leave the meeting early to go to another meeting when God told me to sit. I sat and when I went to excuse myself I said, "Please don't just hear us saying bad stuff about your son. He's a very caring kid (Okay, it was a stretch, but she needed something positive!) who loves others." She started crying as she held my hand. While the meeting was hard, I knew that was the reason God had me there!

Finally, the most touching conference was earlier this afternoon when MizzouKid's Mom and Dad came in. While I talk to her everyday, it was hard for her to see that her child is still struggling. I feel so blessed to be a part of this kid's life. I really do. I just pray that at the next conference, I'll have some good news for her.

Now for the BEST news of the day....I HAVE A THREE DAY WEEKEND!

And...

I'm hosting a mini-women's retreat this weekend! Complete with a trip to the Prophecy Rooms on Sunday!

Woop! Woop!

Life.
Is.
Good.

You wouldn't think....

...that a little can of Pepsi would be the highlight of my day, but it was!

Parent/Teacher conferences are today and tomorrow, and unless you're a teacher, you really don't know the stress it puts teachers under. While some conferences go fine, others are difficult as we have to often deliver less-than-ideal news. On top of that, I found out this morning that I had some additional IEP paperwork to do that I didn't know about prior to this morning. Which led to me running around like the world was coming to an end. In fact, I didn't say a word, just moved like I haven't moved in quite a while.

I had been doing well, as I was doing thought bubbles instead of letting the world know I was a bit stressed at that moment. Gotta love BIST training, as they really emphasized the "thought bubble" analogy that I have taken as my own. (Aren't you amazed I actually paid attention on the 3 Saturdays the training was held?)

So, I was in the file room working on the extra paperwork, and my principal walked in with an 8 ounce bottle of Pepsi for me!

I stood there and said, "AWWWWWW how cute! THANKS!" And proceeded back into my little order of chaos that was my life at that moment.

Later in the day I returned to my room after an odd parent/teacher conference and I saw the little can of Pepsi, and it made me smile.

I tell ya, it really doesn't take much to make teachers happy! Seriously...

Life.
Is.
Good.

Especially when someone's nice just because they want to be!

Circumstantial Evidence, Errands, and Construction Crews!

Yesterday was the first day that I can recall not posting since I've moved to the big city. Why? Well, as it turns out, the city has decided to do some work on my street. They are also expanding the highway behind me, so it's busy around here! In the midst of that, something got hit, and I was without internet, cable, and phone service for about 24 hours. Anywho, this short little gal is GLAD to have it all back on. Only bummer is that I missed last night's TV line-up. Then again, life goes on, right? :-)

Today was full of drama. I have to admit, I was a bit stressed by it because I am so busy preparing for parent/teacher conferences that I really didn't want to deal with other stuff. I should have prayed about that though! :-)

It must be some sort of tradition in the world of education that a Book Fair is held the week of parent/teacher conferences. Every year I have taught that has been the case, and we're having one now at my new school. While it's a great idea, as the parents come in and spend money, it's a nightmare for teachers because of the issues of money as well as products mysteriously disappearing. Yeah, you see where this story is going...

I have AvoidingWorkKid, who I have blogged about before. He's a decent kid, but has already been caught stealing red-handed in the cafeteria, and has lied to me twice this year about stuff he really didn't have to lie about. Lying+stealing=not able to trust this kid.

So this morning, one of my students brought in all the stuff that she had bought at the book fair. She had two posters and two erasers. In hindsight, I should have told her to take her stuff back to her other classroom, but I didn't know what was going to happen. AvoidingWorkKid and this gal are in the same group.

So AvoidingWorkKid left at 10:30, while BookFairGirl stayed until noon. At a little before noon, BookFairGirl said, "I can't find my eraser." We looked on the floor as well as all over the room and couldn't find it. I told her it was too bad but there wasn't anything I could do. I let it go and the kids went back to class.

At 12:30 AvoidingWorkKid came in, handed me the eraser, and said, "Here give this to BookFairGirl, I found it on the floor."

Hum....we had looked on the floor...

And, how did he know it was BookFairGirl's? He wasn't in the room when we did the search...

I looked at him and said, "You found it on the floor? Hum, because we looked there before lunch..."

He replied with "Well, maybe it was in a desk then..."

Hum...we checked all the desks...

I followed with, "Okay, so how did you get it then?"

He said, "I don't know!"

To which I replied, "You know, I think you took it."

He just looked at me and said, "I didn't steal it!"

Hum....stuff wasn't adding up, the kid had lied to me before, and has also stolen before.

Needless to say, he lost his recess while we tried to process with him (the big BIST word "process"), and he just sat there and cried saying he hadn't stolen it. I explained to him that a natural consequence of lying previously is that we can't believe him now. I honestly believe he did it.

So, it is all circumstantial, as I didn't actually see him take it, but I know this kid well enough to know that he isn't stupid. He wasn't wanting to go home and explain to his parents what had happened. He's from another culture and this is a big deal in that family.

So, when his parents came to get him, I explained the whole thing to them. I even played the "It is circumstantial, but..." card.
While they played the ADHD card, it was clear they got it. I'll be anxious to see what tomorrow holds.. Makes me wonder if he'll change his behavior. I pray that he does...

On a more humorous note, I was working with a third grader today on a writing assignment that he had to do for his regular teacher. We had the work done and I said, "Hey, Ash, run and see if your teacher wants this page colored." He turned to leave and then looked at me and said, "Can I really run or do I need to walk?"

After I stopped laughing he said, "I need to walk don't I?"

Yep.

Love this job.

Even when kids lie and steal there is still humor in the day...

Life.
Is.
Good.

Shuttling God's Kids...

I have had several people ask me how big the Shuttle is that I drive at IHOP-KC, so tonight while it was slow I took I picture. It's not the most fantastic picture, but I had just had two passengers board the shuttle so I didn't want to make them wait too long!

Tonight was really fun. More and more people are getting to know me by face or by name, so it's fun to have people hopping on the shuttle and saying, "Hey, Shortone!" It's been neat. I find myself praying for several of them throughout the week and then praying on Sunday afternoon that I will see them Sunday night to hear how they are doing. One of them sought me out to tell me how he was doing, which blessed me immensely. I know this whole deal isn't huge, but I truly believe that it is a start to me making friends here. I know just driving Sunday evenings makes me feel connected, like I am not the only one doing this thing, seeking God in the midst of the world we live in today. When I sit and hear about people praying through stuff, or just waiting on God, or simply sharing their journey in the race, it reminds me that I'm not alone. I'm blessed to be a part of a community that is wholeheartedly seeking God to the best of their ability.

And that makes me smile. :-)

Life.
Is.
Good.

Shuttle #2

Today I went and drove the shuttle for the conference at IHOP-KC. I find myself enjoying the shuttle gig more and more each time I drive. Today I met a guy from New Zealand who is here until God tells him to go somewhere else. I tell ya, after hearing his story, it made my journey here seem like a piece of cake!

I also saw Payton, the guy I prayed for a couple weeks ago. It was GREAT to see him, and it was probably the highlight of my day! He took over driving my shuttle, which was really cool too! Good stuff.

I enjoyed being a leader today on the shuttle too. I was on a team with some new drivers, and it was really fun to help them out. I really thought that was neat. We even had one guy who took on the nickname Scooter! I love it! Good times.

A funny moment came when one of them said, "This is Vic in shuttle 2..."

I stopped and thought...hey, I'm in shuttle 2!

I said, "Um, I thought I was shuttle 2!"

To which he replied, "Yeah, I guess you are!"

I smiled, and I'm pretty sure he did too.

I followed with, "No worries, just givin' ya a hard time."

And I laughed.

Life.
Is.
Good.

:-)

One Little Comment...

Today was a good day. I am really enjoying half days with kids and the other half of the day to do paperwork. I wish we had that one day per month. There is always work to be done, and that would be cool. However, until they ask my opinion, I'll just feel blessed to have the half days that I do.

So this afternoon I returned from lunch and one of my 4th grade teachers wanted to meet with me about our students. She has been really good to work with and works hard to make sure my students are making progress. While we spent most of our time talking about kids, we managed to talk about personal stuff too. I was sort of caught off-guard by one of her comments.

I was sharing with her how I had moved here to be closer to IHOP-KC and that I drive the shuttle on Sunday Evenings and REALLY enjoy it. She looked at me and said, "Wow, a shuttle? You really aren't disabled, are you?"

I smiled and made some remark about how the limp isn't a hinderance to me and changed the subject to other things.

I will admit, it gave me mixed feelings. On one hand, it frustrated me that we have worked together 9 weeks and she still saw me as "disabled." On the other hand, I was glad I was able to break that mindset that she had. She wasn't being mean or anything like that, so it didn't hurt me. It just reminded me that some people still have me there even after being in that school for a quarter of a school year. In my mind I thought I was past most of that.

So, in the end, I think it was good for me to hear it.

And it reminds me how many people are watching, and how I want to make a positive impact on those watching...

Hum......

Life.
Is.
Good.

Especially when people figure out I'm not disabled! :-)

An Unexpected Blessing

Today was a really good day compared to yesterday. I had a few character-building moments yesterday that made me want the day to end, but today was MUCH BETTER. I have many good stories I could choose from to share tonight, but I have decided to go with the most touching moment of the day.

Yesterday I came home and asked God what I was doing here. I miss my old friends, church, and school. I was basically whining to God. I can only imagine God looking at us when we are like that and thinking, "Just wait and see what I have for you..." After today, I am convinced that He loves us even when we act like toddlers and complain to Him....

I have been tutoring FaveKid for several weeks now, and I REALLY enjoy it. I volunteered to do it, as he is my student who works the hardest for me, but also struggles the most with staying on task. I only tutor him two days a week, so it's a pretty fun gig. I don't do it for pay, I just do it because it was something God had laid on my heart as I was praying over who to tutor this year.

So last week I was in a meeting and the parents of AvoidingWorkKid asked me if I would tutor their son two or three days a week. I honestly didn't want to do it. I mean, in a selfish way I really enjoyed only being tied up two afternoons a week. Last year I was tutoring two kids (one for pay and one for free) and I was busy EVERY day. So after the parents asked me, I heard the Lord nudging me to do it. I was honestly frustrated because I didn't want more work. However, I know better than to tell the Lord "No." So I accepted the tutoring gig.

Today I started with AvoidingWorkKid after school, and it went well. I will admit, he tried to avoid work every chance he got, but it was easier to deal with him since it was just the two of us. I also feel it will be a good avenue to build a better relationship with him. He's in sixth grade, so it's not like he'll be with me again next year, so it's kinda cool.

After tutoring, his Mom was waiting for him. I walked him out and explained to her what we had gotten done. (Which wasn't much because we had to clean out his desk and notebook and sift through all his unfinished work that he had tried to hide so he wouldn't have to do it. I told him that if I just hid my electric bill and didn't pay it, lights would be off, but he didn't seem to get it.) After explaining it all, she handed me an envelope and said they want to pay me for tutoring. This kid and his family are from another country and she let me know (when I tried to not take the money) that it would be an insult to them if I didn't let them pay. I stood there, smiled, and said, "Thank You. That is very kind of you."

When I moved here, I gave up one tutoring gig for the dream of being closer to IHOP-KC.

And God gave me THE EXACT SAME AMOUNT per hour that I was making before in my previous tutoring job in my last chapter of my life.

I walked back to my classroom, looked around the HUGE room, and told the Lord "Thanks."

I hadn't even prayed for the money but God knows our hearts and (I think) sometimes just wants to bless us.

And to remind us that we're right where He wants us.

Thank You, Lord!

Life.
Is.
Good.

Quote for the Day!

After school I was tutoring FaveKid and he turned to me after I had taught him how to figure "X" in the math problem, and he smiled and said, "This is easy!" I cracked up. I looked at him and said, "You know, you crack me up! I like you!" To which he replied "That's what they all say!"

That made me grin even more!

:-)
Life.
Is.
Good.

Fear

This morning I was getting ready for school and had K-Love Radio on, and the announcer gave a challenge that I have contemplated all day long. She said, "What would you do if fear didn't stand in your way of anything?"

That made me stop.

I put down my curling iron and thought about it.

Hum....what would I do without fear...

I have thought about it all day.

And still have some pondering to do.

A friend of mine told me once that I'm a great ponderer.

I'll let you know what I decide after I do more pondering....

What would you do if fear didn't stand in your way of anything?

Makes ya think, doesn't it?

Life.
Is.
Good.