Loving the Skin I'm In

I have been deep in pondering things today. I'm not really sure where to start, but I want to ramble a bit. There is a commercial on TV where the main theme is "Love the skin you're in." I think it's a soap commercial, and it's talking about the outer layer of skin.

Of course, I took it a step further. I think so much of our lives is spent being content in the skin we we're in. I know in my classroom, a lot of my time is simply encouraging kids who fight self esteem in figuring out where they fit in in this world. And, I don't think we're that different from the little people in my world.

I don't think we walk around hating ourselves, I really don't. But I do think a lot of our lives is spent figuring out where we fit in in this journey called life. This journey gives us so many twists and turns, and we find ourselves trying to keep afloat. And it is amazing what a simple word of encouragement can do for someone.

As I was pondering this, I was thinking about what I've walked in the past few months. I've let very few in on what has happened in my little corner of the world. And, I have been stretched in ways I never thought possible. I have found myself questioning some decisions I have made, but I know I can't go back and change things. As much as I want to, I can't rewind the clock.

I think that is okay. I think about a statement that was made in my favorite book from last year, titled The Shack. In the book it states that God knows what is going to happen in my life from beginning to end, EVERY SINGLE DAY of my life. In fact, he knew every step of my life before I was even born. And, I know that some of the challenges I've come across in the past 3 months didn't catch God off guard. It caught me off guard, but not Him.

In the book, it is also states that God knows that it may take me 49 times to learn something. So, all 48 attempts before that are not failures, they are steps to get to the 49th step where I finally grasp what it is He is trying to teach me. I hate to think I'm that slow on some things, but I know that I am. I know that there are concepts that I'm trying to grasp now, that will take me a lifetime to grasp.

So all the mistakes I have made in the past 3 months are just steps. Steps to figuring out what it is I'm to learn through all this stuff that I wouldn't have chosen to walk through if I had had the choice.

And what I have definately gained is that I am loving the skin I'm in. I'm a human, I have made mistakes and am going to make mistakes until the day I die. What I refuse to do in the midst of that is let that lower what I know is right and true. I'm a good person who has traits and characteristics that only God gave me. I like every gift He's put in me that makes me who I am today. I could list them all, but you get my point.

So as some people are judging me, without knowing ALL the facts, I'm okay with that.

And I'm okay with that, loving the skin I'm in.

Funny Moments of the Day

Today I have a couple funny moments to pass along to you.

After swinging Renaldo today, Mrs. Happygal complimented Renaldo on being so well-behaved in Church. I looked at him and said, "Why can't you act like that here at school?" To which he replied, "Because it's church, you have to be good there."
Sheesh.

I was working on my new bulletin board today, and Z came by to help. I was appreciative since I needed the help. Z, a fourth grader, is a very loveable kid. He walked up in the middle of my project and gave me a hug. And I said, "I love my job. What other job can you have where you get hugged a lot in one day. I guess being a parent would be the only job I can think of." To which Z replied, "Nah. I don't hug my Mom that much." And I stopped and looked at him, and he said, "l don't love her THAT much."
Go figure.

Never a dull moment in the teaching world.

NEVER.

LATER!

It's finally here!

Today I entered the building after 2 snow days off, and saw that I had an LCD projector mounted to my ceiling. Finally, after 2 years of pleading, I finally got a SmartBoard. The guy came in around 10-ish and we had to go to the library for about 45 minutes, and then it was done!

Of course, that left me to figure out how to hook it up (not hard) and then try to get it to fit right on the board. (very hard.) Mr. H. came in and provided some assistance as well as our Tech Gal too. But, it is set to go!

Truthfully, I didn't get to TEACH using it today, but I will tomorrow!

The kids were probably more excited than me!

:-)
Later!

Praying for....

...school tomorrow.

It may seem a bit odd to hear this, but I actually hope we have school tomorrow. We had today off due to snow/ice, so that makes day #5 for our district this year. We have 6 snow days built into our calendar. As I sit here and think about it, I REALLY don't want to be going clear into June due to snow days. Actually, I just checked our school Calendar. If we don't have any more snow days, we will be out June 1. Gosh, that seems SO LONG! While I have been semi-productive the past two days, I have also been a bum which has been nice. I just REALLY hope we have school tomorrow. Going until June 1 will be character-building for ALL of us who are in the buildings.

Say a prayer...we need to have school tomorrow!

Ice Melting

We're in the teacher's parking lot after school yesterday and the ice has been falling since about 10am. We already know there's no school the next day and so we're toting extra work to our cars and wanting to get home as soon as we can.

There are times that I just unashamedly love my job and my co workers and this moment was one. Two or three of the men are walking around with their big scrapers, helping the ladies get their cars clean and a couple of us who happened to have de-icer handy shuffled around spraying it on other cars. Everyone's mood was light while concerned that everyone will arrive safely at home.

It might be a strange thing to find so much grace in such a small thing, but I slid home last night a bit warmer than I would have been.

Snow Day #4

Today I am at home due to an ice storm that came through our area last night. It took me 90 minutes to drive home yesterday after work. It's typically a 23 minute drive. I reached a standstill by Flying J due to semi trucks who were having difficulties. It was interesting to say the least. I live in an area where driving is not typically an issue, but with ice and snow falling, everything changed. I have never been in a storm quite like this one. I never reached driving over 15 miles per hour, and thankfully noone else did either. In fact, outside of the driver behind me that drove a bit too close for my comfort, everyone did really well which shocked me. Oh, wait, there was one person who was in my lane at one point facing my direction, but she was at a shandstill, so noone was hurt. I found myself sliding here and there but since I was going so slowly it was okay. By the time I was home I wanted to kiss the floor, but restrained myself.

Needless to say I am home and don't plan on going anywhere. I have enough food for a while, so I'm good. I have some work to do for school, as well as some bills to pay, so I have plenty to keep me busy. In fact, I have a book to finish reading too. Gosh, life is so hard! (giggle!)

Later!

Ice Storm

There is an ice storm outside, so I am headed home!

Later!

Wow, good guys still exist!

Okay, before you go judging me by the title of this post, I am NOT a man-hater or anything like that. In today's society, it's sometimes hard to come across a genuinely good guy who is just doing something because it's the right thing to do. Today I have seen two examples of good guys who just did things because they wanted to, not because they had to do it.

First, I invited 3 ladies to lunch after church today. My church seems to be full of single gals who all seem to go home after church and do their own thing on a day for family stuff. So, today while I was on the platform during worship at church, I knew I was supposed to invite three friends to lunch. After church, I ran around trying to find them because I taught Sunday School and it's hard to catch people. In the end, the ladies accepted and we met at Pizza Hut. (I know, you're shocked!) So, while sitting at lunch talking with the gals, we noticed that there was a guy from my church sitting alone at a table. Kendra went over and invited him to eat with us, and he accepted. We had a great time laughing and joking with him. At the end, the check came, and he grabbed ours before we could grab it. I was blessed. I had never even talked to the guy before today. I knew who he was, but had never spoken to him before today, and he picked up the check for all four of us ladies! Is that cool or what? Just a guy doing the right thing. What a blessing.

My other story happened while I was sitting here at Panera. There was an elderly lady who had gotten up and was walking toward the door. She had a cane and was hunched over. A guy shot up out of his seat, ran around her, and held the doors open for her. He didn't even know her, he just did it. Just doing the right thing at the right moment. What a good guy.

It was a great reminder that people do random acts of kindness just because it's the right thing to do.

Cool, eh?

Later!

Hard Work

I have spent the day at Panera (again) working on the steps toward my dream. I am finding that it is a lot of hard work, but I don't mind it. I keep thinking that by May I'll probably know if it will come true or not. For now, it just requires more work, prayer, and time. I'm willing to do all three in order to make it come true.

Later!

Relief For My Backed Up Craw

I once again need to get something out of my craw. It's large and has been annoying me for some time. I'll begin by describing one representative situation and then working into a meta conversation.

Our semester began on January 6th. On that day, I met a whole new group of students for the first time. January 9th was Pumpkin's last day of class until the end of February. She is leaving to have her baby. The next morning, I have an email in my box asking me to prepare work for Pumpkin. Now, they don't want this work all at once, but I am being asked to prepare work for her for ALL SEVEN WEEKS OF HER ABSENCE.

Are. You. Serious?

I asked a few people if I really was hearing correctly. I asked her asst principal and her counselor if I was really supposed to supply this child with a textbook and page numbers and expect that those assignments would be equivilant to actually attending class. Their reaction was baffling.

"Yeah, just give her the work." Like the entire experience of life in my classroom can be boiled down to a worksheet.

This struggle affixed to my craw and festered. I took my plight to our next Principal's advisory committee meeting and the story was met with similar outrage by the other teachers in attendance. My head principal got it also. Oddly, the counselor just sat there slackjawed, completely failing to see the problem here.

Here in the Great State of Oklahoma, the class of 2012 must pass four of seven End of Instruction exams in order to graduate high school. Schools must jump through their buttholes to document that Pumpkin and those like her are given every bit of instruction and every possible chance to succeed. However (and I discovered this after a long hard read of State law regarding education), we have no State attendance requirements. So, Oklahoma, what you're saying is that I could be sued for failing to educate a child who never bothered to show up in my classroom? Really???

My first steps to relieve my pain over this sitation is to finally answer the emails from the counseling office. I assembled work for Pumpkin with the following note...

Attached is another couple of week’s worth of work for Pumpkin. I apologize
for the wait, but it is impossible to prepare English II as a correspondence
course. The work attached is not an equivalent for the work done in class,
despite my real and honest effort to give your student an equivalent
experience. Please be aware that I am unsure if Pumpkin will be prepared
for her End of Instruction exam by simply completing bookwork.

Also, I am happy to schedule a time for your student to make up
the test over the three stories she was previously assigned. I will cover
details of the stories as well as the literary elements of plot, mood, and
conflict.

Completion of this work will bring Pumpkin relatively up to date
and I will start working now on the next batch of work. Thank you for
understanding my difficult position, I am concerned that the textbook simply
can’t provide all the learning we’ve done in class.

luv and hearts--
Ms Educat

...and for the larger problem, I am on this, friends. I am all up in this situation. I'm making plans to speak with State legislators about this. My first approach will to listen, a sort of a "help me understand" approach. In fact, is there any insight you have to this situation? After that, we start talking legislation. Ms Educat is going to the Capitol.

Thank you, and watch your step as you walk away. All that stuff from my craw is lying around on the floor.

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

Wiped

Today was quite a day. I could ramble about it...I mean, I could really vent, but I'm not going to. So you're wondering what is in my near future. Easy...

1. Tutor Jay
2. Grab Dinner
3. Be a bum on the couch.

Tomorrow will involve time here at school as well as taking care of other chore-like stuff.

But tonight I will be a bum...

Later!

Spelling Pre-Test

Every Thursday in my classroom I give a spelling pre-test. Every kid knows it. Every Thursday. Period. No exceptions.

And, I am faithful to write in each student's planner (the ones I'm required to write in each day) that Thursday is a pre-test, so they need to study.

So, it still amazes me when the kids don't pass the test the day I give it. We work with the words throughout the week. We play card matching games, we write with them, we talk about them...we do everything I know to do with them.

So, on Thursday they get a couple minutes before the test to review the words.

Today I gave the test and one of my students flunked (several flunked, but this is a post about one student in particular). I was a bit surprised as he is a good student, he just doesn't always apply himself.

I passed back the tests and went on with the other assignments for the day.

At lunch I found out the student had thrown his "F" paper in the recycle box, instead of taking it home to show his parents.

I was shocked. He is a good kid.

So, after recess I pulled him in the hallway and asked him about what he done.

And I was so proud of him.

He simply said he was scared to show it to his parents. He didn't want his folks mad at him.

I was so proud of him.

Most of my other students would have flipped out, made an excuse, and probably thrown out tears for good measure.

I did make him take it home to his parents and have it signed and brought back tomorrow. I imagine he'll still be in trouble tonight.

But for the first time in a while I am really, really proud of a student.

As far as I'm concerned that is priceless.

Yo Comments Are Whack!

This doesn't need commentary...

Blurt

Yesterday in Reading Class, we played Blurt. For those of you not familiar with the game, let me explain. I read a description of a word and they get to yell out the word. One example would be: it has four legs, a seat, and a back. Well, the word would be "chair."

So in the midst of the game yesterday I read: "spoiled," "Rotten" to which Renaldo yells out "BRAT!"

I stopped and looked at him. I wasn't even done with the description and he had the word I was needing to hear.

So I said, "Renaldo, why did you know that so fast?"

And without missing a beat, he said, "Because my Grandpa calls me that all the time."

Go figure...

Lostboy Update!

I have a quick highlight to share. I received a call today from Lostboy's Mother. I was nervous because she can be a pill when she calls. HOWEVER, she called today to let me know he made the Honor Roll at his new school! Lostboy is succeeding. I can't even explain what a highlight that was for me today!

Life is good!

Late!

A Waste Of Tea, But A Huge Relief

Got back yesterday from our school's annual leadership retreat. We took 55 great kids and spent about two days talking about being the best we could be and turning our school around.

What did I get from this? Besides strengthening relationships with some students, I learned the latest in goofy teen boy tricks.

I walked into the room to meet with my small group Saturday morning just in time to hear one of them announce,

"Dude, I'm so mad at that one kid. He totally teabagged me last night"

Don't comment here asking me what that is. You're on a computer, so you'll have to look it up yourself. If it's enough for you to know that it's a sex act, then now you know that.

I'm standing there frozen and a bit torn about what to do. Should I trust that the conversation will end soon? Just move on with our agenda? Anything else will let on that I know what they're talking about...
"Yeah, we totally got this other kid and he didn't even know. He was asleep!"

Oh sweet crap. I hate this...
"I'm gonna get him back though. I got these this morning"

...and the kid produces two tea bags from his backpack. Evidently, the fad is to actually place wet teabags on unsuspecting friends.

Whatever you kids are calling it these days.

Stuck

I have spent the past two hours working on stuff and I think it's time to call it quits for the day. Afterall, today is a day off work! I think I will goof off for a bit before heading to Wal-Mart, and then heading home for the couch. Afterall, tonight is House and 24. I tell ya, I lead such an exciting life!

Ha!

Later!

Sunday Busy-ness

I awoke today, went and played on the worship team, taught Sunday School, did lunch with friends, came to Joplin to get more work done, met with a friend for a couple hours, and am now quitting.

What am I going to do now?

Thanks for asking...I am going to...

Turn off the computer, go home, grab the remote, and watch all the TV shows I taped from last week and be a bum.

I hear the couch calling my name...

Later!

Dreams

I have spent the day working so that I can achieve a dream I've had for about 5 years. I am tired at this point. It's amazing how I thought this would be an easier process than it is turning out to be. It has made me think about dreams, and there's a reason they are called dreams. If it was something easy to achieve, it wouldn't require hard work, planning, and a deep desire to see it fulfilled. And I know that the more work I put into it, the more excited I will be about the outcome.

So while I am exhausted at the moment, I know that this will be one of many days of hard work that I will be able to look back on and say, "I did it." The dream is months away from completion.

So, I cling to the Scripture of Hebrews 11:1: Faith is evidence of things hoped for and things not yet seen.

I can't see it yet, but I know God's gonna get me there!

:-)

TGIF!

This week has been pretty good. I look at the stack of papers on my desk, and want to just go home and forget about them until Tuesday. (We get a three-day weekend!) I won't...I'll get something done before I leave here. But, I decided to take a break and post before I am actually productive.

I've had a few people ask about Alliterations....Peter Piper Picked a pack of pickled pepppers. Ring a bell for anyone? I bet it does now. :-)

I had a meeting today that I dreadded all week. I simply prayed as the week progressed, knowing that I was going to have to be a bit bold to get the outcome that I felt was best for my stduent, and it worked. I am happy to report that it wasn't dramatic, explosive, or hurtful to anyone involved, which is what I REALLY wanted. God is so good to answer prayers. I love that!

Well, I should get some stuff done. I have a baby-sitting gig tonight and I get to FINALLY bowl on the Wii! I can't wait!

Later!

Alliterations

Today I had a character-building afternoon. At the end of the day, Renaldo and Duggy came in to have their planners signed. I do this each day because they don't really care if they get their work done or not so I have to write it down so their parents know what to have them complete each night. Otherwise, they get the dreaded, "I don't have any homework." I even go a step further and have them take assignment sheets down to two of their teachers to have signed each day so I KNOW what is true and what isn't. IF we have time, I help them on their homework so they don't have as much to do at home.

So today in Reading they were working on Alliterations. So, I had the task of explaining Alliterations to the two boys. They COULD NOT get it! I tried and tried and tried. Duggy just looked at me with his blank stare, and never got it. I did my best, and had to stop. My brain was starting to hurt.

After it was over, I walked over to the 5th grade reading teacher and said, "I tried. Really, I tried." And she started laughing and said, "Yep, I can see it on your face. I'm just glad they turned it in."

That is sometimes what my world comes down to. Some days I gotta stop just to stop my brain from exploding.

Don't worry though. I'll try it again tomorrow. And again. And again. And again...

You get the point.

Later!

Pretend Like You Won And I'll Drop Balloons!!

By admitting that it's taken five years to get this many hits, I will appear far less cool and much more obscure but I've never been one of the popala girls so whatever.

Sometime this week (tomorrow, I'd guess), Ramblin Educat will turn over 100,000 hits.

I'm celebrating this milestone by rolling out a bunch of new crap. I'll have my twitter account linked (because seriously, I rock at under 140 characters) and will perhaps begin a discussion of why I am avoiding facebook. The conversation promises to probe deep into my bitter and nasty psyche. You'll want to stay tuned.

Because My Life Is That Fascinating

I'm on twitter. Search for mseducat if you'd like to find me.

Quote for the day.

"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Abraham Lincoln

Monday: The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life

I am so excited to get a student teacher on Monday!



Firstly, I am so very ready to start a young teacher on her way to a long career spent investing her efforts into students. I had the best student teaching experience a puppy teacher could want. My cooperating teacher was actually an old friend from church (she babysat me as a child), I planned to be a Speech/Drama teacher so the twelve hour days were no shock at all to me and my mentor teacher could watch me work with kids and articulate with ease the things I did well and the things that weren't so great. I want to be that encouraging friend that naturally builds on the wealth of gifts that my puppy will bring.

Secondly, I need another set of hands. It's beyond tough to run a school spirit empire, a fake kid government, and to maintain full responsibility for two of the three Rs. She's going to take over one class at a time and her first one will happen quickly so I can work on Senior assembly. I can't wait to share the burden of grading.

But there's a gamble, isn't there? I'm assuming that babygirl is a natural teacher who just needs one last good push into the big world of teaching, but what if she isn't? I don't expect her to work twelve hour days, but what if she thinks that teaching is a seven hour a day job? What if she's a yeller?

So I guess I want ideas. I'm already noting everything my buddy Ms. C shared a coupla years ago but it's been about 12 years since I've had a student teacher and it was in a whole other subject area. Thoughts, please. I have a student teacher...and go!

Quote for the day.

"You make the world a more beautiful place to be."
Adele Basheer

Clutter

I have created a work table to clutter. I will say that this is a good thing, although I hate it. Today I got all my stuff graded for my IEP sheets that must go home tomorrow. So, that just means that tonight I transfer everything over to the sheets. This is a relief for me. I wasn't worried or anything, it's just been a time-consuming process.

Once I get goal pages done then I get to start on our Alternative Assessment sheets for this year.

Not a dull moment in this business.

Not one.

Later!

DJ's Gift

I was sitting in class today, and D.J. walked in with a paper-made basket. On the front it said, "From DJ to Mrs. Springer." I kept working with the student I had at the time. When I looked over at DJ, he said, "I made this for you. It's your late Christmas present."

I smiled at him. He is from a home of limited means, so I knew it was a gift from the heart.

He said, "There's a note inside. Read it."

Inside it said, "I love you Ms. Spring."

Priceless...just priceless.

New Semester News

  1. Brother of Urinator didn't show in class today. He's still on my roll. I have set my mind to give him his own, very fair shot into my good graces but that doesn't mean that I'd rather not exercize that particular professional skill.
  2. The Sophie's Choice of teacher-dom is no longer my dillema!! My plan is during the lunch period so I have a giant planlunch all smashed together!! Today I used the restroom and ate a healthy lunch! Such riches!

Time to go home...

Today was our first day back with kids, and it was fun. The kids seemed thrilled to see me until I told them it was Assessment Day. They typically hate assessment days. Today they did fairly well. Of course, when one group came and gave the standard groan, I said, "Well, I haven't killed a kid yet."

That seemed to make them be silent.

I love my job!

I'm now done doing random stuff, and it's time for my to go bond with the heating pad. I've had a headache all day!

Later!

Just A Few Quick Questions

  • Tomorrow, our new semester begins and I have the brother of "The Urinator" in my last period class. From what I've been told, The Urinator is the good brother. Would you cry to the counselor's office for some sort of immunity ("Do I have to have both of the pee brothers!?")? Is it a situation worthy of special consideration?
  • For the English teachers--When you're in those awful staff development meetings and other teachers refer to you as "An English Person", are you tempted to answer them in your best Princess Margaret voice? No? Not even a little?
  • If you're at lunch with a group of mixed age colleagues (all "English People" for what it's worth, and no one eating fish and chips...) and all the diners of a certain age are bemoaning the downfall of society and how text messaging has brought us there, should I mention that I was just notified by text message of the passing of my great uncle?
  • If not Princess Margaret, how about Eliza Doolittle?

For the record, I'd say: no but I'd like to; yes, yes, oh HELL YES; no; and tempting but no.

Top three things...

Today I was in an in-service, and my principal challenged us to write down the top 3 things we do as teachers. Everyone had different ideas. And, honestly, we all teach different subjects so it makes sense that we all would have different ideas. My top three were:

1. Love (Show Compassion)
2. Teach/Disciplinarian
3. Parent-Take care of basic needs.

Of course, my principal had a point to it all which I won't go into at this time, but it made me think today. As teachers we wear so many different hats. We do things I would venture to say that educators didn't have to do when I was a kid.

And honestly, that makes me feel blessed to be here...

Enough said.

Joy

I've been pondering joy this week. Everyone has their own definition, I think. I mean, sure, there's a definition in the dictionary, but I mean a deep, personal meaning of the word joy. I look around at my little corner of the world, and very few (outside of my own family and a few close friends at work) are joyful people. I find myself surrounded so often by people who struggle with life. Struggle with finding peace. Struggle with enjoying life.

Well, this break, I have found peace, love, and joy. I came into this break needing a break in a way I've never needed one before. And, I feel God has given me more than I ever could have imagined. I am often amazed that I'm amazed that God gives us what we need when we need it, when He so faithfully does it time after time.

One of my favorite quotes is, "Live, laugh, love." I feel I've done all three this week. Let me share...

1. I have played with two wonderful pups. They have loved me and I have loved them and played with them in a way that has brought me joy.

2. I spent time at IHOP-KC and at the Onething Conference. I find myself deeper in God than I was before the break began. And, within that, I have a deeper sense of peace than I've felt in 2 months. That is priceless in my book, and brings a smile to my face just thinking about it.

3. I have spent a lot of wonderful time with my parents. We seem to have started something that I hope becomes a tradition while I'm home on break. We have watched movies that were family favorites when I was growing up. A Few Good Men, Shawshank Redemption, and A Scent of a Woman were a few of them. And, the fun part was the fact that we often said the lines with the movie, and laughed as we did it. In it, those moments were priceless...and have brought joy to my life.

4. Laughter. We have laughed at the dogs, movies, tv, and just silly stuff here and there. That was something I hadn't been doing much of prior to break. Once again...priceless...

So now you're wondering, am I sad break is coming to a close?

No.

I am not sad because I know that everything that has been deposited in me this break is going to make me a better teacher, friend, and overall person to be around.

"Live, laugh, love."

That's my new goal in life...

Later!

A day of rest...

Today was GREAT. I got up and met my brother for brunch and had a fabulous time!

After that, I went to the prayer room for 3 hours. I had no idea who was leading, but I didn't really care either. I just wanted to sit and soak. Break is coming to a close pretty fast, and I want to soak as much as possible before returning to the real world.

When I got there, Justin Rizzo was leading a set. I really enjoyed the set. While Justin isn't my favorite, he is very annointed, and he did an awesome job on his set.

According to the board outside the prayer room, Matt Gillman was slated for the 2-4 set, which excited me. As I shared yesterday, Matt was one of my favorite leaders from the conference. So, you can imagine my surprise when Misty Edwards came out and led from 2-3. She did a devotional set, which was very peaceful and intimate. I really enjoyed it. From 3-4 another gal came out, and surprisingly I don't know her name, but she did a deep set as well. It was fun. I left at 4 when Jon Thurlow came out. He's good, but I wanted to spend more time with the parental unit before this break ends and I wanted to beat traffic back here.

I tell ya, 3 hours in the prayer room flies by for me. It really is my favorite place on the planet.

Tonight I've rested, played with the pups, and watched a movie with the parents...not a bad day for me.

One last free day tomorrow and then Sunday I prepare for the real world. Gosh, where did break go?

(By the way, to the person who commented on my blog, Misty's "What does love look like" song wasn't necessarily a flow, but not a song either. I mean, it is a song, but not one that she has released on a CD that I know of yet. It's not on any of her first four CD's, I know that for sure. She did it live as a flow piece, but could easily be put into a real song. Anyway, good luck finding what you're looking for!)

At any rate, I'm going to crash. I think I'll read more of "Pretties" and crash.

Nite!

Conference Ramblings!

Greetings!

Before I begin rambling, I wanted to say HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope 2009 is a blessed year for everyone!

Now onto the other ramblings...

I returned from the conference today, and want to share a bit from it. I realize that what I'm sharing is limited, I mean, it's hard to put into words what has happened in the past 4 days for me. And honestly, unless you were there, this won't mean much to you. But, if you're reading my blog, you're reading it because what matters to me, matters to you. Otherwise you wouldn't be here. So, I hope you enjoy the following ramblings...

I have gone to the conference each year the past 7 years, and I am always amazed at how each year is different. You would think that I would say, "I've been there, and done that!" after seven years, but God never does things the same thing twice!

I have shared several times about my favorite worship leader, Misty Edwards. She led worship during several sessions, and it was AMAZING. She even led us into 2009, which was a highlight for me. She also preached one morning, and I have to say it was one of the best sermons I've ever heard. I bought 4 copies of the sermon to give out to friends. I don't typically do that, but I thought it was a very timely message for us in this time of our history as a nation. Amazing stuff.

Matt Gillman led two sets, and he is an AMAZING worship leader! Misty and Matt were my favorite worship leaders during the conference. Matt is able to go high-energy but also able to do slow and intimate sets too! And it's always been a dream of mine to be in a worship set and have the crowd keep a song going after the worship team stopped. And, it finally happened! Tuesday night after Matt had led an intimate worship set, we went into "Let it Rain" (I believe it's a Michael W. Smith Chorus) and Matt and the team dropped out, and we kept going. In fact, we kept going so long that the leaders of the conference came out to end the set because they needed to make some announcements before the evening ended. I remember standing there, singing, and looking up at the leaders as they debated as to what to do. I could tell they debated, let us keep going or go ahead with the schedule. They let us sing for a while before ending it, but it was POWERFUL and a night I'll never forget.

Every year at the conference, I get stopped at least once for people to pray for my leg. For those of you new to my blog, I walk with a limp due to the fact I was born with Cerebral Palsy. It doesn't keep me from anything, but people think it's something to be cured. While I don't believe that, I always let people pray for me because I believe it builds everyone's faith to pray for someone that they don't even know.

So, a college kid named Kyle stopped me Tuesday morning as I was walking into the conference area and asked if he could pray for my foot. (his words) I said yes. He prayed, and he and his friends went on. I continued to walk at my normal slow pace, and as I entered the arena he was waiting for me and asked me if I wanted to sit with them. I said, "sure". Afterall, I had gone to the conference alone and the Lord had already told me on the walk to the conference that I would meet some good friends that day. As we walked, we talked. I picked up my pace to keep up with him (Which I decided was harder than walking alone at my own pace, but that's just a minor sidenote.) and as we kept walking closer and closer to the stage, I said, "Do you have seats saved?" And he said yes.

I should stop here and state that front section seats are HARD to get. I guess they're not too hard if you can run the moment the doors open, but for a gal like me, it's impossible. I had been sitting in the middle section because that's the first available section I can get to as everyone else has hit the front section and has saved every seat available.

So when Kyle walked to the very front section and we went around to their seats, I was ecstatic. I suspected that there wouldn't be a seat for me, as they didn't know God was going to have me meet Kyle, and I was right. BUT God is always faithful to give us even the smallest wishes in our hearts.

As I was walking back to the middle section a gal stopped me and said, "Do you need a seat?" I said, "yes, but just one." And she said she had an extra one. AND IT WAS ON THE SIXTH ROW! In all my years of going to conferences, I had never been that close to the action. I just stood there and smiled. I asked her her name. Ling Yun is her name, and I just stood there and thanked God for her. All day I attended all sessions on the 6th row, which was a gift. I didn't expect a repeat of it yesterday, I really didn't. So I got there at 8am yesterday (everyday really) and walked up to the front section. I figured if it happened once, maybe God would bless me again. I saw Ling Yun and she said, "I saved you a seat on the front row." I stood there, once again, and thanked God. Sure enough, all day yesterday I was able to attend all sessions on the front row! I have been to MANY conferences at IHOP, and have never been that close. It's a small thing, it really is, in the big grand scheme of things. I mean, you can meet God whether you're in the front row, or the back row. But, I know that God knew that I have always wanted to be in the middle of all the action for years. As we entered into worship last night, with Misty leading, I was ecstatic. I entered in 2009 up close!

Finally, after the sermon last night, they had an altar call. They had people come forward who were struggling and on the brink of walking away from God. Not many people went forward, but there were enough to fill the prayer line area. Then they asked anyone who felt led to pray for those in the lines to go ahead and pray. I knew who I was supposed to pray for. I didn't know the guy, but I knew I was to pray for him. Typically, I go up and pray silently. I am not one to pray outloud in situations like that. However, I found myself praying as I never had before. I felt the desperation in this man's heart. I prayed as if he was a member of my own family. He was pretty tall too, and had to lean down to hear me pray. I prayed and spoke into His life in a way I've never done before. I wasn't the only one there praying for him, I was the only one praying outloud. So, as I stopped, a guy walked up and I knew it was his turn to pray, so I went back to my seat on the front row. I didn't know if he knew who I was, and I didn't care. I knew God had touched him through my words and prayer. So, after the prayer time, he came over and hugged me. I stood there and gave him a scripture that the Lord had given me for him. He walked away with tears in his eyes. And, honestly, that was probably my favorite moment of the conference. As he walked away, I heard God say, "Small but mighty is who you are."

That, is worth four days with the Lord. I'm now sore in my legs, and tired as can be.

Small but mighty...yep, that's me!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!