Only 8 days left...

Today I will admit testing went MUCH better than it ever has before. Granted, for the first time in years, I only have 2 to script for instead of 8 or 9. I have help this year, but don't need as much as I have before. I am so happy. I expected to come home in a yucky mood, and was actually in a very good mood. Of course, Gigglygal dropped by my room at the end of the day and we laughed for a long time. It seems we're in similar places with some aspects of our jobs, and it was great just to sit and laugh. Very good. I am a blessed gal.

I need to crash. I get to do more March Madness stuff tomorrow. I hope tomorrow goes as smoothly as today did!

Say a prayer for me!

Later!

March Madness-Ms. S. Style!

Tomorrow begins my own little version of March Madness for this school year. Tomorrow we begin our official MAP Testing in the fifth grade. I wish I could say I was thrilled. Or excited. Or looking forward to it all. However, I can't. For the next four weeks all I will do is give a test. I won't teach. I won't get to be on a regular schedule. I will simply give a test that the state won't allow me to read the reading portion to my students who (on average) read on a third grade level.

I will admit, the state has never asked my opinion. I think that if they ever do, I will have plenty to say.

Until then, I will wake up each morning and say a prayer that none of my students will get upset or cry. I will also remain as positive as possible in front of my students, encouraging them that they can do this test, and that I only ask that they give me their best effort.

March Madness will last for the next 3 weeks.

If you're a praying person, please pray for all the educators who are entering this stressful part of the school year. It is harder and more stressful than you think.

Later.

Friends

In light of all I've been through this month, I am finding myself evaluating my friendships. Earlier this month I had a friend tell me that she no longer desired a friendship with me. I found myself sobbing at the front of my school building on a bench, (noone was around, thank God!) telling God I didn't understand. I had given to the point of sacrifice in that friendship, and it ended with her saying she didn't want to be my friend anymore. I am still processing that, obviously.

So, I want to say that today God showed me a lot regarding friendships.

I started the day at church on the Worship Team. Over the past several weeks I have found myself drawing closer to the members of the band. Our worship team leader stepped down and two new ones have taken over, and we have LAUGHED a lot as a team lately. I tell ya what, practice was fun, followed by an AWESOME time of worship this morning. I will even say it was the most intense worship set that we've had since I've been on the team. It was fun. And at one point, one of the worship leaders turned to me and smiled in the midst of the set. It made the experience even better! It was AWESOME!

Before worship team, M.L. walked up to me and asked me if I'd be willing to be a a special friend to her for this season of her life. She asked me to spend one evening a week just encouraging her and helping her see God's plan for her life. I was blessed. I remember telling God that I was blessed that he would choose me to speak into her life. So tonight I went over to her place and we had a ball! We have SO MUCH in common, and prayed together before I left. I tell ya what, I told God on the way home that I realized how blessed I am. M.L. is a wonderful gal, and I am excited about what God has in store for us as friends. It is a healthy friendship that made me smile.

So, while one person on this planet doesn't want to be my friend, there are SO MANY others that see good in me and do want to be my friend. And, while I process the last chapter of my life, and enter into this one, I know that I am loved very well.

Blessed.

Later.

Snow at the end of March? Wowzers.

I had agreed to go with a friend to Pitt for a meeting today and didn't know if we would actually make it because I heard weather forecasters saying snow was on the way. I tell ya what, only in Missouri can you wear shorts one day, and then break out the winter coats and gloves the next. Crazy stuff.

So my friend called at 8 this morning, and we agreed to go. There was not any snow on the ground, and nothing was falling from the sky so we agreed to try it. We went to Pitt and had a great time. I think I honestly enjoyed the car ride to and from better than the actual meeting. A teacher friend had backed out, and they needed someone at the last minute to go, so I did. I skipped our conference at church to go. I know, I'm such a slacker! However, it was really cool. And I managed to win a door prize at the end. I won a book for my classroom. AND it was about Gorillas! Go figure! Pitt State Gorillas, and I'm a Gorilla Alum, so that was really, really cool.

In the midst of the meeting we heard sleet hitting the windows. My friend is apparently really nervous in bad weather, and I'm really okay with it so it was okay because we balanced each other out. It was icy/snowy the way back, but not too badly. She invited me to lunch once we got back to town, and we had a great time. She dropped me off about 1-ish and I debated about what to do.

I could go to the church...but the conference was already started and I didn't want to walk in late. Not to mention snow was falling. I looked outside, and decided the couch was a better deal. So, I have not been productive at all today. I have watched two made-for-TV movies, three shows I had recorded from last week, and have surfed the web quite a bit. It has been the first really relaxing day I have given myself since I moved.

And it was great.

I need to crash. I have to be at church early tomorrow.

Later!

You what?

Today I had another first in my education career. I find it amazing how I have done this job for ten years and yet I still get curveballs thrown my way. I have had drama this year with one of my teachers. Honestly, though, it could have been A LOT worse. I mean, stuff that's happened this year as made my head hurt thinking, "What are you thinking?" Today that occurred to me again.

I went to ask a teacher about a student's progress. I have to do this with this teacher because the grade the student has received this year in her class has been fuzzy. I haven't understood how the kid's grade was figured, and so I try to ask every Friday about his progress so I can know what I can do to help this child earn a good grade. He's a smart kid, and deserves the chance to earn his A. Let me state that again EARN HIS A. This kid is willing to work his tail off for his grades. He doesn't slack off. He doesn't complain. He does what's necessary to get the grade he earns. He has great parental support, and he really has the potential to earn straight A's.

He did earn Straight A's for third quarter, which was awesome. When grades came out, I was very very pleased that the kid made an A. I didn't ask questions, I just accepted it. The kid had earned his A. Today I learned differently.

When I spoke to the teacher, she said, "I gave him the A."
I looked at her. Did I hear that right?
"What?"
"I gave him the A. That's what everyone wanted. The kid struggles in Math, but our principal comes to me all the time asking questions, so I figured I'd just give him the A."
I was beyond pissed.
I'm fine with the kid making a B or C if that's what he has earned.
But giving him an A?
I responded with, "So, he didn't earn the A?"
To which she said, "It doesn't matter, it's what everyone wanted."
I stood there.
I honestly took a breath and said a silent prayer.
I said, "Okay, he can EARN his A this quarter. I don't care what it takes. I'll work with him after school, his Mother can work with him. He can EARN the A."
I was so mad I can't tell you what she replied with because I was so mad.
I don't get mad.
But when you mess with one of my students, it's not good.
She gave me a practice thing for him to work on, that has nothing to do with what they're doing in class.
I just took it and walked away.
I tell ya what, I have a new goal this quarter, to make sure this kid EARNS his A.
I don't know what I'm going to do.
But this kid has the capability to EARN the A.
It's good we have a weekend.
I need time.
Ugh.

Later.

Field Trip Thoughts

Today I went to Fantastic Caverns with two of our fourth grade classes. I went on Tuesday with two other classes, and today I went with the other two classes. And, a few things stuck out to me on the trip...

First of all, we were almost to Springfield when one of Mr. H's kids turned to him and said, "Mr. H., do we have to go through Oklahoma to get there?" I just sat there and laughed. Mr. H. didn't seem to think it was as funny as I did. Go figure.

Another thought hit me as we were driving. One of the other chaperones that was with us was talking to us and she has AWFUL grammar. I don't want to focus on who it was, I want to share a THANKS to my Dad. When I was growing up, my Dad would correct my grammar ALL THE TIME. There were times I hated it. Today, I am thankful. I now see how badly a person can portray themselves just by opening their mouth. Thanks Dad, if I ever have kids, I will torture them too.

Once we got there, we were standing around waiting for the tour to begin. And, Scaredboy came up to me and said, "Ms. S., can I be with you all day? I'm scared." I thought he was kidding. I really really really thought he was kidding. I asked him a few more questions, and I really believed he was scared to go into the cave. So, I tagged along with his class. Truthfully I figured I would go with the other group, as Hyperboy is in that class, but I really felt led to be with Scaredboy. Truthfully, it made my day. It felt good to be there for a little guy who was so scared at one point he grabbed my arm and even if I had wanted to break free, I couldn't have done it. He held on a lot, and I was glad I could be used by God to comfort him. It was a good trip. And honestly he did really well, all things considered. I was proud of him.

Well, it has been an extremely long day with a meeting after school, tutoring, and worship team practice tonight. I hear my bed calling my name.

Later!

Highlight for today...

I have spent the evening doing various chores around the apartment and am about to crash, but wanted to blog before I do that. I have pondered what to write tonight, as I don't have anything especially funny or deep to share tonight, so I wanted to share the moment that touched my heart the most today.

After school today we had a faculty meeting. While we were waiting for the meeting to start Mr. C. walked up to me and asked how my current project was going to reach my dream. I looked at him and said something about how there wasn't anything to report because I'm still in a waiting place, and he ever so gently put his hand on my shoulder and said something to the effect of "We're blessed to have you, and we want to keep you." It wasn't those exact words, but it was that basic message. And, I will say, that touched my heart. He and his wife are such wonderful people of God, and it blessed me to hear him say that. I knew he felt that, it's not like I'm an insecure gal, but sometimes it's nice to hear nice stuff about yourself, and that was the moment for me.

Once again, I am reminded that everyday we are blessed...sometimes it just takes us to stop and notice it.

That was the highlight of my day.

Later!

Doin' what is right....hum....

Today I went on a field trip with two of our fourth grade classes. I've shared the past couple days about how deeply God has been moving in my life, and I sat down on the bus with two of the boys on my caseload. I was VERY excited about the day, as we were headed to Fantastic Caverns in Springfield. It is my favorite field trip of the year with the fourth grade.

We headed out, complete with the necessary items needed to keep the Autistic boy I was sitting with occupied and happy. We started down the road, and suddenly we heard a radio. One of the teachers looked at me, and I just gave her the "I dunno" look. It wasn't coming from a kid, it was coming through the speakers. In my ten years of teaching, I have never had a bus driver turn on a radio. My initial thought was "Oh, I don't like this station." Then again, I listen to the Christian Station, so my secular music knowledge is incredibly limited, so I didn't know what we were about to hear.

We headed down the road and I didn't know the song, but I knew it wasn't appropriate for fourth grade ears. Well, for that matter, it wasn't appropriate for my ears. Then it went into talk radio, and went into stuff that I didn't even want to hear, and so I could only imagine what the kids were thinking. Now, I'm sure many of those kids have heard MUCH worse. However, for those who haven't, I had visions of parent phone calls.

I sat there and prayed. I knew it wasn't right. I also knew that both of the other teachers I was with probably didn't agree but weren't sure if it would be wise to make the bus driver mad. So, I moved forward.

I sat down by the teachers and asked them if they thought it was okay, and I was right, they didn't agree either. Apparently one teacher had already made the bus driver mad, so they weren't wanting to be the ones to say something. So, I went up to the bus driver and said, "Hey, could you turn that down? We're going to have a lot of parent complaints if we keep listening to this." And, the bus driver simply said yes and turned it off. I don't know if she was mad. I don't care if she was mad.

My thought was that I didn't want to be subjected to that stuff, and I didn't want the kids to be either. I had prayed and knew what I was supposed to do. I know it's not saving the world, but I know I did what God wanted me to do. In the end, it was simply the right thing to do. I will always wonder how the bus driver didn't realize it wasn't appropriate for fourth graders, and then again I don't think it matters.

For today, my little people didn't have to listen to junk on the radio that would fill their minds with things they didn't need to hear. And, tonight I will go to sleep at peace because I did what I was supposed to do, instead of just sitting there and staying silent.

Good.
Stuff.

Perseverance, JOY, and Strength


At Barn-A-Break this weekend, Godly gal gave a sermon that I wish I had taped copy of because it spoke directly into my life in a way I can't completely put into words but I would like to try. I find myself in a place I've never been before. Earlier this month I moved out of an unhealthy environment into my own place, which has brought about questions and emotions I never expected to be within me. I don't hate God, but I have honestly questioned Him. I know, I know, that's stupid, as He's all-knowing, but hey, I'm the one who is human, walking in the flesh.

Godlygal talked the other night about perseverance, strength, and how the JOY of the Lord is to be our strength. I'm gonna be really blunt, JOY hasn't been a part of my life for a while. I haven't been depressed, but I haven't been myself either. People at work who are closest to me will tell you I haven't been myself at all this school year. I didn't recognize the extent of that until I was at camp this past weekend. I don't know that I was actually depressed, but I do know that I wasn't experiencing life the way it was meant to be experienced. It's amazing how one version of normal can become so normal that you forget how life is meant to be. I feel as if I've come out from living under a rock and am experiencing life again.

I have watched friends who are Christians compromise their beliefs over and over again because life is too hard and because being alone is hard. I'll be the first to admit that living alone is the second hardest thing I have done, with the first being the end of the last chapter of my life. The last 4 months were the hardest months I've ever had. And with that being said, living here, alone, is easier. It seems peaceful. I never expected that part to be totally honest.

In processing that, I know that I don't want to settle. I don't want to compromise. I sat out at camp and was reminded that there are people in this world who are loving God, and displaying God's love in powerful ways. I realize it's camp, not the world as a whole, but it was a blessing to be reminded that there are people out there reaching for God. Sometimes I feel so odd because at times I feel as if I'm the only one walking this out. That isn't the case, I know that, but sometimes I feel that. So, this weekend was so refreshing, and a blessing in so many ways.

Godlygal stated that in order to run this race, we must perservere with the JOY of the Lord as our strength. I knew that in my head, but it got me. I prayed that night afterward, and told God how I wanted JOY again. And, Sunday morning I was the old me again. I made myself the unofficial door holder for Breakfast and was joking and laughing again...like an old version of me was brought back to life. And all day today in my classroom I felt more like the old me. I can't explain to you how good this feels.

I know I still have a long way to go. I also know that God and I are still processing the last chapter of my life and will continue to do so for quite a while. But for now, the JOY of the Lord is my strength.

Finally, we sang a song yesterday that has just spoken words to me all day today. In fact, I awoke singing it today. It's from Zephaniah 3:17, and I want to share it with you:

The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save,
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
And he will rejoice over you in song...

Amen.

Barn-A-Break Snippits


I tell ya what, this weekend was fantastic! I should preface this by stating that every other time I've gone out to serve, I was there during their Autism/Developmentally Delayed Week. So on the Autism weeks, behavior is an issue with the campers, and it's a busy busy week. This weekend was SO different.

This weekend the primary disability was Cerebral Palsy. And, as you know, I have CP, so it was quite a cool weekend. I have a limp, and am the pickiest eater on the planet, but other than that, the CP doesn't hinder me. I walk without a walker, don't require a wheelchair, or assistance to do daily living skills. I live on my own, pay my own bills, etc. I am independent in every way possible.

This weekend, we had kids in our cabin with CP in wheelchairs and walkers. We had girls that required assistance to do toiletry and showering duties. (Which stretched me out of my comfort zone, I might add) I found myself blessed by it all. I have had moments when I've been frustrated with the limp...how it makes me stand out...or how I fall from time to time and feel embarrassed. After this past weekend, I realized how blessed I really am.

I don't think our campers have horrible lives...I really don't. They are wonderful kids who have awesome attitudes toward life. I learned a lot from each and every one of them. At the same time, some of those girls won't be able to live on their own like I do just because of their physical needs. I stood there last night and thought, "I am blessed more than I ever realized." I think we all take those things for granted. Even something as simple as being able to go to the restroom without help. I had never really thought about it before but it is something that I can do without thinking twice. Those kids have to ask for help every time. It doesn't bother them, it's just something I really thought a lot about the first night we were there. It's amazing what we take for granted.

We had 6 campers and CIA's (teens assigned to each camper), and each one was incredible. None of them had behavior problems, in fact they were all the most polite campers I have seen. It was a pleasant change from the other weeks I've been there. I didn't sleep in the cabins, but spent time there when the girls were there, and we had a lot of fun laughing and spending time together.

The schedule was the same as regular camp, so it was sort of busy but not too busy. We had a party friday night, followed by Wrap-up where we have music and a short teaching on being a Christian. That night, after a song in worship, I was pointed out by the worship leader, and was asked to come pray. I was amazed. I was there for the campers, and God was calling me out to pray. I went up and prayed. It was really really cool. It was one of those, "Okay, God, I get it, you are still with me." I was blessed.

Saturday we got up and Laura taught at our first activity of the day. She spoke on thinking on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, excellent, or praiseworthy. I found that very timely just due to what I've been through this month. I was blessed.

Our morning activity was supposed to be horseback riding, but due to rain we had indoor games instead. It was a hoot to watch the campers build a fort to be demolished later on, wrapping a CIA and camper together with Saran Wrap, and then making crafts. It was a lot of fun. I got to help Jodelynn make her craft. We were both covered with paint at times, so it was really fun. In the afternoon we decorated cookies, made volcanoes, and made goo. It was really fun.

At one point we went outside and did parachutes. I wasn't really needed because the kids were with their CIA's. And, one of the dogs who live at the camp, Toby, came up with a Duck Dogtoy. I went over to play with him, and he laid down to destroy it. I sat there and just pet him while he destroyed it. I wanted to keep the Duck Head to show the two boys who live there at camp with their family but Toby took the toy away. I picked up the other remains of the toy and carried them inside. Once we were back inside, the two boys came in and I shared the story of the duck. I started with, "Boys, I have sad, sad, news." They totally fell into my little story and they were all worried until I said, "The toy duck is dead." They just smiled. We had a moment of silence for the toy duck, and then the oldest one said, "Okay, that's enough for the duck!" I realize it looses a bit in translation but it really was a highlight for me. It is something I won't forget.

Last night we had a party centered around the "March Madness" theme where we had a maze for them to go through, hockey to play, bowling, and a relay race. I took pics of all of it, it was fun!

At one point, Godlygal came over and we talked. She and her family just moved to camp and I hadn't really gotten to talk to her yet. As it turns out, she wants to go to IHOP! I offerred to baby-sit her kids so she and her husband can go, but she said she wants to go with me! I can't believe it, another IHOP fan! I asked if Laura could go, and she said sure! That was awesome. Of course, the highlight of the night for me was during wrap-up when she got up to teach. I don't know if you've ever experienced a time when a sermon was for you, but the sermon last night spoke right to where I am at. Where I have been questioning God, and asking "Why" about several things in my life. In her sermon, she covered hope, perserverance, joy, and Jesus. It was REALLY good. I sat there and thought, "Okay God, I get it." Sometimes we need that, we need God to speak to us through others. I sat there blessed that God would do that for me. He holds the universe and stars in His hands, yet cares enough for me for a message to be said for me. I'm sure it was for others too, but it REALLY gripped me. God is sooo cool!

This morning was got up, ate breakfast, packed up, and said our good-byes. There are campers that I will never forget. Both Caleb's were special. I could go on and on. I tell ya what, you got to serve there and you wind up being ministered to and feel blessed. Amazing stuff.

I asked Laura if she needed help next month for the Barn-A-Break, and she said no. Ah well, I guess I will just look forward to Terms 6 and 7 this Summer when I get to go serve again.

You know, we're all blessed. It's just sometimes up to us to notice it.

Later!

Barnabas Bound!

Barnabas Bound!

This afternoon I am headed to Camp Barnabas to serve for the weekend. As most of you know, I spend one week each summer out there and come back a changed person. As it turns out, they are having Barn-A-Break, a weekend of camp to give the parents a weekend break. I went out last month and attended a party during Barn-A-Break, and LOVED it. When Laura told me last Sunday at church that they were having it this weekend, I volunteered. I am pumped! I am hoping to be a Cabin Mom again, but am willing to do whatever God wants me to do this weekend. I won't know what my job will be until I get there. So, I am Barnabas Bound this weekend!

It's always amazing to me how I go to camp to serve others, and I wind up being blessed and coming back changed. I can't wait to see what God's gonna do this weekend!

Have a GREAT weekend!

Later!

Worship Team and March Madness

Greetings, all!

I drove back today so I could be at Worship Team practice tonight. I'm not playing on Sunday, as I will be at camp, but practices are so much fun that I went anyway! I tell ya, it was a riot! Scottie led practice and we laughed A LOT. I like that. It was worth driving back early to be a part of it. I knew it would be. Sometimes we need stuff like that, ya know? Just to laugh and sing and play. Good stuff.

Today also kicked off March Madness, which was fun. As of now I have 8 out of 12 picked correctly. Ah well, I don't profess to be great at picking the winners, I just enjoy trying. This year I joined my brother's fantasy brackets and so it's been a little more fun. The Hawks play tomorrow, and I hope they win. They are such a young team, I am not pinning my hopes on much. I figure that way if they win a few games, I'll be happy.

Well, I guess that's it for now.

Later!

From the White Dog

Yo! Roxie here. Shortone has spent most of her free time on this thing, so I thought I'd steal it and post for her while she's watching that box thingy again. What is with humans and that box thing? It sure takes up a lot of their time.

Today Scienceguy came and I barked at him when he first arrived. He must have a dog of his own because I could smell it on him! He seems really nice though, as he let me jump on him and he didn't get mad once! He even pet me quite a bit! I loved it!

Everyone left for a while, and Rudy and I had full control of the house. Only problem was that Rudy kept stealing my chew stick! Sheesh, he has one of his own, why take mine? So, I took it back. It's almost like a game we play. Shortone says we're just like kids, whatever that means.

When they returned, they had a lot of bags. Shortone said she liked all her stuff that she got for her apartment. She was a bit bummed as she and Scienceguy discussed what a bummer it was that she had to buy a new tire for her car. Shortone seemed to be positive about it, even though she was quiet for a while. Whenever she's quiet I can tell she's thinking about stuff. She was fine though after a little while. She said she was just glad she had a reliable car that would get her places. She tries to be positive even when she is bummed.

After Scienceguy left we went for a Roadtrip. Shortone, Mom, Rudy, and I went to get Shortone's car. Rudy got to ride back to the house with Shortone. I was kinda glad because I got to be with Mom on the way home. That was cool. I LOVE Roadtrips!

After we got back we went for a walk. Dad asked Shortone if she wanted to go and she said she was good. She was just sitting in the chair playing on here and watching TV. I wonder if she ever gets bored...hum...

We have relaxed a lot. Shortone has played with Rudy and me quite a bit. She said something about having to leave tomorrow because she has practice tomorrow night and she's going to camp this weekend. She said she was really pumped because she gets to go volunteer all weekend at that camp she likes so much. I'll be sad to have her go but she always comes back, so it's all okay.

She said that one of the highlights for her was the fact that yesterday I laid outside her door, waiting for her to wake up. I really like her. She would be good with a dog of her own, but I heard her say that she can't have pets where she lives now so she has to wait. I'm kinda glad. For now, Rudy and I get to be the center of her little dog world. She's a great gal.

Well, I should sign off. Her show is about over and she'll probably want on here.

Have a great day!
Roxie

Another step forward....

I am really enjoying Spring Break. The weather is beautiful, and today I was able to wear capris and a t-shirt instead of windpants and a hoodie! Ah, Spring is in the air! I am so glad!

I took another step forward today in this chapter of my life. My Dad and I went out and cleaned my car from top to bottom. Really, it was more him cleaning from the top as I am shorter than he is but we both rolled up our sleeves and got to work. Not just on the outside, but we cleaned the inside as well. I tell ya, living on a dirt road for several years allows dirt to get in EVERY little place. It took about 2 hours, but it is now clean. I mean, the most clean it's been since I took it off the lot almost 3 years ago. I had forgotten how pretty my car is on the inside and outside.

I feel almost as if that is happening to me. I just exited a living environment that wasn't healthy. I knew parts of it were not healthy, but the longer I'm out, the more I see what wasn't right. What wasn't okay. I feel as if God is getting into the smallest little places and speaking to me...encouraging me...telling me that I am okay. God is so amazing because He can do that. He can bring words that noone else can and touch our hearts in such a special way. It took time to clean the car, and it will take time for Him to get to every little spot, but I know He will. I am so thankful that He can do that. And, I feel hopeful in that.

Amen.

Cleaning out the closet...boxes...books....

So, the past several days as I have unpacked, I have sorted stuff out. And, I have been amazed at how much stuff I had that I really could live without. I took an ENTIRE car-load of junk to Goodwill, and I also took a car-load of stuff to the storage shed. I am TIRED but it feels good. I have found it very therapeutic to clean stuff out. In a sense, it is "starting over" for me. Cleaning out the old, and bringing in a bit of new stuff. I bought a new bedspread, and am going to buy some new prints to hang on the walls. I have a stack of books that need to be donated somewhere as well. I tell ya, getting rid of clutter to get to a new perspective in my new chapter in my life. Good stuff.

Change...reaching for changes...

I sit here tonight after my first weekend in my new apartment, and feel more at peace than I have in quite a while. Which I find amazing simply because I've always been one to hate change. Today I have come to the conclusion that change is healthy, and often a needed step in this adventure called life.

In the last chapter of my life, things happened that I never expected. Some were good, and some were not. The last 4 months of that chapter were the worst months of my adult life. I will spare you details, but I will say I learned things I could not have any other way. So they were not a waste, and I don't regret it all. I think hindsight always gives us a twinge of, "What was I thinking?" but what's done is done. I can't rewind.

I sit and think of the vastness of God, and how He knew how it would all go down. Some might venture to say the enemy had a hand in it all, and while there may be a snippit of truth to that, I do believe that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING came down the way God intended. God knew that on March 15, 2009 I would be in this apartment.

He also knows it will take me a while to process it all. So, I will take a moment and thank you, my readers, for reading as I process all this through. I find that writing is a good outlet, and of course I won't share anything too deep.

I do think God has set all this up. I also believe that 10 years from now, this stage of my life will seem like a lifetime ago, and the hurt and pain that I am processing will seem insignificant compared to the marvelous things God has for me in the future.

I think about in Scripture it says that God will give me more than I can ever think or imagine. I sit here and love that simply because I know that God is going to use all of this in my future, and I will be in awe because God will give me more than I ever dreamed possible. That gives me hope. As a single gal, I wrestle with hope. I honestly do. Hope is hard because you wait and wait and wait, and sometimes you just don't see things that you hoped they would turn out to be. I cling to Romans 5:3-5 that states that Hope does disappoint. That suffering produces preserverance, perserverance, character, and character, hope. God knew I would be here, and knew I would be clinging to that. I am blessed for that.

I read a quote today on a friend's myspace page that said something like, "Sometimes strength means hanging in there for love and sometimes it takes just as much strength to walk away and move on." That's where I'm at. I walked away, now I'm moving on.

"Suffering produces perserverance, perserverance, character, and character hope."

Amen.

Relocating...

...can be a very moving experience.

This week has been quite an emotional experience for me. For the past 5 years I lived outside of town, just far enough that I couldn't have cable TV or pizza delivery or drive 10 minutes to the nearest Wal-Mart. Now, I'm not complaining, I chose to live there and it became my version of normal life for that chapter of my life. Now life is different. I can now call for pizza delivery or hop in the car and be at Wal-Mart in 10 minutes. I know, to you it's nothing, but to me I feel almost like I've simply entered the real world again.

My highlight for this week was getting Cable TV with a DVR, and I now feel like a kid at Christmas time. I sit and surf channels in a whole new way now. I don't know if you remember it, but 5 years ago when I had cable, you actually had to turn the channels to see what was on TV. Now I hit a button and get a lineup of all channels for the next several days, if I so choose. Yes, I feel as if I've entered current technology, which has been FUN. It has helped make this transition a bit easier.

Without getting into too much stuff, I find myself talking to God a lot about the past 5 years of my life. Relocating really is proving to be a very moving experience in ways I can barely describe to you. As I am in the midst of processing details of the past 5 years, I realize that where I'm at right now is where God wants me to be. And while there is still some processing to be done, I am more at peace than I've been in a year. I remember sitting with a friend one year ago tonight and talking about how something needed to give...to change...that I was not understanding what God was doing in my life. And while it took me a year to get here, I am here. For the first time in a year I'm glad to be at home in the living room. It's amazing how out of sorts life can get.

As for tonight, Flashpoint is about to come on here in a bit, and I have a pepsi in hand.

Life is good.

Later!

A New Chapter...

Tonight I begin a new chapter in my life. I am wiped, but am moved into a new apartment and am excited as to what God has for me in this chapter of my life. I know that the last 5 years were not a waste. I have learned how I want to treat others and how I want them to treat me this side of Heaven. I wasn't perfect during the past chapter, but then again neither were the people I lived with. I know that God taught me TONS that I wouldn't have learned if I hadn't walked through that season. And, so now I choose to look forward, not backward. I choose to rest in the fact God has a plan for my life, plans to prosper me and not to harm me and plans to give me HOPE and a future. I think I read that somewhere... :-)

Here's to new beginnings...

Later!

New stuff...10 years into teaching...

I had a new thing happen this past Thursday. I have been teaching for ten years and hadn't had this happen before.

I will nickname the student DramaticBoy, or D.B. for short.

D.B.'s Mother called Wednesday night to let me know that DB wouldn't have his meds Thursday. I was okay with that, as long as I know ahead of time, I am fine with it. The mother even offerred to keep him home today. I said no, it wouldn't be a problem.

DB had a decent morning. Not great, not terrific, but okay.

After lunch, an aide brought him to me. He was walking odd, tilted at a ninety degree angle, almost as if there was a brain issue going on. He dropped to the floor crying. I was scared to death. He had never done this before, and I wasn't sure if there was something going on.

Then the aide said, "I think he's faking."

I said, "sit up."

He did. The little bugger was faking.

And I was pissed!

The Aide and I reamed him. Okay, if you know me, I don't ream kids very well, but I did let the kid know what a mistake he had made. I made him cry, and I thought we had reached him.

He went on with the aide to the computer lab.

I went on with my day, not thinking much about it. I don't have D.B. in the afternoons, so I figured if something were to happen, they would let me know. I was right...

The kids have recess from 2:20-2:40, and I didn't have duty. Nor did I warn the teachers that D.B. was without his meds. I figured he was fine. Yep, you see what's coming, don't ya?

The aide came and got me and told me that D.B. had played his act out on the playground. And, it was such a good act that the P.E. teacher out teaching her class nearly called 911! One of the fifth grade teachers carried him into the building, as she thought it was real too. Fortunately, his regular education class is right by the door and his regular education teacher heard the commotion. She walked up to D.B. and said, "Stand Up."

He did.

The teachers were pissed! I was pissed.

I walked into the classroom where he was sitting by that moment and I reamed him. I mean, he was in tears. He was stating he needed to ride the bus. I told him he wasn't riding the bus because I can't trust him. He cried even harder. I told him to "dry it up." He did.

I told him that if the bus driver would have to call 911 then he wasn't coming back to my classroom, that I would pass him over to the other Sp. Ed. teacher in the building. He started crying again. I told him to dry it up. He did.

He went home, riding the bus, and made it fine.

I called his Mom that night to tell her, and he hadn't told her. I explained everything and said, "Now, there's a list in his backpack of all the teachers he owes apology letters to." She told me to hang on, asked him for the sheet, and I heard him bust out sobbing.

I replied by saying, "I'll let you deal with him. Have a good evening!"

On Friday we were all harder on him than usual. My students had free time on the laptop computers in our building, and he worked on letters. ALL day I was on top of him. He was the quietest he's ever been for me.

Something tells me he won't do it again.

If he does, I told him (in front of the other Sp. Ed. teacher) that he was being shipped to the other teacher's caseload.

I'll keep ya posted on what he does.

Later!

Dreams

In the past 48 hours, I have come to believe that in order for your dreams to come true, you have to do EVERYTHING possible to make them happen. I have had a curveball thrown my way, one that is making a step to another dream come true that much harder to reach. But, that is okay. I'm willing to walk through whatever is needed to be where I want to be. I know that God is in control of it all, and even as I battle, I know He is on my side making a way where there is no other way.

I saw a quote tonight on a wall at a McDonald's that I have always liked.

"What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are small matters compared to what lies within us."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Enough said.