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!

:-)