Last night, I bought the new Passion CD, "Awakening."

And, in the short time I've listened to it, I have grown closer to God just sitting here and listening. (And singing!)

I have felt as if my heart for the Lord had grown somewhat cold. Not completely, of course. However, I wasn't being encouraged or brought up to where I felt close to Him. I find it amusing to say that, as IHOP-KC is in the midst of "Awakening" right now. I drive shuttles twice a week and then go to services afterward, but I was missing something. I didn't know what, but I was missing something deep in my heart for the Lord.

On the CD, Kristy Nockels sings a song titled, "Healing Is In Your Hands." As I listened last night as I was playing my Wii, I stopped. There's a phrase in it that blessed me immensely.

Our present
Our future
Our past is in Your hands

In all things we know that we're more than conquerers
You keep us by Your love

No matter where I am
Healing is in Your hands...

Now by Your Grace, I stand
Healing is in Your hands

I dunno...sometimes God just puts things in our hearts that we can't explain or understand, but we just know it's Him.
That's what happened for me tonight.



Day #2 with Lostboy #2

Today I had a second day with my new student. I spent a good amount of time praying over the kid this past weekend at camp. I will admit, I was nervous. Not scared, just nervous. Yesterday went fairly well. I was actually glad it went as well as it did because I knew the week would get tougher and tougher. As it turns out, I was right.

Today I had Lostboy #2, and he challenged me in a way I haven't been challenged this year. On one hand, it is fun to have a new challenge. On the other hand, I was WIPED after he left my room.

It made me think about how we do the absolute best we can in a moment, and then ponder it for minutes, hours, days, or years afterward. I spent the rest of the afternoon praying and wondering what else I can do to help this kid. Honestly, I felt I did okay with him. And, it made me feel good to hear RockStarPara say that I did a good job with him.

It will be interesting to see what the next 1.5 days have in store for me with Lostboy this week. Honestly, I walked away today and yesterday with a thought: this is a child of God. And, God gave Him to me to be His hands, mouth, ears, and feet. I just pray I hear His voice above everything else as I work with him.

By the way, at the end of each day I have searched him out for a hug and a thumbwrestle match!

He always wins the match.



Quote of the Day!

From a Kindergardener outside at dismissal time who turned to me and said:

"You need to learn how to walk right!"

Love. It.


Love Is...

...sometimes easy and sometimes hard.
...seeing God's kids through His eyes.
...loving people right where they are at; emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
...looking past a disability and seeing the person inside the skin.
...learning how to give selflessly and not minding it.
...helping a person with Daily LIving Skills; even when it's tough.
...seeing the good in God's kids, even when they make bad choices.
...getting Emmy to breakfast at her speed instead of my own.
...getting Emmy back to the cabin when she would rather stay right where is at the moment.
...not being afraid to love, even when you've been hurt before.
...realizing how selfish I am 99% percent of the time; and working to be less selfish.
...loving on God's kids in all you do!
...knowing the boundaries are actually a healthy thing.
...letting Tiffany tickle me.
...loving instead of yelling.
...saying yes to campers as much as possible.
...letting Martha Grace grab my hand and walk me around the Mess Hall for 20 seconds or less. *grin*
...watching Stephanie let Martha Grace walk her around to all the guys and laughing all the way.
...watching campers lead CIA's around, even when they're exhausted!
...watching Jenelle and the CIA's love on each other.
...hearing CIA's talk KINDLY about Jenelle.
...laughing during Family Time.
...praying with the CIA's during Family Time.
...hearing Emily H.'s life story, and LOVING every second of it!
...having Emmy hug me when she doesn't want to do something.
...sneaking Emmy three M&M's during the "old" party last night; then having her wink at me for doing so.
...playing with the camp dog in the dining hall.
...falling on the ground and realizing I'm blessed enough to be able to get up on my own.
...watching campers have the birthday rap sung to them in the dining hall.
...missing the Ford family while visiting camp.
...grinning ear-to-ear as Laura shares at Wrap-Up.
...realizing that what a person can do is more important than what they can't do.
...unconditional even when it's INCREDIBLY difficult.
...risking getting hurt; and doing it anyway.
...letting someone in as a Facebook friend; then they see the good, bad, and ugly sides of my life. *grin*
...paying to go to camp and work the whole time and not minding the fact you paid to work hard.
...having people excited to see me!
...having people want to take pictures with me.
...laughing at what the campers say.
...laughing all the time at camp.
...walking hand-in-hand with Emmy and realizing how much fun it is to have someone walk as slowly as me. *grin*
...missing Jay while he's being boarded one last night.
...being His ears, hands, and eyes.
...loving to the best of my ability and knowing that it isn't perfect love; but I'm trying.
...looking at someone's limp and then looking in that person's eyes.
...not being afraid to ask someone why they're different.
...sometimes not reciprocated; but worth the risk.
...realizing how loved we are, and thanking God for it!



Tonight I am absolutely, positively wiped out. That being said, it was a WONDERFUL day in my little corner of the world.

Grade cards are done.

Progress reports are done.

Substitute plans are on my table at school.

I have the day off tomorrow.


I get to go serve as a Cabin Mom at Barn-A-Break tomorrow and stay all weekend!



Today I was amazed at the amount of support I have at my school. Without going into details, I realized how loved I am in my building. I have struggled with some aspects of my job (As you can tell from some of my posts.) and have missed Joplin IMMENSELY. However, today I had some GREAT support.

While I still miss Joplin, I feel blessed tonight.




Little People Questions

This afternoon I spoke to a class of Kindergardeners. I shared my experience of being born with Cerebral Palsy and showed pictures of me as a kid. I told my life story in about ten minutes (short attention span for the little people!) and then the platform was open for questions. I was amazed by their questions. They included:

1. How come you don't have a husband?

2. Do you have any kids?

3. If you don't have a husband, why are you wearing a ring on your hand? (To which I explained the left hand was for wedding rings.) "grin"

4. What is your favorite color?

5. What is your favorite Wii game?

6. What is your favorite team?

7. Why do you have a dog and not a husband?

8. What is your favorite food?

And for the first time in my life I was asked:

Are you pregnant?

At that time the classroom teacher looked at me and mouthed the words, "I'm sorry!"

I just laughed.

Love the LITTLE people!



Today I was in a meeting where I was left feeling a bit flummoxed. This year in my building we have Lostboy #2. He is a cute kid, and I honestly laugh a lot at the stories told throughout the building regarding Lostboy#2. Up until recently he was a pretty manageable student. Often character-building, but manageable. In the past couple weeks of school he has become more difficult. (He's not one of my students)

So I was in a meeting today with staff members, and someone got paged out of the meeting to go help with the student.

Later that person returned and said very little, however the look on the person's face said it all. I started praying (in my head, of course) right then and there.

We continued our meeting and the person was called on the radio again and then she used the name of Jesus in a negative way.

I sat there. Stunned. Shocked.

At that moment I missed Joplin in such a way that I ached. While our students frustrated us in Joplin, we often vented, but we never cursed. I can't even explain how alone I felt in that moment.

I just sat and prayed, and honestly fought tears back.

I also debated what to do. I wanted to say something. However, due to my position in the building, I kept my mouth shut. (I also knew that tears would fall if I did so.)

The meeting ended and I went back to my room and put on the latest worship CD I bought yesterday.

In it, a phrase connected with me, and it has been my prayer tonight:

Glory to God by Fee (Hope Rising CD)

Take my life and let it be
All for You and for Your Glory
Take my life and let it be Yours

Glory to God
Glory to God
Glory to God

It's amazing what a worship song can do.


I feel better than I did this afternoon.

Thank You, God.



With the end of Spring Break upon me, I sit here and feel so thankful for the people God has put in my life. I will admit, I miss my friends in Joplin where I was surrounded by so many strong Christians. Even at work I had friends who believed in Christ and even though our denominations were different, we all lived a life that was to the best of our ability with Christ in our lives. There weren't curse words or negative outlooks on life. (For the most part, there are always exceptions to that rule!) I was blessed.

My shift to L.S. has brought challenges at work that I didn't really expect. And while that's okay, as Jesus didn't always walk the easy road or hang out with just people who believed in Him, it's often lonely in a sense that I can't really explain.

So, this weekend when Laura arrived, I was SO EXCITED! This entire weekend has been incredible. We laughed, played the Wii a lot, went to Awakening last night, and just sat and talked. It was SO REFRESHING to have someone who is walking the walk stay here and understand what I'm going through as well as share her own character-building experiences. I sit here and feel ENORMOUSLY blessed to have her in my life.

SingingGal also joined us Friday night and Saturday. We did the Cheesecake Factory Friday Night, followed by Wii Fun here at the Resort. Yesterday we spent almost 3 hours at Perkins just talking and solving all the world's problems. *grin* It was PRICELESS.

It felt really good to have my friends here who are strong in the Lord and can understand what I'm saying, sometimes before I even say it! I don't really have that here with friends (yet), so this weekend was the most incredible one I have had so far here in L.S. I'm a blessed very blessed.

The other cool thing is that SingingGal moved here, so I have a strong Christian friend living near me again. AND I get to go to Barnabreak this weekend and see Laura again! Woop!


A Vessel

Everyday I wake up and wonder what the Lord has for me for that day. I try not to look beyond that day, I just wonder what will happen throughout that day until I climb back into bed that night. Some days I know parts of my day but I honestly pray that somewhere in my day something will happen spontaneously by the Lord so that I can be His vessel. Today that happened.

After driving shuttles tonight, I went into The Awakening Service. I'll admit that I read my book during testimonies. Several of them I had heard Sunday at Church, so I read my book. After that, Matt led us in worship and I entered in. In front of me was a gentleman that I had never seen before. As I entered into worship, the Lord started speaking to me about the guy. I sat down at the end of worship and prayed. As I sat down, he got up and left. I wondered if the word I was getting was so that I could just pray for him, or if I was supposed to share what I was hearing. Next thing I knew, he was back and gathering his things to leave. So, I tapped him on the shoulder and asked if it would be okay if I shared what the Lord was showing me concerning him. He said, "Sure". As I shared the word, I looked behind him, toward the stage. When he looked at me, he had tears streaming down his face and he thanked me. I told him the polite, "You're welcome" and he got up to leave. At that point, I just looked down at the floor and prayed. It's been a while since I stepped out in faith like that, and I thanked Him for guiding me. And, then I smiled. It felt GREAT to be a vessel.

As I was staring at the floor in prayer, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked up and there he was staring at me. He thanked me and just wanted me to know that the word was right on. *grin*



Tonight I went to my first Shuttle Party. Okay, let's get real, it was the first shuttle party ever, so I was blessed to be able to be there. *grin*

We sat around and chatted. Okay, well, I listened more than I chatted. I don't really know people in that group other than their nicknames, so I got to know the faces and names behind their voices on the radio. It was very cool, as I got to know people that have similar hearts for the Lord like mine. I was encouraged just from listening to everyone's stories.

At the end, I moved over to give Mama Mary a hug, and Frank came over and Lord spoke through Frank to me. I stood there in awe of God, as no one in that crew knows anything significant about me, and yet God spoke through Frank to me. I sit here amazed. Absolutely amazed...

As I drove home, the Lord started speaking again in a way I haven't heard in a long time. He told me that there is fruit behind me...I've been working so hard not to look backward, and the Lord is saying that it's okay to look back because there is fruit there that I don't see. That REALLY encouraged me.

He also encouraged me to continue to blog and share my heart through this medium because on the other side of this, there is fruit that I don't know stuff....



Wii Wii Wii Wii Wii!!!

Today I had planned to do paperwork. SERIOUSLY, I had planned to get some work done today. Then SingingGal called and asked if I would like to take the kids for the afternoon. They moved to KC yesterday, and I am SO EXCITED to have them here. So, I thought about it for about 2.5 seconds, and said I would be glad to take them.

We spent from about 2:30-10 playing the Wii and had a WONDERFUL time. I really like the Wii because it has something for everyone. While the balance and plus games on Wii Fit are my favorite, the kid's favorite was Wii Sports Resort Sword Fighting! The amazing thing was that after about 2 rounds of the Sword Fighting, we had all broken a sweat. It was hilarious!

Tomorrow my brother is coming over and we're going to play the Wii! I can't wait!

I love Spring Break!


Caught Off-Guard

So, in the past two days, I've found myself caught off-guard in two separate conversations.

The first one I want to share was this morning as I was driving shuttles. I was driving the Overflow Lot Route (my favorite!) which is a SHORT route. It's about a 15 second drive from the lot to the FSM building. (Not kidding either, SUPER SHORT!) Due to the fact it's a short trip, sometimes I simply have to leave the lot, even as other cars are pulling in. I use my own judgement, but sometimes I have a full shuttle OR we have waited 5 minutes and I don't like to make my passengers wait more than five minutes.

This morning I made one of those decisions. I had an ALMOST full shuttle, and decided it was time to go. No one was left standing waiting for the shuttle, but cars were pulling in as I pulled out. When I returned, a lady got on board and the following conversation occurred:

Me: Good Morning!
Crankylady: You left me here!
Me: Huh?
Crankylady: You left me here! I pulled in and you left me here!
Me: Uh, well, I had just about a full load.
Crankylady: You mean you didn't have room for just me?
Me: Uh, well, I would have, but those people had waited a while.
Crankylady: Well, you should wait for people when they're pulling in.
Me: I usually do. My last load waited for quite a few cars before I left. You only waited a couple minutes, at the most.
Crankylady: Well, you should have waited for me.

Thankfully, a guy that she knew got on and struck up a conversation with her. I looked at her and realized something. She's the same gal that was upset with me a different night. She is also the ONLY passenger I've ever had that has been unhappy. And honestly, she seems like the kind of gal that is often unhappy. I pray I'm wrong...but, twice in the span of about 2 months? Hm...

My other moment was last night at service. Honestly, looking back on the conversation I was kind of rude, but it honestly felt good to say it! The gentleman that came up to me is a regular shuttle rider, but I can't remember his name. I'll call him JoeBob for the sake of this post.

At about 10pm, they had a time of prayer for those seeking healing. I was standing in a row of seats, and JoeBob was standing a little bit down from me in the same row. I wanted to stay put when they called for prayer. I was having fun right where I was standing! I looked over, and JoeBob was coming toward me, so I moved so he could get out of the row because I thought he was headed up for prayer. He stopped and looked at me. The following is what was said:

JoeBob: What's wrong with you?
Me: Nothing.
JoeBob: No, I saw you limping.
Me: Nothing.
JoeBob: Oh, I thought you were limping.
Me: I do limp, but there is nothing wrong with me.
JoeBob: Oh.
Me: I was born with Cerebral Palsy, but there is nothing wrong with me.
JoeBob: *blank stare*
Me: *grin*

Needless to say, he got out of the row and went up front without another word. I felt a twinge of guilt as that wasn't very nice, but I will admit, IT FELT GREAT!


Deryck Box

Tonight I had a really good evening at IHOP-KC.

First off, I drove shuttles, and had a GREAT time! On one of my first trips to FSM, I received a word from God via an FSM student. Honestly, he rode in the back of the shuttle and we didn't talk prior to arriving at FSM. He got off my shuttle, and headed into the FSM building. Next thing I knew, he was standing in front of me with a word from God. I tell ya, the word was RIGHT ON. The coolest part is that he had no idea what I've been talking to God about. I thought that was COOL.

After driving, I went into service where Deryck was leading worship. I'll be honest, it's been YEARS since I've been in a worship set where he led, and I REALLY enjoyed it. I planned on leaving at 10 since we lose an hour tonight due to Daylight Savings Time, but wound up staying until 11! Ah well, it is SPRING BREAK! (Even thought it doesn't feel much like Spring outside!)

Tomorrow I'm doing double shuttle duty! *grin*


Wii Fun at the Resort!

Tonight I did dinner with some friends and then we came back here and played the Wii! We had SO MUCH FUN! As we played tonight it reminded me of playing video games with my family as a kid. The only difference was that back then we just sat in one spot. Tonight's games included movement, which was exciting. We laughed a lot and really had fun. I can't wait to do it again sometime with them!!!

Spring Break is here...PRAISE THE LORD!!!


You Can Feel It....

I tell ya, you can just feel the need for Spring Break in my school.

You can hear teachers who are frustrated.

You can hear kids who have already checked out, and could care less what three supporting sentences to a topic sentence look like.

It's a REALLY good thing tomorrow is a half day!!!



A Parent's Words

Tonight I had to make some phone calls to get some of my paperwork just right for MAP Testing next month. Most of the phone calls were short and sweet, with the parents agreeing to the changes. I expected it to be pretty easy, as it wasn't like I wanted to change anything major on their paperwork.

During one of the phone calls, the parent stopped me and said she wanted to tell me something. I expected parents to say that, as we don't do third quarter conferences at the Elementary Level here. So the parent went on to tell me that her son adores me. I was blessed by that but she followed with "I really appreciate what you're doing for my son. You've helped him so much this year." I was blessed, and honestly a little nervous because that parent isn't one to say those kinds of things to me.

She went on to say that whenever they see something M&M's, he wants to buy it for me. (She stated she would if they had the cash.) She also said that he's working on a Boy Scout Project for me. Apparently he doesn't typically talk about teachers like he has this year.

I have never had a Boy Scout Project made for me. *grin*

I thanked her for the kind words and hung up shortly after that.

And that was the highlight of my day....


One Year Ago Tonight....

...I moved out of one place and into another.

One year later I am sitting in my wonderful townhome, with my wonderful dog, in a peaceful place, without a propane tank to spend money on!


Wii Fit Fun!

Tonight I had some friends over and had fun on the Wii! I watched more than I played, but LOVED sharing it with other people. After the left, I discovered the joy of Island Cycling. My ankles and legs are TIRED, but it was a lot of fun! Love. It.

I hear the fain falling and am ready to crash.



Tonight I went to service where Misty Edwards led worship and Mike Bickle preached.

And for the first time in a while I was challenged and encouraged all in the same night.

And that was the highlight of my weekend.


A Servant's Heart

Tonight I went and drove the shuttle during the Awakening Service. I do this every Saturday Evening, so it was a typical night for me. Richie Rich let me do the Overflow Lot again (YEA!) and I kept pretty busy.

And for the first time since I've been here, I was surprised by the Parking Attendants. Usually they are the coolest people and work REALLY hard to make sure people are parking in the right places and help out however possible. Tonight, that was NOT the case.

The parking attendant for the lot I was doing started the evening with his cell phone in hand, and he appeared to be texting or whatever else he could do on there INSTEAD of doing his job. I didn't say anything at first, I simply prayed. I know it is not the most exciting way to spend an evening, but if you're doing it for God, you do it with 110%. Well, that's the way I see it at least.

So after having a car go one way, and me go the other, (not a near-miss, but definitely something that could have been avoided if Mr. Textingdude would have been doing his job) I did my route, came back, and asked him in the nicest way possible to direct traffic. He said he would, and continued to focus all his attention on his phone. He just stood there and continued to ignore the cars coming in and out, even after I had asked. So, I just prayed. Afterall, there was nothing else I could do.

As I prayed, it hit me that not everyone has a Servant's Heart. I have always known this, but tonight it hit me in a deep way. As I pondered it, I reflected on how many times I've seen people go from LOVING to serve the Lord to griping because so-and-so got to do something even though they were better at it. Or, they felt they deserved something because they were serving God.

As I pondered I prayed. I realize I'm far from perfect, and it really challenged me to put my heart in the right spot.

By the way, I did get a chance to talk to Mr. Textingdude during the only downtime I had tonight. He said he was from Texas and he was doing the Intro Internship. Interns sign up to serve in various ways throughout the base while they're there for their season. Hum....I am praying he "gets it" in his last few weeks here.

As for me, I'll keep serving...I want Him pleased in all I do!!!



After attending Roy's funeral today (It was very well done!) I went up to school to visit my friends and the students. I had only told two people, and successfully surprised everyone. I was greeted with MANY hugs and kind words as I made my way through the building. I was grinning ear-to-ear.

After talking to Mr. C., the kids started coming in from recess. D.D. took one look at me and started to hug me and I said, "Who are you? Do I know you?" To which he replied, "I'm your favorite student!" I just grinned. That was the D.D. that I know! His teacher had me talk to him about some issues he's been having at school, and then we read for a little while. As I was sitting there with him, I realized how much I missed him. It was good to sit with him and talk.

I stayed for the Humane Society presentation and held a couple pups. I can honestly say it was the first time I've ever held a puppy and thought, "My dog's cooler!" I liked that.

After talking to various staff members, I went out and played four square with the kids. It was the first game I've played all year (Teachers don't have recess duty in my building, so I never go out!) and had a BLAST. D.D. did very well at getting knocked out and not getting upset. Of course, I made a point to encourage him each time he got out so that we could avoid drama. The kids were also good sports to play with me when I only play the real way. (I skip the secret words versions.) It was cool.

Overall, it was a really good day. And, I was reminded how blessed I am to have so many wonderful people in my life...even if they live 2 hours away!

I am loved very well.


What Goes Around Comes Around

This afternoon I was doing my usual "rounds" making sure everyone had their planners filled out and in their backpacks, when I was caught off-guard. I had put on my KU hoodie at lunch because I was cold and had forgotten I was wearing it. As I turned a corner, a young student who isn't in my class looked at me and said, "You need to change shirts." I just smiled and said, "I don't think so." He grinned and walked on. I continued my walk and a second-grader saw my shirt and said, "You need to change shirts." I told him to just keep on walking!

I just grinned.

This are saying to me what I say to them when they wear MU.

What goes around comes around.

Love it.



Happy and a Tad Sad All At Once

So, tonight I checked email, put two and two together, and figured out there a WONDERFUL man in my former church passed away. Mr. Evans was one of my favorite people in that church. Every Sunday I would have worship team practice prior to service, and would go over and talk to him after we were done with it. (He would typically come early while we practiced just to listen.) He told me often that he enjoyed the music. He encouraged me in my bongo playing, as well as my singleness season and job search last year.

While I'm glad he's in Heaven, I'm sad he's not here. I will miss him. And, honestly, it never really occurred to me that the last time I saw him would be the last time I would see him. I know, that seems silly, but it's true. It reminds me how fragile life is, and not to take anyone's life for granted.

Heaven got a great guy yesterday...and well, he's a guy I won't forget. His kindness toward me will live on with me for the rest of my life....

I have a roadtrip to take on Friday. While I hate funerals, I do like the idea of honoring his life here on Earth. It will be worth the drive, that's for sure!!


Getting in Shape!

So, I may not be "overweight" but I am clearly out of shape. The longer I have had the Wii, the more activities I am doing and finding how out of shape I am. Tonight I ran 1.4 miles in ten minutes. By the end of that, I took off the hoodie (T-Shirt still on!) and gulped water. Don't worry, I warmed up prior to running and cooled down after it! I am AMAZED at how well this little video game is challenging me. I am also enjoying the Balance Games. For obvious reasons, I don't have good balance, so I am challenged and laughing a lot as I attempt the games. It's probably good I'm learning them with Jay as my only audience, as I probably look goofy doing all the games. *grin*

So, it's been a full day, and time to crash for the night...


The Lightening Thief

Yesterday I went with RockStarPara, and her son, C.J. to go see The Lightening Thief. It was the first movie I've seen since last Summer when I saw "Up". I had started the book "The Lightening Thief" last Summer, but honestly abandoned it. It just didn't hold my attention. RockStarPara also abandoned it last Summer when she did it as a read aloud at her school. So, one morning a couple weeks ago we discussed what movies we wanted to see, and I commented that The Lightening Thief looked good. She agreed and we said we could go see it with CJ. I was excited to have a friend to see movies with again!

I didn't expect much out of the movie since I had abandoned the book. However, I was pleasantly surprised. It definitely had me on the edge of my seat!!! More than once I spoke out loud during the movie. *grin* It was really, really fun.

It was also fun to see a movie with a friend again.

Very cool.