Term 6 HIGHLIGHTS!!!

Tonight I am back at home, and have spent the day resting. I forgot how exhausted I am after I serve out at Camp Barnabas! I think that's a good thing though, as it's GREAT to serve others to the point of self sacrifice and exhaustion. I learned so much the past two weeks that it may take me several days to get it all out in various posts. *grin*

Every year I go out to camp expecting to bless others and I ALWAYS find that the campers, staffers, and CIA'S, BLESS ME!

Term 6 was a lot of fun, as I was a part of a deaf cabin. Okay, well, some were deaf and some were hard-of-hearing. Some of the campers could speak and some couldn't, but it didn't matter because communication seemed to flow fairly well between all of us!

Before I get into the campers, I want to take a moment to mention one of my roommates LISA! Lisa is deaf and is SO MUCH FUN to be around! She can read lips, which helped when I would get stumped & forget how to sign something. (Or it was early in the morning and I wasn't awake yet!) We had so much fun being co-cabin Moms in the same cabin! I have thought about Lisa quite a bit since I have returned, and I thank God for her. She made the week more fun just by being herself. She's a blessing from the Lord!

My other roommate, Nicolina is a wonderful woman of the Lord, and I am so glad God put her in our room too! She added laughter to our room, and the three of us had a lot of fun! I will admit that sometimes I haven't "clicked" with my roommates, but these gals and I had so much fun! It was a lot of fun!

Okay, on to the campers. This was the first time I've been in a cabin where the girls knew each other REALLY well. Truthfully, the campers didn't really "need" us like they do during Term 7 because they were all self sufficient. That was weird and nice all at the same time. It made for an "easy" week, so that was a lot of fun!

Chantell taught me a lot about being honest and upfront with people. On several occasions I would compliment her and she would reply with "I know." While that may not be the most polite response, it made me smile. As the week progressed, we got to know each other, and I found out she lives in the KC area! She would simply say what she thought which sometimes bothered people, but I liked it. You never had to worry about Chantell because she just said what she thought.

Kortney was in my cabin AGAIN, and always made me smile. While we didn't talk as much as I did with some of the others, we picked on each other from time to time. I had told her that my favorite sign was the sign for "whatever" so she would walk by me and sign it from time to time. I would reply with her favorite sign, LOL. *grin* She's a neat young lady.

Joshel was a camper that I didn't really talk with much, but she always put a smile on my face. I noticed she always wore jerseys and hats. I wondered if she is a sports girl and if some of our non-sports activities bored her. She seemed to be a good sport though, which made me grin.

Taylor didn't talk to me a lot either, but she fit right in with the other campers, and everyone loved her! I hope she's in my cabin again so I can talk to her some more. *grin*

Sara had a birthday during the week so her CIA Savannah decorated her bed for her! It was PRECIOUS. Sara could hear, but enjoyed signing too. I hung around her quite a bit, and liked her. She fit right in with the other girls, so the "adults" weren't really her choice to sit and talk to. I guess I can't blame her. *grin*

Sara, the new one, was precious. Her initial paperwork said she was blind and deaf, but once she arrived we learned that she can see some, and could sign some too. We were all pleasantly surprised by that. Sara stole ALL of our hearts due to her situation outside of camp, but we loved on her and she loved on us. Truthfully, Sara was a favorite of mine Term 6.

Leigh was one of my other favorites too. Leigh could hear but didn't talk, so she signed. Leigh and I connected, and she would sign that I was CRAZY a lot. (Leave it alone Hader! *grin*) She is also the one that I would sign to and then say, "Why am I signing to you? You can hear me!" all week! Truthfully, Leigh had a soft spirit and loved everyone and I have more pics of me with Leigh than anyone else. I hope she's in my cabin in the future. She was truly a gift from God in my life that week!

Danna was completely deaf, and initially I didn't think she liked me a whole lot. But, I was SO mistaken on that thought. At an early point in the week, I fell, or almost fell, or something like that and Danna saw it. After that, Danna took it upon herself to make sure I was okay. She would take my arm as we were walking and make sure I was okay. At one point I was walking and she signed the word "careful" to me! Danna is a camper I will NEVER forget because she was the first one in my history of Camp Barnabas that took care of me, just because she wanted to do that. I told her that in a note at the end of the week. She had other gifts too, as she "scraped" plates for us one night too just because she wanted to do it. All week I kept signing, "You have the biggest heart!"

I'm wiped, and sleep needs to happen. Tomorrow I think I'll write the quotes that I wrote down from this week, as there were some good ones!

*grin*
Night all!
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

the lazy days of summer...

i just spent my entire day seeing how little i could do.

going to see a show tonight at one of the downtown bars with the boy.

tried to have a glass of wine, but both opened bottles were not so good anymore. i suppose that means i'll have to open a new bottle...and finish it. wouldn't want it to go bad.

need to go figure out what to wear to this show. want to look cute.

I'M CAMP BARNABAS BOUND...

...OH, I'M CAMP BARNABAS BOUND!!! *grin*

I can't believe that my time out at camp begins tomorrow. This summer is going by SO fast! I'm enjoying this summer, it's just amazing to me to think that tomorrow begins my time out at Camp! I'm both excited and (to be completely honest) a little nervous. But, it's that good kind of nervous. It reminds me of that feeling of the first day of school when you're nervous, but it's good all at the same time.

I have spent a lot of time praying for this upcoming week, and I'm looking forward to the campers and staffers that the Lord has for those of us that will be there the next 7 days! It's going to be different from anything I could imagine, which brings an absolute smile to my face. I know better than to think it will be like last year, because I have never had two years that were alike out there!

I have prayed over everything, from the lack of Pepsi & M&M's, to walking long distances, to the excessive heat and everything in between. I also know that you can't serve out there without God, and I know that I will be talking to God a lot while I'm out there!

I'm headed into the most spiritually, emotionally, and physically challenging two weeks of my year. And ya know what? I am going to LOVE every moment of it! *grin*

LIFE.
IS.
AWESOME!!! *grin*

STAND UP, STAND UP, YOU MATTER!!!

I will admit, I spend a lot of time on FB. I like following my friends and seeing what they are up to these days. It's been a GIFT for me in my transition from Joplin to KC. I also like that I have added friends from here too! God has really blessed me with GREAT friends from all over the world. Between Camp, Joplin, and KC, I am blessed!

Lately I have been frustrated though. Not counting my tornado survivor friends, I have several friends who are stuck. And, they are choosing to stay stuck. The older I get, the more I notice how people cope with life. Some handle life better than others, and it often blows my mind how some people just can't cope with life.

Tonight as I scrolled through my newsfeed, I felt this determination rise up within me for a few gals. And, I prayed. I kept praying all evening for those gals. And, while I recognize part of it may have been for me too, I felt that it's time for us to STAND UP and listen to the voice of GOD and not the voice of the enemy any longer! I have heard this numerous times before in various services, but it has never hit me like this before. I'm so TIRED of reading about loved ones being knocked down, knowing how to get up, but choosing to dwell in the place where they are at. (I'm not down at the moment, I have really felt this was for women in my life who are stuck!)

For the first time in quite a while, I personally feel like I'm more like the version of myself prior to The Beech Road Experience. I laugh, joke, and smile now. I recognize that we all go through seasons that are tough, and sometimes it just takes time for God to move on our hearts, as He did on mine but I GUARANTEE that the first step for me was taking the first step and telling God, "I don't want to go through the motions anymore." Yes, it was at the very time that song was released on K-Love. Perhaps it's time for others to do so as well.

As I prayed tonight, the words I kept hearing were, "They matter. They just need to stand up!"

I love it when God does that! Don't you?

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!! (AND I MEAN THAT, IT IS GREAT!!!)

Going Backwards Down the Slide!

The other night Chase and I went to Oceans of Fun. We had spent the afternoon at Powell Gardens where we had sweat a lot, and I was looking forward to a COOL evening of water activities. I will admit it, (in case you're new to my little corner of the world) I am a big kid. I LOVE water slides! They are a lot of fun for me, and my favorite ones are tube slides! At Oceans of Fun, there are two tube slides that are my FAVORITE. While I enjoy all the slides, the tube slides are FAST and one of them is DARK. The dark one is my favorite, but they are both a lot of fun.

The other night, Chase went down before me, and I was next! I was ready to go! (Side note: I was proud of Chase because he's sort of afraid of the dark, but he did it anyway!) As I started down, I was going REALLY fast, and started to spin! I don't normally spin, but I found myself fighting the spin of the tube. Eventually, I said, "Okay, God, let's do it backwards." At that point, I did the ride backwards. I typically don't like that just because I can't see where I'm headed, but I wound up LAUGHING. It was SO MUCH FUN!

I came to the end of the ride and came out of the tunnel backwards, expecting a whistle from a lifeguard because you're supposed to only go forward, but I didn't hear one. I just smiled, and I heard that still, small voice say, "I got ya..you can do more than you think with Me." I just grinned.

I have prayed over that, and feel that that was preparation for this next week at Camp. I have NO IDEA what it looks like, but I'm EXCITED!!!

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

Where does curriculum come from?

I'd like to begin by saying that in this post, I'm mostly reflecting on the nature of the English curriculum; however, I suppose the thought is applicable to all subjects.

I was just working on my plans for next year, going over my lesson plans for Oedipus. I'm not a huge fan of the play. In fact, I think it's over the head of most seniors, let alone freshmen. I taught it to both my levels of freshmen. They both read it. They both understood the storyline, but did they really understand the nuances? Not a chance. Try explaining the "paradox of blindness" to a bunch of 14 year-olds. They simply wanted to get to the part where Oedipus gouges his eyes out...and even that was overshadowed by the fact that he had slept with his mother. From what I saw, they didn't get a lot out of the play.
Possibly it could've been my teaching...I had no clue what to do with it, as I'm not big on it and that could've (most likely did) show through in my teaching and planning. Ultimately, we focused on the ideas of tragic hero, tragic flaw and catharsis. Then we tied those into Romeo and Juliet; however, I could've done that much more simply (and more quickly) with an overview.
I asked other teachers in my department why we teach Oedipus in its entirety, and ultimately it came back to the fact that it was in a former textbook. Now, that being said, it's no longer in the new textbook we have...and the department has had a heck of a time trying to find it (at least the translation they want). But it's still being taught.

The question that keeps bugging me is how much should a textbook dictate a curriculum?

The Oedipus thing is obviously somewhat extreme, as we don't even have the textbook anymore; however, I'm just trying to illustrate my point. I can just as easily give my students an example of tragic hero and tragic flaw using a more modern-day story...one they will be more likely to get something out of.
I don't want to dump all the classics by any means. I see the value of Shakespeare; besides the fact that he is the most referred-to author in literature, it has also been proven time and again that Shakespeare makes students' brains work and also improves their writing and vocabulary. (If you still are Shakespeare-shy, head over to Englicious to read more detailed reasons for reading Shakey.)
I simply want reasons for what I teach, and "that's how it's always been done because of a former book we used" is not a good reason. Give me objectives. The thing many people don't realize is that objectives can be met in a variety of ways using a variety of texts. If I suggested using something by Tennessee Williams to hammer home tragedy, while only touching on Oedipus, I think I'd be immediately kicked out of the department. But I also think the students would get more out of a Williams play.
Then again, there are some teachers in my department who would use the freedom to water down the curriculum...Make it easy on themselves, while also making it easy on their students. I suppose it somewhat boils down to professionalism...both on the part of the that's-the-way-it's-always-been-done'ers and also the I-don't-understand-it-so-I'll-dumb-it-down'ers.

I really haven't reached any conclusions. I don't know that there are any to reach.

Anyone have thoughts? Please share. I'm sort of at a loss on this one, I think.

Sky Lifts, Polar Bears, Sea Lions, and Water Rides

The past two days I have had a GREAT time with my friend Chase. (He's here one more day, which is a blessing to me!) Chase arrived last night, and God is showing me some incredible revelations through Chase and the activities that we've done.

I should take a moment and state that Chase is ten years old. He is the child of one of my closest teacher friends in Joplin. I have known Chase since he was about four years old. He has gone to my old school all of his academic career, so I have seen him go from Kindergarten through second grade. He has always had a special place in my heart. Since I have moved here, I have been blessed to still stay in touch with Chase and his family. For three days this week I get to have Chase all on his own! He is an amazing boy, and God has created this boy with some amazing characteristics! All of which, God is using to teach me as this week progresses.

Last night we went to Worlds of Fun. Typically, I am the Roller Coaster gal, but since Chase isn't a roller coaster kid (I can relate, I was that way as a kid.) we did water rides! I'm not a HUGE fan of water rides unless I'm in a swimsuit, but I knew going into it that this trip wasn't about me. It was a trip for Chase. We did the Viking Voyager, and didn't get very wet. Then we did Fury of the Nile! Yeah, I got SOAKED. Of course, he barely got wet! He went up to the Monsoon bridge to get wet. He barely got wet. I found it all humorous. He WANTED to get wet, and I got soaked. I mean, dripping wet. My shorts were so wet I was uncomfortable. But, Chase enjoyed it. After that, we did a few other rides, but I found myself enjoying it as I watched it all through Chase's eyes. What was normal for me, was new to him. It was priceless.

Today we went to the Kansas City Zoo. I knew sweat would cover me, and I would be wiped out, and I was right. What I didn't expect was to have as much fun as I did! I thought the SKY LIFT over Africa was A BLAST. I have never actually been on a ski lift before, so it was really neat going 45 feet over the animals. It provided a ride to one side of the zoo, and we got off the lift and walked back, looking at all the animals. At one point, I commented to Chase that God can see us like we can see the animals. His comment was, "Yeah, but we're just small ants from where He sits." While that may be true, He still knows us intimately, which still grips my heart DAILY. *grin*

While I had seen some of the animals before, it was so much fun to watch Chase. He took my camera and took over 100 photos with the camera. He kept telling me random facts about the animals. I decided about halfway through it that he could easily be a zookeeper or tour guide at a zoo now and probably know more than most adults. God gave him a heart for animals like he gave me a heart for Autistic kids. It's fun to listen to Chase talk about animals, as he knows FACTS. He thrives off non-fictional books, and has learned a lot in his short life. It's amazing.

We ended the day at the Sea Lions show. While Chase didn't find the show as amazing as I did, it was fun to watch. The Sea Lions could do tricks! It was so much fun! That turned out to be my favorite thing, because the trainer could connect with the animal and make it do things. It wasn't Chase's favorite thing, as he just wanted to keep moving. That's how God created Chase, to keep going. While it was a challenge for him, he stayed put for me. *grin* I love that kid!

The final part of our day was the Polar Bear. The Polar Bear was doing flips in the water, which was amazing. Chase took SEVERAL pictures of it, and I hope they turn out well. That was amazing to me!

We still have all day tomorrow, and the plan is Oceans of Fun. In this case, I am pumped, as I REALLY enjoy water rides in this case! Of course, tomorrow we will layer up with sunscreen several times. Tonight we have a sunburn because I FORGOT the sunscreen. Lesson learned.

Thank You Lord for Chase. He's truly a gift from You! (By the way, Jay remains my favorite animal with four legs on the whole planet!)

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

you know you're a teacher when...

still out at the summer camp. between the kids and the waitressing, i'm staying ungodly busy. but i like it that way.

out at camp the past two weeks i've had the 11/12's. they're an odd bunch...such a strange age. i might blog more about that later...

but i have this one little boy in my group. he is quite possibly the most obnoxious kid i've ever met in my life...most of the time. but there are times when he chills out, and he's a cool little kid.
anyways, the other day we took the kids fishing. as we're walking down the street, he asks my co-counselor, "what's that sign say?" she told him to read it. he attempted to sound it out, but failed miserably. so, she told him, "it says 'area'".
she told me about this, so i started asking him questions, pointing at things to see if he could read them, asking his alphabet, etc. i gave him a sheet of paper and asked him to write down his alphabet. i got "A, B, C, F, E, D..." at that point i started coaching him through it. he'd sing the alphabet song until he got to the letter he needed, then he'd write it down and start all over again.
we got to "K", and i asked him what comes after it. he thinks, sings the song, then says, "LEMONEN-O....O is next." i asked him what all that stuff before "O" was, and he told me it was just part of the song.

so, i've been looking for books and worksheets to give to him to teach him at least some basic reading skills. he's going into sixth grade and doesn't even know his alphabet. and he knows he's behind. he's really embarassed by it.

i was talking to another counselor who's going to school to become an elementary school teacher, and he said something along the lines of, "we've failed this kid."
i don't agree though. i don't think "we've" failed him yet. public education has failed him thus far. and i think it's a combination of his home life (which has been very jumbled, with him being moved from family member to family member), his hyperactivity and his teachers. from comments he's made they simply didn't want to deal with him, so they continued to pass him despite his reading ability (or lack thereof).

but he can still be saved. he's only 11 years old. it's not like he's 16 and ready to drop out of high school. his grandparents are working with him on his reading at home, and i've been trying to help him out at camp. hopefully this won't be chalked up on the "kill" side of public ed.

p.s. i wanted to go deeper into this, but i'm supposed to be getting ready to get to work (camp).

Miss me??

I took a "brief" hiatus from blogging. I got overwhelmed by end-of-the-year work (i.e. even more term papers), and lately I've been working on wedding preparations, as fiance and I have decided to move the wedding up to November.

Anyway, I'm making a promise right now to you (and especially myself) to blog at least three times a week because I know I'll need that habit once school starts. I need the catharsis this blog brings me. Plus, I love getting feedback from all of you.

Besides wedding preparations and such, I've been really researching using podcasts and wikis in the classroom. I'm really interested in including more technology in my students' education next year, but I'm really finding it difficult to find good examples of podcasts. Many are password protected to insure student privacy and safety, which is understandable, but it makes it difficult to find examples. I've so far only been to the library and Googled it. After I finish writing this, I will be exploring the blogosphere.

I'm teaching my lower-tracked freshmen again next year. I'm really happy about that because I've developed a really strong curriculum for that class. I've been tweaking it lately, as I will be teaching a different novel from last year. I'll be doing Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, which is really exciting for me because I can tie it into the short story (by showing the students how authors flesh out stories but use a similar format to create a novel) and the epic. By the end the students will be showing me how TI and the Odyssey are related (that's one of the goals anyway).
I also have two new preps, which should be interesting. I've got two different tracks of sophomores. I really love the novels taught the sophomore year, and the curriculum focuses more on speech rather than writing, which will be a load off grading-wise. Plus, I love a new challenge. For the next month or so, these are the classes I will really be focusing on preparing for. I feel very confident with my freshmen class planning, so I would like to be as confident with my sophomore classes.

This was sort of a dodgy return to blogging. I'm out of practice. It will get better, promise.

OUT OF MY MIND *****

Tonight I have ANOTHER book review to share with you! I will admit, when I ordered the book I thought it was about a child with Autism, but it was actually about a girl with CEREBRAL PALSY! Are you wondering why that's so cool to me? It's because that's what I was born with, and why I walk with a limp! Cerebral Palsy is caused by trauma during birth. So, it's not anyone's fault, it just happens sometimes. People with Cerebral Palsy can be affected with more than just a limp, like in this story.

In the story, the girl, Melody, is in a wheelchair and cannot verbally talk. (Can you imagine not being able to talk?) She also has difficulty eating, going to the restroom, and sometimes her body spasms and she can't control it! The thing is, she is REALLY smart.

This story is written from Melody's point-of-view. It is an INCREDIBLE story about this young girl trying to find a voice in a world of people that don't typically accept someone being "different."

As I read this book, I could relate to a lot of her thoughts and feelings. While I am blessed to be able to live on my own, and take care of myself, I can relate to being picked on, stared at, and wishing that people could get past the limp to get to know ME. (Make note though, it doesn't hold me back! *grin*)

This is the FIRST book I read that I thought, "EVERYONE should read this so that they can understand that we're people FIRST, and that CP is part of us, but not ALL there is to us!"

I also thought that every teacher should read this book. Melody spoke about the impact that the good and bad teachers made on her academic career based upon their ideas of what they thought Melody could or couldn't do academically. It really impacted me as a teacher.

I HIGHLY recommend this book! I give it 5 stars, and hope everyone will grab it and read it!

OUT OF MY MIND by Sharon M. Draper

Go ahead, check it out at the library! It will be a book you'll never forget!

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

I WANNA HEAR YOUR HEARTBEAT...

There's a chorus that has been repeating in my head tonight. Misty Edwards sings it from time to time at IHOP. While I'm sure countless others have also sung it, she's the only one I've ever heard sing it the way she does.

It's part of a spontaneous chorus (I think), but it doesn't really matter. God can use ANYTHING at any time to reach us.

She sings:

I WANNA HEAR YOUR HEARTBEAT...

Meaning, at least in one sense (knowing her there are LAYERS to this phrase), she wants to be so close to God that she can hear His heartbeat. Off and on over the years, I have sung the chorus, and have meant it in the sense that I wanted to be closer to God, but I didn't really and truly PONDER it. Until tonight...

I have spent the evening preparing for the shift in furniture tomorrow. I will receive a new entertainment center and TV tomorrow. Truthfully, I'm excited. I have worked very hard to save for the TV I am getting. Plus, this entertainment center will be MY first. Not one I inherited from someone, it's MINE.

That has meant removing everything from the current entertainment center and taking various pieces off of it. Literally, this has been a LONG process. For Jay, this has been TOUGH. He's used to being able to cuddle at least part of the evening with me, and that hasn't happened tonight.

So each time I sat down to take a break, Jay was on my lap. While somewhat annoying at times because I was sweating and just wanting a drink for a minute, I understood too. Outside people are shooting off fireworks, which isn't his idea of fun, and he just wanted a little TLC. So, I took a moment each time to reassure him that the noises outside were okay. He was okay with that.

Then the MOMENT I sat down to blog, Jay was in my lap, wanting to cuddle with his head where he could hear my heartbeat. Hum, funny he should want to do that on the night I was pondering and praying about the phrase. Truthfully, that's the way Jay prefers to cuddle. He prefers to be in a position where he can hear my heartbeat all the time. He used to be okay with being at my feet, but that has passed. He's now okay with me typing, as long he can cuddle and hear my heartbeat.

I can take a lesson from the little guy. Sometimes I'm so busy taking care of stuff, I forget to stop and listen. When I stop and listen, He is ALWAYS faithful to show me something new!

I imagine if we're reaching for His feet, His hands, or His heart, He knows us well enough to know that we're reaching, and will be faithful to fulfill those desires.

For tonight though, my prayer is that chorus...

Lord, I wanna hear your heartbeat...

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

It's Just a Quote I Heard...

Have you ever heard a quote, and then spent the remainder of the day pondering it? Okay, perhaps several days, weeks, months, or even years on a quote? Well, I have been pondering a quote today that I actually heard quite a while ago. Louie Giglio is the first person that I heard say it, and it has gripped me.

He stated, "The most important thing you think about, is what you think about, when you think about God."

Given that we average 3,000 thoughts per day, it has made me wonder, how much do I think about God? And secondly, what do I think about, when I think about God?

I think for me it changes, season to season.

When I was first Saved in 1997, I just wanted to KNOW Him. To hear His voice. So, I pondered the different attributes, and the scriptures.

Then I entered various churches that had different aspects of God that were focused upon.

In one church I was taught to FEAR God. I was taught that repentance was the key to entering the Kingdom, and that God's Love was a cop-out. During that season, I didn't focus on God, I focused upon what I was doing WRONG. And, for the record, I'm SO GLAD that I'm out of that season!!!

My next season brought in the depth of God's love and grace. I fell in love with Him, and learned that someone that is truly in love doesn't want to do anything to hinder that love. I enjoyed that season.

Now I'm in a season where I'm learning to truly trust Him. In 14 years of walking with Him, I have seen a lot, and experienced a lot. I feel each season has given me something new for the next season. I LOVE THAT!

I remember that I used to think that the only way to experience God was in a worship service. Then I discovered Camp Barnabas. Out at camp, I have experienced God in ways that can't be verbalized. You just CAN'T do camp without God. PERIOD. It's a lot of HARD work, but I tell ya what, it leads me to encounter OVER and OVER and OVER again! Each year, I go into it expecting it to be like the year before, and yet I know that God doesn't work like that. Each year is full of new experiences and friendships that He sets up for each of us out there.

Finally, I think my FAVORITE part about walking with God is that there is ALWAYS something new in the journey. Whether it be a trip to camp, a shuttle shift, a teaching year, or just playing with Jay, He is always up to something. *grin* I also know that He knows the dreams I have that haven't been fulfilled, and I am learning to trust that He will fulfill them. *grin*

So tonight, as I ponder what I think about when I think about God, I think that choosing to follow Him was the best decision I ever made!

LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

Once Again...

...Matt's set was my favorite part of today!!! I had a really good day though.

I slept in. This is always a highlight for me, because sleep is a hobby of mine. I enjoy it. Jay let me sleep, and I LOVED IT.

I got up, ate LUNCH, and relaxed. Meaning, I turned on the DVR, cuddled with the furry kid, and rested. I was in my PJ's until 3:00. I loved it!

Around 2:00, the Lord told me to check Volunteerhub. I will admit, I didn't want to because I was enjoying my bum status for the day, but I know better than to ignore His voice. As it turned out, they were short a driver, so I signed up to drive shuttles. I knew it was the right thing to do.

I really enjoyed it. I got to drive the OVERFLOW route, which is my favorite, so I had a lot of fun. A lot of people have just moved here, so I was able to say, "I moved here two years ago yesterday!" *grin* That was fun.

After shuttles, I went in to service and ALLEN HOOD (my favorite!) was preaching! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, Allen's stuff! I only got to hear about 15 minutes of it (And hope to hear it all in the morning) but really enjoyed it. We have a teen camp going on here, so the prayer time (With Lou Engle!) was really good.

The Lord highlighted a couple kids to me. I prayed from the back row over them. One of them I caught on her way out, and gave her the word that He gave me. That was fun!!!

Another cool part of my evening was prayer time, and I walked over to pray for a gal I had never met before. The Lord gave me a word for her too! I love it when that happens! It was evident that the word was right on, and I prayed over her, and walked on. I LOVE IT WHEN GOD DOES THAT!

I moved up and wrote in my journal for a bit while Misty led worship.

THEN MATT'S TEAM CAME OUT!

He opened with All in All! That is a FAVORITE of mine that I don't hear very much anymore. He could have stopped there, and I would have been happy, but of course, he didn't. His team led us through several songs that I just love. One of them was "Worth it All" which has been a favorite of mine for years.

Over and over again, I am amazed at how God does that. I mean, we're singing to Him, yet he blesses me by having the team sing some of MY favorites. So, while I'm blessing HIM, He blesses me! That's amazing to me!

I LOVE IT!

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

Friendships

The older I get, the more I appreciate the friendships that the Lord has given me.

Last night I went down to Joplin and picked up a Tornado Survivor, and brought her back here so that she could fly out today to go to a family reunion. I've known LaughingGal for YEARS. While we don't talk regularly, I have prayed for her off and on over the years, as I have felt led to do so. She's a really special gal.

Today we ate out for lunch and then she wanted to pick out a new couch for her house. We had so much fun at Nebraska Furniture Mart sitting on MANY different couches. We laughed A LOT, as we walked through the store. I had a lot of fun!

On the way to the airport, she asked if I had a CD playing. I told her I did, I just hadn't had it turned up since we had been talking. I turned it up and shared with her the song I played (and continue to play) as I drove through the tornado devastation for the first time. It is a Christy Nockels song that has pierced my heart. It was SO MUCH FUN to share a worship song with someone again! She just listened, and I sang along. The next song we both knew, so we sang along to that one too. I love it when I have a friend who loves worship music as much as I do! It was a GREAT way to end our time together.

We got to the airport, hugged each other, and she headed to her plane. I drove away, thanking God for my time with LaughingGal. It was an unexpected gift from the Lord to have her here. He set it all up for her to be here. Plus, I told her, "You realize I have to see this couch in your house, right?" To which she replied that I can stay with her anytime. Well, once her house is fixed, of course! She's a blessing from the Lord, and I am glad she was here!

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!