Friday, July 13, 2012

And the story continues...3 months later...

I was watching the Today show yesterday and they had a consultant giving her opinion on children using technology. What made her an expert? She has a blog and 50,000 followers on Facebook. This reminded me of my pathetic blog that I abandoned 3 months ago. Think of it like this, you were watching a pretty interesting movie and you've been able to skip the boring details in the middle and now you get to know how the story ends.

Update: Read all about it!

I am now a teacher!! and...wait for it, wait for it.....

I have a job! I will be a 7th grade reading teacher at the middle school where I completed my student teaching.

Yes, God is amazing and awesome and He really does give you the desires of your heart.

So, as I await more details of my teaching position I fill my summer days reading (2 books in 3 days this week) and teaching a 3-5 year old class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It has been a good summer so far and I look forward to preparing for the school year ahead.

Now you know the rest of the story. :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thoughts from a Student Teacher Week Twelve

I cannot believe how fast time is flying! Although I am eager for summer I hate to see my student teaching experience end.

This week was interesting. You can definitely see a change in the students. Everyone is ready for summer and because of this behavior problems have increased and so has apathy. The students do not care about the up coming real standardized test. They have taken so many MOCK tests they are sick of it; I can empathize.

My number one goal as a teacher will be to teach the TEKS throw in some test preparation skills and let the tests come and go. All of the pressure the teachers place on the students does not help them it only makes their anxiety and indifference worse. If we can give them the skills they will need and then encourage them to go in and do their best I would think it would make the situation better, but who knows! Kids are unpredictable.

Another change I have seen in the students, especially the boys, is how girl crazy they have become! The hormones are raging, I guess. And if the 7th grade girls won’t pay them attention I guess they’ve decided to throw their energies into flirting with me. UGH! What a learning experience for me. I am creeped out by the attention and have to pray that God gives me the word to show these boys how inappropriate their actions are. It makes me wonder what it will be like to be alone in a classroom with these students (without Mrs. C there with me). That is another advantage Mrs. C has, being older. Sometimes I wish I was older and married (if that would even discourage them).

Monday, April 9, 2012

Thougths from a Student Teacher Week Eleven

So my journal entry is not worth reading this week so I've decided to post a cartoon I found that sums up my experience with the students this week. Sometimes this is how I feel...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Thoughts from a Student Teacher Week Ten

This past week was very interesting. I created a vocabulary test for Monday that all of the students took and proceeded to grade the papers the next two days during the standarized writing exam the students had to take. All of the vocabulary terms of the test have been taught throughout the year and we also gave them a study guide to study over the weekend. However, I found that grading those tests was the most depressing thing ever! I now understand how it feels to push something so hard and find that the students really do not care enough to make an effort to study. I think everyone is burnt out and ready for summer break. I have suggested that we give the students an opportunity to take a second vocabulary test and hopefully many of them will take the opportunity to really study.

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday as a restroom/hall monitor during the standarized test. Though a tiring job, it gave me time to grade tests and read. I will be watching the hallways again this coming week as the students complete their mock Math and Reading standarized exams. I cannot believe how many tests the state gives these kids and I feel so sorry for them. My hope is that in my future classroom I will keep my testing to a minimum and making assessments more “undercover” or at least more fun. If there is anything that sucks the fun out of learning it is tests.

Saturday (yesterday) I took the practice Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) exam. It only took me 1 ½ hours of the available 5 hours and I felt pretty good about it. I am eager to see my scores and take the real PPR exam next Saturday. There were a lot of elementary focused questions on the tests and I am so thankful that God has given me experience in pre-school classrooms. I was able to think back to some of those experiences to help me answer the questions. Now I just have to wait until the 7th to finally be done with this test!

I found out last week that the principal wants me for next year!! She is just waiting for a position to open up. So I have donned my P.U.S.H bracelet to remind me to “pray until something happens.” The principal also asked me if I wanted to be added to their substitute list once my student teaching assignment is over. Mrs. C says this is another sign that she wants to keep me. J So right now I am praying and waiting because God’s timing is definitely not my own.

Thoughts from a Student Teacher Week Nine

Although a little stressful, this past week was so good! I was very pleased with how my lesson and observation turned out and felt in my element putting together the powerpoint presentation. I also love how after being very nervous while teaching the first period I slowly became comfortable and more relaxed as I taught.

The most meaningful part of this week was when one of our SIOP (group of English Langugage Learners) students told me that he tried to participate more during my lesson so that I would get a good grade from you! I cannot even describe how that made me feel and then the following day when they came in during 7th period they all gathered around me and asked “Did you get a good grade, Miss? Did you make a 100?” I tried to explain that you did not give me a number grade and I showed them the evaluation sheet. They were so excited when I explained what EE meant and that I had received such a good score. I think that being a student while being a teacher is great because you understand the students more and they like knowing that you are experiencing what the experience every day.

The other fun part of the week is when we had Thursday tutorials. We set up 5 groups with 3-5 students in each group to play games. The games had to do with inference and comprehension questions. A group 3 of our SIOP boys begged me to play with them so I did. It was so much fun! I learned so much more about their personalities. They did get pretty rowdy though, and we had to shut down the games. It was so hard to get upset with them, though, because they are just a great group of kids. I think the ones I have more trouble with I like the most. J

Thoughts From a Student Teacher Week Eight

Note: Once again I am late in posting these journal entries. I wrote this one before March 12th...

I’m not really sure what to say about this week. It was short since I wasn’t there all week. My technology seminar was cancelled so I did have Wednesday at the school, but we had Benchmarks Tuesday and Wednesday which made everything crazy!

I did have an issue with the technology person at the middle school. I’ve been working on a lesson about persuasive text (actually for your upcoming observation) and I wanted to use some youtube videos of commercials. I’ve become really excited about the lesson. However, this person has made the process very difficult and discouraging. I knew that youtube was blocked on campus before going into this; however, she has used everything to discourage me from going through with it. I think underneath everything is she doesn’t have time or want to take time to approve my videos. I have to say I was very proud of myself because the two times I talked with her in person I remained calm and was as sweet as I could. I had the kill with kindness mindset. I don’t know if I will get the videos approved, but I have a plan B set up just in case. This experience just reminds me that not everyone is pleasant all the time. We are all human and you have to learn how to treat others kindly no matter how they treat you.

I know this is short, but I cannot think of what else to add at the moment. Now on to Spring Break!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Thoughts from a Student Teacher Week Seven

I have decided that from here on out I will always be tired. The reality of how long I stay at the school hit me when Mrs. C clocked out Friday afternoon. 54 hours. I was at the school 54 hours give or take an hour. Yes, technically I could leave at 3:30, but there is still so much I can help with and so much I can learn in the extra time I am there. So I accept that I will be tired most of the time.

I’m not really sure if I learned anything new this week. We did have the Mock Writing standarized test so I was able to sit in a room for four hours both Tuesday and Wednesday. What an ordeal the State puts these kids through! It was hard for me and Mrs. C to sit there for that long and we weren’t even taking the test.

I’ve been reading some of the popular Youth fiction that comes in and out of our classroom. With the help of the girl who let me borrow her book I finished The Hunger Games trilogy. Many of the students are signing up to be the next one to check out this trilogy from our shelves and it is so much fun to connect to them through literature. I also found out that one of the boys who is actually able to read above 7th grade reading level loves historical fiction, especially surrounding wars. So over the weekend I made him a list of Civil War, WWI, and WWII novels that I have personal read. I hope that he will enjoy these books.

Another student kept asking me about the college I graduated from. He told me he wanted to go there and play soccer so I emailed the admissions counselor and he sent me a admissions packet to give to the boy. The counselor even addressed the letter to him. It was so much fun to watch the boy open his packet! He said it was like Christmas and when he saw the letter with his name on it he kept saying “It’s for me!” I don’t know what is in this boy’s future, but I hope that he realizes he can have dreams and his dreams are attainable.

There are rumors that a couple positions are opening up. The principle has encouraged me to take my Generalist 4-8 exam. I have to admit I’m excited. I’m not sure if God wants me to stay at this middle school, but I do know it would be a joy to continue to work with this team. I look forward to seeing how all this will turn out.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Thoughts from a Student Teacher Week Six

One of the things that has surprised me is how much I’ve come to love these kids! I guess I’ve passed the stage of being exhausted and have come to a point where I really enjoy it. Each day/week I seem to connect with another student. I learn more about them and I try to tell them how much I care about them. They aren’t just faces anymore; they are special people to me.

Which comes to a question I have for you? As a teacher can I write to my students? I LOVE sending cards of encouragement so would it be appropriate to send out a card every now and then to my students? I’ve decided that although the subject I teach is important the most important thing I could do is show these students that I care about them, that I think they are special, that I think they are smart, that I think they can be anything they want to be.

This week I haven’t really taught because of our subject matter; however, on a relationship level I have connected more this week with the kids than at any other time. There are two girls that I have been discussing a book series with. One of the girls actually let me borrow her book! It is a book I’ve been waiting to read for weeks.
One Hispanic boy came in this week and put his hand out to shake mine. But when I went to shake his hand he started performing this fancy hand slap with fist bump. So together we came up with a “handshake” that only we share. J One day I asked him why he wanted to keep “shaking” my hand. He told me, “Cuz you’re cool, Miss!” I always look forward to his grin in the afternoon, which happens to be filled with braces. Moments like that make my day.
I also experienced a very emotional parent-teacher conference. The student began to cry and get angry about her situation at home on top of what was going on at school. This girl has to face so much at only 12 years old! I felt led to speak to her in private. I really feel that God spoke through me as I told her that I cared about her and that my heart hurt for her. I encouraged her to come to me if she ever needed someone to talk. I pray that God will be close to her and help her through her situation.

What an amazing week! I am thankful for the situation I am in. God knew right where He wanted me to be and I am learning so much here!

Thoughts from a Student Teacher Week Five

During this past week I taught a mini-lesson every day, every period. At times it was pretty boring thinking about how I would be teaching the lesson almost 20 times during the week, but then there would be a group of kids that would sit down with me and really have fun with the topic. To make the lesson more fun I had them answer questions using individual wipe-off boards. All they had to do was write the letter of the answer, but they got creative and began writing a word or sentence using the letter or even drawing detailed pictures. It was nice to be able to laugh with them and know that at the same time they were learning. Although I don’t like the monotony of teaching a lesson more than one day, I loved having only 3 to 5 students at a time to teach. It felt very rewarding.

I still have not found a discipline strategy that works best. At the middle school we hand out STEPS when the students misbehave, but they have become so used to them that the ones who misbehave don’t care. Usually the STEPS book is used as a threat. There has to be a better way!
To motivate students to be quiet and read for a certain length of time I’ve promised a couple of pieces of candy which seems to work, but I hate bribing them! Any of your suggestions would be appreciated.

To maintain a supportive environment I reassure the students that they can do it! Their answers and participation is important. If they are really leery of answering I tell them I understand the topic might be difficult, but I really want them to try. Sometimes some of the students’ answers blow me a way and I have to high-five them. It is so enjoyable when a student that is quiet speaks up and has something good to say, or if the student is usually a behavioral problem, but that day they contributed to the class. I’m sure those are the moments teachers live for.

Thoughts from a Student Teacher Week Four

I’ve decided that student teaching is an emotional roller coaster. At least it is for me at the middle school. The first week I was pretty scared of 7th graders and what I was seeing at the school, the second and third week I became excited and thought it would be amazing if I could get a job there for the fall, then this week I had doubts about even becoming a teacher. I think part of it was I was exhausted and emotionally vulnerable and I believe Satan was using this opportunity to attack, but God is good and He daily reminds me of how He loves me and that He is walking with me.

I was also able to express my feelings to Mrs. T who, though not my official mentor teacher, helps me just as much, or more than Mrs. C. She gave me a hug and told me what I was feeling was normal and that in the end I would know what I was supposed to do. This pair of ladies is a blessing to me! I don’t know what I would do without them!

I had an interesting conversation with a boy on Monday. My class was paired up to read some expository passages and answer the questions that went along with them. Everyone in the class are struggling readers, but there are a few like this boy, I’ll call him A, that thinks he is a little bit better than everyone else. He complained that his partner, G, was a slow reader and that He should read more than her because she was too slow. G is a sensitive girl who is very quiet and I could not believe that A was picking on her. I took him aside and told him that what he said wasn’t nice and that in our classroom we are supposed to build each other up, not tear them down. I told him I didn’t want to hear him say those things ever again. A was became serious and a little dejected and then he went back over and began to read with G. Looking back, I wish I would have told him to apologize but I didn’t. I hope that this was a learning experience for him and next time he will treat his peers with the kindness they deserve. It felt good that I could invest some time in teaching a life-lesson.

Thoughts from a Student Teacher Week Three

Once again another good and exhausting week at the middle school! We began our repeated readings schedule on Monday and Tuesday so I had my own classroom all day long. The largest group I have is 8 kids. It went very well.

To answer some more of the journal topics I think I’ll start with “How do I plan for and engage in professional development?” Often, things like this happen spur of the moment. For example, Thursday I attended a 504 review. Mrs. T and I had talked about me possibly going to one and then at the last minute I went. The review wasn’t anything exciting, but I had never really known what all the school does for kids with learning disabilities so now I feel like I have some more information under my belt. To add to this, I go to any teacher meeting I can go to and whenever Mrs. C goes to talk to the principle or any other colleague I am her shadow.

To give students opportunities to participate actively I usually ask questions and call on each one at some point in time or another. I often call on those who raise their hands last or those who don’t raise their hands. I do this because I want to tell them that I know they are smart enough to answer. I want them to know that being shy is okay, but sometimes it is okay to get up the courage to answer from time to time. The quiet students are often the smartest ones who are just unsure of themselves.

I’m realizing that managing student behavior is the one of the hardest things to do as a teacher. There was a few times this past week that Mrs. C was gone for several minutes to a whole period and I had to make sure everyone was getting to work. I finally found my “teacher” voice and realized that with this age group sometimes you have to raise it to get their attention. I also had to give out Steps to four students due to their incessant talking which was not pleasant. I’ve realized that it is easier to give them chance after chance because I just don’t want to punish them for their bad behavior. I want them to like me, I guess, but I’m realizing that I’m not there for them to like me and providing a calm learning environment is more important than winning their favor.

Thoughts from a Student Teacher Week Two

The second week of my student teaching experience has been amazing. Not just because I have learned so much, but because I feel so at home at the middle school. I am blessed to have Mrs. C and Mrs. T as mentors and their faith in me constantly amazes me.

1.     To create a better learning environment I would like to change how a new concept is introduced. Of course, I really don’t have the power to do this every day, but when I am teaching I can certainly try. I’m not a fan of how Mrs. C does not use her activity board or chalkboard to write on. I understand that some things are turned around, but I believe that her method of holding up a sheet of paper with the state standards up, hoping that everyone can see it is ineffective. I certainly would not be able to read it from several places in the room. If you are going to do that, why not use a big poster that you can write on, or print out handouts so that each student has their own to read. However, I can see that sometimes it does make the students have to really focus so that they can hear her read the state standards, but the ones that decide to zone out for a second miss everything.
2.     How do I manage student behavior? So far, I’ve only had to remind the students to focus and get back on task. I had one incident where I told a girl to stop talking and she said she could talk if she wanted to. This was the first week. I told her that she was not to speak to me in that manner and that next time I expected her to say “Yes, ma’am.” Since then I haven’t had any problems. However, Mrs. C is always there to handle major issues so I am curious to see what I will encounter as I take over my own groups.
3.     In Thursday afternoon tutorials, to encourage students to participate actively, I have called on students to read and I have tried to ask a lot of questions to encourage discussion. I felt like my first tutorial was a success, the students actively discussed the passages and questions we read and we had an enjoyable time together.

Thoughts from a Student Teacher Week One

As you may have noticed, I am very behind in my blogging! However, I have a good reason for my absence. I have been student teaching, full time, at a middle school here in town. This past week I clocked in approximately 53 hours! I have been keeping a journal that I turn in to my supervisor and thought I would share it with the blogging community. So here is my journal from week one of my student teaching adventure....

So far, my student teaching experience at the middle school has been exciting, emotional, and tiring. There are at least 3 things that have surprised me this week:
1.     How strict the teachers are on the kids. There are some things that my mentor teacher will not let slide that I think are small and I feel that when she holds them accountable on it, her reaction could make the student act out more. This is something I have to think about a little more. I also feel that it is important to “wipe the slate clean” at the end of the day and start the next day fresh, but Mrs. C (as I will call my mentor teacher from hear on out) will bring up the student’s wrong doings of the previous day which I feel makes them upset again, causing them to act out. It is amazing to me that every little thing a teacher does affects the students in some ways!
2.     The pressure of the upcoming standardized test is excruciating!!! It is like a black cloud hanging over all of our heads. Yes, the teachers teach the state standards, but constantly they are telling the students “This will be on the test,” “If you don’t work harder you’re going to fail the test,” “Guys, we don’t have time to goof around the test is coming!” Everyone is running scared. The teachers do not know what is on the test and they tell the kids they do not know what is on the test and everyone is running scared! For me, it is hard to enjoy learning in this kind of environment.
3.     I had no idea how tiring it is to be a teacher. The last four days I have been up at 5:30 am so that I can get to the school at 7:15 am. I’ve stayed at the school until 4:30 or 5:30 every evening!! I know that in reality I can leave when the other teachers leave, but when my cooperating teacher stays I feel like I’m going to miss something! One night she gave me a 2 inch stack of paper of things to cut out. I still have bruises from the scissors! Being a teacher is exhausting!

The most rewarding experience so far has been participating in Mrs. C’s SIOP class. She has a group of 8th graders who primarily speak Spanish. They are all on very low reading levels due to the language barrier. Yesterday, one of the boys was taking an A.R. test on one of the books he was reading and I found out that his goal for A.R. points for the year is 16. He has 36 points!! He has already surpassed his goal! I so admire these kids. I took 6 years of Spanish in high school and college and hardly know a thing. I know how hard it is to learn a language and that if you do not work hard you will not succeed, but these kids are working hard and they are speaking English and raising their Reading Levels and exceeding students who take for granted that they can read English. I feel that I will learn a lot from this group!

The biggest way Mrs. C has helped me so far is that she believes in me! Not only does she tell me that she believes in me she also tells the kids. She has told the kids that I am her partner. They do not know I’m a student teacher (though if they are smart they have probably figured it out by now). Also, at the end of the day she will hug me and tell me that I am a huge help to her. It makes me feel pretty special. J

Monday, January 9, 2012


I think one of the most challenging things for a Christian girl who is striving to live a set-apart life is making sure that her appearance, words, and actions come across as modest to the opposite sex. If only you knew how many times I wondered how I came across to the guys I've talked to. Was I too sarcastic? Were my favorite jeans just a little bit too tight? Was I blending in too much with those girls whose goal in life is to get a guy's attention?!? Okay, maybe I think a little too much of myself, but I often wonder these things.

Dressing modestly really isn't too hard for me. I've never been one to gravitate towards extremely short shorts or plunging necklines. It really isn't until I'm faced with stacks of clothes in a dressing room that I question why I spend so much time striving to be modest and then I wonder if modest is really hottest! But after all the questioning God brings something to my attention (like this blog post by Leslie Ludy) to remind me that it's all worth it and to show me that I'm really pleasing my Heavenly Father, and hopefully a few brothers in Christ, when I make sure to buy clothes that are modest.

Dressing With Dignity by Leslie Ludy

It is easy to assume that true modesty means drab, shapeless, unfeminine clothes that make us extremely unattractive. But God’s pattern doesn’t bring oppression and ugliness - it brings liberty and beauty. Contrary to popular belief, feminine beauty doesn’t have to mean sensuality. It is more than possible to exude the kind of dignity, grace, and true feminine beauty that will captivate a man’s heart - without using sex appeal.

So I will continue to strive to be modest and show off my true feminine beauty which really comes from within. Because I'm really only trying to please God and He "does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). It would be nice if a guy would take notice though. Just saying!

Plus it doesn't hurt to stand out in the crowd instead of conforming to it (Romans 12:2).

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Anticipation and Preparation

Tomorrow night my cousins are coming over to spend the night. I think that we've decided that no matter how old we are we could use an occasional all-girl slumber party.

It is amazing how when I am planning on having a guest over I quickly go into preparation mode. I want to make sure that the house is clean and organized, I want to have good food to offer them, and I want to make sure I look my best. However, on a regular day, when I'm not going to entertain company, I'd rather not clean up my messes, I'm not particularly interested in the food I'm going to be eating, and I might go around in my pajamas for, at least, half the day. When I'm not anticipating the arrival of a guest I'm not focused on preparing for one.

So I was pondering over this earlier, while I thought about what to feed my cousins, and I had to stop and say "Wow." Is this not a metaphor for how we approach the second coming of Christ?

As we go through our daily lives we don't really dwell on the fact that He could come back at any moment. Because of this, we don't really focus on cleaning up our lives through prayer and reading His word and we don't necessarily feel the need to bring Him our best. However, if we would live each moment with the thought that He could come back in the next second, minute, or hour wouldn’t we work hard to be ready? Wouldn’t we go into preparation mode with the anticipation of His arrival?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Jesus Calling_January 3rd

For Christmas my mom gave me the 365 daily devotional book by Sarah Young called Jesus Calling. Young has a talent for taking verses from scripture and paraphrasing them in a way that it sound like Jesus is talking just to you. I have to say, when I first began reading it I was little skeptical. I mean, God's word is alive so we really don't need someone else paraphrasing it for us to help us connect to it. However, there is something about the word choice and the flow of it that tugs at my heart.

This is today's reading: January 3rd

REFRESH YOURSELF in the Peach of My Presence. This Peace can be your portion at all times and all circumstances. Learn to hide in the secret of My Presence, even as you carry out your duties in the world. I am both with you and within you. I go before you to open the way, and I also walk alongside you. There could never be another companion as devoted as I am.
Because I am your constant Companion, there should be a lightness to your step that is observable to others. Do not be weighed down with problems and unresolved issues, for I am your burden-bearer. In the world you have trials and distress, but don't let them get you down. I have conquered the world and deprived it of power to harm you. In Me you may have confident Peace.

(Psalm 31:19-20; John 16:33)

I hope that this has blessed your day as it has mine. My one resolution for the new year (that I'm willing to stick with no matter what) is that I will pray for more of God's peace and that I live with "a lightness" in my step. I don't just want to ask for peace I want to LIVE God's peace. I want to experience His confident peace every day.

Monday, January 2, 2012

What God Expects From a Relationship with Us

For Christmas my dad requested that my sister and write papers answering these questions:

What does God expect from a relationship with us?
What do we expect from a relationship with God?

Here is what I wrote to answer the first question:

As Christmas arrives we are often reminded of the childhood tradition of writing a Christmas wish list to Santa Clause. According to any Christmas movie or song, Santa knows if you been naughty or nice and if you are a nice little boy or girl you will receive what you asked for. Sadly, many Christians approach God in the same manner. Their prayers often sound more like wish lists which end with promises that they will be good to ensure that God will grant them their wish. Many Christians are so wrapped up in what they can get out of God that they forget that God wants something out of the relationship as well. Then there are those of us who cannot fathom why the all-knowing, all-powerful, Holy Creator of the universe would want anything to do with us in the first place.
From the beginning of God’s word it is evident that God had a purpose in creating human beings. In Genesis 1:26 He said, “let us make man in our image, in our likeness…” He did not merely create us as pawns He could play with, He wanted a relationship with man. This is the main theme throughout the Bible. Amazingly enough, the Mighty, Holy God who created the universe expects only three things from us. These are found in Deuteronomy 6:5 “love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your strength.” Although these three things may not be simple they are easy to remember and from them stem the holy, set-apart lifestyle that is talked about in the New Testament.
To love the Lord with all of our heart we must relinquish anything that might stand in the way. Jesus reminds us in Matthew 6:24 that “no one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” Because God created us He knows that we cannot be wholly devoted to more than one person, place, or object. Thus, we must love Him with our whole heart, putting anything else second.
To love the Lord with all of our soul we must obey His commands. As James 1:19 says we cannot simply listen to or read the word we have to do what it says. By obeying God’s commands we are serving Him exclusively.
To love the Lord with all of our strength we must not conform to the pattern of the world (Romans 1:12). As God’s children we must imitate His holiness.
In one verse, God has covered all the bases.  By loving Him with all of our heart, mind, and strength we ensure a life wholly devoted to Him, free from the hold of sin. By loving Him with all of our heart, mind, and strength we exude His love to others, fulfilling Jesus’ command that we “go and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19). By loving Him with all of our heart, mind, and strength we will gladly strive to live our lives for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
The Creator of the Universe is not a Santa-like figure, nor is He a stern Dictator who pushes us around like pieces on a game board. The Lord our God is a jealous God who wants us all to Himself. He wants us to love Him with all of our being and He will not settle for less.

Out with the old, in with the new.

So, as you can tell....I am an avid blogger.I can't let a day pass without writing something. I would write two posts if I had the time!
Okay, hold on, I guess that doesn't really describe me. I'm sorry! I'm a disgrace to the blogging world! However, it is a new day and a new year and I have more motivation to write more often. Can I do it? I'm not really sure, but I'll try. :)

I hope all of you have had a wonderful Christmas and that you are looking forward to the new year! 2012...can you believe it?? I have to admit that when the ball dropped for the 2nd time on TV on New Year's Eve I felt kind of strange. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about the new year. A lot of new and exciting things are in store for me (at least I hope so). However, even though I'm looking forward to 2012 I always get nervous when something new is approaching. I'm not a big fan of change. For example, the year I decided to cut my hair really short I deeply regretted it, I think I cried several times over it, and I still loathe the pictures from that era. Since then I can only handle getting a few centimeters cut off and even that makes me sad! Yes, pathetic I know.

Anyway, the idea of the new year is still growing on me. Maybe it is for you too. I hope that for both our sakes God will bless us with His peace as we endeavor to embrace the changes 2012 will bring.


Before I sign off maybe you want a little update about me?? It has been 5 months right? Maybe I'm just being hopeful that anyone even cares. Anyway, I finished my first semester of education classes. Yes, I'm back in school preparing to become a English/Language Arts/ Reading teacher for 4th-8th grades. I completed 3 classes with all A's and a huge important standardized test with a passing grade! It was a pretty amazing semester. Starting the 17th I will be student teaching at a local middle school in 7th and 8th grade. I know nothing about this age of kids!! So I'm pretty nervous. Some may say "you were that age once", but really...was it the same? I don't know, I have a feeling that a public school 7th or 8th grade in 2012 has a lot more world knowledge than I did as a homeschooling 7th and 8th grader in whatever year it was back then. I do pray that God will give me a great love for every kid I come into contact with. I want His perfect love to spill out of me and pour onto all of them!

On top of that my Reading professor, from this past semester, wants me to consider continuing graduate school and work towards my master's as a Reading Specialist. Once again I feel like I'm at a crossroads, but this time there are amazing options available. Either I could teach my own class in the fall (if I am able to get a job) or I can teach my own class and take a graduate class or I could become this professor's graduate assistant and take a full load of classes. My head spins thinking about it.

As I welcome the new year I look forward to the new things I will experience. Although I'm nervous about change, I know that God has a plan and is preparing the way for me.

I hope you will join me as I look to our Heavenly Father for direction, understanding, and discernment. I'm so thankful that I don't have to figure it out on my own. He already has the answer. I just have to wait for it.

Happy New Year!