Sunday, August 30, 2009

Who are you as a reader?

I invited several adults in my school to come share their reading lives with our class. I took their photo and created a reading poster about what they read, where they read, why they read, and what they do as a reader. My reason for doing this? To show my students that readers have different profiles, but these profiles often overlap. I would like to have my students create their own reader profile. I may wait a bit for this and have them do it after we've talked a little more about what readers do and what is available for them to read.

Tomorrow, the students finally get to pick out books from the classroom library...I'm super excited to see how they handle this.

How sweet

I happen to have a student this year in my class who also attends my church. She is also in the large group when I teach once a month. On Friday, I passed out cookies to the class (extra from a parent meeting), and she asked me if we were going to pray. My heart warmed, but I also explained to her that I can only pray if she asks me to pray with her. Hoping that I'll get to have that chance this year!

Now what do I do?

It's Sunday night and I don't have to go to youth group unless I want to. After thinking about it, I think I've decided to take a year off. My girls are all now in college and with eleven of them in college, my role as an encourager and keeper of accountability is still needed. However, it's weird. I feel like there is so much more free time available to me. What do I do with it? Yesterday, I was able to go into school and work for a few hours. Each evening is pretty free since the girls aren't going to be coming over to hang out. I feel like a part of me is missing.

In a few weeks, I get to start a Bible study about learning to say no. I'm excited to be a part of this study and learn what life will look like this year.

Monday, August 24, 2009

How do they do it?, while I may not blog as much as others do and I definitely don't advertise a lot of products on my blog, I still wonder, how do people get so much free stuff? My friend, Sarah, gets to read books ahead of time and write about her thoughts. Another blog I occasionally look at it gives away little free items and gift baskets away all of the time. And my friend, Jennie, is a secret shopper and gets to go to restaurants and get her money back afterwards...come on...I'll take some free stuff!!! Anyone have access to anything?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New Class

Well, it's a new year...and a new class. It's the hardest thing to remember that the class that is no longer with me was how I wanted them. A whole year with them, building into them our workshop mentality, conversation, and expectations.

And we start again. I'll keep you updated as to how this class is progressing. It was cute the other day when I did hear one of my students saying, "Use your words, not your hands." (It's a favorite saying of mine!) They're on the right track!

New insights

One of the biggest thoughts rolling through my mind when I knew I was going to read through the entire Bible, was...I've already read all of Genesis before...what's going to be different this time? Once again, God has showed me that His Word is living. Different thoughts and verses have popped out as I've been reading along.

Today, I finished Genesis.

Genesis 50 - 19 But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

I love that what was intended for harm, God used for good. I love that Joseph was able to find reconciliation with his brothers. I love that Joseph's father, Jacob, was able to see his beloved son again.

Another bit of information that was in my Bible was the lineage of Jacob's sons. It reminded me once again, the importance of legacies.

On to Exodus...praying again that God will speak new to me in this book.

Friday, August 14, 2009


This summer I attempted to really go through my room and try to rearrange and organize my room in a more professional and efficient way. I'm posting my pics that I took today because I am proud of myself. Really proud!

This is my meeting area with students. We refer to it as "The Hive" and we have morning meeting and many read-alouds here. I also gather students back here in small groups to chat and instruct at times. I pulled many of the games off of the shelves, pitched many, and put the rest into the baskets shown below. These baskets will allow my students to put them back in a fashionable way as well (since they are labeled).

I moved the art/craft box from the side of my room over by the sink. I also took down the "Job Jars" and replaced it with the bee that I use once a year (at the beginning to show names) and now it will hold the students who have jobs in the room. I also used to have a red crate on the bottom which contained clipboards. I moved the clipboards into black bins that are under another table that's in the front of the room. The clipboards are numbered so students know which one is theirs for the year.

I turned the computer desks to face each other this year...we'll see if it works. I also put their song binders in the black crates and instead of stacking them on top of each other, put them side by side. They are also closer to our meeting area and students will be able to grab them more quickly.

This is where the black crates are right now...They'll eventually get turned on their sides and hold the students' book bins.

So excited for these!!! I had someone build them (and my principal paid for them - woo hoo!) and will fill them with books once the students sort the books...that should be interesting. I have them currently wrapped up (okay, not all of them). I'll put the books into bins based on what size is needed. I also cleaned off four more shelves on the side of the room and they are open for more books. I keep grabbing people to come into my room so they can see the progress I've made. I also bought (with PTO money) two gray totes that hold our smaller pillows and after I cut off the handles, we can use them as buckets to sit on when we flip them over. Smart thinking, huh?

I decided to put corkboard on the back of the shelves to allow for charts to be hung, my own chart, and also their thinking and learning. Excited to see how we use these this year! I am hoping to put a student in charge of the blue chart. It tells students who gets the special book nooks and what groups I am conferencing with that day. It alleviates LOTS of questions.

Hoping to continue to keep my room organized this year!

New Day, New Mercies...

Last night, our college group got together and I lead a group of girls in it. Only one girl came. Another group leader and her girls were sharing and I was jealous and upset. My girls just don't seem serious about their faith and they're leaving and now what? (And to my male readers - apologizing in advance - I'm a little emotional these days) I talked with another leader and I think I just need time off. Time to rejuvenate and build so I can pour back into others.

Fast forward to this morning...talking with a girl on FB chat and she ends up sharing with me that she has a goal of reading through the NT by the end of her freshman year. Wow...what a quick answer to prayer.

I'm also getting together with them tomorrow for a picnic...My plan is to continue in contact with them as they go off to school and continue to challenge them in their faith as they begin to take ownership of their lives.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Finishing up Job

Wow...I never realized how many verses in Job I cling to. I finished reading the book of Job today and, of course, was amazed at how God brought it to Job. Where were you when I created the this, this, and this? Job realized God's awesome power and that His knowledge is the knowledge that's worth having.

Job 42:2-3 - "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.

I was able to hang out with my friend, Angie, yesterday whose son is battling cancer again. She is very quick to point all of the glory back to the Glorious One. And knows that this battle glorifies Him somehow. Doors have been opened and testimonies shared throughout all of this.

As we were talking, I was thinking, who am I to question God's plan for my life right now? His knowledge is beyond mine and His plans are too wonderful for me to know. I silently told God yesterday that, yes, I do want to be in a relationship. I just want to know that I am loved. Fast foward to the night and I received a phone call from a friend who just wanted to tell me that I was! God is soooooo good. It wasn't what I was anticipating, but God continues to surround me with amazing people and even though I feel (at times) that a small part of life is missing...God continues to show me that He is a Provider and will be with me on this journey.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Morning Message...

I am still committed to reading through the Bible in a year (or however long it takes) and currently and am in Job. I'm actually quite thankful that I chose the chronological plan because it'll break up the Old Testament quite nicely. I will have twp months or so where I am reading straight through Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Today, I decided to use the Blue Letter Bible website and dive into a few verses. I looked back at Job 6:11 which says "What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient?" (BTW, this verse hits quite deep for certain reasons) and investigated a few of the words. One being hope...It appears 45 times in 40 verses in the OT. Eight times in Job. Hope also meant to wait, await, tarry, or expect.

Currently, I am in a season of waiting. However, reading through Job reminds me that in the bleakest of moments, if my trust is solely in my Redeemer (as Job states), then I still have hope. I was listening to a podcast that talked about what and Who we put our hope in. It all fits together so nicely in my brain. I can know, without a shadow of a doubt, that God has a perfect plan for my life and while right now I may want other things added to my life, waiting is what God has. Waiting brings trust and hope. Waiting doesn't mean sitting back and doing nothing. Waiting means actively pursuing God every day and serving Him.

I am so thankful that right now I am reading through Job and get to witness a godly man who continued to hope despite his circumstances.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Becoming appreciative...

Tonight I had the pleasure of sitting with some amazing women around a dining table sharing our dinner and lives together. Now if I wanted to throw the grass is greener card, I could. All of the women (minus possibly one) are either married, engaged, or in some fun dating relationships. I could get down on my situation, but I am choosing not to. The reason? Someday I am going to have an amazing story to tell...a story written by God to glorify Himself alone. It may say that I am still single, but have seen the provision and hand of God take care of me through many years or it could say that He brought an amazing man into my life who helped encourage me and showed me what God's love can look like in human flesh. Tonight, however, I focused on listening to their stories, because if the roles were reversed, they would be as excited for me as I am for them.

So to those of you (G, M, K, and L) who read this and were there last night, I am so happy for how God is glorifying Himself through the relationships you have right now. And I know that He is faithful! His love is! Blown away by that love tonight and had such a refreshing time with these ladies.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Challenge

I am challenging read the entire Bible. I found a chronological plan and am going to commit to reading through it. It may take more than a year or less (depending on how much I read a day). Like a good friend said, if I need to camp out in something longer than what the plan says, I'll do it. Another friend showed me the Blue Letter Bible website, so I have many tools now. I ask my students to read 15 minutes an shouldn't I? Today was the first many days does it take something to become a habit? I'll occasionally update my progress or let you know what I'm learning.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Update on Budget

Month 1 finished - Cash left over in budget and that will be applied to my debt - 20 bucks...okay, so I ended up hitting a few more stores this month that I didn't think I would earlier (Trader Joe's and a few discount grocery stores with my sister). I also will probably cut back on having coffee out and trying to continue to use up what I have in my house before getting other stuff...looking forward to getting rid of all of the tea that I have now so I can try a new brand...but not till what I have is gone. Anyone want to come over for a glass of tea?


I have definitely taken a break from blogging. Had some family stuff and didn't really feel like posting. Haven't also felt that I had much to blog about. However, through this summer I have been challenged spiritually and am taking a break from books and turning towards the Book. I was looking at a plan to read the Bible in a year, and found one that lists it out chronologically (which I think would be cool). However, the thought of beginning with Genesis right now is not appealing. Any other suggestions, readers?