Sunday, May 31, 2009

The End is Near

Four more days! I can't believe that the end of another school year is almost here. This has been quite the year too.

It was the first time I have ever taught the same grade for a second year. We had a new reading series. There was a new teacher in our grade level. I had 6 high-ability kids. I tried MANY new things in my class. I didn't coach middle school basketball. I went through some personal challenges. I had a student reach 300 objectives in ACM and another get to almost 500 points in AR (independent math and reading programs). I read a book to my kids called Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger. I read 10 books over the course of the school year. I traveled. I attended professional workshops/conferences.

I have thought back over this school year SO MUCH this weekend. I find myself wondering "What are the lessons that my students learned this year? I mean the important lessons that they will take with them. What will they remember about their 5th grade teacher? Are they a better person after having spent 180 days with me? Are they ready for middle school? Are they smarter?"

So much goes through my mind. Teaching 5th grade, I don't have the luxury of seeing my kids at school next year...they go on to middle school. I miss them already.

I always try to figure out what the closing message will be to my kids on the afternoon of their last day. I don't know what I will say. I don't know if it will be the right thing. I don't know if they will care. I don't know if they will remember.

What I do know is that God is in control. I know that HE has challenged me this year to lean on him more and more in every aspect of my life. I know that my daily prayer: "Lord, give me the patience that I need today to love these kids they way you love me," will continue to be my prayer for 4 more days.

Yes, the end of one things is very near. But the beginning of the next is just around the corner.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Do Not Worry

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? (Matthew 6:25-27)

I worry too much. How much is too much you ask? According to these verses, any worrying is too much. When I read them, worrying just seems stupid. I know that God is going to take care of me, he always has.

So, if you are a worry wart (like I am sometimes), don't be. God knows what we need when we need it. He's really great like that.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

What To Do

I'm stirred today. I'm still working through Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. I actually hadn't read too much for a few weeks. I picked it up today and was rocked! I'm constantly amazed at the blind faith I read about. I worry about the dumbest things some times, and for no reason. These people are really putting themselves out there. Living "unsafe" according to societal norms. And they are totally filled with joy in the risk and their faith is bubbling over.

Then I think, "So Dina, what are you going to do?" And I honestly have no answers. Sometimes I just want to pick up, move somewhere else, and minister to kids in the ghetto. Other times I think about all that I can do, but am not doing, with the students in my classroom. I wonder if I need to go to another church. Or, do I need to just downsize my life.

I know what I need to do. I need to spend more time with Jesus. I need to get into the Word. I need to pray for some guidance. I need to be awake and aware of the opportunities God is giving me (maybe I am overlooking things). I need to be Dina, not someone else.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Super Cool Thing about God

God is so good!

This past week was a rough one. For more info click here:

back to the title....God knew I needed some encouragement and HE provided. I had emailed 2 friends about some struggles and was overwhelmed by their replies. I want to share some of what they said with you.

"I want you to know that you are a BEAUTIFUL child of God equipped with so, so many talents. You carry your friends burden's, pray and care for them like no one else I know, teach and are Jesus to SO MANY kids DAILY and yeah.. I could go on and on about the attributes that Jesus gave you, D. You are truly, truly beautiful inside and out and I hope you know that. (Dude, do you know how many people covet your fabo hair and super tan completion???)"

"I am not hopeless for you! truly are a wonderful and beautiful person. Phil. 1:6 (Message version). 'There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.'"

I am by no means sharing that to boast about myself, but to share how God speaks to us. He created us to be in relationship with other believers. These 2 friends have PROVEN that to me. When I am down, I know that God has placed people in my life as HIS tool. People that can speak HIS truth over me when I can't/won't hear his voice alone.

That is the super cool thing about God - HE knows what we need when we need it!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

at a loss...

Have you ever gone through times when you are at a loss for what to do?

I have reached that point with some things.

I am a person who wants to know NOW! I don't like to wait. I don't like to be in the unknown. I don't like to get to the end of me.

But, I find that those are the times when God does amazing things.

Right now, I am struggling. I'm watching so many people give into satan and sin. I'm seeing so many friends reach a point of hopelessness. I'm at a loss for what to do. Pray is what I do, but I don't even know what to pray anymore.

I am a flood of emotions: joy for the positive moments, anger at their decisions, frustration from not knowing how to help, sadness for the pain that is so evident.

Lord, you know all. You know hearts, you know choices, you know the way the enemy can sink his teeth in. I'm begging you to make your presence known in these lives. Let your love pour over them. Lord, open their eyes and hearts to YOU. For you are the mightly healer. Only you can satisfy. And help those of us who care to believe that you are in control.