Monday, August 15, 2011

Where I belong

Little did I know 5 months ago when I walked into Vineyard Community Church in Syracuse, that I was walking into my new church home. It was very welcoming, alive, and REAL! I knew a few faces, including Shannon. She had been asking when I was going to check out Vineyard, so I did.

There have been several moments over that past 5 months to confirm that I am where I belong. Yesterday was the icing on the cake. It was Family Worship Day...a day when the whole family stays for the entire worship service (usually kids 4th grade and under go to children's ministry). I was blown away! The church does this to emphasize the importance of family!!!!! Seriously, this is something that is disappearing from churches if you ask me.

Worship was let by kids - I'm guessing they were 5th-7th graders, if that. The sermon was about "Cultivating a Hear of Obedience." Pastor Sheldon explained that we have to be role models in life, words, and love. This is not possible without God!

As a teacher, this really hit home as today is the first day of school (students come tomorrow). And if the sermon wasn't enough, ministry time just added to it. It was an interactive prayer time: praying over students, teachers, children's ministry team members, youth pastors, youth volunteers..... It was the first time in 10 years that a church has done this. My spirit was moved, tears were streaming down my face. During each part, we were encouraged to move around the room and lay hands on those we were praying for. My feet were stuck! I was so overwhelmed with the recognition of this mission field called school. I was humbled to have hands laid on me, prayers over me for my school year.

The heart of Vineyard is a weekly reminder that I am where I belong. God planted me where HE needs me to be too.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

a little of this and a little of that

Did you think I was done blogging forever? I won't lie, the thought crossed my mind. Sometimes I just don't think my blog is doing anything for His kingdom and wonder why I keep blogging. I feel somewhat narcissistic....

Anywho I've had about a dozen people ask me in the past week if I was going to blog again, so I guess that is a sign. Then comes the do I try to catch up or just pick up right now with life......? I'm opting for choice #2.

This summer has been a fun, busy, crazy summer as always. I started grad school, worked at Sock's Marina, spent time with friends, and took an amazing road trip.

Grad school was kind of last-minute due to some decisions at the state level about salary ...blah, blah, blah. I enjoy being a student and was intending on starting Masters work this fall, so I got a little jump start. If all goes as planned I will have my Masters of ElEd and a license for High Ability Ed by Christmas 2012! I'm pretty much kissing my life goodbye, but want to get things done.

My road trip was AWESOME!!!! I was gone for 2 1/2 weeks. Mom and I met up with my Aunt Pam (from FL) at my grandparent's in Arkansas. From there Mom, Aunt Pam, Gma, and I drove to California for my cousin, Katie's, wedding. We drove about 8000 miles and spent 100 hours driving. States that I traveled include: Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and Kansas. I saw some pretty beautiful places, spent time with family that I don't see too often, and had an all-around wonderful time. It was much needed :) I added some pics from the summer too:

Katie and I at her wedding

Mom and I in San Francisco

Lighthouse in Lake Havasu, AZ

Driving through Utah

Lake Tahoe

Monday, February 07, 2011

Chili, Isaiah, Recliner

Yesterday was a great day!

I finished reading through Leviticus. Today I begin Numbers.

I went to the Church of God. I am enjoying my time there, but still not feeling like it is time to settle on a church. I am ready to be done, but God clearly has other places for me to try. The sermon was great as was the music. It felt good to sing my heart out to Jesus.

After church I got to hang out with a great group of girls that I have connected with at the Church of God. I am blessed by how they have invited me into their group and accepted me. We had a HUGE, yummy lunch and then dove into Isaiah. So much to learn from the Israelites (I have a feeling this is an on-going theme of the OT). I love digging into scripture with others and learning.

Then, last night, I got to hang out with one of my favorite families...the Holsopples. My good friends, Darin and Darcy, had peeps over for the Superbowl. It was a wonderful time. There was more food (I don't think I need to eat for a few days!), great company, cutiehead kiddos, and FOOTBALL. I even got to sit in the recliner....Darin decided to have a little competition for the "best seat in the house" and I won. I guessed the closest to the opening kickoff return! Wooo hoo!

So (despite the Packers winning) it was a great day! I needed a great day too. Thanks Jesus.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

let the truth be known...

I consider myself a very honest person. If you ask how I am, I will tell you. If you ask if something is wrong, I will tell you. Today this happened...several times.

I am in a funk. I don't know how else to describe it. I am totally myself, but it is the self that not many people see and I can't hide it right now. It has made me very vulnerable, it makes others uncomfortable, and everyone seems to want to fix it. I'm not a fan of being in a funk but I know that it is part of my walk. I don't like others to see the insecure me, unless I want them to. But right now I can't seem to hide that from those who know me.

I was grateful for a few people that I crossed paths with today. One was a former teacher who I saw at church. She said, "Hey, how are you?" I replied, "I'm ok." She got a semi-concerned look on her face and said, "Are you ok?" To which I replied, "I'm just in a funk lately." And that was that. No pity look, no remorsefulness, no quick fix....AND FOR THAT I WAS SO BLESSED. Another person is a friend that I haven't talked to for a while. She called to talk about humidifiers and asked how I was doing. I could tell her exactly how I am...lonely, hurting, frustrated with some things at school, in a funk. And she just encouraged me. Another friend and I were emailing back and forth and she asked where I had been going to church lately. I told her that this whole church hunting is wearing on me right now and that satan is attacking. She didn't try to solve anything, she just encouraged me that this is a season and God will use it.

I'm going to be honest (like I always am).....Sometimes we just have a "bad" day, or don't want to put on our happy shield, or are going through a season in life where IT IS OK TO NOT HAVE THE PERKY ATTITUDE! I'm not going to lie to someone when they ask how I am, just to avoid an awkward moment. I want to be honest. I want to be real. My honesty may encourage someone else to know that it's ok not to "have it all together" every moment of every day.

News flash: I AM A HUMAN BEING and God tells me I will go through trying times. My walk is not perfect, nor am I. But my God is perfect, His love endures all, and His timing is best for me. So, I am going to embrace this funk. I am going to be honest with people that I am hurting right now. And I am going to continue clinging to my heavenly Father, knowing that He has be in His hands.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm Not Alright!

Today was a day where, if you know me very well, you could probably tell that I'm not alright. Now I am VERY GOOD at putting up a great front. And my day was all-around good. But I am not alright right now. I am lonely, worn out, and battling the world.

The "world" seems to think that I have a disease called singleness. According to the world, primarily the midwest, this is a nasty disease that must have some underlying explanation. This disease warrants the ever-so-famous "I'm sorry," or "there's GOT to be someone for you," or (my favorite) "no one is good enough for you?!" is exhausting. I am okay 95% of the time.

However, today falls into that 5% of not being ok. I'm tired of wondering if I am doing something wrong. I'm tired of wondering when my day will come. I'm tired of this longing in my heart to minister in ways that are not possible outside of marriage. I am tired of being lonely. I am tired of putting on a happy face when my insides are absolutely crushed.

I'm not alright today. And I think it is perfectly ok to have this day. I know tomorrow is a new day. I know that I don't have a disease. I know that the world is fighting for my soul. But I know who I am and WHOSE I am. My soul is spoken for. And HE knows that I am not alright today. And I know that HE will give me peace.

Here is the song that I am clinging to today. "I'm not alright" by Sanctus Real. You can watch the music video here. This is the chorus:
I'm not alright, I'm broken inside
Broken inside
And all I go through, it leads me to You
It leads me to You

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Unexpected Day!

Thank you God for today. School was closed today due to crappy roads and I was happy. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE MY JOB! But today, I just needed a day.

I have been going going going....blogging, reading, grading, teaching, visiting friends, coaching, church hunting.... I needed a day for me. I really do love being busy, but sometimes I forget how great a day off is.

And, I had a minor melt down last night. I have been very lonely lately. For the most part, it has been a good lonely. However, sometimes I find that satan works his grimy, snarling hooks into the good and twists it with lies. Last night, I couldn't fight anymore and cried for a good hour. I am just finding that this season of life is TOUGH! I am in-between churches, lacking community, and wonder if God is going to do anything about it.

Then, I get today. I had my quiet time (read about it here ), drank some coffee, relaxed on the couch with Linus, worked on some fun things, and stayed in my jammies and glasses! It was much needed. And it reminded me that God is fully aware of me and my life and my struggles and my needs.

Thank you, God, for today.

Sunday, January 09, 2011


hoarfrost: frozen dew that forms a white coating on a surface. Also called white frost.

Did you see it this morning? It was everywhere and it was absolutely breath-taking! I couldn't help but wonder if that was just for me. I know it's a selfish thing to think, but I thought it.

Do you ever have those moments when you pray with all your might that God would do something JUST FOR YOU? Something to affirm that He hears you? Something that is specific to who you are as a person?

Hoarfrost was my answer this morning. God knows me. He knows that I notice creation. He knows that I LOVE snow. He knows that frost like this morning's melts me.

And to HIM I give the glory.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

The Start of Something

I'm starting the new year with 2, yes 2, daily "things" and a NEW blog, 365 Days of 2011, that you can view here.

I know it is rather cliche' to start new things with a new year, but it makes sense. I mean, it is a NEW year so why not start something NEW. Seriously it's a no-brainer!

So, what are my new things you ask.... Well I have vowed to take a picture every day. I am also reading through the Bible, one day at a time, for the entire year!!! I have 4 chapters down and a lot more to go.

Why, you ask, did I decide these 2 things. I'll tell you..... Reading through the Bible in a year is something I have always wanted to try. So much so that I have attempted it at least 4 times before this. This time is different. I have a deep down desire to do this, to develop discipline, to spend daily time in the Word. The pictures, well I have a great camera and I just don't use it enough. So I am challenging myself to take a picture every day. I am by no means a photographer, but I like to take pics.

There you have it. The start of something new. I am going to try to be more consistent about posting on here too. So, feel free to hassle me if I am not.

Much love to you who read and HAPPY 2011!