Monday, March 28, 2011

quiet in the library...

I'm sitting in the library and a mom and little boy walk by.  I got to over hear their conversation...

Boy: "Mommy, why is it so quiet?"
Mom: "Because people like to read books."
Boy: "Oh, then it should be quiet... I don't hear a single voice."
Mom: "I only hear your voice."

:) Too cute!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My answer is...

a poem by Alyssa
dedicated to her wonderful fiancé, Jerrod 

Last night you asked me to banquet,
and I gave you no reply,
I'm sure you're not surprised,
That I didn't ask "Why?"
I hope that you know,
I can't buy a new dress,
But to answer your question,
I will gladly say........................


Thank you for asking me, honey.  I love you! ;)

Just another echo...

I have about a million things swirling through my mind right now that I want to get out. Hopefully I can make this all make sense in writing.  God is really using this student teaching experience to teach me some things that I never expected to learn... But if I really think about that, when has God EVER taught me what I thought He would through something? Ummm... basically never.  So why should now be any different?  If I already know what I think He is going to teach me, then why in the world would He have to teach it to me?!?! Anyway, with that being said here is what I've realized so far (because I'm pretty sure with 4 1/2 weeks left, He still has more to teach me). 

The realization that God is teaching me came tonight.  I'm on spring break, so I'm at home all week, as opposed to in champaign on week nights.  Since I'm in town, one of my friends invited me to her small group tonight.  To be honest, I kinda didn't want to go.  Since I've been away at college for the last 3 years of my life and about a month of Christmas break is the longest I've been home since then, I don't have very many close friends around here.  I know a lot of people because my dad is one of the pastors at church and I basically grew up here, but I have very few close friends my age here now.  All the rest of my close friends are back in Iowa or on the other side of the world (GERTY and JESS!!!) and I miss them dearly.  Anyway, with that being said, I was reluctant to go tonight.  But I decided that a good friend would go, and that I should try to be a good friend and just suck it up and go.  Little did I know what God had in store for me tonight. 

Lesson #1. God taught me the lesson that I think every Bible college graduate talks about.  "I wish I had worked harder in my Bible and doctrine classes in school and really learned all of it."  That was my thinking tonight.  It is so hard when you are completely surrounded by the Bible and Doctrine all the time to really appreciate it.  I wish that I would have studied during those classes to learn more about God and His Word, instead of doing it to earn a grade.  But then I think, such is life.  Hindsight is 20/20 right?  I know and have seen more now, than when I was a freshman, and I know I will continue to learn more and more about life as I grow older.  I realized this because I started thinking about where God is leading Jerrod and I.  We really think that God is calling us into ministry, and with that realization, I could very well be a pastor's wife in the not-so-distant future.  I may be the small group leader, counselor, mentor, etc.  I want to be ready for that day, when I will be called to give advice to other women and girls and I want to be able to know scripture that I can point them back to.  As I sat and listened tonight to these girls share their hearts with one another, I couldn't help but be thinking "I know there is a doctrine or an attribute of God for this topic."  The challenge to me is, do I know God and His Word well enough to be able to use it to give advice and counsel to others?

Lesson #2.  I realized how much I miss my friends and church in Iowa.  Ok, I know this doesn't sound like a spiritual lesson, but I promise if you give me a second I'll explain.  God has really blessed me with some great friends and a great church there.  These people I have really grown to love in the last three years.  But isn't it interesting, that it takes me having to be away from all these wonderful people for me to realize what I have.  I have friends at school that understand all of the daily stresses that I go through, and I miss being able to talk to them about those things.  I miss my other friends, that know all about the stress of wedding planning that I'm going through or are just fun to hang out with (yes, David, I miss the "fat" jokes too).  I miss my college group at church, where we are constantly being challenged to grow and are learning together.  There are other people in and around that area that I miss.  I've realized that these are people that God has placed in my life that are there to encourage me, to laugh with me, to pray for me, to talk with me, to challenge me, to praise God with me, to sing with me, to be sad with me, and the list goes on and on.  I am so thankful for these people and their place in my life.  I miss that.  I miss all of these great things about the relationships that I have built over the last few years.  Who knew? God did... 

These two lessons are what God really seemed to lay on my heart tonight.  I thought it was neat too because the first person I wanted to share it with was my wonderful fiancé Jerrod who I am also missing because he is in Iowa too, but that is a whole other topic for another day. :)  God is good and He is faithful, and He is definitely at work!  

Hopefully if you took the time to read this novel I have written, it makes sense to you, and maybe God can even use it to echo in your heart what He wants you to learn.  

I pray that I will be just an echo of my Creator... 

Monday, March 21, 2011

if you have it on you...

Yesterday morning at church I had one of the second grade girls come up to me and start a conversation.  She said, "So, I heard you're getting married."

I replied, "Yes I am."

"Well who is he?"

I knew she wouldn't know him but I answered anyway, "His name is Jerrod."

"Oh... Could I see your ring if you have it on you?"
HAHAHA!!! As if I wouldn't have worn it for some reason...

I said, "Of course I have it on me. Here it is."

"Oh that's nice."

I'm so glad she approved :)  

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Food for Thought

       So, last night, I was home alone.  I made myself a nice healthy supper of a bowl of soup and a salad.  I even made it look pretty on my plate (for some reason that always seems to make eating alone a lot better).  A little while later it was time for desert so I made some fresh chocolate chip cookies (ok, the dough was frozen, but it was made from scratch just not by me).  I put my warm cookies in a bowl with some vanilla ice cream and warm raspberry preserves.  It was wonderful! Are you getting hungry yet? 

       The funny part is I was eating my delicious dessert as I watched TV.  First show of choice, America's Next Top Model... one of my favorites because I just think the drama those girls create on there is hilarious!... That was followed by my new favorite, Shedding for the Wedding!  It's basically like the Biggest Loser for engaged couples... Personally, I would like to see someone make a Gaining for my Honey.  I would sign my wonderful fiancé up for that one in a heartbeat. He could stand to gain a couple pounds before we get married! (Just kidding honey, I love you just the way you are!) As I was watching these two very entertaining shows, I just thought it was a little counter productive to be eating cookies and ice cream at the same time. When I told Jerrod about my lovely dessert and entertainment choices, he was kind enough to remind me that I won't be able to do that forever.  I think I would rather live in the moment and enjoy the fact that I can still do this for now!

      Oh! But the fun doesn't stop there... This morning I was working at my desk at school when, out of the blue, my cooperating teacher asked me a question. "Do you consider yourself skinny?"  I started laughing, then realized she wanted an honest answer, so I said, "I wouldn't consider myself fat."  She laughed and proceeded to tell me that she was out buying doughnuts with another teacher.  The other teacher asked my CT if she was going to get one for me.  She said "No, she's getting married in May." (Assuming I'm watching what I'm eating because of that fact.  She hasn't really gotten to know me yet.  I should have told her about my TV and dessert last night!) The other teacher said "Well, I only saw her sitting down, but she looked pretty skinny to me."  And that was that! 

     I guess the moral of the story is, even though I eat cookies and ice cream as I watch other people loose weight, I must be doing something right! Praise the Lord for a good metabolism! :)


Friday, March 4, 2011

The Gospel is Simple...

So I was thinking back on the first half of my student teaching... What have I not shared that I want to share?  So here's the highlights I thought of...

I did a project in Bible with my students.  The unit was on missions and evangelism so I taught them the wordless book, and then they had to make a wordless book and share the gospel with a classmate who would evaluate them. I loved the conversations I had with them as they discussed each color I was teaching them.  I cannot describe what it was like to walk around the room and hear them sharing the gospel.  It was AMAZING!  I couldn't help but think of how cool it is that the gospel is simple enough for a child to not only understand but be able to share it!  Not only did they have fun with this project, but one of my students told me she wanted to use the wordless book she made to share the gospel with her Grandpa.  That is what it's all about!

Another think I did in Bible, was have my wonderful fiancé come in and talk about his growing up as a missionary kid in Brazil.  He did an exceptional job!  The students LOVED all the things he brought that they could touch (and a few things to taste ;)  They asked him all kinds of questions and it was so cool to know that they were enjoying hearing about missions and just having fun.  The best part was after he left when some of my girls came up to me and said "He is so cute!" "You guys are so adorable together!" It got better when one of the girls asked me a couple days later if I was going to tell Jerrod that she thinks he's cute.  I told her that I already did.  She got embarrassed, but still wanted to know what he said.  I said "He just laughed."  She turned a nice shade of pink after that! Gotta love 5th grade! :)

Another memorable moment was my last day with my 5th graders... They threw me a little going away party.  They made me all kinds of cards and little gifts.  It was priceless.  The best part was at the very end.  Before they went home they all gathered around me, put there hands on me, and prayed for me.  It was awesome!  Some of the best things they prayed were that I'd be safe, that I'd come back to visit them, that my new class would appreciate me, and that since I can't teach all the kids in the world that I'd be able to enjoy my new class(I can't imagine teaching all the kids in the world!).  They also told me that they would be praying for me in the next few weeks.  I know they are such prayer warriors that they will not forget and will be praying every single day! :)  How cool is that?!?!

What a blessing they were to me.  I think it just goes to show that God can use anything (and anyone!) to teach us valuable lessons.  Thank you, Lord for 5th graders!