Monday, December 17, 2007

Snow Day!

Snow day today!!! It was so lovely. First of this school year and the best news to hear on a Monday morning. It was a really great day. I went over Sarah's house and we were masters of cookie making. Domestic Divas, if you will. We made so much. We dipped everything we could find in chocolate. She also got me a little Christmas tree to put up in my room. It's sooo cute!

Christmas is in one week. wow. This year went so fast. A few days of school left and then Christmas break. I need to find something productive to do during this upcoming break.

I also found out that I need to go for jury duty in January. Grand jury, nonetheless. I'm really hoping that I don't actually get picked. So, we'll see what happens with that. Just don't want to miss too much school.

Well, here's to a great snow day!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thankless Receiving.

As I enter into this Thanksgiving week, several ideas and thoughts are running through my mind and heart. I'm struck by the fact that, for some reason, I think that being content is something that doesn't take conscious effort. I just want contentment to fall upon me like a summer rain. Slowly realizing that is not going to happen. It takes work. A retraining of the mind and spirit. I'm also realizing that I can't just decide "oh yeah, I'm going to be content". I need to start with small steps and start to build of life of gratitude.
I've always held several different "lists" in my head over the years. A list of rigorous qualities that my ideal husband would surely possess. A list of career goals and degrees I want to attain. A list of how I want to improve my appearance. These lists linger in my mind and inhibit contentment in my life.

As many people do, I habitually find myself comparing myself with others. One of the biggest things that seems to strike me as I do this is that ... it seems like my life really isn't going anywhere. Like I've been "stuck" for 25 years. Now, if you know me, you may very well be saying "well, that doesn't make sense - you've attained so much- college degree, job, etc". This is true. It's just so hard to keep in perspective as you compare yourself to others. People that I graduated high school with are moving around the country, getting married, starting families, buying houses. Now, in the same breathe, I must also remind myself of those that I also graduated high school with who are now divorced, 4 kids, dead-end job, no education. That may sound judgemental, perhaps it is, but I'm glad that I'm not on that path.

I'm content. Wait. I'm deciding to embrace the small steps necessary to nourture an attitude of gratitude! That sounds good. I'm on the road toward true contentment. How about that?
I'm thankful that I can sit on my bed with my laptop and write a blog in peace. Yes, it's the little things like this that I so often forget ... so many people don't have that luxury. There really is a contentment in my solitude that I know many people do not have. For that, I'm thankful. I can sit here on a chilly November night, light some candles, download some music, and write a blog. All is well with the world.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I have a pattern going here! One post per month! Pathetic. I know. It's the middle of November. Hard to believe.

I'm on this Rob Bell kick this weekend. I bought tickets to see him next weekend in Pittsburgh. He's a great speaker. I'm excited but I don't have anyone to go with yet! His NOOMA videos are really interesting. They've been out for awhile but I just came across some over the internet and then went out last night and bought 5 of the 18 that he has out. It's too bad they are only 10 minutes long. They are so deep though. I love them. Gives you so much to think about. My favorite of the 5 that I bought last night is called "Lump". It was so good - in a nutshell - you could never do anything to make Him love you less-.

Thanksgiving is less than a week away! I never really have any plans, but it's good nonetheless. Embracing an attitude of thankfulness has been a constant struggle for me. When I reflect upon my life, when I come to God in prayer, praise is all I have to offer. He's been so good to me. Even though I fail him daily, He is faithful and that fact will blow my mind forevermore. It's a lot to take in - grace, that is. Everytime I think I have it down, I realize that I don't. I'll never fully understand it and, you know what, I don't think I am supposed to understand it. I'm finally realizing that.

I continue to love the name that I picked for this blog! Lessons in becoming myself. It's so perfect(I did steal it from a guest on Oprah, though, so I can't take all the credit). Each day and season of life is a lesson as I become the "myself" God wants me to be. Each season brings experience, insight, wisdom, and discernment ... if I let God do that work. Over the last few months, honestly, my title should have been "lessons in derailing your life". I get silly ideas sometimes. Trying to fit into the "world" is a silly idea that frequently comes upon me. After a few months of "derailment", God lovingly pulls me back to Himself. I praise him for that. So, here I am.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Ok. I really wanted to get going on this blogging business and I'm failing miserably. It's been over a month since I've posted! Shame on me!

I have a longer weekend then usual so I suppose I could catch up quickly on here. School is going well. I'm greatful for what I get to do each day. It's the craziest, most stressful thing in the world but I am continually reminded of how I truly mold lives each day. That's huge. It's important and the responsibility of it all weighs on me heavily at times. It's hard to believe that it is already practically mid-October. We went on a field trip to the Struthers Fire Station today. Of course, it rained and we couldn't walk. It seems that every fieldtrip I've gone on in my short career, it has rained. A parent-helper who went on the trip with us asked me, at least twice while she was with the class and I, "just how do you do it?" and "wow, you must be so patient, I don't know how you do this". I know teachers get that alot, especially elementary teachers, but it just struck me again today that not just anyone can do what I do each day. That's something I know, but don't think about often. I love my job. It's madness, joy, anxiety, contentment, stress, and every other possible emotion rolled into one.

No big plans for this weekend. It was nice to see Alissa, Tracey, and her baby last weekend. I can't believe Tracey's a mom. Her baby is beautiful.
I'll be working on 3rd grade stuff and grad school stuff this weekend. I really want to keep pushing forward so I can move ahead on this Master's degree business. It's always something...

Monday, September 3, 2007

It's Labor Day. I actually went to the fair. Ate a ton! Must start Weight Watchers again for the millionith time! It's been a nice, long weekend. Tomorrow starts the madness. I'm ready, though, I have to be, I want to trust and not be so high strung. A goal of mine this year. I have a few goals. Too tired to outline them all.

I guess my big news is that I bought a new car exactly one week ago! I love it. It's a 2008 SAturn Vue. Yep - a 2008 and it's still 2007!! My first for real "new" car. It's awesome. I'm doing pretty well. Again, God is faithful. I'm feeling thankful and ready to work hard this year. :)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Every Season...

Tomorrow starts the first day of my second year of teaching. This past year flew by so incredibly fast. It seems somewhat difficult for me to comprehend that my original "class" will not be walking through the door of my classroom tomorrow. The unknown faces. All names on a list to me now.

It's overwhelming to think about all that the school year brings. All that I know is the God is faithful. He brought me through my first year, with everything so raw and new, and I know that I can certainly trust him with tomorrow's cares. I'm excited, nervous, anxious. I can't wait to see their faces. I'm also taking 2 classes towards my Master's degree this fall. It's going to be a lot of work to keep up on. Right now is about the time I start to doubt myself and think "how will I ever do all of this?" It happens every year, with whatever "season" God is bringing me into. However, as I begin my 25th year, it seems as though I am finally kind of getting it ... God will take take of me, lead me, give me strength, and provide for me as I take on teaching school and getting a Master's. He does it every time... only took me 25 years to catch on.

I'm also thinking about my mom tonight. She goes back to work tomorrow for the first time in about 3 years. I'm praying for a smooth transition for her. It's going to be tough, but she's really stronger than I often let myself think that she is.

I'm listening to the perfect song right now too. "Every Season" by Nichole Nordeman. Perfect for how I'm feeling tonight. Beautiful lyrics.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I'm 25.

My birthday is officially over as I write this. It was a great day and I'm feeling very thankful and content right now.

One of the most exciting things that happened today was that I was mentioned on the Relevant Podcast. It wasn't for my birthday, but it was a great surprise. For those of you unfamiliar with the Relevant Podcast, it is basically an audio companion to Relevant Magazine based in Florida. The magazine brings many social justice issues to light, as well as keeping up with current trends in music, culture, etc. I really like it because it is progressive culturally, and at the same time presents issues from a biblical standpoint. Anyway, each week on the podcast they ask an editorial question of the week. Last week's question was asking listeners to write in and explain their worst vacation experiences. So, I decided to send in an email outlining the first day of my recent trip to NYC with my best friend Jessie. I won't go into all the details, but let's just say that it involved motion sickness, NYC traffic, and a 10 passenger van full of strangers. If you want to know more log onto iTunes, download the Aug. 17 edition of the Relevant Podcast and fast forward till about 40-some minutes in. :)
I was soooo excited when I heard my name. It was a good b-day present.

Jessie and I also attended a very nice "Music on Madison" concert in Youngstown. It was basically in the back yard of a house. Tables set up on the lawn with candles and rose peddles. A concert featuring all kinds of tunes- Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, show tunes, etc, etc. If you know Jessie and I, it was a great fit for us! We sat behind some frisky elderly women. They were a hoot! I sure hope I'm kickin it like these ladies when I'm their age.

Did a little shopping too. Went to lunch with my friend Renee who also had a birthday today! We had a community show choir concert too! Wow! I did a lot.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The beginning of my 25th year.

A goal of mine was to get a blog up and running. I've had this "blog" account for some time now. Well, here I am. I have no idea how to make this thing look nice. I want a nice background, pics, links, my favorites, etc. I've seen some really nice blogs and I have a long way to go before I enter that territory.

With this in mind, I thought it would be appropriate to have my first post be on the eve of my 25th birthday. Time flies. It's really hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I'm 25 (in a few hours!) The number ... 25. Half way to 50! A quarter of a century! wow!

I'm amazed by so many things. I think the title I came up with for this blog (well, I actually stole it from a guest on Oprah) "Lessons in Becoming Myself" ~ I really like that. It says so much about how I feel about growing older. Each day, each season in life, I feel like I truly am becoming more of who I am. Does that make sense? I grow. I fail. I learn. I experience. This is why I am excited about growing older. I love it. I can't wait till I'm 40! (Oprah says that's when it gets really fun!) But, seriously, insecurities begin to melt away with a stronger sense of who you are and, of course, increasing age is not a sure fire sign that one will become more self-secure, confident, and bold. So, obviously other things need to be happening in your life for maturity, confidence, etc. to enter in, or, as I feel with myself, grow stronger. So, yes, I'm thrilled about growing older and excited about what God's going to do with me. What an adventure. What's next? Let's see ....