Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Reminder Ring

As I was changing Emma Jo's diaper, I heard my phone ring in the distance. A new text message! I wonder who it is?

I quickly finished up the diaper change, went to throw it away and was washing my hands when I remembered that the dishwasher needed to be emptied. As I put away the dishes, there it was: the reminder alert. It's like my phone was actually saying, "Ummmm.....HELLO? I rang, did you already forget?" OK, when I finish emptying the dishwasher, I will go and check it.

As I am almost finished, I hear another familiar sound: "MOMMY!!!! Daniel STOLE my car. I was PLAYING with it and HE TOOK IT AWAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!"

As I attempt to stop the beating that Daniel and Mann are about to give each other, I hear the reminder alert AGAIN. This scenario could go on for hours!

Thank goodness my phone constantly reminds me that I have a call or text!

Sometimes I wish God had a reminder ring for me, too. During this Thanksgiving break, I felt as though I was not spending enough time talking to God. Being out of our usual daily routine found me jumping out of bed and hitting the ground running, instead of spending those important moments speaking with God.

Although I am not thrilled about getting up for work tomorrow morning, I am looking forward to spending that time talking with Him!

Hope you have a blessed week! :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Love your marriage

Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless, (Ephesians 5:24-27)
Love your marriage, not just your husband! (Although, my husband is easy to love;)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Practice what you preach!

Do everything without complaining or arguing. Philippians 2:14

I recently was given a sign with this Bible verse on it. It is amazing how God will speak to you. The title of my blog is "The Power of a Positive Person" but how often have I been negative in my posts? ALOT!!!

I have whined and complained about the way others choose to live their lives or about things that may have not gone the way I thought they should. But truly, God asks us to perform our daily tasks, walking and talking with Him throughout our day, and not to worry or grumble about the small stuff. I definitely needed this sign in my life (both figuratively and literally!!!)

Much of my grumbling recently has been about my students. It seems that they can do NOTHING without complaining or arguing! But how can I ask them to do something that I am not doing myself?

Time to practice what I preach!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Better Teacher

You have to be careful when you pray!

I think God has a strange sense of humor. Sometimes when you pray for certain things, he likes to completely flip your world upside down in relation to whatever you pray about. For example, if you pray for your marriage, he gives you something to fight about! Or if you pray for patience, he will give you the most frustrating day of your life...full of ways to test that patience!

I have been praying for one thing in particular over the past few months. God, please make me a better teacher! This last week He has made something very clear to me: Either I need to completely change the way I do my job or I need to find a new one.

When I get up in the mornings, I am usually happy to go to work. I figured I am lucky because I have had jobs that make me dread getting out of bed. I would rather be at home with my children, but financially my working is a must-do for our family.

But am I an effective teacher? I love my students. I love talking to them about their lives and listening to their problems. But does that make me a good teacher? A good counselor, maybe. But not a good teacher. I love Texas History. I find it very interesting. But hard as I try, I can't seem to get my students as excited as I am about it.

I guess I am just discouraged. I have many very challenging students this year and I think there are a few other teachers that are also feeling worn out...and it is only November!

As I explore my options, please keep me in your prayers. Starting this next week, I am going to try to do my job completely differently. My students may not like the changes, but hopefully they will learn more in my classroom.

God, you have my attention. Please help me to make the changes I need to make in my classroom and to be an effective teacher for my students.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A "Bad" Day

Have you ever disliked yourself?

When I laid down to sleep last night, I really didn't like myself at all. I guess yesterday God decided it was a good time to remind me of my weaknesses.

Gossip has to be my greatest weakness. When I was in college, I discussed this weakness with a pastor. He said, "Gossip is spreading information that you do not know for a fact to be true. But if you hear a piece of information from the source, and then you share that information with others, that is not gossiping." This conversation ruined me. If I "share information," it's not technically gossip, but then the people I just "shared" with will go out and tell other people, having not heard it from the source. It has taken me years to admit to myself that even sharing information that I know to be true is gossiping.

Seth often tells me, "It's not your business. Just stay out of it." So, when is it my business? What if someone is being hurt? What if what is happening is morally wrong? When is it OK to speak up?

I am still struggling to find the answers to those questions.

My blog post from yesterday was a rant about parents who choose not to guard their children's eyes and ears against things that may corrupt them. I thought that venting would make me feel better, but it just made me feel worse. Maybe I am alone on the subject. Do people think I am weird or overprotective for wanting to try and shield my young children's eyes and ears? I guess it doesn't matter what others think. I am still going to do my best to keep my children pure for as long as possible.

I was already feeling discouraged about my last post when my plans for the evening changed and I found myself out with a group of people gossiping. (And eating far too much food, which didn't help my mood either.) We should have just stayed home last night. But I was all dressed up (a rarity for a mother of 3 young children) and I wanted to go out. Looking back, I would have been happier watching the A&M game on the couch with Seth. We ended up at a terrible movie. We were in Athens, and after taking the limited movie choices and times into consideration, we chose to see "Due Date." I guess it was my fault because I refused to see "Paranormal Activity 2." We ended up walking out of the movie about 40 minutes into it. It was disgusting. I was even more disgusted at the people sitting around us who found it hilarious.

Looking back now, I just sound like a whiner. My family is healthy and happy. Things are going really well. This was what Seth was trying to tell me on the way home last night. "If this is all you have to complain about, you must really be happy."

Yeah, I guess I am really happy.

Thank you, God, for reminding me of my flaws, but also for at the same moment, helping me to realize how blessed I am.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Be careful little eyes what you see....

The other day I posted the lyrics to "Slow Fade" by Casting Crowns. I have been feeling really discouraged lately by what I am seeing and hearing from the children in my community.

As a teacher, you hear lots of things from children about their home life. I am certain that elementary teachers hear far more from their students than I do at the junior high. By the age of 12 or 13, they have learned to keep their mouths shut about some things. But still, many of my students feel the need to confide in me about their lives.

Earlier in the year, on picture day, I had a girl beg me to wear her nose ring in her picture (face piercings are not allowed at BJH) because she said that her mom had told her that the nose ring "showed her personality." This past week, another one of my students was requesting to go use the phone so she could call her mom to bring another belly button ring for her because she had lost the first one during athletics class. She was furious when I said no, saying that I would be getting a call from her mother because she had spent $45 on this piercing and it was going to close up. The mother didn't call, but part of me wished that she had, so I could have told this parent what I thought about a 13 year old girl getting a belly piercing.

We have dress code check every morning and I am constantly having to correct two or three girls in my classroom who try to hide their revealing shirts under their jackets. I often wonder how they get out of their house wearing these outfits. But I guess I shouldn't wonder, because I see girls as young as 6 years old wearing outfits that are more appropriate for 21 year olds, and I know their mothers are putting those outfits on them.

My students often argue with me about cursing. I have several students who claim their parents allow them to use curse words so that they can "express themselves." "They are just WORDS," they say. "They don't mean anything!" Really????

Most of my students are watching rated "R" movies, like "The Hangover" and "Stepbrothers." These movies are rated "R" for crude and sexual humor. They are also watching "Family Guy" and "South Park" on TV. How can we wonder why 13 year olds have so much knowledge for their age when this is what they are watching? The rating system is supposed to let parents know what is and is not appropriate for their children to watch, so how can they knowingly allow their children to watch programs appropriate for people 17 or older?

I think the answer is that they are not really paying attention. Children have TVs and computers in their rooms. They have access to explicit material on their cell phones. Then they share this material with all of their friends.

Recently, another teacher shared with me a disturbing story. A couple of junior high girls who happen to be sisters were hanging around in front of the school at 7pm one night with a few boys. When she asked them what they were doing, they claimed they had been in drama practice. The teacher called the drama teacher and he said there had been no practice for those girls that day. So, the teacher called their mom. When the teacher expressed her concern for the girls' safety to their mother, the mother replied, "Well, that's being a bit paranoid." Paranoid. Not allowing your 13 and 14 year old girls to run wild through Brownsboro is paranoid.

Why are parents in a hurry to let their children grow up? Little eyes and ears watch and listen from an very early age. They are soaking up everything you are doing. You talk badly about others, listen to music or watch TV meant for adults in their presence, curse, smoke, get drunk, use sexual humor....and your children are taking notes.

Be careful little eyes what you see.....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Slow Fade

These are the lyrics to Casting Crows' song "Slow Fade"

The subject matter here is something that has recently really been laid on my heart, so I am sharing it today. Please consider your thoughts and your actions and how they affect those around you....especially your children!

Be careful little eyes what you see

It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings

Be careful little feet where you go

For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away

It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray

Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid

When you give yourself away

People never crumble in a day

It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade

Be careful little ears what you hear

When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near

Be careful little lips what you say

For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away

It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray

Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid

When you give yourself away

People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands

Is shorter than you're thinking

Be careful if you think you stand

You just might be sinking

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away

It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray

Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid

When you give yourself away

People never crumble in a day

Daddies never crumble in a day

Families never crumble in a day

Oh be careful little eyes what you see

Oh be careful little eyes what you see

For the Father up above is looking down in love

Oh be careful little eyes what you see

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Born Again

I am copying my aunt today. I wanted to share this video of one of my current favorite songs. This is Newsboys "Born Again." Recently, I have focused my life back in the direction it needs to go - My focus is on God and my relationship with Him. I am striving to be a better wife, a better mother and a better teacher. I am a struggling Christian, but I am Born Again! (I couldn't get the embed code to work, so here is the link.) Enjoy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Happy Homemaker

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling." I Peter 4:8-9 (NIV)

Dear Lord, forgive me for the times I take out my temper on my family. I want instead to act like You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Taken from