December 30, 2010


Jon Foreman. I discovered him in 2010 and love love love his work. Well, should I say I re-discovered him...He was the co-founder of Switchfoot (another fav of mine since adolescence) and left a few years ago to pursue an individual music career. I think it's amazing that so much of his Christian music has been used in secular media, like Mandy Moore's A Walk to Remember or ABC's Grey's Anatomy. What a great way to bring Christ's truth and light into more people's lives.

Here's one of my favorite songs- featured a few times on Grey's-
The Cure For Pain by Jon Foreman

Happy Last Day of 2010! What is your resolution going to be?

December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry CHRISTmas everyone!
I hope you all had a peaceful and wonderful day celebrating the birth of the King of Kings. We had a lazy day at home with the family after attending a Christmas Eve party and then a Midnight Church Service. (Can't help thinking it might be the last Christmas "just us" with 3 of the sibs in their 20s... :-)

Anyway, last night, as I sat in the darkened church, anticipating the celebration, my eyes were drawn to the illuminated Nativity Scene. Such a simple setting on that Silent Night, a stark contrast to the world we live in. A world I cannot image living in if it wasn't for that little Baby who came to make all things new! Here's the powerful prayer that I meditated on last night. I hope it helps and inspires you this Christmas season. Lots of love,

Prayer Before a Manger Scene
"Lord Jesus, as I kneel before you manger in adoration, let my first Christmas word be: thank you. Thank you, Gift of the Father, for coming to save me from my sins.

Without you I do not know even how to be human. The characteristics of your human body express the divine person of God’s Son. And in that wondrous expression, Lord you reveal me to myself. Thank you for that saving revelation in your sacred humanity. As the Christmas liturgy proclaims, “in Christ man restores to man the gift of everlasting life.” Thank you for coming as one like myself to save me from myself.

You come as a baby because babies are irresistible and adorable. You come as a baby because you want our first impression of God incarnate to be that of one who does not judge. How I long to be united with you in every way. May I never be attracted to the allurements and charms of the world. May I love you always, at every moment, with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. May the tenderness, the dependency, and the mercy that you reveal in your infancy become the hallmarks of my life.

Newborn Savior, the very silence of your incarnation proclaims that the answer to the misery, the strife, and the meaninglessness of life cannot be found within us. You alone are the Answer. As I kneel before you, eternal King, I surrender to you all my selfishness, self-absorption, self-indulgence, self-righteousness, self-assertion, and self-exaltation. Even as I adore you on this night of your birth, rid me of the nagging desire to be adored.

Word become flesh, you make your dwelling among us. Yet you do not live your life for yourself, but for us. And you enable us to live in you all that you yourself lived. Help me to embrace this truth with all my mind and heart. Come and live your life in me. Empty me of my willfulness, my petulance, my hardness, my cynicism, my contemptuousness. Fill me with your truth, your strength, your fortitude, your purity, your gentleness, your generosity, your wisdom, your heart and your grace.

O Emmanuel, may the assurance of your unfailing Presence be for me the source of unending peace. May I never fear my weakness, my inadequacy, or my imperfection. Rather, as I gaze with faith, hope and love upon your incarnate littleness, may I love my own littleness, for God is with us. Endow my life with a holy wonder that leads me ever more deeply into the Mystery of Redemption and the meaning of my vocation and destiny.

Longed-for Messiah, your servant St Leo the Great well wrote that in the very act of reverencing the birth of our Savior, we are also celebrating our own new birth. From this night on may my life be a dedicated life of faith marked by holy reliance, receptivity, and resoluteness. May I make my life a total gift of self. May my humble worship of the nativity manifest how much I seek the father’s kingdom and his way of holiness. The beauty of your holy face bears the promise that your Father will provide for us in all things This Christmas I renew my trust in God’s goodness, compassion, and providence. I long for the day when you will teach us to pray “Our Father.”

May your Presence, Prince of Peace, bless the world with peace, the poor with care and prosperity, the despairing with hope and confidence, the grieving with comfort and gladness, the oppressed with freedom and deliverance, the suffering with solace and relief. Loving Jesus, you are the only real joy of every human heart. I place my trust in you.

Oh divine Fruit of Mary’s womb, may I love you in union with the holy Mother of God. May my life be filled with the obedience of St Joseph and the missionary fervor of the shepherds so that the witness of my life may shine like the start that leads the Magi to your manger. I ask all this with great confidence in your holy name. Amen.”
-Written by Fr Peter John Cameron, O.P.-

December 22, 2010

God's Presence and Other Thoughts

I have a stack of unfinished blog posts, including an upcycle tutorial, that haven't quite been posted...
Sorry, that would be due to finals and the end of semester! Yay for a break to relax and catch up on LIFE.

19 more grad credits done and now halfway to my MAC Ed! (Masters of Arts Certification in Education). I am so glad I went this route career wise. While I don't begin my full lead teaching until February, I had a taste last week. My CT had to be out for a few days unexpectedly and I got to jump in and take over. It was just what the kids and I needed. They got their testing out of the way, I held strong through said testing, we learned a lot, and even had a blast. We had some fun lessons- including a World Tour to Spanish speaking countries (I taught 70 third graders Flamenco :-) and Origami Poetry with Fold Me a Poem.
Teachers: This is a great book and here's the author's website with ideas.
I can't wait until next semester, and even more, until I have my own classroom in the Fall. Pray that I get a job!

Over the weekend I had a date with an amazing teen- Ms. E. The past few years I've mentored a group of high school girls as a Youth Group Small Group leader. I never thought I wanted to work with high schoolers but it's been a wonderful experience- can't imagine NOT doing it. I was blessed with young adult mentors at that age and realize how important it really is to fill in the gap. So anyway, there we were, Starbucks in hand as we walked around the Christmas-y mall. I don't know if it was the fact that we were surrounded by hundreds of people in "their own worlds" or what but the following statement from Ms. E shocked me! She was sharing about a retreat where the prompt had been "Share a time when you have seen God work in you or your family's life." She was the only one in her group, of Christian teens, who had an answer.

Seriously? Are we collectively that asleep to Christ's presence in our lives? Or are we too busy, caught up in our own worlds and problems to notice? Are we ashamed to share our stories for fear of others "not getting it," or judging and all that jazz. I know, for me at least, that the answer has been yes to all of these at one time or another. But I also know that holding on those those instances where God has worked in my life or the lives of those around me has helped me pull through some difficult times. It's made God feel real when I've felt alone. Yes, He is always with us.

Deuteronomy 12:7 There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you.

And yes, He has blessed us too- time and time again. In tough times like these we need to be more vocal about sharing those blessings and helping the body of Christ see His work more tangibly. If you want to see some big acts of God's work in our lives- check out this amazing ministry- Mercy Ministries. Read some of the girls' stories, watch this video testimony- and your life will be changed. But no act of His presence is too small- it's the little, every day acts of Grace (like the answer to prayer email I just received with a grant for school!) that make a difference as well. Join me in taking a pledge to be more aware of these instances of extraordinary grace and share them with our not-so-ordinary world in 2011.

Together we can make a difference. We are entering in to the season where we received the greatest gift of all- the Light that shines in the darkness- Christ himself. Thank you Ms. E. for helping call us to action. Let's let that light shine a bit brighter!

December 7, 2010

'Tis the Season to be JOYful

For all those out there who get a kick out of funny kid sayings...enjoy!

My class was in the computer lab yesterday doing math games when the following conversation ensued:

Child: "Ms. W. I got the black mouse (computer). Did you know that black is like the na*keditive?"

Me: "Did you just say you have a na*ked mouse?"

Child: "you know, white and black are opposites just like positive and na*keditive numbers"

Me: "Oh you must mean NEGative..."

Hahaha I love this kid. She also happens to be the turtle child who keeps me laughing every day. She refers to her older sister, a sophomore in college, as "my 2nd grade college sister." When I told her that *I* have a 2nd grade college sister too, she replied "Oh Ms. W. I just KNEW you were destined to be MY teacher!" LOL. She is definitely one of my favorite kids ever!

PS. For you bloggers out there: the reason I put an asterisk in na*ked is your blog can be searched and tagged by words- especially if you have adSense. Definitely don't want that type of ad!

December 5, 2010

10 Things I love...

In no particular order :-)

1) Beautiful music that moves me
2) Advent and my King
3) Kids and their joy/exuberance for life
4) Ice cream
5) Warm sheets out of the dryer
6) Friends and Family
7) Target
8) My spinal cord stimulator
9) Diet Coke
10) Learning to just be

Take some time out of the craziness to just be, and think about what/who you love! Have a great week,

December 2, 2010

Fun Fonts

I wanted to pass along this great website for free fonts! On the blog there are download buttons under each font, once it downloads, open the zip file, click on the font name, then click install. Super easy! If your computer was like mine(Windows 7) and didn't show new fonts in your Word drop menu- Go to control panel, appearance and personalization, fonts, font settings, and then unclick the first box (hide fonts based on language settings). Reopen Word and you should be good to go.

These fonts are great for teaching, newsletters, scrapbooking, etc!
I'm so excited to use mine. Thanks Amanda @ Kevin&Amanda!