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!

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