Sunday, November 06, 2011

Mishmash

We had our first taste of winter the other day (aside from a few cold, windy days here and there). I woke up Thursday to a little snow on the ground - not sure how much, but it wasn't a whole lot. I had to go buy a pair of mittens that evening as I forgot to bring mine with me when I moved. I was looking for a scarf and hat as well, but didn't see any I liked. I'd make these items myself, but in all honesty, the yarn selection here isn't the best.

I'm finding lately that by the time Friday comes, I'm quite tired. I suppose it's because I'm not used to having a full time job and also because of all the work involved in being a teacher, getting used to the class and the kids. We've been in school now for three months (well, as of tomorrow) and I still don't think I'm as organized as I'd like to be (or should be). Setting up a classroom for your first ever teaching job is definitely a challenge - particularly when you don't have all the supplies you need/want, and you can't get them all for one reason or another. Most teachers I know have accumulated things for their classes over a number of years.

I've been feeling somewhat stressed lately, but that's normal for being in the situation I am in - at least I think it is. Maybe it isn't, and everyone else has it "all together" and I don't. Or, maybe they just know how to "fake it" and make it look like everything is running well for them and they aren't stressed at all. Either way, I've got to find a way to not make myself be stressed (because I think in a lot of cases, I'm the one causing the stress for myself by making things harder than I need to). I guess it's one of those things that happen until you get everything in order...and hopefully when that happens, I won't feel as stressed as I do at times.

I suppose bouts of loneliness and homesickness don't help make things better either. This usually happens on the weekends when I'm not as "on the go" with school as I am during the week. And, it doesn't happen all the time either, but it does happen. All my family live on the east coast. I came out here by myself, alone, for my job and I often wonder at these times, would I feel this way if I was married and came out here with a husband and/or family?

At these times, I try to turn to God and lean on Him and allow Him to comfort me. But, in all honesty, I don't always feel comforted. I also have to wonder if I'm under a big spiritual attack. I'm sure that factors in at times, but it certainly feels like it happens quite often - I left everyone and everything I know back home to come to a place where I know no one, trusting God to provide the way and the job (at a Christian school no less), even all the way back to 2002 when I quite the job I had then to pursue what I really felt was God calling me to be a teacher. As I said, I'm sure there are spiritual attacks aimed at me at times, but I just don't know when it is that or when it is just me creating stress (or whatever) in my life.

I've so many jumbled thoughts in my head at the moment - thoughts about work, stress, my walk with the Lord, family, etc. that I can't seem to write anything - other than random thoughts - or make things connect. So, I'll sign off for now and just ask your continued prayer for any of the above things I've mentioned.

Blessings.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sadly, There Is No Swiss Chalet...

It's been nearly two months that I've been teaching up here in the north. There are many challenges, but overall things are going well.

Last week we (the teachers and administration) travelled to Calgary, Alberta for three days. We attended a teachers conference for teachers at Christian schools in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan for two of the three days (the other was spent travelling). It was a pretty good conference, and it was also the first time I've been to Calgary (though there was no real time to see the sights or to shop).

I must say, things here are a little different than from what I'm used to. The city is a lot smaller than the one I am from, and there aren't as many stores and restaurants that we have back home. There are some, though, like Boston Pizza. Sadly, there is no Swiss Chalet - which happens to be my favourite restaurant. I guess it just takes a matter of getting used to the new area.

I also don't have a car here (or access to one), and that's been difficult to get used to. I don't mind taking the bus, but there are times when I would just like to have a car to go for a drive...or even for those times when I get a little too much at the grocery store and can barely carry it home because it's too heavy. Thankfully, I'm not very far from the grocery store.

Overall, I think I'm adjusting pretty well. I am usually tired in the evenings after working all day. My class is split with both grade 3 (eight students) and grade 4 (13 students). As I mentioned earlier, there are definitely some challenges (mostly because I'm a new teacher and am learning the ropes and trying to establish a routine), but all in all, they are a great bunch of kids.

Well, I'm just going to keep this somewhat short as I am feeling quite tired again tonight (and it's only 8:30 pm). I think I'll head to bed in the not too distant future.

So, since I've been absent from the blogging world for the last couple of months, let me know what you've been up to (in the comment section) and catch me up on the news!

God bless!

Monday, October 24, 2011

It Was Only Loose

Whew, it's been awhile since I last posted!

I've moved across the country and have been working at my new job for a couple of months now. A couple of days after moving into my apartment, my computer stopped working! I had to wait for a few days to get internet, and before that happened, I was getting a message on my computer that the hard drive wasn't being recognized. I thought maybe the hard drive (which I replaced back in January) had gone again and only today was I able to get it fixed.

It turns out, what was wrong was simply that whomever had put the hard drive in didn't have a screw in one of the spots and all that was needed was that screw! The hard drive was just loose (or something like that) and the computer guy at work just tightened it and now it works!

I'm so glad to have my computer back and working - and the internet connection working! I was really going crazy only being able to use the one at school (and limited to what I could do on it).

I'll try to update soon, but for now, I have a lot of work to do up and I should go do it. I promise to be back soon!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eight Days and Counting...

So, I've had some big news for a few weeks now. Some of you know it, some don't. I was actually waiting for confirmation of some paperwork that is needed, but since there is only eight days, I will mention my news anyway.

I got a job!!

I am moving to the other side of Canada (west coast) because I will be teaching in a Christian school - what I've wanted to do since I originally went back to university back in 2002!

Although school only starts on September 6 (the same as it does here), I do have to be there for August 31 because there is new teacher orientation that day and the next. From what I'm told, there are five of us new teachers who will be there (me, two from Alberta, one from Ontario, and one from Southern BC). I wanted to go about a week early so that I can get settled and have a chance to get to know my way around. I also need to take care of things like getting my drivers license changed over, setting up a bank account, etc.

I am trusting God in the details, and even though I haven't had confirmation of the paperwork (a BC teaching license), I took a step of faith and bought my plane ticket and have contacted a rental place about an apartment I've seen online (yes, there were some pics of the interior and exterior). I am hoping and praying that I get the license without having to take some courses to upgrade to what they want (if it's not the same as here), or at least permission to teach if I do need to take some courses. Like I said though, I'm trusting God with all the details.

This all happened quite quickly. I applied for the job on a Friday afternoon. I had applied for a couple of other jobs in another province (at Christian schools), but hadn't heard anything from them so I thought I'd give it a shot (I had debated on applying for this job for a week before I actually applied). I thought I would never know if this is what God wants for me if I don't even try - it's not like the school would come looking for me...anyway, the following Monday I got a call to say the position I had applied for (grade 1-2 split class) had been filled, but they had a position for a grade 3-4 split class with the possibility of it becoming straight grade 4, and asked if I'd be interested in that. I said yes, and was then asked if they could call me back an hour later to interview me on the phone!

By Tuesday afternoon, I had the job and officially accepted it Wednesday!

So, in eight days I will begin a new chapter in my life. There is a lot to do between now and then, but I'm not worried. I'm trying to go through some things to decide whether or not to take them (mostly clothes) as I'll have to end up getting most everything else (household items) when I get there. We figure it would be cheaper in the long run to do that than to hire a moving van and take everything out to the opposite end of the country.

Well, that's my news! Praise God for answered prayer!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

A Few Weeks Later...

Wow, I can't believe how much time has passed since my last post. I've been meaning to sit down and write something, but time got away from me, and there were also times when I just didn't feel like writing anything.

A couple of weeksends ago, I went to Halifax area and visited Peggy's Cove. There were some really awsome waves (must more powerful than I've seen on my first two visits last year), though I'm told they get even more powerful, especially during storms. I took some photos, but unfortunately, most of them didn't turn out (I only thought when I got home that I should have set the camera to underexpose)...I think because of the bright sun shining on the white foam of the waves.

I also went horseback riding for the first time (though I did go on a horse when I was 4 or 5...the kind where you sit on it and someone leads the horse around a circle a couple of times). I went with my BFF and her 11 year old daughter to Broadleaf Guest Ranch and took an hour long ride through the marshland. There were about 11 of us riders, and 2 leaders/guides. Along the way, we saw a fox (thankfully it didn't spook the horses!) and rode through a herd of cows who were lazing around.

At one point, we came to a little dip in the ground, not quite a stream but there was water in it from a recent rain. All the horses slowly stepped into it and out the other side (it really was quite small...maybe a foot wide), well, all the horses except for one - my BFF's daughter's horse! This was the second (maybe third) time on a horse, and when the horse jumped over, she did very well! In fact, she was quite excited that her horse did this (she ♥s horses). She'd said one of her friends from school had been on that same horse (she knew that because of the horse's name), but he hadn't jumped for her friend. I told her she'd have to be sure to tell her friend that Fly (the horse) jumped with her on it.

The ride is quite easy, actually. The horses know the route taken very well, and the leaders/guides are there as well. We mostly walked (it was an hour long ride) the horses, but twice they got the horses to trot. The first time, my horse (Shyloh) didn't trot so when they were going to do it again, I asked if there was anything I had to do to get him to trot. I was told to kick him hard with my heels (normally the horses just followed one another and did what the others did). So, I did that and he trotted. At first, I'll admit it, I giggled like a little girl. But then, it hurt and I stopped giggling.

I enjoyed it though, and wouldn't mind going horseback riding again.

Aside from that, I've been busy running around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to accomplish stuff I need to get done in a short amount of time. I'll reveal more at a later date, but I would definitely appreciate your prayers. I'm trying to remind myself that God is in the details, and trying to give him this whole situation and not worry about it myself - because my worrying isn't going to do anything. It's out of my hands, and God is in control!

What is something new that you've done or tried lately?

Monday, July 18, 2011

More Awesomeness

Photo taken from here
On Saturday, I went with a few friends to Fredericton (the provincial capital) for the day. It's about two and a half hours from where I live.  We left shortly after lunch and made a stop to pick of the two year old nephew of the couple taking us.

Once we got into Fredericton, we stopped to pick up the brother and cousin of one memeber of the couple and then headed to the "beach". It's not a real beach along the ocean, but it's a man made beach (the sand is quite gravely instead of sandy) along a man made lake. It's quite nice actually.

The weather was weird - it couldn't make up its mind what to do. It was a little sunny with lots of clouds and then dark, heavy, grey/black clouds moved in and it rained a few times. There was a coolish breeze blowing, which would have made me quite cold if I'd gone in swimming like I originally planned. My BFF and I decided to not go swimming as we figured it just wasn't hot enough for us to go in. We said if it warmed up and the wind stopped blowing we would go and change. However, we ended up not going in afterall - which is fine.

K and I decided to go for a walk along the trail that surrounds the lake, instead of going swimming. The trail is in amongst the trees and was really nice. K brought her camera and took several photos along the way. I didn't bring mine as I thought it would be too bothersome to have to be running to and from the car (especially since it wasn't my car) to get it and put it away. Let's just say my camera isn't the little point and shoot kind.

I looked online and found that the trail is 4.4 km long. I'm not even sure how long it took us to walk it as I didn't look at my watch. We weren't walking fast, and as I said, we stopped lots so K could take pictures. It really was a nice trail and I enjoyed the walk.

When we got back from our walk, we packed up to leave and get something to eat. The couple who drove had some wedding invitations to drop off at various relatives homes so they dropped K and I off at the mall while they did that (and also drove home the brother and cousin who came with us to the lake).

The couple's nephew was fast asleep before we left Fredericton, but he woke up probably an hour into the drive and started crying. I think he was just confused as to where he was, and he also wasn't totally awake at that point either. We pulled off along the edge of the highway, and they got out to take care of the little guy. I had to get out as well because he was sitting in the seat behind me (a seven passenger minivan type of vehicle) and they had to have access to him. After trying for about five minutes to settle him down, I suggested they put his DVD player on and let him watch that. He did that on the way down and fell asleep, so I said that might work again. They got it set up and we were on our way again. It didn't take long before he fell back asleep, so the movie helped a lot.

Now, in the title of my post, I mention more awesomeness. What I am referring to is the point at when we were stopped while they were trying to get the little guy settled down again.

I was standing along the highway, close to the ditch to keep safe (though the lanes and shoulder of the road were wide and we had enough room). It was dark and I glanced into the grassy area of the ditch. It rose into a little hill that eventually would lead to some trees and fields. That's when I saw them - fireflies! I have not seen fireflies in ages! They are such a unique little bug. It reminded me again of God's awesome creativity. And, it reminded me of when I was a child and would see them and try to catch them (never was successful at that).

Also, while I was standing there, some clouds had moved in (prior to this the sky had been quite clear, and the moon was big and orange and just past being full. I watched as the clouds covered the moon and as the moon drew nearer to the edge of the cloud cover, I could see just how beautiful it was - the edges of the clouds were silvery-white, illuminated from the light of the moon, while the rest of the cover was dark. Also, there were several moonbeams shining out at various points, much like the sun beams do when they poke through the clouds. It was so beautiful.

I was (and am) still thankful for that opportunity, to witness that awesomeness, that I wouldn't have probably noticed (especially the fireflies) if a two year old boy hadn't woken up crying and caused us to stop the car.

I love how God has showed me beauty and creativeness in simple, ordinary, everyday things this weekend. It was a great reminder of just how great and awesome He is!

When was the last time you saw fireflies? Did you ever try to catch them as a child?

Friday, July 15, 2011

It Might Not Seem Like Much...

Northern Flicker
...but yesterday I felt thankful over something quite simple.

Around noon, when I was getting a little lunch, I noticed a bird sitting on the corner post of our patio. I've never seen a bird that looks like this, so I went and got my camera, hurring before it flew away (that's why the pics aren't the best - wrong setting as I just wanted to get the photos quickly, and also it was through the window).

I posted the few pics on my facebook page as one of the elderly ladies who goes to my church is interested in birding. She goes bird watching and whatnot, so I thought maybe she would know.

She informed me that this bird is a Northern Flicker and is not too common in this area. It's also generally found in wooded areas. We live not overly far from a walking park which is in a wooded area, so it could have flown up from there. I tried looking online, myself, to find out what it was call, but thankfully that lady from church knew!

As I said, this is the first time I've ever seen a Northern Flicker. Last night, while praying, I thanked God for allowing me to see this bird - not just once, but twice. It came back to our patio again at supper time.  Like I said, it might not seem like much to be thankful for or feel blessed about, but that is definitely how I felt yesterday/last night - and even today.

Northern Flicker - possibly a female

God is certainly creative with his creations! How many different types of bird are there? They're all birds, but they are different - some big, some small, the males are always the more colourful ones (females are duller in colour, I believe, to help when nesting and not attracting prey to the nest and babies), some have fancy "designs" in their feathers, some are just plain...but God created them all!

And, God deserves our praise and thanks for what He's created!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Le Pays De La Sagouine - In English

This past Sunday evening, I had the opportunity to go to a dinner theatre. Normally, it' a little expensive - more than I would pay - but a friend scored some free tickets and he asked me if I would like to go.

We drove about half an hour, or so, to the town of Bouctouche where the performance is held, and went to Le Pays De La Sagouine, a French one-woman play. However, this year they have added a few English performances, and that's what we went to...otherwise I wouldn't have understood it a bit. Their website is in French and English if you are interested in reading about it. You can also "Google it".

Going into it, I was unsure what to expect. Since it's Acadian themed, I figured it might be about the history and/or deportation of the Acadians from up this way (the Acadians made their way to Louisiana, and I believe the became the Cajuns...but I'm not totally sure on that last fact). It wasn't. The star of the show, La Sagouine (which I'm told loosely translates to the washerwoman) is played by a woman in her early 80s. She basically tells some stories from the life of the character. This woman is so awesome - her facial expressions at times were enough for laughter to erupt. And, of course, the stories she told were all humorous as well.

There was a little swearing in the show, and she took the Lord's name in vain a few times - and that I didn't like.  But overall, the show was good and I'm glad I went.

I've never been to a dinner theatre before so I didn't know if we would be eating while she performed or not. The menu was good - well, if you liked the kind of food they offered. We started off with a salad of mixed greens, some red onions, cucumbers and a strawberry (I think) vinaigrette dressing. There were 3 main courses to choose from - salmon with a lobster sauce (which I don't care for...the salmon or the lobster), rice and veggies; chicken with mushroom sauce (I despise mushrooms), mashed potatoes and veggies; or a mix of different Acadian foods - which I don't like either. I ordered the chicken and asked if it was possible to not have any sauce on it, and thankfully they were able to do so. We ate this before the performance started, then about half an hour into the performance, there was a 20 minute intermission and dessert was served - a yummy strawberry shortcake. I don't think I heard any complaints from anyone about the food - or the performance for that matter.

All in all, I'm glad I went. It was a new experience for me, and I don't think I'd mind going to another dinner theatre sometime - depending on what the show is about, of course.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

An Ear To Hear

I've been thinking lately.

I've been thinking about how it doesn't seem like God is speaking to me, like He's not listening to me or my prayers, and how it certainly seems like my prayers aren't being answered.

I've been thinking about possible reasons why.

What I've come up with is that I don't seem to be spending quality time with Him. Sure, I'll pray and read my Bible, but am I taking the time to sit and actually listen? Am I taking the time to let God speak to me, or answer my questions? Am I meditating on what the Word says, or am I simply reading it in order to say I've read my Bible for today?

When I pray, my mind can't always seem to focus. Sure, I might start out focused, but pretty soon my mind is off following a bunny trail down to some other thought, thinking of some other want/desire, thinking about what happened at some other point in my life (or what I'd like to happen). Then, I find it very difficult to get back into focus.

I've thought back to when I was new to the faith, new in my walk, and how my prayer life seemed to go so well (regarding focus and praying well), how when I read my Bible I would search more into it with commentaries, how I could apply it more to my life or create little devotionals from passages or verses I'd read.

The only thing that I can think that has changed, is me. It's certainly not God who has changed. For a number of years now, I've had difficulty with my walk - difficulty in focusing, trusting, hoping - and I've realized that I have changed. I don't spend quality time with the Lord as I once did. I rush through my prayers (and Bible reading) and don't give Him a chance to speak - or I'll give a time limit, like requiring God to "speak" to me by the time I finish reading a chapter or by the time I finish praying (without allowing quiet time to listen to Him).

How can I expect to build a quality relationship with the Lord if I'm not investing in it, if I'm being to focused on me and my wants and not allowing Him to speak. How can I expect Him to be my best friend if I don't let Him into this relationship?

I've been thinking that I need to take more time and invest it wisely in the Lord. And, I need to start ASAP.

Who is your BFF, and what do you like to do with him/her?

Friday, July 01, 2011

Happy Canada Day

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.





I would like to wish all my fellow Canadians a Happy Canada Day! I'm proud to be Canadian!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

God's Awesome Power

Jason, over at Mustard Seed Year has been keeping this blog since the beginning of 2011. Here's what he had to say about why he started Mustard Seed Year:

When I started to pray about 2011, I felt God tell me it was time to take that idea to a new level. That’s why this blog exists. Instead of just a word for the year, I’ve taken my hopes, dreams and passions and laid them all at God’s feet on January 1, 2011. I told Him then to take those dreams & take me to do whatever He wanted to do for His glory. 
I felt Him tell me to chronicle every day what happens over the course of this year. The highs, the lows, the joys, the pain, the triumph and the struggle. 
Be as transparent as I could be about what happens.

I've been following Jason's journey on his Mustard Seed Year, and while I haven't read every post he's made, I've certainly read many. Through his ups and downs, Jason has chronicled everything - the good, the bad, the ugly. He's been honest and direct in his posts. And he has certainly been an encouragement to not only me, but I feel rather certain he has also been an encouragement to so many others.

In a recent post, Jason talks about how he sensed God telling him to have his friends pray until Friday (not sure if that is this coming Friday or not). He even asked his online friends to pray as well. What is being prayed about? That God show Himself and/or His power in their lives - and then share about it.

I came into that a little late, however, Jason encouraged me to start praying anyway. And so, beginning Monday (I think), I started praying and asking God to reveal His power in my life.

As of now, I don't think I've seen anything. However, the thought occurred to me (and I shared with Jason) that maybe I'm not praying "right". Maybe, I am just asking God to reveal Himself and/or show His power in my life in the way that I want Him to, instead of the way He wants to. Or, maybe He has revealed Himself/His power and I've just failed to notice it.

At any rate, I am still on the lookout, still praying. I know that our God is an Awesome God, and His power is equally powerful. But in all honesty, I don't know if He is showing/revealing His power in my life. I'm not giving up, though. I'm still going to pray!

If you haven't visited Jason over at his Mustard Year Blog, I encourage you to do so. Why not stop there AFTER leaving me a comment ;o).

How has God revealed Himself to you today?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Still Haven't Found...

Tinker Belle
This is my cat. Her name is Tinker Belle. I've had her since she was 2 months old; she's now almost 13 1/2.

Tinker Belle's days are pretty easy. She starts her day off by eating some breakfast - if her dish hasn't been emptied over night - followed by a little nap until someone wakes up. Then when someone gets up, she meows a little welcome song (sometimes with lots of words), and comes running. Usually she follows us into the bathroom to get a drink - from a drip from the bathtub faucet. From there, she might get a treat or a bit more food if the dish is empty. This is all usually followed up by another nap.

Morning routing for Tinker Belle is pretty much the same - sleep, eat, drink some water, maybe get a treat, sleep...there's actually lots of sleep.

And then, there are scratches around the ears, on her head, her back. And she likes to play with little fuzzy mice and the laser pointer at night. And lots of purring. All in all, she is a contented little kitty. She doesn't ask for much, and she's satisfied with what she has.

The Bible talks about being content:

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. (Philippians 4:11)


My cat is pretty content. Now, me on the other hand - not so much. I still haven't found contentment, or learned to be content in whatever circumstances in which I happen to be. Mind you, there are times when I am rather quite content - but there are lots where I'm not. I guess there are times I'm almost afraid to be content because that might mean the situation I'm in might not change. So, I'm definitely "not there" yet with regards to being content.

Do you find it easy to be content in your circumstances?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there! I hope you had a wonderful time with your families.

My father died nearly three years ago. I haven't attended a Father's Day service at church since he died - it's just too sad. I'm sure I'll attend a Father's Day service again in the future, but for now it's too difficult.

This afternoon, I went to the cemetery and visited my dad's grave. I had bought a white rose to lay on the headstone (at this cemetery all the headstones are laid into the ground), but there is no little "vase" thing to pull out and put flowers into. My grandparents have one on their headstone, but Dad and Mom didn't bother getting one on theirs. Anyway, it was quite windy out as we were having a bit of a thunderstorm off and on all day. I figured if I left the rose it would just blow away. If I'd have had some tape, I could have taped it on, but since I didn't have any, that was out of the question. So, I decided to bring it home instead.

I miss my dad, and I'm not ashamed to say that while I was at the cemetery, I cried - and continued to do so on the way home as well. I didn't expect to cry, really. Yes, I had expected to feel sad, but I didn't think the tears would come.

I started writing a poem today, for my dad, but I haven't finished it. When I do, I will post it. I was hoping to have had it finished to include in my Father's Day post, but it will have to wait for another day.

So, what did you do for Father's Day today?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Needed Prayers

Last Sunday was the final day that our senior pastor was officially our senior pastor. He and his family will, after the summer I believe, head to Hawaii where he will be their senior pastor. He was actually born into the church he'll be leading, and his father had also been, at one time, the senior pastor at that church.  In the meantime, we have someone who is filling in until we can find someone to replace Pastor J, and we still have the pastor of family ministries and a new minister of music to help.

I'm not sure if the search committee has started looking for a new senior pastor or not, but at any rate, they and our church could definitely use some prayer!

In other news, I can also use prayer. Yesterday was our church family picnic, and I got a little too much sun. Not fun...the sunburn that is. The picnic was really great.

Also, I have an interview on the 22nd for the school district. From my understanding of people who've had interviews in the past, it is to put names on the long-term supply list. It's rare that a full-time job would result from these interviews, because they would choose those people from the long-term supply list. Basically, I think this interview is the first step to becoming a full-time teacher. And that's if I get on the long-term supply list. I've been told my a teacher that his school has recommended a couple of others in the past (several times, actually), and these supplies have had a number of interviews but have never been put on the list.

I also need to do up a 15 minute presentation for this interview - 10 minutes dealing with how balanced literacy will look in my classroom, and the last 5 minutes dealing with numeracy. After that, there is a 10 minute session where they will ask me questions. I'm really nervous about this, so would also like prayer for this.

Well, just wanted to give a little update on how things are going. Hope you are having a Christ-filled day!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Jesus Juked By the Man Himself

Last night I was having a quiet moment before bed. Usually this is just me listening to music (mostly Christian, but occasionally secular). It was no different last night.

I sat in my rocking chair, my ipod plugged into my ears, and I listened. While the music played, and the singers sang, I listened to the words to some of the songs and thought they were so poetic, so brilliant. I even admit that I wished I had written them; but, I didn't so there's nothing I can do about that except write my own words (i.e. poems, stories...I'm not a song writer).

After a few moments, I thought it would be a good time to pray. The house was quiet, and I was the only one awake. I changed my listening habits from being those of simply enjoying the music, to using it to praise and worship God (silently through the headphones of my ipod, and the praise/worship coming from my heart rather than my mouth).

Then, I prayed.

I started by confessing sins to God and asked for forgiveness of them. I won't go into all the details, but I will say that I told God that I know He has a plan for my life and I know it is probably not the way I think it will be or expect. I told Him how I used to cling to Jeremiah 29:11-13 (written below)when I was in university and how I'm still trying to cling to that promise (even though at one point I had someone tell me that the promise in those verses was for the Israelites, and not us...yeah.).

11 'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (NASB)
Now, to be honest, I have verse 11 memorized, and verse 13. I stumble over trying to quote the middle verse. So, while talking to God, I mostly focused on the verse 11, briefly mentioned that I am calling upon Him, but I just don't feel like He is listening to me.

That's when it struck me. And I'm sure it was God's nudge.

You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I have been searching, seeking, talking, asking, etc. but, I haven't been doing this with all my heart. Ouch.

Is it fair to say that I have been Jesus juked by the Man Himself?

I think, the Holy Spirit was trying to tell me that the reason I haven't been hearing Him for awhile now, or feeling as though He had abandoned me (which I know He didn't do), was because when I have been seeking Him, when I have been calling on Him, when I have been searching for Him, I wasn't doing it with all my heart. I was letting thoughts, feelings, things of the world get in the way!

So, now as I seek the Lord with regard to my walk - which path to take, and seek His will for my life (present and future), I know the enemy is going to bombard me and try to get my focus put back on things that will block me from hearing the Lord, from finding Him and know what it is He wants me to do. Please remember me in your prayers that the Lord will protect me and not let the enemy get to me. Pray that now that I am aware that I need to come to Him with all of my heart, that I will do just that - and not let things or thoughts or feelings get in the way and hinder me. And, pray that the Lord will reveal to me the path I need to take.

Friday, June 03, 2011

The Sun Is Peeking Through - Somewhat

My last post was written when I'd been having a few "bad" days. Today, and the previous two as well, things have felt much better, more positive.

I don't have everything all worked out. Life did not suddenly get perfect. But, I am slowly starting to see the sun shine again.

I talked with my BFF, and she actually helped me get over this hurdle - or speed bump - somewhat. We are both so much alike, it's scary. She's also encouraging, and that might be because very soon she's going to be in the same boat as I am in some areas, so she can understand what I'm going through.

I had a great day visiting with her on Wednesday, and even though life's problems didn't all get solved, we had a good discussion and came up with some possibilities.

And now, I need to take the next step - which is scary.

On a side note, my BFF's daughter (she's 11) made a good point while I was visiting. At some point I mentioned how I want a real job, and she said, "Well, technically being a supply teacher is a real job. And, it's a hard job, probably harder than a regular teacher, but it's a real job." I had to laugh. She's right, though. I told her what I meant by "real job" was a full time one, teaching every day in my own classroom. She knew what I meant, but just wanted to be technical I guess, lol. She's just like her mom!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Want Some Cheese With That Whine?

The darkness hangs thicker than the night, clinging to whatever it can latch onto. No pinpoints of starry light can be seen; no illumination of any sort is visible to help light the path.

Sometimes, in the rarest of moments, the darkness seems as though it is changing to grey - growing lighter, thinner and creating a twinkle of hope. Just as quickly, the black returns and envelops everything again.

In the chill of despondency, the fog rises and lines the darkness as a slip lines the underside of a dress. Fear rises, adding to the uncertainty. The ground becomes rocky and uneven, and steps become unsteady.

Dare I move forward? Dare I take a step? The edge of the cliff seems so close, but I don't know where it is. I don't want to move and end up falling.

The paths become jumbled, giving no real direction, with no destination in sight.

Where are you? Why did you leave my side? You stopped whispering; stopped guiding. I don't know where to turn, what way to go. I feel lost. I feel damaged. I feel alone.

I followed you from the beginning of this so-called adventure. I trusted. But somewhere, sometime, I sensed your abandonment - or are you simply hiding and watching from a distance?

I'm lost and I'm afraid to move, afraid I will plunge over the edge - afraid you won't catch me if I do.

******

For the longest while now, I've felt like God has abandoned me. I know He hasn't because His word tells me that He will never leave me, nor forsake me. I try to find comfort in His word, but in all honesty, it doesn't seem to be helping.

I'm trying to cling to Jesus, to put my hope in Him and remember that, ultimately, God is the one in control. He does have a plan for me - even if He doesn't reveal it. I know all that, but still...I see everyone around me being blessed, having prayers answered, etc. - even those who don't follow the Lord, those who aren't His children.

And it hurts. Big time. It feels like He cares about everyone except me (and yes, I am quite aware that He does care about me).

What I wrote above, at the beginning of this post, is how I've been feeling for a long time now. I put on a brave front, because I don't think people would really understand the extent or depth of how I'm really feeling. I hate when I do talk about things like this, and I get the ever popular "Christian platitudes" - they do not help in the least. I get sick of people telling me that I'm a good person, that I'm sweet and kind, and that God has a plan for me and I shouldn't give up hope, that God will reveal Himself in His timing, etc. I KNOW all of that. I've heard it many times (and have probably been guilty of saying some of them at times myself). It doesn't help, quite frankly, it feels like they are belittling my feelings, etc. - like I don't really matter and they are just saying those things because that is what a good little Christian should say.

I haven't given up my beliefs, my hopes, etc. I'm not turning away from the Lord, or denying Him or anything like that. I'm in a valley, and I feel like everything I've done, everything I've worked for has been for nothing - that I'm a complete and utter failure at everything I've done or tried to do. I've been praying and asking for wisdom for what to do in my situation, wisdom to know the direction God wants me to take, etc. And I just don't hear Him answering me.

Ok, enough ranting and whining now. I've probably driven off any readers I may have had.

What do you do when you are in the valley and all seems cloaked under clouds and fog and darkness, and you can't see to find your way out?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

You Don't Need To Be Perfect

I remember when we (my dad, brothers, and I...my mom and grandmother didn't go) started attending church after moving to the city were I now live.  I was 10 1/2 (and yes, the 1/2 was very important at the time), and in grade 6. I was still quite shy, so I didn't talk to many people at the time.

One of the little old ladies - or at least she seemed that way to me at 10 1/2 - came over to me, bent down so she was at my level, smiled sweetly at me and asked "Have you accepted Jesus into your heart?"

Gulp! I'd better tell her 'yes' or I won't be allowed to come back here. I like it here, and I don't want them to kick me out of church because I haven't asked Jesus into my heart! I thought. My answer came quickly, and I told her, yes.

I lied. In church. Guilt immediately overwhelmed me and I quickly prayed a silent prayer: "Jesus please come into my heart!" I only said it so that I wouldn't feel guilty, and that it might somehow erase this whole situation as being a lie. And, I don't think I really meant it. Major fail on my part!

When I began attending my current church (I stopped going to the other one at 12 years old, and didn't go back to church until I was almost 31), I was afraid to go. I was afraid to sit down in the pew, to talk to others, to tell them about myself. I was afraid that if they knew what I was like, what I had done, etc., they would kick me out and not let me attend (even though I really wanted to be there). I would look around the sanctuary at the people sitting in the pews and think they were near perfect, that there was no way they sinned, no way they are as bad of a person as I was. And I once again thought that I would get asked to leave because I wasn't perfect like they were.

Really though, where do we get those thoughts from? I'm certain it's the enemy trying to keep us away from God! The thought that you have to be perfect to attend church is a lie from the devil.

Now that I'm older (and hopefully a little wiser) I know that I wouldn't have gotten kicked out of church. They wouldn't have stopped me from attending.  In all honesty, it's where I belong. The church is full of sinners, full of people who have said and done horrible things - some even more horrible than anything I have done in my life. Church is were I belong, and it's where you belong...no matter what you've said or done in your life.

If you are reading this and have shied away from going to church because you think you aren't good enough, or you've done some pretty horrible things in your past, please don't stay away. Everyone has been through some sort of circumstance that makes them less than "perfect". In fact, no one is perfect - even people who go to church!

Remember, Jesus is the only one who is perfect, and it is through Him that we find forgiveness of our sins and eternal life.

Remember, you don't have to be perfect to go to church. You don't even have to have accepted Jesus into your heart in order to attend, so please don't let those thoughts pervent you from attending. Give it a try; go to church - you will be (or should be) accepted with open and loving arms.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Three Times in 24 Hours

Have you ever had a day or couple of days when you hear something specific several times - like certain song lyrics or a Bible verse, something that you feel might hold meaning for you? I had one of those days on Saturday.

Friday night, after I created my previous post I had to (yes, had to) go to itunes to buy and download "Days of Elijah". While there, I downloaded five or six other songs as well. I listened to them all later that night.  One of these songs was "Everlasting God" by Lincoln Brewster. I love this song, and so I listened to it a few times before I went to bed. Keep in mind I listened to several other songs after listening to "Everlasting God," so it wasn't on my mind at all when I went to sleep.


The next morning, I got up with only the chorus of that song in my head as I went through my morning routine and went to spend some time with God. During this time, after I read my Bible, I read the reading of the day from Our Daily Bread. At the end of the reading, a quote from Isaiah 40:31 is given:
Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
Later that evening as I was checking out my facebook, I scrolled through my news feed. Somone on my friends list had posted this very quote on his wall (though to be honest, he did have an error and put "...with wings like angels" instead of eagles)! There was the verse/lyrics again!

Three times in the course of 24 hours. Is that enough to call it a "God thing"? I don't believe in coincidences.


I have no idea if God was trying to tell me something or not. But, I do find it curious/interesting. This sort of thing doesn't happen to me very often, so I did take note of it, but have no idea if it means anything. I've been mulling it over since then, but haven't come to any conclusions. Maybe I should pray about it...

Have you ever had an experience where a particular Bible verse popped up for you several times in a short period of time - in a way that felt like God was trying to tell you something or reassure you?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Singing For Jesus

I was in university when I first heard the song, “Days of Elijah” during worship chapel. I loved it, and it quickly became one of my favourites. Soon, one of the worship teams at church began to play the song as well – though they didn’t seem to play it quite as fast as they did at school.

Not long after I declared “Days of Elijah” to be my song, I had a dream. It was dark in my dream, and I was with several people inside a church basement. We seemed to be a choir, and we were practicing singing “Days of Elijah” because we were expecting a guest of honor – Jesus!

I was so excited that I was going to get to sing this song for Jesus! I could hardly contain myself. I don’t remember how many others were waiting with me, but it wasn’t very many – maybe six or eight of us.

We began our wait. And we waited and waited. I wondered when Jesus was going to come and hear us sing for Him. At one point, I walked over to the window to look outside and see if I could see Him. I looked up into the black sky, pinpointed with stars. I was looking for the clouds that He would arrive on. Nothing.

I craned my neck, still looking at the sky. It was then that I noticed it. Flying past, quickly, was a UFO – one like the Great Gazoo used in the Flintstones cartoon. I don’t remember if I could see anything inside, or just the UFO. However, the thought that ran through my mind, in the dream, was: “Where on earth did that come from? Doesn’t he know he doesn’t exist?” I gave my head a shake, and went to join the others.

By this point, I was starting to feel disappointed and let down because Jesus hadn’t arrived yet. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to sing my song for Him, and I really wanted to – I wanted Him to hear me sing “Days of Elijah” just for Him!

I woke up with that sad, disappointed feeling that Jesus didn’t show up, and I wasn’t going to be able to sing for Him. I really felt these emotions (in real life). I mean, I’m not a good singer, at all, but I wanted so badly to stand in front of Jesus and sing for Him – and I knew He would like it. I knew that even though I can’t sing, He would still be honored that I was singing FOR Him.

What came to mind after that dream was that maybe Jesus didn’t show up (in my dream) because we were expecting Him - we seemed to "know" that He was supposed to return that night. In reality, we don’t know when Jesus is coming again. No one does (and I don't care who you are, you do NOT know when Jesus will return. Only the Father knows). But, we do need to be prepared anyway, because He could come back at any time – today, tomorrow, later this month or year, or 100 years from now. The point is, we need to be like a boy/girl scout and "be prepared" for when Jesus does return.

How do we become prepared? We need to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and invite Him into our heart. We need to ask for forgiveness for our sins. If you haven't done this yet and you would like to know more, or talk about this, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment on this post. I would be more than happy to help you.

Have you had any dreams with Jesus in them? I'd love to hear about them!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Rocking Chairs, Baby Dolls, and Mother's Day

When I was little, I used to have this one particular doll. Her body was sort of a cylinder shape with soft arms and soft legs sticking out. Her neck and the middle of her body had sand or something similar in it so that she would gradually fall over if she was sitting up. The eyes in her soft plastic head closed. When she would "fall" over, her eyes would close and she would "go to sleep". She wasn't a particular favourite, but I liked the fact that she could close her eyes, and she was small - like a little baby.

Also, ever since I was little I have loved rocking chairs. My mom used to rock me (and my brothers) to sleep. Even to this day, I will choose to sit in a rocking chair if there is one available. I find them to be very relaxing. I heart rocking chairs.

One of the"rituals" I had when I was little, was to get ready for bed at least an hour before I would actually go to bed, sit in my rocking chair (to help me relax and get sleepy), put my little blanket over my lap, and cradle my doll as if she were my baby. Since her eyes closed, it seemed more like I was rocking her to sleep. It was like she was my baby, and I was her mother.

Today is Mother's Day. I have always found this to be difficult - well, for at least twenty years anyway. I'm more than happy, on this day, to celebrate all that my mom is, because she is AWESOME...but, it's bittersweet for me.

I have no kids (other than a 4 legged furry baby). I'm 42 years old and I'm not married, and I have no kids. Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to be a wife and mother. It's been a huge desire, probably all my life. And it hasn't happened. Will it? I have no idea. And, it hurts when people try to tell me that it will happen one day - in all honesty, unless they are God, they don't.

Usually this doesn't bother me a lot.  I try to deal with it, and not let it affect me, but there are other times when it hurts to the very core of my being - like Mother's Day. Like I said, it's not something that bothers me all the time; usually there is something that triggers the pain - someone getting engaged or married, especially if these are people I've watched grow up and are years younger than me; or someone having a baby (doesn't matter if it's a first or sixth baby). And that can be difficult to deal with - and accept.

So, as I hold back my pain and hurt (because, really, it's not about me), and try to turn it over to God, I would like to wish all the awesome mother's out there a very blessed and happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

I've Been Writing Again...

I've been working on another poem lately. It's not the best, I'm certainly no professional poet - if that even exists. But, I figure I have to start somewhere and learn and grow in the process. I figure, you can't learn to write poetry unless you actually write it. It's one thing to do research and study how to write poetry (or anything for that matter), and another thing to write it.

This new poem doesn't rhyme, and I didn't want it to. I don't know how well it turned out because I've never really tried to write non-rhyming poems before. But, hey, I've got to start somewhere!

If you'd like to read the poem (and I hope you do), head on over to my blog, Ink Scrawls, and check it out. Would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

To The Cross I Go

Photo and poem copyright 2011, Shelley L. Snyder

In the first part of the Easter story, Good Friday, we recognize the fact that Jesus was wrongly accused, He was mocked, He was brutally tortured (the cross was a Roman means of torture), and He died. Everyone who walked this earth from the beginning of time; everyone who is currently walking the earth, and those yet to be born, has put Jesus on the cross. Typically, Jesus' people are the ones blamed. They say, "The Jews put Jeus on the cross." But really we all did - because of our sins. We nailed Jesus to the cross.

Jesus suffered and died for us. Good Friday is when we remember Jesus voluntarily going to the cross for us. Three days later, the tomb (grave) was found empty. His body wasn't stolen. God raised Jesus from the dead, and He is now alive in Heaven on the right hand of God. This is what Easter is all about.

Jesus did this for you; and He did this for me. If you want to spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus, then all you need to do is ask Jesus into your heart, ask Him to forgive your sins, believe Jesus is God's Son who died on the cross and was raised three days later, and is now alive in heaven - then, when you die, you will go to heaven and spend eternity with Him.

If you don't believe this, if you don't ask Him into your heart and ask for forgiveness of your sins...then you will go to Hell. You will be separated from God. Forever.

The choice is yours to make.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Since When...

…does it become acceptable to ignore someone because they are a senior?

Not too long ago, I took my mom out to do some errands and we decided to go for lunch at a local restaurant. Although it was noon, we managed to arrive just in time to avoid the rush and any waiting line. We were seated at a table, given menus and told our server would be over in a few minutes.

Soon, the waitress did come and take our orders. I let Mom go first and then gave mine. We both got a turkey dinner, and I specifically asked for white meat. The norm for this restaurant is to give a bit of dark and white meat on the plate, unless you specifically ask for white (side note: I don’t care for the dark meat, unless it’s mixed up in something like a turkey/chicken pot pie). The waitress then looks at me and asks, “Does she (meaning my mom) want white meat too?” My mom spoke up for herself, “Dark meat is OK for me.”

We’ve actually run into that sort of situation often – drug stores, grocery stores, restaurants, department stores, etc. If I’m with my mom and the situation involves a third person (like a cashier or waiter/waitress), more often than not the third person will turn to me and tell me the needed information for Mom’s prescriptions, ask me if she wants cash back if she is using her debit card, or ask me if “she” wants white meat too.
When we get out of the situation, back into the car for instance, my mom will always turn to me and comment about the situation. I’m sure it makes her feel bad, and like an old lady who is incapable of speaking for herself.


Why do we do that? Why do we assume that just because a person who is in his/her later years is automatically hard of hearing or not capable of understanding instructions – or can’t speak for him/herself? Granted, there are some who do fall into those categories, but not every elderly person is deaf or hard of hearing. Not every elderly person is blind. Not every elderly person is incapable of taking care of him/herself.

I’m not going to tell you my mom’s age – she wouldn’t like it too much if I did! But my Mom is a senior. My mom is also highly capable of hearing, seeing, understanding what is said to her (and if she doesn’t understand, she asks questions), and taking care of herself.


We need to change our perspective on the elderly. Seniors deserve our respect; and they deserve their dignity.



A gray head is a crown of glory; It is found in the way of righteousness. Proverbs 16:31
Ok, I'm getting off my soapbox now.

How do you treat seniors?

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Jesus Glasses

When I was young, I remember thinking it would be cool to wear glasses, after all, smart people wore glasses! If I wore glasses, then people would think I was smart – or maybe, somehow, the glasses would make me smart. But, I don't think I ever occured to me that there were nicknames, like "four eyes," that I might be called.



At some point in my first year of high school, way back when, my eyesight changed and at the end of the year I ended up needing glasses. By this time, I should add, I knew that glasses didn’t make a person smarter, but still, there was something about wearing glasses that intrigued me.


At first, I only needed to wear my glasses to see distances. I was supposed to wear them in class to help see the board. After several days of frequently putting them on and taking them off, I grew annoyed with having to wear my new glasses. Eventually I just kept them on all day, only taking them off and not wearing them at all when I was home. And, now, many years later, I need to wear them all the time (though I also now wear contacts), otherwise I can’t see anything – even up close.


Since I’ve become a Christian, my desire is to use a different pair of “glasses” to help me see. I want to see things the way the Lord sees them.

When we accept Christ as our Savior, and ask for forgiveness for our sins, He wipes them away and God then sees us through Jesus. He doesn’t see the sins we committed, but He sees His Son in our hearts. He sees us through "Jesus glasses".


I want to see others the way God sees them – through Jesus. I want to look past their mistakes, their bad choices, etc., and not hold it against them. I’m just as guilty as the next person for focusing on the negative aspects of people, especially if they’ve hurt me. But that’s not what I want to be like.


My prayer is that I put on my “Jesus glasses” and see others through Him, see past the wrongdoings and see them with the love of Christ.



Have you ever wanted to wear glasses? Do you wear them now, and if so, were you ever called any nicknames because of them?

Monday, April 04, 2011

Dream A Little Dream

The last two chapters I've read in my Bible (Genesis 40 and 41) in my daily reading involved Joseph interpreting dreams. In chapter 40, it was the dreams of Pharoah's cupbearer and baker; chapter 41 was Pharoah's own dreams.

I don't know if I have mentioned in this blog before, but I have been keeping a Dream Journal of sorts since the beginning of the year. At that time, in my small group (Bible study), we were discussing the book of Daniel. One of the leaders asked a question at the beginning of one session (a sort of ice breaker), if anyone could remember their dreams.

I had indicated that I used to dream vividly, and could remember all sorts of details - colours, people, descriptions, etc. It was then that Pastor J asked if I wrote down my dreams, and that if I didn't then I should. So, I began recording them. I don't always remember, and sometimes don't have time to record them, but I try to.

Can I interpret dreams? Nope, not at all. However, maybe someone can (or maybe God will gift me with the ability at some point). Pastor J said it's a good way to see any "trends" or "themes" in dreams, something that might help indicate that God is speaking to me through dreams - or something like that. I can't recall his exact words.

I've been seeing themes appear, but I don't know what any of the interpretations could be. Even if I never find out, this journal makes for somewhat interesting reading at times - I've had some pretty crazy dreams!

Do you dream? Do you record them? Can you interpret dreams?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Week In Review - A Day Early

I've been having quite a busy week so far! It's all good though.

Since the beginning of the school year in September, I haven't had a whole lot of work. I have been lucky to get a day, maybe two a week - mostly it would be one day. It hasn't been easy, that's for sure.

Well, this week has been excellent for work. I had a full day of work on Monday at a middle school, a half day at another middle school on Tuesday, a full day at an elementary school yesterday, and tomorrow I am scheduled to work until noon (another half day) at another elementary school. Tomorrow's class I'm supposed to be in is the one I supplied in last week and enjoyed. Those kids were awesome, good, and I had no problems with them. I am looking forward to teaching them again tomorrow.

One teacher I know (he goes to my church, and I often supply in his classroom) said I'm probably getting a lot of work this week due to the fact the flu is going around, and it is report card time (so some teachers are taking some time off - or at least working elsewhere in the school - to get them done on time). In all honesty, I don't care why they are taking the time off...I'm just glad I'm getting some work! Not sure if it will continue between now and the end of the year (which I hope it does). That remains to be seen.

And, I have been thanking God for the amount of work this week. He definitely deserves thanks!

Aside from work, I haven't been doing too much because I've been tired most days because I'm not used to working every day for a long time. I've managed to get some knitting and crocheting done on some items I'm sending to a friend in Australia for her first baby. I need to sew on a few buttons and then I can get things sent off. Hoping to do that this weekend. I'd do it tomorrow, but unfortuately we are getting what I hope is our last snow storm this winter. They are calling for 15-20 cm of snow starting around noon tomorrow, and I won't be going out in that!

What have you been up to this week?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hi, My Name Is...

When I was little, I hated my name. The other kids would rhyme my name with other words and laugh; they thought it was hilarious. It's one thing that contributed to my low self-esteem, mostly because I always felt like they were laughing at me, and not the little rhymes they created. In all honesty, I do think they were laughing at me - I was never popular and was always teased and whatnot, and we all know that kids can be cruel.

Occasionally, as an adult, I will still get someone rhyming my name. And while I don't think they're laughing at me or calling me names, I still don't like it - probably because it reminds me of my childhood.

I remember finding out (probably early in my teens, or a little earlier than that age), that adults can legally change their names - for a fee. I used to think that when I was old enough, I was going to legally change my name - to what, I don't know, but I was going to change it.

In the Bible, names reflected authority and character. Abram (exalted father) had his name changed by God, to Abraham (father of a multitude). His wife Sarai's name was changed to Sarah (princess). Jacob had his name changed to Israel, and even in the new Testament we see Simon becomes Peter (Cephas) and Saul was to be known as Paul. Name changes often happened when a person grew older and his or her character was more developed (though I am sure there were other reasons as well).

My parents used to have a baby book (from when I was born) which had lists of boys and girls names listed, along with their meanings. According to this book, my name meant "musical" (I am sooo not musical). However, going to one of the many websites on the internet, I have found that they all seem to agree that my name means "meadow on a ledge"...  I think, though, that my parents chose my name because they liked it, not because of what it means.

As an adult, I'm still not musical, and I definitely am not any type of meadow - whether on a ledge or not. If I lived back in Biblical times and my name was to be changed, I really don't know what it would be changed to. I'm also curious what Jesus would change my name to, if that is something He would do (not everyone had their name changed).

Will I change my name now that I'm an adult (and have been for a long time)? Probably not. It's much cheaper to keep it as is. And besides, I'm kind of used to it now.

If you could change your name, what would you change it to, and why?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Open To Suggestions...

I've been struggling lately with this blog - with the direction I want to take. I've been seeing so many links on Twitter to posts about how to get followers (which, doesn't seem to be happening for me...probably largely due to content), how to get people to comment or start conversations, how you should write your posts, what type of blog you should have, your writing style in blogging...and the list goes on and on.

I've visited lots of blogs (and left comments), and many of them are daily reads for me. I've seen some great ones that I'd like to "copy" their style, and I've also been told, and read, to just be myself in my blog. And that's hard, because it seems like just being myself isn't working...

I've read lots of awesome posts that deal with kids. In other words, the authors of those blogs use things their kids have said or done, or lessons they've taught their kids, and couple those with Bible passages. This produces great posts. I, however, have no kids. I'm also not married. I can't create posts about either of those things.

I've written posts that I thought were great, that I thought would get some comments, get some conversations generated, but mostly I get the big ol' goose egg beside the comment indicator. Though to be honest, I do get a few comments now and then.

I've thought about having guest bloggers, but then I wonder if anyone would want to post something on a blog which gets little to no comments, and little to no conversations happening. That's still up in the air though, so I might ask some people if they would mind doing a guest post...

So, I guess I'm open to suggestions...what I can do generate more conversations and comments (I think I have some readers according to my stats, but then I don't know if they are drive-bys or actually reading my blog). What types of posts I can write, topics, etc. Keep in mind that contests are out for now, as I'm not getting a lot of work and don't have much money to get prizes or even send them (though I would be open to that in the future at some point).

Let me know what you think, or even if you are willing to guest post!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

You Know You're A Child Of God's When...

You accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour.

I hear so many people (those who believe and those who don't) say that we are all God's children. That is a lie the devil wants you to believe.

We are not all God's children; but we are all God's creation.

"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12-13)
Of course, the Him being referred to is Jesus. Right before this, in verse 11, it tells us that He came to His own - the Jewish people - but they refused to believe that Jesus is the long-promised Messiah, and rejected Him.

Those who received Jesus were the Gentiles (non-Jewish people), though there were some Jewish people who did believe this (most didn't). Because of Jesus' own people rejecting Him, God allowed those of out outside their faith to be born into His family - to be adopted, so to speak.  By inviting Jesus into your heart, asking Him to be  your Saviour, you are spiritually born into God's family. You become one of His children! It's the only way.

Simply being a human being does not automatically make you a child of God, a part of His family. If that was the case, there would have been no reason for Him to send Jesus to be the attonment for our sins. There would have been no reason for Jesus to suffer on the cross, die and be risen from the dead three days later.

If you want to be included in God's family, you MUST ask Jesus into your heart (honestly), ask Him to forgive your sins and to be your Saviour. If you don't, then you aren't one of God's children, and your future is at stake, and in all honesty, you are on your way to Hell.

Are you one of God's children? If not I would love to talk more with you about Jesus, and help you secure your future in Christ and help you to know that you will be saved.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It Might Be Something Right Under Your Nose

Today we began a new series at church, which is to help lead us to seeking God for the direction He wants us to take as a church this summer (it kind of falls on the heels of the series we just finished).

The sermon was on the passage of Mary and Martha, where Jesus and his disciples were invited to Martha's house. Martha was busy at work preparing for the guests, while Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to Him. Martha was ticked off (no doubt) and pointed out Mary's actions, or lack of, to Jesus. She wanted Him to tell her sister, Mary, to help her with the preparations. Jesus told Martha that Mary was actually doing the better thing.

Part of the new series is to have some people in the congregation become Marthas in which they (a deacon and pastor will also be there with the host) invite 12 or 13 people into their homes for "fireside chats"...which, I think will include Scripture, discussions, prayer and listening to Jesus guiding us in our lives, and the direction for the church to take. Pastor J didn't go too much into that just yet, as that is coming up in a few weeks and he will explain in better detail then.  Pastor J also encouraged us to be Marys at this time,  in that we sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to what He has to say.

Anyway, Pastor J encouraged people to linger after the service and pray and take a few minutes (how ever long they wanted) to just listen to Jesus, to listen for His voice.

I was waiting for a friend of mine (and not actually praying), who was talking to someone else, and Pastor J came over and sat down beside me - after talking and praying with several others. He asked me how I was doing, and offered to pray for me. He asked what  I wanted to pray about.

I told him how I'd been praying about a couple of things (which I won't mention here), and he is aware of at least one of the things. I said that it seemed like I've been asking for so long, but I wasn't receiving - you know the verse, "ask and you shall receive". Pastor J said something that I had never thought of before. He said that maybe I wasn't "receiving" because God had something for me (or something for me to do) that is right under my nose, but because I've been focused on what I think it is God wants me to do, that I'm just not noticing what it is God actually wants me to do. His suggestion actually opened my mind, my thoughts - maybe he's right.

So, that is one of the things we prayed about, and it's something I'm going to continue to pray about. I would also appreciate if you could pray for this for me too - that I listen for God's voice, for what He wants me to do, what might be right under my nose that I'm failing to see. :o)


What can I pray about for you today?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Ash Wednesday/Lent

I looked at the calendar the other day. I had just finished writing down the location, time, etc. for a half day of work. I noticed something was printed on the 9th, and glanced at it. It said "Ash Wednesday".

To be honest, I never really gave any thought to the meaning behind Ash Wednesday. Today, I decided to look it up (after reading this post from Pete Wilson) to learn more about it.

Ash Wednesday is the first day that marks a 40 day period, aka Lent, (not including Sundays) until Easter.  Not all Christian denominations observe Lent, but for those that do, this period of time is when they will abstain from something (a certain food, habit, etc.) for the 40 days.

Lent is a time for fasting, using moderation, repenting, and observing spiritual discipline. I can remember growing up that it seemed to me only Catholics took part in Lent. That is because all of my friends who were Catholic would talk about what they were giving up for Lent. None of my other friends (who were not Catholic) ever talked about it. I know now, that Lent is not just for Catholics. In the past several years, I have become more aware (probably from reading different Christian blogs) of people in other denominations taking part in Lent.

I've never taken part in Lent (because I had always thought it was for Catholics, and I'm not a Catholic), and in all honesty, don't know if I will this year or not. It will have to be something I pray about today/tonight and figure out what I should abstain from for the next 40 days, beginning tomorrow. I am sure there are a lot of things I could give up (fast from) for Lent - computer time, watching TV, certain foods, bad habits...and when I'm craving those thing, use the time to pray and focus on Jesus instead.

I'm sure it would be a good thing to participate in Lent...but I don't know if I will.

Are you taking part in Lent? What are you giving up for this 40 day period before Easter?

Saturday, March 05, 2011

In the Field

Irises in a Field

The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.
         Isaiah 40:8

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

They Say Spring Is Coming

We have oh so much snow.

They say spring is coming, but I think the snow will be around for a little while. I'm not overly fond of snow - kind of odd for living in a country (or part of the country) that gets snow every winter...and in a case like this year, a little too much - OK, a LOT too much.



The Back Yard

Looking towards the front yard from the driveway
 On a positive note, I am thankful that I do live in a country that has four seasons (including a snowy one). I am also thankful that I can count on God's promise:

While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
And cold and heat,
And summer and winter,
And day and night
Shall not cease.
       (Genesis 8:22)

So, even though I'm not a big fan of winter, I can count on the fact that as long as this earth remains, the season of cold and fluffy white stuff will come about once a year. You'd think after spending my life in a country that has snow (there was even a little snow in South Korea when I lived there), I'd be used to it. And, I guess I am. But still...

They say spring is coming...and I'm really looking forward it!

What is your favourite season?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Is This Not The Fast Which I Choose?

Yesterday's sermon was great, and it definitely spoke to me. The pastor even said that he can't ever read this without feeling convicted.


Pastor T (our pastor of family ministries) spoke on Isaiah 58. The chapter talks about how God's people would cry out loud to the Lord, they were being obedient in what they were doing:


Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know my ways,
As a nation that has done righteousness
And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God
They ask Me for just decisions,
They delight in the nearness of God.
        (Isaiah 58:2)
The people fasted and humbled themselves, but they felt God was not listening to them, or seeing what they were doing.


So often, I think, we also feel that way. I know in my own life, especially these last few years, I have definitely felt like God has turned a blind eye, and ignores the things I do (or try to do) for Him.


There was one problem, however, with what the Israelites were doing. We read in verse 3 that, "...on the day of your fast you find your desire."

Basically, they were being selfish in fasting and in being humble (which, really, is a false humbleness or humility). They weren't helping others, and they put the focus all on themselves. They fasted and had food that they weren't eating, but they did not share it with those who did need it. They were doing these things (fasting, being humble, etc.) but yet were acting in an evil manner to others - "..you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist" (verse 4). That is totally not the way to behave!


God goes on, in verses 6 and 7 to tell his people:


Is this not the fast which I choose,
To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free
And break every yoke?


Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the naked, to cover him;
And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?


The people needed to be putting their focus on others, and not themselves. They needed to stop being wicked and evil, and to start sharing their food with those who had none (or very little), share their homes and their beds with those who were homeless, and give their clothing to those in need.


During my walk, for the last while, I have felt like God has been ignoring me (even though I know He hasn't). You see, I put the focus on why God has not done something for me, or answered prayers; but, in actuality, it is because of what I haven't been doing.

While Pastor T was speaking, it occurred to me that I have been acting the same way the Israelites were. For so long, it has been all about me - what I need, what I want. I definitely think it's time for a change in my actions! I need to start focusing on the needs of others.


I love what God promises (in verses 8 to 11) if we put our focus on others and not ourselves, and do as He says in the verses above:
Then your light will break out like the dawn,
And your recovery will speedily spring forth;
And your righteousness will go before you;
The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.



Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
You will cry, and He will say, 'Here I am '
If you remove the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness,



And if you give yourself to the hungry
And satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
Then your light will rise in darkness
And your gloom will become like midday.



And the LORD will continually guide you,
And satisfy your desire in scorched places,
And give strength to your bones;
And you will be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
Isn't God awesome?!

Are there any Bible verses that are speaking to you today? I'd love to hear what they are in the comment section!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Lately...

These are some thoughts and feelings I've been going through lately. They are nicely summed up in these two videos by Matthew West...








These are currently two of my favourite songs. What are your favourite songs?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

If I Was Meant To Have Patience...I'd Have Been A Doctor!

I've always thought of myself has having patience. I somewhat taught myself to knit (couldn't quite remember the knit stitch and how to cast on that I learned when I was seven), though I did get a little help from one of the ladies at work when things didn't seem to be working out. Mind you, I used some tutorials as well, to get a little help. But, it wasn't an easy process - especially using the double pointed needles to make socks and mittens!

When I'm teaching someone how to knit, I have lots of patience. When I'm working with the kids at school, I have a good amount of patience. When I'm waiting for someone (unless I'm in a great hurry), I tend to have patience.

But, when it comes to some things, I'm not patient at all. I want it now; I want it yesterday. And, my mantra of the day becomes "If I was meant to have patience (patients), I'd have been a doctor!" (Ok, so it sounds better than it looks written out...because you don't have to show the spellings of both words...)

This morning I was doing my Bible reading, like I try to do every morning. Once again, like I usuall do, I asked God to show me something, reveal something to me, help me get something out of my reading. I don't always get something, but I think I did today.

I started reading Genesis again the other day, and today's chapter was on the flood waters receeding, and the ark coming to rest on Mount Ararat (chapter 8). We are told that Noah, et. al., endured 40 days and 40 nights of rain;  that "the water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days" (Gen. 7:24); that the waters came in the second month, and in the seventh month "the ark rested upon th emountains of Ararat" (8:4). The waters then "decreased steadily until the tenth month" (8:5) It was at this point when the tops of the mountain became visible.

So, quite a bit of time has gone by at this point. In verse 6, we read that it was another 40 days that Noah sent out the raven. After that he sent out the dove, which returned to him. He then waited seven days before sending out the dove again. This time it returned with the olive leaf. The inhabitants of the ark did not leave then; instead, they waited a further seven days.

All in all, it took a long time - "In the 600th year of Noah's life, in the second month on the 17th day, the rains began. (Gen. 7:11). When Noah was 601 (the first month on the first day), the water dried up from the earth. In the second month on the 27th day the earth was dry and Noah was told to leave the ark (Gen. 8:13-16). I'm sure it required a LOT of patience from the 8 members of the ark. Can you imagine the smell that came from the ark with all those animals and even the people, with no bathrooms??!!! I would think that situation would either help to create patience or drive you insane.

So, that got me to thinking about Abraham and Sarah having to wait a long time for a child; Hannah and Elizabeth also waited a long time to have children.

And, ultimately, the greatest test of patience - waiting for the arrival of the Messiah (Jesus)! And, now we wait patiently for Jesus to return.

God's timing is not our timing. What seems like a great deal of time to us may only be the blink of an eye for God. And that's where I tend to get frustrated.

In my own life, there are things I'm still waiting for, and though I don't know if I'll ever get them, I try to be patient. I try to tell myself that God's timing is perfect, and I just need to wait patiently. But, saying is a lot easier than doing! In all honesty, there are times when I feel like giving up. And, admittedly, I say at times that I am giving up on something, but then I find myself going back and starting the waiting process over again - just in case.

Patience can be something I struggle with, but I try to keep my focus on the Lord, and not me or whatever I am waiting on. Like I said though, it's not easy to do!


What is something you struggle with?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Friday Fill Ins

1. New experiences and possibilities often scare me.




2. If you don't take an unexpected turn on a daily walk you might miss out on something beautiful.



3. I'm looking forward to the day I get my very own classroom - hopefully kindergarten to grade two or three...maybe four.



4. Unimaginative people never have imagined.



5. Try to find an end to the several feet of snow we've received in the last month or so.



6. I'd like to think I could find out just what exactly is what's extraordinary about me.



7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to doing some knitting, tomorrow my plans include more knitting, probably, and Sunday, I want to be able to hang out with my bestie, my BFF as we haven't been able to in about a month!