Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A child's bent

Our school district has made an effort to improve reading levels for every student. Part of the plan is to give each student 15 minutes a day to read - including at the high school level. You can only imagine how well this works. My only request of my students it that they are quiet so that I can read during that time.

I have been reading the Cure for the Common Life by Max Lucado. His chapters are just short enough that I can finish one in about 15 minutes. Very convenient. The book is basically about finding out how God designed you and being able to use your gifts to benefit the body of Christ as well as live a fulfilling life.

I just finished a chapter called "Decode your kids code". This chapter came at just the right time for me. I took Charity shopping last weekend, and I just couldn't understand why she wanted to shop alone. I intended it to be some quality fun time together, but to her it was just not fun. We each had a different view of what shopping meant. I see it as a chance to be together and she would rather just shop on her own. She has a different "bent" than I do. Lucado said that this is normal. We bring home this new being and sometimes expect that the child will be like us - same likes and dislikes, as well as function the same as us. He used the verse from Proverbs, "Train up the child in the way he should go and when he is old he won't depart from it". Lucado broke it apart and explained it to mean that "the way" is translated as his/her "bent" or "natural tendency". We need to help them find their own "bent" and help them be the best at whatever that is. For now, Charity is enjoying swimming even though her parents aren't very athletic. We are doing our best to encourage her. Also, it is our job to do the training. Only God can do the rest and bring them to faith.

This was an eye opener to me. Looking at this familiar verse again and gleaning something totally new and useful. I am continually amazed at the Bible - it is the living word of God. The Spirit speaks to us through it like nothing else. I am the trainer to help Charity and Eli to see their God given gifts and talents - to help them be the best them they can be.

That's all for now

God Bless

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Busy Week - like which one isn't

This is going to be an overwhelming week. I truly thought that when the children got older that life would be easier. I was completely wrong. Oh, to go back to the time when a cardboard box was the best entertainment in the world.

Charity is an avid swimmer and is committed to practicing and watching it on tv. One of her heroes is Micheal Phelps of Olympic fame who keeps breaking his own records. She feels free and graceful in the water and is a natural - unlike her parents that would prefer to have the boat come to them instead of swim to the boat. This week she has two swim meets. She has done a great job at balancing academics, church and swimming. We even encouraged her to go hang out with friends this weekend. She is so driven (wonder where she gets that?).

I am going in for a consult for getting Lasix eye surgery on Monday. I am excited and scared all at the same time. I want to be a candidate, but then can I really go through with it? Two people at work had it done and my pastor - who in a sermon even said "What are you waiting for?" We finally made it a priority and have some money set aside. Hope it all works for the best. What a miracle it will be to see without assistance.

It is also Eli's birthday this Thursday. He will be 7 and wants to have a party. We decided to let him invite a couple boys after school for bowling, dinner and then cake. His real treat will be spending the night over at grandma and grandpa's. He has been begging us. Now if we can just find a friend to take Charity - Roger and I could have the house to ourselves...

To top it off, it is Homecoming week at school. Therefore, the students will be more out of control then usual - all hyped up about the game. I get to relive it every year - and it is kind of fun. It is a hard week to try to teach anything though.

Hope all is well with you...

God Bless

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mole irritant

We have the plague of moles in our yard. We have tried every gadget available and can't seem to get the rodents - sort of like squirrels in that respect. I am sure that God had a plan in mind - something to ask at the information booth.

Last summer we caught our first mole. This was not a catch and release type of catching, more like and instant death kind of catching. Roger pulled the trap out of the ground and was surprised to see the limp dead body of a mole. He called me to "deal" with the dead body. I threw it in the trash (note:trash day was a week away) We did not have much success beyond that last summer.

The mole irritant saga continued this summer with the first mole siteing. I was planting the garden and I saw a mole above ground. I walked quickly (rarely do I run) and asked Roger what he wanted to do with this stray mole. He told me to grab a shovel. I wasn't sure why - so I asked him. He said to bash it in the head. So, when it comes to moles we aren't the most humane. So that was the 2nd mole - this to went into the trash and caused us to wash it down once again from the putrid smell.

The 3rd mole arrived drowned in our backyard pond - must have been suicide over the brutal death the week before. Roger then found a better trap and has managed to catch 3 more moles. Each time put into the trash - guts and all to fester until the next trash pick-up.

In addition to the moles, our trash has been the recipient to an unopened 4 lb rotten bag of pre-pressed hamburgers and a squirrel that fell into the pond during our week long vacation. Needless to say our trash-can is the cleanest in the neighborhood. It has been a great smelly adventure.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Sharing the story

We are members of a large church in the Mpls/St. Paul area. It has doubled in size from 4000 to 8000 regular attenders since we started attending in almost 3 years ago. God is using the body of believers to reach our local community. We recently opened a second campus and it was already too small once it was built. Like the Field of Dreams said "Build it and they will come" - that has been true in our case.

Our prayer when we built our house was to be a light in the neighborhood that He placed us in. We finally broke throught the barrier of garage doors a couple years ago. We now know at least by name the people that surround us. God has provided opportunities for us to invite our new friends to church. We don't always follow His lead, but the more often I do that, the easier it is. At first, I thought this was all about the other people. God has been teaching me more about myself through this process. I need other people to survive in this world. It is about making friends and sharing experiences, hopes and dreams. God honors all of this.

I am hoping to spend more time reflecting on how amazing this God is that chooses to use us lowly people for something so great.

God Bless

Friday, September 15, 2006


Okay, I will admit that I listen to talk radio. I can't claim that this is the best source of information, but it often times helps me put issues into perspective and makes me laugh. On the Joe Soucheray show in the afternoons, they have been discussing the strange behavior of squirrels. I have never had any issue with squirrels as long as they stay out of the path of my car. Well, I knocked out a squirrel today with my car. I didn't exactly hit it with the tire part of the car, but saw if rolling around on the street in my rearview mirror. I wasn't about to stop for the rodent. I agree with Joe Soucheray, stomp on the buggers!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I was reading in my quiet spot (aka the bathroom) an article from a WillowCreek publication on restoring fallen leaders. Isn't it amazing that God speaks to us in such a variety of ways when we voice our questions. It used the same scripture about Paul in Romans 7 - about doing what we don't want to do. Sin entangles us. It did state that leaders are to be held to a higher standard since those following them are affected by their sin - not necessarily commit that sin. There is a possibility for division, anger and pain to those that follow. It also laid out steps to follow to reconcile the leader. I guess that was my concern in my last posting - how do you help the leader move forward?

Now onto a lighter topic. I work in a high school and I happen to have my work time over the lunch period. I work in the combined office of math and science. During lunch I overhear much more than I want to hear. A couple of ladies are continually complaining about what their husbands don't do. I must say that I am incredibly blessed to have a husband that willingly helps clean - and is actually more concerned about it than I am. I tend to be the slob. More of our arguments about chores are more about him letting me help out - otherwise he would do it all. I have come to learn that this is not normal - but is there really anything normal about my life? It is such a blessing to have him partnering with me in all this.

Because I am a slob at heart, me and the kids will often rebel - and he knows this. If he has conferences or something in the evening at school, we will eat our dinner in front of the TV in the family room. This can be messy - so we do our best to hide the evidence. He always finds out. Our mantra is "Don't tell dad!". We love you dear!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What about Grace?

I am totally new to the blog world and I was inspired to start a journal to capture my thoughts about what God is teaching me.

My husband and I were having a discussion last evening about Chuck Knapp "resigning" from the morning show on KTIS. We believe that the people in power at the college gave him no choice. His divorce was not allowed in their rulebook. Our question was what about Grace? Is Chuck Knaap in a position of leadership? Is allowing him to stay on staff too controversial? By staying on staff does that mean that divorce is "okay"? Or because we are Christians does that mean that we are now perfect? These are the questions that we struggle with.

We obviously don't know the details of why the divorce is occuring and maybe there is a greater reason that the college released him. We (as a couple) have just been so blessed by experiencing God' s grace to forgive us. God continues to use the gifts that He gave us regardless of our previous sins. When as a church are we going to extend grace to those of us in the body? We so easily extend grace to unbelievers because they don't know the truth - but what happens when they do believe? Do they stop sinning? I think that is a lot of Paul's stuggle with doing what he shouldn't do. The struggle between body and spirit.

My prayer today is that I am reminded of the great gift that I have and be willing to share grace with fellow believers as well as unbelievers.