Monday, October 29, 2007

I've been tagged...

I have been tagged for this meme by Cheri. I have some time and will play along.

What were you doing 10, 20, 30 years ago?

10 years ago?
I was starting my first and now only teaching job. I was nervous and crazy busy. We were also in the midst of building our own home - which definately has stresses of it's own. I must have been crazy to be doing both of things at the same time! We also had to find new daycare for the 4 year old girl - this was a challenge to find someone we could afford and trust. My husband was still subbing without a full time job yet. These were crazy yet fun times.

20 years ago? I would have been a young 18 years of age. Starting my first year of college and getting to know new people. This was my first time living away from home. I had one foot in the past and one foot in the future. I struggled a little with the transition since the boy I "loved" was still in high school. It took a little time for me to immerse myself in college life.

30 years ago? I was only 8 years old. My parents were divorced when I was 5 and my mom had brought a new man home to live with us. She was only 24 and working as a waitress. She met him at work. He was not a nice man - physically and emotionally abusive. My grandfather kicked us out of the house he owned and we had to move for the first time. We moved from the north side of town to the south side of town. Almost as far away from my grandfather as possible. We use to live next door to him and could go and visit as much as we wanted - now it was a 45 minute drive. This was a sad part of my life.

I tag Susanne and Liza for this. Thanks for playing along!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Catch of the Day

The Catch of the Day is an email devotional that I get. It is one of the first things that I read when I get to school and check my email for the goings on for the day. It truly puts my mind in the proper perspective. John Fischer - the author - is always bringing in real life examples of what is going on in the world. He really make me think.

I checked out some of the comments on today Catch titled, "What would you bring?". It is referencing the people that are being affected by the wild fires in CA. Many of the answers are typical, but some are very thought provoking. Does this show what we value? Interesting thought.

We did have to evacuate about 8 or 9 years ago because of a fire in a nearby nature reserve. It is the scariest moment to awakened by police at 4 in the morning and asked to grab your valuables and leave. I was ill prepared and did not bring anything that would be needed for a typical MN October. I brought shorts - no long sleeves or pants, my photos and albums (those I would still bring), and the important document folder with insurance/house deed, etc.

One would think that I would be better prepared if this would happen again - I truly hope it doesn't. I would still bring the photo albums (my scrapbookers heart would just break) and better clothes choices. Most of the rest of it is replaceable. I really liked this comment the best and will ponder it for the rest of the day....

I still remember a lesson taught where he posed a thought to ponder: if everything in your house was destroyed in a fire, the only things that would remain were the things that you gave Phillip Azzolina, PA


Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I just wanted to thank those of you that left comments after my "discouraged" post. I am feeling better about it and agree that I just need to wait. In God's timing I will be in the place where He wants me. After all, how long did Moses wait?

We just finished a school break here called MEA (Minnesota Education Association) Break. This is a time when the teachers can go to meetings sponsored by the local union. Needless to say, we don't go to the meetings. My husband takes this opportunity to go bowhunting for deer in North Dakota with a friend. It is one of the only times that he leaves without us. I don't quite get the whole hunting thing - but he enjoys his time away. It is my gift to him. He killed a deer this year. See picture on the left. He only had a license for a "mommy" deer as the boy calls it. His friend Mike got a "daddy" deer this year. See picture on the right. We now have deer roast, steak and the rest will be processed into summer sausage and venison sticks. The kids really love the meat. Very surprising.

The kids and I just hung out. It was rainy here last Thursday and Friday. Charity still had swim practice and had some friends over to work on some homework. Eli still played outside between rain showers. I can't keep that boy inside. I moved some furniture and ran some errands that never seem to get done on regular work days or weekends. I also sat around and finished a jigsaw puzzle. I get in the mood every once in awhile. I usually glue them and hang them in a frame. The current one is going to be a gift for my sister-in-law. I don't know if she will like it. I hope so. This is my idea of modern art - it may not be the same for her.

I am off to catch up on your blogs. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I am not sure if this is the correct feeling. How do you explain what it feels like to believe you are following God's direction and then it doesn't quite work out? Let me explain...

We are members of a mega-church. We have been involved in large churches before and we know that the best way to meet people is to serve and get into a small group - women's, couples, etc. This is how the church feels smaller. We have a fully functioning coffee shop on our new campus. I am actually not much of a coffee drinker, but serving at Cafe 5000 helps me grow that serving muscle. It isn't a hard job, but necessary.

Last night I went to an event designed to help women interested in finding a group. My spiritual gifts are administration and shepherding. This seems to be a good fit for leading small groups. I can organize fairly well and led small groups in college. In fact, this was one of my best memories of college life - I am still friends with most of the people in that group.

I say all of this to say that I left last nights event without a small group. I really felt like I was following God's lead. And now I am wondering if I wasn't listening. What is getting in the way that I am not able to find a group of christian women that I connect with? Should I not try and lead a group but just be a participant? I have a desire to use my gifts, but what is the best way to do that?

I am struggling with God to figure out the next step. I automatically blame myself. What is wrong with me? But is is something else? The time and day that I want to meet (Sat am)? The original design of the event (not really designed for introverts - lots of mingling)? My mind and heart is in turmoil!

Please pray and leave me any thoughts you might have that would help shine some light on this experience.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Daughter's Reminders

I tend to have a one track mind. Once I am at work, I focus on work. If I am home with the family, I focus on serving them. I have a hard time when they cross and they often do. My daughter kept reminding me to get her posterboard for a project - and yes, I kept forgetting to get her some. So, I wrote myself a note and taped it in my car. I often do this if I need to get milk or run another errand on my way home - otherwise I am on autopilot and don't remember until I am in my driveway.

My daughter had another strategy. She left a message on my voicemail and reminded me and then at 4 pm, when I normally leave work, she programmed an alarm on my phone to remind me. My daughter is a digital native - using the gadgets in our lives to make it easier (?). I still resort to pencil and paper and alas, she uses the cell phone. It is just amazing to me.

Blessings today!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Book Review - 9 Things you Simply Must Do

I finally finished another non-fiction book. If I can get through one or two of these a year, I am lucky. I just think too much and must digest the information, unlike a fiction novel where the words just wash over me. I think that I learn a lot that way, but I must be intentional on occasion.

I finished, 9 Things You Simply Must Do by Henry Cloud. I found it to be a fascinating analysis of how successful people are successful. The best way to do this is give you a synopsis of the 9 things and leave it at that.

Principle 1: Dig It Up! This chapter was about finding your passion, your dream. Find out what excites you and pursue it. He discusses the pitfalls of doing this – how we pursue other peoples desire for us – especially if we are people pleasures, etc.

Principle 2: Pull The Tooth! This chapter said that successful people do not hang onto bad stuff for long. Get rid of the bad stuff. Our bodies do it naturally, but emotionally we just hang on and it hurts us. This principle is what caused me to finally get my tailbone checked out. At this point I am glad since the pain is gone. Why did I let it go so long? Successful people act and get rid of the bad stuff right away.

Principle 3: Play The Movie! Here is what Cloud says, “Any one this you do is only a scene in a larger movie. To understand that action, you have to play it out all the way to the end of the movie.” Just a reminder that the choices we make will have lasting effects. I just agreed in this chapter. This came naturally to me in my education. I could see a better life at the end with a college degree in my hand.

Principle 4: Do Something! This chapter says that successful people ask “What can I do to make this situation better?”. They do not play the victim but do something to change the situation. I am working on this one.

Principle 5: Act Like An Ant! They (successful people) achieved their goals by taking tiny steps over time. Start doing a little bit – don’t try to save a million dollars today. But if you save a little bit every day the money starts to add up. Every big project can be done the same way – do a little at a time and eventually it gets done.

Principle 6: Hate Well! I was not real comfortable with the title of this principle, but here is how Cloud explains it, “ What we hate says a lot about who we are…Character is in part formed by what we hate, because we move to be different from whatever that is.”. This chapter explains the difference between hating well and just hating.

Principle 7: Don’t Play Fair! Strange title as well. But, to be “fair” means that what you give is what you get. Good for good, bad for bad. The idea is that if we make a mistake, we don’t want people to get back at us, but help us get better and not make the mistake again. So to not play fair means to give back better than you are given and it will stop any cycle of “tit for tat”,

Principle 8: Be Humble! Seems simple and biblical doesn’t’ it? It simply means to not pretend to know more than we do and not having a need to be more than you are. Even if you are the president of a company – you don’t know it all. The willingness to say you have things to learn will help you learn those things as well as make those that work for you better as well.

Principle 9: Upset the Right People! This is probably the hardest for me. This principle is about not making decisions based on the fear of other people’s reactions. Cloud says that, “ What you should do, and what someone’s response is going to be, are two very different issues.”

I recommend this book. It has good examples and easy to read – the application process is a different story.

Blessings! Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I AM - Lesson 16

This is our last meeting together. It has been so wonderful to have a chance to read everyone's entries over the month's and get to know each of you through your answers to this study. I am as sad as Lisa is to say it is over, but the journey has been such a joy. So thank you for joining me. Blessings.

What is one thing God has taught you through this study?

For me it has been a time of reflecting on my life and seeing all the amazing things that God has done for me. Even when I have sinned and turned away from God, He never left me. Just like He never left the Isrealites or Moses when they sinned.

I am able to see my life as redeemed because the Great I AM has rescued me! I have eternity to praise him - and eternity starts now!

Since God is the great I AM, I am able to be ALL that He created me to be. He will use my "stutterings" for His glory. It is my calling to obey and follow His lead. Moses was called to the wilderness to find God. We have all had our taste of wilderness, some currently and some in our past and maybe in our future. God taught Moses about Himself there and we often do the same. We learn about ourselves in those hard times of our lives.

Thanks for joining me on this journey. Come back and visit!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

100 Acre Wood

Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!

I was not expecting this one in the 100 Acre Wood. Play along and see who fits you!

Lesson I learned

This past weekend, I had the chance to go to an all day crop - scrapbooking for those of you that don't speak the lingo. I get to do this about 3-4 times a year. I enjoy reflecting about our family activities and spending time with other women that are creating memories to enjoy when we are old. It is a mom day - no cooking, no whining children (because mine are such angels!), etc.

I met some ladies that I had never met before. I tend to stick my foot in my mouth on a regular basis because I tend to be fairly opinionated. So, I am learning self-control with my tongue. I did okay for awhile. I listened and tried to gauge the personalities of these women while I worked away on my album. I truly stepped in it when I made a comment about being a member of my church and knew what was going on with the new campus - come to find out, both of these women were also members. I never would have guessed based on the conversation.

Why do I assume (my first problem) that all christians and members of my church will see life in the same way that I do? The body of Christ is diverse in character and gifts. It just wouldn't make sense that we would be all the same. But I found out this weekend that I think that. I have put other believers in a box. How unfair is that? God is working in my heart on this - to be more open and accepting of other believers. Only God knows the heart, and I should be concerned with mine. Just wanted to share this.

Thanks for reading!

PS - I did get 16 pages in my "Dam Album" done. A travel book of all the dams on the Mississippi River. Can't wait until next year.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Teaching is my calling

Why did you want to be a teacher?

I get this question a lot, especially since I have a degree in chemistry and could make more money in the business world. My original career goal was to be a family doctor. My husband just laughs - because I am not really good with sick people - including my own family. Sick people drive me nuts. My bed side manner would be horrible. It would be like this, "Take an aspirin, take a nap and call me in the morning". I think that I would have lots of malpractice suits against me. Not a real enjoyable life.

I truly believe that teaching is a calling. Most of us will not go through so much school to get so little positive feedback. I was convinced by God that medical school was not my path during my junior year in college. I was doing it for the money/glory and not the sake of healing people. I grew up relatively poor (American standards here - very rich in the world's economy) and wanted lots of money. I thought that money would solve my problems. God showed me that this was a false god and that I needed to follow a different path.

For once I listened and obeyed. I changed my educational focus to teaching and felt the stress leave. After I reached my goal of having my own classroom many years later, I remember standing in the empty classroom, thanking God with tears in my eyes for the blessing of my life. I was so grateful to be in a place where I could make a difference. I continue to pray that I am doing that.

So, if you are homeschooling, great job! If your kids are in public/private school, say a prayer for your kids teacher. If it is your gifting, maybe send a thank you note for all the hard work they do.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I AM - Lesson 15

Welcome back girls! I am trying to keep up! I am looking forward to reading your answers. Here are mine.

1. I think we can all agree most of us find ourselves closer to God in the struggle than without it. How does it affect you knowing that trial is what draws you more intimately in relationship to Your God?

What is strange for me is that I almost long for the trial in order to "feel" closer to God. I am really working on being consistent with my time with God so that regardless of my situation, I am conscious of the presence of my God.

2. Have you ever made a huge mistake but then found yourself in the position for a 'do-over'? Did you make a better decision the second or third or fourth time around? :)

Why is it that we make the same mistake again? You think that we would learn the first time! My sexual sin found me in the same position twice - the choice of what to do with an unplanned pregnancy. I know that most people's are not so dramatic. I so wish that I had not put myself in this situation the first time - but twice! I was feeling like such a fallen believer. I choose abortion the first time. Then I went to counseling to grieve over the death of my unborn child. My heart was broken and I learned so much about the forgiveness of Christ. Along the way I was privileged to find another college student seeking healing and lead her to the throne. Many times our failures bring about such healing in others as well.

When I became pregnant again, I knew what I was not going to choose! This child was going to live, regardless if I was the parent. My daughter was almost placed for adoption, until the Lord moved my now husbands heart and we have been seeing her grow every since. So, when I shout out her achievements in my blog, I am just filled with joy to be a part of the story called her life.

3. Is there a 'generational sin' in your family you have overcome? This can be anything from a lineage of unbelief to issues of many kinds. This may be a private matter. Share if you feel liberty or quietly thank God for His deliverance. If you have not yet been delivered, I pray with all my heart God's Word is giving you courage to ask for help in that area.

I am so excited to answer this question! The Lord has worked mightily in this area of my life. I have read about the "sins of the fathers" being passed down the generations. I am so glad that He plucked me out of that circle of sin and showed me a different way. My grandmother was an alcoholic and so is my mother. I am unsure about the generations before that - so at least two. I could have so easily been a victim of that - poverty, neglect, etc. I was introduced to Christ in 10th grade and finally got it. This has been my guiding force ever since. He has kept me from many failures with alcohol and drugs. I have not come out unscathed, but it could have been so much worse. I am hoping to pass down a legacy of Christ from me on down. Amen!

4. Have you ever been misunderstood? Do you feel unforgiven for past mistakes even though you know God has forgiven you?

I struggled with this for awhile. A couple of years of counseling have helped, but also a supportive husband that shares my beliefs helps me stay centered.

5. Is there a sister you need to extend grace towards in order to be able to 'bless God together'? Do you comprehend how your unforgiveness is hindering her from inhabiting her own Promise? If no, do you recognize a situation within your church body where this may be happening? If so, ask God to raise up a 'Phinehas' (mediator) in this situation. He may just reveal the Phinehas is you. :)

I can't think of any right now, personal or church related. I am sort of isolated - in great need of real live girl friends. I am taking steps to fix that, just feeling stuck.

Thanks for reading.