Monday, March 07, 2011

God Will Take Care of You

Hello Worry.  You always seem to creep into my thoughts when changes are happening in my life.  I don’t even know why I worry.  I’m not afraid or fearful of the future; I just like to know and be prepared.  But how boring would that be to be prepared for everything?  I love surprises.  I love planning surprises for other people.  Why wouldn’t God like to do that as well?
 Just as I began to worry (tonight), the words of a familiar church song came into my head, “God will take care of you, through every day, o’re all the way; he will take care of you.  God will take care of you.”   If I let go of my own self-consuming thoughts, I find that God comforts and guides me with his words and songs.  Isn’t that amazing?!  My heavenly father loves me that much!  And who better to take care of me?  God has an amazing way of making miracles out of any situation. 
Today I was worrying about my next job.  Will I be able to get one?  We are moving in a month and still don’t know where.  But even if I don’t get a job, I will be fine.  All of my needs are taken care of.  Maybe I’m not going to get a teaching job.  Maybe I could be a better servant elsewhere.  I shouldn’t be focused on where I will work next.  I should focus on where God can put me to best serve him.  God will take care of me!  … but only if I let him.  And he will take care of you too!  He loves us and wants us to be happy.  But we (I know for sure ME) are only truly happy when we are doing the will of God.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

‘Cause You Gotta Have Faith

So I wrote this the same day that Jon contacted my parents to ask to "meet" with them.  I had NO idea he was planning to ask them for their blessing to ask me to marry him!  God continues to amaze me!!

                                  Faith                                 11-01-10

When I step back from everything that’s happened in the past three months, I’m pretty embarrassed by the lack of faith that I’ve given God.  For those of you who don’t know, I moved out to Santa Maria, California (central coast) the end of July to be closer a pretty amazing person and things couldn’t have worked out any better.  Before moving out here, I worried about where I would live.  And when I worry... I worry!  Rent is pretty expensive in California and finding a decent place in a decent part of town takes some time.  I did find a great place renting a granny house (an attached but separate apartment to a main house) from one of the kindest people I’ve ever met.  Thank you Lord!
I spent the first month worrying about finding a job.  California is bankrupt, so money for teachers was severely cut.  The public schools now have about half the staff they did two years ago.  I put my resume out to just about all the public and private schools in an hour’s radius.  And again, God blessed me with more than I could ask for.  I was hired on August 31 to work for the best public school district in Santa Maria. 
Since moving out here, I have felt completely out of my element and not myself at all.  I have spent way too much time worrying and not enough time relying on God.  Every day God takes care of me better than I could ever take care of myself.  And every day reaffirms my decision of moving closer to that special someone who is dedicated to God.  Who makes me laugh more than anyone I’ve ever met.  Who can do anything…yep anything.  Who makes me think about things from a different point of view; which I have a hard time doing.  And I get to be with him.  Again, God has proven to me just how awesome he is. 

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Finding my Groove

If you do not know by now, I am teaching 1st grade in Birmingham, AL now.  I started January 4th, and I can’t believe I’ve only been there for two months!  It feels like a year!  I am loving it!!  I student taught there on my last placement and was lucky enough to get a job there.  I’m slowly finding my groove as I get settled in to my new job.
I have learned to take smaller steps when I lead the kids down the hall.  At first, I felt like I had to rush constantly to get everything done.  When I walked, I walked high-speed.  I’d look back and see that my class was WAY down the hall.  I’ve slowed down my pace to medium now and my class is doing a better job staying together.  I have to remind my students that when we walk in the halls we walk in a straight line.   We don’t hop on the tiles, spin in circles, zig-zag in the hallway, or kick our friends. ☺
I’ve also learned to do a better job holding my stern face when I’m correcting their behavior.  Sometimes I get so tickled, I can’t help but smile.  One day, two of my boys were wrestling so I was getting on to them and they both started crying.  They went on and on about how it wasn’t their fault while the tears were flowing down their cheeks.  I had to cover up my mouth so they couldn’t see me smiling. 
They make me laugh all the time.  During center time, I have small reading group instruction.  If the students at the centers have questions, that they just cannot figure out, then they bring me a token with their name on it (their question chip), and when I’m done or have a break with reading groups, I’ll answer it.  If I stopped to answer all the kid’s questions, I would never get anything done!  Anyways, sometimes they bring their tokens over and stand there for a minute.  Then they’ll pick it up and put it in another spot- kinda sliding it toward me like…. Ummm look…. I have a question.  Or they’ll stand there for a little while waiting for me to look up.  All the while, I’m ignoring them and laughing with my head down while listening to the kids read.  I’ve had to tell myself that I can’t answer everything all the time.  If there really is a problem, they’ll make a point to make me listen.  So many times I stop to answer or listen to them and it’s tattle telling or something else insignificant. 
The first week or two that I started teaching, I tried to write down the cute things or funny things to remember.  And that was it….  There are so many things that happen all day everyday, I just can’t keep up! 
I praise God that he provided this job for me and blessed me with 16 wonderful (well most of the time ) students.  

Monday, December 21, 2009


Since I’ve been back from Mexico I’ve been living out of my suitcase. I’ve been in limbo waiting for word about where to move to next. I haven’t been able to take my clothes out of my suitcases and place them neatly in drawers; they’re all piled in bags for me to dig through and say to myself, ‘I know that black three-quarter length shirt is in here.’ If you’ve ever been on vacations longer than a week, you might know the feeling. I have the type of personality that likes to get settled before I can feel comfortable beginning something else. The first thing I do when I get back from a trip is empty my suitcase and put everything in its proper place.
Lately, as I move myself back and forth between states, all I do is pack, unpack and wash clothes, and pack again. I’m a nomad basically. Since I started college, every six months I have moved. At first, when I lived in the dorms, it all fit in my car. I slowly added on, but still can fit it all in a moving van. I have moved from the dorms→parent’s → dorms → parent’s → apartment → Disney → apartment → Birmingham → apartment → Birmingham → Mexico → and now another apartment in Birmingham…. Whew! I feel that there is no point in even getting comfortable in a place and yet that’s all I really want to do. It drives me crazy that I have my things spread across states-even across the border! I look forward to the day when I can unpack and have no idea when I’ll have to pack it up again!
But when I think about things, I know that I always have a home in God. All of these trivial things in life that I spend hours worrying about and crying over won’t matter in the end because the whole purpose of life is Jesus Christ. He could come any minute and instead of praising him or showing others his unfailing love, I’m worried about my next move in life. I will always have a home in him and all of my needs will be met.
My only hope is you, Jesus. My only hope is you. From early in the morning ‘til late at night. My only hope is you.♥

Friday, December 11, 2009

What's next...

Breakfast is something I enjoy. I wake up in the morning thinking about coffee. I like brushing my teeth with my Spinbrushpro electric toothbrush. I never really thought about how much I would miss the changing of seasons. In Mexico, temperatures do get cooler, but the changing of the leaves from summer to fall is absent. I missed the familiar smell of my house that is filled with all the memories from childhood. I missed the two most amazing faces that God has blessed me with, always happy to see me. I am glad to be back home with my parents.
I learned a lot about myself while I was away. I’ve always thought of myself as an adventurer. I have told myself that I don’t want to be the girl that stays in a small town and is content with it. But maybe it’s not so bad. Maybe that’s really what I want. I like routine. I like to be on a schedule. I like convenience. I like being surrounded by friends and family. If I could do it all again (go to Mexico), I would, but it sure feels good to be home!
When things didn’t work out in Mexico I wasn’t sure what would happen when I came back home. I wasn’t sure about the next month of my life, but faith and prayers worked. Today I found out that I will be teaching in Birmingham, AL starting January 4th; the place where I hoped to be all along. It’s easy for me to forget that God does have a plan for me and it’s better than I would have ever thought of. He’s helped me out a lot these past few months. Besides teaching me more about myself, he has really taught me to take things one-step at a time and rely more on him. I catch myself time after time fretting over what will happen next. Lately, it’s been easier to hand-over all my worries and concerns and leave them at His feet. Maybe Mexico had a far deeper purpose than I had ever thought.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Home is Where the Heart Is

Home is Where the Heart is…

When I graduated in May, the thought of staying in one place and starting a real job kinda scared me. I wanted to travel and gain more experiences in life before starting a real job and becoming responsible for a classroom full of little kids. So I choose to come to Mexico with a friend and get some different experiences. I didn’t really know what to expect when I moved down to Mexico. I just knew that the first four weeks in Mexico would be consumed with a class to certify me to teach English as a foreign language. I found a job that sounded really great and an apartment that was nice as well. It seemed everything was working out well. I thought that I might even stay a full school year and work at the school. But things don’t always work out that way.
Bethany soon realized what she really wanted to do and it wasn’t work in Mexico teaching English. She’s been trying to decide what graduate program to go into with her Bachelor’s in Psychology and finally realized what she wanted to do while she was in Mexico. Grad school admission requirements would be a little hard to fulfill out of the country. She soon decided to go back home and work on getting all her paperwork in and try to start school in the Spring. I, on the other hand, didn’t know what I was going to do at this point. One of the things I hate most is being alone. I don’t have to have someone at my side doing everything with me but I find comfort in knowing that someone will be there if I ever need anything. I had met some friends while being in Mexico and became quite close with the first two people I met in Mexico. Both of those people had an apartment and were also planning on leaving around November/December. My plan was to try and stick it out at least until then. At this point, my best friend left and culture shock was certainly hitting me big time. I wanted the comfort of family, friends, and the U.S. I was also getting bombarded with work at the school and realizing how hard it would be to actually make a difference there. Schools are run much much differently than what I was used to in the U.S.
I recently got very sick and a couple days to lie in bed. I couldn’t do anything because I felt so terrible. I realized what amazing friends God put in my life. They got medicine and food for me, kept me company while running a fever and coughing, and took me to the hospital to see the doctor. I also realized what I really wanted. After calling work one afternoon to check up on them and hearing how disappointed the school was that I didn’t come to work, I decided I wasn’t going to work there anymore. I had a ticket to fly home for Thanksgiving and I wasn’t interested in coming back. Rent was going to be due again the 10th of November, so I decided instead of paying rent until Thanksgiving I would just move my ticket up to the 10th and come home. My mom is, of course, thrilled that I’m coming home since I call her crying every night. I don’t know what will happen in the spring, but I’m putting my trust in God and praying for something.
While being away, I’ve come to the realization that I really do want to “settle down” and stay in one spot for a while. I feel like a nomad constantly packing my bags and moving. It’s exhausting! I’m ready to stay in one spot for a while, get decorations for my place, unpack my bags and know that I won’t have to pack them up again for a good while. Working as an English coordinator over other teachers has also made me realized just how much I like being IN the classroom with my students and teaching them. I am ready to get into a school and teach again! I’ve realized how much I miss the U.S. I know that I haven’t given Guadalajara much time and I’ve had a great time here, but I do miss home. I miss the convenience of having a car and being able to go wherever I want. I believe everything happens for a reason. I’m sad that being in Guadalajara hasn’t worked out, but I’m also excited to get home. I’m ready to see my family and friends.
In the meantime, Nora (my roommate) and I have a competition going… who can find and take pictures of the most neck-braces before we leave. We're also gathering stuff that we don't want to take home and making a pile for the homeless. We try to take something in our purse every time we walk out at night. Last night I gave a lady a sweater and a cup of instant noodles. It's quite fun.

Monday, October 12, 2009

En Guadalajara

1. Neckbraces are a fashion statement. I rarely go a day without seeing someone in one.

2. The driving is crazy probably causing statement number one to be true.

3. If you sold hair gel, you could be a rich kid.

4. You can ride anywhere on a bus for 5 pesos=.38 cents

5. Guys frequently whistle, honk, yell, kiss, and meow (yes, Bethany and I were meowed at) at anyone who is not "dark".

6. There are statues EVERYWHERE.

7. The gas truck plays a song while it rides through the streets. It’s quite catchy even though I can never quite make out what it says.

8. You can get just about anything you want if you pay someone for it. Which leads me to my next point.

9. I got an hour and a half full body massage for 300 pesos=23 dollars. And no, I didn’t go to a studio; she came to us with music, incense, and everything else.

10.You would never go hungry here. There is food everywhere! Grilled corn for sale outside the grocery store, taco stands on just about every block, hot dog stands on the side of the road, ice cream carts riding around…. The list goes on…

Frank found some hotdogs wrapped in a fried tortilla on the side of the street.

11. I walk out the door in a tank top and walk past others in parkas and toboggans.

12. Parking lots are swept while piles of trash are on the street corner.

13. Their “caution tape” for sidewalk construction consists of putting a board over a big hole so hopefully you won’t fall in and break your ankle.

14. I have met few rude/mean people while being here.

15. Going back to number 10 and 14, if someone is eating/drinking around you, they will most likely offer you a taste.

16. Everyday is a new experience. You never know what you’ll see walking down the street.

We were driving around and passed a truck full of animals. I think it was a promotion for the circus...

17. Tequila is a common topic of conversation.

18. If you sold fireworks, you could also be rich. Different churches have different saints days and they set off fireworks to honor them… I think.

19. In reference to my previous point, nobody really knows why things are done here. Why do they put limejuice on everything? Someone told me it was to kill bacteria. Somebody else said because it tastes good. It’s like that for just about everything.

20. Sometimes I think I’m the only person that worries about things here. Everyone just seems to enjoy life and hopes that everything will work out.