Slowing Down

Well, the stress of the beginning of the school has begun to slow…just begun though:) 

It’s crazy how different the beginning of the year can be from the rest of the year!  Honestly, I’m a little anxious about progress reports that go out next week.  And I’ll leave you wondering about why, but if you think of me (or perhaps, right now) would you please pray for me?  I’m desperate for His help this next week.  I need incredible favor with parents during this time of transition from tradition teaching and grading, to do what I’m doing right now.  I need others to be patient with, as I grow, and as I often feel sorta clueless…blindly walking forward. 

When I have too many things going on, I don’t prioritize well, and I go numb about everything.  People are always like, "well, there’s still going to be work tomorrow, so you’ll have to prioritize," and it seems to me like those people have no clue what I’m dealing with here.  I’m thinking I just don’t handle stress too well.  How’s that for honesty?  I really think that I just plain stink at it.  (God, help my future husband!)  I guess I’m not horrible at it, but I’m definitely not great at it.

So, my prayer verse for the night…which is not simply a cliche or a "positive thinking" tool…God’s Word is real and His promises are real and He’s proven that to me in the past, so He won’t let me down.  (Thanks, God, for caring so much about me!)

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7

A Small Taste

I am literally craving an opportunity to really write, but I need to go to bed soon.  If only I didn’t have to sleep:)

This past weekend I had an awesome opportunity to go to the Ancient Future Community Conference at Willow Creek in Chicago.  There’s so much that God is doing in my heart right now, as far as the church and community goes…I feel as if I’m about to bust at the seams.  As the saying now goes, "my cognitive desk space is full".  What’s so great though, is that my heart is also full and that definitely helps a little with the processing.  And as my prayer life grows, that will really help:)  Small groups and community have been around for quite some time and this whole new era of the "emergent church" is nothing new.  Looking at what it was meant to be has been so rich in developing my understanding of how my life is meant to be lived out.

I’d love to go through and blog about some of the different things I learned about-especially the things that impacted my life the most.  There were certain things that I felt a strong tug about and some that didn’t really do much for me.  An excitement was built in me, about what I see God doing in our church-under the surface.  He helped me to see some of the feet that will be put to the vision that he’d given to me for discipleship at CotK, and I’m simply geeked about it! 

I can’t really say that the American church as we know it is 100% God’s plan for what the church should look like, but that will not scare me away from it.  I’m pumped to be apart of the changes that are already taking place and the ones that will take place, simply because of my own obedience to Him.  God is always faithful to accomplish what He’s started out to do, and I am happy to join him in whatever that may look like.

That’s a small taste of what God’s doing in my heart, as it regards to ministry.

Some Thoughts of Late

  1. I’m not really sure that this title makes sense
  2. I really love my class
  3. I still miss my old class
  4. They miss me-mostly because I made them pancakes:)
  5. My new class LOVES it when I read The BFG to them
  6. I have more ESL students than I ever thought I’d have
  7. I have a kid named Freddie who cracks me up to the core (I’m sure you’ll hear more about him)
  8. My friend’s dad passed away from cancer this morning…
  9. I’m really tired and trying to get over a cold
  10. Tonight I spilled coffee ALL OVER my shirt…sad
  11. It’s fun mentoring teachers!  This year I’m an official mentor for 2 teachers-one that I informally mentored her first year, and one that’s brand new!
  12. It’s fun being officially mentored!  I’ve had such a great experience watching Brian and Susan come into my classroom and show me how to do some of the things they’ve been talking about.  What a cool thing to see myself becoming better, just because of that!
  13. As I’m growing into a better teacher, not only year by year, but (now) week by week, I realize how much I’ve really changed from my first year teaching.  I’ve been making so many statements about things like curriculum and management and following them up with, "If First-Year-Teacher-Kim would’ve heard Fifth-Year-Teacher-Kim say that, she would’ve thought she was crazy…and maybe wanted to punch her in the face!"  It’s hilarious how much my perspective has changed.  I’m currently fighting to get the kid that barely speaks English and has zero parent support at home (who recently punched a girl in the face) into my class!  Honestly, what’s happened to me?  ๐Ÿ™‚
  14. Tomorrow I get to take a girl’s senior pictures!
  15. I wish that I had more time to write right now-perhaps I’ll continue later.

My First Birthday Present!

I got my first birthday present this morning!!!  Katie gave me a few books, including Skippyjon Jones, and it is theSkippyjon_jones
funniest kids book ever.  It looks kinda boring, if you only look at the cover.  Please, a dumb cat?  But once you open the pages to read about the siamese cat who lives his life pretending to be a chihuahua…you will fall in love and cry with laughter…especially if you try to do the Mexican voices of the characters.  Perhaps I will videotape myself reading the story aloud.  That would be fun.  Would you watch it? ๐Ÿ™‚

Name Changes

Without even opening my eyes, all tangled up in my down comforter, I woke up with a couple thoughts.

First, I thought about how, a day from now I was going to be standing in front of my new class, tackling the job of getting to know their names.  And then I immediately thought of how some of them don’t think of themselves in terms of their names. (Yes, all this before I even opened my eyes:)

Some kids think their nickname is:  "Loser", "A**hole", "Shut up", or "Fool".  Others think their nickname is:  "Obnoxious", "Loud", "Stupid" or "Slow".  Still others respond to:  "Fatso", "Tubby", "Stringbean", or "Ugly". 

What response do you think I would get if I were to bring this up in my class?  Do you think my kids would sit confidently in their seats, knowing that I’m not talking to them?  Or would only a few of them do that?  Would some of them start staring at the board behind me, envisioning the moment someone named them with one of those nicknames?  How about the kid that would begin to look down at his desk, thinking I’d be talking to him…and him only?  Or what about the kid who would then, out of fear that I was going to call him out on his nickname, point to the chubbiest kid in the class and yell out, "Fatso!  She’s talking about you!"  Everyone would laugh because it would take the pressure off of them for the moment.

What if, somehow through the course of these next ten months, transformational change could take place in my kids’ lives?…so much to the point that their names were changed?

I think of how God changed Saul to Paul, Abram to Abraham, Saraii to Sarah, Kim to Kimpossible:)…there are so many more examples in the Bible of when names were changed because of either what God had done in/through them, or because of what He was promising to do in/through them.  Listed here are a few examples.

God can even change my name from "One-who-tries-to-solve-everyone’s-problems-all-the-time" to "One-who-releases-others-issues-to-Jesus" :0)  Oh, I pray for that change to occur!  I want to see my kids who are afraid to read aloud in class to be known as excellent readers (aloud).  I want to see my kids who hate writing to be known as the best in the school!  I want to see my kids who barely pass each year in math to show deep understanding of math concepts.

Oh, me and my lofty goals…:)  I suppose my goals are a bit much, compared to some of what I’ve experienced in the past.  But, as Nick from My Big Fat Greek Wedding said to Tulah, "Don’t let your past dictate who you are, but let it be a part of who you will become."  Hopefully I can communicate to my kids that who they are now will be a part of who they’ll become…in a good way, even if it’s negative right now.  A kid that isn’t much of a reader right now that can read at grade level in May should be able to say, "I couldn’t read much in September, but look at how I’ve grown!  Now I’m a Fantastic Reader!"

In conclusion (this is how a 4th grader ends his essays;), I believe that I heard God’s voice on this one this morning.  No, it wasn’t audible, but it made my heart beat faster, the more I thought about seeing kids’ names changed.  God’s changed names with the snap of a finger, but I’ve got TEN MONTHS…GO! ๐Ÿ™‚

I am Jim

You are Jim. You are personable, easy-going, and always socially aware.
Your great sense of humor and impishness soften the blow of what might
otherwise be a dark, cutting cynicism.

This is how I was described after I took "The Office" personality test.  Jim Halpert is the man of my dreams…well, kind of:)  First of all, he’s fictional.  Second of all, I don’t mind a guy with not-so-short hair, but he just doesn’t keep it neat…  But when it comes down to it, I really am like Jim.  No one makes me laugh like Jim does on that show.  He cracks me up…hmmm…and since I think I’m the funniest person in the world, I also crack myself up!  I even find myself looking for a camera, pressing my mouth in a funny way and raising my eyebrows (you need to see the show to understand).

You can watch episodes of the show for free here…but you have to try a couple of the different links because they don’t all work. ๐Ÿ™‚

Really About Monday

"Most of the time when we think of church, we think of Sunday. But Sunday is really about Monday. If our job as Christians was simply to get together and worship God, we could do that in Heaven. But our job is more than that: that’s why God has us strategically placed right where we are." – John Ortberg, โ€œThe Church on Monday Morningโ€ (sermon at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church 3/12/06)