Substitute teaching


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

Welcome to A to Z!

We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.

Today’s Post is brought to you by the letter S

post-card-the-letter-s-17767264-304-480I’m a Substitute Teacher for the Manchester school system here in North Manchester, Indiana. Because I’m also a full-time student and minister, I only get to sub once in awhile but I enjoy it immensely.

My mean teacher face. Don't mess with this sub!

My mean teacher face. Don’t mess with this sub!

In fact, I think I might like substitute teaching better than full-time teaching. Here’s why:

1. Subs don’t have to take work home with them.

2. Subs don’t have to attend meetings after school.

3. Subs aren’t required to attend after-school events.

4. There is great variety in subbing. Sometimes I’m in an elementary classroom and other times I’m in a high school English class. But my favorite sub experiences are with the students in the Special Education classrooms. (Which is what I’m getting my degree in.)

5. Subs don’t have to record grades, hold conferences, or meet with parents.

Parent_Teacher_ConferencesWhat don’t I like about subbing?

1 .Recess duty.

2. Recess duty.

3. Recess duty.

teacher humor 3

I do love questions from five-year-olds. They’re often irrelevant to what I’m teaching and most of the time hilarious.

I’ve never liked recess duty. Especially when it’s 9F out and there’s ice everywhere. It’s just not my cup of tea.

How about you? Have you ever filled in for someone on a job? What was it? What did you like about it? Dislike about it?

books-and-little-bird-kestutis-kasparaviciusTweet this: I hate recess duty but I love subbing!

 


Questions: God’s not surprised


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

Welcome to A to Z!

We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter Q

 

q

When I get to heaven, I have a lot of questions for God.

AngelAndStairwayToHeaven

Some questions are a little humorous:

What were you thinking when you made the platypus?

platypus

Why is everything that tastes so good so bad for me?

oreo-layer-dessert_blog140226

What was Jesus like as a little boy?

What do dogs dream about?

chevy

When babies laugh in their sleep, are you tickling them? If not, what’s so funny to a newborn baby?

Did animals talk in the Garden of Eden?

01

What kind of mood were you in when you created giraffes?

giraffe_lookup

Some questions are more serious:

Why did you make men and women so different?

a6b9Why did you let such a wonderful person die so young?

Dustin

This is my friend, Dustin. I watched him grow up. Taught him in church. He was the third Wise Man in the Christmas program when he was little along with my twin sons. He was killed two weeks ago when somehow his truck got stuck on the railroad tracks during an icy blizzard and was run over by the train. He was the sweetest, most generous, kind-hearted person. So young. Only 19.

Why did you let such a giving, generous couple die such a horrible death at the hands of a thief?

Click to read their story

Click to read their story

Why must so many children starve or be abused?

10357250_10152572277046969_4031652756164303512_n

Why didn’t you stop abortion?

action-card09

How has it made you feel to see animal cruelty?

546397-286-27

Most of the serious questions, as you can see, are in the “why” category. And while I do know the theological answers for them, I’m still uncomfortable with the outcomes.

This world is not my home. I long for a better place.

For this world is not our home; we are-1

I take comfort in the fact that God is not surprised by my questions. He made me and expects me to ask them. He doesn’t want his children to check their brains at the door to follow Him. I believe in this age of reason, it’s more important than ever to explore questions and seek God’s Word in finding the answers. In this way, we can help other seekers find answers.

Not all questions are negative. Here’s a question in the Bible that I’m particularly fond of:

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

What questions do you have for God? Share them with me so I can ask them, too!

i57.tinypic.com

 Tweet this: Did animals talk in the Garden of Eden?

 

 

 

 

 



Tickled pink!


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

Welcome to A to Z!

We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter P!

p

God is so cool.

The other day I was sitting in my office in my HUGE office chair. I’d bought it because it was sturdier than chairs I’d bought in the past and was hoping it would last longer.

And while I did admire its sturdiness, it was just too big. I couldn’t turn it around in the little crawl space behind my desk.

My office area is tiny. “Lord,” I casually whispered. “I need a smaller chair.”

A few days later, Mr. Himself found this PINK CHAIR WITH DIAMONDS on sale at a furniture store marked waaaaay down!

pinkchair

Squee!!

Apparently, there isn’t a great demand for pink, blinged-out office chairs!

Now, Mr. Himself knew nothing of my prayer. And when I’d prayed for a smaller chair, I didn’t have anything this dramatic in mind.

But God is the God of delight. He loves giving us the desires of  our hearts. I had no idea I wanted a pink office chair with diamonds. (Okay, so they’re not real diamonds. But still–they sparkle!)

pinkchair2

So sparkly!

Pink is one of my favorite colors. Without meaning to on purpose, I tend to choose pink accessories:

pinkphone

My pink iPhone case

My pink kindle sleeve

My pink kindle sleeve

pinkcup

“My” pink “Frozen” (the movie) cup. Okay, it’s actually the granddaughter’s but I use it so the cat won’t drink out of it.

pinkshoes

My pink walking shoes.

My pink planner

My pink planner

1174838_578609572195099_747003055_n

Would you look at that? My book is pink, too!

My love of pink is obvious. But pink’s only my second favorite color.

My first favorite color is purple–and it also starts with P!

I have a purple coat, leather jacket, kindle cover, purses, earrings, shirts and blouses. I usually write with a purple ink pen. I even shop at a purple store!

But today, I’m tickled pink about a chair I had no idea I’d be so happy to have. I’m thankful to a God Who hears all our prayers and exceeds our expectations! (P is also for Prayer!)

Twitter_bird_GS2smallfixed

Tweet this: I’m tickled pink about the goodness of God!



 

 

L, M, N, are probably not going to get me noticed in search engines. O Well.

LMN

When my computer crashed, I missed the weeks of L, M, N in our A to Z blog hop. Horrors! And now it’s already time for the letter O!

So here goes.

L

L is for lazy. I had a very lazy Christmas holiday. I slept tons. I mean, I never knew it was humanly possible to sleep as much as I did and still be alive and breathing. If there’s such a thing as Christmas Coma, I invented it. I was utterly and completely exhausted. For this reason, I’m sure God had a plan for my computer crashing and burning. And I’m grateful. My life is a steamroller of expectations and responsibilities. It’s something I’m working on changing.

M

M is for movies. I was going to watch a bunch of them over the holiday, but L for Lazy interfered with that.

0

N is for noshing:

noshI did far too much of that this holiday and while I don’t really know how much weight I gained, I know that I did gain a few pounds simply because of the way my clothes feel. (The scale is broken. And I hear you laughing. No, I didn’t break it. “Not me” broke it. “Not me” also starts with the letter N.) Now my stomach feels all rumbly and icky and while I promised to detox from sugar after the holidays were over, I’ve yet to make the complete and final leap. (See letter L.)

Finally we come to this week, which is brought to you by the letter O.

O Well

O is for “O Well.”

I’ve been using this phrase a lot lately. Living three weeks without a computer taught me a few things about submitting my day to the Lord and going with the flow.

Admittedly, I have had more opportunities to learn how to go with the flow as the mother of twins with autism and the caregiver of a mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s. (Did I forget to mention the son with bipolar and the husband with ADD?)  Going with the flow should have been something I mastered long, long ago.

StayCalm

But there’s still that rebel inside of me that wants what I want when I want, how I want. There’s that ornery little imp that kicks and screams and throws a fit if things don’t go her way.

mebikecroppedseppia

What, me? Rebellious? Nah.

Instead of throwing up her arms and saying, “O well, that must mean God wants me to _________.” She stomps her foot and says, “Fine. Then I’m going to play 55,000+ games of Words with Friends and pin 783,278+ pins on Pinterest via my phone.”

O Well would lead me down the path the Lord has lit for me to walk. As in, “O well, my soul is O so very well, and God has a better plan.”

But that would be too easy, wouldn’t it?

Why is it so difficult for me to submit to the O Wells in my life?

I believe that anything that is a strength, is also a weakness when it’s used incorrectly. God has given me a stubborn streak that serves me well when writing books, finishing college courses as a full-time online student pursuing a degree. I have the tenacity of a bull dog when it comes to the goals I believe I’m to pursue.

Tenacity is good,rebellion is not

But that same ability to hang on to a dream raises its head as rebellion when I’m asked to diverge from my plans.

God can’t bless disobedience. Why can’t I get that through my “N is for noggin?”

God has my best interest in mind. If I keep that at the forefront, I’ll be able to say, “O well, this is the way God wants me to go today, and it is good.”

Psalm 37 (KJV) has a lot to say about God’s best interest for us:

Psalm 37:3-7; 23-25

Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass…

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.

25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread…”

O WELL O WOW!

If I obey, my steps are ordered of the Lord. How much more relaxing it would be if I’d simply walk peacefully in those steps instead of stomping through them.

What frustrates you the most when things don’t go your way? Am I alone in this submission thing? Weigh in!

unnamed

Tweet this: Beware: Your strength is also your weakness

 

 

 


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

 Find more info about the A to Z meme here.



Listen


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

Welcome to A to Z!

We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.

Today’s Blog is brought to you by the letter “L.”

Listen.

A still, small voice longs to be heard.

Above the cacophony of clacking machines, credit card swipes, family spats.

Listen.

Can you hear it?

The whisper of Love: wooing, desiring, reaching, stretching through the noise.

Stop, dear friend, at this Christmas-tide and take time to listen for that voice of love.

It longs to hold you and speak your name.

That Voice, the One Whose birthday we celebrate, and yet, go about our duties like countless re-enactments of Martha, frantic about the business of the party.

But if it’s His party, shouldn’t He be the One Whom our attention is focused?

Stop. Put down the paper, the ribbons, the mixing spoon. Take time to Listen.

Love is calling.

Merry Christmas, Child of the Most High God.

You are Loved with mercy so rich you can’t comprehend it.

Bathe in that gift. Rejoice. Celebrate.

Give praise.

And Listen.



Kris Kringle and Kittens


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

Welcome to A to Z!

We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.

This is our first Christmas with kittens.

spook

Spook imitating a lounge lizard. His twin sister looks exactly like him — only she’s smaller and naughtier.

kittens

Hogging my lap so I won’t waste time writing on my laptop.

kittensmaggie (2)

Making themselves at home on my granddaughter, Maggie’s, sleeping bag.

Mr. Himself is not very happy about it. He’s worried about broken Christmas ornaments and decorations.

We’ve not put our tree up yet and I keep assuring my neurotic husband it will be fine. Don’t worry. Be happy! And then I sent him this video to cheer him up.

What do you think his reaction was?

twitter-bird-in-a-santa-hat

Tweet this: Was it right or wrong to send my husband this video?

 

 


Justice


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

Welcome to A to Z!

We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.

Today’s Blog is brought to you by the Letters I and J

384089378_4c0e6a2853_z

I missed the letter “I” last week, and since I’m a bit OCD, I have to include it before I can move on to the letter J. So, briefly, here is the letter “I”–for “Instamatic.” And below is an Instamatic photo of me in my wedding dress 32 years ago (my anniversary is December 3). This was taken by my childhood Sunday School teacher who loved to take photos and record me singing. This was in the days of innocence and ours was a unique father-daughter bond. I don’t think I can even describe it to you.

wedding7Me in 1982 a few days before my wedding

Did you know that Instamatics are making a come-back? It’s a new art form!

Now for the Letter J

J is for Justice

J

I’ve been thinking a lot about this word, justice. People have been protesting in hopes of bringing it to pass. And it’s true that while we live on this earth, we are to seek justice and be proponents of it. God commands us to “Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy” (Psalm 82:3).

Injustice anywhere is a threat to-2 (2)

But as long as justice is meted out by fallible people, there will be no true justice in this world. Where is the justice in children going hungry, being abused and neglected, or dying of cancer? What is just and fair about me going about my Christmas shopping and decorating while young children are beheaded in Iraq because they refuse to deny Christ?

103096-01-08

ISIS holding up their weapons as they pose next to the trademark black and white Islamist flag at an undisclosed location in Iraq’s Anbar province. (Photo: AFP-Youtube, Bing, free use image)

Life on this earth simply isn’t fair. My day to day life is better than many people’s, and countless others have it better than me. There is no equality while living on this side of heaven.

Which makes our need for true justice all the more obvious.

For we must all appear before the-4 (2)

People tend to look at Jesus as a sort of Santa Claus whom they pray to about all their wants and desires. I admit doing it myself because I believe that my Lord is interested in everything I’m fascinated with. He’s not surprised I like pretty things, and dream of a more user-friendly house. I talk to Him about it often. However, He is so much more than a Friend I can go to about my heart’s desires. 700 years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah proclaimed:

And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;

And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” — Isaiah 11:2-5

He that is without sin among you, let (2)

There are no just judges or juries in this land. There never will be. Our souls yearn for justice because we long for a heavenly home. Our souls yearn for something “more” and I believe that’s because we yearn to be forever in the very presence of Justice Himself.

There is something inside of all of us that knows there will be a day of judgement when the wicked must pay. The thing many people don’t realize, however, is that all have sinned, are wicked, and have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). They compare themselves with others instead of with the righteousness of God. Without the cleansing power of Christ, not one of us will be justified on the terrible day we stand before the Lord and account for our lives.

_If we say that we have no sin, we-1 (2)

But my Savior, Jesus Christ–He is my advocate and will tell the Father, “her sins are paid in full.” Only because He loved me enough to die for me. What kind of justice is that? It’s certainly not fair to God. It’s not fair at all.

But this is grace, my friend. Beautiful, boundless, amazing, undeserved grace.

I, for one, don’t want justice for my sins. I don’t want what’s coming to me.

And what blows my mind, and what I can’t get my mind around sometimes, is that He doesn’t want that for me, either.

 “And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him. For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee” (Isaiah 30:18 & 19).

flying_birdTweet this: As long as justice is meted out by fallible people, there will be no true justice in this world.

 

 

 

 



Happy Thanksgiving!


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

Welcome to A to Z!

We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “H”

letter-h

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tonight we’re having our family feast. But this morning I’m going to the high school to the twins’ Life Skills Class for a pre-feast! Their special education teacher is amazing and the class puts on quite a spread. She goes way above and beyond. Before I leave to go this morning I’ll put my own turkey in the roaster.

turkey

The rolls are made, all the pies and the Cherry Fluff.  The green beans are ready to go. I wanted to get more done yesterday but I’m fighting some sort of sore throat thing again and just didn’t have the energy. So today I’ll finish up the corn pudding, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy and stuffing. Yes, this is a carb-filled feast. Oh. Yum.

pic novemberThis year is very special because I’ll have all my sons at the table for the first time in almost three years. I’ll also have four granddaughters and some friends. And while most people will be enjoying their feast on Thursday, I’ll probably be sleeping.

chevy

Food is a funny thing. I’ve noticed that it puts all the men in my life in a great mood when I’m in the kitchen cooking. I get more hugs and kisses. Whether we like it or not, we humans do equate food with love.

foodequalsloveAnd I’m grateful on this Thanksgiving to have so much of both, aren’t you?

Have A Doggone Happy Thanksgiving

What are your family’s favorite dishes at Thanksgiving? What kind of stuffing do you serve? Corn bread, oyster, or traditional? Weigh in!

And have a doggone Happy Thanksgiving!

fall-leaves-no-textsmallerTweet this: Corn bread, oyster or traditional dressing?



G is for Gratefulness


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

Welcome to A to Z!

We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.

This post is brought to you by the Letter G

Gratefulness.

It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.

My life is in an uncomfortable place financially. I get discouraged that at my age, I’m still struggling.

treewind

Of course, this is because of choices we’ve made: to minister in the rural United States. We have no retirement because of this choice. We have no savings. No insurance. And it’s easy sometimes for me to feel afraid and scared if I think too much about the future and “what ifs.”

If I’m not careful, I can get into a mode of whining instead of praising.

nowhining

I can get into a rut of trying to figure it out and fix it myself. Applying for jobs (as if I have time for one more job), looking for a greener pasture, begging God for an answer, feeling neglected because I don’t have a nicer house, or car or whatever temporal thing the enemy throws up in my face to cause me to think God loves others more than me.

bob_the_builder-can_we_fix_it_s

But as I’ve wrestled with this season of discontent, God has sent me answers: Be Still. Be grateful. Trust.

Be still? BE STILL? That’s hard for a fixer and a doer! Very hard! But He has confirmed it to me in several ways. First, through a message preached on a Sunday morning, and through scripture I’ve read. Then, in a tiny gift I received weeks ago but just today found and opened. It was a magnet that said, “Be still and know that I am God.. Psalm 46:10.”

bestill

I laughed when I saw it. Okay, God. I get it. I get the message. You’ll take care of me while I obey. I trust You even when it doesn’t make sense and all around me is debt and bills and a scary economy. I trust You the way the little birds do. You are up to something good on my behalf. I receive it. I need only to be still (Exodus 14:14).

goodGod

How fitting at Thanksgiving time that God would remind me of the need for gratefulness in overcoming fear for the future. I believe that gratefulness is what leads to contentment.

givethanks

The little sparrows aren’t fretting about tomorrow. They aren’t thinking that God loves them less because their nest isn’t as fancy as an eagle’s. They aren’t looking at those eagles and wishing for bigger wings.

bird

If the little birds can praise Him in their humble nests, then I, too, must praise Him and be grateful for the innumerable things He’s given me. My list of things I do have outnumbers what I don’t. This life is but for a season. I’ve lived most of my life with this realization. And I need to recognize when the enemy comes to fill my thoughts with fears and discontent.

Why should I worry_ Why should I (2)

I may never have a white silk couch or a beautiful mansion on this earth. But my ultimate destination is much more than I could ever imagine. When I’m feeling neglected because my furniture is worn and my car is rattling, I need only remember the priceless gift of His love.

His grace is more than enough.

cross

All the more reason to give thanks with a grateful heart.

twitter-117598_640Tweet this: God is up to something good!

 

 

 



 

F is for Food


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

Welcome to A to Z!

We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.

Today’s Blog is brought to you by the letter “F”

RecipeBlogHop

I’m a little late posting for the letter “F”. I wanted to introduce my new recipe blog hop last week, but time constraints prevented it. So, I’ll introduce it here and hope you’ll join me this week when I provide the linky codes for The Most Delicious Blog Hop on the Internet!

You can grab the button to add to your side bar here: The Most Delicious Recipe Blog Hop!

The Most Delicious Recipe Blog Hop
If you’d like to participate, here are the Linky Codes for The Most Delicious Recipe Blog Hop . This is a great way to drive traffic to your site because people are looking for unique recipes for the holidays. In January folks will look for great waist-trimming recipes, too.
I hope you’ll join me in this new adventure! Let’s get cooking!

food

  Tweet this:  Join the Most Delicious Recipe Blog Hop!