Wednesday, October 26, 2011

we have moved

okay...I have moved.

putting the past behind me (as much as i can).
starting new blog...same me though.

find me here:

thanks for reading. :)
with gratitude and blessings~

Monday, March 21, 2011

2011 in books--part two

to see more clearly: new vision for women suffering with depression
(draft of my friend's book!)
jamie meyer

walking on eggshells
jane isay

waiting for superman
(book that accompanies the documentary film)

craft hope: handmade crafts for a cause
jade sims

the new family home
jim tolpin

georgiana: duchess of devonshire
amanda foreman

where i am (right now)

if you have read this blog (when i have posted) in the last year or so, you have read of my journey of finding and beginning a new job/occupation/career. i have been discouraged, encouraged, open and searching, tired and weary, and trusting God each step of the way.

back in december, i began a new journey into the world of the paraeducator. i was a little leary and really questioning myself and what i was hoping to 'do' in this world. since then, God has really confirmed that i am right where i am supposed to be, doing what i am supposed to do.

going back years, one of my original desires was to look into the world of music therapy. at the time, there really weren't many opportunities for education where i live, but the subject matter fascinated me. i loved the idea of taking something that i love so deeply, music, and use it to help encourage and unlock someone from a place in their life.

enter the present.

i began as a substitute paraeducator with our local school system. i would find out in the morning if my services would be needed at a school...every day was a different school, focusing on different children. honestly, it was daunting. it could be intimidating. i was working with children that really struggle with change. as a substitute, i knew that it would be a struggle for them to trust and work with me. i felt like i was trying to help maintain where these kids are at versus helping them to grow. i was discouraged.

i then was asked to help as a long-term substitute at my son's school. for the past few weeks, i have been in a routine...working with the same children each day. i have absolutely LOVED it. i have gotten to see progress first hand. with these children, each small step is celebrated. an increase in verbal expression, physical control, glimmers of recognition as new things are learned...they are all worth singing and dancing over! as i have been digesting all that has taken place the past several weeks, i am seeing God teach some pretty big lessons.

compassion and love. patience and second (and third and fourth...) chances. trusting Him in uncertain times and situations. dependence on Him for strength and energy and insight into how to work with His very special children. God is using this time to teach me much about unconditional love and serving others sacrifically through a group of children and wonderful co-workers/servants. i am humbled and grateful.

i am trusting God each step of this journey. He has been faithful and loving, patient and kind. i know that He is at work in my every day life. i am grateful to be where i am right now.

Monday, February 7, 2011

2011 in books--part one

i love the winter months as they provide some warm, cozy moments to curl up with coffee in my favorite mug and a book. here is what has been read this first part of the year...

decision points
by g.w. bush

naked heat
by richard castle

the postcard killers
by james patterson and liza marklund

late, late at night
by rick springfield

2011 walt disney world
birnbaum guide

mom still likes you best
by jane isay

urban pantry
by amy pennington

learning disabilities: a to z
by corinne smith and lisa strick

a fistful of rice
by vikram akula

remarkable trees of the world
by thomas pakenham

by ian mcewan

mr. knightley's diary
by amanda grange

a paradox being soothed

in the bible study that we are journeying through with our moms group at church, we are looking at the life of jonah. we are looking at how to respond to what we consider life's 'interruptions' and are choosing to see them as God's interventions in our lives. i am thoroughly appreciating what we are learning and am praying that God is doing a mighty work in my fragile heart.

this week's homework was looking at God's how it can be a soothing balm to those who are hurting, to those who seek Him, and how it can be a scorching fire to those who are running from Him. my mind is trying to wrap itself around this paradox...

oh, how we long for God in our lives. (though we do not always say it as such.) we want His peace and His love. we long to know Him and to know how He knows and loves us. God created us with this desire deep in our hearts and minds to long for Him and to know Him intimately.

on the flip side, when we know that we have sinned...made poor choices...want to do things our way...we run from Him. we run from any reminder of Him. His presence, His unconditional love can feel like a scorching fire because it is a reminder of our disobedience.

i think of my relationship with God and the places we have been. i have wanted to hear His voice and wanted silence because i fear of what He might ask of me. i want to trust Him and take steps in absolute faith, yet barely step my toe out because i fear where the step might lead. i trust Him and yet question some of the things that He has had me journey through.

i know that the paradox is not God. it is me. He is constant and faithful and loving and omnipresent and holy and good. i waver and fear and am affected by so many things. i am the paradox, not He...

this study is such a wonderful reminder to me of how God uses imperfect people. the bible is full of the testimonies of God using people that made poor choices, people that had terrible things happen to them, people that had a change of heart and changed how they lived and Who they lived for. oh, how i needed this reminder. God loves and uses imperfect people.

i have been anxious for the next step God is leading me towards. i do not know where it may lead. i am trusting Him and am calling on His presence to soothe me.

(oh...the study we are doing: Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

breaking the silence

from the previous post, you know that there has been heartache in my life. the heartache still continues. sadly, things are not better...but in actuality, are worse. (or so it feels at this moment.) phone calls and e-mails have taken place. words have been twisted and rearranged to the point that one has to question what reality is/was. there has been silence and a bit of space. (which i desperately needed because it helps me to pull back and gain perspective and to look at the big picture of the situation) this time has caused me to look back and consider many things about life. here is a small attempt of sharing what i am learning in this moment:

i am grateful for the home i grew up in. i never once doubted that i was loved. i had parents who showed their love in tangible ways and who supported each of their children by letting them become their own unique people. my parents invested themselves into each of our lives in many ways...ways that i did not know or even understand at the time, but i am beginning to understand now. that experience greatly shaped who i am today. i am grateful.

God overwhelms me with His love and goodness. despite my flaws and the countless mistakes i make, He loves me in the most amazing of ways. unconditionally. sacrifically. tenderly. passionately. so much that He wants to help me grow each day...which sometimes means He disciplines and allows consequences so i can learn. when i think of His love for me, i tear up because it is so overwhelming. what a beautiful thing...

i do not understand God and His ways, but that does not mean that i do not trust Him. i really hate all that is going on in my extended family right now and i wish He would just intervene and bring peace. i am trusting Him that even through the heartache, He is at work and has something beautiful planned. i trust that He is going to bring beauty from the ashes...

my family--my husband and two boys--are such blessings to me. life may not always be easy with them (especially as we are foraging new territory with a pre-teen boy who is working through so many things in his life :) ), but i would not want to journey through life without them... they bring so many smiles to my face and heart and remind me of what the most important things in life are. i love them to pieces.

dear friends are a gift from God. i am reminded each day with phone calls and notes and visits and facebook postings what a treasure friendship is. i thank God that His plan included doing life together.

and silence. i have learned much in silence lately. silence is needed. it allows one to truly hear. it helps to sort things out in the chaos. i am learning that i hear God best when i am quiet because He speaks so softly and tenderly. i could surround myself in busyness and people, but i would miss out on so much. i need some silence. (i think we all do.)

until next time...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

a different beginning

2011 has begun. i always tend to approach the new year not with resolutions, but with remembering how blessed i have been and how blessed i truly am in all ways--spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically. i do my best to look to the new year with an optimistic hope and a curiosity of how God is going to move and work in my and my family's life in the upcoming year.

this year is feeling so different because it is beginning with heartache.

we all have heartache and difficult times. i know that God uses those experiences in our lives to teach some of the most valuable lessons. i know that i have experienced deep hurts in the past and have survived...solely because of who God is and the strength He provides.

the heartache is deep because the hurt is coming from family. two people whom i do care about deeply have leveled some of the most cutting, hurting words and sentiments to me and about me and about my family.

what does one do when you try to reach out, compromise, be considerate, be thoughtful, be supportive, be encouraging, be generous when it is not reciprocated in return? does one keep trying despite the hurt that it causes oneself over and over? i understand sacrifice and would sacrifice anything for my family (close and extended) in a heartbeat, but i feel that i am at the point that i can give no more.

my heart breaks because i have been wounded to the core and feel that there is so little left to give. the offending party has winded me. my chest aches not because the things that they said are true, but because everything i have ever done or said has been twisted to be seen as intentionally hurting them. (trying to communicate or be involved is seen as intruding into their life, giving distance and space is ignoring and not caring. trying to help is seen as ordering and bossing around, doing nothing is seen as being insensitive and uncaring. asking questions to which they would not answer and then making a decision without their input because a decision needed to be made is seen as me disrespecting their views and thoughts.) it is not about 'winning', but i feel as though there is no way that i can be successful in existing in their life, let alone having a meaningful relationship.

the only thing that is helping me process this is to look at things from the perspective that their self-focused viewpoint is clouding their eyes from seeing seven plus years of attempted relationship. i know what it is like to live life for myself and i know what is like to live life the way Jesus asks us to (i do not do it perfectly, but i do know that He has been helping me more day by day). i cannot erase who i was before Jesus changed me, but i would have hoped that these two individuals would have seen the dramatic change that everyone else has for the past eighteen years.

i pray that God does mighty miracles in this upcoming year. i pray that He mends and heals and transforms. i pray that He brings resolution. i pray that He takes this most ugly moment and turns it into something beautiful. He is able. and i will trust Him.