Friday, September 30, 2011

God Closes a Door

Yesterday, I faced rejection. I had applied and interviewed for a third grade teaching position in my district. I was nervous, and when I finished the interview, I did not have a happy feeling of accomplishment in my stomach. Yesterday, I got the call that the position had been filled. At first I was upset. I had wanted that position, but I didn't get it. I had prayed hard, but I wasn't going to be teaching third grade next week. Then I started to get excited. I still have my three months of fifth grade this year, and I have no idea what God has for me after that. This is really the first door God has shut because it's the first one I dared to really open. I applied for other teaching jobs last year, but I was terrified to move forward because I don't know what's ahead. Now, I'm confident that I can try doors, and God will shut the ones that aren't for me and let me walk through the ones that He has prepared. So, not only was the interview a good experience for me in the educational portion of my life, but just in life in general. Hmmmmm which door to try next.

Last Great Hope

Life has become busy lately...busy and distracting, but more of that in another post. This post is finally a book review. After posting one or two a week for so long, I can't believe it took me this long to post again. It wasn't the book's fault. I accept full blame.

I just finished Our Last Great Hope by Ronnie Floyd. The book discusses the need for God's people to carry out the Great Commission. It talks about the urgency and the fact that the church has fallen asleep in the face of this great need. I feel like I can sum up the book this way, "what could you be doing that you aren't doing to further the Great Commission and see souls saved in your community and across the world? Question answered? Go do it!" It was convicting and heart breaking to see the things that we have really dropped the ball on, yet Floyd offers hope by encouraging his readers that they can only do what they can do, but if everyone does what they can do, the job will get done. Floyd is a Southern Baptist pastor that worked on a committee to design a plan that could actually accomplish world evangelism. Now his dream is to see that plan executed and world evangelism once again become a reality.

The book was interesting. I can't say the writing gripped me, but the topic did. All that being said i do disagree with one premise of the book. That is that we are the last great hope. I know that this is not what the author intended, but I feel that I mus say it. God can accomplish His will however he wishes, but He has chosen to let us be a part of it.

I received this book as a part of the Booksneeze program. I was not required to write a positive review.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Are you Ready?!?

Today I met the fifth graders that I will be working with for three months this semester. I can't wait! I learned all of their names today...short term memory anyway, and I can't wait until I get to be there everyday. Just like any class they come with their share of difficulties, but I felt as ready as I can be to work with them. God is so good to give me this opportunity. It felt really great to be called Miss Kauffman again (or Mrs. Kauffman depending on the student). I saw all my little third graders from last year...who are now bigger fourth graders. It's craziness I say :) I miss them like crazy, and it was so good to see them all. I was reminded today of how funny kids are. One kid, while making their scientist, sang "im gonna make my hands now" to the tune of "everybody dance now." I just stood there and smiled. I love being in a classroom more than anything else on this planet.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Today I went to rummage sales. That's they call yard sales here in Wisconsin. Let me recount some humorous tales and then give you a few tips for your future rummage sale.
I am a people watcher. Today was a primo day for people watching. The very first lady i noticed was about 80 or 90 and she was walking around in a suprisingly fashionable blue and white striped dress (not something I would wear, but I was impressed). She seriously showed up at every sale we were at. Some times in a car and sometimes on foot. To be honest, it was a little creepy lol. The second was the lady in the huge knit poncho. It was 80 degrees out and this lady was walking around with a blanket on. I was dying for her!! I really wanted to suggest she buy something, anything to wear instead. There was also a sale from people who must have owned a bridal shop. I could have gotten my own wedding dress for $50 brand new. They had about 15.

My purchases today included some Dr. Seuss stuffed animals for my future classroom, a coffee mug that you can write on with chalk, a new shirt, some jewelry, and a cool little cup from Japan.

Now for my tips on yard sales... #1 Do not try to hike up the price on broken items. It's stupid and just makes me stop looking at all the rest of your stuff. #2 I don't care if you only used it a few times. If it's at a yard sale, on the curb, don't expect me to pay 60 dollars for something you paid 65 for. #3 having lunch available is genius!!! I didn't take advantage today, but good thinking. #4 Just be nice! Its not that hard! and finally #5 Advertise!!! We probably missed a ton of sales because we got tired of hunting for them.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Mixed Feelings on Life

Ok, so admit it. The year really starts, not in January as celebrated, but, at the end of August/beginning of September. New clothes in the closet. New ambitions, new goals, new friends, new teachers...etc. This year has been just a little tough....maybe just weird, but I'm not starting traditional school for the first time since I was three years old. Admittedly, I do start subbing as soon as the calls start coming, but for now I'm struggling with not having school as a "purpose" in my life. For those of you who don't know, I did get a three month, long term substitute position at the school I student taught at. I am unbelievably excited (and if i already mentioned this on my blog...get over excited :) ) But that doesn't start until October, and I want to be in classes NOW. Teaching preferably, but learning is always a great experience that I truly love, so for now I'm busying myself reading and completing projects that NEED to be done. Hoping to get sub calls soooon :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Vision for the world

This is a book I would have never picked up if it hadn't been for the fact that I received it through the Blogging for Books program of Waterbrook Multnomah publishing. I had heard little things about the book Radical. Nothing bad, but nothing amazing either. I mean if you look at a book and its cover is modern looking and it has a one word title, its probably going to be marketing toward a crowd that I'm not a part of. Right? Wrong. I just finished reading Radical Together by David Platt about unleashing the church to do the will of God, and Wow...that's all I really have to say. This book isn't just about unleashing Gods people to do Gods work in their corner of the world. Its about equiping people to do the work of God all over the world. If you have ever had the pulling in your stomach for missions, this book will make you be on the field right now. At least it did for me. I was encouraged to look around me and see the natural ministries that God has blessed me with. The book really makes you want to open your eyes to the opportunities that you have where you are right now.

As I was reading this book, I was expectantly waiting to turn the page and find something that made this author one of "those guys." Except he taught to sacrifice church growth if that's not God's will for your church. He instructed to evaluate if your amazing programs were the best choice for furthering the gospel. He talked about how we don't always have to find "just the right person" for this or that ministry and reminded his readers that God can use the weak things of this world.

You can (and i highly recommend that you do) purchase a copy of this book here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fresh Brewed Life

My morning quiet time usually consists of my Bible, journal, whatever I'm reading at the time and a nice hot-ish cup of coffee. I curl up on our "new to us" couches and spend however long I have talking to God, reading his word, writing to Him and then reading whatever book I'm reading through. All the while drinking my Berres Bros. CinnaNut Island with cream and sugar. Imagine how perfectly a book called Fresh-Brewed Life fit into the equation. Im still not quite sure how i felt about the book. There are parts I agreed with and parts I didn't so much. I feel like this book hits an issue I have blogged about before in that our society needs to know what true love is before we can expect them to understand what Christ has to offer us. I do not agree with certain statements that downplayed the importance of the question of eternal residence by replacing it with a question of our temporal response to realizing His eternal love. Though the second question is important, perhaps the second most important question, next to the first, it pales in comparison.

Overall the book was well written to include anecdotes and journaling prompts that I found to be very helpful. The book is very much directed at married women, so there were parts I skimmed fairly quickly that were not meant for me at the stage of life I'm currently in. While the book didn't "blow me away," I am by no means sad or disappointed with it.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Love You More

Adoption is something that I have always dreamed of doing some day. Since I was a little kid, I have thought about holding a baby that someone else was unable to care for. Part of this was inspired by my aunt who has adopted several kids, but it's also been sparked by seeing families who have brought home little ones. I was given the opportunity to read Love You More by Jennifer Grant. The book tells of her story of adopting her daughter Mia from Guatemala. Since I have a good background in Spanish, I had another connection to the book :) My heart broke for her as she waited and waited for the paperwork to go through all the red tape. Though I didn't agree with all of her religious views, but the book was an insightful look at the world of adoption, even if I'm a few years off from that possibility. The story of international adoption really made me consider this as a possibility for my future. I did find a few parts of the book that I would have changed. At times, I felt like the book was taking a few rabbit trails, and skipped around a bit. I'm a big fan of chronological order, but this book didn't always follow it. Overall, I would recommend this book to a friend who was considering adoption.

I received this book for free as a part of the Booksneeze program of Thomas Nelson Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book Review Wednesday!! (with a personal twist)

Have you ever picked up a book repeatedly and wanted to put it down several times? Sometimes you just want to slam it down for added theatrical effect..except it wasn't because the book was bad or distasteful, but because it pricked at your heart in almost every chapter? Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley was one of those books for me. Just the premise of the book (keeping your heart clean of four emotions that want to choke out everything that God wants to do in and through your life) was convicting. Just this past Sunday I was able to lead a little girl to the Lord (which was absolutely and incredibly amazing, and I'll have to write about it later), and even in that incredibly joyous time, this book came to mind and pricked my heart. When I talk to someone about Christ, I always talk to them about having short sin accounts with God. I don't tell them to ask Christ to forgive future sins again, because He already did that, but I do tell them that they need to apologize for their sin, thank God for His forgiveness, and ask Him to help them not to commit that act again. This book brought to my consciousness how little I actually do that. This book takes a look at four negative emotions that pull our hearts away from our walk with God. The four emotions, anger, guilt, greed, and jealousy, and things that I didn't really think I had a problem with. Probably because I was comparing myself to other people. You can always find someone angrier, guiltier, greedier, and more jealous than you are if you look hard enough.

When I started reading this book, I thought "please let this book be good! It's so funny!" And it was, but the humor didn't mask or downplay the importance of the contents. I highly recommend this book!

I received a free copy of this book through the Blogging for Books program of Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers. i was not required to write a positive review.

You can purchase a copy of this book here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

200th post...without a catchy title

It's almost 1 am. My fan is making this really annoying clicking sound as it oscillates back and forth. Lightning is occasionally peeking through the sky light, and i have yet to unplug the Christmas lights that encircle our ceiling. What am I still doing awake? The same thing I've been doing for about two weeks now. Wondering if time really does heal all wounds. Maybe its like physical wounds...sometimes you just always have that limp. Since January, my life has kind of been up in the air. Change keeps beating me around, while i feel like my life is acting like the old white mazda pickup we used to have when I was a kid. Stalled out at the intersection. Pain doesn't stop. Thoughts don't stop. Dreams don't stop. Good thing my God doesn't stop either :) I've never seen it more evident than in the past 7 months that my God is always here for me. Sometimes I envy those who start living the Christian life and convince themselves of the delusion that everything is peachy from there on out. I live in the land where God doesn't take away all of my problems, but He lets me crawl up in His lap on a hard day...and on a good day for that matter. Ok, so now its after 1 and I have a walk scheduled in the morning...followed by a very very busy day. Time to crawl up in His arms and go to sleep :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Book Review Wednesday!

Maybe this is becoming a thing :) This week I read Don't Check Your Brains at the Door by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler. This book is geared toward youth, so I tried to put my brain back into those channels. The book is very attractively set up. Which is pretty important for teen readers...If it doesn't look interesting, they aren't going to read it. The chapters/sections were also brief...also good for some teen readers. I loved the way the chapters were done. The authors presented a common myth and then debunked it using God's word and simple logic. For example, a chapter was called "Everybody's doing it" The conformist myth. The only problem I found was I wasn't always sure they took it far enough. Sometimes I felt like they were just about to hit it head on and the page and a half "chapter" was over. That aside, there is one chapter that I felt was spot on (there were more than one...this was just the clincher for me). The section on doubt was presented that doubt is not a bad thing. Doubt leads to inquiry which leads to figuring out what you believe. The books says, "Doubt is not the opposite of faith. It is the forefather of faith. Doubt does not cancel faith; it should give way to faith." I may need to write a blog entry on this by itself later :)

I received this book for free as part of the Booksneeze program of Thomas Nelson publishing. I was not required to write a positive review.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Tonight has certainly been a night of musing. The air is heavy, not too warm (ok so it really is toooo warm), but definitely heavy. Life has been kinda like that. Change has been a theme of my life lately, and I can't actually say I'm a fan. I'm trying...I'm trying to embrace change, but it's just something I have to get used to. As soon as I start getting used to it, everything changes again. I guess that's how life is though. Maybe its because change is so constant in my life, maybe its because I change a little more every day. I sometimes struggle with the fact that God doesn't change...ever. Thats a comforting thought in this crazy mixed up world :)

Birthday girl's birthday adventure...

Today is my roommate Amber's birthday. Tomorrow I'm sending her on an adventure. This post is one of her clues of where to go. As she opens this page, she will be sitting at a coffee shop sipping her iced green tea, probably about to spend time with her God because I'm doubting she could hold off checking what was coming next until after that is all done :) I know it's pretty warm out, but I already told her she can't go on her daily walk. Now is the time. She's going to walk to tivoli...there, she must find a card that I've left for her. and im realllllly hoping no one else walks off with it...that could be rough. Amber and i have been friends for almost a year. Kinda hard to believe thats all its been. Last August I walked up to her and said, hi, we need to be friends...and as crazy as that sounds, it worked. Now, we're roommates; we work together; we go to church together and we teach kids clubs together. Shes pretty cool...sometimes :-p Well amber have a good walk! find that note!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hot days and Iced Coffees

It's hot's hot in at a coffee shop that like many places in WI does not have a/c. What's the point? It's in the negatives the rest of the year anyway. I'm sitting here enjoying my iced coffee, partly because I still love coffee, partly because it's cold, and partly because its one of the cheapest things on the menu. My roommates are sitting across the table from me focused on the respective hulu shows theyre watching. Alyssa is leaving in about half an hour...she's headed to Argentina. Im not going to lie, I'm jealous. I'm insanely excited for her. She is about to have her entire life changed by meeting some of the most incredible people in the world and growing closer to our God than ever before :)

Vacation Bible school has been going on this week. At first I wasn't so sure I was going to want to drive an hour each way to get there each night, but I've made it for three and Im going tonight. I can't really begin to describe the blessing it has been to my life. I've been really growing this year, mainly through pain, but this week God is growing me through joy. I love seeing those little kids falling in love with Jesus for the first time or falling more in love with who He is. It has also been really nice not being the one in charge for a change...though I admit I've been itching to takeover a few times.

I did encounter a very comical but serious thing last week in my life. Now, Izzy is my car. She is very...special. I'm convinced that she's bitter about living outside because she regularly likes to visit garages and spend a night or two indoors. Last week, I decided it was finally time to get my brakes fixed. My first clue was stomping on them to stop and wondering if i would actually stop a few times. My amazing brother told me that whatever it cost, he wanted to pay for it. Neither of us imagined what he had gotten himself into. The call came. My rear drums were cracked and falling apart. My front brakes...the pads...well, they were nonexistent. 556.95 I literally got sick to my stomach. With rent, student loan payments, and life I couldn't afford it, but there was NO way I expected my brother to pay for it. He called and asked for the estimate. I hesitantly told him...He didn't even breathe deeply, just said, "ok, i'll have to send it to you in two parts." My jaw dropped. I literally almost cried in the middle of the restaurant i was waiting for my car in. Let me explain my car situation for those of you who don't know....last summer I had no money, no job, and no car. God provided 1500 dollars and suddenly appeared my car on craigslist for 1500 with new tires already. Then i got to school, in november, her water pump died. 251 dollars...a check came in the mail (from that amazing brother) for 175. Then in January, a poorly plowed parking lot resulted in a torn off exhaust system. The company paid for half...the other half was up to me. 400 dollars. My parents gave me 400 dollars for Christmas to pay for my car. March. Car inspection...only cost me 114. I was sure it was going to be worse. June. My car started overheating. Took it to the garage, a sensor replaced 159.75. The next sunday my church in WI gave me 200 dollars for my car repairs. July. Brakes. 556.95. Little brother taking care of it. I have amazing friends and family, but more important and AMAZING, INCREDIBLE God.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Life without internet

So, maybe, if there is anyone out there still reading this, you're wondering why im posting three entries in one day. Well, we've been without internet at home for the past two weeks. That is going to change this Friday, but until then, I don't get a whole lot of online time unless I walk on block from my house to the little coffee shop. Have I mentioned how dangerous it is for me to have a coffee shop one block from my house...and another just two blocks from there? Obviously I have been reading a lot. More than i read while i was in school actually. This past weekend i did get to go see two of my best friends in the whole world get married. That was pretty much amazing and I cried.
Ive been dealing with life, and Im super happy to say that things are looking pretty awesome. I have great friends, great family and a GREATER God. currently watching a girl push her car down the read...ya, i feel bad for her. anyway, back to a little more real life and a little less virtual life :)

Second Half of book review wed :)

Imagine trying to kill yourself only to loose your legs and live in pain for the rest of your life. The average person would probably feel like the biggest failure to ever have to live. The story of Kristen Anderson is one that is not only inspiring but transparent. Kristen tried to commit suicide at the age of 17. She put herself on the train tracks one cold night wanting to end it all, the pain from the death that surrounded her and the guilt and shame of her rape. She figured that a train was the way to ensure death. God had other plans. In what can only be called a miracle in many different instances, Kristen lived through the harrowing ordeal. People responded to her differently. Some said harsh and cruel things, others gave her hope. She began to wonder and struggle with the fate of her soul. What would have happened if she had died that night? With the help of her therapist's husband, Kristen found the answer to that question. This book was well written, and clearly pointed to Christ through it all. As a result of her life experiences, Kristen has started a ministry that reaches out to people in all stages of life and offers them the same hope she searched for. This was a book I could not put down. Though I haven't experienced it to the same degree, depression is something I have struggled with from time to time. It is an ugly monster. This book shows that God can overcome it, if you give Him the battle.

I highly recommend this can click here to see its product page :)

I received this book for free as a part of the the Blogging for Books program of the publisher.

Book Review Wednesday

Ok, so I haven't actually started a book review Wednesday as a staple, but it just so happens that I have two of them today. This week, i was privileged to read two incredible books this week. The first is Rumors of God Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson. These men have been friends since growing up together in Austrailia and are now both working in churches in the states. I will put a slight disclaimer on this book. I don't agree with absolutely everything in this book in theology or practice, but I found a few times when I really wanted to put the book down....because it was right. Conviction is a funny thing. Reading this book brought me to the point of forgiving someone who greatly wronged me. I wanted the freedom it spoke of. I found it ironic coming out of the chapter on freedom realizing that God had something for me to change because as I went in I was skeptical of the freedom the book spoke I usually am when I read modern books on Christian "freedoms." The other part of the book that slapped me pretty hard was the part that talks about how we hide behind masks and social network profiles out of fear that people will see the read person. I am definitely a person with trust issues, and this book addressed that head on. Rumors pointed out things in our society and my life that I don't even think about as anything but normal. I highly recommend this book for anyone. I did disagree on some kingdom theology and how to practice the love of Christ, but overall this was a very good read.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Why God won't go away

When I first sat down to read this book, I thought, "What am i thinking?!?! This is like one of those books I was forced to read in college, and here I am reading choice." As I continued to read, I found the book well written and very relevant to our generation. The book discusses the weaknesses in the New Atheism movement. This movement doesn't just deny the existence of God but attacks religion as a universal institution. They claim religion is violent, defies reason and logic, and is simply a delusion that man has created. The author approaches this topic with respect. The author was an atheist who has since converted to Christianity. He knows how to attack this branch of atheism without attacking the belief as a whole. I'm not saying I believe that atheism is a correct belief by any means, but attacking someone's beliefs is a very poor way to encourage them to believe yours. I think the author was absolutely correct in his approach to this.

As far as reading level goes, this book is pretty high. I was very excited to read a word i didn't know used a few times in this book. I like books that challenge not just my thinking, but my vocabulary.

I received this book for free as a part of the Booksneeze program of Thomas Nelson Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Every Single Woman's Battle...

I just read Every Single Woman's Battle by Shannon Ethridge. I was kind of disappointed. Partially because I've already read Every Woman's Battle which was ok. This book was kind of meant to be a companion guide to that book (though it claims to be sufficient on its own), so I had basically already read it. That's the other reason I was disappointed was because there was nothing new in this book. It was literally just quotes from Every Woman's Battle and Every Man's Battle. I do admit that the questions for discussion were very good, and if you can find a group which is actually capable of openly and honestly discussing this type of struggle, it could be a very useful tool. I do admire the author's commitment to her work. Sexual struggles for women isn't a very popular subject. The author fights some of the myths and misconceptions of women's battles.

Each chapter of this book is broken down into a few sections. It is introduced by quoting a passage or two from the books I listed above. Then the reader is challenged to examine their own lives to discover where they are struggling. Then they have a section for group discussion, and every chapter is finished off with a prayer. I have to give this book about a 3 out of 5 stars, but I highly recommend reading and discussing it while you read Every Woman's Battle.

I received this book for free as a part of the Blogging For Books program with the publisher. I was not required to write a postive review.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Heart. My homes

As the line goes, "Home is where the heart is." That's why its so hard to pin down my "home" these days. There's home, my physical residence where I live, and there's home...hundreds of miles away. I've been blessed with two places that feel like home. Two places that my heart aches for when absent from them. Two churches that I am blessed to call mine.

Home #1 is the one i have known my whole life, and yet if it weren't for my church, it wouldnt really be home at all. I mean my parents live there, but theres far more to it than that. Walnut Creek Baptist Church is the church I started attending when i was 7 years old. For those of you wondering, its not a "praise band" church. It has conservative standards that serve as guardrails for people who live and raise their children and families in that church. The standards do not serve as shackles. I miss that church dearly. It's where I got saved, baptized, and taught so many things about life and love. It's this church that sent my family Christmas presents just a few months after we began attending. It's this church that supported our family when my dad had cancer. It's this church that prayed for me through years of college. It's this church that I can walk into and feel at home at anytime. When I was 12 or 13, our church welcomed a new pastor. It was tough at first. We didn't have a lot of the guardrails he wanted to put in place. We didnt want them. We thought he might have been a little power hungry. Years later I look back and i know he was exactly what God had for us at that time. He is the man that was exactly what we needed. Of course, with a pastor, comes his children. I was intimidated. As a "nerd," I got intimidated easily. Tomorrow (Friday) one of his daughters will get married. I'm happy to say that my intimidation was ill founded and i found friends among his children. They truly want to live for Christ in a world where it's not always easy. I found many other friends at WCBC. Some are still in my life and some broke my heart. They walked away from me as they walked away from God and the church (not that walking away from a particular church building is walking away from God, but in some cases, thats just how it works). As we entered college, my youth group friends began to tentatively reach to discover what we really believed. I am happy to say, that most of what I found was what I had already been taught. Our church has grown as we have. At first our searching was examined and a little misunderstood. There were hurt feelings and frustration to work through, but its amazing that once lines of communication were opened, we understood what was going on...on both sides. No church is perfect, and there are things that can always be improved, but I'm so happy to call that place home. I don't understand how people can be brought up around such amazing, loving people, and turn away from all they have been taught and experienced. I know God's word will not return void. For those of you there, I miss you all more than words can say. My heart has been aching lately to return home, even for a little while, but I know that God has my here at this time in my life for a reason.

Home #2. When I started my time at mbbc I didn't really know what I was getting myself into. I prayed that I was making the right choice. I had peace that I was, but I knew no one. Through God's evident leading, He brought me to Berean Baptist Church. I've been there for 4 years, and I have learned that the body of Christ I was a part of at WCBC wasn't limited to that church. I have found families that have taken us in for meals and good times. I have found friends that spiritually challenge me, and I have found a place to use my talents to serve my God. I am so thankful to know that I have a home away from home.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Life Lately... life lately could be summed up in a few words...what? huh? wooo! ummm? lol Lots of things are going on. Car broke down, car got fixed, is car fixed? who knows. I guess i'll answer that question in the next few days. Tutoring is going well. I'm learning fun new ways to teach different subjects, and teaching myself new games as I make them up for my kids :) Then there's my new retail job. I pretty much love that. I never knew that I would love retail, but it's pretty awesome. I just wish I had a few more hours each week.

My amazing brother got me a new phone. He's pretty awesome. He's basically the coolest brother ever. I now have an electronic leash to the rest of the world at all times. Not sure how I always feel about that.

There are a few down dips on this roller coaster of life, but this isn't the time or place to talk about them. Overall, my life is basically as amazing, except for those few unsavory parts that aren't. I find it interesting that Obama won on his platform of change. Change is awful. Even when it sounds good at first, it usually ends up causing tension and irritation. Yay change! :-/ lol

Monday, June 20, 2011

God's Love Letters Review

Today I got God's Love Letters To You by Larry Crabb in the mail. Tonight I'm reviewing it. Why such a fast turn around? Because it was THAT amazing. I loved it. This book got five stars. While I was reading I would stop and just make my roommate listen to a paragraph, a passage, or a page that I loved. The book highlights 40 books in the Bible with a short love letter "from God" for each. At first, I was a little nervous that the letters would be vague and talking about this nebulous love of God that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but it wasn't. The book spoke of the real love of God. The God is LOVE love of God. The "letters" are heartfelt, truthful and promote holiness above happiness. I do intend to read one of these a day as intended, but I couldn't put it down. The style reminds me of a Father writing to his daughter. I write to talk to God. I write to figure out what He's trying to teach me. Reading "letters" just helps me. The written word is my best medium for communication.

I received this book free as a part of the "Booksneeze" program by this publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This one got it!

I guess it's book review Wednesday on here, but thankfully, I can give this book a much better review! I read It's Not About Me by Max Lucado, and I was really excited about it because in a world where its all about "self-esteem" and making yourself feel good, this book got it! Its not about me, its about God. Of course I LOVE Lucado's writing style and ability to say what he means without beating around any bushes. The book starts with a section focused on thinking about our God and how amazing He really is. When you have a right view about God, it's easier to make it ALL ABOUT HIM! It was nice just to sit and reflect on the different aspects of God. Then comes the section about making it all about God. Everything we have is for his glory, our things, our bodies, our friends, our family...everything. This book just really made me think about times when I say it's all about Him, and then live like its all about me. That thing you just felt was a glimpse of the conviction this book hit me with. I reccomend it to be a part of the library of any person that seek to glorify God with their entire life.

I received this book from the publisher for free as a part of the "Booksneeze" program. I was not require to write a positive review

Sorely Disappointed :(

I recently received a book about the Holy Spirit, The God I Never Knew by Robert Morris. I was very excited because as I've written on here, I believe this is a member of the Godhead we miss. I started to read, and I got a little uneasy when the author went on about how the Holy Spirit as a distinct voice in our thoughts that over time we can learn to distinguish. My thought was "Yes, I believe that the Holy Spirit can guide our thoughts and bring Scripture to mind, but the Holy Spirit is NOT a schizophrenic voice in my head." I also believe it is biblical that tongues are a gift that God gave to the apostles before Scripture was completed, and since Scripture has been completed, it is a gift that has been done away with (as for tongues, they shall cease). This author does not feel this way, and participates in "Prophecy conferences" that aren't just studying prophecy given to us in Scripture. The author goes on to say that we must receive the Holy Spirit in an act different than that of salvation. My question to that is, how can I receive God at salvation, without receiving God (the Holy Spirit)? This book is one of the reasons for the story the author placed at the beginning about his wise pastor warning him to stay away from those who "talk about the Spirit." Was this book well written? besides a few glaring typos, yes. Was it an easy read? Fairly so. Was if biblically accurate? I declare an emphatic NO. I was sorely disappointed.

I received this book free as a part of the publisher's "Blogging for Books" program. I was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The Waiting Place........hmmmm

This book looked perfect. The premise really kind of outlines where I am in life. One of those times when you feel like the universal remote of life has been used to push pause. When you aren't sure where you're going or how to get there, and you're just stuck waiting. When I first read this book, I was kind of disappointed in that I didn't feel like it hit on just what it was supposed to. It didn't give me verses to read to meditate through the "dark" places of the "waiting place." It didn't give me those little Christian inspirational "pep talks" that tell me everthing is going to be ok if you just hang in there another day or two. It was really well written, a captivating read of humor and a little drama and trauma, but it didn't have what i thought it should be. It just didnt...but I waited to write a review. I waited almost a week. I can't explain why I didn't post right away, but I gave the book time to set in. Then i realized the whole point of the book was not to commiserate with you in the Waiting place but to show you that the waiting place is a place we are in our whole lives in some way or another, and if we just wish away the "waiting places," we wish away our entire lives. I liked this book...a lot...there were little parts here and there when i was like ooooo...thats not what I would have chosen but overall it was a genuine look into Eileen Button's life. A few of the things I would have probably left out were her struggles as a pastor's wife, but then again....that makes it genuine. I would probably give this book a 4 out of 5 star rating :)

I recieved this book free as a part of the Booksneeze program of Thomas Nelson Publishing

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Picking my scabs...

It amazes me that as humans, we are prone to poke our wounds when they are just starting to heal. As a child, I poked my scabs...and picked at them...I would pick 'em just enough to get to the point where they weren't ready to come off, and i would pull at it slowly. We enjoy pain...I'm not sure why. Maybe we just like to feel something. Maybe it's only when the wounds are the severing lines of something we just don't think we can ever really let go of. Maybe we don't trust God enough to believe that healing and tomorrow is better than pain and yesterday. The thing i learned from all that scab picking as a kid. The ones i never picked at...they just went away. The ones i obsessively picked at. Those are the ones that are actual scars today. I wish it was as easy as letting God rub some antibiotic ointment on there and believing Him that its going to feel better soon if we just leave it alone.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Untamed made me hungry...

Untamed by Lisa Harper left me wanting to search out my untamed Savior. The Savior I can't fit into any box. My Savior that although He doesn't fit in "their" box, doesn't fit in my box either. The God that isn't afraid to confront me about my sin. My God who is both the Lion and the Lamb. That was the purpose of this witty, attention grabbing book. With chapters about my wildly compelling and wildly faithful Savior, there were definitely moments where I just smiled thinking about how awesome my God really is. The format of this book made it very easy to read. I finished it in about 2 days, but it would have been much faster if i just had time to sit down and read! I didn't find the whole book peaches and cream. Though I loved her story telling, I at times feel that her handling of Scripture or bible stories was a little irreverent, though I'm sure that wasn't the case at all.

Though this may sound strange, I found my favorite part of the book to be the discussion questions included after every chapter. Though they were tied to the chapter itself, there were many times that I wouldn't at all have gleaned something from the chapter had it not been for these questions.

You can order this book here.
You can read an excerpt here.

I received this book as part of the Blogging For Books program with this publisher.

The Seraph Seal

The Seraph Seal took me on a journey similar to what I would imagine to be The DaVinci Code, though I have never read it. The general idea is that a predestined group struggles to break the code of an early new testament manuscript before the predestined "evil" group does the same.

It is fortunate for this book's rating that I don't rely on fiction for doctrine. Doctrinally, this book gets a zero out of five stars, but as far as fiction goes, this book gets about three and a half stars out of five. The authors developed their characters very well, but any reader may struggle keeping up with each character through the many two paragraph anecdotes. The book was a bit predictable, but it certainly captured possible reactions of society to apocalyptic events. It was also interesting to see some possible modern applications of prophecy considering today's technology. One area where there was no room to fault the authors was on their amazing research. The Seraph Seal was one of the most clearly researched books I have ever read. There were very few discrepencies with the exception of the concept of translation, and a code being lost in it. Overall, it was a good fictional read with no doctrinal benefit. I would go as far as not to recommend this book to anyone without a biblical understanding of the end times.

I received this book as part of the Booksneeze program with Thomas Nelson publishing. I was not required to write a positive review.

Birthday adventures

Today was my birthday. Today was a day of adventure. My roommate Amber decided today was going to be a day she was in charge of, so i wasn't allowed to get up until she came to get me. That was a little difficult because I woke up about 2 hours before she did. I decided to spend that couple of hours finishing up some books Im reading, so yes, stay tuned for some book reviews. :) At about 9 am, amber opened my door with a cinnamon roll and a mocha in her hands...I was happy :) She handed me an index card telling me to pack my things and head to another friends apt to get ready for my day. There I enjoyed a bubble bath and a long time alone with my God :) The next card that I found there told me that my third graders from student teaching were expecting me for lunch. That definitely made me smile. I L.O.V.E. spending time with them. Upon arriving at the school, I got a text to return home after my happy little lunch. Lunch was great, and I got cards from all my kids. Then I came back home for a walk to a nearby park, just a great time to relax and enjoy my God's amazing, beautiful creation. Arriving back home, Amber drove me to the president of MBBC's house, and she and I went out shopping...though i didn't get anything, it was a blast anyway. I got back home, only to get in the car and head to a horse stable to spend the next hour playing with and petting horses. :) THAT was extremely happy as I haven't gotten to interact with horses in a long time. Again, we got in the car and headed to another undisclosed location...this time Chili's for dinner where we ate WAYYYYY too much. The waiter was awesome and my birthday brownie sundae was pretty incredible. To end the day, I got home and had a great time hanging out with some of my favorite people playing games. So yes, it was a good day, and maybe 25 won't be that bad....

Friday, May 13, 2011

Churched by Matthew Turner

This review is hard to write. Not because I didn't like the book because I did. Not because I thought the book was wrong because it wasn't. This review is hard to write because it spells out the same spiritual journey I have taken in my life, the same journey that my church has undertaken. The journey where the masks are removed and people are sincere, yet flawed creations. Matthew Turner writes with a humor that does not lessen the importance of his story, but maybe it's easier for me to see that because it's my story as well. He shares anecdotes of his childhood that show what a Christianity about rules rather than Christ leads to. My only problem with this book is that Turner does not offer an alternative, a solution to the problem, but maybe that's because he's still searching for it himself. Maybe that is the solution, to search with a genuine and open heart for the things God has for us.

I give this book five out of five stars because of Turner's ability to honestly grasp the life of someone in this movement. The good and the bad. The right and the wrong. I give This book five stars because it was written by someone who didn't make a knee jerk reaction to something he felt was massively flawed.

I received this book as a part of the "Blogging for Books" program with Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review.

You can purchase this book on the publisher's page here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Graduation and other fun things

So I officially walked out of the gym at maranatha with the class of 2011. I am an alumni. That feeling is pretty amazing. Another amazing feeling, I didn't fall walking across the stage in front of the world. My heel slipped...I felt my heart skip and then i squared my shoulders and walked slowly across the platform. Then came the tassel flip. Dr. Brock flipped my tassel, and it was like all my equilibrium was completely thrown off. I had to take a deep breath before I even thought about walking across the rest of the platform. Graduation was followed by the traditional hour of taking random pictures with absolutely anyone you ever shared a lunch table with, and then we were off to our open house and our hundreds of cookies. Hundreds...and i still have half of them downstairs in my kitchen. It was great and a blast to see some of the people that love Lori and I (we had our party together since a lot of people who would come to mine would come to hers as well). I just want to say a big THANKS! to everyone who made graduation a special day :)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Nick of Time took no time at all

So I know that book reviews have become a common thing on here, but OMW there are some great books out there! I actually just finished one last night. Actually it was this morning because i COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN. I read Nick Of Time by Tim Downs. I say read, but I actually mean devoured. It was so great! The story was engaging. The characters were realistic and well developed. Downs took risks with his characters, but he was consistent with them. And the best part........I have never read another Bug Man Novel, and I still knew what was going on! Usually when I read a book that is part of a series, I get frustrated if it is not the first book. Tim Downs crafted this novel in a way that it was not difficult to understand the general idea of the series. This is at least the 4th book. But I will be reading them in the future. In this book, Nick, a socially awkward forensic entomologist, goes on an adventure the week of his wedding. Don't worry, his stupidity is pointed out several times. The book is filled with twists and turns that kept me guessing. I would highly recommend this book to absolutely anyone who enjoys action filled mysteries.

I received a free copy of this book as a part of the booksneeze program. I was not required to write a positive review.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Chocolate Diaries

The title to this book alone made me want to read it. Unlike the author, I'm not a chocoholic, but I was intrigued at the idea of a Christian Living/Women's interest book that had something to do with chocolate. The idea of the book is simply finding the sweet pieces in a life filled with bitter ingredients. It started out with talking about how to blend these bitter ingredients into the recipe of your life to make a sweeter product in the end. I had to give this book three stars out of five because I felt that as a "Christian Interest" book, there wasn't a lot of Christian going on. It just didn't blow me away, which is what a book would have to do to earn all five stars. The exception to this is definitely the second to last chapter, which pretty much nailed the whole thing. If that chapter were the entire book, it would have gotten 5 out of 5 stars. I did like that the author didn't sugar coat anything despite the sweet title. She got in and got right to her point. The book contains funny anecdotes and great tips on handling the little things in life. Possibly my favorite part of the book (with the exception of that exceptional chapter of course) was that each chapter ended with a recipe or chocolate idea. It was definitely a rather enjoyable and easy read.

You can order this book here.

Read the first chapter here.

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing group for this review.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Note to self:

Living with roommates in a house makes you do things you would have never thought to do on your own. For example: have a gilmore girls marathon...still ok with not doing that. Have a crazy green surprise party for an awesome girl's birthday...yup that one was fun! Breakfast club :)...getting turtles also very happy, but that thing you did last night...ya the trying fake nails for the first time...ya that was DUMB! Don't ever do that again. They made your hands hurt and were almost impossible to get off (unless I would have wanted them to stay on...then I'm sure they would have popped right off).

Monday, April 18, 2011

Max On Life

I recently just finished reading Max on Life. I love anything written by Max Lucado, so this book seemed like a no brainer. This book was inspired by all the questions the author receives in his office every day. One thing I liked was that the questions were not rephrased or sugar coated. Neither were the answers. Lucado didn't seem scared to lose readers with his answers. He was more concerned with being biblically correct than politically correct. He shares tender, compassionate answers to people who are genuinely searching and hurting. He shared not just proverbial, hypothetic answers but pieces of his own life. That coupled with the amazing applicable verses form truly inspiring advice and guidance.

This book was formatted very well. It's broken into categories including hope, hurt, help, heaven and hell, and relationship advice. Each page relates a different question and answer. One of my favorite quotes from this book is, "They may be out of God's will but not out of his reach." When I read that I actually stopped, got out a pen, and underlined it. It was a huge encouragement to me. This book is full of quotes that remind us that God is in control

I received this book for free as part of the booksneeze program with Thomas Nelson Publishing. I was not required to give a positive review.

Wonderful features :)

This is my first Bible review. I'm kind of a Bible collecter. I have big ones, little ones, leather, hardcover, paperback, ESV, KJV, NKJV. Actually, this is my first NKJV. I sometimes look it up online to compare and study, but now, I simply have to go to my bookshelf. It's not my favorite translation, but I like having it around for comparison and study. This Bible is very nice. At first, I was a little skeptical that it was paperback, and though it did arrive a little bent (i blame the post office) it is well made and will stand the test of time. It also has the Nelson publishing lifetime Bible guarantee. Which guarantees quality for life. The is also very strong, which is usually a problem for bibles and me. NOW, on to the real things that make this bible different. It's the Take Action Bible. The "subtitle" is "Together we can change the world," and it goes on to say that the Bible recounts many stories of God taking ordinary people and calling them to act. Whether it be going, giving, teaching, or simply using your talents to serve God, this Bible challenges you to do exactly what God has called you to do. Its stories, recounting modern day servants of God, show that action was not just a thing of "bible times." Each story is followed up by a simple devotional that makes you think about how you could do something similar in your own life. If you don't know where to start, they have even included 52 ideas for service. Imagine God's people doing one thing a week to show his love, compassion, mercy, and justice to a lost world! I highly recommend this bible, and I will recommend it to the youth I work with who really want to do something with their lives for God :)

I recieved a free copy as part of the booksneeze program with Thomas Nelson Publishing. I was not required to post a positive review.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Are you sure it's only been a week?

This has been one of the longest weeks of my life. Not sure why exactly. It hasn't been particularly hard or easy. I DID get to sub EVERYDAY this past week which is VERY exciting. Every day that Im in a classroom, I get a reaffirmation that this is EXACTLY what i want to do for the rest of my life. I began the week teaching fifth grade. It was fun. It's an age group I really enjoy. We had an assembly which was one of the most interesting of my life. It was a motivational speaker...and...well...I'll just leave his website here for you guys and let you decide what you think ( It was definitely an experience...but it feels like it was a year ago. On Tuesday, I got to sub for my cooperating teacher! SOOO I had my third graders! I miss them so much. I let them have a quick Q & A time since I haven't seen them in forever. One little girl asked, "Where do you work?" lol. They are just ASTOUNDED that teachers get PAID to hang out with them all day. Then came Wednesday....thats the day I was a middle school and high school music teacher. That was interesting. If you don't know, Im NOT musical. Not at all...not in the slightest way. And the teacher prepared for that, which meant I literally did nothing all day. It was one of the days i hated with i was in school. There was a sub so our teacher just gave us busy work and sent us on our way, but I'm sure they didn't feel that way at all...I did learn that even if i was musical I would never want to be a music teacher. The class sizes are HUGE. Thursday, I had one of the best behaved second grade classes I have ever seen. It was a day where I actually felt like I was just hanging out and having fun, and yet maintained complete control of the class. I would have said that they were the best class I have ever subbed for, but then came Friday. I have never in my all my hours of observation, field work, student teaching and subbing...seen a class that worked so well with a substitute. There was not one instant of frustration. Then today, I got to come to beloit for a wonderful morning at the ladies tea :) overall a great week....hmmmm...apparently this post doesn't want paragraph breaks...

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Review of The Final Summit

After reading The Final Summit by Andy Andrews, it seemed to me that this book was confused as to whether it was a novel or a nonfiction, Christian, inspirational volume. I did find the history fascinating, with characters like Abraham Lincoln, Anne Frank, Joan of Arc, and a little known story about a man named Eric Erickson, but in the end I felt that the book really missed the mark. While reading, my brain was screaming "Glorify God" or "Seek God" to the question that had been posed by the archangel Gabriel, but I was sorely disappointed when the author presented his answer. I was also disappointed with phrases like "the Boss" to describe God. While all of the statements the author made were true, I found a brilliant opportunity had been wasted.

The book's good points were obvious, extensive research on the part of the author, wonderful word choice, and some great moral lessons. The author hit some themes that struck me anew and made me think. I just feel that Andy Andrews failed to hit this one home.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Another Book Review!

Combine Spanish and reading...and you have combined two of my favorite things and made me very happy. Because my readers primarily do not speak Spanish, I will write my review of this book in English. I know you all are very happy with that decision. I just completed Verde by Ted Dekker. Of course, the English version is called Green. This is the fourth book in his Circle series. The author still refers to the series as a trilogy, calling Green, "Book 0," but that's not really something I can do. Now, on to the book, because I read it in Spanish, it took a considerable amount of time, but, while I'm not saying it was an "easy" read by any means, the author writes in a way that I could use context clues and understand what was going on without pulling out a Spanish dictionary. The storyline kept me gripped enough that I wanted to keep reading even when I found it difficult.

The first three books stand in my mind as three of my favorite all time books. This book, though good, does not yet join them in that ranking. I may have to read in English to pick up on all the little nuances written into this book. I would also need to review Saint, Showdown, and Sinner, as they have a HUGE role in this book. I usually find if fascinating that Dekker can tie all of his books together, but I found it kind of annoying in this book. Overall, the book was a very fun read, and the translation was very helpful to keeping my Spanish skills sharpened.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher...

Saturday, April 02, 2011


This week, my world turned upside down. God asked me who I loved more. Him or a friend. I know that sounds...juvenile, but it came to the point where God asked if I would really say goodbye to Him or them first. He probably asked me this question months ago, but i pushed it away. I assured myself that loving this person was what God would want. I kept telling myself that love is "reaching out and holding on so someone else will know that love is in the not letting go." I kept telling myself that I needed to be a picture of Christ's love to them. And i still believe all of that, except...i needed to love God more than anything else in my life, and i wasn't doing that. My heart was completely and solely focused on something that wasn't God. And my loving, perfect, holy God is jealous. I never understood that before. I never understood how God could be perfect and loving and be jealous. Then i read somewhere that my God is jealous for the ultimate best for us. That best is Him. Does that make Him wrong to want us to be wholly and completely consumed with Him? No. hard as it was, and as much as I've cried already. I said goodbye to a friend i dearly loved...maybe someday, God will give them back...when my heart is wholly and completely His.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Adventure in Home Ec

That's right! Yesterday I got to teach home ec....o well, now its called "Life Tech." The first two hours was with my 7th graders. That was really fun. They were designing their dream bedrooms. They had some crazy one girl wanted to put a lap pool in her room and have her bed on a raised platform. I told her she should consider making the platform her bed is on pretty big, so she doesn't fall off in her sleep and drown. Then, the next few hours were with 8th grade, who pretty much think they rule the world....moving on. The last two hours were with sixth grade. We had to cook. I wondered how cooking with about 40 sixth graders was going to go. And the answer was...def overwhelming...They have to check in for every part of the recipe. Needless to say I really respect any teacher who can get a group of 20-25 sixth graders to cook, eat, and clean in less that 45 min.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Spring "Break"

This "spring break" was a different one. Namely because I didn't really get it like everyone else. I'm done with school, so the week that was mbbc's spring break, wasn't mine. My roommates packed up the car and headed off to Miami, and i welcomed a few friends to stay over. Other than a very frustrating scavenger hunt, it was a fun few days. Then like most other "breaks" in my life, i got sick. My body seems to know exactly when I have a few spare days. I did manage to make it through junior church on sunday, when we had a real life example of Achan stealing, in this case, a giant candy bar and hiding it...under his coat. This most likely occured while the rest of us were in the auditorium for kid's choir...good thing i changed like 3 times that morning. I kinda forgot i'd be standing in front of the entire church. Then there was the 3 year old who got a bloody nose :( It was definitely a fun one. But even being sick, i wouldn't have traded it for the world. i love those kids :) Now, if my roommates could return, and we could get life back to normal, i would appreciate it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pictures of real life

Today I was on facebook...i know, i know shocker...anyway, i was on facebook, and I clicked on a friend's profile and on the side popped up this box, "pictures of you and (insert friend's name here)." There were 12. Twelve simple pictures that would give anyone a glimpse into our friendship. Sadly, as i scrolled through the pictures, I realized that the snapshots painted a picture that wasn't our friendship. It was what i wanted it to be, but not what it is. So here I am being all pensive. I started thinking about how people see a snapshot of God when they see me. They see a snapshot of my "friendship" with God. What does that look like? Is it even accurate? Is it what i wish it was, but a total scam? Or do i try to make it look like we're casual acquaintances to others? anyway random spiritual thought...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What's it cost?

I have a confession to make. I typically do not enjoy reading the Old Testament. Its not that I find it dreadfully boring or anything. That's not the case at all. Frankly, I find it rather depressing. Failure and judgment often seem to be overriding themes. My merciful, gracious God of the new testament, shows the justice and holiness of His person in the old testament, and that is one of the reasons I know I must keep reading. Understanding, or attempting to understand, my God's holiness causes me to stagger at the magnitude of His mercy.

There is one other reason that I struggle with the old testament. I have experienced the Christian life of duty rather than devotion, of law rather than love, and honestly some people live like they must make a choice between Jesus and joy. I always kind of pictured them as "old testament-ish" people. Then these last few days, I dove into the O.T. And Joel and Micah showed me the heart of O.T. saints. Joel tells the people to "rend" their hearts and not their garments and to "return to the Lord." Then today, Micah told me to "do justice, and to love kindness (or steadfast love) and to walk humbly with your God." That was what God required of them before their thousands of sacrifices.

It made me start to think that just like today, God's people then had their Pharisees, but there were also just genuine people who loved their God. So what was the difference? They had a better grasp on the cost of sin. I have a friend who has been reading the O.T., and it .hit her that every time someone sinned, they had to sacrifice a piece of their wealth to atone for it. She asked what we would live like if every time we sinned, we had to pay $100. Wow! I have to admit, I'd think a whole lot more before I sinned. What a shame that the blood of Christ is worth less to us than a little cash.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Whats going on?

I realized that lately i've been giving you spiritual muses without any of the usual humorous drivel of my life. So here it goes....

After seven years of studying...ok not so much not soo much work, money...o yes lots and lots of money, i have FINALLY finished my course of study to become a licensed educator. That word, licensed, is possibly the most important work in the previous sentence. Had i omitted it, I could have been done with school three years ago. Last week, I took a trip home to PA. Upon returning to my house in WI, there, on the counter, there was a large envelope. I knew immediately that what i was staring at was my license. I almost did the happy dance right there in my kitchen. I've subbed a few times. Once in a elementary art class which was just humorous in and of itself. Imagine me trying to help 25 second graders make animals out of chunks of 45 min. That one didn't go over so well...

My junior church has been amazing! God has really been helping me connect to kids, and I love it! I got to teach a few weeks ago, and we learned about how all things work together for good. It was what i was learning at the time, and as such it was super fun to teach. We made a cake and learned how all the bad tasting ingredients work together to make a yummy cake. The kids loved it and are stilllll talking about it weeks later. There is one little girl in the class that I'm really praying for. And i finally made a little chink in her shell yesterday. She's in second grade. Her home life is just vile. She has a dirtier mind than most teens. She likes to roll her eyes at you when you're talking to her about using good language in junior church. Yesterday, she was sitting next to a little girl, and she was being a HUGE help getting the three year old to do what she needed to do. After junior church I pulled her aside and thanked her for all her hard work. Sunday night i got the biggest hug upon coming in, and then she was waiting for me in my pew after we finished shaking hands. She tried so hard to get to the right page in the hymn book, and we even found that morning's memory verse in the Bible. It's amazing what a little encouragement can do :)

O and my little "brother" Mackie got married this year...crazy?'s the "family" with our newest member :)

Just a thought...

My Jesus. I love Him more than words could possibly express. He loves me...more than i can even possibly imagine. But i fail...more times than i can count. Growing up in a cookie cutter community, I thought failure was something to hide. I didn't know that everyone was. I didn't know that other people got angry at God. I didn't know that other people struggled with the little things every day. The Bible tells me that a just man falls seven times and rises yet again. Did you see that? No, no, not the "rises again" part. The "he falls SEVEN times part." The "rises again" part means nothing without the "falls seven times part." (Also notice he falls, he doesn't throw himself down, he doesn't step off a cliff. The ground is not his target...this verse does NOT mean, "its ok if i sin this time because i can just get back up.")

Here's a confession, I yell at God. I stomp my feet. I whine. I just don't understand what happens every day. I fall. And thats ok. As long as i get back up. But here's the thing. Here's the thought of this post. How do we get back up? If you would have asked me, a few years ago, I would had shrugged at you and said, "Get up? Well, um, to do that you kind of have to fall...and well, um, we don't really do that." But now the answer is we have people come up beside us and pick us up. At first, i had a very hard time with this. People came. They tried to help. I pushed them away. How dare they think i was falling...when i was, but over time i grew weak. I couldn't keep pulling myself up by my own boot straps AND keep pushing them away. When the cookies stop looking so perfect, life gets a whole lot easier. I've seen it. I've lived it. I'm watching it happen in others. So my challenge...throw away the cookie cutters. Let them know you fall. Pick them up when they do. But never stop getting up.

Friday, February 25, 2011

My First Book Review :)

I recently received and read Curiosities of the Civil War by Webb Garrison. The first thing to draw me to the book was the extremely attractive cover. Even those who don't enjoy reading about history have to admit that this book was designed very well. As I’m someone who has dabbled somewhat in design, it’s one of the first things I now notice about books or any other media. Throughout this book, the author has woven an intriguing journey through the civil war's little known anecdotes, facts from Lincoln’s presidency to confederate men slaying their own colonel. It jumped around a bit for my brain, but then again, I'm not a civil war enthusiast. However, my friends who are history and social studies majors can't wait to get their hands on this book for present enjoyment and future usefulness. Having recently graduated with an education degree, I also see the value of this book from an educator’s standpoint. This book would be a great tool for any history teacher about to embark on a journey through a civil war unit. It brings the history to life with its fun vignettes about the little known facts of the war. This book is definitely the perfect gift for the historian on your gift list.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Not on a Roller Coaster

I'm so thankful for the things I have learned in the past year. So thankful for my God holding me whenever I need Him to. Sometimes start to toddle away again and He holds my hand before I fall down. I feel like I might be starting to learn that following Him, even when I can't see, is a better idea than trying to pull Him to where I want to go. I'm learning to ascribe to Him the things He says about Himself. I'm learning He knows whats best, even when the present time hurts more than words can say. Things have happened this year, just like any other year, that affect me emotionally, but my God has shown me that although circumstances can affect my happiness, my JOY rests in Him. I love Him so much. Right now, I have 2 weeks left of college...2 WEEKS! I got my first job offer yesterday, and I'm praying about it, but I honestly have NO idea what He has for me yet. All I know is there isn't a roller coaster I'm riding right now :)