January 31, 2013

January's Blessings--the Finale

I seriously cannot believe that January is already gone.  But, wow, how God has abundantly blessed me in 2013!!  He is so very good.

January 29th:

a song heard~~so many songs that I hear touch my heart, but none so much as those I hear my Harley-bug belting out to the Lord. . .tonight's chosen favorite was "Shouting Time" along with a round of "Yes, Lord, Yes."  I hope she never loses her passion for the Lord

a soft word~~a new student came into my class today, escorted by her mother whose English was quite broken. . .before leaving her daughter behind, the mother abruptly turns, grabs me into a huge bear hug (yes, in front of my kids) and whispers in my ear, "I love you for taking care of my daughter."  Wow.  What a huge burden I carry watching over 15 precious babies each and every day.  I love them as if they were my very own.

light seen~~RECESS!!!  Our days lately have been sooo dreary and cold and nasty that recess is more of a blessing than you would know!

January 30th:

3 old things seen new~~

~~my lesson plans. . .I've kinda been in a rut lately.  I started planning next week with an excitement I haven't had in a while, and I'm glad it's back!!

~~my Bible verse that I have chosen to memorize for the 2nd part of January. . .it's amazing how something that you hear over and over can suddenly have a whole new meaning and an entirely new freshness to it when you seem to need it most.

~~God's grace. . .in many ways that I cannot discuss here, but in ways that I can SEE that He is showing up BIG.  It is a wonderful thing to experience!

January 31st:

a gift on paper~~one of our third graders went into another teacher's classroom and asked where a little girl sat. . .he walked over to her desk, put something on it, and left. . .when the teacher checked, it was a snowflake he had drawn with the words "Be Mine" written on it. . .so sweet!

in a person~~my sweet hubby. . .being trapped in all the nasty weather has kind of put us on edge, but we sat down to watch "Duck Dynasty" and plan our family vacation together last night. . .Good stuff.

in a picture~~there are two pictures that have come along this week that I just keep going back to.  I will share them both, as they bless me over and over, not just today.

I can only imagine what God has in store for February!

January 29, 2013

January 28, 2013

January Blessings

January 23rd:

3 gifts found in Christ:

~~grace new each and every morning

~~my salvation

~~His word and His promises that always provide me comfort

January 24th:

3 things blue:

~~the eyes of a dear friend who took time to let me unload today. . .I thank
    God every day for putting our lives on the same track. . .

~~feeling blue today after something pretty big went down with one of my      
    kids. . .just another reason to get down on my knees and rebuke the enemy

~~my most comfy nightgown. . .which, after today, I was more than happy to
   get into and snuggle down for a long winter's nap

January 25th:

a grace borrowed~a ride home from school for Tyler since we were dismissed
   early & I wasn't able to come pick him up on time

a grace found~an extra day to spend time hanging out with the kiddos.
    We "found" the time when an ice "storm" decided to send us home from  
    school early!  :)

a grace inherited~my love for Jesus from watching my dad's parents --  my
   PawPaw was a deacon in the church and both he and my MawMaw

January 26th:

a gift before dawn~turning over to find my sweet Tippy-girl snuggled around
   my neck--I love that dog!!

a gift at noon~seeing the sunshine come out so that all that nasty ice would

a gift after dark~finding a "Duck Dynasty" marathon. . .happy, happy, happy!

January 27th:

3 gifts in the kitchen

(okay, so anyone that knows me, really knows me, STOP LAUGHING!!!!)

The kitchen is NOT where I need to spend my time, especially if I want my family to live and I do not want my house to burn down.

~~a beautiful pink birthday cake that my kiddos (with a little help) made me for
   my birthday

~~the huge stack of pancakes my hubby whipped up after church. . .better
   than IH*P, I tell ya!

~~the dinner table, where we share laughs, day's events, troubles, and just
   time as a family

January 28th:

3 graces found in friends

~~daily laughter, smiles, and encouragement--you are a true blessing, Chelsea!

~~daily words of encouragement and frequent doses of laughter from my
   friend Deidre over at www.raisingfutureesthers.com~~ I don't think she has
   any idea what a blessing she is to others.  Sometimes I read her blog
   twice--just to make me smile!!

~~my first ever birthday gift from a student. . .and he is such a treasure!! 
   His entire family has been a blessing to me for the past two years.  Feeling
   loved!  (and in case you are wondering, it is a Carolina blue license plate
   that says #1 NC Fan!!)

 Have you been blessed today?

January 24, 2013

Enemy, BACK OFF!!

I have to remind myself that I need to be very careful within the confines of this post, for several reasons:

1)  I would never want to hurt a member of my family, whether it be intentional or unintentional;


2)  I do NOT want to give the enemy any credit for any thing--he is undeserving, underhanded, and. . .well, you get the picture.

I made my pledge to myself and to God that this year I was going to focus on being more

to Him, and recognizing how faithful he is, has been, and always will be to me.

I have been able to accomplish that feat in a couple of ways:

   1)  keeping up with my blog--it helps me to think more of Him and to count my blessings

   2)  memorizing scripture--something I've never really done intentionally before

   3)  prayer time--going up rather than being forgotten

Yet, with everything good, there is an equal and vicious not-so-good.

He strikes our good intentions, thrives on making us look like a failure, and uses the areas where our faithfulness should be obvious to make us look as if we haven't accomplished a thing.

I haven't been to church in what seems like forever. 

It isn't because I haven't wanted to be there--I love hearing my pastors speak. . .the singing is always a blessing. . .and there are several people there that just having them in my presence gives me JOY because I know they are cheering me on (love you, Piper!).

Call it coincidence or call it enemy attacks. . .

Children have gotten sick.

I've been sick.

Family situations have come up that had to be dealt with--not simple issues, mind you, but conversations that could not be avoided and that much prayer over led us to sit as a family to work things out. . .and by the time everyone had dried their tears and were ready to move on, church had started.

It just seems as if it has been something all the time. . .

Some people would argue that you can love Him and follow Him without ever setting foot in a church.


Other folks would argue that if you really did love Him as you proclaim then nothing would keep you from His house.


I want to be there.  I need to be there.  I want to be intentionally

to Him.

And I know that others may (or may not) be whispering. . .or wondering. . .or questioning. . .

Where I've been.

What my loyalty really is.

Why I have backslidden so.

But I have come to learn that what really matters most in my life is what GOD knows, what GOD thinks, how my relationship with GOD is affected.

Not what everyone else thinks.  Or says.  Or even cares for that matter.

And with that, I am going to start my day with my head held high, my eyes on Him, and a


January 22, 2013

January's Blessings

January 15th:

a gift worn~~my UNC lanyard given to me by my teammate and prayer warrior Sondra

a gift given away~~a sympathy basket for another teammate who lost her Grandfather this week

Violets And Butterflies Plants
Photo from www.teleflora.com

a gift shared~~the excitement Tyler had when making a math competition team at school
   that he never really thought he would make (and later this same week getting a phone
   call from his music teacher telling me how proud she is of him making All County Chorus--blessed!)

January 16th:

3 witnessed blessings:

--my boss reminding me that I need to always put myself and my health ahead of my job. . .it really is a blessing to have a Godly boss who truly believes in family first

--a friend of Tyler's coming to me to thank me for inviting him to Tyler's party last week. . .wow, I didn't know manners like that even existed anymore!

--watching Randy and Harley playing together on the iP*d, just giggling away

January 17th:

a gift bringing laughter~~snowflakes falling outside my sliding glass door. . .we've waited so long!!!

a gift bringing prayer~~a special friend in need

a gift bringing quiet~~a migraine that forced me to take the next day off to rest my mind and  my body. . .ice pack, anyone??  : /

January 18th:

3 gifts from God's word

--Hebrews 13:5b "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. . ."

--John 3:16  "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that
   whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

--Psalm 121:1-2  "I will lift up mine eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help; my help cometh from the Lord which made heaven and earth. . ."

January 19th:

3 gifts that might never have been

~~special alone time with my Harley-bug. . .she had the stomach virus and was in complete  and total "Mommy-mode"

~~my marriage. . .I thank God every single day that His ways are not my ways and His
   thoughts are not my thoughts

~~having Mee Maw here with us after fighting cancer not once, not twice, but three times and coming out on top!!

January 20th:

3 gifts only seen close up

~~Harley's sweet chest slowly rising and falling after a long 24 hours of throwing up and
    finally being able to rest

~~the insides of my eyelids as God blessed me with some much needed rest after being
    sick myself then having a sick baby

~~Tippy's big brown eyes as she lay at my head at night. . .so thankful God led her to our family

January 21st:

a gift in the sky~~sweet, sweet sunshine after DAYS of rain and winter weather

a gift in the water~~a very long, very hot, uninterrupted shower (hey, those really are a

a gift in memory~~my precious daughter that is sitting with Jesus. . .I cannot wait to see her precious face

January 22nd:

a gift wrinkled~~my worn-out-but-oh-so-comfy-recliner. . .aahhhh. (well, when I get to use it, anyway!)

a gift smoothed~~my new outfit I was able to get today with a gift card from a special friend for Christmas

a gift unfolded~~a note my waitress left on the table with my bill for Tyler and I saying she hoped we had a day filled with joy. . .what an unexpected surprise!!

Have you been blessed this week?

January 17, 2013

One for the Books


Finally snow!!!!!

Oh my word, I'm so giddy I can hardly contain myself.  It's going to be a loooonnnggggg day at work!!

Wanted to share a quick story with you today:

One day, a "happy, happy, happy" teacher strolled into her classroom, settled in at her desk with her Diet Dr. Pepper and B*jangles breakfast sandwich and logged in to her email.

As she was browsing, an invoice email from Am*zon caught her eye.

Although this wasn't that unusual, she knew that she had not ordered any K*ndle books recently.

The teacher flipped open the email, only to discover that she had been charged $19.99 for an online purchase.

Someone had hacked her account!!!!

Upon further investigation, the teacher discovered that the purchase was made at around 10pm (when the teacher and her children were snoozing away supposed to be in bed) and was made while in the app "Temple R*n."

Suspicious, she kept probing and discovered that 250,000 (yes, thousand) coins had been purchased in the Temple R*n game.

Disgruntled, the teacher waited until that afternoon and immediately went to see where the tablets were.

What???  Seriously??? 

It appeared that a young, witty 4-year-old (we won't name names here) had a tablet smuggled into her room. . .

Ahhh. . .I think the mystery is solved!

Apparently, while moms and dads are sleeping, we sneak out, grab a tablet, and play Temple R*n until we crash.

I am happy to say that after about a twenty minute online chat with the Am*zon specialists, the credit card account was refunded the $19.99.  The teacher was happy she didn't actually see the specialist cracking up.

And all is well once again.

Moral of the Story:
   1)  NEVER underestimate the power of a four year old.

   2)  Choose harder passwords.

(Oh, and, just for the record, I love you Harley-bug!!!!)

January 16, 2013

Mid-Month Check-In

The FABULOUS Melanie over at Only A Breath is having a linky party on the 15th of each month to see how we are coming along with our "One Word" for the year.  To help keep me accountable, I thought I'd join in.

My word for 2013:

I chose this word because I feel as though my walk with Him has not been what it should be recently.  I've allowed to much "stuff" and "clutter" to take over and pushed Him to the side. 

I need to practice being more FAITHFUL to Him, for He has always been FAITHFUL to me.

I have by no means come full circle with my goals for 2013, but I have started taking some baby steps, like spending more time in prayer and memorizing scripture with a sweet friend at work helping to hold me accountable.

I really want to develop a better routine of being still and listening for Him. . .my kids and my schedule are in need of re-arranging to help me make that happen, but I am asking His guidance in opening up the door that I know I need opened to become as close closer to Him than ever before.

If you are visiting my blog for the first time, Welcome!  I hope you'll come back, and I welcome all comments--they make me feel that my time blogging is actually worthwhile!

Happy Hump Day!!


January 15, 2013

SSMT 2013 Verse #2

I've had a couple of verses in mind for my second memory verse for a while now, but in our message this past Sunday, Preacher Dale used a verse that I have just not been able to get out of my mind. . .it says everything that the Lord has been trying to get through to me for the past couple of weeks, so I've decided to use it as my new verse instead. . .

"The God of my rock;

in him will I trust:

he is my shield,

and the horn of my salvation,

my high tower,

and my refuge,

my saviour;

thou savest me from violence."

2 Samuel 22:3

January 14, 2013

January's Blessings

January 11th:

Three yellow gifts of fresh mercy:

(I really had a tough time with this one. . .Wikipedia refers to "yellow" this way:

Yellow is commonly associated with gold, sunshine, reason, optimism and pleasure, but also with envy, jealousy and betrayal. It plays an important part in Asian culture, particularly in China.

. . .which did lead me to consider some blessings that I haven't actually voiced.

~~sunshine after what seemed like a really dreary day

~~my sweet Chinese student, who is growing and learning every single day, who smiles
without end, and who brings me joy, joy, joy in my classroom every minute of every hour. . .he has been a true teacher's blessing this year!!

~~God's grace in allowing me to post about feelings of envy and jealousy and about my
emotions taking over when I feel that I should be a part of things. . .and then sending sweet friends my way who gently informed me that I am not alone. . .that many women feel this way    each and every day. . .and again nudged me in the book I'm currently reading that God actually wires us to need companionship--that is why he created Eve as a companion for Adam. . .guess I wasn't that out on a limb by myself after all.

January 12th: 

Something Above~~a roof over my head that provides protection and shelter for myself and my family

Something Below~~my extended family from Concord, NC. . .they recently relocated from Fort Wayne, IN, and we are LOVING having them closer to home. . .now all of the cousins can grow up together!!

Something Beside~~my hubby relaxed and laughing during Tyler's swimming party. . .seems so rare to see him actually sit back and forget about everything for a while. . .it was nice to see.

January 13th:

Three things about myself that I am grateful for:

~~my salvation

~~my health

~~my organizational skills, especially at school (at home, maybe not so much, lol)

January 14th:

Three startling graces of God:

~~my morning went off without a single hitch. . .the kids got up without complaining, got dressed, brushed their teeth without having to be threatened asked. . .that is a rare and wonderful blessing!

~~watching my dear friend, A, as she fights her battle with breast cancer. . .what a brave face and a positive attitude God has given her.  Please lift her up in your prayers.

~~He loves ME.  He died for ME.  He adores ME.  He looks over ME.  (Do you see a pattern forming here??)  There are never going to be enough words to thank Him for all He was willing to do, just for ME.

January 11, 2013

January's Blessings

January 6th:

One thing in my bag:  my water bottle--yuck!!!  I seriously do NOT like to
   drink water. . .but with the help of my tiny little Pomegranate Lemonade
   packets, I am trying hard to be a good girl for the new year

One thing in my fridge:  ketchup--I just can't live without it; God deserves
   thanks for giving us ketchup

One thing in my heart:  the family of sweet Sam, a 3-year-old boy at Harley's
   daycare who was recently diagnosed with cancer and is currently undergoing

January 7th:

Three graces from people I love~~

1)  my kids showing me great big smiles when they saw me as they filed back
     into my classroom after our Christmas break

2)  my hubby cooking dinner, knowing my first day back would wear me out!

3)  snuggling in my bed with Harley-bug while watching a "Full House"
     marathon on television

January 8th:

Dusky Light:  everyone being at home, together, over dinner as the sun set--
   no practices, no homework, no responsibilities for a few glorious hours

Surprising Reflection:  posting about how I feel about not belonging only to
   discover from friends that I am absolutely NOT the only person that ever
   feels that way at times

Lovely Shadow:  this one was hard, and I had to think about it a long time,
   but I happened to glance down at my "Footprints" ring that my hubby got
   me for Christmas and God reminded me that I always walk in HIS lovely
   shadow~~He holds my hand, He walks by my side, and when I need Him
   to, He carries me~~but always, always, I am protected by His shadow. .
   .what a blessing!

January 9th:

A gift held~~my hubby's hand on the way to church

A gift passed by~~the Holy Spirit as it swept through church during a great
   service about the power of prayer

A gift sat with~~my adorable Chinese-speaking student during lunch time; we
   played our favorite non-language-dependent-game together. . .Rock, Paper,
   Scissors!!  I lost :-(

January 10th:

A gift sour~~tangy cheesecake hanging out in the fridge calling my name--
   just the way I like it. . .no toppings, no frills, just simple goodness!

A gift sweet~~hearing my Tyler yelling "I'm waiting to hear my song" on his
   10th birthday today

A gift just right~~re-reading my friend Deidre's love letter to her girls; I am
   always sooo blessed by her blogs and by her teachings; she means so much
   to me

How has God blessed you today??

January 10, 2013

A Decade in Pictures: Happy Birthday, Tyler!


My precious firstborn, my son, and my friend--you have brought me more joy than words could ever express.  It is so hard to believe that ten years have come and gone, but you have made me so terribly proud.  Continue to do well in school, keep pushing harder and harder in football and basketball, and never be afraid to hit a challenge head on.

But most importantly, my son, keep God first.  Keep your eyes and your heart on Him.  Listen and follow all that He asks, and He will guide your paths.

I love you, sweet boy.  Happy Birthday!