Tuesday, June 27, 2017

MYP Personal Project

Hike 26; Saint Johns Trail 5 mile out and back in Keystone Colorado , 72 degrees and sunny, traveled through aspen meadows, pine forests and wild-flower meadows. Joined by my MYP group- Kathy, Lori, Kim, Laura, Acacia and Jeff.

Gear: EpiPen and allergy treatment kit, water, sunscreen, bug spray, and a hat.  (Wish I had trekking poles for the steep incline sections.)

This hike was a struggle!  We went straight up the side of the mountain outside our condo in search of our trail!  Next time I will not wear my chaco sandals on a hike like this as I needed much more ankle support and toe protection from the stickers!

I definitely demonstrated the learner profile characteristic of caring on this hike as I carried everyone's water in my bag.  But can that be considered caring if it was also self serving as I wanted the extra weight in preparation for an overnight backpacking trip??

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Change, the Ensuing Anxiety and Whispers from God

I ended the school year having moved into a new room with a window and full of excitement for what was next.  I had plans, great plans, for my next year at MGMS.  Then I received a phone call- dense with possibilities- calling me to change, to lay aside MY plans for next year and take on something new.  I was asked to take on a math position at PHS and begin training as an IB instructor.  The thought of getting to challenge myself as an educator and continue to develop professionally was exciting, heady.  Could I do it? Could I leave my own personal slice of paradise to take on the unknown?

I spent quite a bit of time in prayer, and in the Word, and just sitting still with the possibilities. In the end I felt at peace about making the move.  Once the decision was made I was just a boulder succumbing to gravity, the change happened so quickly, everything fell into place with such ease and with so little effort, I knew that I had done the right thing.

Fast forward to the middle of summer, my garage is packed full with what was my classroom, I am without a home, with out a room, without a schedule of courses- in a state of limbo. I have just spent an hour telling my friend, who will be taking my position at MGMS (we basically swapped places) how amazing my students are, sharing the excitement of doing the school news. She reciprocated in telling me what I would be taking on at the HS-  only her stories left me wavering in the uncertainty of my decision but hopeless to make any course correcting change - a pregnant woman hearing the horrors of pregnancy, labor, and child rearing.

My uncertainty quickly spread to ... "How did I miss God?"  How did I so completely misunderstand the peace I felt when contemplating the move originally?  I began to doubt everything, doubt myself, doubt my decision making ability, doubt my ability to be a teacher; fear crept in and I was frozen with anxiety.

Unable to deal with the physical pain, sleepless nights, and irritability from my anxiety. I turned to God again.
A simple request, "God open my heart to hear from you, help me to be sensitive to what you have for me today."  and my God listened, my God replied with his word, woven perfectly together to bring his peace to my heart once again.

 The Lord is my strength and my song He has given me victory (Exodus 15:2).  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid and do not panic before them.  For the Lord you God will personally go ahead of you he will neither fail you nor abandon you (Deut. 31:6).  God is with her, she will not fail.(Ps 46:5) Be strong and courageous, and do the work.  Don't be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you.  He will not fail you or forsake you.  He will see to it that all the work related to the temple of the Lord is finished correctly (1 Chronicles 28:20).  To which I replied, yes, but that's about the temple, not me... Do you realize that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit! (1 Cor 6:19).

My fear thawed by a Father gently whispering to my heart.  I became unstuck, again a boulder surrendering to gravity.  My creativity and confidence for teaching returning.  I received a room, a schedule, and the mental capacity to begin making plans for next year.

Am I still anxious?  Am I still scared?  Those words seem so huge and negative, so I'd have to say no. Instead I feel the residue of these emotions, faint and slight, just enough to know that I have taken on a change, that it won't be easy, that it will be work...

... but it will be good.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Teenage Driving

Today I took my sweet 16 year old to taker her driving test and hopefully to the DMV to get her actual license.

We were both quite nervous- but the nerves were all for naught as she passed missing only a few points for turning a blinker on too soon, then not leaving it on long enough when changing lanes. 

The next step was to go to the DMV to get her actual license.  
Notice our ticket says to expect a 1 hour and 5 minute wait. We expected a long wait, but their estimate was slightly off... 2 hours and 40 min later I walked out with a licensed driver. 
After a long overdue lunch she dropped me off at home and headed out on her own. 

It is the strangest mix of feelings when your kid has the freedom to drive with out you. Fear- will she drive safe in a world of unsafe drivers? Excitement- at the prospect of not having to wake up early to drive her to early morning practices across town. Maybe a little bit of heartbreak, and a dash of heart swelling pride too, at the realization that your kid has just made a huge leap towards adulthood. Even a wash of nostalgia overcomes you as you remember your younger self free behind the wheel for the first time. 

But most of all I felt thankful. Thankful that my daughter has grown into a stunning young woman with a kindness and maturity that often schools me. Thankful for the 2 + hours at the DMV sitting side by side giggling and laughing together. Thankful for clear road conditions on her maiden voyage. Thankful to be able to provide her with a safe car. Thankful for the blessing of Madison in my life. 

Her brother felt thankful as well.... "Yes!! Now she can take me out to go pick up chicks!" (Oh goodness...) 

Happy Driving! 

2015 Goals

Be content
Be thankful

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Do I Play God?

I had a terrible dream the other night- my husband attributed it to my over indulgence in SMORES the night before - I however am not convinced.  Regardless of the cause, this dream hurt me in my gut, left me raw and grasping for the peace of wakefulness; though when I awoke peace alluded me. 

In typical dream fashion, when you try to explain them they seem ungraspable. What made perfect sense in you subconscious doesn't clearly translate into the flow of reality. You know, the "well, it was you, but then it was an alien transformer" scenario....  So I'll spare the details of the dream but here's the gist:

 Maddox and I were in the territory of a tribe known for raiding travelers, stealing their sons, where they would then put them through unimaginable torture and in the words of my dream "violate their souls- leaving them empty when returned."  Of course this tribe was on its way to capturing us and I was faced with panic - Should I run and try and hide him? Should I fight till my last breath defending him? Should I spare him this certain torture by taking his life? 

Now that alone would be gut-wrenching, but what happened next in my dream was the part that has pricked my heart, I audibly heard God speak to me saying, "Do you not trust me to take ANY tragedy that he would encounter and use it for good?"  Then I woke up.

Do I not trust God to turn tragedy into something beautiful, something that brings Him glory? Like the story of Joseph, betrayed by his brothers, imprisoned, also faced with certain torture and tragedy... But God used all of that mess, redeemed Joseph, and saved an entire country from famine and death.

Don't get me wrong I don't think God is preparing me for something that tragic, but I do think that in reflecting on my dream and why it hurt so bad, my eyes have been opened to a truth I needed to see.

I can not be God to my kids.  God placed me in the role as their parent, and I need to do my best at raising them, protecting them, preparing them, and providing for them. But I am human, they are human; because of that there is considerable chance that we will mess up, be hurt, go astray.  And when that happens, do I trust that GOD is still God?  That God is faithful, that he will use any tragedy to bring about redemption and make known the glory of His name?

I don't think I did before, and I may not be there yet, but I am aware.  And I pray that I never become unaware.

Monday, June 9, 2014


A dear friend got married this weekend, and as they said their vows I began to ponder the power of spoken words. 

I believe that marriage is more than a signed slip of paper, a certificate, and a change in your tax status. But if a signed document isn't what creates a marriage, then what does? 

Every wedding ceremony incorporates the couple making a vow to each other,  "to have and to hold, in sickness and in health...". I remembered their vows- to choose love, to fight for love, to fiercely protect their family. Vows are more than  nice words scrawled on a napkin, these were the deepest utterings of their hearts spoken aloud. And there is something magical- that happens when the heart is given voice - a covenant is formed- a bond, a knitting together, a cleaving. 

But do words only wield their power when spoken in a wedding vow? Or at times of extreme emotion? Or does their power weave their way in everyday conversation? 

Death and life are in the power of the tongue. (Proverbs 18:21). Our whole existence was created by the breath of God, by the power of His word (Hebrews 11:3). Confession-our words- are an integral part of our salvation (Romans 10:9). Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:29 that no unwholesome talk should come out of our mouths. And Jesus himself tells us that we will be accountable for the words we speak when we stand before him (Matthew 12:36-37). So words, the utterings of our heart, and even the flippant responses, bring with them the power to create-as in the case of the wedding vows- a beautiful covenant, or they have the power to destroy. 

How important it is then, that I should be more purposeful in the words I choose, and more diligent at guarding my heart and tongue from words that will cut, hurt, and wound. 

My husband refuses to let our children use the words "I'll try". Are you going to score a touch down today? "I'll try". Are you going to get good grades? "I'll try". That response, until recently seemed like a perfectly good response. Then he explained - the words "I'll try" leave room to not score a touch down or not get good grades. They allow for a slight expectation of failure.  He insists they instead use "I will..." and over the years as the children have shifted from "I'll try" to "I will" I have seen the difference. This doesn't mean they always succeed, and do everything perfectly, but their confidence entering into the task, and their strength in handling a failure have changed dramatically for the better. 

This got me thinking not only about the literal meaning behind the words we speak, but the connotation with which we use them. I know personally that when I get down, I struggle with negative self talk, and it has never- not once- improved my mental state of being. 

Now I'm not jumping on the "Name it Claim it" or "Blab it Grab it" bandwagon (been there done that and left disillusioned). However, I see how valuable words are in setting our hearts in the right direction, how powerful they are to create lasting bonds, and how beautiful they are when we give a voice to the deepest longings of our soul. 

What will you do with the words entrusted to you?  Will you uplift, encourage, and bring peace, mercy and grace? Will you create something beautiful? 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Library Card

Today was my last day of school, and my first day of summer vacation. 

In typical fashion I hit the door running, arms wide to embrace my temporary freedom. Eagerly anticipating a summer filled with adventure, camping, pools, lakes, and books, lots and lots of books. 

I always have great expectations for my summers with my children ( the ones I birthed, not the ones I adopt from August through May). And being an idealist and perfectionist, it's never surprising that my ideal falls a bit short of reality. 

But today, ideal became reality. 

Maddox begged to go to the library, get his very own library card, and check out his first books of the summer. We sat on the patio of the library in the cool Palisade breeze, me finishing the final chapters of a beautiful novel, And The Mountsins Echoed, and Maddox exploring the books of the library. He was specifically interested in the Star Wars books. Then he stumbled upon his first graphic novel - The Monster On The Hill. 

He asked to go to the park, and once there he suggested we take a blanket under the tree to keep reading our books. 

It was bliss, relaxing under the rustling leaves of the cottonwoods, reading side by side with the sweetest boy.

As we packed up to go get his sister, Maddox  commented on how much he had enjoyed our morning, and began making plans for us to do it again next week- and each week for the rest of the summer.

If today is any indicator for what lies ahead this summer, I am ready to throw myself in, headlong with wreckless abandon!