I lost 1.4 lbs at WW this week. I hope I can continue working toward the slow, healthy loss!
Operation "Quiet Encouragement" (<----see the link for my post about this...) has begun! I was so excited to put eight cards into teachers' mailboxes today and tell them positive things I've noticed about them in our building, as well as how they make a difference to me and to others each day! I love, love, love writing notes to people, and I pray God will use this to brighten someone's day or give them just some words to affirm them.
My first year of teaching for some reason I started buying Strawberry Twizzlers and keeping them in my desk at school. I also loved Diet Dr. Pepper. I frequently found myself sitting at my desk, gnawing on a twizzler and drinking my DDP, thinking, I'm gonna be ok. I can do it. I'll make it through. It's all going to be ok. By March I realized it had been several weeks since I bought any Twizzlers, and I wasn't drinking quite as much DDP. I think it is funny and random that those were my two "comfort food/drink items" for the whole first year. Random fact - a couple of weeks ago I bought a 28 pack of Diet Dr. Pepper cans, and I have a new bag of Twizzlers in my drawer at school. This is year number four. I hope this isn't a bad sign? haha
I'll be honest. I'm struggling to keep up with all the reading in my graduate classes. I am doing my best to read what is needed and post for each week, and am caught up (except for one chapter) in the reading for one course, but way behind in the other. Praying for some time to read and get more caught up soon. Posting in the forum and replying to other people's posts is a big part of my grade in both courses for the semester...I'm encouraged though, because I got all the points possible plus one or two extra for my posts in the first four weeks! I'm in the middle of week six right now - so crazy!
I've been having fun with different classes playing instruments lately at school. This is one of my biggest passions in music class, but wow does it take a lot of time and energy getting the kids to instruments, working on various parts, and sometimes trading so everyone has a "fair" chance to play different kinds of instruments. I've been using Artie Almeida's Mallet Madness resources which are great for incorporating children's stories into instrument activities. So fun!
I think I'm going to start making some time to enjoy music for "me" when I can. Yesterday when I was in my classroom for a little while (yes, on our day off...lol) I played my djembe for about 20 minutes and even practiced piano for a little while too. (I say practiced piano lightly in the fact that I still play out of a Level 1/Level 2 group piano book from college, and the fact that I have "passed piano proficiency" stamped on my college transcript means a lot to me, but very little in the actual world of piano playing! haha) Anyway, I realized how much I have missed just playing on my own and enjoyed that time so much!
I am really looking forward to Friday because it is pay-day! I am so thankful to have a job, an income, and the ability to live in the circumstances I do which are far richer than many people in my community, nation, and the world. I have too much. But - it is really hard to make it from check to check once a month, sometimes, especially with my big graduate school payments each month. I keep telling myself how wonderful it will feel to finish and owe nothing for that part of my education, whereas I will be paying on my undergraduate loans for SO long once I finish and they are out of deferment. Again, I am blessed to have an education higher than many can ever dream of. I say these things not to brag or boast, but to acknowledge God's great provision in my life and the fact that I often take it for granted. I am also thankful that I will own my car in one year. I feel like I have been paying on it forever too (a four year plan...), but I know what a blessing it will be to feel free from that burden and able to save/designate that money in another way next year at this time! Enough about money for now...
I'm still trying to figure out where I best fit in at my church. I'll be honest here too...church is one of the loneliest places I go. But I know it's not about me. I feel so blessed that I grew up in a Christian home and my parents and family instilled in me the desire to go to church and worship each week. I have always had a church "family" no matter where I've gone, and have experienced an overwhelming amount of prayer support and encouragement there. So - I keep going each week. Sometimes to the contemporary service which I love, and sometimes to the traditional service for that feeling of going back to how I grew up. I enjoy the adult Sunday School class I attend most weeks, but it is made of a majority of adults my parents age and older. I am thankful for their love and acceptance, and for the solid Bible lessons we have each week as we go through the Bible one book at a time, one chapter a week. People at church know who I am, even more than I really know who they are, and I am always thankful when they tell me how glad they are to see me or that they missed me, or ask how things are going. But...it's just hard to go and sit alone in the service each week. I pray maybe God will use that time for me to encourage someone else who feels alone...I know He knows my feelings, and He will honor my desire to be a part of worship every week. It is also hard to find a good young adult/singles' ministry in this area. Living in a small community is sometimes a little limiting.
I've been listening to The City Harmonic over and over again lately. I loved one of their songs I heard on the radio earlier in the Fall, and only just looked up their other songs recently. But - their lyrics are awesome! So solid, and real. And I love their musical sound too.
Here are lyrics to a song I want to make my prayer.
May my life speak louder than words
and what I'm saying
is, "Jesus, I'm sure You're what I want"
Yeah, that's what I want
These words ain't cheap, no they bleed on the page.
I see what I've been and that needs to change
and that's what I want
yeah, You're what I want.
Hallelujah, oh yeah
What I want is You.
I want to sing - sing and mean every word
Cause what I'm singing is "Joy to the world"
And that's what I want, yeah,
That's what I want.
So go on, sing, sing, all of Heaven and Earth
But don't just sing - be - and be every word
That's what I want, yeah,
That's what I want.
Hallelujah, oh yeah
What I want is You.
Happy Tuesday, everyone...tomorrow is Hump Day! :)