Monday, June 25, 2012

My Full Heart...

Today I had the opportunity to go and share music with a group of kids and families in a community nearby. Here is a link to their awesome organization! The mother of a friend I grew up with works there, and recently when they were considering doing a music activity for the families and looking for a presenter, she thought of me! I was kind of humbled and honored that they would invite me to come and share! (And I was SO excited too!)

I had no idea what to expect, going into the idea how many kids there would be, what ages I would be working with, or what kinds of special needs the children might have. I just did my best to come up with a plan that would work for multiple ages, and I prayed that God would use me to encourage and bless the families who would attend. It was kind of the "great unknown..." :)

There were almost ten children who attended, and each of them was so precious. Some helped younger siblings, and some were so curious about the instruments I brought it was hard to contain their excitement and wait for the chance to touch and play. We sang some silly songs...and danced along too, of course! We used scarves to show the different patterns in instrumental pieces and read a story with instruments to help with some of the words. We explored glockenspiels and the sounds they can make. And we had FUN!

I always wonder if I'm doing ok when I teach or lead things, especially like this. And it always amazes me when I finish and people tell me how much my gentle spirit and personality impacts the kids I work with, or what a wonderful program it was and that they would love to see me in action in my classroom. It's kind of easy for me to push those remarks aside and doubt myself. But I'm learning to realize, especially like today, if I'm truly giving God the glory, I shouldn't doubt those things. It is Him who has given me a passion and a desire to work with kids. It is Him who gave me musical ability and the opportunity to share that with others on a regular basis. It is Him who has given me my "gentle" personality and created me to be the person I am. So, I say all that not to compliment myself or say I am a good teacher, but to thank the very One who made me who I am. I love working with children SO much, and every time I get to sing, dance, laugh, and play with them, my heart is full!

"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him." -Psalm 127:3

Saturday, June 16, 2012

So Many Things...

Now that it's been so long since I've really written, it's hard to decide where to start!

-I turned 27...and it feels great! (Although not too much different than 26, to be

-I drove to Birmingham and had an awesome girls' reunion weekend with three of my amazing friends from college. (More pictures and a post to come soon!)

-I started work at summer school. I'm working as a para, which means I help one of our students with special needs one-one-one. I love it, but wow do I have an even more amazing respect for special ed teachers and paras now! They work hard and have to have so much patience! :)

-I've been running a lot! I'm so glad I thought to keep a running log on my computer when I started in March, and now I found a website that is really cool -, where I can track my work-outs and see bar graphs of how far I've run and when my best times far in June I'm up to 24 miles! (More to come about all this too!)

-I decided to keep my summer tradition of watching all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls through the summer (I own them...the only t.v. series I've ever bought and owned, and this is my third time to go through all the seasons...haha - oh guilty pleasures)

-My sister is getting married on August 4th, and I'm her maid of honor! We picked out and bought her dress on my birthday, and I have my maid of honor dress now too! :) Now to plan a shower and girls' night! :)

-I finished both of my masters classes from the semester and made As! I'm taking the summer off and looking forward to my two new courses in the fall! It is exciting to wonder about how God is going to use this certification/degree in the future!

-I am making the choice to try hard and incorporate more fruits and veggies in my day, make better choices when I eat away from home, and not eat out as much for financial savings and healthier far it's going ok! :)

-I got my first "for real" pair of running shoes a few weeks ago! (Pictures soon!) :)

-My "Africa heart" has been homesick again...but it was filled up last night when I got to meet an awesome couple from Colorado who also have hearts for Africa and an amazing story - More about that soon too, but here's a link to see more about them and their story. Also, they are in a contest right now for the rest of the month to win $50,000 toward help for their organization. If you have a facebook account, please take a minute and vote for them - it doesn't take long at all!

-God is providing a lot of unique and different opportunities for me in work, life, and church. It is so humbling to think about all He is allowing me to do and exciting to trust Him in how he is going to piece all these things together one day.

-I'm learning day by day to be content with where I'm at, and continue looking forward to the future God has for me. I'm not sure I can say I am where I always thought I would be at 27...but then I'm also not sure I had a "set" idea of where I would be.

More to come soon! Thanks for keeping up with me!