Posted in Devotion, Life, Weather

Winter Redeemed

Earlier this week my students and I were discussing how symbolically winter often represents death or an ending. 

Then it started snowing.

And hasn’t really stopped at all today.

I think it’s beautiful how God is redeeming something that’s supposed to be dead. He’s making something clean and beautiful out of decay and death.

That’s exactly what he did with me. I was dead because of sin. He redeemed me and made me clean and beautiful. Thanks God.

 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord : though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”

Isaiah 1:18 ESV

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Posted in Life, Remembering

This Year Will Be Different

I asked my students to complete this prompt, so I thought I would as well.

This year will be different. That’s an intimidating statement to make because who am I to say what this year will hold? Only God knows that. As I look back on the last year, though, I realize I was discontent with many of the relationships in my life. I wanted people to be different, and I sought acceptance from people around me. I was unhappy and insecure when I felt left out, whether I was truly left out or just imagining it. The root of my discontentment was that I was looking in the wrong place for my security. People, myself included, always disappoint, and I will never feel satisfied with a human relationship. Only God can satisfy and define me. This year will be different if I’ll keep that focus and perspective. 

Secondly, this year will be different if I am thankful for the deep friendships I’ve already formed rather than attempting to force those in a new place. There’s no need to strive to be accepted by all. Instead I’ll strive to be a better friend to those around simply because that’s what God put me here to do. I’ll focus on demonstrating God’s love and being vulnerable as God leads rather than being concerned about how someone responds to my friendly gestures.

Ultimately this year will only be different if I’ll keep my focus on God and how he defines me rather than how people define me.

What will make your 2018 different?

Posted in Life

Roxie’s Reminder

My first car was named Roxie after a man who used to come into the restaurant where I waitressed. His last name was Rex, and the advice he gave me lingers in my mind as I drive to visit family and friends this Christmas season.

Drive for yourself and for everyone else.

This man hadn’t had a wreck in all of his years of driving, so his advice on driving seems trustworthy. Of course it’s impossible to completely predict how others will drive, but the idea is to watch other cars. 

This is not saying that his advice kept me accident free (cough, July’s dumb moment that cost me Roxie’s life), but it has probably kept me more cautious in other moments. As you drive this holiday and beyond, friends, be cautious. Pay attention to your driving as well as what others around you are doing. 

Thanks Mr. Rex. 

Posted in Life, Photo Friday

Musketeers in October

My friends and I have been taking part in a photo challenge in which we try to take a fall-themed photo everyday. This past couple of years we’ve slowly separating physically, so we wanted a way to remain connected emotionally. I’ve been posting my photos to Instagram, but I thought since October is coming to a close, I’d share the photos here.

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A teacher’s life.

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A pile of leaves.

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A batch of fall treats. Oh and Scout!

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A field of pumpkins.

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Fall treats.

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Scout’s new favorite spot to curl up.

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The beginning of fall colors.

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Baking brownies with a friend after she had a rough day.

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The backs of the uniforms at the volleyball game.

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Leaf crunching has commenced. And the Chacos were still out.

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More fall colors. Walks are a wonderful part of my day.

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My walk up my “mountain” in honor of Berea’s Mountain Day.
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The game in action. These girls played hard this season and came out with a winning season.

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My ACT Prep class assembled a OCC box. They wrote Merry Christmas in all of their languages. It was a neat experience, and I’ll do it with my sophomores later this week.

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Some friends and I got together to play Settlers of Catan. I’ve been trying hard this school year to balance work and fun.
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I brought in my begonias since the weather is getting more chilly, and I don’t want them to die. Here’s to hoping I can keep the plants alive and that Scout doesn’t attack them.

 

Well that’s what I’ve been up to this October. It’s been full of work, fun, volleyball, Scout cuddles, and rest with God.

Cheers!

Cathy

 

 

 

 

Posted in Devotion, Life

I know where my strength comes from

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles;they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

This week feels crazy busy, but I still feel calm and in control. I praise God because I that if I wasn’t relying on him I would be losing it emotionally. I’ll just keep trusting him to provide the energy, joy, and patience that I need to accomplish everything that must be accomplished, and I’ll trust he’ll give me the wisdom about when to say no. Finally I know if I keep my focus on him and his work, all will be good in his time.

Posted in Life

But what’s wrong with me?

Throughout my teen years (and well into my ad, I wanted by to be liked in a large crowd, but I often felt overshadowed and unable to express my personality. It wasn’t until late high school and into my college years, I figured out what was “wrong” with me. I’m an introvert, which just means I gain my energy from being alone. For me it also means I do my best thinking when I’m quiet and alone, and this often translates into my thoughts being too slow to be relevant when I’m surrounded by a large group.

It was only through realizing and appreciating my personality that I began to figure out how to make it in this world where extrovertism is valued. Think about it. Group work is pushed in school, and team collaboration is a hot topic in most work environments. There is value placed on always being busy. Leaders get their positions because they speak up. Because of this societal standard, I have to adapt. Each day, I put on the guise of someone who thrives on being around people when I really crave quiet. This does not mean I can’t enjoy people time. In fact there are times I crave social interaction, but too much and I start to feel the need to be still and quiet even if all around me is bustling.

I often feel overlooked because I am introspective. In a crowded room, I tend to become the observer with an occasional comment. My senses become so overloaded that I just have to step back and let others take the stage no matter how badly I want to be noticed. This is one reason I write; in a world where thoughts are spoken loudly and fast, I often feel as if my thoughts move too slowly and are spoken too quietly to be heard. When I write, I have time to get my words out before someone else interrupts or speaks over me. This is also why I make walking a part of my schedule almost every day. After a day of teaching and interacting, I need that thirty minutes to an hour of just quiet. While I do enjoy walks with other people, I also need time with just my head.

The beautiful thing is that the world needs all types of people: introvert, extrovert, and everything in between. God created the world full of people with all kinds of personalities because humans reflect God’s character which contains both introvert and extrovert qualities. Sometimes God speaks loudly as when he created the world or sent storms. Sometimes he, in his human form of Jesus, was seen surrounded by large crowds. Other times though, God speaks very quietly in the stillness of our hearts. He tells us to be still. Even Jesus needed to get away from the crowds.
I encourage the introverts to value your personality. For a long time I felt as if something was wrong with me because I didn’t want to be at the center of the party or even at the party sometimes. I wondered why even when I wanted attention, no one seemed to be able to hear me. Then I started to be okay with who I am. That’s when I realized there are things people can appreciate about introverts. I’ve been told that, when I fully embrace my personality and stop striving, I can be very good at listening. Finally, while you’re appreciating your personality, do stretch yourself a bit to live in the extroverted world.
To the extroverts, I encourage you to continue being who you are but occasionally be quiet and let the introverts shine a bit. Appreciate those quiet beings as a needed contrast to your own vivacious personality. Finally reach out to an introvert who needs to get out of their head, but do be ready to spend different time together than you would with another extrovert.

(Many of my thoughts for this post were kickstarted my a series of Ted Talks on the Ted Radio hour by John Francis, Susan Cain, and Megan Washington. I suggest you check out their individual Ted Talks or the entire radio hour.)

Posted in Crafts, Life

Home


They say home is where the heart is, but they never say how many homes one can have. My heart is pulled so many different places because the people I care about are spread out. I call different locations “home” but the place always seems to lack a little something.

Maybe the problem is that none of these places are truly home because nothing on Earth can measure up to the home God has prepared for me in heaven. I just pray that each of the people in my earthly homes can join me in our eternal home.

Philippians 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
(By the way, I painted this canvas! Also I think it’s time for some more recent pictures to grace my walls.)