Archive | August 2015

What If???? (Part 3)

I’ve been examining how I, as a Christ follower, should walk out my faith. (Please read my first and second posts.) I’d love to hear your thoughts and struggles. As I set my course, I’m asking myself more questions. 

  • What if I stopped complaining? Oh. My. Gosh. I have made gains in this area, but I still have soooo much progress to make. It seems many of us fall into a pattern of grumbling, of ingratitude.  I’ve asked my husband a close friend to help me recognize when I stray. God’s girls can do better! Phillipians 2:15-15 NIV “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.”
  • What if I treated others the way I want to be treated? This is so basic, BUT do I do this? Truthfully, I do…sometimes. I want to ALL of the time. Matthew 7:12 NLT “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”
  • What if I exercised self-control instead of letting my flesh call the shots? Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Food. Exercise. What I give my attention to. Emotions. This speaks to so many areas of my life. 1 Peter 5:8 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around looking for someone to devour.” Proverbs 25:28 “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self control.”
  • Are my words kind, helpful, and encouraging? I don’t have to tell you how powerful words are. The old “sticks and stones” adage is baloney. Words hurt. Words can also heal. Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Ephesians 4:29  “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”  Proverbs 16:24  “Pleasant words [are as] an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” Proverbs 15:1  “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”  Matthew 12:37  “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”  Proverbs 13:3  “He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: [but] he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.”
  • What if I grasped the amazing gift and awesome weapon that is prayer? I LOVE to pray! I love leaning on my Father. He is so good!  Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  1 John 5:14 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”  Colossians 4:2  “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”  Jeremiah 29:12 “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”  Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”  Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”  Psalm 145:18 “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”  Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”  

I so want others to know the unconditional love, peace, joy, protection, healing, and mercy that only God can give. If you don’t know Jesus as Savior and Lord, pray this prayer right now. If you’ve fallen away (Honey, we all have!) just tell Him. (Hint: He knows and He is madly in love with you.) Ask Him for forgiveness and ask Him for help. I can’t do much without Him and neither can you. 

Won’t you join me in being The Church? As always, I wish you MUCH joy!

 
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Just One

By now you know I love lists. And I seem to love the numbers 3 and 1 a lot. A. Lot. I’d apologize, but I can’t seem to help myself and I truly doubt I’ll stop, so….Today is simply a list of things I’m trying. 

  • Do one thing for your spouse. 
  • Do one thing for someone else. 
  • Do one thing you dread. 
  • Eat one thing you should. 
  • Cut out one food you shouldn’t eat. 
  • Take one bite less. 
  • Give one unexpected compliment. 
  • Let one rude comment pass. 
  • Let one car in line. 
  • Let one customer go in front of you in the long, long line. 
  • Tip one more dollar than you planned. 
  • Give one more hug. 
  • Listen to ____ one more minute before getting back to your busy, busy life. 
  • Pray for one minute. 
  • Pray for one more minute. 
  • For one minute, close your eyes and remember why it all matters. 
  • Try one new thing. 
  • Read one book to your child. 
  • Learn one new skill. 
  • Run (or walk or whatever) for one more minute, one more mile….
  • Take one deep breath before speaking.
  • Think one minute before acting. 
  • Forgive one more time. (I know, I know.) 

As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

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The First Day of School (and the Next Nine Months)

Hello! Can you believe our summer flew by so quickly? I’m so excited to meet your child and partner with you this year. I have so many hopes and dreams for our year.  And, dear parents, I NEED you to know some things

  • I’m already in love with your child. Truly! The moment a name is on my list I fall in love. The decision is first. The emotion comes soon after. 
  •  I will probably spend more time with your child than you will this year. 
  •  I will push, nudge, encourage, and drag your child this year. I will do whatever it takes to help them progress and learn and grow. It matters! 
  • I will never forget your child. I will never not want to hear how he is. I will never stop loving them. Just ask any of my former students or parents. 
  • I want and need your prayers.
  • I appreciate your kind texts and emails more than you’ll ever know. 
  • I will make mistakes. I try not to, but …. Please extend grace. I promise to return the favor. We are in this together, after all. 
  • I need your help. I need help with copying and laminating. I need someone to organize our parties. I need extra boxes of tissues. I need newspapers for those rare occasions we paint. I need you! 
  • You will “hear” me at home. A lot. You’ll hear my pet phrases and some of my lessons. You may even hear some of the voices I use when I read or act silly. 
  • Teacher/parent conferences make me a little nervous, too.
  • I love sharing the good with you.
  • I hate contacting you about anything negative. I will, but I hate it. 
  • I will protect your child.
  • I will teach your child more than the curriculum. I will teach him we are all wonderfully imperfect with different gifts and flaws. I will teach him to say thank you to the cafeteria ladies, custodians, and all visitors.  I will teach him to cough into his shoulder. I will teach him we all have bad days and we just do better the next day. I will teach him forgiveness is immediate, but actions have consequences. I will teach him being kind is incredibly important. I will teach him that it’s okay to make mistakes and fail. I will teach him to think deep and play to win. 
  • I am your ally, not your enemy. I truly want a partnership with you. And your child needs that to happen.
  • I am in/on more meetings, trainings, committees, etc than you can imagine. I fill out more paperwork than anyone should have to. Ever. I plan lessons and grade papers for EVERY subject. I arrive early. I stay late. I work most weekends and holidays.  I do this because teaching your child matters. Your child is worth it. 
  • I am fully aware that you are sharing an amazing gift with me this year. I will honor that gift every single day. 
  • Your child will amaze us this year. Based on my previous years, I can guarantee we will look at each other in May with tears in our eyes and deep satisfaction in our hearts. Sounds corny, but it’s true. 
  • Like your child, I’m sad summer is gone, but so very excited about the good ahead. 

Sweet parents, it’s going to be a busy, crazy, silly, fun, amazing year of learning and growing. Here we go! 

Fellow educators, I think I’m speaking for many of us here. I KNOW I’m speaking for many of the educators at my school. Please feel free to add your comments!! I’d love that. 

As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 


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What If???? (Part 2)

A few weeks ago I posted a discussion asking what things would be like if the church actually acted like followers of Christ , if I actually lived like I believed what I believe. You can read more here

I received some amazing feedback on the post, most of it privately. I think many of us are longing for authenticity. It’s time we let our light shine, isn’t it? 

If you read my first post you know I’m looking at my own life and my own walk as I set my course. I desire to “walk out” what I say I believe. And I’m asking myself some (more) questions. 

And you need to know I long for this, but I fall short every single day. I’m selfish, willful, and bratty. I’m also redeemed by the blood of Christ. It’s because of Him that I press on. 

  • What if I refused to fear?  We are told not to fear over and over and over again in His Word. I think God understands our natural inclination to worry and fear. Psalm 27:1 NIV “The LORD is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid?”  Psalm 23:4 NIV “Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”  2 Timothy 1:7 NLT “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” John 14:27 NLT “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”  Isaiah 51:12 NLT “I, am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear?” Proverbs 29:25 NLT “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.”  
  • What if I read the Word, knew the Word, prayed the Word, spoke the Word? Hebrews 4:12  NAS “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  Matthew 4:4 KJV “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”  Ephesians 6:17 KJV “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God….”  2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV  “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  Psalm 119:105 NIV “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
  • What if I gave instead of took? Time, gifts, money, attention…everyone has something they can give. In other words, what if I sought to bless instead of be blessed? What if I sought to serve? Hebrews 6:10 “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” Matthew 23:11 “The greatest among you will be your servant.” Luke 6:38  “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Mark 10:45. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” 1 Peter 4:10 “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 

I’d love to keep this discussion going. Please feel free to comment. (Part 3 is coming soon.) As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

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Loves and Links, Here We Go Again

I’m a big believer in giving shout-outs to people and products I love! I’ve shared products I adore before here and here. Well, I’m baaaaacck. And I have more “loves” to share with you. 

  • I love my lotions and potions! Have you tried Thymes Eucalyptus lotion? A student gave me my first bottle years ago. I’ve been a fan ever since. 
  • I saw a deal on Zulily and bought Madison Reed Color-Enhancing shampoo and conditioner on a whim. I just started using it, but I can actually see and feel a difference in my hair. Wow! My hair and I have a very rocky relationship. I’m hoping these two products  smooth things out. 
  • Dr. Bronner’s organic peppermint lip balm is amazing!!! Apply your usual balm. Remove it and apply this yummy stuff. Feel the difference! That’s all it will take for you to want to switch. 
  • Jane Iredale’s lash conditioner really works! I love it and I highly recommend it! 
  • Hobby Lobby rocks! I made jewelry for years and HL was one of my sources. I scrapbook and find most of my goodies at HL. A lot of my Christmas wrap and decor is from HL and I always enjoy browsing their beautiful autumn goodies. It just makes me happy to walk their many, many aisles. (Standing in their excruciatingly long lines makes me unhappy, but it’s the price I pay for crazy awesome stuff at reasonable prices.) Not long ago I was shopping at HL with two of my dearest friends. I pointed out item after item that I owned. And that’s when it hit me: my home is heavily decorated by HL. If loving Hobby Lobby is wrong, I don’t want to to be right. (Grin to those who know the song.)
  • Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel has become a favorite! There’s a lot of trash on television and I’m trying to watch what I watch. This channel makes me so happy! I love the Aurora Teagarden mysteriesGarage Sale mysteries, and Hart to Hart reruns
  •  The Hallmark Channel is another favorite. I record Cedar Cove and When Calls the Heart  religiously and I always enjoy their slightly cheesy romances. 
  • Speaking of Cedar Cove, I love, love, love Debbie Macomber, her books, her TV show, her movies. She can do no wrong in my book. 
  • While I’m at it, let me give a shout-out to Jodi Thomas’ Harmony series. I read these books slowly, because I can’t stand for them to end.  Hallmark, would you please consider making this a series similar to the Cedar Cove series? Please? Pretty please? 
  • Courtly check. Yep, it was on a previous list. Since I just scored a new addition to my collection, I simply must mention it again. #truelove
  • I had my doubts, but Body Drench Shimmer Lotion is pretty cool. It does give your skin a gorgeous shimmer. It looks fantastic on a tan. However, I must mention I don’t much care for the smell and I leave a trail of glitter on my car’s seats. I think it’s pretty, but Hubby has other thoughts. 
  • You must check out Deborah Kaye’s cookies. Seriously! They’re dairy free and gluten free. No refined sugars. No corn. Non-GMO. Organic. We need more treats like these! That’s a tip for my readers AND a hint to the good people at Deborah Kaye! 
  • Bliss Microdermabrasion treatment is a little luxury I like to ask for at Christmas. It’s gentle, smells yummy, feels amazing, and leaves my skin super smooth. A little goes a long way. 
  • I enjoy browsing in TJ Maxx. One of my favorite finds is the Droplet natural body washes. Next time you’re in the store, cruise the beauty products aisles. I’ve scored a Chi hairdryer and countless name brand lotions and gels-all deeply discounted. 
  • Pete’s is our favorite local place to buy our flowers and plants. But I also love shopping in their store. They have yummy lotions, beautiful dishes, and gorgeous decor. And now they’re online! Check them out! 
  • White House|Black Market is one of my new favorites!! Pretty, pretty, pretty things!! Sigh. 
  • Classy Delites Tweeds chips with flax seeds and sesame seeds. Non-GMO. Organic. Delicious!!! 
  • Young Living Oils are scattered all throughout my home. I carry some in my purse, my lunch bag, and I even have an oil travel case. True story! Not a day goes by that I’m not oiling up! If you decide to take the plunge and sign up, good for you!! You won’t regret it! And please consider signing up under me. My ID is CLARKE, JULIE/1313990. 

So, what do you think? What are some of your loves? Thanks for reading and, as always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

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