Saturday, December 22, 2007

cookie fun yum yum



Audi and I made this cookies the other weekend when she came up to visit.

my momma

http://www.jointhejourney.com/Traveler-s-Log.26.0.html?&tx_watermarktravelers_pi1%5BshowUid%5D=1080&cHash=85d3c35d52

Thursday, December 06, 2007

please consider helping me and my kids

https://www.legacymissions.org/ambassador.php?aid=183

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

finally some sense

"But here's a question worth considering: Why does Pullman have this wrongful impression of the church in the first place? Could it be that he's encountered arrogant, judgmental Christians? Could it be, to some degree, Christians' fault?

At any rate, no, don't be afraid. The gospel will survive the publishing phenomenon of Pullman's trilogy—and any movies that come from it—without so much as a scratch. It's not worth getting all worked up about it."

Christianity Today

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving

I'm having a good Thanksgiving. It's nice to be in Dallas and get away from thinking about insane 14 year-olds.
Let's see... I'm also thankful for:
1. Andy
2. my family
3. my friends
4. for God being Himself
5. for books
6. my health
7. for music
8. food! Not including gross green bean casserole or dressing.

I'm making my first buttermilk pie tomorrow -- so exciting. I'm just so very happy to not be around any preteens. Besides Caroline, Andy's sister. She's a fun preteen.
I hope you're having a great day too.

Monday, November 12, 2007

ugh.

Teaching is the pits!
Some of my 8th graders couldn't identify a verb! A VERB!!!!!
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

seizures scare me

I'm sure they scare everyone, but I feel so helpless and useless and angry when they happen to other people.
Daphne had seizures when she was little and it terrified me. I would hold her while her body jerked and she peed on herself.
(And she's a DOG for goodness's sake -- I never imagined seeing it happen to a boy in real life!)
Today while I was on bus duty a boy (in freezing cold weather with no coat on) had a seizure. He's known to do this from time to time but I had only witnessed the aftermaths. Today I was walking in a line with four other boys and he just dropped to the ground. On of the boys said, "Oh God, Devin is having another seizure." I told him to run to the office and tell them. Thank God that Devin was walking on the grass and not on the curb where I was. He is a very big guy and his seizure was violent. I tried to keep his head on the grass not knowing if I was making him uncomfortable by moving the hair out of his face and keeping my hands on him. Was he embarressed? Scared? Ticked off that this was happening at school again? It scared me. I kept thinking "what if this boy were my son, how would I feel? what would I do?" I wanted to hold this huge boy in my arms and tell him that I hated what was happening to him and wish it were me instead. But he's almost a man and I'm not allowed to do those things. I'm not entirely sure how I feel now that it is all over, but I know it is still bothering me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

you're my holiday

It's Fall break. Monday and Tuesday night I worked 12 hours at school with the regular school hours and then parent/teacher conferences. Mostly, it was okay. I only had one parent who accused me for her child's problems... that was depressing, but interesting also because as the coach down the hall sang, "spotted dogs have spotted puppies." I hope that isn't always true and I still think that kids are responsible for their own choices (something I've had to deal with in my own life when I wanted to blame my parents or my situation), but it was interesting to see students with their parents... veeeeeeeeeeeeery interesting.
Now I've got five days off including the weekend and I'm wasting the day. It's nice but I'm a little lonely b/c Andy is out of town. But he'll be back tomorrow just in time for his Metallica tribute band's premire. I'm going to make a groupie t-shirt tomorrow with a skull on it. It's going to be awesome. ;)
I PROMISE I'll upload a video on youtube of the show.
For now I'm sitting in my sweats wrapped in a quilt drinking Sam's Choice raspberry flavored water and watching old Ugly Betty episodes. I want my husband home.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

that stinks

"Starbucks drinks are notoriously high in calories, and their autumn special is no exception. The Venti Pumpkin Spice Latte weighs in at 510 calories and 20 grams of fat." MSN Health

bummed for dumb reasons

It will probably seem silly to you.
But I get depressed when friends of mine get pregnant.
I rejoice with them, but I'm jealous too. Not in a malicious way, but in a bummed way.
I want so badly to be at that stage of my life. And I'm often frustrated with God and Andy for keeping me from it. I know that's stupid. But emotions aren't logical most of the time.
And this friend is pregnant with twins. Twins! :(

Sunday, September 30, 2007

yep!

Hey there peeps.
I'm still tired. I'm still so busy that my digestive system is in constant protest from the stress. ha.
I'm a little too fat for my bridesmaid's dress. Bummer. ;(
But I've been practicing my songs for the wedding and wether I look good, I know I'll sound good. I normally don't worry too much about my weight. But I'm a little embarrassed because I'll be seeing some people who are used to seeing me thrity pounds lighter. I feel like a failure or something, which is stupid because no one expects me to be pretty and even if they did, why should I care and what a stupid goal for my life. It is a goal, I won't deny it, but it isn't even on the list. Hence the weight gain, right? yep!
Oh well, who gives a crap.
Teaching is the hardest thing I've ever done. I'm so tired and the weeks are rushing by. I can't tell if this is a good thing or bad. I want to be focused on my kids but instead am focused on lesson plans, grading, and policy, and, of course, family matters. Daphne and Wilson are suffering, my body is suffering (even if my mind and heart are growing), and I have no stinking free time! I want so badly to bake some cinnamon rolls and take a bath and read a ridiculously long fiction novel.
I'm going to quit whining and catch some sleep.
I hope everyone is doing well!
Good news: Keira Bowman, Jason and Erin's daughter, seems to be beating her cancer! check out her blog for details. Praise God for health and for miracles.
Praise God for work and purpose and kids.

Monday, September 17, 2007

update

Hello!
I think I'm doing better with teaching (if you've heard me complain lately). It's hard to remove yourself from it, because that doesn't seem like what you should do. But it is what I have to do because I'm not there to be their friend and I take the things they say too personally.
We're almost finished with our first novel. The other classes haven't even begun one yet and I'm wondering if I'm pushing these kids too fast. But then those who haven't even begun the book yet wouldn't do it anyway and quite a few have already finished it. I assigned "The Giver" to the 8th graders and "F 451" to the 9th. I think the next book I'll do it "Lord of the Flies" and then a newer book, "Monster."
I feel like my life is grading and eating sugary things. When I get home, I'm more exhasuted than I can remember being. I'm glad that I'm only doing this for a few years because I don't like the pace. I feel like I'm in grad school again, but busier, because I'm constantly under stress and I'm floundering around.
But I am trusting God to help me. I pray each morning that I would be the teacher they need and that I would reach as many as want to come and that God would help me be someone they can respect. I also pray that he would help me see them as he does. I'm still having trouble with one student, T. W., and nothing short of God changing his attuitude or giving me guidance will help this situation.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Monday, September 03, 2007

teaching is a lot harder than I thought it would be

I'm having a really hard time. Here are some of the reasons:
1. I'm not good at classroom management (trying to fix this)
2. I actually care what a bunch of 14-16 year olds think of me
3. About 20% of the kids are disrespectful, loud, manipulative, lazy, and selfish, which ruins it for the rest of the class b/c of reason #1 and #2.

So tomorrow I'm going to try my best to lay down the law.
But seriously, this is so hard that I almost want to quit.
Which is awful b/c teaching is what I've always said I would do. The kids complain at the smallest assignment and tell me that my assignments are "retarded" or they just tell me that they don't have time to complete them when I've just given them 30 minutes to do the project!
My kids, I think, will be home schooled or put in private schools. Andy has always said that is what we would do with our kids, but I didn't understand why until this past week. My high school classes weren't like this... even if we hated the teacher we only made fun of them behind their back and I don't think any of us TRIED to make teachers cry or TRIED to get into trouble. Just thinking about going back tomorrow makes me tired.

I know it will get better, but right now it's crappy.

my classroom




Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

tomorrow it begins

Yes, tomorrow is the first day of school for Perry Mid-High.
I think I'm psyched. I'm getting psyched. Yesterday I was just nervous.
I have one huge class of ninth grades and one teeny class of them... 4 students, that's it.
Then I have four classes of eight graders with about twenty students in each.
I'm hoping that the 12th grade teacher can find enough funds to purchase my book list for the eight graders.
I asked for:
Monster by Walter Dean Meyers
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (then we'll watch the anime movie based on the book. I'll teach her more literary Fire and Hemlock to the ninth graders)
and The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer.
Knowing that I may get this wishlist and am not stuck teaching Flowers for Algernon (what a bummmer that book is) or The Outsiders (which just generally stinks) makes me very happy.

I also think I'll do a unit on fairy tales for the 8th graders and mythology for the 9th.
I have to do a couple of Shakespeare plays for some reason, but I'm the only English teacher at Perry who thinks this may not be the best idea, so we'll perform them in class or do something to make them fun.
I also have The Lord of the Flies, Fahrenheit 451, The Canterbury Tales, and To Kill a Mockingbird at my disposal.
I'm not sure how I'll fit any of that together yet, but if the students are willing (and I've heard they normally are at Perry) we'll have a lot of fun.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Should Wilson be Neuticled?


http://www.neuticles.com/
My vet said Neuticles are not ethical. Is that true?

We feel the removal of a God given body part - leaving a male pet looking unwhole after the traditional form of neutering is not only unethical but unnatural. With Neuticles it's like nothing ever changed.


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Some pets develop scar tissue. It is totally harmless and does not disfigure the Neuticle in any way. Scar tissue is a micro-thin film that may surround the Neuticles making it feel firmer to the human touch. While this is not a concern to most pet owners the way to eliminate potential development is to gently massage the Neuticles weekly to break up any possible formations or to Neuticle their pet with the Neuticles UltraPLUS which features a special textured exterior which virtually eliminates the risk of potential scar tissue development.

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Neuticles were the absolute least I could do."
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"Frodo never knew he lost anything and is just a happier little dog since he's been neutered with Neuticles."
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San Lorenzo, CA

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Fresno, CA

"Just call me a caring pet owner."
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Anchorage, Alaska

Questions? Call Toll Free 888-638-8425

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wilson is 9 months old!

tomorrow it begins

I start my teacher-in-service time tomorrow. I'm a little nervous and I either caught a cold in my classroom or I'm highly allergic to the large amounts of dust I stirred up by cleaning the computers and the chalk board. I freaked out by the feeling of chalk on my fingers but no one was there to see. Just so you know, I also can't stand the feel of newspaper for very long and I absolutely will avoid touching velvet. Strange, I know, but I've found out recently that other people have even stranger quirks. My head feels like cotton that is being pounded upon so I think I'll try to go ahead and get to bed. Ugh, but I still have dishes to do. Which reminds me of an awesome quote that I just read off of Doug Hill's facebook page: "Everyone wants to save the world; no one wants to help mom do the dishes."

the coveted car


Of course, I prefer the Versa, but Andy is afraid it is too small to be very safe.
This is a Mazda 3 5-door.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

quotes for the current me

Donald Miller wrote, "It doesn't make a great deal of sense that a person who went to Bible college should have a better shot at heaven than a person who didn't, and it doesn't make a lot of sense either that somebody sentimental and spiritual has greater access."

I struggle with that a lot b/c I'm not outwardly emotional or as sentimental as others and I used to think that it was a fault in me. It's not, it is just me.

"I think it is more safe and more beautiful and more true to believe that when a person dies he will go and be with God because, on earth, he had come to know Him, that he had a relational encounter with God not unlike meeting a friend or a lover or having a father or taking a bride, and that in order to engage God he gave up everything, repented and changed his life, as this sort of extreme sacrifice is what is required if true love is to grow. We would expect nothing less is marriage; why should we accept anything less is becoming unified with Christ?"

I read this in Zambia and it gave me hope. I want to yearn for my God as I yearn for Andy. I want to turn to Him as I would love to do to a close friend. I'm working on this; I'm hoping and praying for this.

And later in "Searching For God Knows What" he also wrote this: "the thing about being religious [is that] it isn't this safe place in the soul you can go, it has just as many booby traps as any other thing you can get yourself into. It's a bloody brothel, in fact. Jesus even says there will be people who will heal other people, but when they die He is going to say He didn't KNOW them. It is somewhat amazing to me, once again, that all Christianity, all our grids and mathematics and truths and different groups subscribing to different theological ideas, boils down to our KNOWING Jesus and his KNOWING us."

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More Zambia Pictures

Sarah Scurry sharing the gospel with Audi via the EvangaCube.

Audi putting shoes on one of her boys.

My boys (Gift, Daniel, and Charles) playing a clapping game Audrey and I taught them.

Me with Idah.

Princess, Eneydia, Bridget, and Rachel

Beauty, Idah, Josephine, and Madalisto (I gave her that name -- it means blessing. Her original name was Misozi, which means tears.)

Gift, Thelma, Ruth, and Matongo

Me and Barbara with all the girls

This is Clara.

Monday, July 30, 2007

preparing to be disappointed?

Should I be, really?
Or is it best that I'm hopeful about how my class will listen to me and engage themselves in their own education?
I'm just simply scared. I don't know what I'm doing and I'm afraid that I won't be prepared.
Right now I'm trying to develop my class rules and policies and syllabi. That alone is making me sweat and making my stomach ache.
But I'm going to do it -- and I'm going to do it today, even if I must modify it continuously through the next three weeks before school begins.
How do you facilitate engaged learning? How does a teacher teach without teaching? (Meaning: how do I get the boogers to motivate themselves and thereby give them the single most important thing they'll need in life? Well, besides a Savior.)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hey peeps, I'm back

Here are a few pics. I'll write TONS later.
This is Sheema. It's the staple meal for Zambians -- they eat it for lunch and dinner.

This is me eating Sheema. Got to love the hair. My partner, Daudi Lifa, who made the meal, is next to me.

This is Audrey with Chisomo. Remember his name, you'll hear more about him soon.

Here are the rest of her boys with her partner, Mutale Damon, and our helper Felix who is wearing the green cap. (My group pics will come later, they are being developed.) The boys are holding certificates we made for them. They say "I am an Ambassador of Truth" and they have our pictures with the kiddos on them. They are very proud of these -- most have never seen a picture of themselves and most do not own anything, even the shoes on their feet are borrowed. When I gave my first group (girls) their certificates they told me (well, so my translator said) that they could not look at them for fear that their tears would hurt the photo.

The following pictures are of our second week where my group of boys prayed for Audrey's group of girls (we were teaching them to care for their brothers and sisters). These two pics are the girls returning the kindness.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

whew!

OK so my passport came yesterday morning and I'm leaving today. I'm sure it wouldn't have come if 1. loads of people hadn't prayed for me, 2. Andy's Papa hadn't remembered that he knew the Senator's secretary, and 3. if the Senator's assistant hadn't called and asked for them to overnight it to me. YAY!

Yes, I'm getting nervous. My stomach hurts when I get stressed out and I feel like I can't calm down. So I'm just going to try to focus on enjoying my day with Andy. And if you like, you should contact him and hang out with him while I'm gone. I bet he'll be pretty lonely.

We're driving to Dallas tonight (hopefully we'll see fireworks) and I have to be at the airport in the morning at 8am. Then it is off to Miami and then off to London where I'll spend a whole day hanging out with my sister and her British fiancee. I'll visit one or two places and eat fish 'n chips! Then off to Zambia where we will settle in and be trained to work at the camp!

Keep praying for us! Thank you!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

sorry no blogging

I'm sorry I haven't blogged and will not blog for awhile. I'm trying to get everything prepared for my trip to Zambia (my passport STILL isn't here!) and writing thank-you notes and freaking out about the upcoming school year and reading a very VERY long fantasy novel... um... and trying to prepare meals for Andy (for the time I'm gone) and clean the house -- I just don't have brain power to think of things to say.

I hopefully will post updates while on my trip.

;)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

my classroom

I'm going to try to go look at my classroom tomorrow and so I've been thinking of how to decorate it.
I googled the idea and came back with a lot of really saccharine sweet ideas.
I DO NOT want my classroom to look like a typical Junior High English classroom. It will not be cutesy. I think those teachers are thinking of what old ladies would like, not young teenagers.
But I can't come up with too many ideas!
I've searched for reading posters and the only one I've found that wasn't cutesy is Xmen, and not everyone likes comics.
I was thinking I could scan covers of young adult novels that I have (I have a lot) and make a border around the room with them. Or if that's too expensive I could recreate the cover art as posters.
I also thought if there has to be a bulletin board that I would take funny posed pics of my students the first day of class and we would post them, b/c I'm sure all self focused preteens love pictures of themselves. And they could write a short bio on a note card that would be placed under the photo.
Maybe a grammar poster of some sort, but I don't know how to make that interesting and I'm not sure that I want the rules posted all over the place b/c then I would have trouble covering them up during quizzes.
You have any ideas?
What did you most like about your middle or secondary English classes and teachers?
My favorite thing was my 8th grade teacher Mr. Maher coming to class in a robe and beard screaming, "I AM ZEUS!" He is awesome.

Monday, June 18, 2007

SB Day 7

Okay I was bad Saturday. I went to OKC to meet Bri and her husband for dinner (and to pick up Tran from Amy's) and I ate a salad (we were at a nice Italian place, so it was hard ordering that) and I finished and then Bri said, "hey to do want to split a tiramisu?" and I paused and said, "Sure!"
I didn't eat much of it, really I didn't, and I wanted a whole lot more. So I wasn't too bad, but the effects were bad b/c now all (unlike the other days of diet time) I want is sugar! (proof that what I eat creates cravings for the same thing) I'm dying for some fruit and cold cereal and Blue Bell cookies 'n cream!
But then I weighed myself and I've lost 5.5 pounds. So I'll stick with it a little longer. ;) If I can make it to Zambia still on this stage of the diet than I think I'll have achieved a great deal. Then I can come back home and enjoy a little fruit here and a little Cherrios there. And, perhaps, Andy will take me out for ice cream.

Today, #7, is okay. I've been very good so far, but I have to exercise more. I'm not doing much of that yet.

msn messenger "Dreams"

emily says:
dreams:
emily says:
1. Andy as husband
emily says:
check!
emily says:
2. two doggies
emily says:
check!
emily says:
3. cute home
emily says:
check!
emily says:
4. own cute home
emily says:
5. teaching position!
emily says:
CHECK!
emily says:
6. Nissan Versa
emily says:
.....
emily says:
.....
emily says:
:(
emily says:
7. babies
emily says:
not yet
emily says:
8. couch covers
emily says:
9. various kitchen tools
emily says:
and lastly
emily says:
10. tiny diamond band
emily says:
or two
emily says:
that's all
emily says:
okay?
Andy says:
dang
Andy says:
what a list
Andy says:
what are you supposed to to when you get everything checked off
emily says:
live happily ever after
emily says:
add things for kids
Andy says:
i see
Andy says:
hmmm

Thursday, June 14, 2007

SB Diet Day 3

I'm going to quit listing what I ate. I did well today, no cheating! But no exercise so far either b/c...
I had an interview at noon and I got the job! So Andy and I are going out to celebrate (but I will stick to my diet, I'll probably eat seafood and some veggies)! The principle had seven applicants before me but she called me with an offer 16 minutes after I left the building! So that must have been an answer. I feel bad about pouting about my current situation... but now all I can do is thank God and call everyone I know to shout in their ear that "I HAVE A TEACHING JOB! WOOHOO!"

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

SB Diet Day 2

I really wanted a bagel yesterday.
Today I really wanted a bowl of Cheerios. :(
Breakfast: Egg substitute and 2 pieces of turkey bacon, a cup of milk and a cup of coffee with just a little cream (I know that is cheating...)
Snack:cheese stick and almonds
Lunch:last night's leftovers
Snack:chesse stick and almonds again
Dinner:taco salad! and a jello
Exercise: walk for 30 minutes and 20 minutes of at home exercises.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

SB Diet Day 1

Okay so eating to fullness is a fantastic idea. But that alone hasn't helped me loose weight.
So I'm trying the South Beach diet. I choose this one b/c I don't like counting things and b/c my blood chemistry (ratio between LDL and HDL and high triglycerides) is one main part of my health (along with weight, energy level, flexibility) that I want to improve.
The shocker for me, and something I still struggle with, is that I'm seriously overweight. I don't think I look it and I don't feel it, but when my picture is taken I notice it. For most of my life I've had an attractive body and so it is strange to me to not have one now. And I really haven't been thin for the past two and a half years. So something has to change. I want to be proud of how I look in the pictures taken at my sister's wedding. That's 19 weeks. So my goal is to loose 25lbs. by then and 40lbs total. To do that I thought I would confess my progress in my blog as I go. Besides, not many people read it anyway and hopefully I can encourage those who do if they also want to be healthier.
For 4 weeks I can not eat fruit or grains or table sugar. The point is to stay away from carbs that burn too quickly. After 4 weeks I introduce them gradually. I'll probably add the fruit back instead of the bread because I adore fruit and I'm very sorry to see it go, especially in a summer month!
DAY 1
Breakfast: 3 eggs for breakfast and one slice of thinly shaved deli ham.
Coffee without cream or sugar (this is the hardest thing!)
Snack: 15 almonds, yeah I counted them out b/c normally I eat about 40
Lunch: 2 turkey roll-ups (1 slice turkey with red bell pepper strips rolled in a lettuce leaf) ricotta cheese with a little almond extract and stevia and sliced almonds on top. A few broccoli florets dipped in makeshift ranch dip (a little mayo, a little sour cream, dill, garlic salt, pepper).
Snack: celery stick with low fat cheese
Dinner: 1 chicken breast cut up and mixed with cumin, chili powder, garlic, black beans, red bell pepper, chives, avocado, and spinach. Lightly sprinkled with reduced fat colby jack cheese. (I didn't realize until I was eating it that I'm not supposed to have avocado b/c it's a fruit!)
Dessert: sugar free jello (not so bad)

Monday, June 11, 2007

wonderful weekend; monday-like monday

Andy is gone again and I really didn't want him to leave. It seems like I need a day to feel close to him after a long absence and then one more day to be close. Then he leaves. But he can't help it, this month is the most important birding month for his position and if he doesn't get enough data he might have to work an extra field season. Which wouldn't be ideal, but just okay.
Audrey came to visit and it was a lot of fun. Big fun as my friend Jenny says.
I listened to "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger on CD while cleaning the house and enjoyed it. Although it didn't make it into my top ten it's one of the few books I've read that I wish I had written; I can see myself writing a story like this. Fervent, a little sad, and beautiful.
It's hard to recommend books. I know that when I do I'll be judged a little. Even by Andy. But I know that people who aren't dedicated readers or English majors or professors just aren't going to get why I love some stories. And why sometimes my favorite stories have sinful things in them. Well, sin permeates the world, doesn't it? But I know that isn't what people mean. They mean why do I love books where the sin isn't portrayed as sin. All I can say is sometimes I don't recognize my sin unless God (or a friend) points it out to me. And most exceptional novels are not written by christians. I haven't encountered a new Flannery O'Connor or C. S. Lewis. I'm rambling. But I'm bored at work and tired b/c it is hard to sleep when he is gone.
Oh yeah... I forgot to mention that when I mailed about 30 applications to surrounding schools (after a long time spent revising cover letters and resumes) the post office calculated the postage wrong and so I'm getting them returned to me asking for more postage or rejected by principles who aren't willing (why should they be?) to pay 23 cents to get my package. So wasted time. Wasted money. I was mad, of course, but it is okay now. My friend Doug shared with me a verse about God walking on the sea but His footsteps are invisible, meaning, Doug thinks, that we can't see His ways but He is moving. Moving, I hope, to find me a teaching position where I will bloom into the inspiring and engaging teacher I want to be.
I'm hoping. Anxiously even though I shouldn't. Waiting to see what He will do. Also hoping that I won't be bitter if it doesn't happen.

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Hazards of Birding OR Andy's strange day

While Andy was birding he happened upon a field of invasive (foreign plant that spreads) marijuana.
But that's not all.
He was trying to check into a motel (they were full and he stays in a motel b/c he is birding several hours away from home) when a lady begged him for a ride.
He was worried she might steal his work supplies because she looked like she used Meth but that discomfort was soon overshadowed by the discomfort of realizing that he had picked up a prostitute. YES. A Prostitute. I was bothered by this but now I'm just sad for her. I'm hoping that propositioning a complete stranger isn't a normal for her and so Andy, a man who is repulsed instead of attracted to the idea, picking her up would be a good thing. Thankfully he didn't have to take her far and dropped her off at a local grocery store.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

mad cows and applications and money matters

I'm enjoying but not enjoying Andy being gone (for those of you who don't know he is doing his field research right now). On one hand, he's not at home and I miss having him around to hug and kiss on and I miss his help around the house. Taking care of both dogs all the time by yourself is annoying. On the other hand, I eat the foods I like, I can go to bed as early as I want with no complaint, and he calls me all the time. I probably talk to him more when he is gone than I do when he is home and I love it.

Today he called me at work around 10 to tell me that he was being attacked by a mad herd of cows. He said that he thought a bull may be charging him but then he saw the utters and he wondered if maybe it was just really really hungry. I had to keep from laughing too loudly (I work in a cubicle) as he told me how he was sampling the birds when all of the sudden a herd of cows began mooing very loudly and almost galloping to get near him. He began to move quickly away when he realized that they were cornering him against an electric fence. So being the brilliant man he is he went to the creek and for some reason the cows didn't want to cross and stood there mooing at him from the other side. I get a little nervous around a herd of cattle (b/c they look so dumb, I'm afraid they'll stupidly trample me) so picturing Andy running from a crazed herd is hilarious to me.

I've sent out over 20 cover letters and resumes to the schools within a thirty mile radius of my home. I'm still praying that God will bless me with a position where I'm not bored and where I feel useful/fulfilled/needed. Now I'm trying to guess at the appropriate time when I should call these principles and introduce myself and remind them of my resume. I wish I could go do this in person, but I have to take care of the dogs on my lunch break and I'm not allowed vacation time (since I'm using more than I'm supposed to for Zambia). I am so sick of sitting in front of a computer all day. I want to talk to people -- I especially want to talk to people about their lives and about stories and novels. I just don't understand why there are so many apathetic teachers out there and here I am, desperately wanting a teaching job -- a chance to see if I am who I think I am. Or to become who I want to be. I donno. I feel like screaming at the heavens like an annoying and impatient child, so I have to make myself calm down and wait. ugh!

I emailed this link to most of you, but check it out if you haven't: www.strawmanjesus.com

And on the website of the church who created Strawman Jesus, I found this quote (which I thought was good and it is what I've been thinking about lately -- money matters and how I want to handle my money in reflection of what God has done for me and of the poor billions of neighbors who need me to not be selfish):
"There is no better marker of the condition of our heart than the condition of our checkbook. Here's basically where we land on the whole money thing. God has redeemed you, sent is Son to a brutal atoning death by which you are forgiven of every single one of your sins, blessed you with every heavenly blessing, given you eternal life, adopted you into His family as a joint-heir with Jesus, brought your from darkness to light... and you're going to throw $10 in the offering? Do you realize that God uses our giving to continue His redeeming work among us through the existence of a local church that preaches the Gospel and loves the culture? When these truths hit home, you find yourself joyfully giving to the work of God."

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

overwhelmed

I am overwhelmed by the response I've had concerning my mission trip to Zambia.
Mercifully, I've had only one hateful remark -- the gospel is offensive and I'm sure I'll continue to offend. I offend with or without the gospel, don't I? I'm not sure that is a good thing... Anyway, back on topic.
The love I have been shown by my old church families and my biological family is astounding. My father supported me financially, even though he didn't want me to go. My Aunt Debbie set the record of sending Audi and me $1,000 each. Wow! My grandparents supported a friend of ours who didn't have enough fund money to go and my mom has provided things to sell in the garage sale she's planning and the revenue is going to purchase items for the Zambian children. My Mema and my aunt Susie provided us with names and addresses of extended family and friends, who in response sent us fund money. Because of these people Audi and I raised our total $8000 goal in a very short time period.
Fellowship Church of Russellville sent a large donation and some members did also. FCR also sent out postcards encouraging parents to raise "mission-minded children" by providing items to send with me to give the Zambian children. A few members of Trinity Bible Church in Richardson have supported me financially and are praying for me. Grace Stillwater Church is collecting items from me and today I had emails saying that they have 20 Bibles and a load of toothbrushes and toothpaste already! That's only one day after the request! I praise God for showing me His love and support and I am so thankful for these people who have actively shown me love. Thank you! (and FCR I miss you so so much)

Friday, May 25, 2007

one other thing

I forgot to mention that I passed my certification tests and am now applying for teaching positions. If you think of it, please pray for me. I would really like to get an offer from a school in the next five weeks (before I leave for Africa) because then I wouldn't have to return to my current position and could use that last two weeks of summer to prepare myself to face a group of teenagers. Whew! I'm nervous already!

just thinking

I was in the bathroom (all great thoughts occur in the bathroom, right?) and I was thinking about how much I love my younger sister. I am so thankful for her. She's funny, nice, a godly and genuine woman. But more than that, I have a longer history with her than I do anyone else. I can still remember a few things from when we were younger and I remember that I always knew (even when we didn't get along and when she moved away to A&M and when we didn't like who the other was becoming) that she would always be my favorite. I knew we would grow close again. It really wasn't an option not to. So I thank God for her.

Combine that gift with my most favorite person, Andy, and I have no reason to complain about anything. Who cares that I don't like my job or that my car bumper is falling off? Why should I care when God has given me two wonderful people who I know will always be there to participate in life with me as long as we are alive.

And yes, my sentimentality is mostly because I'm sleepy. I'm a much sweeter person when I'm this tired. But if I'm tired and stressed, well, just stay away, b/c probably only Andy and Audrey can handle me in that case.

Friday, May 18, 2007

ants in my pants

I just drank an energy drink and then used my entire lunch break to get groceries (why?) so I didn't get to eat (again, why?). I'm antsy and anxious.
Whew!
My grandparents (mema and pop) are coming over tonight b/c they are passing through OK. I'm very excited. I miss them a lot. During my growing pain years I would drive over to their house at least every other day even if they weren't home. I feel comfortable around them even when we don't talk. They fed me, listened to me, put up with me without comment - they truly loved me. I cannot wait to be a grannie. I want to be called Graham. I have to have the kids first, I guess, before I can have the grand kids.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

rust never sleeps

Andy and I are finding that if you don't use it, you loose it.
I'm forgetting English grammar terms and historical facts.
Andy is a little rusty on bird calls and plants.
I feel dumber now that I'm not in school, but that isn't true. I'm just learning new things, I hope...
I hope I'm spending more time (than I was) focusing on myself. Meaning: my spiritual life, my maturity, and my personality. I want to change and I didn't feel as if I had time or energy to even think about that during graduate school.
Now I'm trying to morph my habits into healthier ones.
So I can finally figure it all out, right? Right?
Nope. But I have more time to think about it. ;)
And, hopefully, hear and obey God. I want those two things more than anything.

isn't it funny

that the times you really don't want to go to Bible study are the times where you leave so happy because you've gone?
I left last night feeling confirmed, refreshed, and befriended. I didn't want to go because I just wanted to stay at home with Andy. It seems like my time with him is more and more precious and I'm (a little illogically) yearning for time with him. But it is so nice to be in this stage of my life -- a stage where I feel comfortable (well more comfortable) around a group of women and a stage where I have women around me who actually seem to like who I really am (blunt, grumpy, loud and silent, unsure and too confident).

Andy will be in the field probably three nights of the week. It'll be wonderful to have him home the other nights, but I don't like to be alone in the evenings.

Well, I'm sending my application to high schools on Monday! Woohoo! I'm hoping for Lincoln, the alternative school in Stillwater. The position there is English/Home Ec (Consumer Science), which sounds like my top two hobbies!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

this is my brain on stress

what can I do to get a job?
I'm so tired.
I wonder what I should make for dinner.
I need to scrub the mud of my shoes and get them off the porch.
Will I ever get a teaching job?
If they only knew how badly I wanted one, then I think they'd hire me.
Or would they? What's wrong with me?
It's hot in here.
I wonder if I'm pregnant.
what would that be like?
"Daphne stop it. Get down."
I need to walk the dogs, they don't get enough time.
I want a cinnamon bagel.
I should quit wasting my time -- I need to focus.
My car is dirty.
Crap I spilt food on my shirt again.
I'm so sleepy.
I don't like that shade of yellow.
Why can't I get to the post office?
I'll go to the gym in the morning. I should really go to the gym.
Some ice cream would be nice.
I wonder what Andy is doing.
Jee Whiz I'm tired.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The amazing Barn Owl



You may be thinking, "What is the world is that?"
It's not something the cat dragged in, we hope. It's a baby barn owl.
Or owlet if you want to sound more scientific.
Here are some amazing facts:
These owls don't have as good of eyesight as most other owls so they rely on their hearing, which is enhanced by the disc of feathers around their eyes that act like our ears do -- but better.
Their wings are broader and more rounded than other birds so that they can fly absolutely soundlessly. Why is this important? Well, if they are going to hear the mousie rustling in the grass and if they have super-hero level hearing than they wouldn't be able to hear the mouse below if they heard their wings. Make sense?
Andy and I are watching "The Life of Birds" an amazing (and amazingly long) series about... you guessed it, birds. Lame? NO. Absolutely astounding? YES.





Thursday, May 10, 2007

wanting and waiting

I'm still looking for a job that is fulfilling and fun.
I've applied for OSU adjunct positions at both Stillwater and OKC campuses.
I'm taking my resume to the local Dept. of Ed tomorrow and then to other Depts. of surrounding cities.

Andy is beginning his work. He's trained with a PhD student on how to perform part of his research and next week he's going out to the field with his advising professor to check out the plots he'll be working on. Then he begins his research. It's exciting for me to see him be a true scientist and a happy one at that. Well, he's a little grumpy but only because he wants to get started. I understand that feeling! I want to get started on my true work also!

Wilson is growing, but not in brains. Daphne is acting badly lately, which is very unusual, so I'm trying to affirm her more often and if it would quit raining, I'd walk her.

Everything else is great. My flower bed looks nice but my veg garden is still a muddy mass of weeds. Hopefully I can finish it this weekend.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Flannery says we "don't realize how much religion costs. They think faith is a big electric blanket, when of course it is the cross" (Jones).

Let's see if this will get you thinking and responding. Tell me what you think.

http://www.credenda.org/issues/18-2thema.php

Who's Afraid of Flannery O'Connor?
Douglas Jones

"Yes, and it takes all kinds to make the world go round," the lady said in her musical voice.

As she said it, the raw-complexioned girl snapped her teeth together. Her lower lip turned downwards and inside out, revealing the pale pink inside her mouth. After a second it rolled back up. It was the ugliest face Mrs. Turpin had ever seen anyone make, and for a moment she was certain that the girl had made it at her. She was looking at her as if she had known and disliked her all her life—all of Mrs. Turpin's life, it seemed too, not just all the girl's life. Why, girl, I don't even know you, Mrs. Turpin said silently.
Whoever thought the Holy Spirit could look like an annoyed girl's face, "blue with acne"? Or a sassy, club-footed boy? A tattoo? Or that Christ could appear as a bull? Or a carnival hermaphrodite?
That sort of list already puts off most Christians from having an interest in O'Connor. It's just all so unnecessary and ugly, they say. It's just more violence and weirdness in a culture already permeated with it.
I've found it terribly difficult to get modern Christians to read O'Connor—even in healthy Christian communities. In my case, too, secular writers first made me sit up and notice O'Connor. They praised her technique and famous opening paragraphs. They lauded her tension and dialogue. Flannery O'Connor won several notable writing awards during her life, even while the secularists didn't really have a clue about her Christian realism.
Flannery O'Connor is easily the most important and talented and self-consciously Christian short story author of the twentieth century. Nobody else is close. I've seen her stories revolutionize people's lives, and yet most Christians have never even heard her name. Sure, many Christian academics and writers sing her praises, especially of late. But we should all know her stories inside and out; they should be easy allusions in conversation; they should be common parables in our teens' mouths. And we need to master her style and absorb her insights before the next generation can build upon her gifts.
Dark and Disruptive Grace
Still, something's odd about selling Flannery to Christians. Even when people know about her superior technique and Christian frames, they still usually choke after a story or two. Too rough. Too troubling. They're not hard to read, they'll admit, but still, there's all that weirdness and death.

None of her stories, though, turns out to be as gruesome as common PG-13 fare. She places most of the ugliness off screen. Her stories do not fit in horror categories at all. Her use of the grotesque and ugly doesn't delight in power or shock value. All her stories focus on grace, grace, grace. That's what they're about. Every one of them. Real people wrestling with bodily grace.
And that's what disturbs many readers. They don't want their grace black. It feels like an alien faith to them, and they resist it. O'Connor herself heard this complaint. In her essay "The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South," she argued against that pietism typical of Christian readers: "The reader wants his grace warm and binding, not dark and disruptive."
Here's the rub: her stories might be more palatable to modern Christians if she were just writing shock-jock horror stories. Frank Peretti sells, after all. That sort of writing goes down easier because we don't really believe it. It feels like someone else's world. It's alien enough that we're not truly threatened. But O'Connor's world is too close. And if her picture of dark grace is right, then our typical take on life fails.
Since Victorian times, Christians have tended to picture grace as cottony and covered with rubber. Grace always comforts and smoothes our furrowed brows; it always, always wipes away our tears, so sorry for them. We believe God is all-good; He's pretty much a nursery-school attendant, pink and white, who doesn't want anyone to get cut. In fact, we're surprised when people actually bump their heads. Pain seems unnatural to us. It's a no-no, and God is on our side. He never touches the stuff Himself.
In short, we believe deeply that all evil is bad. That's the heart of modern Christian faith. All evil is bad. It permeates our day-to-day lives, our work, our sermons, our struggles, our analysis of disasters. All evil is bad. And if so, then grace has to be Nice. Grace and niceness become interchangeable, and Flannery sees this as a (if not the) chief source of wickedness in the modern world. It's a lie about grace.
All Evil is Not Bad
O'Connor repeats the biblical theme that "grace cuts with the sword Christ said he came to bring." Grace cuts. It hurts; it slices; it makes us bleed. It "is never received warmly. Always a recoil," she says, and her stories show this time and time again.

In fact, Flannery's favorite target tends to be nice, mild, middle class ladies, full of decent and righteous advice. Nice ladies. Elsie Dinsmore all grown up. Yet these women lie about grace all day long. They lie about Christ as they go about trying to make a utopia of niceness. Grace is much more surprising than their Victorian sensibilities could ever imagine.
Some cringe at O'Connor's disposal of these ladies. Flannery famously gets a reader to side with a decent but perhaps slightly flawed lady, and then the story slowly turns grim. We see her smile is grounded in pettiness or deep bitterness. Finally, she has a severe encounter with dark grace. Nice readers close the story quickly and refuse to go on to another. It's as if the reader herself has been roughed up unjustly.
But that's the point. Flannery just reflects Christ's priorities. He was much softer on thieves, prostitutes, and murderers than he was on polite, middle class Pharisees. Christ berates and belittles and promises death-from-heaven for the most decent citizens of Jerusalem. The good, law-abiding Rotarian sorts incense Christ's deepest anger. And, in Flannery's stories, grace hunts them down. All evil is not bad. Some evil comes to shake us out of our sin; some evil comes to liberate us. Some evil is a gift of grace. Grace gnashes.
In Scripture, too, grace often appears evil. Sometimes it comes swooping down in the form of serpents. On the journey to Mount Hor, God's people complained bitterly. Nice middle-class people, not criminals. Yet God's dark grace came in horror story fashion: "The LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died" (Num. 21:6). Imagine standing with that group of believers. Fiery serpents storm your spouse and children. All the screaming. All of grace. Surely fiery serpents were a bit of divine overreaction? God doesn't want to upset anyone does He? No. Wrong God.
Dark grace came to Noah in an ancient tsunami; to Abraham in that mad command to execute; to Isaac in faux hairy arms; to Jacob in a midnight wrestling assault; to Joseph in a deep pit; to Moses, that "bridegroom of blood," at a peaceful motel. (O'Connor herself never even approaches the level of relentless dark grace the Lord plays out in the book of Job; she's a softy when set next to that story.) The list goes on. O'Connor observes, "evil is not simply a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be endured."
Go through and count up all the dark grace that nice people face in Scripture. Right from God's throne. All evil is not bad. It's heavenly. It jolts our stories in surprising ways. It brings health. It reveals the glorious danger deep inside the Godhead.
Flannery says we "don't realize how much religion costs. They think faith is a big electric blanket, when of course it is the cross." The cross. Yes. The darkest grace. Right at the center. All evil is not bad.
O'Connor summarizes this at the end of her essay, "The Fiction Writer and His Country," where she explains, "St. Cyril of Jerusalem, in instructing catechumens, wrote: `The dragon sits by the side of the road, watching those who pass. Beware lest he devour you. We go to the Father of Souls, but it is necessary to pass by the dragon.' No matter what form the dragon may take, it is of this mysterious passage past him, or into his jaws, that stories of any depth will always be concerned to tell."
Comic Core
And yet O'Connor does not think the story of life plays out as a tragedy. Cyril's dragon isn't in control. In a letter, Flannery noted, "Naw, I don't think life is a tragedy. Tragedy is something that can be explained by the professors. Life is the will of God and this cannot be defined by the professors; for which all thanksgiving." She grounds dark grace in laughter, cosmic laughter springing from the triumph of the Trinity. In our trinitarian world, the devil is always a stooge, always something of a fool tricked by Father, Son, and Spirit. O'Connor's stories are full of "devils," and she notes, "the Devil can always be a subject for my kind of comedy one way or another. I suppose this is because he is always accomplishing ends other than his own." He's always the straight man, always used for a deeper end. But this sort of comic world, too, unnerves some Christians; it's too unserious for them, too unpredictable.

Readers of Flannery's letters note her easy humor and wit; her letters reveal someone who laughs and makes others laugh easily. Explicit comic elements show up in every one of her stories. She takes particular delight in satirizing modern academic secularists, but no story passes without irony and great comic lines. Yet her comedy goes even deeper.
Writing teachers regularly note that if the writer doesn't love a character then the reader won't be able to either. It's an intangible of writing. Line up Flannery's worst protagonists and villains, and when you step back from her treatment, you realize she loves them all dearly, the serial killers and the pharisees. This is really quite an amazing feat. You can see this in contrast to someone like Walker Percy, another Catholic writer often compared to O'Connor. In Percy's Lancelot, for example, there's no doubt that Percy loathes his protagonist from beginning to end, and the reader can't help coming away with the same dragging disdain. In some ways that's too easy for a writer.
Flannery did not loathe herself or her life, and so when she identified with her characters, her sympathy for them showed up easily. She casually noted that her stories "lack bitterness," something unfathomable to those who read her too quickly. She once wrote to a friend about her characters, "Hulga is like me. So is Nelson, so is Haze, so is Enoch." Her sympathy for herself in them shows clearly. All of her characters show signs of being loved. In this way, Flannery's writing again imitates divine love for the ugly and self-righteous. This is the gospel: "While we were yet sinners. . ."
On top of this, when you read a group of her stories, a pretty amazing pattern emerges. You soon realize how her visitations of dark grace stand out as huge gifts when compared to actual life. Most people's actual lives seem to be Flannery characters who never have the privilege of meeting dark grace. Think of the people around you. Think of the secularists. Most go on for decades in their self-deception and self-righteousness and pettiness until their bitterness just grinds to a close at the end. No revolutions. The majority of people have always seemed to live tedious, small lives. But in Flannery's world, it's as if dark grace intrudes regularly. People who would have probably been handed over to let their sin slowly destroy them get this amazing explosion of grace that turns them inside out. Because of this, her stories start to read like gift after gift after gift. You start to long for more dark grace in actual life since it produces such wonderful turns of redemption. It's as if Flannery's stories are a photo album or a hall of fame of great moments in surprising grace, a pattern so far from do-the-dishes life. Maybe we have not because we ask not.
Don't be afraid of Flannery. Let her mess with your head. Let her disturb you. As she observed, "all human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful." She's not the first or the last word, but she has an amazing grasp of Christian drama, and it's hard to see how contemporary Christian culture can mature without having her stories or others like them very deep in its bones. Let her show you how surprising grace is, how dark and healthy it can be, what a gift it is. Let the ugly girl in the waiting room turn her lip inside out again, let her make a loud noise through her teeth, let her fingers clamp onto the soft flesh of your neck.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Secret = load of crap


Do not buy this book. It's complete farce.
The author states that if you imagine yourself at your "perfect" body weight than you will become your perfect body weight.
Just like when I think happy thoughts I can fly.
I don't feel fat. When I look in the mirror, I'm continually shocked that I look as pudgy as I do. I am clinically overwieght and no amount of brain power is going to get me back to my healthy body weight. If it could, I would be thinner.
My advice is the same as Queen's: "Get on your bikes and ride!"

Monday, April 30, 2007

names

no I'm not pregnant. I just process a lot of paperwork and see a lot of names so I think about what names I like a lot.
Let's see what you think. They are in the order that I like them.

Boys:
Asher -- blessed, happy.
Nathaniel -- gift of God.

Girls:
Elena -- bright light.
Maegan -- little pearl or gentle.
Elise -- consecrated to God.
Amie -- beloved.
Alice -- truth or noble.

Friday, April 27, 2007

"Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips" (Psalm 141:3).

I posted this article from Credenda Agenda b/c I had a problem with slandering this week, and I thought it was a well written article.

The Piercings of a Sword
Nancy Wilson

Proverbs is full of insight and observations about the power and effects of the tongue. The tongue can either be a wellspring of life, or it can be the source of much grief: "There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health" (Proverbs 12:18). Backbiting, criticism, cattiness, tattling, and being a busybody are all ways of stirring up mischief with the tongue. It is not surprising that the terms we use for this are backstabbing or backbiting. Words are used as a weapon by those who don't mind fighting dirty, shooting, stabbing, and biting behind the back. This is like the piercings of a sword: it inflicts pain and does real damage.

In Psalm 15, the psalmist asks, "Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?" The answer given in verses 2 and 3 includes, "He that. . . speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue. . . nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour."
God takes the evil tongue very seriously. He doesn't want any backbiters in His tabernacle; He will not have them on His holy hill. The contrast in these verses is between the one who speaks the truth in his heart and the one who takes up a reproach against his neighbor. If you speak the truth in your heart, you are less likely to take up a reproach. And once you have taken up a reproach, backbiting will come next.
What is backbiting? It is spreading slander with the desire to hurt, annoy, humiliate, or damage someone's reputation. It is spiteful, malicious, and false. The young widows in I Timothy 5 don't have enough to do, and so they start wandering from house to house and "speaking things which they ought not." They are talking too much about other people's affairs. This kind of careless speaking usually puts a spin on the real story, embellishing, exaggerating, attributing motives, complaining, and just plain making stuff up. And the truth is, God hates it.
Not only are the young widows singled out regarding their tongues, but deacons' wives in 1 Timothy 3 must not be slanderers, and the older women who are qualified to teach the younger women in Titus 2 must not be false accusers. It seems pretty clear that Scripture requires women of all ages and all callings to be very careful with their conversation. Sinning with the tongue can be the means for "the adversary to speak reproachfully" (1 Tim. 5:14); it can disqualify a husband for the office of deacon; and it can prevent the older women from teaching the younger women. In other words, it is a hindrance to the health and productivity of the church.
There is much provocation in this world; we all have many temptations to take up a reproach and a grievance. People sin and they do it all the time. While there is much need to extend forgiveness and put on tender mercies, it is far easier to be offended, annoyed, and hurt. And if we allow the annoyance to take root, it turns into bitterness overnight. Once the grievance takes root in the heart, out of the mouth comes the nasty fruit of backbiting, slander, and even lies: all piercings of a sword.
Jesus said, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matt. 12:24). Once it has come out of the mouth, it betrays the contents of the heart. If a reproach resides in the heart, backbitings will shoot out the lips, and there is no way to assess all the damage done. Repentance has to begin with an acknowledgment of the bad heart attitude; then restitution has to be made for the careless words.
Women in the church are called to be standing in their duties: praying, rejoicing, worshiping, loving, forgiving. Women are to adorn themselves with good works (1 Tim. 2:10), and God has given them many resources to enable them to be helpers in the gospel, supporting and comforting, bestowing and sacrificing, all which then builds the church community up into a beautiful building. It is the foolish women (Prov. 4:1) who tear the place down with their own hands and their own mouths.
But "the tongue of the wise is health." Proverbs describes the mouth, lips, and tongue of the righteous as a well of life, as choice silver, as feeding many, as bringing forth wisdom, and as sweet to the soul and health to the bones. Women have an obligation to use their lips to build up and not to tear down, to feed rather than poison, and to make healthy rather than wound. This has a huge impact on the home, the church, and the community. When women refuse to participate in backbiting and careless criticism, it preserves the unity and health of the church. But when they criticize and complain, it causes division and factions that tear down and destroy.
Ask yourself a few questions about your own record of tongue behavior: Does your husband receive food, wisdom, sweetness, and health from you? Do your parents? Your children? Do your elders and your pastor rejoice to have such a wise woman in the congregation? Are you quick to see and point out the faults of others? Do you speak carelessly or uncharitably? Are you quick to listen to reproaches, believe them, and pass them on to others? What is the tone in your home? Are you tearing people down or building them up?
We need a guard on duty all the time to keep us from unwise, careless words. Psalm 141:3 asks God to be this guard: "Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips." This is the attitude we must adopt if we want to be done with careless, destructive words.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Locks of Love

My friend Tran donated her long beautiful hair to the above organization (in support of Keira -- see the site link to the right for Keira's and Tran's sites). If I can get my hair the minimum 10" length than I will too and I want to encourage you ladies to do the same. Especially if you are planning on cutting your hair short for summer anyway. http://locksoflove.org/donate.html

a few misc. things

I had a good birthday. Andy took me out to dinner and we had steak fajitas. And he gave me the two things I wanted the most: the new Diana Wynne Jones book and an OXO Pastry Scraper, which I've wanted for a long time. I ended up cutting my thumb with it while washing dishes, but that just shows its superior quality b/c it has such a fine edge. And I bought myself two extremely high quality cake pans. Overall, the birthday blues stayed at bay.

My health check-up proved profitable. I am not crazy. Woohoo! The doc said I was moderately depressed (which I knew, people get depressed when they move)and he said I have a little genetic condition of low good cholesterol (there is good and bad cholesterol, my bad c levels were perfectly fine) and high triglycerides. Apparently, my Papa (maternal grandfather) has the same thing -- but it isn't harmful, apparently, if you stay at a healthy body weight. Which mean, I have to loose some weight, which I already knew, but now I have a concrete reason which I hope will motivate me to stop myself from overeating. And I need to go to the gym, b/c then I can eat more. ha. ha. I wish everyone could have seen the doctor's face as he was trying to gently tell me that I needed to loose weight. As if I would start crying or something. It was hilarious.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I know something about love

The title I stole from someone else's post b/c I think I know more about love than she.

The reason, or at least the most concrete reason, that I know that God is loving is my husband -- the amazing fact that he wanted me, married me, and still loves me. Whenever I doubt God's love for me, God reminds me of the man who amazingly belongs to me as I belong to him.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Saturday

I'm taking my certification tests this Saturday, so if you think of it please pray for me. I'm sure I'll pass, but I fell asleep during the SATs, which was a long time ago, but I haven't changed much in that area.

Andy is going on an awesome birding field trip so the pups and I will sit on the floor and watch movies.

I applied for a different position at OSU and I'm hoping I'll get it, but I don't know if I will. Perhaps I'll teach... I wish I knew what I was going to be allowed to do. I think I know now what I want to do, but being hired... weeeeell.

And I'm finally getting a physical Friday which will prove one of two things:
1. I'm crazy b/c there isn't anything wrong with me at all, except that I don't exercise enough.
OR
2. I'm crazy b/c something is wrong with my brain or chemicals or hormones or whatever.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Friday, April 13, 2007

yet another amusing Onion article

Thursday, April 12, 2007

God rocks!

My fund money is completly raised! I can't wait to get a break from work to write all about it!
This is true: "Before they call, I will answer" (Isaiah 65:24).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

donations

Audrey and I have almost met our goal! We're only lacking 392.50 out of $8,000!
God is amazing! Some of the donations were from people we don't personally know and I had one donation from a girl I went to high school with (I haven't talked to her in at least 10 years)! Isn't that amazing?
I am overwhelmed with the support we have been given for this trip. Even our father, who doesn't really want us to go, supports us.

If you would still like to give money donations follow the instructions on an earlier blog to post online or you can mail your checks -- I'll send you the address if you want to do this.

I'll let everyone know when we have 100% of our goal.
After all of this giving I'm going to ask for even more. I ask that you would either make a donation to the Tree of Life school that is being built for the Zambian orphans. SEE: http://www.legacymissions.org/treeoflife.htm
Or collect non-monetary items for us to take over to Zambia.
The Missions is mainly asking for: tennis shoes, socks, Bibles, crayons and pencils, medicine, fleece blankets, children's clothes in good condition, Christian books, tapes, or CDs.
Audrey and I are going to buy some of these things in bulk for wholesale so if you would rather give us money to get these things than getting them yourself please let us know.
I am coming to Russellville asap, which will probably be a weekend in late May or early June.
I will be in Dallas again May 5-6th.

Thank you Thank you Thank you.

On TV Tonight


Don't Miss Tonight...

ABC Nightline Report on Zambia

This report is part of a series entitled "Key to the World" by reporter Bill Weir. It will air on ABC at 10:35 p.m. central time.

The report will discuss current challenges in Zambia -- such as the infant mortality rate. To learn more you can also visit ABC's website: http://abcnews.go.com/search?searchtext=Zambia&type=feature

The picture was taken at last year's Camp Life.

Monday, April 09, 2007

New Wilson pics








He's still confined to the kitchen (poor boy) but I sit in the kitchen and play with him, which is what we're doing in the above pictures... until he fell asleep. His ears are not normally like this. I think the flash of the camera scared him a little (he's not nearly as brave as old Daphers).

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

donations for Zambia

Hello everyone!
Legacy Missions has made donating online possible. So if you would still like to donate, the deadline is fast approaching and I still need about $900. But think -- that means I have been given and have raised $3100! That's amazing!
Here's the website:
https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/FamilyLegacyMissionsInterna/OnlineDonation.html
Click on "support a short time missionary" and type in my name.
Thank you everyone for helping me get so close to my goal! God bless you!

Monday, April 02, 2007

slimming down

I've decided to quit blogging as much for awhile. I'll keep up this site in order to post pics (and videos I hope!) and to write George Family Updates. But I don't think I'll post as much any longer (this doesn't mean that I won't post, it simply means that there may be periods where I don't get to it). I'd rather focus my time with people face-to-face (but, of course, if I can't see your face too often we could write or talk).

Friday, March 30, 2007

on borrowing fantasy novels

So – a coworker gave me a fantasy book to read. I do like it when others give me books, but I don’t like it when they ask me what I think about it. Because, I’m let down. I explained to this guy how it wasn’t a great piece of fantasy, but that it was neat because it was a frame story and it followed the American tradition that Oz began: a beautiful girl, three men with very different traits, and a furry animal. In this case the furry animal is a wolf. Think of Star Wars… that’s the other best known work that follows this tradition. So that made the book cool to me, otherwise, it wasn’t all that gripping or fascinating. I could see where the story was going too easily, which is a problem I have with most fantasy writers. I like to be kept on my toes. Terry Pratchett and Philip Pullman do an excellent job of this. The only other fantasy series that isn’t written by an author who is as fantastic as Pullman that is worth reading (sorry for the convoluted phrasing) is the one about Harpo. If I can remember that series name, I’ll tell you. And, it’s a crying shame that the most gripping fantasy author writes NC-17 novels (his children’s novels are G-rated but unfortunately they aren’t as imaginative).

Thursday, March 29, 2007

freedom from food

Last night I had a breakthrough, or I guess, God had a breakthrough with me. I realized (obviously) that I was gaining 10 lbs a year since I got married four years ago. “Why since you were married?” you ask. Well, I could give the pat answer that everyone gains weight when they get married, but that isn’t true. Most “everyone” and “always” statements aren’t true. I realized that when I married, we, of course, moved away from all our friends and family. This combined with the inevitable let-down of “oh, I married a fallen human like me” made me feel lonely and depressed. So, with my past of medicating my loneliness and depression with things, I think that I tried to medicate myself food, because food wasn’t sinful and you have to eat right? You’ve heard it all before from others, I’m sure. Okay, so, food isn’t sinful or bad, but my lust and obsession with it is. (Graduate school and the huge amount of stress that followed simply aggravated my problem to the point that I began to notice it.) Eating past the natural mechanism of my body recognizing fullness is bad. God created that mechanism to keep everyone at a healthy weight and I think it is something we should obey instead of being slaves to our stress or emotional problems. God doesn’t want us to be slaves to anything – He came to set us free! So I’m thrilled that finally I’ve realize that I’ve made food (and therefore myself) and idol and that I need to tear that idol down. I’m praying that God shows me the difference between stomach hunger and emotional hunger. I’m praying that God helps me listen to my “fullness mechanism” and obey it. I’m thanking God for setting me free from yet another master. I will not gain another ten pounds feeding my feelings.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Golden Compass Movie!

I know that this isn't very important, but I'm excited b/c it is one of my top five favorite books. Check out the website for a picture of Iorek, my favorite character! http://www.goldencompassmovie.com/
Here are some stills (the little girl is Lyra and Nicole Kidman is the evil Mrs. Coulter (she'll be great!):




Oh I love that look! She's thinking, "I'm going to do what is right, not what you say."