Monthly Archives: September 2012

fill me up.

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Yep. It’s confession time again.

I know… It is almost 11 o’clock on a school night and I am blogging. Crazy.

The confession.

Although I have tried for years to rebel against it. I think I have been a “Martha” lately. You know, that one girl in the bible always doing other things for people and gets mad at Mary for just sitting there hanging out with Jesus. Not exactly biblically accurate, but you get the idea, right?

I love serving people. I love serving at church. I love making people feel special. I always remember birthdays, details, etc. I love thinking of nice things to do for people.

I have a lot of people in my life to spread out all this nice-doing on.

I never really noticed that my “niceness” was a problem, until I had kind of a meltdown today, over a stupid, little silly detail. No need to go into details, but lets just say I felt kind of sinful.

I was starting to get this little voice in my head that said, “Look at what you did here. No one cared or even noticed.” “They don’t care.” “They don’t realize.” ” You aren’t important.”

I started to believe the lies, again! Uggh. Stupid lies.

Through a conversation with an honest friend and God’s revelation in my heart, I realized  that while it is good to do things for others, I needed to make sure that my heart was in the right place.

Even though sometimes in my heart, I feel that my motives are right, and glorifying to God, they can be sinful. The key is to make sure that I have filled myself up enough with the love of Jesus, before I go out and love others.

If I don’t do that, then I am just loving them with my own limited, expectant, selfish, jealous, ugly heart.  When I let God be my strength, joy, and supply, then the love I give is an overflow of what it is in my heart from God. Then and only then is loving others fulfilling.

I am making this struggle public, because I feel like there are other people out there like me. People who love to give and make people feel important.

I feel like one of my God given calls in life is help people understand that they matter, they are loved, and that they are special.

I know that I can’t fulfill what God wants to do with my gift unless I focus it on Him. I need Him to fill me up so that I can love this world that needs him so so much.

I thought of some verses to help combat the lies that us givers sometimes face.

  • Lie 1: They don’t care about what you did. They didn’t even notice how much effort you put in.
  • Truth 1: People may not notice, but God looks at your heart. 1 Samuel 16:7
  • Lie 2: You aren’t important to anyone. They don’t care about you.
  • Truth 2: Wow, read Psalm 39 , or John 3:16, or even John 15:13, and you will know that even if people don’t think you are important, God sure does.
  • Lie 3: Just give up. It’s a hopeless situation.
  • Truth 3: I am still confident of this. I WILL see the goodness of God in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13 (NIV)

I know living a life of serving others can be tough at times. People don’t meet out expectations. They disappoint us. They, no matter how good they are cannot fill the space that only God can fill.

Let’s start this week by letting God fill up our hearts, so that we may love others out of the overflow of it.

He has given us all the power, love, wisdom, peace, patience, joy, grace, and self-control we need.

Take it abundantly and then share with others. It is the best gift you can ever give. 🙂

 

With Joy,

Miss Kim

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a “class-y” kind of love.

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It finally happened.

I fell in love.

WHAT! I know there are lots of questions running through your mind. “Who is he?” “What does he look like?” “Does he meet the loves Jesus/dimples/glasses requirement?”

Well, I hate to get anyone’s minds going, but there is no Mr. in the immediate future.

I have fallen in love with my class. 

Yes, the class that challenges me on a daily basis. The class who frustrates me at times. The class who I have worked many long hours over, cried over, and vented about.

I am not real sure when it happened, but last night I found myself just talking about all the cute and funny things that they have been doing. That is always the first sign that Miss Kim has fallen for someone. (Just ask my friends.)

I have been working through my frustration with my class to God for a few weeks now, and this morning as I realized how much I love each one of them, He revealed a new truth to me.

You see friends, about this time  last week, I was starting to wonder why God had steered my path in this different direction. This morning I came across some truth.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

Heading out into a 5th grade classroom, was kind of an uncharted territory. There was no cut and dried path for plans, discipline, procedures. We kind of had to figure it all out with our respective groups. There is so much to figure out.

Yes, I have had lots of help that I really appreciate, but for me, this new adventure has kind of felt like undiscovered territory.

There have been days that I just go along, only because it has what God has told me to. He directed me in this way, and I have (although admittedly begrudgingly at times) decided to obey.

All I could to was hope and be certain of what I couldn’t see yet.

I also came across a quote that kind of reminds me why God doesn’t always give the easiest road to go down.

“The story is told that when Dr. David Livingstone was working in Africa, a group of friends sent a letter saying, “We would like to send other men to you. Have you found a good road into your area yet?” Apparently, Dr. Livingstone sent this message in reply: “If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don’t want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all.” “

You see, when the Lord decided to place me in a classroom at a new school, he wasn’t doing it because it was a “good and easy” road. He wanted me to go to a place in my life where there has never been a road before, and let Him make one.

God is just cool like that.

At this season in my life, He is developing in me obedience. In this obedience to Him, I am starting to see the joy that comes from obey God.

The joy is producing love for this group of children I have been blessed with. (Yes, I said blessed. For better/worse, they are a blessing!) They come from different backgrounds,family structures, financial brackets, ability levels, and school social standings. They are a mosaic of 25 different ( and mostly larger than life) personalities. 

I fell for them.

Do you want to here how cool they are? Here are just a few examples from this week:

  • 10 of my kids ran for student council offices. 5th grade only has two spots so they all ran against each other and the other 25 fifth graders, but they were all great! They gave speeches on Thursday and I couldn’t pick one better than the other. So much bolder and braver than my 10 year old self. I had tears in my eyes when they spoke. We only had a few tears in our room when we found out none of them won. 
  • They draw awesome pictures. I have two portraits of myself, several portraits of owls, and lots of other fun things.
  • They all got so into our book this week, “Love that Dog,” They were so upset when , well, the dog died.
  • They are poetic. We did 4 poems this past week, and as I read them, I thought, man they are cool!:) I will have to share some soon.
  • They ask great questions. One of my boys asked me in Science, “If you milk cows to get milk, then how do we get beef out of beef cows? Does it come out in their poop or what?” I had to be the one to explain the or what.
  • They are so smart. I had so many A’s on our Vocab, Science, and Social Studies quizzes, it was ridiculous. 🙂
  • They do nice things for people.
  • They are motivated.
  • They are driven,
  • They are caring
  • They are loving,

I really think we are gonna make it this year. I could go on, but I need to get ready for a super fun day with two pretty awesome people, and I don’t want you to covet my class. It’s a sin, people.

Have a great Saturday! Next week, we are studying Explorers and Bridge to Terabithia. It’s gonna be fun!:)

 

With Joy,

Miss Kim

Aside

I could be sorting out my portfolios for parent teacher conferences, or organizing my data.

I could be cleaning out my closets or doing the dishes.

I could be doing a lot of things, but feel like I need to take some time out and write.

Once again, the life of a 1st year teacher in the 5th grade could have lots of hot topics to hit on, but this particular thing is sticking out in my head.

This week has been another challenge for me. Discipline problems, extra meetings, getting yelled at by what I thought was a  child’s parent, hearing bad news, heart break for other people’s trauma, stress, and my first observation with the TLE system. It has been tester of a week.

The main thing I kept saying to myself was, ” At least I always have Jesus. I don’t know how people go through life without Jesus.”

I really don’t. In this sometime hopeless, nevergonnagetbetter world that we live in, my greatest HOPE comes in knowing that He has overcome and that my strength comes from Him.

I don’t completely understand all that He is doing right now, but I know He is just, faithful, and he LOVES me so so much. I know that he will take my ashes from disappointments, hurts, stresses, failures, and drudgery, and turn it into something BEAUTIFUL!

There have been a few verses in my heart lately, but one I though of often this week was this one.

“By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.” Ecclesiastes 4:12 (MSG)

In addition to being really thankful to God this week, I am also Very, very thankful to those people who have become strands in a a chord that can’t easily be broken.

  • I am thankful for my family, both blood and like blood. for always listening to me and believing in me, even at my worst. For caring for me and reminding me of who I am in Him.
  • I am thankful for the fellow teachers in my building who have offered advice, coaching, ears to vent to, shoulders to cry on, and encouragement to help me go on.
  • I am thankful for my faithful friends who listen to my struggles, heartbreaks, joys, stresses,and worries. They read my texts, answer my calls,and listen to me through 3 miles on the elliptical. They encourage me, pray with me, and eat carbs with me when it’s just been to stressful.They point me away from my circumstances and back to God.
  • I am thankful for a principal who believes in me, but expects a lot from me. That challenges me to become better and writes Philipians 4:13 in e-mails.
  • I am thankful to have such a great grade level partner who listens to me, lets me vent, plans with me, celebrates, and helps me to reach all of these wonderful 10 years we have been entrusted with.
  • I am thankful for my church family and their constant support, prayers, and advice.

So, I didn’t name people by name, but I know I have at least 10 times more than the 3 strands this verse talks about. Today, I was reminded that I am loved by God, and by SO many wonderful people that care for me.

That helps me believe that my “chord” is virtually impossible to destruct! That is some amazing power right there.

Thank you Jesus for loving me and giving your life up for me. Thank you God for creating me and knowing that I would need each of these wonderful people in my life. Even in the middle of all my stresses, and messes, I am a completely blessed person!

That is SO awesome to me. Thank you God!

With Joy,

Miss Kim

chord

resolve

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I will be really honest with you all.

A couple months ago, when I first found out I was making the transition to being a classroom teacher, I thought, “Oh, this won’t be a huge change.” I kind of thought it would be a piece of cake.

I stand corrected.

I am still very excited for this opportunity and chance to invest my life in my 24 wonderful 5th graders, but it is not all fluffy,cake-y, goodness.

5th grade is rough.

There are so many things to teach them, things to grade, reports to make, and meetings to go to.

I have some kids that are even hard for me to get through to.

I am not sure what I thought was going to happen, but I can say this is certainly the most challenging thing I have attempted to do.

I desire to be a teacher that makes an impact. A teacher who does fun things and encourages learning. A person the kids can’t wait to be around.

I would like my kids to listen everything I say the 1st time, stay in their seats, and don’t  talk in the hall.

I would like for the chairs and desks to stay neat and everything to work the way it is supposed to.

I would love for people to walk by and say, “This is the best class I have ever seen.”

The first two weeks or so, I was really hard on myself. I started thinking, “What if I don’t teach them the right thing?” “What if I screw them up?” ” I shouldn’t have said that to them.” “What if I don’t have good test scores?”

I started to feel defeated I started to wonder why God brought this opportunity in my life.

I was stressing myself out WAY to much.

Yesterday, it hit me. The reason I was feeling so stressed was because I had placed the focus on the wrong person: myself.

You see, I was worried about how I would look as a teacher, if my students would like me, if my lessons were good. I was entirely selfish about the whole process.

More importantly, I realized that my selfish ambition doesn’t bring glory to God. That broke my heart. The reason I wanted to teach was to influence our next generation and teach them that I value them, and that God values them.

I placed so much emphasis on all the other junk, and not enough on the important things.

I am admitting all of these to you, my faithful readers, because I am admitting that I need help.

I need y’all to help me take the focus off myself and place it on God. (John 3:30)

I had to make a goal for school this year. Like all of the other people on my team, I chose a curriculum-related goal.

I also decided I needed a set of personal goals to help remember where to place the importance while I am teaching my precious(err..sometimes challenging) kids

My School Year Resolutions:

  • I will pray for each child. I will also lift up their families, my fellow teachers, and staff member
  • When I am tempted to act in anger, I will pause and take it to the cross.
  • I will remember that my job when children are in my room is to educate them, encourage them, and empower them.
  • I will work to serve those around me, putting their needs before my own.
  • I will practice, study, train, and look for any opportunity to add to my own knowledge and serve them better.
  • I will remember every day is a new day and a chance to make a difference.
  • I will take time to pause from my work and enjoy life.
  • I will seek to build relationships with my students to help let them know they are cared for, valued, and respected.
  • I will rely on God for my strength, and not my own understanding.

Friends, I ask that you will help me by praying for myself and this school year. I know that I am only in this position because of the grace of God.

My prayer is when my kids leave my class in May that they will be capable, intelligent,and determined. I pray that they will fall in love with learning and desire to do great things in this world. I pray that when they will know that they are loved and cared for by me and more importantly,God.

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, wehave peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we  boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-6

I know I will make it this year because I have HOPE. Hope doesn’t disappoint.

With Joy,

Miss Kim

the best.

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Inspiration strikes two days in a row!

Watch out… the Writer’s Block may be over.

Today, I was talking to my mom on the phone. I was recounting some stories of the day, and brought up something that had happened with one of my more challenging students.

I made a new seating chart today, to help cut down on some unnecessary problems. My “challenging” student who battles with me on a daily basis was upset because he didn’t get to sit by his friends.

“It’s because you just don’t like me and want me to be by people I don’t like, isn’t it?” He yelled.

“No, it’s because this is what is best for you. You need to be in the front with a quieter crowd. I also thought that you could help our new student learn the ropes.” I replied.

He continued to whine at me saying I didn’t care. He finally asked me, ” Will I ever get to sit by my friend?”

I said, ” I am not sure if I can ever let that happen because my job is to teach you and help you do your best. When you sit by your friend, you do not put forth your best effort.”

He pouted, complained, and whined.

I went on with my day, just kind of counting it as an annoyance until I was in that conversation with my mom.

I was telling her that I couldn’t understand some  of the current situations in my life and what God was doing through them. I went on to talk about how if this one thing would just happen that I would be so good at it and that I deserved it and all of these other things.

This is a thing I have prayed for, for a long time. As much as I love and trust God, sometimes I still can’t understand why this thing hasn’t come to pass.

As I talked, it hit me that I was just like my student. I can only see what I want through my eyes. I can’t see how what I want will effect those around me, or what role getting/not getting it plays into God’s will.

Whoa. I got hit with Truth.

God desires to give us good things.He wants our lives to be abundant and glorifying to Him. He knows far better than we do, what is good for us.

I came to a moment where I had to surrender and listen to God say, ” You don’t understand why this isn’t happening right now. Right now you don’t know if it will ever happen. Whether it happens or not, you just need to trust Me. I will not leave you or forsake you. I love you and I want what’s best for you. Sometimes in waiting for what is best, you have to give up some things that aren’t best.”

That’s truth right there.

How about you? Do you ever feel like that challenging student? Do you have a hard time understanding why God won’t give us some of the things we think we need?

Believe me, I know, it’s hard to wait for what God has for us. Our hope is in Him and Him alone knowing that he works all things to together for good. 

If you notice, Romans 8:28 doesn’t say He works it out for Kim’s good, or his good, or their good.

It says. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who]have been called according to his purpose.” _ romans 8:28 (NIV)

You see that? He says “the good.” He is working things out for the good! The good that brings His plans to fruition and glory to His name.

It’s time we surrender all of our whining and complaining about God not fulfilling what we want and start posturing ourselves to see things from the perspective of His good.

I believe He has great, great plans for each one of us, we just have to trade in what we think is best in exchange for something better.

“Then he told them what they could expect for themselves: “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?” Luke 9:23-24 (MSG)

 

With Joy,

Miss Kim

keys

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Well friends, I hate to say it, but I have had writer’s block ever since school started!

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind. Teaching 5th grade has brought so many challenges, and a lot of joys. I am settling in, adjusting to this “new normal.”  I could post more about school, but we will save that for a later date!:)

I am sitting here, dog in tow, enjoying my last few minutes of the long weekend.  What’s weighing on my mind?

Keys.

Yes, keys.

The truth is, in analogy world, doors get all the play. We talk about God opening and closing doors. What if the door is locked?

I thought about that about  6:40 last Friday morning. When I was sitting on the steps in front of my apartment,waiting on my keys to arrive.

You see, in my attempt to control the outcome of my day, just by arriving at work 35 minutes early, I had switched my keys for a packet of Emergen-C as I reached into the pantry. 

I didn’t  realize this until I was standing out in the rain, (with perfectly straight hair I had spent time on). I thought about throwing myself on the ground and crying. This had just added stress to an already stressful week. I thought about yelling. I thought a lot of things.

I decided to call my mom, who had the extra set, and within 19 minutes, I was back in my apartment. I had to get gas, and do a couple things before work, but still managed to get there 15 minutes early.

When I was sitting on the step, I started praying and through that time, God revealed something to me. I may think I can open doors for myself, but He holds the key.

The truth is I sometimes think I can open doors for myself. Like, if I just charm someone, work hard enough, prove myself, dream, scheme, or plan, the door of opportunity will just open.

The realization was that I needed to be reminded that things in life don/t happen because I am awesome, they happen because God who is WAY more awesome than me holds the key.

I don’t know about y’all, but I am SO thankful for that. 

I misplace keys all the time. I get the wrong key that won’t fit. I lose them. I leave them in the fridge. They fall in my dumpster. I even once found a set of keys in my rain boots by the door. I am a hot mess when it comes to keys.

We all can “misplace” God’s plans and try to follow our own. We can try to force situation, only to find it is the wrong fit. We can lose an opportunity because of our own sinful desires. We can “trash” what God wants for us, by demanding our own way. We can even find something that God has  for us unexpectedly.

God can handle all these keys. You see, he has a pretty big key chain. (it probably even has your picture on it!) He knows us and wants us not to have to keep up with all of that hardware.

We can try to pry open a door without a key, but wouldn’t it be easier just to trust God? ( I am so preaching to myself right now!)

He loves us and wants great things for us. He desires for us to bring glory to His name. 

He wants to let us in those doors, by His power and timing.

Let’s just let him handle the keys. 

The whole first chapter of Ephesians paints a beautiful picture of God’s will in our lives. I loved these verses.

“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” -Ephesians 1:11-12

Father, I know it is in you and through you that all things are created. You are amazing, holy, and worthy of all my praise. Father, I ask that you forgive me for when I try to make things happen,instead of trusting in your perfect timing. Help us all to trust you more, knowing that you hold the keys to open any door in our life. You can even tear down the walls! Lord, break down the walls in my heart that prevent me from seeing your awesome and perfect will. Help me to live according to what you have purposed for my life, so that my life may bring glory to your name. I love you and it is all because of Jesus that any of this life is worthwhile. It’s in His name I pray. Amen.

 

With joy,

Miss Kim