Monthly Archives: September 2013

Aside

I have a student in my class this year. Among my co-workers, I lovingly call her my “little mama.” She keeps our class in line, she is always helping, and she even makes sure I am on task at times. She is great.

The other day she told me that she wanted to be a teacher just like me because it seemed like the “funnest job ever!” As she told me this, I was thinking in my head, it is also one of the most impossible jobs you can ever do.

One hour later, she was working in a center with a very challenging student I have. She came up to my teacher table and interrupted my group, which she never does.

“Ughh!! HE won’t listen to me! I have tried to help him 4 times and he just doesn’t listen!! He doesn’t get it. I am so frustrated. Maybe I shouldn’t be a teacher.”

I said, “I know, it’s hard, but don’t let it stop you.”

She said; ” I don’t know how you do it every day.”

I sat and though about that little exchange later, and can remember times even this week, where that thought has entered my mind. Satan gets into my thoughts and tells me things like, “You will never get through to him,” “They can’t learn,” “They did bad on that assignment because you didn’t do your job.” I look at other teachers and think ” I wish I was together,” Every time, my students mess up, I internalize and ponder what I can do to motivate them towards the right things.

Those little lies creep in and for a second I believe that it’s not worth it to teach. That  the long hours, tears, training, meetings, book studies, lesson plans, and money out of my pocket aren’t worth the sacrifice.

Then, I remember that Jesus calls us to more than what seems easy or convenient. He calls us to die to ourselves and our ways of life. Could it be that my life as a teacher really isn’t dependent on my own abilities and strength? That when I place Jesus at the center of my career, that he will guide me and lead me? WIll he not refresh me in times when I burn out? Will he not provide for me?

You see I try to disguise this ” I don’t feel like a great teacher ” stuff. Really, I am doubting God’s ability to work through my career.

The truth is, whether it says it in my title or not, I am an ambassador for Christ. I am in a room 8 hours a day with students who need to experience God’s love. 10 of my 15 students are ESL.  All of them come from not-so – ideal home environments.  They need to know they are loved and that Jesus loves them more than anyone on Earth ever could. I have a front row seat to impacting our next generation. Instead of obsessing over being that perfectly, put together teacher, I should be concerned with living my life in front of my students in a way that glorifies God.

I am challenging myself to do that. To fix my eyes on the unseen. To build relationships. To be an example to my co-workers and students.

I am not sure how long God will have me in this season of teaching. I realized that I need to get over myself, and make my time count.

I need to choose joy, over comparing my class to others.

I need to celebrate the wins and not dwell on the losses

I need to correct, but not condemn.

I need to learn to love without growing tired of the task.

Today could have easily been a high stress day. A computer program didn’t work, the kids grew restless during our assessments, there were several “little conflicts” to stop. I even had one kid lose his Friday ice cream truck privilege from the principal and throw an all our fit in the office(we are talking screaming, crying, kicking, threatening,) I almost let those things defeat me.

Instead I remembered Philippians 4:8, and I started thinking about the praiseworthy things.

Like…..

Over half my kids making 100 on their test!

One of my lower students going from a 44 to perfect score in reading, making  perfect score on Math, and remembering her spelling words. (The look on her face was so precious.)

The fact that it was “Fancy Nancy Friday,” and my kids love story time on Fridays.

It was ice cream day and we had a blast.

Someone read their first sentence

My non-English speaker is understanding enough to recall what she has been learning!

We were able to do Just Dance at the end of the day

I was able to find a positive in each child.

Those are the things that push me forward through frustration. Through Common Core, red tape, and statistics. Through worrying about the homes my kids go to, and if they know they are safe.

Knowing that I let God use me today. Knowing I tried to make today great.  Having students like “little mama.”

These things are worth any time, money, or stress I expend.

My verse taped to my desk for this class is Galatians 6:9.

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”

Encouraging you all to not give up in the good you are doing for His kingdom.

With Joy,

Miss Kim

the great teacher?

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the wedding show.

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Yesterday, I woke up super excited!

It was bridal show day. I mean, how blessed am I to have a bridal show 10 days after my engagement. 15 minutes from home.

This was the first “bride” moment. I couldn’t wait. I put on a dress that I was super excited to wear and then F.H. ( future husband) came to meet me for church. I looked in the mirror, the dress had a stain. I scrambled find another outfit. We rushed out of my house and realized that the new first service worship time had changed. No big, right? We just had some time to run errands before church.

After church, we ate lunch and headed over to the big affair. I was super smiley and happy.

Then, we got in.

I have a confession to make.

I had a mini-meltdown(no matter what F.H. may say, it was minor. lol).

All the choices, plans, and decisions got to me. The perfect linens, cakes, bouquets,venues started made me feel like our ideas weren’t great.

A girl beside me was freaking out because she only had 1 and 1/2 years left to plan. Were we crazy for aiming for 6 1/2 months?!

I saw the fancy getaways. Suddenly, my teacher salary and f.h.’s works two jobs aspiring church planter salaries didn’t seem that great.

I saw a whole world build for fantasy “biggest day of your lives,” I started to compare the plans I had for my own.

I burst into tears overwhelmed by it all.

My sweet f.h. just stood there and comforted me.

We walked out and saw this wall of t-shirts. There was a bride one right in the middle that said. “It’s all about me.”

As we drove to my house, I thought about that statement. Then, I realized why the bridal show made me meltdown.

It’s because I learned long ago that it is NOT all about me.

For a couple hours, I had gotten caught up in the bridal fantasy of the world revolving around your one special day in time.  Did I really want a huge elaborate ballgown, roses, unlimited budget, and an 8 foot cake? No! For a moment did I feel like I needed those things to have a happy wedding? Honestly, yes.

I looked over at f.h., and said “You know, cakes can fall apart, dresses will tear whether they cost 100 dollars or 10,000. Heck, the whole venue could fall apart. It doesn’t matter how much we plan and control these things. Nothing is guaranteed.”

The wedding can be a show. Just like the big show I attended. You can spend a ton of money professing your love. It still won’t make your marriage any better. I believe that I successful marriage rests solely in our dependence on God to guide us, not how much we can control.

He looked back at me and said, ” But God’s plans are perfect, and his love never fails.”

It was in that moment we made a promise that we are going to spend our engagement time focused on learning how to have a God-centered marriage, as opposed to a “picture-perfect” wedding. That we would remember to fix our eyes on the things that will matter 10 years down the road, and let the rest of the stuff work out how it works out.

I know it won’t be easy, but I know that I don’t want to me just another “all about me” bride.

Do I have ideas? You bet! Do I want the beautiful dress? I have only been looking forward to it for 27 years! If everything doesn’t go perfectly, will it ruin my marriage? Most certainly not.

As I retold this story to my lunch buddies, I realized that although some other brides get fancy stuff, that I have been blessed in so many ways. They told me I have a good fiance’ because a) He went to a bridal fair while Sunday football was on(he LOVES football), b) He enjoyed the bridal fair and let me take silly pictures, c) he knew exactly what I needed in the middle of my little meltdown, d) he is a spiritual leader and I know he will take care of us.

I cannot wait to marry my man! Yes, we may have homemade food, dresses that were on sale, and bouquets an decorations I did myself, but I would not trade it for the fanciest wedding in the world.

I looked over as we sat on my couch, making our bridal party invites(get excited bridal party!), I realized that the man I had prayed for for so many years was sitting right beside me. A man who understands my faults, loves my flaws, lets me vent, makes me laugh, and points my life towards Christ.  He has not only most things I ever wanted in husband, but also the things I needed.

I couldn’t have planned anyone better.

Lord,

I ask that in this time of planning that you remind us of your plans and purposes for us. Help us to remember that You are the only thing that remains and that apart from You all is  in vain. Help us to bless others through our relationship and do more for Your kingdom together than we can apart. We love you. Amen.

I almost forgot. The wedding show wasn’t a total waste. I won a bracelet and after work today I found out we won two nights at the Embassy suites!

 

With joy,

Miss Kim

I guess it’s kind of like a love story.

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So….it’s been a while since the last blog. I think it is high time to catch up. I have greatly missed my writing therapy.

There is just something about getting my heart out in words. 

So, I know some of you that know me may have one big question running through your mind…..

How was the proposal?!
I know, if you would have told me 7 months ago that I would now be an engaged woman, I would have thought you were crazy honestly. I think before we get into the proposal, I need to catch you up to speed. 

This is the story of how I met, fell in love with, and became engaged to my future husband! (Who is the greatest by the way!)

Around late February of last year, I was beginning to sense a need to take more risks in trying to meet new people.  When you are post-grad, live in a small town, and teach 2nd grade, there aren’t many options. So, through much planning a research, I decided to join match.com at the beginning of March. I made a few contacts, and some of them were even Godly, upstanding men. Each day, I would look through the “matches” and say yes/no if I thought on first glance they were interesting. One day this tall bearded man from Arkansas came across the screen. I looked at his interests, likes/dislikes, and all that jazz. The first thing I noticed was his passion for serving God, and his heart for reaching cities through church planting. I obviously clicked that he was interesting.

A couple of days later, on March 14th, I got two lines from this guy. You seem like an amazing woman,,,blah blah, something else. Anyways, I got busy and forgot to write back for a little while, and woke up remembering I needed to write the bearded church planter back. 

So I did. I could tell from his first response to that e-mail, that there was something different about this guy. He didn’t play games, he challenged me, he asked the tough questions, right from the beginning. I got so excited waiting for each e-mail, and everything we talked about just confirmed he was someone I wanted to get to know. 

He talked about growing up in Oklahoma with a single parent and losing a father unexpectedly. He shared his love for church planting and reaching our country for Jesus Christ. We talked about art, music, literature, the Bible. We had 42 e-mails back and forth in 3 days. 

Then, he asked me out. He was very bold about it. I was impressed. Let me tell you ladies, waiting to be pursued is WORTH it!:)

The only problem was that he worked every day. You see, aspiring church planters have to have day jobs. He worked in the Northwest Arkansas area. 3 Days a week in asset protection for DIllard’s, and 4 for Wal-mart in produce. He was off for church and by 6 on Sundays and that was about it. 

So, we agreed to meet in Rogers on a Sunday night. Before that, we had a couple weeks of phone convos and texts. Before the first date, I knew there was a lot of potential.

I prayed a lot for God’s direction and timing. I remember driving up to the restaurant on April 7 at 6:24 PM. I told my friend I could see him waiting and I also told her, ” I think I can do this.”  I was excited to meet Mr. Anthony McCarty!

I walked up to him and felt immediate peace. It was easy. He told me a few weeks later that first night his first impression was “Wow,” (and now I am blushing.)

We had a great dinner and talked about everything, including Calvinism vs. Armenian-ism?(sp). I wasn’t ready for the night to end. He suggested we walk to Barnes and Noble, only to find them closed. We instead sat on a bench and talked for 2 and half hours. Then he walked me to my car and we said goodbye. We had joked about the “3 day rule” and I was really hoping he wasn’t going to follow it. 

It took him 10 minutes to call me.

He talked to me the whole 1.5 hour drive I had back home. 

We have progressed everyday since. The first 3 weeks were only 3 hour dates on Sundays and phone calls each night.

Then, praise Jesus, he started getting every Sunday off.  Since the 4th week we were dating, we have always gone to church together. Sunday will probably always be our day. 🙂 We met the others families, friends, and pretty soon became a big part of each other’s lives.

We both knew very early on that we loved being together, and hated being apart. We learned as our relationship progressed that we worked well together, balanced each other out, and could endure times of crisis in both our lives.

God used several things in our relationship to draw us close to Him and closer to each other. 

It wasn’t too long that I knew I didn’t ever want to be with anyone else. Thankfully and by the grace of God, he feels the same way about me.

The distance, although not too great, was still taking it’s toll. So, when it came time to decide where to work this school year, I applied several places. I was accepted at a school in McDonald County, MO,( just over the Arkansas border) in late May. I continued though interviews close to home to make sure, but by July, I knew I needed to move and take the 2nd grade job in Mac County.

It was hard. I had to leave friends, my church, and my family. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. 

Through the decision making process, Anthony was always by my side.  He prayed, he listened, he let me yell, cry, and process. 

In August I moved to Bella Vista,AR, just a few minutes away from Anthony and his roommate. I started my job, and also started to see what day to day life with my man would be like.  We learned to grocery shop together, plan meals, and what it is like to have a date before 9:30 on a Saturday! 

The past month has been a really sweet time in our relationship. We also started going to Gracepoint Church, a 10 year old SBC plant in Bentonville. Anthony has met with the pastor, a church planting specialist, and seminary representatives. We believe that God has called us to serve in NWA though the help of Gracepoint. We both loved the churches we came from, but know that God has blessed us greatly from being at GP. The first Sunday, I cried because I saw so many things that God wanted to do through us here. I felt foolish for almost staying in Oklahoma. 

So, I know the ENGAGEMENT!

Well, Anthony had hinted that I would propose one day, in a month that ended in R, most likely. Well, that was the plan. He had a big plan to surprise me when my friends and family were around on Labor Day, but realized not everyone could come.  He also thought I was catching on. haha.

So, last Tuesday he came by after work and told me he was going in early the next day and would be off at 7. He normally works til 10 Tues-Fri, so this was a WELCOME surprise in itself. I got the brilliant idea to take him out and surprise him.  He thought we were going to eat at my house then go on a walk. He called my mom and told her he was going to ask me on said walk. 

Well, he went along with my surprise through dinner and dessert. Then,  had to stop at the store. Then, we were going to walk. Then, I decided we should go to my house.

I was tired and just wanted to veg on the couch. He wanted to go for a walk on the trail behind my house. I said no. He insisted.

We went on a walk where he expressed all his feelings and such. He is sappy a lot, so I didn’t catch on until he dropped to his knee, in the dark. He asked! I said yes! 10 minutes later when we were back in the light, I got to see my ring!

It cracks me up to think about how my whole life, I thought I knew how I wanted my proposal to look. I had my own plans that night, and in having those, messed up my fiance’s plan. It was so us though. Looking back, I don’t care that there wasn’t a production, a big prop, or party. You see, meeting my future husband has caused me to surrender my plans even more to the Lord, so that he may mold them together with the plans he has for Anthony.

I had my own plans for that night, and I am so glad they were ruined with the proposal from my future husband.

By the way, he picked last Wednesday because it was 8/28, like Romans 8:28. It’s romantic, right?

Anyways, I have babbled a lot. It may not all make sense to you, but it is our little love story. 

I am excited to marry Anthony because he is the sweetest, most kind, gentle, caring, and affirming man I have ever met. He loves Jesus and people. He challenges me, pushes me, and helps lead our relationship towards Christ. He brings adventure,excitement, and stability. I am so proud to call him my future husband and excited to see where God will lead us together.

Our prayer is that God uses our marriage for His glory. That we will become a team that serves Him whole-heartedly. That we will remember that the purpose of our marriage is not to have the American Dream. but to make God known and to love on His people. That we will remember that God is first, and we can only love each other because he loves us.

I can’t wait to share more of our story. I can’t wait to make this blogging more regular again.

I am a very blessed girl. I am in a new city, I have a new class of 2nd graders to love, a great new church, and  get to marry the love of my life. Praise be to God!!!

With joy,

Miss Kim