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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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Aside

Can you believe it!?

Today my blog is a year old! I am so excited. Probably almost as excited as a parent when their child reaches this milestone.

I know the past few months, poor old blog has been neglected(mostly because of the other baby I have called 2nd grade class.), but I am glad to be going a year strong!

A couple nights ago, I read through some of my archives and took a little trip down memory lane. Something unexpected happened. As I was reading, I found myself getting teary-eyed. It was SO awesome to see the past year of my life in the rear view. I saw the thread of God’s amazing love and faithfulness sewn through out each page.

When I started this blog a year ago, I wanted to give a voice to other young adults in my season of life. To encourage other and help them learn to live life to the fullest. When I started, I can tell you,I wasn’t living life to the fullest.

Now, I can say, most days I am. I am so humbled that God is speaking through me and revealing these awesome truths. I never imagined how much of an impact my writing project would make on my own life and walk with God.  Looking back, it is so cool to see how God was working and preparing me for ” such a time as this.”

I thought I would share 5 things I will take away from my first year of blogging. (They are in no order of importance.)

1. God works in and through EVERYTHING: Let me tell ya, until I started writing, I had no idea of how many things God used to teach truth in my life. Among other things He used a lady named Joy, a piano recital, a kickball game, a boy who wanted some boots, and most famously a boy who thought he was a cat. Through each of these stories and more, God taught me some precious Truths. I will probably be telling my Grandchildren about taking off my necklace to get a boy out of a classroom walking like a cat.

2. Each day is crammed with Joy. Is every day great? Goodness no! Are there great things in each day? Absolutely yes. Writing and logging the KQOTD’s have helped me to remember that even when I am at my wit’s end working with kids, they are still precious a lovable. My darkest days have been made a lot brighter by remembering to look for the joy.

3. God is NEVER silent. Even when we may think He is, he is always in relationship with us, and working in us in ways we can’t even imagine.

4. I am a lot braver than I ever thought I was. Putting my failures in print. Hard. Admitting I don’t have it all together. Going to the movies alone. Hardest. Writing and working to meet my bucket list goals has made me more brave! I love taking risks now.

5. Everyone has a voice and a story. I am a 27 year old teacher that learns more about God through daily experience. I am awkward and get in some interesting situations. God uses the story of my life to reveal Himself. If he can use me, He can use you too!

I could go on and on,  I gotta save something for the 2nd year anniversary!:)

I do have a surprise though! It has to do with the bucket list!

I have accomplished 8 things on the list this year! Only 13 more to go….or how about 16. I have decided to add 3 things to the list. They are…

22.  Ride the world’s most daring wooden roller coaster!

23. Submit a column or essay to a magazine.

24. Teach someone to read.

I am so excited about all of the people that have read, commented, and shared this blog. You have let me bear my heart and soul to you and I am thankful for each one of you.

Phil 1:3-9 is my prayer for you all!:)

Here’s to another year!! May it be the best yet!:)

With Joy,

Miss Kim

happy blog-aversary!

Aside

Did y’all know this is almost my ONE year anniversary of writing this blog! I can’t believe it!:) Time flies by faster and faster it seems.

I haven’t written a lot lately because honestly, I haven’t felt a lot of inspiration. It seemed like there were months in this journey where God was revealing all kinds of new things. Looking back on that time is really special, and I am so glad I have those memories.

Lately, I have felt like things are just kind of sitting still. It’s like Monday-Friday, I go to work, come home, workout, Tuesdays/Wednesdays head up to the church, then go home. Saturday and Sunday happen, and then BAM! the week starts again.

I was talking to a friend earlier today ( well, more like venting. yes, there was a lot of venting.), and she asked me if I had been writing lately. I told her that I just haven’t felt that inspired, that God wasn’t speaking as loudly and clearly into my heart lately.

Wouldn’t you know, right then and there He spoke.

I was reminded of earlier this week when my kids were taking these Math mid-year benchmarks on the computer. It was all stuff we had gone over a lot, some of it they practiced everyday. They were used to counting change, knowing days on the calendar, adding two-digits, and measuring inches/centimeters. They had practiced this all mostly on paper, and now that it was on the computer, it was a little strange looking to them.

As I went by to those with hands raised, I saw that they were getting stuck on questions they know. They were getting hung up on the circumstances of the test looking different on the computer.

I re-read some of the questions for clarification, but I was not allowed to answer the problem or help find the solution. I taught the lessons. Now I just had to trust that what they were taught became what they know and that what they know can overcome the circumstance (of the way the test looked.)

I started thinking about how that testing situation related to my own life. Lately, there has been all kinds of stuff coming up to the surface. Questions and decisions that have come up. I keep waiting for this awesome audible voice of God saying, “Kim do this, go this way,” but instead I hear silence.

Is it really silence though? Throughout my relationship with God He has taught me many lessons, He has walked with me and soared with me at my highest of highs and carried me through my lowest of lows. I wonder this. Maybe His silence (well my perception of his silence), is just His way of working through me to see if I can apply those lessons I learned to new and unpredictable circumstances. Could I still trust and obey, even in the quiet times when it felt that God was just quietly waiting for me to finish the test?

Once I thought about this ( well, recognized that God was revealing this truth to me), I was able to think about some of the things going on in my life and remember how God had already worked through those situations and how I can set my hope for the future in His promises.

Even when I feel He is silent, He is still right there working things together for the good. What’s even better is that, even if I can’t feel/hear His voice, I will ALWAYS have an open book option ( you know, with the bible).

God is so good, and His promises are TRUE!

I noticed that after my children finished their benchmarks and saw their awesome (yes I have smart kids, and yes you may be jealous.) scores, their confidence soared. This also made my heart soar knowing that those lessons I taught were not in vain.

When we trust in God, even in those silent, quiet times, we WILL see His will prevail and His promises come to fruition. That trust builds confidence that is built on the solid rock of Jesus Christ.

I am not sure if this will even resonate with you all tonight, but I want you to know something.

The teacher is always the most quiet during the test. Maybe you feel like God is silent right now, but know this. God may seem quiet during these tests in our lives, but testing and trials produce faith and faith perseverance and perseverance makes us more mature and complete.

Who doesn’t want to be mature and complete, lacking nothing?

God is always working my friends. Even when we can’t see. I needed to be reminded of that. Thank you God for that You allow these trials and tests to grow us into the servants You desire us to be.

“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” Phil. 1:6 (MSG)

With Joy,

Miss Kim

quiet please?

Aside

It took 5 hours, 1 large Sonic DDP with cherry, 8 feet of yellow paper, 1 Happy New Year banner, 7 trips to the trash bin, 11 Clorox wipes, 175 copies, 15 minutes of vacuuming, and organizing 12 shelves and 5 centers, but I think I am ready!

3 more days of vacation, and then back to spending all day with 23 of the cutest 7 and 8 year olds anyone has ever seen.

I am excited to see what the new year holds for my students, and for me as I learn how to be the best educator I can be.

I don’t really have any words of wisdom today, but one of the blogs I LOVE to read(KellysKornerBlog.com), had some questions  to answer and reflect on. Why not?

1. What are you most thankful for?  I have so much to be thankful for! God has given me so many blessings. I am most thankful for the HOPE that I have in Jesus Christ. I am thankful that He has given me a passion for serving, an abundant life, and the BEST family and frie2. What were the highlights of 2012 for you?  Going overseas, starting a blog, starting to teach 2nd grade, going on random adventures, having 3 of my best friends get married, developing deep friendships, and having some FUN adventure

3. What are you hoping for in 2013? I am hoping to continue to grow in my relationship with Christ, to become more disciplined, to invest in my relationships with others, to grow as an educator and leader. I hope to live each day to the fullest and love without fear of the unknown. (It would also be cool if I met my future husband this year, but I know it will all happen when it’s supposed to.:) )


4. Who was God to you in 2012?
 My Hope, my comfort, my shelter, Emmanuel, and Peace. I think in 2012, I felt His Peace more than any other time in my life.

A Few of My Favorite Things:

Books: 

  1. “The Hunger Games”
  2. “Catching Fire”
  3. “Stuff Christians Like”
  4. “Mockingjay”
  5. “James: Beth Moore Study”

Fashion

  1. Boots
  2. Sparkles
  3. Infinity Scarves
  4. Button-downs and cardigans
  5. Denim shirts and dresses

Restaurants

  1. Cheesecake Factory (mostly because of all the memories)
  2. Chipotle
  3. Chik-fil-A
  4. La Huerta
  5. Cheddars
  6. Rib Crib
  7. Sonic

Favorite Songs(currently)

  1. “Home” Phillip Phillips
  2. ” Til My Last Day” Justin Moore
  3. “Ho Hey” Lumineers
  4. “White Fences” NeedToBreathe
  5. “All Over the Road” Easton Corbin
  6. “It Just Comes Natural” George Strait
  7. “Until You” Dave Barnes
  8. “How Country Feels” Randy Houser
  9. “The Beat” Ben Rector
  10. “Dead Flowers” Miranda Lambert

Movies in the Theater

  1. Pitch Perfect
  2. Lincoln
  3. Here Comes the Boom
  4. The Dark Night Rises
  5. The Hunger Games
  6. Silver Linings Playbook
  7. Brave
  8. The Trouble With The Curve
  9. Sherlock Holmes: Book of Shadows
  10. The Hobbit

TV Shows

  1. Hart of Dixie
  2. Duck Dynasty
  3. Bachelorette
  4. Nashville
  5. New Girl
  6. Parenthood
  7. Sister Wives
  8. My Fair Wedding with David Tutera
  9. Parks and Recreation
  10. The Mindy Project

 Things that make smile everyday

  1. Notes from my students
  2. Diet Cherry Pepsi
  3. TV Show marathons
  4. Things that sparkle
  5. Encouraging bible verses
  6. Time with Friends
  7. My jewelry organizers
  8. Hot Tamalese
  9. Office supplies
  10. Inside Jokes and catch phrases

Favorite Quotes (other than Scriptures or things my kids say)

1. ” Most folks are as happy as they make their minds up to be” -Abraham Lincoln

2. ” Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive more you’er than you.” -Dr. Suess

3. “People may forget what you do or say, but they will never forget how you make them feel.” -Maya Angelou

4. “The purpose exceeds the pain.” -Beth Moore

5. ” I got bronchitis. Ain’t nobody got time for that.”- Sweet Brown

 

Just questions, answers, and favorites. It will be fun to look back on in 20 years or so.

With Joy,

Miss Kim

A few of my favorite things

Aside

Once again, I have went way too long without blogging. As I start 2013, I think back on how awesome of a year 2012 was. God has given me so many great opportunities, and I am truly thankful!

In the past year, I have started this blog, accomplished about half of my “Maximizing Your Singleness” bucket list, and have been given many chances to share with others what God is doing in my life through this outlet. I left my job at Integrity Pathways, started teaching 5th grade, and moved to 2nd right after Thanksgiving. I made it through another year of VBS, camp, extended session, and teaching Wednesday nights. I went on my first overseas mission trip, and I have lived alone for 6 months now!

I have been there for 3 really great friends getting married, and was able to build deeper bonds with other friends. I have learned to more fully hand my life over to God each and every day and trust in His timing.

I have learned to be more brave, more bold, and how to live each day more fully! I have gained discipline, wisdom, and learned a few hard lessons.

As I look back, the theme of 2012 for me was Hope. Learning to put my HOPE in Jesus Christ alone, and not depending on other things to fulfill that sense of hope.

As I look forward to 2013, I have lots of anticipation. I am amazed at how good God is to me, and I feel the best is still coming. I feel a renewed sense of joy in carrying on the task set before me.

I am not really a resolution maker, but as I start this year, I have a few things I am going to resolve to do. I am going to have more adventures, and seek out ways to live life to the fullest. I am going to invest in those friendships and relationships that are important to me. I am going to take the risks I need to take. I am going to enjoy this season of life God has placed me in knowing that at any moment it will change.

I have decided on a theme verse for me, for 2013. I have picked Proverbs 31:25.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25(NLT)

To me this basically means, that each day I am going to clothe myself with the strength that comes from Christ, hold my head up through each situation, and enjoy life without worrying about what comes next.

Happy New Year, Y’all!:) I can’t wait to see what is in store!:)  (Other than that, maybe I would like to take more pictures! That is a good resolution)

 

With joy,

Miss Kim

the best is yet to come…

Aside

Tonight, I had a revelation. I was watching my celeb crush, Mr. Kevin James, in “Here Comes the Boom,” and it hit me.

I need to expect more.

By this,I don’t mean I need to hold out for Kevin James because I am fairly certain he is married.

I don’t exactly quite know how to sum up what I mean but I will try to explain it.

In the movie, Kevin James’s character has a crush on Salma Hayek’s character. He asks her out several times, and she always says no. One time, he asked her, “Why do you always tell no?”

She says, “Well, first of all, have you ever noticed how every time you ask me out, you are sitting down.”

He explained something about how comfortable he is with her.

As I thought about this later, I realized it makes a lot of sense. Why would someone ever say yes to someone who isn’t even willing to stand up when the he asks them out in the first place?

I felt empowered.

Yes, getting into your mid-to- lateish 20’s and still not finding the right person can be scary. Isn’t being with someone who doesn’t stand up for you even scarier though?

I know I can’t be the only one who has lowered my expectations to compensate for the fear of being alone.

I am sure a lot of us single ladies out there do it and we don’t even realize it.

We mask it with a lot of excuses. We say they don’t call because they hate the phone. We say they don’t ask us out because they are busy at work. We say they only text because “Guys just don’t communicate in person that well.” We tell ourselves that we have unreasonably high expectations based on our fathers, brothers, friend’s husbands, and fairy tale characters.

No matter how we may mask it, we are lowering our expectations. We are saying its okay for guys to passively show some sort of interest in us, instead of pursuing us.

I in NO way am an expert on this topic, but I have just realized this isn’t okay.

I think I may be speaking for many single Christian girls out there who just feel like the guys out there aren’t meeting expectations.

I am not saying I expect some guy to fall all over me, send flowers weekly, plan extravagant dates, and call constantly. I know that is also unrealistic.

I’m just saying we need to expect more from the guys we like, date, marry etc. We need to expect them to pursue Christ passionately, pursue us, stand up for us, and fight for us.

Why?

Well, because Ephesians 5 paints us a picture of a Godly relationship.

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25″ Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wivesas their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” 5 :25-33

You see, if at the liking, talking, or dating stage, if the men in our lives aren’t stepping it up, what makes you think they will when you marry them?

How can we expect them to love us as Christ loves the church, if they can’t pursue us in the way Christ pursues us?

 

Guys out there: We don’t expect extravagance, but we do expect you to pursue us. Stand up.

Girls: (me included.)- We need to expect more. We need to hold the men in our lives to a higher standard so that we will be able to respect them and submit to them.

Remember the One who first loved us. He loves us and pursues us SO passionately. He cares for us and has plans better than even our own.

He is telling us to rest in Him, abide in Him, and delight ourselves in Him.

Whether you get married next month, next year, in 10 years, or never, God is always in control.

He wants what is best for us, but that means sometimes we need to let go of what may be good, and hold on to something Greater.

God’s best is always the best.

(Just some random thoughts rollin’ around in my brain.)

With Joy,

Miss Kim

expect more.

Aside

Well, friends. The busy-ness of October has got the best of me.

It’s already the 17th! I can’t believe it.

It’s also Fall Break. Let me tell you, 3:45 couldn’t have come soon enough today!

I love my kids, but you know I really think absence may make my tired teacher heart grow fonder!:)

It’s been a little bit eventful this week.

We will start with Monday night. I was leaving a dinner with some of my teacher friends and we were on the way to Wal-mart to get some super cool Halloween shirts ( I know, I am dressing by holidays. I am a professional educator after all.).

I was in the turn lane to go to Wal-mart. On the street my lights had been acting funny and the radio stopped, but I didn’t think much of it. Then all of the sudden, I was in the middle of the turn lane with a dead car. It wouldn’t start. I looked behind me and 2 of my teacher friends were right behind me. I don’t know why, but the 3 of us burst into laughter!

What possessed this? I have no idea. My friend that was driving behind me had a messed up front bumper, so she gently pushed my car with her car into safety. It was quite comical trying to get it up a small hill into the parking lot. I then was rescued by my family.  I felt so blessed and peaceful knowing that even though trouble came, God was in control.

I was very calm. We charged the battery and I drove to my mom’s house before going all the way to mine. I was in her house about 10 minutes and then I tried to start my car and it wouldn’t start. Ugggh. I didn’t laugh as much this time.

I drove my mom’s car home and then met her to take her to work Tuesday morning. I checked my car before we left, and it was running again! Yay!:) I drove to school carefully. No problems.

We decided to change a cable on the car after work, so I drove to Mom’s again. This time, the car stopped right in her driveway! Uggh again! We got it working, and I drove it to my house last night.  I was still amazed that it broke down in a driveway and not the middle of the street. Once again God was looking out for me.

This morning, I left for school about 6:30 ish to get some things done early. I got all the way back to Muskogee and my car died again, in a turn lane.

If you were on Country Club Road about 6:50 this morning, you probably saw us pushing my poor Ford Focus through the intersection.

This time, I wasn’t very cheerful, positive, or calm. I was upset!

God and I had to have a little talk before I made it to school this morning.

I was stuck at an intersection. I wanted to panic! This time, there wasn’t anyone behind me. I wasn’t in a safe location. I was stuck in my car in an intersection waiting for help to come through.

All of these doubts and worries and fears crept into my mind. I kept trying to pray them down, but the enemy was really getting me this time.

By the time my parents came to rescue me, I had already told myself I would be car-less, job less and homeless. I had believed the lie that I was worthless.

All because one little thing went wrong.

Yep, in the middle of my hissy fit, God and I had a talk.

You see, God is always constant. He was there the 1st 2 times my car broke down, and he was still there the 3 time. It was real easy for me to be thankful and peaceful when I was in a safe location or surrounded with friendly help, but it was a lot harder to trust in those 10 minutes I was our there alone, just waiting.

God reminded me that even though things happen, he still loves me madly and deeply. That he adores me and has a  PLAN and a HOPE and a FUTURE for me. That he will go down to the depths with me, and rise up in the heights.

You know what? I calmed down. I still got to work on time. My dad took my car and it will be fixed by tomorrow.  I have a home, family, friends, a car. God has provided for all of those needs. He has also brought peace to my soul once again.

You see, the first two times it broke down, we assumed it was a battery, but it was really the alternator. It took us 3 times to realize that. Funny, God sometimes has to let things happen to me more than once to let us know He has got this.

As I wrote down my ramblings, I thought of this set of verses. I really could post all of James chapter 1. It is really resonating with me tonight.

“Count it all joy, my brothers,[b] when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”- James 1:2-4

Thankful that God allows trials ( big and small) in our lives. He is trying to build us up as mature warriors of this faith. His joy is gonna be our strength!

 

With Joy,

Miss Kim

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