Life

Truth

All day people will tell you who they think you are. They have an image of you, labels that they will try to stick on you. But you have always been more than their words, and more than their labels. You have always been more than what even you think you are. The truth is you don’t even know the real potential God has for you, because you have set limitations from what people have said about you. Fact is, God is the only opinion you will ever need. He has created you and knows you more than you know yourself. You are His daughter and son and that is all you will ever need!!

“He found him in a desert land, and in the hvowling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions,”

Deuteronomy 32:10-11

Life

I Am A Teacher In Oklahoma

Today is Day 8 of the teacher walkout in Oklahoma.  The easier part in all of this, would be to go back to school.  I work in Mustang, Oklahoma and everyday that we use after our built in snow days will have to be made up.  I receive salary pay that is spread out through 12 months so I can get paid during the summer when school is not in session.  I am only paid for the my contract hours worked and no more.
AB870DFD-8B2D-4A63-A36D-DFD9210A04DF.JPGI work two jobs and I also bake cakes on the side.  With all of this my Husband’s salary would still be considered our primary income.  Before I was married I lived with my mom, because I could not support a house and car payment with my teacher salary.  I tell you this to give you a sense of my life as an Oklahoma teacher.
Now on Day 8, Mustang has relinquished all of their snow days.  Today is marked as day that will have to be made up so I can get paid and our school can receive funding.  Today it would have been easier to just go back to school.  To go back into my classroom of 25 Kindergarteners, but I chose not to give up for something I stand for.  Yesterday like many days before I went to the capitol to rally for Education.  I stood with thousands of educators, students, supporters, and parents to rally in hope of  more funding for our schools.  The turnout and support has been overwhelming, but witnessing the lack of concern from the senate or the house diminished my hopes.  The house voted to not even hear the three bills up for education.  As they continue to “wait us out” there is no change.
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I am tired and disappointed.  As negative thoughts weigh heavy in my mind and that of many educators, somehow a spark of resiliency starts to kindle down deep.  Resilience is one of the many qualities of an Oklahoma teacher.  
God pressed on me this weekend, “I will never fall or fail you. If you know why you’re standing, you cannot fall.” 
I know why I stand,
I stand for the past.
I stand for the future.
I stand for the present.
I stand for the 25 Kindergarteners I have in my classroom.
I stand for the programs, supplies, technology that they don’t have.
I stand for the growing number of students that have been crammed into my classroom over the years.
I stand for my mom, a teacher of 22 years with a masters.  That had to teach 20 years to reach 40,000.
I stand for the years I watched her work.  A single mom of three;  She worked two to three jobs to support us.
My mom wanted a different career when she started, but she chose this career for us, for them.
I stand here as a teacher because of her passion for kids, because of the lives I saw her change.
I stand for my own future kids that I can’t afford to have on a teachers salary.
I stand here for God, He has placed a calling and passion for children.
I stand because I can’t imagine another profession.
I stand here for you, for teachers, who feel like they can’t stand.
I stand for the oppression that has crippled education in our state!!
I know why I stand,
Just try to move me.  My feet has been placed on the Rock.  It cannot be shaken.
If you know why you are standing you cannot fall!!
Identity · Life

Be Humble

I saw a quote from Daniel Radcliffe, He was being interviewed on Larry King about the final Harry Potter movie, and his role in these epic films:  “I always knew that anyone who was given this role would have the same fame.  It was never about me.  It was about this franchise.  I was simply a part of something bigger.” 

I thought of my part in God’s story.  Our part.  I thought of the fact that my restlessness with my role in God’s story has left me complacent.  Ive put more emphasis on my role than the bigger picture.  Within my own restless heart my words often start with, “My calling” or  “My dream.”  Yes,  I believe God is the dream maker and he stirs our hearts and calls us, but I believe sometimes we get so caught up in what our role is that we forget to chase the one thing that fulfills are very dreams and calling.  A complete shift in our mindset needs to take place before we will ever be fulfilled.  It has never been about me or you.  It is about God.  God is the only one that can tame our restless hearts.  The seeking for more can only be found in the ‘bigger picture’, God.  One thing I know without a doubt is my personal fulfillment is only found when I am involved in something bigger then myself, something for the good of others.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”  – Proverbs 16:9 ESV

God, I pray for humility.  Help me humble myself to your will.  I can establish my own plan but your plans will all ways prevail.  Help me focus on the big picture and instead of trying to plan out my role.  God you are my  big plan.  Anyone that reads this I ask that you direct their paths and establish your plans in them. Help grow us into beautiful servants of your ministry.  Amen

Life

God is in your Boat

Peace by definition means, “freedom from war”,  Think about that for a minute.  Worry, stress, anxiety, fear…none of these things are from God.  They are from the enemy, an enemy that is in a battle for your soul.  A war is raging and God offers you Peace.

Read Mark 4:35-41, I love this verse, Jesus wakes up, calms the storms with just a word, and then calls the disciples out.  “Why are you such cowards?  Don’t you have any faith at all?”  Looking at this situation as an on looker, You honestly think the disciples are dumb dumbs.  The son of the living God is in your boat!  Your not going to drown. But how many times have we been in a storm, and all we can think is “I’m going to drown, don’t you care God?”  The whole time he is looking down saying, “I’m in your boat, dumb dumb.”

Peace is not the absence of conflict or trouble, but rather a calm understanding inside that lets you know that God is in control no matter what the circumstances around you may be.  It is easy to look around and be worried or anxious about the bad things that you see.  The bible tells us that not to worry (Matt 6:25-34), but instead talk to God about the worries you have, and He will give you peace that passes all understanding.

Amen.

Featured photo credz to Luca Bravo!

Life · New Years Resolution

You Will Need More Than Willpower to Conquer that New Year’s Resolution

It’s a New Year with a fresh start!  I can start eating better.  I can read my bible more!  I can spend more time with family.  I can be better than I was last year… This is always the New Years mentality.  I find the New Year even giving me a surge of determination.  With this new sense of drive, I find myself asking, why?

Why do I wait for passing year for a “fresh start”?  I  always have that option no matter the time of year.  I find that this fresh start has always been possible.  A fresh start or A New Year’s Resolutions is always possible with God.  I find that no matter how great the resolution,  I will always fail.  I’m human.  My own willpower will never be enough.  I believe if I want my resolution to last it needs to have something more then my human willpower backing it up.  Lets face the facts,  My willpower will only last me so far into this new year, and the minute things start getting hard willpower checks out.  Willpower is fueled by my mind, will, and emotions.  If I really don’t want to go to the gym my mind will give plenty of excuses not to go.  “I just ate.”  “My knee is killing me.” “I think chasing  Little Johnny on the playground counted as cardio.”  The mind is deceitful above all things.  Fact is I am instructed to be spirit-led, not willpower-led (Meyer, 2007).  My soul’s (mind, will, emotions) determination can only drive me so far, but I’m going to need God’s Spirit to get me to my goal.  Zechariah 4:6 says, “Not by might, nor power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”  #spiritpower

So instead of the normal New Year’s hype determining my motivation,  I’ll rely on God’s Power to drive me through the long months ahead.  Jesus did say in John 15:5, “Apart from me you can do nothing.”

God, I need you.  I need you in this year to come.  I need your spirit to guide and grow me into the woman you are calling me to be.  My soul is weak without  you.  Help me beat my flesh in 2018.  Be my willpower!  Help me to fix my eyes on you in my weakness.  

 

This inspired me this week.  On the bible app Joyce Meyer has a 14 day devotional from her book, New Day, New You.  I am really enjoying it!  Check it out!!

Identity · Life

Accepting the Gospel

I find myself constantly trying to earn my own salvation.  I feel like I serve and I do,  “God see, look what I’m doing for you.”  I had to stop and check myself.  In this season the enemy has been taunting me with my past.  I find that I’m desperately serving to atone for past mistakes.  Mistakes that have already been covered with the blood of Christ.  I have already been shown mercy, grace, and love yet my humanity can’t seem to forgive myself.

I find thats the hardest part about being Christian;  Accepting the love of Christ.  God forgets but we remember.  I know what the scripture says, He has placed my sin in the sea of forgetfulness.  My sin is as far as the east is from the west.  All I have to do is let go and accept God’s Mercy.  Mercy is the compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is in one’s power to punish or harm.  You see we know that we deserved the cross yet God choose to buy us back by the sacrifice of His only Son. God has the right to punish us for our actions except he shows us mercy, A mercy we don’t deserve.  I am in awe.  This love is the hardest to understand.  I do not have to do anything. Nothing. There is nothing to earn, I just have to accept it.

your-sin-is-not-greater-than-gods-mercy-mercy-quotes

I am writing, because I see so many of us trying to stay on the Platform in front of Pilot, I find we are trying to atone for sins already paid.  Jesus already took your place, He already paid the price for your sins.  He loved you so much and there was nothing you had to do.  I see Pilot taking our chains off, while we are saying, “No I deserve this!!”  All the while Jesus looks at us, “No, this is mine.  Let me have your sin, Let me have you pain. ”

You see Our greatest Challenge is not our discipline, our devotion, it’s not the amount of things we can do.  Our greatest challenge is believing the Gospel.  Letting go and letting God take our shame and turn it into something beautiful.  You are beautiful and worthy of the this great love story.  You are His Daughter and Son.

 

God, I can’t put my mind around the love you gave.  You overwhelm me.  I am in awe.  God I pray for myself and everyone else reading this, Help us not work to deserve something already given.  Help us accept Your Love in a new way.  Help us accept and show your love in the world around us. You are a good good Father and I love you so so much. Thank you for your love that I do not deserve. Thank you for saving me and taking my place. Amen.