Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Endless weekend ahead...

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with JOY because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:3-5

The gift sang it beautifully. Thank you, and it's time for your endless weekend to begin. 
Happy Summer!  The countdown is over and a season of rest, relaxation and restoration is here. One of my biggest issues now (not to complain) is knowing what day it is. It's been a good year, but i'm looking forward to an endless weekend, at least for a season.

Yet, as excited as i am for summer break, i am sad for some changes... teachers leaving/retiring, students changing schools and the lack of regular gatherings with coworkers/friends for encouragement and smiles.  I am reminded in a world of ongoing changes, to appreciate the moments.

As we part ways from the school grounds, i want to thank you for allowing me to step into your days.  May God continue to bring His peace, protection and guidance into your days. You and your faith have brought much JOY and inspiration into mine! 
Father, thank You for this day.   May each day be a celebration and renewal with You.  I am thankful for sweet memories of days past, for the present of today, and for the promise of an even better tomorrow.  Thank you for keeping my sisters and brothers safe in Your Hands. 

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, May 27, 2016

Caution - changes ahead

"Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings. I cling to You; Your right hand upholds me." Psalm 63:7-8

Building construction is well already under way at school.  There's much banging, hard hats and caution tape around.

Items are out of place... 

Building guts are ripped out...


 And lights are hanging on by a wire... 

I, like most school workers, can really relate to all this in our final days -- we have lost our normal routine, scurrying about in a frantic last-minute daze... fried minds, short circuited with too many crossed wires... and all the while, we are hanging on by a thread to reach the end of the day and school year.

Father, I am thankful to know the thread i cling to is secure, sturdy, and steadfast.  You are the One i cling too... You are the One who will see me through to the end and put a song in my heart.  Thank You for working all things to the good and not letting me go.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, May 26, 2016

on the home stretch...

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

The clock is ticking, the students are smiling... and so are the teachers.  I'd say the survival rate for finishing the school year is looking really good.

It's been a wonderful year for many, as well as, long and challenging.  But you persevered, tackled the needs and completed your lesson plans. You've successfully juggled demands from all directions and your students are ready to move on.  It's almost time to put your feet up for the summer.

That well-deserved smile creeping back up on your face...  anticipating the rest,refreshment and renewal to come... is just about in FULL bloom.  Hang in there!  The best is yet to come.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

where are you going?

" This is what the Lord says:
'Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.'" Jeremiah 6:16

As summer approaches, there is much chatter in the hallways regarding summer plans.  Visiting family, going to the mountains, driving to the beach, seeing old friends. Sometimes we know the roads to take and sometimes we need a map.

Whatever the case, no matter what we do or where we go, as long as God is with us, it will be good.  Get ready!  The adventure begins soon!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

going out with a (bang) book!

"And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful." 2 Timothy 2:4

Exploring way to decrease the summer reading slump, Mrs. Annie instigated our first Summer Book Swap.  For weeks she verbally explained in detail how it worked.  And then, she sent explicit instructions home to students/parents.  Yesterday we started the swap and surprising questions rose like an angel food cake in the oven.

"Can I reserve a book from the Book Swap?"
"How long can I keep the books?"
"Can I pick the books I brought?"
"I want a book off YOUR LIBRARY shelf."
"Do I have to get a book?"
Then, the cake "runneth-over", flops and burns.  Do you hear the sizzle?

Weren't they listening??  Even with all the thorough, clear directions, some of her words fell right out of their heads. 

Father, surely You relate to how i feel.  You've given us clear, precise directions on how to live through Your prophets, Jesus and Your written Word.  Yet, we sometimes act as if we have no idea what You mean.  Thank You for Your patience, unconditional love and continual guidance.  I pray to possess and release some of Your understanding Ways this week.  May i rise above the circumstances so You can shine.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, May 23, 2016

did you do it?

"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." Mark 1:35

It's crunch time...
Pounding schedules, pounding feet, pounding hearts.   It's the final week of wrapping up for many schools.  I hope you took some time to pound out some prayers during the  weekend.  If not, let's take a moment now to pray for God's peace to rule over our days this week.  The only crunch i want to taste this week is in my chocolate.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God.

Friday, May 20, 2016

the end is near

"The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply..." 1 Peter 4:7-8

The workweek is finally almost over.  As the end gets closer, the tension increases and tightens.  I'm sure many will agree is has been a draining, grueling and tiring week.  How can we possibly be ready to return on Monday?

Father, thank You for clear directionWhen life has a tendency to spin out of control as we approach the end, You speak loudly on what is needed... prayer and love.  With You, we can finish strong.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, May 19, 2016

ready to hide

"You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance." Psalm 32:7

Deadlines... Stress... Countdowns... CRaZiNesS... LOUD... Exhaustion...
Hide me!

If ever i wanted to be a turtle, it is now.  I am ready to pull into my dark, quiet shell to hide and rest.

Even though i'm not a turtle, i still have a Hiding Place i can retreat to and rest.  Thank You, Father!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


"As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds His people both now and forevermore." Psalm 125:2

Uncertain about your future?  Scared about some pending changes? Doubtful a situation will improve?

Whether sailing on a mountain top or crawling in the valley, God has us and our circumstances covered. 

Thank You, Father.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

a Mighty Word ~ peace

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling... Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."  Ephesians 4:31-32

Short of days, short of sleep, short of time, short of patience...
Father, help. There is a war going on in my head. I don't want all this shortness to cause me to explode.  Most of all, right now i can't afford to be short on time with You.  I need more of You now than usual... Your Peace, Your Love, Your Grace.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, May 16, 2016

singing to unsung heroes...

"I thank my God every time I remember you..." Philippians 1:3

Lately, we've had an opportunity to thank and appreciate many people at school...Teacher Appreciation Day, Nurse's Day, Administrative Assistant's Day, Librarian's Day. But there are still some unsung heroes which have a special place in my heart. They perform many necessary duties i'd rather not do, but our schools would be in shambles if left undone.  Whether writing reports, teaching a lesson, drying up tears, or wiping up a spill, all tasks are needed, important and appreciated.


Today i want to give a shout out of THANKS! to all custodial and cafeteria teammates.  They deal with endless demands, changes and needs from everyone in our schools.  Their tireless efforts and dedication truly make my life easier and better every day.  I watch them greet, smile and care for adults and students alike. As i witness the impact they have on those they serve, i know i don't want to be doing life without them.  They not only handle a lot of physical work, but contribute to the important role of mentoring students.
Happy Custodial and Cafeteria Staff Appreciation Day!  I am honored to work side-by-side with you each and every day.  May you never doubt your importance.  We all have an hand in influencing our children for the good; each hand matters.  You make a difference.  

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord... 

Thank you for your service.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, May 13, 2016

keep paddling, keep believing...

"Never tire of doing what is right." 2 Thessalonians 3:13

I watched her while i crossed the parking lot.  As i got closer to the building, Lyndy just stood there, waiting patiently holding the door wide open. I must admit, a part of me wondered if she would continue holding the door or suddenly dart in and close it on me. I graciously thanked her when i finally entered, not just because it was a kind act, but because her behavior from day one has been anything but stellar... time outs, notes home, guidance visits, parent conferences, principal intervention, etc. 

BUT, here we are, in the last days, and a glimmer of hope surfaces.  All of her teachers' firm consistent work is producing streams of goodness and obedience.  Sometimes change comes slower than we desire; but when it does, the right change is worth celebrating. 

Great job, Ms. Do Good and Ms. Keep Smiling, and all other comrades. Lyndy is making progress. You are making a difference!  May the fruit of your persistent labor be a taste of sweetness in the days ahead.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, May 12, 2016

a Mighty Word ~ seasons

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens..." Ecclesiastes 3:1 

Been through a hard season?  It will end and another will come. 
But more importantly, remember, God has a way of growing beauty in all seasons... even the ones that aren't our favorites.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

hard days...

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..." 1 Thessalonians 5:11

It was just one of those days.  Each hour seemed to bring its own share of misery, disappointment and pain.  As minutes slowly dripped off the clock,  the weight of my heart increased.
Then it happened.

As i passed by Lee, he said, "You are a good librarian."
"What? What did you say?"
"You are a good librarian."

The second grader had no idea of the power of his words at that precise moment for me. It was an unexpected and unmerited compliment, but one that lifted my spirit and heart out of the ravine... reminding me my present trial would not last forever.  May we never, never, never underestimate the power of a kind word. 

Thank You, Father, for providing the nudges. Let us hear and do.

friend, we are loved and chosen  by God,

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

a Mighty Word ~ rest

Jesus said...
"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

When we rest at His feet, He restores us.

Thank You, Father.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, May 9, 2016

feeling stuck?

"I cling to You; Your right hand upholds me." Psalm 63:8

Are you stuck on something?

Being stuck can be good, if it's the right thing. And being stuck on Jesus is right.  He brings healing, guidance, love and comfort in all our days... the short ones and the long ones.

Father, once Yours, always Yours.  So thankful we can always cling to You.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, May 6, 2016

built for comfort...

"Comfort, comfort my people, says your God." Isaiah 40:1

Wiping away tears, cheering on a good effort, sharing a laugh, soothing the hurts, encouraging to persevere, celebrating an accomplishment, holding a hand, chasing away doubts, correcting wrongs, teaching new skills, developing talents, stomping out fear, hugging just because you care... everyday i watch mothers doing this and much more for children... children by blood and children by heart.

Happy Mother's Day weekend to all who love, inspire and build up God's most precious and valuable gems...  His little ones.  You make a difference to many. 

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 2:3-4

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, May 5, 2016

a Mighty Word ~ variety

"God saw all that He made, and it was very good." Genesis 1:31

It's clear to see, God loves variety.  Just look around at all the different animals, plants and people. He created it all, and He deems it all good.

Variety is God's choice. 
Father, thank you for reminding me we are not created from a "cookie cutter" but from You. We are each uniquely different and designed by You... and all You've made is good. May i remember that each day.

I praise You because - each and all of us - are fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

your heart is showing...

"Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage." Psalm 84:5

How do you describe a truly incredible teacher? 
The one with the shiny, perfect lesson plans...
The one with every minute of the day neatly scheduled...
The one prepared with creative work sheets and activities.

I think truly incredible teachers are the ones with a servant's heart... filled with love, understanding, forgiveness and compassion... putting a smile in the heart of a child and hope into their future.

Father, what a blessing to know and work with such a wonderful, caring group of people.  Watching them extend Your light and goodness to students is a joyful experience.

Thank you, teachers and all working in the teaching field, for your dedicated work.  Happy Teacher Appreciate Week! I appreciate you today and every day.

May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

even Him...

"Jesus cried out in a loud voice... 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'" Matthew 27:26

Of all the horrible things we can and do experience.... loss of a loved one, sickness, financial hardship, job insecurity, broken relationship and more, it could be worse.

Beyond a doubt, Jesus experienced the most horrific event possible, being forsaken by God.  And thanks to His unconditional love and sacrifice for us, we will never, never have to experience that.

Thank You, Jesus.  Because of You my life is good, no matter what happens.

Once in His Arms, in His Arms forever.

God said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

friend, we  are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, May 2, 2016

just what i needed...

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." Hebrews 12:2

I found a penny this morning, and it was just what i needed... not for the gum machine or for luck but for direction.   The penny facing "heads up" reminded me to do the same.

No matter what is going on in my life, i must keep looking up to our Father for comfort, guidance and peace. 

How about you?   A penny for your thoughts on how to handle troubling times.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,