Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Late Christmas Story

I know it is a little past the time for Christmas stories but this one has been on my heart and I want to share :)

This past December my son's 4th grade class took a field trip to watch "The Best Christmas Pagent Ever."  The class had read the book together and they were all so excited to go watch the play at the Loisville Center for the Arts.  Because I am the room mom for my son's classroom, I was asked to go along. Yippee!  I love field trips!

As the date got closer, I realized I would have to spend the day at the play with the students and then come back to school and host the classroom Christmas party...busy day to say the least.  The night before the big day, my son and I watched the news as they were predicting heavy snow.  I told my son, "looks like there won't be school tomorrow."  His response, "Oh yes there will.  I'm going to pray right now." And off he went.  I was thinking I hated for him to be disappointed when there wouldn't be school (oh me of little faith). 

Even though it snowed, sure enough there was school the next day.  Although there was a two hour delay.  Because of the delay, this meant my son's class was going to miss their show time.  His teacher called me and said she had tried to switch show times but unless other schools cancelled they had no space.  She said the theatre would call her in the next 30 minutes if there were any openings but it would be extremely unlikely.  She also told me by that time their bus driver would be gone.  I told my son, "Sorry Bub, we will not be making it to the play today."  His response, "Oh yes we will" and he prayed all the way to school. 

When we arrived at the school, his teaher said she had not received a phone call so they would not be going.  Ethan was disappointed but said he was going to continue to pray.  I stayed in the classroom for awhile and helped the teacher change plans since the students would be in school all day after all. 

As Ethan's friends came in he explained to them what was going on and asked them to pray.  As I sat grading papers in the back, I watched as several students sat with their heads bowed.  I was tremendously proud of my boy and moved nearly to tears to see what was happening. I was also upset they were going to be very disappointed.  This play seemed to mean so much to them.  I said a quick little prayer, "If there is anyway Lord......." 

When I finished with my work, I talked to Ethan's teacher and she said they definitly would not be going.  There had been no call and their bus driver for the trip was gone.  The students overheard and there was a sigh across the classroom. As I left, I noticed my son's head was still bowed. 

I went all the way across town and thought I would spend the day with my nieces.  The moment I walked in the door to my sisters house I received a call on my cell.  It was Ethan's teacher.  The theatre had been trying to call but had been calling the wrong number.  Just enough seats had opened up to allow there to be enough seating for our students.  The teacher said she would have to see about a bus because she thought it was too late.  When she went to the principal, the principal was out in the parking lot talking to........none other than the bus driver that was supposed to take the kids (who also happens to be an elder at our church!).  One of the other buses had got stuck in the snow and so this bus driver had gone to pick them up and had just dropped them off. 

Everything was lined up!  Crazy!  Miraculous!  I was so excited for my son and his friends.  God's hand had been in everything that day and He answered the prayers of his faithful one's.  I was rather sore at myself for not standing with my son in his prayer.

Now I had 10 minutes to get to the other side of the county...well...I did it in 15 (maybe just a little speeding involved).  I hopped in the bus and everyone cheered.  We were on our way.  A quick stop at McDonald's and then into the play.  We all got into the building and settled.

As I watched the play it was hard for me not to cry.  I had read the book before but watching the play had new meaning.  As the Herdman children (a rascally, bullying, bad-mannered family) took over the church Christmas play they found the real meaning of Christmas, Jesus Christ.  I could not help but think this is just what God had done for Ethan's class that day.  They had found the true meaning of Christmas and the power of our Lord Jesus.  Thank you Lord.  This was definitly the best Christmas pagent ever!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Can I Pass Algebra?

Yes, I can.  Actually, I can ace it!  I have crossed several items off of my "101 Things to do" list, though, I have to say, I'm most proud of this one. 

I know what your thinking, "Okay Miss. Smartypants.  Quit bragging now!"  You need to understand something before making your judgement.  I worked HARD and PRAYED harder. 

In my mind math, especially in the form of algebra, is an atrocious, dreadful, monstrosity!  Yes, I know that it is needed at times but, hey, isn't that why they invented calculators?  The honest answer is that I am simply horrible at math.  Junior high and high school were a nightmare for me when it came to math.  I can not even begin to explain to you the sheer panic that rises up in me when a math equation is set before me and I don't have a clue were or how to tackle the problem. 

This difference between this math class and all the others that I have taken is that I gave it to God before I ever entered the first day of class.  When I did finally walk into class for the first time, panic just about paralyzed me.  It was even worse than in high school.  If you think about it, it had been 10 years since I had taken any kind of math.......and I was thinking about it! 

One of my favorite verses popped into mind.  2Timothy 1:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."  I suddenly went from math phobia to "I can conquer anything!" 

Anytime I felt that fear rising back up in me I would think on this verse and pray, "Lord help me.  You designed all this math anyway.  Will you put some of it in my head?" He did!  I found my self praying this multiple times a class in the beginning but as the days went on my math confidence grew.  I didn't neglect prayer, I just didn't feel panicked. 

Thank you Lord for being the master of everything!  Thank you for answering my petitions in such a way and for growing my faith in you.  You alone are God and there are NONE like you!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Home Grown Goodness

I LOVE to garden. When hubby and I first got married, we rented a small home with a smaller yard. There started my fixation on gardening. At that time, it was only flower gardening. I just wanted my home to look different from all the others.

A couple years later, we moved to a home with a little more than an acre. The landscaping was already very pretty with lots of flowers. My only job was to beautify more without ruining what was already there. I think I succeeded.

My favorite part has been learning the names of all the plants that grow around our yard. We are surrounded by wooded land and there are all kinds of wild things that grow next to our yard. I have learned uses for many of these things. For example, did you know you can make a salve out of jewel weed to put on poison ivy? It works extremely well! You can also take some of its flowers and rub it on mosquito bites and the itch leaves in seconds.

I have also tried vegetable gardening in the last couple of years. I can not explain to you the complete delightment that I get from growing something from a tiny seed, watering it, weeding around it, harvesting it, and then finally serving it with, or as, a meal and having my family relish it.

Have you ever tried fried pumpkin blossoms? It must be food of the angels. It tastes like a cross between a morel mushroom and a fried green tomato.

Do you like to garden?  What is your favorite home grown treat?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day Dream Believer

I did it! I finally finished my list of things I want to do. I was inspired to finish this list after watching the movie "The Bucket List." Tell me what you think and what you would put on your list.

Not in any particular order...

1. Read through bible in one year
2. Get a degree in Elementary Education
3. Learn to drive a stick shift
4. Get an A in algebra
5. Read every book that Liz Curtis Higgs has written
6. Walk in a marathon
7. Camp at Yellowstone National Park
8. Travel to a different continent
9. Learn Spanish
10. Skydive
11. Lead my "little sis" to Christ
12. Read the Word of God everyday for the rest of my life
13. Get 50 blog followers
14. Get to a healthy weight
15. Finish painting Olivia's room
16. Memorize 10 scriptures this year
17. Camp 3 times this summer
18. Buy JJ Hellers newest CD
19. Scrapbook 10 pages this year
20. Go on a mission trip
21. Finish every page of my Bible study
22. Go one week without any sweets
23. Do one art piece on canvas
24. Stand in two states at the same time
25. Eat at a formal resturant
26. Go on a cruise
27. Complete one nature journal
28. Try sushi
29. Have at least one family night every week until kids are grown.
30. Have date night with hubby at least once a month
31. Give an encouraging word to someone everyday
32. Learn 10 new words this year
33. Read 10 books this year
34. Play in the mud while it's raining
35. Make a birdhouse
36. Complete this list
37. Break 100 in AWANA
38. Sing a duet with my sister
39. Write the novel that is floating around in my head
40. Raise children who are after God's own heart
41. Clean my room and keep it that way for more than a week
42. Put a walking trail in our woods
43. One summer with NO sports for the kids
44. Get a full body massage
45. Pray for my children's spouses daily
46. Train my dog not to eat my flowers or shoes
47. Complete a fast without cheating
48. Attend a midnight Christmas mass at a beautiful cathedral 49. Visit Jeruselum
50. Get some teeth whitening strips
51. Learn to do a cartwheel
52. snorkel
53. figure out how to display the header I made on Powerpoint
54. Figure out strike through
55. Coordinate VBS 2010
56. start small group study
57. Take another vacation to Williamsburg
58. Be in a play at the Park Theatre
59. Learn to identify 50 kinds of trees
60. Build a shed/craft barn
61. Get all the laundry done
62. Pay off all credit cards
63. Make a quilt
64. Go to an opera
65. make a pottery piece on a pottery wheel
66. milk a cow
67. drink fresh cows milk
68. talk to someone in sign language
69. go snow skiing
70. go house boating with family
71. stand on an active volcano
72. sit on a jury
73. conquer my fear of math
74. worship with persecuted church
75. take dance lessons
76. work in a soup kitchen
77. learn to pan for gold
78. be able to make breakfast, lunch and dinner from things I've grown.
79. hike the Appalacian trial
80. take an art class
81. go canoeing
82. have lunch on an airplane
83. Leave a 100% tip
84. watch a broadway play in NY
85. Visit Ireland and Scotland
86. Sleep under the stars (not in a tent)
87. Attend the Olympics
88. Play paintball
89. Make maple syrup candy-Laura Ingle style
90. Get a passport
91. Drive a motorcycle
92. Go to the Kentucky Derby
93. make exercise a regular habit
94. Keep in touch with my closest friends, forever
95. Ice skate with my husband on Christmas Eve
96. Blow glass
97. Carve my name on a tree
98. Stand on the Great Wall of China
99. See the northern lights
100. Shower in a waterfall
101. Learn to juggle

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Big Choice

Hello bloggy friends!

My daughter has been asking me for awhile if she could write on my blog. She loves to write but at the age of 11 is not ready for her own blog. That said, friendly reader, please read below and if you would be so kind as to leave her a comment, then she would be a mighty happy little girl.

The Big Choice

Almost every body thinks life is so hard. But I am about ready to prove that wrong! Because if you trust in God things may not be so hard. That does not mean things won't be tough or that you won't have to work but things may be easier . You should trust in the Lord anyway though. I feel that if you don’t believe and trust in the Lord with all your heart and all your soul you will NOT go to heaven! That’s why I am on the mission to bring people to Christ. I think that everybody has a choice of where they go or where they do not go. I believe everybody has a choice.

Written by: Olivia Rice

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Letter to the World

This is a post that I published several months ago. I've decided to repost this after lots of questioning about sending my children back into public school. Enjoy!

Recently my husband and I made the decision to send our little ones back into public school. This was after 3 years of homeschooling. It was not an easy decision.

When our little girl went off to Kindergarten, it was exciting and melancholy. She was (and is) the sweetest thing. We watched her as she came home excited to be reading her little books and telling me all about counting pumpkin seeds. She also brought home something attitude! She was picking up mannerisms and phrases from her friends that went against the things we had taught her. We also noticed how she suddenly shied away from praying in public and later found out that a teacher had scolded her for praying aloud at the lunch table.

A year later our little boy was off to Kindergarden. He was also bringing home this attitude. Although he wasn't shying away from prayer, we found that he wasn't standing up to what he knew to be right. He was following what ever child he thought was most exciting.

The hubby and I prayed and prayed and worked and worked and prayed some more. We just couldn't seem to alter what they were picking up at school.

We discussed this with several family members and close friends. Most of them just said, "Well, that's just what happens. Nothin' you can do about it." One or two suggested homeschooling. Homeschooling? Seriously?!

After more prayer, that is exactly what we decided to do. There were other reasons also but this was by far the biggest. I wasn't raising my children! I can't even say their teachers were. It was their peers. Ummm, that doesn't work for me.

Not long after we made the decision, I went to a homeschool conference. So much information cramped into one tiny weekend. One thing stood out to me. There was a father who gave a talk about "Sending you letter to the Word." Your letter(s) being your child(ren). I don't remember all of what he said but I remember what the Lord said. It went something like this:

Kristi, your letters are not finished. You are allowing someone else to write on them. They are confused and jumbled and contradictory. You need to earse. Rewrite and revise. Be honest. They can understand more than you think. I will let you know when the letters are ready to be sent.

It went something like that.

I learned long ago that when the Lord speaks, follow! No questions, just go.

So for the last 3 years that is what we have done. It has been quite a trip. Within a couple of months of homeschooling and lots of prayer my children were being transformed. People were commenting on it. I'm not trying to paint a picture that my children were awful, because they were not. It was more like a return of their innocence.

Let me tell you, I (and hubby) have poured everything we have into those letters. I don't want to look back and see that I held anything back or that there was an area that I didn't give myself completely. Sure, we have made mistakes, but I always ask my Father to let them learn of Him inspite of my wretchedness. He does. He is faithful when I am not!

Then, in the middle of this school year (December) He told me it was time to put on the postage. This was much harder of a task than any other. "No way Lord!" I said. He gently reminded my that He loved them far greater than I or hubby could ever hope to and that He had great things planned for them. So we, however relectantly, sent our letters.

Let me just tell you, for anyone afraid of letting go of the letter, it is wonderful. God is doing amazing things. This is nothing like when we sent them off before. That was when the world told me it was time. This is God's timing.

Our son, in 3rd grade, now has half of his class coming to church every Wednesday and Sunday night. He is known throughout the school as the "little evangilist." Our daughter, now in 5th grade, has the sweetest tempermant and makes sure to include everyone. She also is bringing friends to church. They tell me about praying with friends. They tell me about how they have stood up to peer pressure. They tell me how they have messed up but then asked for forgiveness.

I thought of this this morning as I sent them off to school. These letters are not yet finished even though they have been sent. Our God is so mighty that He allows me to continue to write. So this is my prayer, "God, breathe the words you want written onto us. We can't write this letter, but you can. Give us the words, guide our quill, just as you did those who wrote the love letter that you sent to me."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Gone but not Forgotten

I just wanted to take a moment and let my bloggy friends know that I have not forgotten them. The start of this summer vacation has been tremendously busy. I will be writing about some of my adventures in the near future so please stay tuned!