"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Monday, August 22, 2011

South Dallas Swag, My first day, and Why teaching keeps me young

I'm going to just say this year is going to be interesting.

Student- Ms. D do you know how to do the South Dallas Swag

Me- Uh no.  I'm not sure what it is.

Student- It looks like this.  (Envision 7 yr old version of this vid)

Me- Oh no, I definitely can't do that.

Student- Well you're white so that's probably why.

Me (laughing)- What if my great great great grandfather was black?  (true fact,  based on a picture)

Student- No that won't help you.

Me- aww man!

Seriously.  Teaching rocks.  Just saying.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Faith Like a Sequoia Tree

Today I was thinking about how we spread these seeds of the gospel around us as we live and speak.  So very often we don't really see much happening.  If it's someone who God has really laid upon your heart, this can be pretty disheartening at times.  And so as I was thinking about this on my drive to Target surrounded by fields and fields of dead prairie grass, I thought about burning.

Since I've been teaching 2nd grade in Denton, I have had the privilege of teaching about the prairie.  Did you know that the prairie grass is adapted to burn?  As in, it's in the grasses best interest to burn.  A lot of the seeds in prairie plants require being through or near a fire in order to fully germinate and begin growing.  The same is true of many plants in California, including the giant sequoias.

Isn't God amazing?  I love how every single thing in nature has been finely tuned to its environment by His hand.  Romans 1 talks about how nature speaks to who God is.  For the longest time, I just passed this off as nature just simply pointing out that God is there and people need to recognize him.  Now, I think it's so much more than that.  Nature is a constant analogy to salvation and the Christian life in countless ways.

Specifically, today, I was struck by the truth of how sometimes salvation is like a sequoia tree.  As Christians, we may have planted a seed in someone.  We may be watering and watering and watering and getting no where.  But that doesn't mean the seed will never sprout.  Sometimes the seed just needs to go through a fire in order to finally sprout.

My pastor mentioned not too long ago that if you have shared the gospel over and over with someone who isn't responding to just take a breath, be their friend, and love on them.  Because one of these days, the fire is going to come through their life.  Be ready then, because that might be just what that seed needed.  And the most beautiful part is that through something that seems destructive, one of the mightiest trees is born.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Everything Glorious

A year ago in May I sat across from the lawyer I'd just met, my own Harriet Tubman who would lead me to freedom.  Those early months of separation and divorce between April 2010 to January 2011 are really all a blur, including my first meeting with my lawyer.  I don't remember many details of that meeting but one that always sticks out to me is my mom looking at him with tears in her eyes and saying she just wanted her daughter back.  That was the first time I ever acknowledged the ghost of the person I had become, a mere shadow of the person I once was.

My divorce was final in August of last year, and as I start a new school year, I find myself reflecting on where I was last year and where I am now.  A year ago I was in the darkest place I've ever been.  I was completely broken and terrified and consumed with the lies I'd been told of my own worthlessness.  I would be lying if I didn't admit that there were days I wanted to just give up, that I doubted my strength to keep going.

Despite those dark days, I can look back and see Christ resurrecting me through each of those moments. In so many ways, he brought me back from the dead.  There is a song that has spoke so much to me during this period called Everything Glorious by David Crowder.  (click the title to listen to it)  I have repeated "You make everything glorious and I am yours" to myself more times than I can count.  So many times I had to choose to believe that was true.  A year later, I can look at myself now and myself then and say without a doubt He does makes everything glorious.  I am so thankful I am His.

There are no words to describe what it's like to live again.  To not be afraid all the time.  To be willing to allow yourself simple pleasures without worry.  To smile and laugh with your whole self.  To live in the moment. To be happy with life and yourself.  To feel good enough.  To be satisfied with who you are in Christ.  I am so thankful I can look back and see so clearly how God took the situation I was in, brought me through it, AND made everything glorious.

Praise God "who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles." Psalm 103: 4-5

Monday, August 15, 2011

Some current photos

Momma loves Jude Pie.

Jude's 'first kiss'

First rain in MONTHS

He really wasn't that impressed.

Young Jude, young grasshopper  ( you can kind of see it on the fence)