Friday, January 29, 2010

Grad School?

My Facebook status currently says: Matt and I may or may not have applied for grad school last night. Got some interesting responses already:Well, we did. Not sure if we're ready to spill all the beans because let's be honest: Matt and I can be pretty fickle people, and we tend to jump into things pretty quickly.

Where did this come from?
1) Matt loved teaching in Thailand and really thinks it might be what he would like to do as a career, as scary as it sounds to commit to a whole career.
2) If he does decide to teach, he needs to get certified.
3) He would want to teach overseas again.
4) If he is a teacher overseas, I would like to go with him.
5) It's easier for him to get a teaching job overseas at a school which will hire me too if I also have a teaching degree.
6) Though teaching in Thailand definitely had it's wonderful moments, it mostly drained me and I thought I didn't want to be a teacher anymore, even that's what I thought I would want to be from middle school forward (besides a wife+mom!)... BUT we think if I have training and more prep time, I will probably feel more competent and enjoy it more.
7) We have to do something we love and that makes a difference for eternity.
8) Recently, I got a letter from one of my fourth graders that made me cry and I had one of those "ah-ha moments" when I realized that though it wasn't always easy, it was a place I saw God working.
9) Aimee was a teacher, and in her shortened life, there were sooooo many lives God used her in as their teacher, who have come to know Him as a result. Pretty inspiring!
10) The application was free, and we'll only be charged if we actually enroll. ;)

What may be the result?
-Masters of Teaching, with concentrations either in Elementary Ed, English Ed, or Special Ed.
-Majority of coursework done online but 3 classes on campus.
-Nationally (and Internationally) recognized teaching certification for the both of us!

Now what?
1) Finish the applications. (Transcripts to be exact)
2) Get financial aid, LOTS of it.
3) Get started. It's only 12 classes, but they all have to be completed within 5 years.

What do you think? Really.

And, it probably goes without saying, but we'd really love your prayers for this next (possible) step and for financial aid to work out because we are not sure if we will follow through if we have to take out student loans.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Matt's Friend Aimee

We found out last night that one of Matt's college friends was killed in a car accident. It's really hit me as I think about how sudden it was and how no one was expecting it. It's making me think about how fragile life is. And how I want to make a difference in whatever time I have. Like Aimee did.
Read this article about her death--and life.

This video talks about how prayers were not answered for her healing. We will never understand why not, but knowing Aimee, I know she's with Jesus. And she's much happier there than here.

And this video shows the car and tells more about her. I cannot imagine how her students and friends and family must be feeling. Please be in prayer for them.

On her Facebook page, this is what's written in her profile box: One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.

When we were in Thailand, her class and mine were penpals. I looked forward to her letters as much as my kids did to the letters from her kids. She was so genuine, and her love for Christ and trust in Him radiated in everything she wrote, even when sharing things she was struggling with.

I feel confident that she didn't know when getting ready that morning, she would be in the arms of her Savior within hours. This is so stunning yet peaceful at the same time.

Join us in praying for her family and friends in the sadness and grief of missing her as well as the joy and celebration that she's with her Beloved Creator.

Monday, January 18, 2010

24

Facebook is full of references to 24 tonight. I love 24! But I prefer to watch the whole season at a time. In fact, I've never watched a season as it happened. I always wait for it to come out on dvd so I can just splurge and watch it in one swoop. For example, I just got Season 7 for Chritmas, and we've watched a few hours at a time in a few sittings. The next time Matt and I get to hang out (maybe Friday morning or Sunday night), we will finish the last 4 hours.

The first time I ever watched it was when I lived in Uz, during Chritmas break. I think I watched 2 seasons within a week. Easy to do. I could have easily watched more, but we only had the 1st two seasons over there.

Because I started out watching it this way, I never thought I would be able to wait a whole week in between episodes. It seems like it would be too hard. For this season, though, I've actually been considering watching the season as it happens. But then I change my mind.

What does it say about my personality that I have to watch it all at once? I can't wait a week in between episodes like most of the world? Maybe I could, but I've just never done it that way, so I don't even want to try.

So, for the whole Season 8, I have to ignore all the references about 24 on Facebook and everywhere else. It won't be easy.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Thoughts on Prayer...

I was driving home from work Friday night after a loooong week working a lot of overtime. And it was just one of those days. Too many people complaining. Just about every single call asking for credits to the account. And after taking something like 70 calls, I had reached my limit and started taking everything personally.

It doesn't matter how nice you are. Sometimes people are just mean. And they think if they are meaner, they will get something for it. Ugh. I can be sooooo nice for the first few of the jerks, but after that, it just doesn't seem worth it anymore. I'm over it.

I was complaining to the Lord about this on my way home when it hit me that I was acting towards God in the same way that I was mad at customers treating me: complaining, whining, and asking for a break. Asking for something that I don't necessarily deserve.

Then, I realized that my pathetic 70 calls that day were absolutely nothing compared to what God hears everyday. Yet He is not as fazed as I am. The few people who might approach God with the praise, adoration, confession, thanksgiving and surrender are probably rare compared to those like me who don't make time for that kind of prayer. He's amazing.

I've been limited to 'flash prayers' of "Lord, seriously, give me some patience here... Lord, give me some direction here... Father, help me with these thoughts... God, forgive me..."

Good perspective for me on so many levels. I was challenged to actually make time to spend some real time with the Lord again instead of just throwing up requests or even complaints. He's worthy of more than my pathetic pleas for help and favor.

Maybe spending more time with Him will enable me to have more grace towards the evil, mean customers as well. Hopefully.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Empty

By 11 im the only one on an entire side of the building but I love it!
Nice time to wind down from the day.

My Cubicle.

Where i spend too much time lately.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2009 wordle... as promised

Can you think of anything I missed?

I created this here.

2010

Just looked back on last year's New Year's post and thought it seemed like just yesterday. This year (as in 2009) FLEW by! Matt said the same thing.

2009 was quite an exciting year with the first few months in Thailand. We were finally getting the hang of life there when it was time to go. Transitioning back home was weird, and the last part of the year has just been hectic. I can't think of a theme for 2009, so I'm thinking I'll do a wordle, which are the word pictures I like to keep track of things.

2010 looks to be the first year since 2000 that I will not move, at all. That's only because we're in a lease until next January (not that that's stopped us before), but this time, we will not be breaking a lease early. Maybe I'll even stay with the same job(s). At least one of them.

I don't do resolutions. I gave up on them a long time ago, which is probably because I was never good at keeping them. I subscribe more to Valerie's philosophy of everyday is a fresh start, so if I ever feel super compelled or convicted to change something, it can happen anytime. I definitely have some goals running through my head though. (haha, that's probably the same thing!) Maybe I will take the time to put them in my journal so I can at least look back on them. (One of my goals, by the way, is to find my journal, which I haven't seen since around August.) Sad.

One of the things I'm really hoping will happen is a missions trip to be part of Mercy Ships and get a taste of Ginger's life there. She was able to visit us this past weekend but will soon be heading back to meet up with the Africa Mercy for a 2-year commitment with that ministry. I'm so excited for her and ask you to pray for her financial support and upcoming travels! You should follow her blog too. Hopefully she'll get to update it more.

Another one of my nonexistent resolutions is to be in better touch with loved ones. One of those ways will be through this blog. Even though life isn't as adventurous as when we lived in Thailand, writing is definitely an outlet for me that keeps me sane. (Hopefully it's not mundane or boring to you all though! :) )

Here's to 2010 being a joyful year!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas

It probably goes without saying, but we were overjoyed at being home for Christmas this year-and not working. (I was actually scheduled to work from 8:30-5:30, but someone actually switched days with me so they could get the double-time-and-a-half!)

The Christmas celebrations started with Christmas Eve service with the Tyndall girls at FBC Mt Pleasant. After that, we had dinner together that Mom cooked, some interesting conversation, then did presents. The Tyndall gals decided a few years ago to draw names and get one person one 'big' present and everyone else something little. It's not as stressful and means that gifts are very special, and we don't have to worry about going broke to do it this way. We had a great time opening presents and enjoying each other's company for the rest of the evening. On our way back to our house, Matt had a goofy smile. When I asked him what it was about, he said that Christmas at my mom's was a good 'Christmas appetizer'. It makes sense in the light of a Flagler Christmas...
We stayed at our house that night after frantically wrapping the last presents and getting food stuff together the following day. I think we finally went to bed around 1:30 am. And Matt woke up around 3:30 excited to see what Santa brought and excited about his presents (yes, ladies and gentlemen, more excited than some 5-year-olds). He didn't wake me up until 4:30, thankfully. We got up, got showered and dressed and went to Stephani's house to wake up Lauryn and Steven for Santa stuff, around 6am. We checked out our stockings and speculated over the other gifts under the tree until Mark and Steph woke up around 7:30... did more Santa stuff and waited for the big family festivities to begin.



Around 8:30, the count of people has grown from 6 to 14. We do breakfast, and everyone stakes a claim to a spot in the living room. Some elves pass out presents, which in itself takes about 30 minutes. This year, there was a little drama with our 10-year-old cousin, Noah's presents all being at another location. So, while everyone else's pile of presents was growing to 15-25, he had 3. He cried. Steph, Mark, and Scott frantically tried to wrap some other presents for him, but he was so traumatized, that he decided to just have his dad take him home. Poor kid. We were sad, and it took a few minutes to recover from that. We all felt really bad for him.

After that wore off, Dad couldn't stand it any longer and opened his 1st present. Then Gail. Then Steven. Then Matt. Then me. Then Gary. Then Matt E. Then Lauryn. Then Grandma. Then Grandpa. Then Mark. Then Steph. Everyone goes one at a time so we can all enjoy watching the other person opening their gift. I love it that way. But it takes hours. Really, people go back for 2nds and 3rds of breakfast. Present opening wasn't over this year until around 2pm. (That's 5 hours, people!)

Then, we all scrambled to finish Christmas dinner and met over at Grandma's where Aunt Pat joined us for the traditional Christmas dinner and more presents for wheover wasn't at Mark & Steph's (and whatever presents might have been left at Grandma's).
By this time, the limited sleep, early morning and turkey coma set in, so Matt and I go home to take long naps. And attempt to find a place for the new things in our house. Attempt.
Mom and the girls arrive back from Spartanburg around 9:30 pm, and we are over at Mom's house when they get home. We do the Santa stuff at Mom's house. Stockings and one more gift from Santa. And we hear about all the drama from their trip to Spartanburg. (Christmas dessert, as Matt will always now refer to it.)

At 11:30, we drive back home, tired. Gearing up to be at work early the next morning. So, so thankful that we experienced Christmas 2009 to its fullest!

Friday, January 1, 2010

My sister's so smart...

Valerie just sent me a text that said, "Thankfully, I don't have to look so forward to a new year because I get a fresh start every day!"

It reminded me of Lamentations 3:22-23.

Amen.