Sunday, November 25, 2012

finally...a little tour of my house

I found out that taking pictures of one's house isn't as easy as I once believed. I have a greater appreciation for the skills of my dear photographer-friends and hope that since they will undoubtedly be disappointed in these photographs, that they will come and retake them for me. :-)

With that said, welcome to the dear little row house that I share with my sweet roommate and coteacher, Darla. (I don't know why this picture insists on uploading sideways.)
We live on the corner at a four-way intersection. Here is a view from the front porch.

Here is a wreath I decorated the other day for the front door. Sorry the picture is sideways again. :-(

 I had bought a grapevine wreath and found this idea on pinterest. The paper doily flowers are lovely and SO  easy to make. Here is one made with tea-stained doilies:

I am not at all good at taking pictures of rooms, so it's mostly going to be pictures of nooks and corners. Here's one:

 And an awful picture of a pretty decoration: (Yes, I am getting ready for Christmas! What better time than Thanksgiving vacation?)

 I L.O.V.E. real greenery, pinecones, and red berries (most of my red berries are fake this year, though). And Christmas lights!! There are lights intertwined with the greenery. The print in the center you cannot see well at all, but it is a beautiful free printable from Dayspring.

Another corner of the living room: (The stairway is behind this wall.)

 The  wallhanging I just finished tonight. I spray-painted an ugly picture frame, printed a free bird picture I found online and printed a verse.

(I am not pleased with these sideways photos.)

Here's a view of the dining room:

And the other wall:

I like the old cupboard in the corner. It looks like a wardrobe you could walk through. :-)

Featuring my sister's lovely handwriting!

The kitchen is going to have to wait. It is small and cute, but not so cute with dishes all over the counter and I was a bit out of patience with the picture taking thing. Except, here is the top of the microwave. The coffee plaque is to go on the wall eventually. I was so excited to find this at the mall the other day! (I found it at a store named Kirkland's. They have some cute and inexpensive decor.)

And this one, especially for Shaunda: (Shari posted about your idea, which is how I got it.)

This spice drawer is really helping to preserve my sanity! It used to not be fun to cook with spices, stacked on top of each other and falling all over the place. Now I actually enjoy making recipes that call for a lot of spices.

That's all for now. :-)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jesus on the street

I walked right past her.

She sat huddled on the steps in the pouring rain. Her hair was matted to her head and dripping with rain. She had no coat.

I walked past at my usual hurried pace, in my cozy sweater and shielding off the rain with my flowered umbrella.

She lifted her head a bit as I passed by and it wasn't till I was past that her sad face and dripping hair registered in my mind. I wondered if I should go back but thought I'd better get to school and besides, wouldn't it be a bit strange to turn around and go back? I told myself she probably wanted to be sitting there. With her head down in the pouring rain, even as I shivered in my sweater.

So I kept walking and now I shiver to think of it. How I passed by, inches from her folorn figure. I hurried to school like a righteous Christian lady and failed to be like Christ.

And now I want to go back, offer her my umbrella, and ask if she'd like a hot drink. I want to ask her if I can pray with her and tell her she is precious.

Jesus, help me. The next time You are waiting for me along the street, I don't want to walk right past You.

Monday, October 29, 2012

the gift of today

I want to learn to live slow.

Time is a gift, these moments are gift and I want to unwrap, engage, enter in to what God has for me here…now. These moments I am given to invest in a child are precious, and I am in awe that God would entrust me with them. How long the opportunity will last…I don’t know.  All I am really promised is this day.

Ann Voskamp says, “I only live the full life when I live fully in the moment.” It is true. When I open my heart to deep love and simultaneously to tearing pain, I am receiving the gift that God is

I write lists and give thanks and I treasure these moments…

Darling Chinese girlie, born in China and somehow I am blessed to be her teacher!!...feeding her doll like the perfect little mother

Sweet girl with bouncing blonde curls and shining eyes, handing me a letter covered in stickers and glue

Tall, brown-eyed boy filled with possibilities and unusual depth for a four-year-old, intent on creating this perfectly symmetrical structure with wooden blocks

Spontaneous “Miss Rosanne? I love you” from a precious child who might soon be forced to walk out of my life, leaving footprints that feel like gaping holes

His sweet mealtime prayer, “Thank You that You love us. Thank You for the sunshine. Thank You for this food. Thank You that You love us!"

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I have been so busy.

That is my excuse for not updating.

I am still busy, but I wanted to share a few pictures of my classroom....sorry they are not the best quality photos as I am still figuring out the school camera.

This is one of my favorite things in my classroom...a felt board which my sister made most of the pieces for. I made a few. Credit for the inspiration goes to The Busy Budgeting Mama.

Here's the top of an all-purpose activity/game/paper shelf with my cute memo board waiting for photos....
I have the luxury of having two rooms, one is more of a "classroom" (the green room pictured below) and one is more of a "playroom."

I must run home and clean my house, as I am going home this weekend and won't have another chance...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Looking for God

I’ve walked these seven blocks about fifteen times by now…Six tenths of a mile walking past the beautiful and the ugly and fifteen times aren’t enough to take it all in.

I’m purposing to walk this street looking for  God.

There is the ugly and the sin-stained along this street. Some days this is mostly what I see, all that is twisted and broken and I feel like screaming. There are too many taverns; there are filthy words and littered sidewalks and overgrown weeds. In some of the windows there are signs of darkness that make me shiver.

Then there is the beautiful. There are tall oak trees with the first leaves landing softly on the ground and marigolds and roses still blooming.  There are benches to rest and children in strollers and the library with its majestic white pillars. The air is pleasantly warm and the sky is blue.There are beautiful people of every age and many races.

Some days I am walking down the street and I feel like looking only at the trees and flowers blocking out the people all around me. How can I forget in the first week why I moved here?
Mike Mason says it well:

“If man really is fashioned, more than anything else, in the image of God, then clearly it follows that there is nothing on earth so near to God as a human being. The conclusion is inescapable, that to be in the presence of even the meanest, lowest, most repulsive specimen of humanity of the world is still to be closer to God than when looking up into a starry sky or at a beautiful sunset.”

So really there is more beauty than ugliness along this street, right??

I need to be reminded again and again, that there is something beautiful in every person…because every person was created in God’s image.  I want to see people for who they were to created to be, the way that Jesus does. I want to offer them the gift of grace that Jesus and so many of my friends offer so freely to me.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Last week's VBS: a story of Hope

The little girl with chocolate eyes and bouncing black curls, the one who listened raptly to Jesus stories every evening last week and remembered details I barely remembered telling...she showed me hope up close.

I was telling the story of Zacchaeus. How he stole money and the money didn't make him happy because he didn't know Jesus. 

"Was Zacchaeus a kind man?" I asked.

"No!" A dozen four-and-five year-olds shook their heads vigorously. 

And this little girl, the one I'll call "Hope"- her little voice piped up and caught me off guard, "My dad stoled money! He went to jail."

I fumbled for words, breathed a quick prayer. "That's sad," I said, slowly. "It makes Jesus sad when we do things like that, but He still loves us. He always forgives us when we tell Him we are sorry. Jesus loves your dad."

I continued with the story, telling how Jesus called Zacchaeus by name and how Jesus knows our names, too. "Jesus knows all about you," I told them. "Even though you can't see Him, He is with you all the time. He watches you and keeps you safe." 

Hope's chocolate eyes lit up this time, and she nodded. Her voice piped up again, clear and confident.

"Jesus did watch me," she said. "My mom and my dad were gone and Jesus watched me."

And right after that, she proceeds to tell me how her mommy and daddy yell at each other. Several other little ones identify with her story, "Our moms and dads fight too." My heart breaks and I find myself at loss for words but because of Hope's trusting words, I find myself standing in awe of a God who is BIGGER.

Sometimes the children are more confident in their receiving than I am in my telling. 

She puts my small faith to shame. I remember what Hope told my sister several evenings earlier, "Sometimes I see Jesus in my dreams." She calls me to a bigger view of God, a deeper hope of God's redemption in this town of broken homes and shattered dreams. Jesus is reaching inside the homes that are ravaged by sin. He hears the cries of His children.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

fingerprints on my heart

I said goodbye to him tonight, a toddler with golden curls and clear blue eyes who wrapped himself around my heart these past ten months.

I've watched him grow from lisping baby to little-boyhood, too many changes for me to count in this year of growing, growing, growing. We watched in wonder as he prayed all by himself before lunch last week: “Dear Jesus, thank You for this day. Help us to be kind to our friends. Amen.”

He turns two next week and almost his whole life is waiting. I hug him tight, one last time, knowing I might never see him again. I watch him walk out the door with his dad and another piece of my heart goes, too.

I slowly finger the good-bye card his mom helped him to make, and the ache in my heart swells and threatens to choke. “Thank You, Jesus, for this precious intersection of time in our two lives. What a blessing his little life has been in mine. Jesus, he is so young, so innocent, and still so much of what You created him to be. I have absolutely no control over his future: the friends he will make, the risks he will take, or the paths he will choose. What is fed in school to his brilliant young mind. Most importantly, the picture he will be given of You. Jesus, please protect him. Please let him grow to be who You created him to be.”