Friday, December 11, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Ten years ago I was a sophomore at Texas A&M, the place that God used to change my life for His glory, the place so full of believers on fire for the Lord (more my age than I had ever known in my life growing up in the Church), the place I met my very best friends in the whole wide world, the place full of traditions and a spirit can ne'er be told...the Holy Spirit, truly.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Since August I have been driving to Bedford about once a month for my Children’s and Young Adult Literature class. At first this class completely overwhelmed me (at times it still does) because I somehow became appointed the graduate assistant for the class. What that means in a nutshell is I do twice the work for the same amount of credit. Do I sound like an underachiever? Well… I am… I don’t mean to be, but I am. The hardest part of this class has been trying to decipher the expectations that have been placed on me. I have been told, “You may do this (and this and this…) for extra credit, but I don’t want extra credit! I just want to get an A by doing well on the requirements for the class. I don’t have time to do a ton of extra credit and also do my real job well.
However, in spite of my semester spent trying to find the balance between doing “what is expected” and not seeming like I am doing the bare minimum, I have found inspiration through this class. My peers (whom I must grade, I might add) consistently inspire me. This is so awkward because I want to grade fairly, but I am grading many type-A personalities who, I fear, will want to squander over every lost point. I am a people pleaser, so I don’t want to make anyone upset, but I also must please the instructor by the way that I grade the assignments. I spent 10 full hours grading their first discussion board, which means that I haven’t done any “extra” credit because I also must grade my own real students. Oh… the dilemma!
Back to my inspiration, and the purpose I began writing tonight…this class is stretching me and challenging me in so many ways, but in the end I believe I will be a better teacher because of it. As I sit through class each time we meet, I get excited to change the world. I receive so many great ideas and recommendations for children’s and young adult literature that I must read. Oh how I want to read each of these books, but at this moment I wonder when would I have the time? Please know that I am not trying to complain. Instead, I am attempting to verbalize feelings of inadequacy, as well as desires to become an even better teacher. So…what do I want to be when I grow up? I want to conquer the impossible goal of becoming an amazing teacher. I care about my students and I work hard to make a difference in their lives, but so often teaching feels like the impossible career… especially on days when parents are critical and then I read another book about all the things I could be doing to be even better at this ridiculously difficult career and calling.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
The obvious answers... my Bible ... my husband
3. Beach, Mountains, or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice?
not the beach... probably a farm...
dusting the blinds!
I used to hear Punky Brewster when I was little...recently though when I see pictures of myself I see my mom
6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying home with the fam?
probably A Walk in the Clouds or You've Got Mail
I hate to admit it... but I sleep in my make-up most of the time... always have... I know it is terrible... please don't judge me :)
9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you've never had a chance to learn? What is it?
I used to sew with my mom, but I would like to take this up again... maybe take some sewing classes to refresh my memory...
gaging...people love to make me do this... I hate it!
We talked on the phone before we ever met on a blind date... we got a long really well and he made me laugh... now we just say we're two peas in a pod
Hugo Red Perfume (but I am all out... Hint hint Darrell Jon! :)
I have been called "too nice" a time or two, but I say there is no such thing! :)
Lately I have developed a snort... have no idea why
Before I moved to Abilene it was Banana Republic and Ann Taylor Loft, but in Abilene since there aren't many clothing places, my favorite places to shop are the cute little antique shops around town
17. What's one thing you'd do more often if you had more time?
continue fixing up our house... next on the to-do list:
uh... neither... but lately we are struggling to eat out less
Movie - Meg Ryan in "You've Got Mail"
20. Would you want to be famous?
What are some or all of your answers?
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I was eating lunch in another teacher's classroom today when my principal walked in and asked, "Andrea, how long are you going to be here?" I said, "In my life?" thinking he meant how many more years...Stupid response I know, that was just my first thought. I almost started explaining all the different possibilities until he laughed and said, "No, I mean today. How much longer are you going to be in this room right now?" "OH!!! About 10 minutes!" "Ok, don't go anywhere!"
Friday, September 11, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
I'm doing the best I can, but man I feel like a chicken with my head cut off sometimes. Today I worked on a grant that I had been writing for school. Last year I had a student in my classroom who is visually impaired. Since he was unable to see the overhead projector or board I had to find a different way to meet his needs and everyone else in the class. I found something called a CPS Chalkboard. It is an interactive board that allows me to stand anywhere in the room and write on a small wireless board that I carry. My visually impaired student had his own personal computer at his desk. The monitor was placed close enough so that he could see everything on the screen. The rest of the class could see everything projected on the large screen. This technology traveled on with this student to his next classroom, so now I am writing a grant so that I can have a CPS Chalkboard in my classroom all the time.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
"This is a speech that a 12 year old girl gave about abortion. She is wise beyond her years."
Another good friend, who works for a Christian Pregnancy Clinic, had this response and it was so insightful I thought I should share it:
oh boy! I just have to respond b/c I'm engulfed with this issue day in and day out. A newer conviction I've come to realize is that speeches like this are ineffective, or fruitless. This is a flaw in the pro-life movement. To say that abortion is wrong and it takes away the rights of the unborn is stating the obvious (although of course 100% true.) I don't feel like our role as Christians needs to be the one who continues to state this to people; instead, I strongly feel like the role of Christians is to start providing solutions for women facing unplanned pregnancies. Majority of women who choose abortion feel as though she has no other choice. What if we started telling her that she did have another choice? This girl's argument to simply make abortion illegal isn't a solution to this problem. Research shows (from Planned Parenthood) that the top 2 reason women choose abortion are lack of practical resources and lack of emotional support. Until we (Christians specifically) can start providing those 2 specific needs for women facing unplanned pregnancies, abortion will always be a viable option for women. From our research at Caris, in addition to not having practical resources and emotional support, when a women finds out she is unexpectedly pregnant, it is equivalent to telling her she has been diagnosed with a terminal cancer. Trying to convince her that her baby has rights and should therefore live is like speaking another language to her that she cannot understand in the deep state of shock that she is in. However, through in-depth counseling and on-going care, she can come to see that with the support of others who are willing to stand by her, she canindeed choose parenting or adoption. How empowering for her! The other thing that really bugs me about speeches like this is that her argument makes the women, the mother, the enemy in the situation. Like I said, most women don't want to have an abortion, but they feel as though they have no other choice. The women convinces herself that ending the life of her baby is a better option than trying to parent or adopt. She's not thinking logically b/c of the state of shock she is in. She, above everyone else, wants to protect the innocent baby. All this to say, if we want to see the tide of abortion change in our country, there are very practical things we should be doing. My suggestion of the top three are:1) support your local pregnancy clinic! However, ensure that the organization is providing professional, Christian counseling and that women are being treated with dignity and respect at all times (no scare tactics, manipulation, etc.)2) support legislation that enforces counseling before an abortion can be performed. A woman can go to PP right now and not get any counseling before making a life-changing, irreversible decision. That is absurd. Also, I think it would be extremely effective if there was a mandatory waiting time after she finds out she's pregnant and before she makes her decision. 3) Educate Christians to start providing solutions (like 1 & 2). The abortion issue is solvable. Churches should be working with local pregnancies clinics, mentoring these young moms, and building bridges between the pregnant women and the church. And Christians need to be encouraged to start being pro-active rather than just speaking out, protesting, etc... If you're still reading, thanks :) I just can't watch something like that and not share with you what I know about this issue. I swim in these waters ever day! God has not only stirred up a passion in me to help women facing unplanned pregnancies, it's more like a roaring tidal wave! I have talked to countless women who have been in this situation, and trust me, she is not the enemy. She just needs to be empowered and deeply cared for. I seriously could go on, but I won't :) Don't feel like you have to respond! Just my thoughts here...
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Well here is a synopsis of some fun times:
My grandmother turned 80 on Monday, so I went to San Antonio for the birthday party. I stayed with my Dad and step-mom while in SA, so as we drove to the party, 2 funny things happened:1. I had put lotion on my hands before we left the house, so as I drove to the party, I looked down and I was missing my diamond ring! I had my wedding band, but not the engagement ring. Of course, I panicked a little. When we stopped, I got out to look on the floor board of the car, just in case it had fallen off my lotion-y hands. As I bent, I put my right hand on the console and I hear from the back seat, "Is that your ring?" I look down at my right hand to find that my ring was on my right hand, on the same finger as my Aggie ring! OH! How embarrassing! My dad spent the rest of the evening laughing hysterically about how I was getting senile.
2. The other thing that happened as we drove was that I asked my family if they thought we had dressed up enough for the birthday party. (I could tell from the invitation that it was going to be a dressy event.) My Dad's response is, "I think it's only going to be immediate family." My response to that was, "Dad, if it is immediate family, then you would not be invited." (This party is for my mom's mom, and my parents have been divorced since I was about 10.)
So we drive up to my grandmother's house and literally blocks before we get there are cars lining the street! We walk into my grandmother's house to find that this was definitely a black tie affair and there are OVER 200 people mingling inside! What a surprise! There were men with trays of food walking around... there was someone at the door to take our coats... etc. The party had a Dairy Queen theme. This may sound strange, but it was actually really neat. My grandparents had been in the Dairy Queen business for many years, so my aunt went with this theme. There were vintage Dairy Queen Posters hanging around the house... the cake was literally a 2 feet long (at least) banana split. 2 ginormous bananas lined either side of the cake, with three huge scoops of "ice cream" in the center, and on the side was the DQ logo. It was really neat. There was even a vintage ice cream machine that made teeny tiny soft serve ice cream cones. The cones were about 2 inches tall. It was really cute.
However, the best part of the whole party was hearing everyone's kind words about my grandmother. She is literally the matriarch of our family and everyone had really nice things to say to me about her. It inspired me to desire to impact peoples' lives in the same way that my grandmother has impacted lives.
So after the party, I headed back to Abilene because I had to work the next day. My sweet husband talked me through most of the drive and was waiting anxiously for my safe return home.
Thursday brought another trip... DJ had a conference he needed to attend in Houston, so we took the scenic route through Dallas. It is not that our geography skills are bad; we wanted to see a new baby. Rusty is DJ's best friend from growing up, so we had to make a quick stop in Dallas (actually Little Elm) to see them and watch the National Championship game. Then we stayed with some other good friends, Lisa and Andrew (who are also expecting a child in the next few weeks.)
Friday morning we headed towards Houston, with a stop in one of our favorite places, College Station! The best part of Friday was going with DJ to get his TEXAS A&M STUDENT ID!!! This has been a dream of his since he was a kid and he is finally getting to realize this dream. He begins his doctorate in curriculum and instruction next week! (It is all online, so we are not moving.)
Later that day, we headed to Houston. Saturday morning DJ headed to his recruiting conference at Cinco Ranch High School in Katy and I headed to Richmond, just outside Sugarland. My best friend from first grade through high school is Meredyth and her parents moved to Houston after we graduated from high school. Around that same time, her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, which she has battled for the past 10+ years. I spent Saturday morning with her mom, Kristi and we had a great 2 hour conversation. Meredyth had told me that they were not sure if she would make it to Christmas, so when she did and I found out we would be in the area, I had to stop and see her. She is down to about 80 pounds and spends most of her day in a wheel chair, but she was still the same great Kristi. We had such wonderful conversations and I was so blessed to see her one last time. I was able to share with her how special it was to me that she and her family had traveled from Houston for my mom's memorial service last year. She said, "of course, we would be there!" but it meant the world to me considering her health and how that makes traveling much more difficult for her.
On Saturday night, we went with some friends to see a play by the A.D. Players. This is a Christian Theatrical company in Houston. The play was called The Apostle, and was really amazing. One man did a monologue of Romans 1-10. It really brought the book to life and provided a nice synopsis of these chapters. It was amazing to see this man recite all of this from memory.
Finally, Sunday was also a FABULOUS day that left me smiling from ear to ear as we drove home. While I was in school at A&M, I was deeply involved with a ministry called Breakaway. Breakaway is a college Bible Study that meets in the Basketball arena on the A&M campus. It has now grown to about 5,000 students each Tuesday evening. While I was there, I served as a volunteer and team leader. I was the leader of the Compass Team which purpose was to help students get plugged in. Breakaway made a huge point of letting students know that it was NOT a church and that students needed to be involved in the local church. My team provided lots of information to students to help them get plugged in at church. In addition, we also helped students connect with missions opportunities, as well as Christian organizations on campus. Breakaway was a HUGE part of how the Lord drew me back into relationship with him. I had never been surrounded by so many believers that were my age and on fire for the Lord. For me, my time in College Station was a sweet, sweet time.
...ok, so I told you that because on Sunday I was able to go to church and see some people from my college years and it was so good to see them.
Gregg Matte was one of the founders of Breakaway. In fact, Breakaway began years before when he was a college student in his apartment. It started out with about 10 students and just continued to grow and grow so that now they have to meet in the Basketball arena so that everyone fits! In the past few years, God called Gregg to pastor a church in Houston, Houston's First Baptist. This is also the church where Beth Moore teaches women's Sunday school and weekly Bible studies.
It was a lot of fun getting to see Gregg and introduce him to my DJ as my husband, for the first time. I also got to see my sweet friend Jalen, Deanna, and Jenn. Jalen and I served at Breakaway together and Deanna and Jenn were office managers for Breakaway for a time. Jenn discipled me while was I in college and then when she moved to Houston, Deanna took over as office manager. It was like a big reunion to see them all again.
What a fun day, weekend, and week as we took a tour of Texas!