Saturday, August 29, 2009

Opportunity to pray for my students...

I began this post a few weeks ago, but am just now getting around to posting it today.

This morning was say the least, but let me back up and start from the beginning.
Rewind to Thursday morning...
One of my precious students came in very excited with a note asking me to attend her baptism this weekend. Of course I was excited too and told her I would love to try and come. The note said to call her mom for directions if I could make it. So I talked to her mom later that day, told her that I would love to come, and asked what church they went to.
Her response was, "Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." And then she paused and waited for my response, like she knew I wouldn't want to come after all.
I have to admit I definitely panicked a little. My first thought was, "Oh, no! What do I do!?"

So I got home that night and had some serious discussions with DJ about it for the next 2 days. We sought wise council and came to the conclusion that I should go since I had told her that I would.

This brought on a little nervousness on my part because I knew DJ had to work and I would be going alone. I had heard of people visiting Mormon temples for tours after the temple was built and then heard how the church would destroy all carpet, repaint and replace everything after the tours and then the temple would be closed to the public forever. DJ also had an event in high school held at a Mormon church and he had to enter through a certain door. They were only allowed in a certain part of the building. Knowing all this, I wanted to be respectful in spite of my differences in beliefs. I researched on the internet to learn a little more of what to expect and what would be a appropriate to wear. I talked to a dear friend who has had experience with ministry to Mormons and felt comforted.

So this morning I arrived at their church in my Sunday best, knowing that the ladies traditionally wear skirts to church. At first only 3 cars were parked in the back of the church because I was very early... so I drove around the neighborhood a little while returned to a few more cars in the lot. I waited a moment for someone else to arrive so that I could go in through the appropriate door. My sweet student was so happy that I was there and everyone was so nice, of course. The ceremony was deceivingly very similar to what I am used to. I listened very carefully because I knew that they claim to be Christians, but I also knew that they don't believe what I know to be truth. I can understand how people get sucked into the believing that this is truth because they make it seem so similar to Christianity but when you look closely it is so very different. One interesting part was a video that they played about Joseph Smith. The video very clearly explained why "other religions are wrong" and how Joseph Smith, as a boy began to question the Christian faith and the differences in denominations. From what I understood, he believed that God told him that he should not take part in any of the denominations and thus the birth of Mormonism took place.

Overall this was definitely a great learning experience and I am now so burdened for this sweet little girl. I know that she has been placed in my room for a purpose and I will just continue to pray daily that I shine Christ to each of my students.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Busy, busy day!

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.
While finishing up my grant, I also talked to my grad school adviser a few times today because I figured out that I am pretty close to having enough classes for a second masters degree. I have been working on my masters as a reading specialist. Each semester I have to take 6 hours but many times they have only been offering one class that applies towards my I have also taken quite a few extra classes in the gifted education program. I talked to my advisor today and found out that it is totally worth it for me to finish a second masters in gifted education. Am I crazy!? :)
Meanwhile, I have been training the 4th grade teachers to use the CPS Chalkboard and troubleshooting technology problems for them. Then I ran to the district office to submit my grant proposal, ran to Hardin-Simmons to take care of grad-school registration, and then headed back to my classroom to actually finish preparing for the first day of school on Monday! Since I didn't get much done in my classroom today, I will be headed back up there early Saturday morning and maybe even Sunday afternoon...we shall see...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What a weekend!

What a weekend! On Friday night I found out that my friend, Libby, is being moved to teach 4th grade instead of 3rd, so she officially has one week to move her entire classroom.

On Saturday Libby, Crissy and I spent the day taking a family from our school to visit their child (one of our students) in a foster home about 2 hours from here. The child we visited is doing really well and our visit went really well. We took them to Walmart and let her pick out a new outfit and some shoes, then we went to lunch and a movie. The ride home was interesting, to say the least, I wish I could share more details. I'll just say that this is definitely a family to pray for. We did have an opportunity for good conversation with the mama on the way home. I had a small opportunity to share hope about my mom's mental illness and give here a glimpse into some of the same struggles in my life, but the Hope that pulled me through. She desires so much to be "normal," I hope she got a glimpse of God's faithfulness in my life in spite of mental illness in my mother.

On Sunday we all went and helped Libby get her classroom moved. Her room is coming together but it was so bitter sweet for me today. I am SOOO disappointed to loose her on my team and I know the changes have been hard for her as well. She will do an amazing job, and I know that God has a purpose for where He has placed her... we are just trying to trust that.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fun Times

I always knew that my best friends are great, but I was reminded of how fabulous they are this weekend. We took a quick trip to Dallas because it is our last weekend before DJ begins working 7 days a week for football season. On Friday night we had a fun dinner at Joe's Crab Shack with DJ's best friend, Rusty. DJ had his first experience with crab and we had a lot of fun catching up. Then DJ and I stayed in a nice hotel and caught up on our Food Network addiction. We slept in on Saturday, ate lunch at a fun eatery featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives (Twisted Root), and got in some shopping in stores that we don't get to visit that often living in Abilene. IKEA was crazy! I felt like we were going to Disney World on the busiest day of the year... I guess we should have thought about all the college students who are trying to get ready to head back to school! Then last night we had a fun dinner with two of my college roommates and their families. Even though I had spent time with them a few weeks ago, I quickly remembered how nice it is to be with people who truly know us. It is just so easy... what a great feeling... no formalities, or small talk...we just go right back to where we left off, like we still live together and see each daily. What a blessing! Thank the Lord for good friends who know me well and love me anyway! ;)