Monday, November 29, 2010

My November Summary

I'm following my cousin's lead and finally writing about the events of November. I have sort of dropped off the edge of the earth this month. As usual, it's due to work, school, and the busyness of life. From the few blogs I have been able to read, as of recently, it seems as though many are in the "November Slump."

There just hasn't been motivation to write these days. Not sure why but I suppose that's a result of my brain not having a chance to really settle. I also don't like writing when I don't feel coherent! I've mulled several things over but then I just can't seem to get them out. Oh well... it all comes together at some point.

Anyway, I'll sort of summarize what this month has been like (sorry cousin, the list thing is my style too so this post is going to be similar to yours, though differing in a few events!):
  • Granny Fell Again-- 3 months later: Sadly, Granny fell again on November 11th. She was getting ready for the day, and at some point became lightheaded and fell down, breaking her other femur. Granny was alone in her home, but thankfully she was able to grab the emergency cord for help. I remember Mom telling me the news and feeling so sad for Granny. She had improved so much after her first fall, she was just getting used to a cane. Unfortunately though, she is kind of back to square one again like the first time. She went through the same surgery for her new break, but with less issues from the anesthesia. Thankfully, the recovery has been much faster this time around. She's also had an appetite and was able to get into a rehab center quickly. Last Sunday I was able to visit her with my Mom. So encouraging to see how she's doing! Let me tell you, that woman refuses to quit on life! God has given her so much strength of mind, body, and spirit. She's 99, never had major surgery or trauma until this point in her life... and yet, nothing stops her. I feel so blessed and humbled to have such a godly example in my life. I love her dearly.
  • Favorite Substitute Moment Thus Far: On the 18th, I subbed for a teacher at my favorite school (for her 2nd grade class). During the morning, just when I got the class transitioned to reading time, a student spotted a beautiful vibrant rainbow outside. Of course, the entire class had to rush to the window and see the stunning sight. I couldn't resist either-- so for a couple of minutes the class and I "ooohhhed" and "awwwed" at the gorgeous rainbow. I loved standing at the window with 22 kids beside me chatting away. They were captivated. So was I. Such a peaceful, beautiful moment. I most definitely was praising God for that time! That is a moment I will treasure in my heart forever. And it taught me to give kids time to just be kids. :)
  • Thanksgiving: Had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family. This year our gathering was quite small-- only 10 of us total: Granny, two cousins (plus the husband of one), my aunt and uncle, my sister, mom and dad. For once, I think we all had a complete conversation with whomever we talked with. haha Not typical but just perfect! The food was delicious, the time together was relaxing, and the laughter was abundant. So much to be thankful for!
  • First Ever November Christmas Tree: While it isn't a huge event, it most certainly must be noted that this is the first year that we have gotten our Christmas tree in November. Since I'm working until-the-cows-go-home in December, we had to take advantage of the 28th- my last Sunday off of work for awhile. Mom, Sarah, her boyfriend and I found a good tree and hauled it home on Vanna White. Now our house is decorated from head-to-toe, as is the outside! It's fun and yet somewhat amazing that the holidays are here.
  • Learning the Art of Patience: I think I'm understanding more of why God blessed me with my little part-time job... As of now, He is teaching me what it means to be truly patient. Honestly, my patience is only good when it comes to teaching children or being around them. The more I work at this job, the more I realize how impatient I really am. It's a tough lesson to learn and I have a long ways to go in improving that part of myself. And the only way to do that is through lots of prayer and reading His Word! And a few deep breaths here and there... ;-)
So... I think that concludes the important parts of November, if you're interested. haha I hope and pray that all of you have been blessed this season, and that the Christmas Season will be even better!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thinkin' About Sunday...

It's Wednesday evening and I'm just thinking about this past Sunday. I had a really good day that day. I spent half of it hanging out with my dear friend Joy. I finally got to go to her church, which is located in the northwest part of downtown.

We weren't able to carpool to church because she had some errands she needed to do later in the day. However, that was fine because this suburban chick is getting better at driving in the city... And for kicks, since I was driving in the city, I had to listen to my country music. For some reason whenever I go down there I feel compelled to do so. Guess it's my inner "fight" between country and city love. Anyway...

I followed Joy on a back road up and over some hills and through some foggy patches. The road allowed us to sneak into sleepy Sunday morning downtown. We entered its back doors through a lush green hallway, created by tall overgrown trees that stretched across the road. As we came down a small hill, the city greeted us with the familiar sight of the waterfront and its big bridges. Though it was a gray day, it was just fine. Loved the coziness and chilliness of the fall day. Good for church-going Sunday :)

Before going to church we spent time enjoying each other's company at a chic coffee/bakery shop. I had some hot chocolate and a large almond flavored scone. Yum! Joy and I were quite humored with our pastries-- though they were delicious they were incredibly messy. We had pastry flakes all over the place. The messiness was worth it though, I loved my scone and it was completely devoured.

While talking, sippin' on our drinks, and eating our pastries, I was entertained with the people that would pass by the big glass windows. A dog park was nearby so people often walked past with their pooches. At one point a dog owner went into one of the shops and left their dog tied up to a tree. I was quite amused watching the dog wait for its owner. There were quite a few leaves around and its tail collected a few. When he/she would wag their tail, the leaves would sway in the wind. I have a feeling the owner probably had to "de-leaf" their dog later on.

After our time in the coffee shop, Joy and I meandered our way over to her church. We got there in plenty of time and I had an opportunity to meet some people. I was happy to see an old youth leader from a church I went to for a good portion of my life.

The church service was very good. At first I was a little unsure of some things but then as the service progressed I relaxed. The sermon was really neat-- feel like I was meant to be there to hear what the pastor said. Recently, I read a Romans 3:21-31, which talks about Christ's punishment for us and what it means to have faith (and in regards to the law). The pastor used Galatians 3 when he was talking about the difference between being religious versus truly living a life centered around the Gospel. I was thrilled when he was talking because of the connection with the section of Romans that I had read. I had been thinking about Romans 3 for quite sometime. One of those chapters that percolated in my brain... and it was a total "aha!" moment when the pastor was talking. So uplifting! I think I'll write a post specifically about that soon but I need some time to mull it over in my mind.

When church was over I spent awhile meeting and greeting more lovely people. I met two really nice gals and talked with several other people. I felt like the church was very sincere and inclusive, which is very refreshing. Overall, the congregation is fairly young so its easier to relate to people. I was happy and impressed with how welcoming they were. I hope to go there again!

After yakkin' with people for awhile, Joy and I went out to lunch at a Mexican restaurant called "Cha Cha Cha!" We had delicious burritos for only about $5. Good deal! Yummmm...

We parted ways after lunch and I drove home feeling as though my whole body was smiling. My spirit felt encouraged, changed of scenery was delightful, and spending time with my childhood friend was precious. Thank you Lord for such a good day.

Days like that are so good the soul. If warmth itself could be packaged in a beautifully wrapped gift.. that's what those days are like. I think God gives us those days to bless us in the down times, to help us persevere. When days are dreary-- whether it be the seemingly endless raindrops that fall from the overly generous sky... or just times of feeling multiple shades of blue... We can reach inside ourselves and take hold of that gift and smile, knowing that not all days will be like this... and that surely, most surely, better days will come again.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's been awhile...

My head feels a little fuzzy as I write this post; my thoughts are sort of floating around. One of those evenings where thoughts are like sediment... Little particles floating along a slow moving current and settling down when they've finally reached the bottom...

I've considered writing a few different times since my post at the end of October. Honestly though, I just haven't been sure what to say- it's sort of the same old: busy with school and work. I'm just going with the flow and in the midst of all, finding some sweet moments too. Overall, I'm pretty content right now... and especially more so now that midterms are over. haha That was joyous ;-)

In the past week or two it has hit me that I chose the right grad school. For a good few weeks (and months prior to the semester starting), I felt like I was dragging my feet. I felt unsure of my decision and just didn't want anything to do with school. Now, I'm totally embracing it. I think it has helped that everyone is finally "clicking." What I mean is that it has taken a good half of the semester for the ice to really be broken with the individuals in my two classes. We all get along well and enjoy discussing with each other. However, it was not until about mid-term time that I felt like we all got into a rhythm. I suppose that's a natural pattern within a college class, but it felt very prominent this time. Perhaps it is because it's a whole new experience. New people and a new school. Whatever it is, I'm really enjoying school now. I look forward to seeing my classmates and getting to know them better. I'm also feeling like I'm growing a lot more as an educator, which is great!

As for work... I had the opportunity to substitute a total of four days last month at my favorite school. I feel very grateful to have gotten as many jobs as I have so far-- and at that school. :) I love substituting there because I'm treated with respect and I also know the school routine. Speaking of which, next week I will be subbing 3 days at the school so that will be good. I will be busier than a bee next week to say the least!

Hmm... what else... Oh yes, I had a very lovely experience dealing with a long-lasting cold virus for about two weeks. The most annoying part was the dry cough that kept lingering (even after my sinuses cleared up!). I also would think I was getting better but then my tonsils would flare up for the millionth time. I saw the doctor to make sure it wasn't something else and mainly because my mom begged me to go. She was just as annoyed with my cough! haha Thankfully though, I'm not coughing too much but it does come back every now and then. I'm crossing my fingers that my tonsils won't go nuts again. I took a Cold Eeze this morning as a precaution! Ah...

To end on a happy note, I think I will write some things I'm thankful for as of recently:

-- Granny is getting better all of the time. God has been so good!
-- Phone calls, texts, and fun times with friends
-- The Sundays where I've gotten to go to church
-- Egg nog and peppermint ice cream...
-- Good new songs from some of my favorite music artists
-- My part-time job and substituting; for the experience and income
-- Though it is a little stressful, I've been given a lot more responsibility in my PT job. What I'm thankful for is that my manager trusts me as much as she does and believes in my ability to accomplish tasks.
-- Being able to save my money a lot more than I was earlier this year... such a blessing!
-- Snuggly moments with my kitty
-- My reading time before I go to sleep; most nights I've been good about reading the Bible. I am so glad that God has helped me to say diligent in reading His Word. I'm getting closer to finishing the book of Psalms. I also just started Romans a few nights ago-- so excited to dig into that book again!
-- Feeling excited for March 2011, my cousin and her husband are moving back to Oregon. Though it feels like it has been a long time since I've seen her, it's also sort of hard to believe that it's been almost 2 years. Lots has happened in that time!

Alrighty... I think I will end there for tonight... Know this isn't the most exciting post I've ever written but at least ya know I'm alive. haha I hope to write some more inspiring/interesting things soon. For now, it's just good to update on life's happenings :) Hope you're all doing well!