Monday, October 19, 2009

To Everything There is a Season

Many of you know that my first "real" job out of college and, the place where I've spent the last 5+ years of my life has been here...

Stephen F. Austin High School
downtown Austin, Texas

I've been the cheerleading sponsor, worked on the advisory council, written curriculum, served on committees, tutored, gone to every sporting event, theatre event, and every other event under the sun, and been a part of the Austin High community.

Teaching high school has been crazy fun, unbelievably stressful, overwhelming, joyous and just about every single emotion in between. Some days you feel like you made a true difference in a kid's life, the next day you feel like you're spinning your wheels, and some days you just feel completely deflated. It's a roller coaster to say the least.

Due to the stress of the job, I had to make probably the most difficult decision I've faced up to this point in my life. I left the comfort of a profession that I am deeply passionate about and a faculty unmatched anywhere else. The teachers and students I worked with at Austin High over the last 5 years have been so, so good to me, and I'm grateful for the experience I've had there.

Tomorrow I will start here...

Region 13 Education Service Center
east Austin, Texas

Region XIII is kind of like "coming home" to me. This is the organization that supports all of the school districts and educational facilities in Central Texas. They do workshops and all kinds of trainings. This is where I started out in education. I took class here for months and months and months to get my alternative teachers certification.

I'm really excited about where the Lord has led me and can't wait to get started with my new team!

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's all in the shoe

A few months ago Ryan, my marathon-running-husband, went with me to Academy for a running-shoe-trying-on-spree. No lie, I think I tried on about 25 pairs of running shoes, trying to find a good fit.

Naturally, the ones I liked the most were these lovely guys, and they were literally the most expensive tennis shoes in the store at $130. If you know me well you know there's NO WAY I'm paying Nike that much money for running shoes. I don't care how heavenly they are.

So, I wrote down the name of the shoe and model number in my Blackberry and vowed to find them cheaper. I googled and googled and googled and could not find a better deal aaaanywhere, nor could I find any on-line coupons. Discouraged? Yes!

About a month later, I found a coupon for Dick's sporting goods, so I decided to suck it up and get 20% off of the shoes with free shipping. Not too bad.

Uuuuuntil, I found these guys on their website when I went to check out....

Yes friends, the EXACT same shoes in yellow instead of pink. YES PLEASE! Wanna know how much these puppies were? $57 (still free shipping). Why Why Why Why, Nike?! Do people really want a pink swoosh enough to pay that much more for the shoe? It scares me that the answer might be yes.

I have run SO MUCH MORE lately because of these comfy shoes. If you're needing some encouragement to hit the trail, update your shoes or socks or shorts or something.... as sad as it is, it helps!


I know I haven't blogged in quite a while (post on why coming soon) and I'm just bustin' back in with a serious topic, but this has really been on my heart and mind lately, and I wanted to share. I'm hoping that of the 5 people reading it will help, at least, one of you.

I've had a difficult time over the years having a consistent prayer life. It seemed like every time I would sit down to pray I would think about something, lift it up to the Lord, and then let my mind wander to other things. Basically, after some focused thought I would end up day dreaming. In fact, I did the same thing in college when I would try to study for a test. I would read a paragraph about political blah blah blah, and my mind would wander aaaaall over the place. It's amazing how thinking about one thing can lead to another, then another, then another, and you're like, "How did I get to thinking about _____ when I started out praying about _____???"

I've been in a place in my life over the last few months where the Lord has broken me more than He ever has before. It's been uncomfortable, scary, and I have never ever in my life had to lean on Him more. And, as a survival skill, I've had to learn to pray.

I've never been into, or understood, diaries. I feel like I would try to edit my entries so that whoever read it one day would end up thinking I was way cooler and stronger and more fun than I actually am. However, I have started a prayer journal. I didn't really mean for it to start out that way, but that's what it has turned into. I write out my raw, straight from my head to my hand, prayers to the Lord out on paper. It helps me to stay focused on my train of thought, and it helps me to really think through what I'm praying. I also write other people's prayer requests down and pray for them, so that I don't just say, "Yeah, I'm praying for you." and then totally forget.

Trust me, I know this isn't an original thought about how to pray, but I've really been encouraged and strengthened in my walk with the Lord since I started using this tactic. And, sometimes when I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed or thankful or whatever and I don't have the journal with me (it just stays at home), I write out my prayer- even just a sentence, on a little post it note or scrap of paper. I guess it just feels more tangible to me, I don't know.

"Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Jesus Christ."

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18