Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Birthdafatherversary

For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19 NLT)

We are moving to central Illinois in a little over a week. The past week was filled with fun and family (instead of packing...). Madeline celebrated her 7th birthday on June 14, Todd and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary on June 15, and of course, Father's Day was June 16. Every year it's a crazy-busy week, and every year it's wonderful. OK, it's a bit stressful, too.

Birthdays and anniversaries are new beginnings. This year we'll add a move and new ministry to the list. It could all be a bit overwhelming if we weren't focused on one thing: God.

The verse above comes from Isaiah, where the nation of Israel is in the midst of the Babylonian captivity. The author is reminding the people of God's marvelous works when bringing the people out of their bondage in Egypt. He also reminds them of how the people have turned away from and angered God.

I'd really love to complain about packing. It's especially frustrating since its only been 14 months since our last move. But God has provided for my family time and time again, and I am choosing instead to recognize the new thing that God is doing in our lives. He has blessed us with two beautiful girls and a strong marriage. He has led us to ministry. He has led us to Tiskilwa and Sheffield. And He will lead me through the next week.

I will show my love for God through joyful obedience. And by faithfully following.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bring it on, summer!

I had my last day of school yesterday. I am not returning to work this fall (God willing!) so that I can help lead my family's transition to ministry life. The arrival of summer vacation usually brings with it pure joy, but this year, it's brought anxiety. I've never not worked. I'm always thinking about new things to do in my classroom, but I don't have a classroom anymore. It's like the breath has been knocked out of me.

So I am putting the enthusiasm I usually reserve for lesson planning into
summer activity planning for my family.
Thanks to Pinterest, I have a few cheet sheets to get the ball rolling. So far, I've found a summer bucket list, "bored jar" printable task cards, and a summer learning goal sheet.

Summer Bucket List:

Bored Jar:

Summer learning goal sheet:

I used the summer learning goal sheet as a template. I created my own in Pages on my iPhone and printed it off to do with Maddie. Pictures are below.

I'm not going to lie: Maddie was not thrilled about the summer learning goals. But I think if we take it one step at a time, she'll be pleased with he progress she's making.

So, what are you planning for this summer?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

End of the Year Prayer

Full disclosure: I didn't write this prayer.  But I think it accurately says what I'm feeling as I wrap up my final school year at St. Paul.  May these last few days of school be a blessing as you reflect on all that you've accomplished this year!

End of the Year Prayer
(author unknown) 

O God of all beginnings and endings,
We praise and thank you for the gift of this school year.
It has been a time filled with grace and blessings,
With challenges and opportunities, joys and sorrows.
The days have passed quickly, O Lord.
The weeks, the months, the seasons, the holidays and holy days,
The exams, vacations, breaks, and assemblies,
All have come forth from your hand.
While we trust that your purposes have always been at work each day,
Sometimes it has seemed difficult to understand and appreciate
Just what you have been up to in our school.
Give us the rest and refreshment we need this summer.
Let our efforts of this past year bear fruit.
Bring all of our plans to a joyful conclusion,
And bless us, according to your will,
With the fulfillment of our summer hopes and dreams.
Watch over us in the weeks of rest ahead,
And guide each day as you have done this past year.
Help us return to school with a new spirit and a new energy.
May we continue to grow
In age, wisdom, knowledge and grace
All the days of our lives.