Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Works of God, Again!

I have already written this week about how powerful and mighty God is. I want to elaborate on that. While reading Psalms 114-115 this morning, I was reminded of the courage and confidence I have because of Him. I have a tough job this school year. I have 8 students with major needs and special education plans to help them succeed. The problem is that everyone is telling me I am expecting too much of them. Apparently these students have skated through because teachers have done much of the work for these kids. That won't work in my classroom. These kids will have to be accountable for their own work.

God has blessed me with resources and the ability to teach. Over the past seven years, I have learned how to successfully bring a child up several grade levels in reading. I am confident that God will help me again.

I am fully aware that I cannot do this job alone. It is only through prayer and God's help that these kids will progress. How dare I think that He can't do it! Of course God can help these kids!

The Bible clearly tells us that we will be blessed when we fear God and follow His Word!

May God bless you today!

Jessica is a fifth grade teacher and beginning freelance writer. She is the wife-extraordinaire to Josh and mother of two year old Devon. When she isn't teaching, mothering, cooking, cleaning, or writing, you can find her locked in a quiet room reading.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Some mornings are difficult. Sometimes we don't want to crawl out of bed or wonder how we will ever make it past the coffee pot today. Some days we have a hard time opening our Bibles. We just don't feel "into" it.

I have had those days. The only way I have found to push through is to do just that, push through. Since I have been writing this blog, I find it easier to push through because this has become a habit. It makes sense for me to push through because I read every morning and post just afterwards.

I have also learned that we will not always feel God close by us. Sometimes we feel his absence. That isn't bad, it is probably God testing us. He wants to us push forward, even if we feel he isn't there. Of course, we know he is always watching us!

I hope you always feel close to God, but if not, push forward anyway!

Jessica is a fifth grade teacher and beginning freelance writer. She is the wife-extraordinaire to Josh and mother of two year old Devon. When she isn't teaching, mothering, cooking, cleaning, or writing, you can find her locked in a quiet room reading.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Works of God

What a crazy week! Earthquakes, tornadoes, and a hurricane ripped apart Virginia. We were lucky in all three accounts. We felt the earthquake and had heavy rain and wind from the hurricane, but our home is unharmed. Friends of our were not quite so lucky!
It is difficult to remember that God is in charge when we are in the middle of the storm. His works are mighty and powerful! They are sometimes scary, but we must remember that his works are for good. A quick read through the Psalms and we will all see the fear and reverence we should have for God.
I hope everyone has a good week! I also hope that the weather calms a bit. I would like some calm to come to our home.
Jessica is a fifth grade teacher and beginning freelance writer. She is the wife-extraordinaire to Josh and mother of two year old Devon. When she isn't teaching, mothering, cooking, cleaning, or writing, you can find her locked in a quiet room reading.

Friday, August 26, 2011


    There are days when we feel defeated. Some mornings it is hard to get out of bed because it feels like the world is against you.

    Other days, we feel like God is on our side. Nothing can stop us. We know we are one the right track. We feel ready for anything the world can throw at us today! Read Psalm 108. I read the version of this Psalm in the Message this morning. If you ever need to feel ready, here is your motto!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

God’s Timing

    A woman I knew when I lived in a different city, made a huge impression upon me. She had four children, the youngest almost 2. She was married to an amazing man, but it was obvious that she was the one who organized and ran that household. I was engaged to be married, and she helped council me through those days.

    She said to me once that, "God's timing is always perfect. It isn't what we would plan or know to plan, but it is always perfect." She was referring to something good, but it applies to our hard times as well.

    Life is busy. We beg for more time, but the time we have is perfect. We just need to weed out the ungodly pieces and focus on the rest.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Eye for an Eye

    The Old Testament is full of this legal system. Aren't you glad we don't follow that system today! Every wrong we did to someone would be done back to us.

    I know there are times when I hope someone will get the punishment they deserve. Sometimes we feel like wrong doers get away without any punishment at all. Take comfort in knowing that one day we all will stand before God to be judged.

    However, if we all got what we truly deserve, none of us would get into Heaven. Perhaps we should be more thankful that we don't get what we deserve!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


    I learned this week that a gifted learner can often learn a concept with only 1-3 teachings. A high achiever can learn with 6-8 teachings. Others could need around 15 teachings to get a concept. As a teacher, this is scary. As a Christian, this makes total sense.

    It doesn't matter if we read the Bible every day. We need to read it again. We need constant teaching to become better Christians.

    I was complaining to my husband that the book of Deuteronomy seems to just repeat the stories from the previous books. I understand, though, that we need to constantly read the word of God, even if we already know how the story ends. God uses His Word to speak to us.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Our Best, Is It Good Enough?

    Yes! My floors need to be swept, mopped, and vacuumed. My shower needs to be scrubbed. I didn't get my laundry finished this week.

    I try to get my housework finished during the week, so my Saturdays can be devoted to Devon, and my Sundays devoted to church activities and family time. I didn't quite make it this week. I have a lot of chores left, grocery shopping to do, and Devon needs a new pair of shoes.

    Let's look at the big picture. God created all of creation. He created volcanoes, blizzards, floods, and tornadoes. He created each animal, those we like and those that scare us. He also made me just the way he wanted me. As long as I follow his rules, trying to live a life without sin, my best is good enough.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Forced Celebration

    I friend of mine told me a couple of years ago that being happy is choice. It has very little to do with your circumstances at the time. She said that as her son battled drugs. Her ex-husband owed her thousands in child support. Her mother was ill. Her world seemed to be falling apart. Yet, she woke up each day and decided that she would feel happy and display happiness to others.

    It is Friday. This has been a long week. We are all tired, cranky, and getting on each other's nerves. I have another long day of meetings ahead, but I remember the words of my friend. Today I will trust in God, put aside my bad feelings about the day, and display happiness to others.

As a mom, often my tone sets the tone of my son. As a teacher, it almost always sets the tone of my classroom. I choose to set a happy tone.

Moses explained to the Israelites in Deuteronomy that they would celebrate certain times of the year. He didn't say, "only if you feel happy." God wants us to celebrate life. He orders us to celebrate. Follow orders. Celebrate today and be happy.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Seeing the Big Picture

    We have a shelf beside our door that has a curtain to hide its contents. We use it for our shoes. About four days ago, my husband made a huge mess of it. Shoes are falling off into the floor now. It is difficult to walk into the room, because you have to dodge shoes. I asked him to clean it up. They are still there.

    Often I feel like my husband is lazy. He chooses to play video games rather than help with housework. He sees me cleaning and thinks nothing of watching while lying on the couch. It makes me so mad! If he were my kid, I would punish him. Because he is an adult, I don't know how to handle it.

    Last night, I went to bed early. He got home late from work and had not eaten dinner yet. All of the dishes were loaded into the dishwasher except his. I asked him to load them and run the dishwasher. He promised he would.

    Around 1:00am, my son was up and needed something to drink. I ran into the kitchen and saw the dishwasher open. Not only did he not run it, he left it open all night.

    I was so mad! I went back to bed and worried that I was too mad to sleep. I prayed to God and told Him that this was now His problem to fix. I had had enough. I asked God to take the anger and let me sleep.

    The next thing I knew, I was waking up from a really bad, but seemingly real, dream. I found great comfort in waking awful hours and travels for work. He is a fantastic father and a great husband. He is lousy at housework. With the good, I get the bad. If I am to have such a wonderful, blessed life that I have, I might just have to put up with shoes on my living room floor, or pick them up myself.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Stopping the Gossip

    Psalm 101 is all about silencing gossip and putting a stop to evildoers. Yesterday was the first day back to school for all of the teachers in my county. The gossip began before the first meeting opened. Already, people were discussing who did what over the summer, but not everything was nice. It is hard to avoid the gossip, but easy to walk away from it.

Goal: A no-gossip year.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Place of Worship

    Deuteronomy 12 tells us the story of Moses discussing places of worship with the Israelites. Moses tells them to seek the place where God wants to put his name. This place will be called God's House. Everyone is to go to that place to worship.

    My church meets in a local high school. We don't have the ability to build a new building right now. We don't have land or money to buy it. It seems odd to worship in a school, but it doesn't feel odd when we are there.

    I think Moses just wanted to make sure his people gathered to worship together. I don't think the place is all that important.

    Today, all the teachers in my county go back to work. The schools will fill with laughter and a flurry of papers, pencils, and crayons. As I go back today, I want to try to remember that my job is important, but not as important as the work I do for God. I need to stay focused on the big picture a little more.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Remembering the Blessings

    I've written exclusively about my friend Brent lately. Yesterday afternoon, my minister visited our home to talk to my husband and me about Brent's death and how it has affected us. He made a few points that I had not thought of yet. One of those was to remember how blessed I am to have known Brent. That sounds odd after his death, but I am so blessed to be a part of that family. We are not blood relation, but walked into the funeral with the family. I hurt because I loved him, and that is a blessing.

    Psalms 95-96 are all about lifting our voices to sing God's praises. I don't know why God called Brent home, leaving behind a 2 year old to grow up without her daddy. It is hard to praise God for that. However, it is easy to praise God that Brent was able to give the world his daughter before he left. She has a lot of her daddy in her, and his spirit will carry on here on earth through her.

    Deuteronomy 11 explains, again, the need to teach your children that our God is the only God. We must teach our children to obey His commands and praise Him. I hope that my son can see his father and me turn toward God in times of trouble, instead of turning away.

    Today I go back to work after summer vacation. I pray all teachers are calm and at peace as they return to school.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Leaning on God

    Much of my time, the week my friend Brent died, was spent letting his wife lean on me. Sometimes it was just to rest her head and cry. Sometimes it was letting her talk about her fears for the future as a single mom. Other times, though, she leaned on me because she could not stand.

Psalm 94 says, 17 Unless the LORD had given me help,
   I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
18 When I said, "My foot is slipping,"
   your unfailing love, LORD, supported me.
19 When anxiety was great within me,
   your consolation brought me joy.

    I am slowly learning to lean upon my God again. I am slowly getting back into my routine of housework, Bible reading, and a normal work schedule. It has taken two weeks for me to wrap my head around this. I do not know how God will use this tragedy, but I have faith that he will use it for good.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

God’s Power

    I have not read my Bible or written a blog entry in over a week. When my friend, Brent, was killed, I became angry with God. The last post explains that in further detail. I was up late one night with Brent's wife last week, and she said that her faith was being tested. It was difficult to understand why Brent died because there was not an act of violence. Nobody caused his death. A tree fell on a pretty, sunny day. It happened to fall on his car as he drove.

    We cannot understand God's plan, but today I can understand his power. I am sitting on a balcony, watching the sun rise over the ocean. My husband, son, and husband's family have spent the past three nights at the beach. We needed a break! As I have watched my son gaze in awe at the ocean, it is easy to see God's power.

I can't explain waves to my son yet any more than I can understand Brent's death. What I do understand is that God is in charge. We do not know his plans, but they are plans for good. This doesn't protect us from heartache, but ensures everlasting life in Heaven.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Angry with God

    I watched my friend crumple to the floor, yesterday, crying to God. She begged for an answer to why her 29 year old husband was killed suddenly when a tree fell onto his car. Yes, you read that correctly. While driving down the road at 70mph, a tree broke and fell on top of their car. It is only by a miracle that the wife and two-year old are alive.

    My father said at one point that he told God exactly what he thought of this situation about an hour after he heard the news. I am fairly sure he didn't use nice words. This young man killed, was my father's Godson.

    We are angry! We are angry at God for this decision. It is so hard to not be angry when there is no one else to blame.

    As I read my readings today, the title of chapter 8 in Deuteronomy said, "Don't Forget God."

    I was moved by my friend's strength as she clutched her Rosary. She was praying for help to raise her child, from the same God who allowed her husband to die. Her devotion to God has been a lesson to us all.