Monday, August 26, 2013

back to school {hello junior year!}


Well, classes are back in full swing which is slightly exciting and overwhelming. I’m starting to fill my planner up with due dates and I can tell it’s going to be a busy few months. I also started back working at the early learning center on Thursday. I’m with the younger toddlers (1 1/2 – 2 yr. olds) this semester. It was the sweetest getting to see my older kids from last semester outside on the playground. They came running up to me to give big hugs. Two of my girls even ran back to get “one more hug and kiss on the cheek.” Talk about melting my heart.

Friday night was sweet. I went with my roomie and a couple of our friends to get frozen yogurt at our favorite spot for dinner and we just sat around chatting. Afterward, we decided to head over to Panera to get bagels for our “dessert”…we’re super healthy like that. Oh my. The cinnamon crunch bagel with cheesecake cream cheese is to die for (so good!). We came back to watch You’ve Got Mail (always a favorite).

I’m just feeling extra thankful for this new season. I can’t wait to share this semester’s adventures with y’all!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

mid-week randoms

I’m linking up with Megan today.


Classes start today. I kind of love the beginning of new semesters.


I’m still going through Kelly Minter’s Ruth study with Eleanor. On Sunday I read ahead slightly and was stopped by Ruth 4:14…”Then the women said to Naomi, ‘Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today...’” Wow! What a needed reminder that was!


Ben Rector has a new album out. Go buy it! I’m going to see him in Atlanta over my fall break and he’s seriously one of my favorites.


Getting to have dinner and hang out with my roomies from last year was the best.

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Trying to get a group photo is harder than it looks…

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We’re fun. Be our friends? ;)

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Happy Wednesday, friends.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Teaching is… {Guest Post}

Good morning, sweet friends! I am SO excited to share with you a guest post on a topic that gets me fired up…being a Christian teacher in public education. It is my hope that Amanda's insight will encourage and challenge you.

When Samantha asked me to do a guest post about my experiences teaching I was thrilled. I have never done one before and the content is definitely something that needs to be heard. I prayed hard about what to say and how to share.

First a little background…

I am Amanda and I blog at &food; blogging for me encompasses a lot. I love to write and to scrapbook so it’s somewhat that, but then I figured out that I do have a lot to share about teaching and my faith. I am now in my second year of teaching fifth grade and the school that I teach at is Title 1 [or for non-teachers, inner city- low income & low test scores]. Last year I really had no clue what I was getting myself into and this year my group would be your typical definition of inner city kids.

As Samantha has mentioned many times on her blog, teaching is so much more than being in the classroom. I actually wish my job was thinking of creative ways to deliver the content. Sadly, most days, lesson planning actually gets put on the back burner.

My job title is teacher but my job description cannot be put into so many words. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that most do not even see. There are meetings with other teachers to plan, trainings to make sure we are doing the right thing, testing to prove that we are teaching, paperwork again to prove we are teaching, meeting with parents to develop some sort of relationship (this is hard for me especially because most of the parents at my school hated school or just automatically assume a phone call is bad) so it’s my job to convince them to try to work with me for the benefit of their child. Then there is a lot that the government puts into place where depending on state/county can change, but politics will always be politics and I will just leave it at that.

Even though I just listed a huge list that could be discouraging, the one thing that I really do wish would change in our public school system was the view on Christ. I pray every morning on my way to school and every afternoon on my drive home for my students, the other teachers, and for myself to let God use me as his tool for that day. Instead of being able to teach about God’s love I have to show it.

Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity… Titus 2:7

In my experience, with some students, they have never heard [or been shown] how to treat others with kindness and love. God has me going to battle every single day in my classroom without even being allowed to mention Him. I have to break down walls of children who have seen more in their short life than I would have ever thought a child would have to experience. They don’t know any other way and it constantly breaks my heart. I am their confidant when no one else will listen. I have to be strong with some of the stories I hear. I have to hold it together and teach them how to love one another as Christ loved us. I have to love them when all they want is to push me farther away with an attitude you would not believe.

Teaching is so much harder than I thought it would be. Yet, with all that being said I don’t even know if I could do anything else. I know I am where I am supposed to be, with the population I am supposed to be with. [yes, I do have extra paperwork because I am at a title 1 school]. I don’t know if I could teach at a “better” school as some have told me so it would be easier.

God didn’t intend for it to be easy or he wouldn’t have sacrificed his only son for Love.

I know this didn’t make teaching look glamorous and happy as most view it as but I do love it. I love seeing a child grow and learn how to interact with someone they thought they could never get along with. I love that moment when they “get it” and a student knows they have something to be proud of. I love the hugs I receive as I load them on the buses. I love sharing my life with children in hopes that through me they will see the Lord and come to know Him and have a relationship with Him despite the fact that it is “against the rules” in public school.

I believe that I am a teacher for a reason. I know I am good at it. I know I have a lot to learn. I trust that God has a plan for my students.

{Amanda and a few of her students last year}

My respect for Amanda continues to grow more and more as I get to know her heart. Teaching is one of the hardest jobs and I am grateful for how she provided a realistic perspective while still conveying her passion. Be sure to visit her blog and send some encouragement her way!

Monday, August 12, 2013

I believe…


I believe…

in dancing for joy to your favorite songs.

in having a second cup of coffee.

that handwritten letters can be such sweet encouragement.

in giving compliments to strangers.

that sometimes you just have to go out driving country back roads.

that catching glimpses of the sunset never gets old.

in front porches with rocking chairs {simple joys}.

that classrooms should be places of joy.

that an intimate relationship with Christ is always life-giving.

Happy Monday, sweet ladies!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

mid-week randoms

I’m linking up with Megan for mid-week randoms.


I’m so ready to move back to school and start the fall semester. I’m really missing the sweet community I have there. So yesterday I made a day trip over to campus to see one of my friends who is back early for residential life training. Ahhh. I’ve just been incredibly blessed with rich friendships.

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Eleanor and I have started a long distance Bible study going through Kelly Minter’s Ruth. Oh my goodness. I’ve read this story before without really digging into it, but not this time. I’m learning by studying Ruth’s commitment and faithfulness.


Have I mentioned before that I’m the biggest future teacher nerd? I attempted to do a little organizing of all the materials I’ve inherited and/or bought so far for my future classroom. Wowza! I inherited tons from my mom when she retired and I pick up odds and ends now.

This is only about half of the boxes…

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This never gets old. It just doesn’t get any better than Ben Howard.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

loved & wanted

It’s 1am and I’m wide awake. My mom and I went to the drive-in movies and thought it was necessary to stop by Starbucks on the way. Espresso late at night means this girl will be up for quite a while. So what better time than now to do a little blogging and heart sharing.

Adoption has been on my mind a tremendous amount lately. From hearing stories at church to watching videos online to reading blogs of families, it seems to keep coming back to capture my attention. And I want to learn more. I discovered this blog last week and I couldn’t stop reading through all her old posts. This family lives the Gospel. Their hearts to love God and grow in Christ are so evident. Well, they adopted a little boy from Uganda and the mama has been writing a series on adoption & the gospel. Whoa. I don’t have words to say about it other than I’ve been challenged and encouraged. In her most recent post, she wrote about what their son has been rescued from because of his adoption and then compared it to us…

“we really have no idea the depth of what we've been rescued from when God chose us & called us His own. we were dead in our sin, He made us alive & we could still be lost & alone. as we understand the gospel more we understand what He rescued us from & that should draw us to worship!”

Her words reminded me again of divine adoption. And oh my goodness is it humbling and grace-filled to know that I’m adopted by the Lord.

“So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might REDEEM those who were under the Law, that we might receive the ADOPTION as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Sprit of His Son into our hearts, crying ‘Abba Father!’” –Galatians 4:3-6 (NASB)

We were born into bondage. We were trapped under the weight of our sin. We needed a Savior. We were like orphans in our prior condition. That’s when God sent His Son to rescue us. Jesus came and lifted that burden by dying for us. His death makes it possible for us to be redeemed! Even though redemption is MORE than enough, it doesn’t end there…we’re also adopted! You see, redemption leads to adoption. Ahhhh! What incomprehensible goodness that is. Not only are we loved fiercely, but we’re wanted. God wants relationship with us and because of Christ we can respond to His pursuit.

“You have called us loved and you have called us wanted…”


And just in case you’re wondering what 1am looks like for me…

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One last thing, I can’t stop listening to I'll Always Love You by Phil Wickham. It’s been my background music while I write this and it makes me want to get up and dance around my bedroom.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hello, Goodbye {August!}

Woah! It’s August already. Summer has been so full of adventures, relaxation, and lessons learned. To start the last summer month, I’m linking up with Allison from Nestful of Love to say goodbye to a few things and hello to what August brings!

Hello junior year, Goodbye sophomore year.

photo (11)From the last day of sophomore year.

Hello busy school days, Goodbye carefree summer days.

Hello toddlers, Goodbye preschoolers {I work at an early learning center}.

photo (12)A little finger painting with my preschoolers last semester.

Hello apartment living, Goodbye mountain home.

Hello running on campus, Goodbye running back roads.

photo (13)One of the back roads where I live {love them!}.

Happy August, friends! Here’s to new adventures.

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