Sunday, December 24, 2006

"maybe tonight, i've got a question for you"

this is the last Christmas i will be spending without Tim. we even put up a tiny "temporary" stocking for him to get used to having room for one more. so much has changed this past year, and i've loved most and hated some of it.

i always try to think about last year at this time, and the thought of "what if i had known how things would be at this time next year?" runs through my mind.

this time last year, i was sleeping (too much) on a cruise ship somewhere near Puerto Rico with my family and my grandparents. we spent our Christmas money on a cruise this year, and it was a blast.

tim and i had been dating for a little over a year. marriage was still a "touchy" subject.

my sister didn't have her license yet and the other one was halfway done with her senior year, still unsure of where to go for college.

this year:

we're at home, for the last time of it just being the 5 of us.

tim and i are getting married in 6 months.

sarah has had her license long enough to "wear in" the car.

ashley has finished her first semester at JBC, and loves it.

my parents have conquered great obstacles in both of their lives, while others in my church family have just started discovering new ones.

i can't wait to see what next year will be like.

these times, they are a-changin'.
Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

little things that mean a lot

making sure your alarm is set on A.M. and not P.M.

good phone signal

enough pillows


light bulbs

breath mints

enough pencil lead

hot water

the right change



the list goes on...i had so much more in the list in my head. add more if you feel obliged.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

is God fair?

i asked this question to my sixth grade homeroom this morning, and instructed them to write continuously in response to this question for almost 10 minutes.

i thought i'd share a few interesting responses:

"Is God Fair? Yes.
But I am kind of sad because ever since **** came to school my best friend ********* plays and talks with him more than me. I also think that it is not fair that my grandma died. My dog Boo died, too. I just think everything is going wrong in my life. BUt I know that it is because of all the bad sins I have done in my life and this is the consequence. Also my Grandad is lonely and sad. But I know through God everything will be alright. As long as I have Christ in my hear, whatever happens he will always be my one, true God."

"I think God is fair. You just have to believe him and if you pray hard, it might happen, but God can't always work and answer your prayers. And I've prayed for other things and he hasn't answered them. But that's just how it is."

"God is fair because I believe he does everything for a purpose,even when times are hard. God may seem unfair at times. I have thought that before, but afterwards I don't."

Where I expected to see peace; I uncovered disappointment.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

what is a missionary?

this morning's devotion has been sticking in my mind so clearly today. many times i've had to reread things in order to really process what it's saying, especially in the morning and today was no different. along with having to explain it to myself to make sure i understood instead of just read, i connected it surprised.....a teaching strategy.

i've often taught a lesson about the pioneers and the California Gold Rush. there were many things that "pulled" settlers out west, things that enticed and were attractive to men and women alike that gravitated them West. Things such as harsh conditions and failure in their original homelands are categorized as things that "pushed" them.

again, we have conditions that attracted them "towards" something and conditions that repelled people or "pushed" them from behind.

in church words, we could say some were "sent" and some were "called". make sense?

missionaries are often persuaded to present their missions using graphic stories, outstanding statistics, and desperate faces on their slides and displays. don't get me wrong, needs have to be met and sometimes we have to have that certain heartstring pulled inside ourselves in order to feel motivated at all. situations have to appear desperate enough in order to "call" people to them.

however, Oswald Chambers challenged me this morning to look at it a different way.
missionaries are sent. they might feel called, but i believe that in fact, they are commanded by a force BEHIND them. they are not sent by the people who need them. they are pulled towards them, but sent by Jesus.

the most important part of the whole missionary equation is the command. don't go because they need you. go because you were told to go.

fix the "pulls" as a result of the "push".

In missionary enterprise the great danger is that God's call is effaced by the needs of the people until human sympathy absolutely overwhelms the meaning of being sent by Jesus. The needs are so enormous, the conditions so perplexing, that every power of mind falters an dfails. We forget that the one great reason underneath all missionary enterprise is not first the elevation of the people, nor the education of the people, nor their needs; but first and foremost the command of Jesus Christ- "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations."

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Sunday, September 17, 2006

a place that i can't get to

i'm still sick after 2 weeks of getting worse, then getting better, then worse again. i just want my physical energy back so my mental and spiritual energy will follow. i feel like i'm half-heartedly doing so many things that i can't pour myself into anything. i know that life will always be busy, so i have to learn to pour myself into everything, no matter what.

met with the launch team this week. it was interesting and overwhelming to say the least. i loved it, though. it got me excited about diving into ministry with the people i love the most. i feel like i'm just kindof falling into it because of a significant other, but once i really get my feet wet and figure out what it's all about and why i'm involved in it, God's going to open up a lot for me. i can sense it.

i'm still trying to shake this feeling of not liking where i am in life right now. i just struggle through schoolwork, and can't muster up the passion for it. i know it's just school, but it affects everything in my world around it.

it makes me want to drive back to virginia and just stay there until i'm old enough to handle everything. i miss my family like crazy. i never realized how much of a safe haven they are to me. family really is a gift from God.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

teaching Austin

the more i teach, the more i realize that kids will do almost anything to be loved.

there is a little boy in my class who i have to be on top of all day about one thing or another. he's always chewing on his pencil, throwing something, laying down in class, etc. i always have to speak to him about his behavior or schoolwork. we hardly ever get along, and he's constantly throwing me dirty looks and watching to see if i'm going to catch him in the act. i figured we were on our way to being enemies by the end of only a few short weeks.

but today, i was busy doing something at my desk when all of a sudden i felt tiny first grade arms around my waist and a little first grade head of blonde hair on my back. the little first grade voice said, "i love you, Miss Blum."

it was Austin. and he meant it, too.

maybe no one at home tells him he can't chew on things or throw things or be nice to people. maybe they don't care. and he knows that.