fortygirl

FortyGirl…that’s me! This blog is about a Christian wife, mother and educator who is working on being a better person. This is my very own personal self-improvement journey! I will share my successes, situations (so much better than saying challenges), and any other funny or serious issues that will come up along the way. I am an educator who absolutely believes we MUST be life-long learners…that is what keeps us young! So, the journey begins…here we go….

Prayer Warriors Needed…Immediately

All you have to do today is turn on the television and you are bombarded with negativity. I have this image that God is looking down from his throne on high, and is shaking his head as he observes the events taking place in our nation, and across the globe. We have violent protests, we have police officers getting shot and under public scrutiny, we have a terrorist organization terrorizing the world, Christians are under attack across the world, human trafficking is alive and well in this world. Our country is polarizing, our world is polarizing and it is scary! I truly worry about the future, not so much for me, but for my son, my nephews, our youth as a whole.What is going on???  We need prayer! We need action!

The beauty of this country is that you have a right to peaceful protest…peaceful. Now, our nation has a history of violence, as does the world in general, but what happened to learning from past history. I remember hearing in school “history always repeats itself”, well, at that time I wasn’t so sure, but I now know how true that statement is!

In conversations with people I am amazed at the fact that some people truly have no idea what is going on in the world. We are in the midst of an election for the next President, and many people do not know specifics about the candidates. They do not know what is happening in the world today, but can tell me what is happening on the latest reality show! Seriously! It is time to get engaged in reality! On the flip side I have had people say, “I’m just not going to vote or I will just write someone in on the ballot”. Come on…take a stand for one candidate or the other, after you get the facts, but don’t just remain silent by not voting, or writing in some name that doesn’t stand a chance. Get involved! Have an educated voice, Pray about it!!!

Our nation is hurting, our citizens are hurting each other and pulling away from each other, and we must take action to reunify. We need Prayer Warriors! We need Prayer Warriors that will pray every day for healing for our country, our world. We need Prayer Warriors that pray for our country’s leaders, future leaders, our people. We need prayer Warriors to heal hearts, mend families, cure addictions, bring about personal peace. God is listening!

As a Prayer Warrior you will be drawn, like a magnet, to make a change. Get involved locally, donate whether it is time, money or both. Support a cause, share the message of Christ. Now, I am the first one to say I am not comfortable approaching strangers, as I am not even comfortable praying in front of a group of people, but that is the beauty of being a Prayer Warrior. You do not need to approach strangers or pray out loud…this can be done privately, and as for sharing your faith, and God’s message…that can be done through your actions.

I will tell you I am working on the praying in front of people, and talking with strangers, remember taking action…baby steps. I took a leap of faith and began a book study at church, and I am preparing to lead another one. I have shared the books with co-workers and friends as well. Taking action can start out small. I promise you will find it easier and easier as you continue to take those small leaps of faith.

Stop and reflect today. What can you do to make a difference? Change does in fact start with us. Will you join me, and encourage others, to become a Prayer Warrior?

Here is a prayer to get you started…

Dear Lord, you are aware of what is happening in the world, and specifically in our nation. Please put your hand on me and lead me to help bring a positive change. Please heal the hearts of those hurting. Please refocus the eyes of our nation back on you. Please unify the citizens of this great nation, and please place in the office of President the candidate that represents you and your values, and will lead our country being guided by you, Lord.

In Jesus’ name…Amen

Welcome Prayer Warrior! God IS listening!

 

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Taking a Leap of Faith

Gosh! it has been awhile since I last posted. Time has flown by, and things have been rather hectic. The past 6 months I have faced my share of challenges, some that have downright brought me to my knees, praying knees that is. Through all of the challenges, I prayed, even quoted scripture, and in the end know that his hand directed the outcome…it required me taking that leap of faith and trusting…in Him.

One example of taking a leap of faith…I kept getting a gnawing feeling, a push, if you will, that I needed to lead a book study, get involved in my church. So, I took that leap of faith. I spoke to my pastor about my thought, I prayed about it, and next thing I know I was signed up to lead a women’s book study. The book I chose, “More Than a Good Bible Study Girl” by Lysa TerKeurst. The book was shared with my by a dear friend, and after reading it twice I felt it was a book I related so well with, I knew other women would too.

Now, let me be clear, I have never done anything like this. I have not read the Bible, I do not know scripture so easily that I can quote it on a moment’s notice. Putting it plainly, this leap of faith was way out of my comfort zone…to say the least. I also am definitely a Christian in the works, shall we say. Regardless, I felt the push and knew it is what God wanted me to do.

The first night of class I entered my classroom and found my self surrounded by the pastor’s wife, her mother, a former school principal and retired pastor’s wife, my own mother, just to name a few. Needless to say, I felt inferior. My lack of Bible knowledge suddenly caused my anxiety level to increase…drastically. May I also say that the books for the study, that I had ordered well in advance, had arrived, but were the wrong books. Good grief! I needed a scripture and a prayer immediately…this was an emergency! So, I gathered myself and read the first couple of chapters out loud to the ladies. You know what was so interesting…people never get too old to be read to. Each of the ladies sat back in their chairs and just listened. As I read, I would stop and ask questions. Before I knew it the first class was over.

Each week, as I faced challenges at my job, I found this class to be rewarding to me. I was tired each week and wanted to go home, but I would arrive at class greeted by smiles and support from the ladies in my class. I can honestly say I got more out of the class than those ladies probably did. I was the youngest member of the class, and yet I was leading. As we moved through the chapters, what I learned is that women suffer from the same issues and concerns. I listened to women in their 50s, 60s, and 70s talk about their challenges as women, and you know what? Their concerns and challenges were similar to my own!

As I led this book study, it became so clear to me that women need to spend more time lifting each other up and less time tearing each other down. Regardless of our age, we still are women with similar questions and concerns. It was so refreshing to walk into a room full of women who were willing to share their stories. We bonded, connected, and I know leading that class has made a difference in my life. All of this because I heeded God’s desire, and I took that Leap of Faith!

I am preparing to put myself out there to lead another class very soon, and I know that I will be blessed yet again. My encouragement to you is to take that Leap of Faith…get out there! With God leading you…blessings will follow.

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Are We Preparing Students For The World, Or A Test?

Source: Are We Preparing Students For The World, Or A Test?

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Social Media…blessing and a curse?

Now, I am not unaware of the irony of my title considering I am writing a blog that I will tweet out soon, thus using social media. That being said, social media has been a super resource for me professionally. I love utilizing Twitter to connect with people all over the world. I obtain some great information and ideas through my connections on Twitter. Pinterest has given me some great DIY projects for my home, and ideas for my son’s birthday party. Facebook has allowed be to reconnect with friends I have not seen or heard from in years. I love seeing how my high school friend’s children have grown, and what my college friends are up to. I find social media to be so positive!

The flip side of that is, some people truly believe that social media is a forum for their therapy.They express everything and anything on social media thinking there should not ever be consequences. I am amazed at people who post on a social media site, which is public, but then are surprised when everyone “knows their business”, really? I have even had people say that they are entitled to freedom of speech. Well, that is true, we all have freedom of speech; however, freedom of speech does not mean without consequences.

I also wonder about the people who must post their every waking thought or movement on social media. Are people really interested in your date night, or the latest batch of cookies someone made, or the song lyrics going through someone’s head, and on and on. Truly, if you are on a date night with your spouse, maybe turning off the phone and spending the date night with them would be better. I imagine it would be appreciated by their date!

Again, social media has so many positives, it is the use of social media by some, or maybe not just some, that leaves me scratching my head. As I think about it, maybe it isn’t what is being said, but who people are “friends” with? I am pretty selective about who I am “friends” with, and definitely careful and cautious about what I post. I am always aware of my profession, and the perception of what I say, and how that can be perceived. Who we socialize with and the comments we make are forever out in social media space. They can even keep us from advancing, getting a new position or job, and can affect personal relationships and professional ones. I guess, with everything, one must consider the consequences, and truly be responsible in all of their actions, social media included. Oh, one last thing…selfies in a bathroom mirror are less than impressive…please pick a different location to show off your latest hair style!

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Is There a Test for That?

Education is about the whole child, and testing should be more than to evaluate a teacher. If we test we should be obtaining accurate information that truly has an impact on what we teach, not just because we want something to tie to teacher evaluations.

Help4Teacher

I love being an educator! There is no other job quite as important as being an educator. It is our responsibility as educators to educate our students to be thinkers in a globalized world. Now that is a tough job to tackle! We have new standards…Common Core, and quite frankly I am thrilled to have standards that are common around the country. As a mobile student growing up, I have gaps in my education because the standards were not common from state to state. Now, onto testing…we know we need standardized testing, and let’s face it we have always had standardized testing. A lot of great information can come from reviewing testing data, and great teachers analyze their data and make decisions about their teaching based upon their findings.

Accountability is needed. We need to know if teachers are performing adequately in the classroom. We need to know if a…

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Love it or Leave it

Love it or Leave it.

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Saying Good-bye is never easy to do…

Monday was one of the hardest days of my life. It was one of the hardest days for our family. We had to say good-bye to our family member and companion of 13 years, Cookie. She was 15 years old. My husband and I adopted Cookie when she was two years old. She has been a part of our family ever since. She was a sheltie mix, and she was wonderful. Believe it or not, she even smiled, yes, smiled. She would raise her gums and show us her teeth when she was excited about something. She was our “baby girl”. We added a male sheltie, Max, to our family 3 years later and then our son, Alexander, was born 3 years after that.

Cookie was a part of our family through many changes, and she was loyal and loving. We have had the hardest time getting through this week without her.  We knew the time was drawing near, as her age began to be more and more obvious. She was sleeping more, and just showing signs of aging. On Monday, we knew we needed to take her to the veterinarian to have her checked and as I sat in the waiting room with her head on my lap, crying, I just knew. I cried the entire time as we waited. As the vet checked her out and then told us that he believed she had cancer and it was “time”…I can simply say I, we, were devastated. 

We knew that letting her go was the right thing to do. We did not want to see her suffer, but letting her go was also the hardest thing to do. Coming home to her bed, toys, and of course, Max our other dog, who is still trying to figure our where she is…we were, and are, completely heartbroken.

Our son has drawn pictures, and says “Cookie is peeing on pansies in Heaven”, something his grandparents told him, and a phrase that did bring a smile to our faces through the tears. As a Christian, I believe in a loving and gracious God, and I know that I will see our Cookie again someday. In the meantime, I will remember the precious times with our “baby girl”. So many people have told us what a good life we gave her, but the fact of the matter is she made our lives better.  She made us better people. 

Our Max is now getting all of the attention and is not quite sure how to take that, but is enjoying it all the same. He brings a smile to our face each and everyday as well, and we are thankful for him. Our son, Alexander, told me just a day ago that he misses Cookie, and my only response was “me too”. 

Pets bring so much joy to our lives, in our case our dogs, and saying good-bye has been one of hardest things we have ever had to do. I just want the hole inside of me to close, and I know it will get smaller as time passes. In the meantime, I just cry when it hits me and miss her and remember her.

We love you, Cookie…so very much…we are heartbroken without you.

We said good-bye on July 28th.image

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A favorite quote…

A favorite quote….

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A favorite quote…

“Before you judge me, make sure you are perfect”…oh, I just love this quote. It is so simple and if we all followed by its words the world would be a better place…don’t you think? Simple words, and yet very hard to follow. If you really think about it, as humans we are so quick to make a judgment on very little information, or by how someone or something looks. So, my personal challenge is to remember this very quote when I feel the urge to make a judgment call. Are you up to the challenge?

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Freedom means to me…

As the Fourth of July quickly approaches I begin to reflect on what freedom really means…As a Christian it means I have the ability and power to worship openly without concern of being persecuted. I had the ability to pick the career that I wanted, to decide who I wanted to marry, and I am free to have an opinion and express it, and the list goes on and on.
That being said, I also know what freedom is not…freedom is not being inconsiderate to those around you, being able to say whatever you want without consequence, and expecting everyone to have the same opinion as you. Unfortunately, many people feel that playing their music so loud it disrupts everyone around them is their right. There are those that think being disrespectful to the folks in a movie theater, who are simply trying to watch a movie in quiet, is their right as well, and let us not forget the person who carries on a phone conversation in a public place with no concern for anyone around. Let’s be clear those are not freedoms.
Freedom means respecting one another, valuing varying opinions, appreciating differences, and remembering that we have the right to choose. We live in the most amazing country. Yes, we have issues and challenges as a country, but that just means that we must each play our part in protecting the freedoms that our country was founded on. So, take a moment and reflect on what freedom means to you, and when you see a veteran or a soldier tell them “thank you” for protecting those freedoms that you reflected on. Happy Fourth of July!

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