Monday, October 13, 2008

There are still things to be done here.

Crazy happenings of last week:
-Fell off of my bike trying to prevent my pant leg from getting caught on the chain - silly that one moment can have such effects. Chipped my two front teeth, among other bruises. I was pretty torn up on the inside that day - it was pretty shocking, a huge ego blow and chipping my teeth had to have been my WORST fear. Haha. I shudder every time I think about it, but I am fine. Pretty good, actually. God is good and have put wonderful people in my life. It's been teaching me a lot of things - joy, humility, confidence from God, not relying on what the world thinks of you, etc. God is so sweet!
-Around the World dinner was a hit (in my humble opinion)! There were so many good foods that people brought and people brought their friends, which was extra exciting!
-Team Fausome Possum is underway - lost our first game but it was so much fun! We had an awesome group of people cheering us on. :) Friends are amazing gifts from God.
-EDSP499C is a pretty sweet class - I know a lot of people don't like it, but it makes me think a lot. Yesterday, we talked a lot about education and poverty, the difference between high poverty schools vs. low poverty schools (teacher quality, facilities, class size, salaries, etc). It reminded me a lot of what we talked about on the plunge and really reminded me of why I want to be a teacher and where I want to teach (intentionally in an area of need). The system is so working against these kids, along with the many other factors, outside of academics (academic experiences, parents, opportunities, etc). Some teachers just don't want to deal with it - they'd rather have security, comfort even (who'd blame them?). To reinforce this, a couple of weeks ago, she posed the question: If DC public schools offered to pay you $70,000 to work there, vs. the $45,000 dollars you'd get with MCPS [Moco], would you take it? Even with the huge pay hike (not that we do it for money anyway, haha, which kinda skews this example... but whatever), all of the teachers she asked said no, with one girl even saying that her life is much more valuable to her. There is much fear, biases, insecurity. And so the system perpetuates itself. Sure, there are a lot of initiatives going into it and a lot of proposed change; but is that really going to change such a long running system?
I guess the only thing we can do is hope and trust that Jesus will make it right.
It was an interesting class for me, to say the least. ALSO, we are doing NCLB "at risk" subgroup presentations and guess which group I got - children living in poverty!

Crazy happenings to come:
-SG Dinner at El Taco Dinner Thursday!
-Tyrone Wells at Fe Friday night!
-I start teaching next week! In a self-contained special ed classroom, in Anne Arundel County. 40 minutes+ away. However, someone from my class will be teaching there too, so carpooling will happen.
-KNES160N starts on Monday!
-Fall retreat

Listening to: God of this City, Chris Tomlin

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Jesus, take my life and lead me on.

Sometimes there is such a disconnect for me. I often feel in between joy and guilt. Joy in what I see God doing in my heart/life, on our campus, within our fellowship, in friendships, in intentionality. Guilt in how hard it is for me to leave behind what I hold dear, in not living up to my potential. I am so selfish and I am realizing it more and more each day. There is a lot in my heart that I am unable to let go of, things that I want. I feel so unworthy sometimes and God knows my heart, but His goodness and mercy are overwhelming.
"To starve is to feast and less of me is more of Jesus." -- I gave a little speech about lordship at this retreat I went on this weekend - 3-5 minutes. It's pretty funny I got to speak on this topic because it's been increasingly difficult for me as of late. At one point, I felt so unfit to talk about this because of my struggles due to the selfishness that I have. I wanted to change it at one point; I was having a lot of trouble writing/thinking out what I wanted to say. But I remembered a truth that I often forget. Something that I love so much about God is that he is working on us all, continually and every day. And His grace is there, when we fall short, despite anything and everything.
Philippians 3:7-9 is amazing. The more I come to know God (and read verses such as this), the more I am convicted to give my life over to Him, the more I am convicted that what I hold dear in my life here is worthless in comparison to what Jesus is. However, there is a disconnect between this strong conviction and living it out. I read passages like this one and am so moved. Change may happen but I fall back into the same sin eventually. Still, another amazing example of His grace.
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith
I will try to be better. I will be better.

Photo compliments of Allison.

Listening to: Lord You Have My Heart, delirious?