Friday, September 19, 2008

Hurricane Ike

WHEW! We made it through the storm! Our power was just restored one hour ago. We were 10 hours short of being without it for 7 full days. We came away with very little damage at all. We had a large limb go through the roof of our storage shed, and our ONE big tree in the back yard lost half of its top. Other than many, many, many limbs and pine cones, we had very little to clean up. God has been SO gracious by giving us this cool, dry weather!

With the power out and the days so cool, we've spent a lot of time outside this week. On Tuesday--I think--I took Emma Leigh for a wagon ride through the neighborhood. I looked at our neighbor's homes and yards and thought, "What a mission field this is!" I stopped and talked to neighbors I have never met, and because of the circumstances, I caught glimpses into their lives that I may otherwise never have. In many ways Ike was a blessing around here. God has provided opportunities for us to serve and even pray with some of our neighbors.

I think about the verse that says God works all things for His good! Thank you Lord for your goodness!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Missing My Girls

I haven't posted for a few weeks, so I thought I'd take a moment to write down some of my thoughts...

School is back in full-swing, and it's different for me this year. Last year I taught 4th grade all subjects, and I had three students! Yes, three! And they were all girls! I started the year with five, but after Christmas two of them left to go to public schools. I was devastated that they did, but God was working in such a way that I couldn't understand. It was the best thing for the three girls that I shared the rest of the year with. It was my second year to teach these girls, and they were the most precious things! Someone recently said that we seemed to have mother-daughter relationships. I would never think of comparing myself to their moms because they have wonderful mothers, but I did have a bond with them!

This year I am teaching Math, Science, and Social Studies to fourth grade, and then I spend the afternoon teaching Math to third grade. The first two weeks of school this year were the usual getting into the routine and getting to know my students. This week was supposed to be a "normal" week, and my lessons were supposed to go beautifully. Monday I was tired and grouchy, and Tuesday I just felt out of sorts. Wednesday I realized why. I miss "my" girls!

We knew each other inside and out. I could tell if they understood a concept just by looking at them. We laughed together a lot, and we even cried together a few times. We shared moments that I'll never forget including my being able to be a part of the salvation experience of one of them. We prayed together daily, and we shared our hurts and fears. We truly loved each other!

Since our school only goes to the fourth grade, they all had to find new schools this year. Two of them are at private schools this year, and one has entered a local public school. I wish so badly that they could have gone to the same school this year, but God is in control of that too! Each one is where He wants them to be.

I think it's amazing how God shows us things! I was in the middle of teaching Wednesday when I realized how much I miss these girls! And it's not just them but their families too! And I feel relieved to know this was the root of the feelings I had! God does that. He allows us to go through things and feel certain emotions to reveal things to us.

Although I feel sad that I no longer have these girls in my class every day, I now have a new group of students. I saw the girls grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually during the two years they were in my class. Now I have the opportunity to see the 17 students in my two classes grow in the same way. I pray that I am able to make a difference in their lives and that the influence I have over them will forever be a reminder of the love that Jesus has for them.