February 25, 2011

Snuggie Party!

It's a month of Celebrations!! And today is the birthday of this beautiful friend:

Nicki & I met at Baylor as well because God really wanted us to be friends. We had the same major--and basically were in all the same classes together-- same church, same sorority. So just in case we couldn't figure it out on our own, He made sure that we saw each other a lot so that our friendship was inevitable (and I am so glad!). Nicki and I started our friendship when we had a class together and would both walk awkwardly near each other to get lunch and then both get our lunches and leave... and then one day we decided to have lunch together (brilliant concept!). My last 2 years at Baylor we lived together and basically spent ALL of our time together. From Friday Morning Breakfasts at Penland to Sorority meetings and officer meetings to crazy classes and assignments (we actually had an assignment to go watch children and families and write about what they were doing without the families knowing--creepy) to working the Honeybee Classroom at Highland to making Cosmos at our apartment to random shopping trips (and a whole lot of other activities), Nicki was with me every step of the way throughout my time at Baylor and I am so grateful.

Even though Nicki now lives 1,055 miles away from me (I just google mapped it) we have remained close. She is always there when I have news, good or bad, that I want to share and to talk about the things big and little. Nicki has such a sweet heart for people and is currently studying to be a School Psychologist so she can help some of the kids who need support the most! She is always quick to share encouragement and truth with me when I need i. I am very blessed by her friendship.

Nicki, I hope you have a wonderful birthday and get to celebrate. Sorry you aren't closer so we can't have a snuggie party! Love you!

February 8, 2011

Letting Go

Tonight our youth girls had our monthly meeting. We had dinner and discussion led by our amazing youth coordinator, Jenny. We talked about treasure and finding your treasure in Jesus and she read the story of the Pearl Necklace to the girls. I have heard this story many times, any every time I do I just love it and am completely convicted so I thought I'd share it here.

The Pearl Necklace

The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box.

"Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please!"
Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face.
"A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."
As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents.
On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.
Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere--Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.
Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?"
"Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess--the white horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She's my favorite."
"That's okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.
About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?"
"Daddy, you know I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my babydoll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."
"That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you." And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.
A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.
"What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?"
Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver,she finally said, "Here, Daddy. It's for you."
With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny.

He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her genuine treasure.

I have been going through a season of lots of changes and new paths and directions. But I pray that God would continue to help me see Him as my ultimate reward and my only focus. It's a daily process of letting go of the things of this world that bring me comfort or that I think I need to complete me. But as I seek after Him I am able to rest more in His peace and trust in His plan--even though it can be a struggle for me.

February 7, 2011

Just have to say...

This is my excited face, in case you can't tell. And my excited face is up because I am so excited to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of my very best friends, Erin.

(see? she's excited it's her birthday too!)

Erin is such a blessing in my life and even though I have not gotten to talk to her on her special day, I am wishing her all the best! We got to celebrate this weekend with lunch, shopping and just hanging out talking about nothing and everything for hours on end. It was a true picture of our friendship, because that's pretty much what we do--talk about a random assortment of topics whenever we are together.

Erin & I met at Baylor when I was a lowly Freshman asking for rides to church. Then we spent a summer together in Waco and bonded over a rainy 4th of July where we had nothing to do but stay inside--thus began our random conversations.

I was so excited when Erin moved to the Dallas area not too long after graduation. It has been so great to have her here as we've gotten settled into the grown-up world.

Erin is such a godly woman and a wonderful encouragement in my life. She strives to follow Christ in every action and is always challenging me to do the same and to continue growing in all aspects of life. I really can't imagine what my life would be like without her friendship.

Happy Birthday Erin! You are amazing!

February 4, 2011

My Week

So with the exception of yesterday when my office was open for 6 hours this is what our week has looked like:

No complaints here!

February 1, 2011

Back to School

So I mentioned in my first post of the year that 2011 was a year of big changes. One of those changes started 3 weeks ago when I went to my first Grad School class. Yes, that's right... after saying time and time again that I never wanted to go back to school I am working towards a Masters.

Let me say for the record that I still really have no desire to be in school. But after lots of thought and prayer I realized that what I truly feel like I am called to do requires a Master's degree. So with the theme of being open to new things I took the leap.

I had applied to UNT for the Spring of 2010 last year for their Special Education Program. But when it came time for interviews, I really didn't feel like the timing was right and felt as though that door was being closed. Little did I know that it was only closed temporarily.

Over Thanksgiving break, I decided to resubmit my application. I found out 2 days before Christmas that I had been accepted into the Graduate school and the Master's Program in Special Education. And that began the whirlwind of figuring out my new schedule, registering for classes, getting textbooks ordered, etc.

I started classes the week of MLK and so far am really enjoying the 2 classes I am taking. Last week I met with my advisor to discuss all the plans for my certificate and then the entire graduate program. I will be working toward their IMPACT certificate which will allow me to get a teaching certificate to teach Special Education. Then I will use those hours and work towards a Masters to become an Educational Diagnostician.

I know that it's gonna be a busy road as I continue to work full time, take classes, study for certification exams, look for teaching jobs and focus on other big and exciting things happening this year. But I am so excited to be on this path.

Even if I spent my entire sick day yesterday (yes I really was sick after a weekend retreat with my youth) on this: