Sunday, February 25, 2007

Rolling River God

Being someone who is extremely moved by music, I always love to hear a new song that strikes at my heart strings. I recently heard the song River God by Nichole Nordeman. This song has put into words what has been going on in my heart recently, and I wanted to share it with you.

"Rolling river God
Little stones are smooth
Only once the water passes through
So I am a stone
Rough and grainy still
Trying to reconcile this river's chill

But when I close my eyes
And feel you rushing by
I know that time brings change
And change takes time
And when the sunset comes
My prayer would be this one
That you might pick me up
And notice that I am
Just a little smoother in Your hand

Sometimes raging wild
Sometimes swollen high
Never have I known this river dry
The deepest part of You
Is where I want to stay
And feel the sharpest edges wash away

But when I close my eyes
And feel you rushing by
I know that time brings change
And change takes time
And when the sunset comes
My prayer would be this one
That you might pick me up
And notice that I am
Just a little smoother in Your hand

Rolling river God
Little stones are smooth
Only once the water passes through"

"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."
2 Cor. 3:18

Friday, February 23, 2007

Impressing Young Children

I had a reality check yesterday given to me by one of my first graders. We were coloring pictures about how many cups are in a gallon, and this is what he said,

"Miss Lowery, there are sixteen cups in a gallon. And that's how old my cousin is. He's sixteen, and he's my buddy. He's so cool. Cause his jeans have holes in them, and sometimes he has a mohawk."

What does it mean to be cool? In the eyes of my first grader, it's holes in jeans and mohawks. But, who taught him that? And, are we really conscious of the fact that six-year-olds are thinking this way?

My reality check came in the idea that young children are already so capable of picking up on what society deems as "cool." Not only do they pick up on it, but they internalize it...hold on to it...and it some ways, yearn for it. Unfortunately, my impressions are that more and more parents are becoming oblivious to how society is affecting their children. My experience in my classroom shows that few parents realize their responsibility in shaping their child's understanding of "cool" or "pretty" or "smart." Some of these parents are just naive about how impressionable young children are. However, some of these parents just choose not to play that role in their child's life.

This realization hurt, in a way, because I can't go in and change that. I can make a good impression on my students, and pray that the Lord touches their hearts by my example. But, in the end, their families and the culture that they are exposed to has a larger effect on them than I do. This leaves me with a burden to pray for our families; for parents to realize how important it is for them to guide their child's perspective of "cool."

"These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."
Deut. 6:7-9

Monday, February 19, 2007

I Love...

I love blue skies. I love wispy white clouds. I love sunshine. I love twirling around on a sunny day like a little girl (yes, I did twirl today). I love 70-degree weather. I love outside recess. It's been three weeks since my kids went outside for recess, and I am jumping at the opportunity to take them out all week this week. They NEED it! I love taking a walk outside on a beautiful day after weeks of bitter cold. I love leftovers for dinner from Spring Creek BBQ. I loved getting to staff development today and discovering that we had ALL day to work in our classrooms. That is a priceless gift! I love watching how God is moving in my life. I love letting God take control (okay, so I fight it sometimes, but I really do love it). I love answered prayer-even if it is a different answer than what I wanted. I love my Father in heaven. I love His Son-my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I am falling in love with my Lord more deeply each day. I love resting in His arms each and every moment of the day!

"Come let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand."
Ps. 95:6-7

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Will You Be My Valentine?

As a single woman, it could be easy to feel overwhelmed by the rush of pink, red, flowers, and chocolates during this special time of year. As many of my readers know, I am a hopeless romantic. And, I would be lying if I said that I don't occasionally wish for a surprise Knight in Shining Armor to appear on my doorstep on Valentine's Day. Thankfully, I have also been blessed with a sense of reality. Therefore, I let my dreams exist while going about Valentine's Day with as much joy as I do any other day.

I am blessed to spend this Valentine's Day with my 20 first grade "sweethearts" who adore me. They will each bring me a flower (not much of a surprise, I know), so that by the end of the day I have an incredible bouquet to enjoy. We will talk about what it means to fall in love, how their parents chose to get married, and how old we should be when we get married. And, I will take notes of all this first grade "wisdom" in order to share it with you. And, of course, there will be a party. There will be games, food, and the infamous Valentines cards. Everyone will be hyper, but everyone will leave with a smile on their face. It will be a day of enjoying the love that little people have to share.

After school, I will be eating dinner with three of my favorite people in the whole world: Raemey, Ryleigh, and Caysson (4, 3, and 4 months respectively). Raemey and Ryleigh were beside-themselves-excited on Sunday to learn that we would get to have Valentine's Day dinner together!!! There is absolutely nothing like the love of a child.

All of that to say...many singles will approach tomorrow with a groan and a burden that seems to heavy to bear. While I pray that a Prince Charming is awaiting somewhere in my lifetime, I am thankful that God has provided His love for us in so many other ways. God bless you this Valentine's Day. May He surround you with the love of many.

"God is love"
1 John 4:4

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Sense of Adventure...Or Not

There is nothing I like better than seeing a stack of unread books on my nightstand. Why? Because those are adventures waiting to happen. I never know what will happen when I open the next book in my "to be read" stack. It is a complete mystery, and that is completely thrilling to me. I always have to have a book "in process." I have been known to finish a book as I am lying in bed, and read even just 2 pages of a new one before my eyes can't take it anymore just so I am "in the middle" of the next adventure. It's almost like I can't stand to have a book sitting on my nightstand teasing me to come jump back in to the unknown.

The other night as I finished a book and picked up a new one, I lay there contemplating the love affair I have with good books. It struck me that my literary life has a ton more adventure in it than my regular life. Adventures, spontaneity, and the unknown in my real life do not in any way intrigue me. When I am reading, there are times my eyes go dry because I can't even blink for fear that I will miss the next "unknown" that is coming around the corner. In real life, I find myself struggling for control to prevent the unknown. I fight the unknown. I have even been known to beg God to reveal to me what is coming in the next week, month, or year.

This realization has made me think that maybe I should try to approach life like I do a good book. When I turn the page I may laugh, cry, gasp, groan, or scream. But, the Author of my story knows that each giggle or tear keeps me compelled to journey with Him 'til the end. Praise the Lord that He has patience with me as I try to find the same sense of adventure in life that I have when picking up a new novel!

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."
Jer. 29:11