Thursday, September 24, 2009

Spice It Up

I am trying to spice up my blog. I found a very cute background (as you can see) that I got from The Cutest Blog on the Block website (thanks Amy-I found this on your blog!). I have tried getting a banner and some extra fun things for my blog, but all of these require using a PhotoShop type program and then uploading into my blog. I am having difficulties with this for some reason. Oh step at a time, I guess. I'll keep playing with it. For now...enjoy the cute background but look forward to some icing on this cake in the future! Happy Reading!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Life in the Belt Household

It has been awhile since I caught my readers up on what is happening in our lives. We’ve been married for nine months, and we are some place completely different today than either of us could have probably imagined 9 months ago. But, we would not trade a second of this journey of marriage and life together! We are having a blast and loving doing life together! So, here’s an update of the comings and goings of The Belts!

Update on me: I cannot believe that I am in my 5th year of teaching. It has been a whirlwind for sure! I have been with Frisco ISD the entire time, and it’s so neat to see all the changes that happen in a school district through the years. This is my 2nd year doing dyslexia therapy, and I’m still thoroughly enjoying it. The training program is for 2 years, so I’m on the home stretch working towards my Academic Language Therapy certification. Summer 2010 I will be taking the ALT exam to receive my official certification. I cannot wait to be finished with this training and fully certified. It has been said by many that I am a perpetual student…and this is so true. I have loved being able to teach while going through this training because I got to be a student and teacher at the same time. I have learned so much and am continually amazed at how God created us and how He enabled us to combat difficulties that children can experience.

In addition to training and teaching, I have started a new venture working for myself. In July I began my business as a consultant for Premier Designs Jewelry. I am thoroughly loving this job! It’s completely different than teaching and allows me an outlet to spend time serving women instead of children! Taylor and I hope to start our family in a couple years, and we both feel it is important for me to stay home. Premier Designs will give me an opportunity to add to our finances while being a full time wife and mom! I am loving all the things God is doing with me and through me as a teacher and as a jewelry lady. At this moment in my life this is very fulfilling for me!

Update on Taylor: Taylor is in his 3rd year teaching, and his 2nd year working for Birdville ISD. He is the percussion director for Birdville High and its cluster schools. He also teaches about 20 private lessons a week to many of his students from those schools. This time of year is incredibly busy for Taylor due to marching band. We treasure our quiet moments at home together or the occasional chance to go on a date—these are few and far between right now. But, I tag along for most of the contests and cheer him and his kiddos on which is fun for us to do together. It makes me proud to see the way he works with kids!

In May, the Lord blessed Taylor and I with an incredible opportunity! Since we met, Taylor has been talking with me about his passions towards ministry (a passion that began long before we met) and trying to weigh that against his current situation as a band director. We have been talking and praying about this for a year a half, and had agreed that Taylor would start spending some time with some worship ministers we knew and try to gain experience filling in on occasion. We had kind of placed a 2 year time table on him continuing to teach while learning everything he could about worship ministry before he started fully pursuing a position as a worship minister. To keep a long story short, God had a different time table! In May we received an opportunity to join with the Park Row congregation in Arlington in order for Taylor to serve as interim/part time worship minister while the church heads through a period of transition. We were amazed at God’s workmanship in crafting this journey. The sequence of events could only have happened at God’s Mighty Hand! So, Taylor is also working part time at Park Row making our lives incredibly full and happy as well as busy, but God’s Hand is in all of it! We do not know the timing of how much longer he will be teaching. Our hope is that this will be the last school year, but that rests in the Lord’s will. Taylor loves teaching, but his passion for ministry is significantly greater that his passion for teaching. This is where we believe God is calling us; and though overwhelming and unknown at many points right now, it is a journey we wouldn’t trade for anything!!!

So, this is us. Journeying through the will of God each day, learning where he wants us to move. There are amazing and wonderfully fulfilling things going on in our lives right now. There is a whole lot of unknown regarding our future as well. But, when is the future really known anyway? God has us in the palm of His Hand. All we really want to do, is serve Him passionately and use our lives individually and as a couple to glorify Him always!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Disposition of Perfectionism

It is early Sunday morning. My husband gets to church at 7 on Sundays to make sure everything is prepped before praise team practice at 8. Sometimes I take my own car so that I can rest a little more and not be a distraction to him as he works. This morning, I decided to come along with him. I am currently in the middle of Beth Moore's Esther Bible study, so I got comfy on the couch in his office and dived back into the dramatic narrative that is the story of Esther. I'm in the middle of chapter 5. At the end of chapter 4, Esther has begged Mordecai and the Jews to fast for three days and pray as she prepared to risk her life to go before the king. One of the things I had never really noticed before until this study is that Esther tells Mordecai that she has not been summoned by the king (her husband) in 30 days. Her life is at stake because it was against the law to walk into the king's presence without being summoned. But, I believe Esther was afraid her life was at stake for a 2nd reason: because she had not been called in a month. I believe she feared that she no longer pleased her husband enough for him to feel her life worth sparing. How scary!

Chapter 5 begins with Esther going to see the king and requesting a banquet. After extending his sceptor to her, the kings asked Esther in verse 3, "What is it, Queen Esther?" Beth mentions in this lesson that the Hebrew translation for "what is it?" is akin to "what troubles you?" It was apparent to the king that something was wrong. Despite Esther's bravery and determination in fulfilling God's will for her, she was still human and extremely scared and nervous. "What if I mess up? What if he doesn't love me enough anymore to save my life? What if I am unable to save my people?" I believe all of these questions plus many more were going through Esther's mind. And, that's where my mind starting whirling today...because Beth used this dramatic moment in Esther's story to talk about perfectionism. Here's a quote from her study:

"Beloved, do we believe that the only way to do something acceptably is to do it perfectly? Sometimes God is more aware than we of just how much He requires of us. He knows how hard it's going to be for us...Do you happen to struggle with perfectionism and perhaps could use a little ministry? Do you feel if you can't do something to perfection, you ought not bother? Do you frequently feel pressure to perform tasks that will result in applause? When you blow it, do you wait a long time before trying again? Do you feel the need to always make an 'A'?...Perfectionism is a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as being unacceptable...I'm not suggesting we shouldn't do our best. I'm simply saying that sometimes just surviving certain tasks without fallling apart is our best and in those times God is not ashamed of our performance. He's proud of us for fighting overwhelming human emotions to do His will. God isn't interested in our stellar performances but in our hearts. He loves our willingness and obedience despite our insecurities."

I don't even have a good comment on this yet. I'm going to have to spend a lot of time thinking and praying through this idea and concept over the next many days. I have been convicted and in some sense am experiencing some type of spiritual relief, but that relief is currently at war with my nature of perfectionism. So, I need time. I need to pray and meditate on this concept and on the story of Esther. In the meantime, I cannot wait to continue on this journey with this Queen who may not have been perfect, but was bold in the Lord.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Invitation Only

If you are reading this post, you have either received an invite from me and joined my blog; or you are one of my approved Facebook friends that can see my notes. Yes…I have entered the world of protected blogs. I’m not sure why I didn’t do it sooner.

I awoke this morning to a comment on my blog from an anonymous contributor making hurtful observations regarding my dad. The contents of the message do not matter; only that I have learned my lesson of not protecting my blog before now. I believe whoever the individual is that left the message is acting cowardly and in bad taste, and I feel for them that they do not know of a better way to handle themselves.

It’s amazing how much we can be hurt by comments about those we love. It was a difficult decision to even tell my dad about what happened, simply because it was a very cruel comment, and I didn’t want him hurt. In the end, I decided it was best because he’s still my dad…and dad’s usually want to know when someone has hurt their daughter even if she is all grown-up and married.

So, all of that said, my blog is now invitation only. My God is bigger than the enemy that wishes to see me destroyed, and He will protect me and those I love!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The In's and Out's of Taylor Belt

A few weeks after we got married, I posted about a few things I'd learned about my husband since living in the same house. Well, it's now been 8 1/2 months of marriage and I have learned more! Here's a small sampling!

1) When my husband is tired and wants to wind down, he watches Sports Center. To me, the volume and hyperactivity of Sports Center is anything but "wind down" material; but to my husband it does the trick. So, I quietly shut the bedroom door and enjoy the silence of a book in the tub or in bed so that we can both wind down in our own ways. :)

2) We are at the time of year when marching season takes over our lives. Between teaching school and private lessons, after school marching rehearsals, and working part-time as a worship minister - several days a week find me in bed before he gets home and a quick hi in the morning before we both rush out the door. As a result of this, my husband's subconscious has figured out how to reconnect - sleep in the middle of the queen-sized bed. Yes, without doing it on purpose, Taylor has taken to sleeping in the middle of the bed. And, while I love to cuddle. At 2:00am, my half-asleep self wants to lovingly say, "I miss you too, but SCOOT OVER!" :) hehe

3) Taylor yearns to work in full-time ministry! I love watching him work towards his dreams!

4) Sunday mornings = Gaither Homecoming Hour Taylor tapes these on our DVR and then watches them from time to time, but ALWAYS on Sunday mornings.

I am loving learning about my husband! So excited I get to learn about him everyday!