These are a few of my favorite things….

This year is the year of small winscounting the little things that make my life pretty awesome right now.  I found myself at the beginning of this year being super negative and wallowing in despair over all the things that haven’t changed since last year. 

I am done doing that!  Lets celebrate everything amazing that God has blessed us with!

Not because nothing wrong doesn’t ever happen…
Not because things aren’t ever hard…
Not because I am ignoring the difficulties of life….

BUT because God is still with me through all the wrong and the bad and the struggles.  I was challenged by this verse this week.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”(Romans 8:18 ESV)

After a hard week last week, I was so encouraged to leave school on Friday feeling that my students perhaps might have accomplished something. Besides that, there are some other things that made my week so much better!

1. Participating in a 10 day gluten free/dairy free weight-loss challenge!  This makes my meals a little complicated, but nothing I can’t handle for 10 days.  As well, I have a menu to choose from and smoothies to drink.  I feel great and light.  My jeans are already fitting better and the workouts are going really well! So encouraging! (Might be a little hungry though!)

2. Had a great time with my Gospel Community on Monday night!  I love those girls and they are so encouraging!  It was a great time to pray and encourage one another!

3. Went to see Anna Karenina with a sweet friend! It was definitely a sad movie but was beautifully done and had the most amazing costumes!

4. Worked out with co-workers 2 days after school and it was so fun!  Sometimes I forget how much fun it is to workout with friends.  I get so much in my head when I workout and I forget to have fun!  And sometimes it is fun to do something with co-workers that doesn’t involve work!

5. Was able to spend some quality time on my homework both Wednesday and Thursday evening.  This was great because it helped me get a paper written by Friday night and I love getting things done early!

6. Went on a field trip with my Drama Club…this was definitely the highlight of my week!  These kids are near and dear to my heart and they had a blast.  We saw a great show and they got to experience something they might have not ever experienced before!  I love helping them see the possibilities of theater!  (plus it got me out of school for a couple hours!)

7. Had an encouraging and challenging (in a good way) meeting with my assistant principal, where I was given some ideas to help with some difficult students.  Sometimes it helps just to talk about why things are hard and have someone speak into them or put them in a different light so it isn’t so discouraging. 

– The kids worked hard!
– We listened to my favorite Australian Radio station
– I got grades updated and left school feeling a sense of “finish”
– The kids seem to like the project we are working on.
– We ended the day with a mixer and I started to remember why I love middle schoolers so much. 
– Got my workout in and ended the day babysitting for a sleeping baby!

What amazing things happened to you this week? What are your small wins?

Late to the Thankful Party

So I have notice some of my friends and family posting what they are thankful for every day this month. Every time I see a post, I want to join in, but I thought I would just catch up today. I have 13 things to be thankful for so far….I am not going to prioritize totally because that is too much thinking for a Sunday morning!

I am thankful for:

Day 1: My Savior and My God….my life would have no purpose, no hope, no joy without Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

Day 2: My siblings….as much as they frustrated me growing up, I love them a lot. I am excited to see them a lot in the next month or so!

Day 3: My job…I get to do what I love everyday and love on a great group of kids who make me laugh, challenge me to be the best teacher possible.

(I try to tell them that I am not married, but they have a hard time remembering.)

Day 4: My friends….even when all they are doing is sitting on their computer next to me or far away, I love having friends who love me for me.

Day 5: My Redeemer Community….when I left college for KC, I prayed that I would find a church home, and I did. Every time I spend time with my community, I feel home.

Day 6: My parents! They have done so much for me and continue to love and pray for me every day. I can always count on them to preach truth and love at me when I need to hear it.

Day 7: My co-workers! They are tons of fun and help keep me sane on crazy days! I don’t think I could do my job if I didn’t work with awesome people.

Day 8: My trainer Angie….she pushes me to do things that I don’t think I am capable of and is in my corner! Even though I pay her, I consider her a friend! She has helped me change my life in so many ways.

Day 9: Drama Club! I love being able to inspire young actors and help them be apart of the arts. Even if it only changes 1 kids life, I would say all the time and energy is worth it. It is also a fun way to end my days at school!

Day 10: A healthy body! I am not just thankful for all the weight I have lost, but more so for a body that works and that allows me to work hard at the gym. I am thankful for no aches or pains, even when I am sore and tired!

Day 11 (Friday): For supportive principals! This last week on Friday we had a Poetry Jam in the library! I am so thankful that I have principals that allow us to take risks in the classroom, so we can inspire kids to work hard and have fun!

Day 12: (Yesterday) My nephew! I love that little guy, he is starting to talk and he is constantly on the move, but I love him. He is fun to play with and so smart! I wish I could be around him more.

Day 13: (Today) I am thankful for my Sunday mornings at The Roasterie. Days like today when I especially need to spend time with God and reflect are good for my heart and soul. I am thankful that I have the money to come every week. I am thankful for a church that has an evening service. I am thankful for big tables to spread out on. I am thankful for time. I am so glad for where I am at in my life that I have time on a Sunday morning to spend an extended time with God.

Top 5 Friday- Favorite Things to do with a Summer Day

I only have a few days of summer left and so I want to share some of my favorite things I have done with of my open days this summer. (Let’s be honest, I have a lot of open days in the summer.)

Anyways, I got the idea for Top 5 Friday from one of my favorite bloggers and someone that I think is a kindred spirit, AnnieBlogs. Check her out, she is in Scotland right now!

On to the list!

1. Sleep in! I mean come on, I think if we all had days on end that we didn’t have to be places to be or people to see, we would sleep in a little bit or a lot! I started out my summer with a bang, so it took me a while to catch up. However, now that July let the heat in, I am getting up earlier to get my runs in and enjoy the morning a bit more now. I also am trying to get used to the idea that soon I am going to have to get up at 5:30 and go to be earlier.

2. Go to the movies in the middle of the day! Yep, I love to sit in a dark theater by myself. It is nice and air conditioned. There aren’t a lot of people there and I get to enjoy some good movies. Right now, I really want to see Crazy, Stupid, Love and Harry Potter (yeah, somehow I missed that train.)

3. Lay out by the pool! I now have a legitimate tan. The great thing about where I live is that they have a sweet pool and lots of lounge chairs. Also, everyone works during the day, so I can go out there and not have to see a lot of people. Now that it is super hot outside, the sun takes more out of me and leaves me pretty tired. However, I love my tan!

4. Hang out with peeps! I love getting to spend time with friends when I am not thinking about all the things I have to get done before the next day. Usually during the school year, I have a hard time getting together with people because I am so drained after a long day with kids. That’s why I love summer!

5. Get addicted to new TV shows! I don’t know whether this is a good thing or not! But some of my favorite shows are summer shows, like So You Think You Can Dance or White Collar. There a couple of new shows this summer, but I also found some seasons of some that have been on the air a while and I have been getting caught up on Netflix. For example, I think Parks and Rec is Hilarious!! I just bust out laughing for no reason sometimes. Other new ones, Suits on USA and Royal Pains on USA….so funny and great writing and acting!
Runner ups: Working out in an empty gym, reading fun books, afternoon naps, enjoying meal time, discovering new blogs, and trying out new recipes!

What are some of your favorite things to do on an open day in your schedule? Or if you had a day to do anything you wanted what would you do?