January 5th

Did I tell you about my wonderful daughter-in-laws?  They are Christian woman who love their families and have taught me much.  Both dedicated, conscientious and deliberate about what they do.  They both love the finer things in life – my sons!  They are both wonderful mothers to my grandchildren.

The daughter-in-law who married my oldest son is amazing in what she can accomplish.  Take Thanksgiving 2011 for example.  She ran a 5 mile race in the morning, then cleaned and cooked for 18 people.  (We all did help with the cooking part.)  After the rest of the family left, she shopped all night for the Black Friday specials.  She also has four children (then ages 3-11).  She mountain-climbs, skis, runs, bikes, swims, and takes any other challenge she finds.  She is lovely and her home is spotless almost all the time.  Did I mention that she works, scrapbooks, leads children’s ministry in her church, goes on mission trips, and blogs? Well it makes me feel a bit inadequate.  (Isn’t that supposed to be the other way around?  I thought daughter-in-laws feared living up to mother-in-laws’ expectations.)  She far surpasses any expectations I would have.

It is the blogging that I want to mention today.  (If you want to read how she manages all that, read her blog – 7feetnorth.)  She just celebrated her first anniversary blogging and posted some links as to how to get started.  Well, following her links and hearing Michael Hyatt, gave me the incentive to try it myself. 

What will I write about?  As God leads, I will attempt to write about life lessons, passions and praise.  If my working through victories and defeats help encourage anyone, then it will be worth the time.  Right now I have plenty of time because I am out of work with my leg problem.  It will be more of a challenge when I return because I do not have the stamina that my daughter-in-law has.  But I will put forth my best effort.  I don’t know if my writing will be encouraging to you or not, but it will be for me.  As I write, I am forced to reflect on what is most important in life.

Reason to praise – I have wonderful daughter-in-laws.  (I will tell you about the other one in the future.)

Posted on by goyettekaren | 2 Comments

Teacher’s Hope: Learning and Growing

January 2nd, 2013
Vacation is over and I am back to the routines of daily work. Did anyone ever tell you that teaching was hard work, but it is also fun!
Today we used a potato and lemon and bottles of water to make a clock, sound chip and LED light work. The kids were amazed that they could put two pieces of metal into a potato and make a sound chip work and then amplify it with a cup. I had the extra fun of experimenting with the procedures with my grandchildren the day before.
I remember reading a suggestion that you should fill some file folders with information you would like to become an expert on. These should be subjects you can be passionate about. Well, I never actually filled file folders, but there are areas that I am passionate about. They would be:
1. The Bible – To know God’s word and to know Christ in an experiential way.
2. Family – To give myself to encourage those closest to me.
3. Teaching – To teach and encourage children both spiritually and to fulfill their potential.
4. Reading – I know the importance of good literature that builds character.
5. Science and Engineering – Learning the laws and forces in the physical and natural world and how man designs in concert with them. This is a fairly new category for me, but I have been learning all I can to teach it. (My father and brother are engineers.)
I am not an expert in any of these areas, but a constant learner and I desire to add to knowledge and applications in each area. How blessed I am that my life’s work also revolves around these areas. I am a wife, mother, grandmother, Sunday school teacher, and public school teacher/librarian. As a teacher, I have the opportunity to teach gifted students and have done so for eleven years. In each of these roles, I get to be involved and continue learning what I love!
Reason to give thanks day 2 – Being able to work daily at what I love.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Teacher’s Hope: Foundations

 January 4, 2013

                School calls and I am required to go to their doctor.  I was set with the hospital doctor note to return to work on Monday.  Why did I need to see another doctor?  How inconvenient!  Then I sat in the doctor’s office for over an hour – what a waste of time!

                Finally the doctor comes in and carefully examines the sore knee.  What I thought was just swelling and bruised, is infection.  By evening, my leg is very sore, swollen and warm.  I take the antibiotic prescribed.  That night it was hard to sleep with both pain and thinking about the doctor’s warning concerning the infection spreading.

                During the night I wake and find myself praying a prayer my father taught me to say each night before bed.  I have not thought about this routine prayer for many years.  I never taught it to my children but if you are old enough, you may recall it.  “Now I lay me down to sleep.  I pray the Lord my soul to keep.  If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”  According to Wikipedia, written by Joseph Addisen in 1711 with this revised version published in the New England Primer. I don’t think I ever understood the wisdom in those words before or the peace they could bring.  My soul is safe with God no matter what.  My father would continue to lead me in saying the Lord’s Prayer – “Our Father, Who art in heaven…” (from Luke 11) and then would end with God bless Mommy and Daddy, etc. 

                Little did I realize or appreciate the foundation for faith.  In later years, as I knew their faults, never let me forget the childhood faith foundation my father laid.  My parents brought us to church each week – they did not just leave us there.  Sometimes in summer, we would walk together about six blocks to the church. 

                Parents today must be deliberate in this very busy world to care for the example they are and the foundation they lay.  As our children grew, we made the point each day to read the Bible and often in the evenings, other Christian literature.  My husband read the complete Narnia series to them (way before the movies came out). It was not easy to do this. We were often tired and had demands on time and children sometimes were antsy and did not always encourage the endeavor.

                Please don’t think I am morbid concerned about surviving the night with a bruised knee, but the doctor did outline the infection on my leg in pen and instructed me to call if it spread.  I would then probably be sent to the hospital again.  Not sure if it was just a change in the location or that the medicine needed more time to work, I struggled with wondering if I should make a call. 

                As I pass into my later years, (I am no longer a spring chicken), I realize that there will be times when I am afraid for life.  One day I will pass on.  I need not fear what comes after – my soul is hidden with Christ who died to give me spiritual life now and forever!

                What I do need to fear is sin in my life that spreads as an infection in the body.  There is a pill I can take to stop the spread of infection in my body, but only confession, repentance and faith in Christ’s death on the cross for me will heal that deeper infection.  Just like a small infection on a knee, those seemingly small sin infections of gossip, discontent, and pride can grow and choke my spirit.   

                Thank you, doctor, for the pill which is doing what it needs to do; and thank you, Jesus, for your love demonstrated to me, giving forgiveness, cleansing and wonderful hope!

Reason to praise: I am alive and will be forever, I have been given a foundation for faith, and I have hope.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 3 Comments

Teacher’s Hope: Faithfulness

January 1, 2013
Forgive me for back tracking but I realize I did not start journaling until January 6th, so I just want to explain what has led up to writing this journal. My paper journal was actually a gift from Christmas 2011. It is till blank at the beginning of 2013. Yes, I was going to begin 2012 writing in it, but did not.
I always try to review the old year and set goals for the New Year. They are not always kept, but I don’t think that is a reason not to set them. We must keep striving. We must not let failure keep us from trying to reach those goals we feel are important. He will use our strivings, encouragement from others, and his word to bring us to attainment. “Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
I remember struggling in my early 20’s to read the Bible daily. I would try to get up early to have devotions, but then ignore the early alarm. I just could not seem to do it. Many prayers were said asking for help to be faithful in this.
God used a favorite author, Elizabeth Elliot, when she said that obedience was demonstrated by getting up at the first sound of the alarm. I had never thought of obedience to God as beginning there. That thought helped me to practice a daily devotional time and yearly reading of the Bible. Three chapters a day brings you about to the end in a year. I have to admit that when I first started going back to work, there were a few years that I slipped. There were also some years where my goal was only one chapter. These were dry times because I knew I was letting busyness rule and take the place I had once kept only for the Lord.
Thankfully, the Lord has helped me resume my former reading schedule. Still, my prayer time has been less. This year’s goal is to hold on to that prayer time. Secondly, I want to commit to be thankful each day.
What am I thankful today for? The answer is Christian authors. Because of devoted Christian author’s, I can learn and grow from great men and women living in today’s world and also those who have faithfully lived throughout history.
This Christmas I was given a book entitled, One Thousand Gifts: Finding Joy in What Really Matters by Ann Voskamp. (Zondervan, 2012). The premise is to be thankful for the small things which like seeds will grow and give birth to a joyful and thankful heart. The book is beautifully written in thought and language. This year, I want to take her challenge to see God in all things and nurture a thankful heart. At the end of each blog post, I am listing a reason to give thanks. Committing to do this in this forum is one way I hope to be faithful to carry out this resolution. You may keep me focused in this area. I will be accountable to you, my readers. Thank you, Lauren, for this book. It has become a new friend.
Another book literally fell of the jammed book shelf in my dining room, The Weapon of Prayer by E. M. Bounds. (Whitaker House, 1996) He states, “We must pray to God if love for God is to exist. Faith and hope and patience and all strong, beautiful, vital forces of piety are withered and dead in a prayerless life. An individual believer’s life and his personal Christian graces have their being, bloom and fruit in prayer.” (Bounds, p.8) E. M. Bounds lived from 1835-1913. This year, that is 100 years ago and still his words are potent!
This year, I am also reading a wonderful daily devotional by Matthew Henry who lived in the 17th century. Each day there is some nugget of truth that is still vital though written centuries ago. When I was a Girl Scout, we began each meeting by singing a song that went, “Meet new friends and keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.” I feel this way about books. They truly are precious friends.
Reason to give thanks – Thank you Lord, for giving men and women both new and old, wisdom which is passed down from generation to generation. May their godly wisdom bear fruit in my life.

Posted in Faith | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Teacher’s Hope: Learn to See

January 3, 2013

As I begin this year driving to work over park roads which glisten in the sun, I have time to pray.  May my prayers move from, “help me to get there on time” to “help me show your love to the students I encounter today.”

There are many different types of students, some popular, some quiet, some difficult, some fearful, some bold.  When a teacher looks over a class of 20 or more students, she needs to see more than a sea of faces.  Each one is unique.  Some stand out, some do not.  It takes grace to see each one, love each one and find how to reach each one.  When my students come into the library, I see a different class each period with 300 students in all.  To learn each one’s needs, find out how to encourage and teach them is for me a monumental task, but one that keeps me dependent on One greater than myself.

Those students that I might overlook are some of the ones that need the most.  Lord, what student might you use me to touch today?  Help me to have your perspective as I face the challenges of the day.

Oh, what a lofty goal and desire for my day.  Little did I know that after arriving 8:18 – 3 minutes late, I would fall flat on my knees at 8:20.  An embarrassing spectacle in front of the Chief School Administrator and County Sheriff, as well as an assortment of teachers.

Injured, I would return home for a time of rest and healing, doctor’s visits and x-rays.  Was this all the plan for the beginning of the New Year?

Lord use this time to strengthen me inwardly for all I face – the stress of schedules, long hours, new creative ideas, but mostly to maintain my spiritual walk with you.  Only then can I be what I need to be to those needy students – who need me to see them with your eyes.

Reason to praise:  God is sovereign over events in my life.

(note to readers:  I am posting recent events and lessons learned by them.  They are not in order by day but will tell the story when complete.)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments