Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New Chairs!

New Chairs in my Classroom :) Next steps. Rug. Coffee Pot...

The tree on the wall is the mural for the year. The kids are posting prayers, struggles, hopes and words from this year! It is exciting to have a visible representation of their growth!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Father's Love.

A while ago I posted a song my Kim Walker ("How He Loves Us").
Last night at church, Pastor Jonathan was trying to express the joy and heart of the Father towards us. He asked his two little girls to come on stage. One of the girls sat at the piano, and very cautiously, started playing. The younger of the two grabbed the microphone from her dad and turned her back to the whole church. Without hesitation she started singing the lyrics to "How He Loves Us". Back turned. Eyes closed. Believing every word that she was signing.
Their father stood over them the whole time with the biggest smile on his face. He would look at his girls with admiration and then look to the church and say..."these are my girls. I am so proud of them. And at is the most beautiful piano playing and signing that I have ever heard". As the camera panned around, it caught a glimpse of the younger girl's face...and as she began to repeat the chorus again, a huge smile came over her face. In the presence of her father, she had no worries that hundreds of people sat behind her. She was worshiping from the depths of who she was. No concern from impressing others, worries of criticism, or embarrassment.

Too often we forget that our Father is SO proud of us. He is signing over YOU. He is proud of YOU. And while we are so concerned with everyone around...He still stands there. So passionately in love with YOU. And says, "I love you. YOU are so beautiful to me."

Father's love. Unconditional.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I could literally write a 500 page book retelling the events of the past few weeks. I have been terribly at keeping this updated. For my huge fan following- forgive me :)
Diving right it.
Days after I updated my blog, speaking about how darkness cannot be where light is- I was confronted with a situation that really forced me to understand what this meant.
While at home, with the other girl that lives here, someone broke into the house. Just picture two terrified, shaken up blonde girls being escorted out of a house by 3 police men with guns and dogs...while the interior, exterior and surrounding street is covered in police. There are so many crazy details to this story, but now that weeks have passed I have been challenged to learn to live a life of confidence in God's power and love instead of continual fear.
I took this story into my classroom. It was one of the first times that I allowed myself to be vulnerable with them. This led to GREAT conversations and really started opening up avenues of trust with several of them.

Teaching has to be one of the hardest jobs a live. I am convinced. Trying to balance what it looks like to be a teacher and youth pastor at the same times is ridiculous.

I have decided that I am going to try to dive into the church that the school is connected with. There is an undeniable hunger for Jesus in their community that I am excited to be a part of. They have a young adult group. One step at a time. I will get there.

SO. Monday we made the trek up to Winter Park area for the annual high school retreat. The three young, beautiful, new teachers were assigned to a bus full of freshman and sophomores (mostly boys that smelled like they dumped bottles of ax on their person before walking on the bus). Our bus had the infamous nickname- "The Prison Bus". I am pretty sure we were assigned to this bus, with this group of students as initiation. There is no other explanation.
We stopped at a famous pizza place in Idaho Springs called BoJoes. My world was kind of rocked. They put HONEY on their pizza. Literally. Ever table had bottles of honey to put on your pizza. These crazy Colorado people.

The camp that we went to was a Young Life Retreat Center. It was gorgeous. Nothing like what I ever experienced as a camper or leader. The food. Completely edible. AND enjoyable. Crazy. Young life knows how to do something right!

The theme of each of retreat was "Risk". The kids were challenged to look at what risk in their relationships looks like. Lives were changed for eternity. There was such an overwhelming response to the presence of the Lord the very first night at chapel. I was blown away. In all my years of working in youth group settings and camps- I have never experienced anything similar to this. I was in a cabin with 16 of my junior girls. Those moments were so precious and delicate. When people look at teenagers and underestimate their depth of pain and the degree of life that they have experienced, they are severely wrong. These girls hold deep scars and wounds- but are ready to free fall back into the arms of Jesus.
The next day was full of sports activity. Me getting knocked out with a volleyball. Taken out in softball by the art teacher. Bruised up from dodgeball. Talent show. The giant free fall swing off a mountain (where literally 40 of my students watched me FREAK out and scream at the top of my lungs). There are so many fun details to this experience....but I walked away from 3 days immersed with students, having completely fallen in love with all of them.

As I walked the halls of the school this morning and watched the students flood into my classroom- it took everything me to hold back tears. They have stolen my heart. End of story. No longer do I see the surfaces annoyances...but students crying out for someone to love them. to hear them. to walk with them.

On top of all of this, God has blessed me with an amazing sister to walk through this process with. Kendra is a new English teacher at the school. Just moved to Loveland with her new husband...and is a complete God sent. She and I have daily venting sessions. Chocolate consumption sessions. And cry sessions. Being at retreat with her, I was overwhelmed by how united our hearts and visions are for our students. Its a beautiful friendship I am excited to keep growing in :)

My lovely friends and family. I do miss you like crazy. Your prayers are appreciated. Cherished. and so special to me.

All My Love.