For the Love …

For the Love … of Love
#CharlotteStrong #NinerNation

Insider Information: For. The. Love. Thursday series- has a meaning.  I use the saying For. The. Love. allot. This saying in my life- is usually used when I don’t have the words. Can be tied to frustration. Can be tied to unknowing  Can be tied to unexpected laughter. It really covers the gamut.  

Those who have followed me when this blog first started years ago (before my hiatus) – know I work in education. For my followers who have joined since my return to the blogging world, I left administration to return to the classroom a couple years ago. I work on the University of North Carolina at Charlotte campus. Yes that campus- with the shooting Tuesday.

For. The. Love. .. The last 36 hours have been surreal. Exhausting. The feels and thoughts. Grieving the innocence lost on so many of my students. Grieving the world my kids are growing up in. Grieving that students now a days know if they see running to join in step, not ask questions- just run. That sound and sight of the alert on a phone, in a classroom, on the campus TVs – telling you to “Run. Hide. Fight. Secure yourself.” Grieving that you almost expect to see it at some point. But God….. But Riley who tackled the gunman. But God’s hand in having such a heart positioned in the right place at the right time- to protect his other children. So yesterday I grieved for the loss of so much- and Lyrics from While I Wait – brought some peace yesterday.

Your promises remain
You’re faithful every day
Your promises remain

Though I don’t understand it
I will worship with my pain
You are God, You are worthy
You are with me all the way

So while I wait, I will worship
Lord, I’ll worship Your name
Though I don’t have all the answers
Still I trust You all the same

But today- Joy. This doesn’t mean the UNCC community and myself aren’t still grieving so much… But today I choose joy. Joy for the amazing co-workers, students, families, and the rest of the UNCC community and the outpouring love. Joy of the impromptu breakfast date this morning. Joy for the amazing sunshine that was out on my extended walk to my work building from the parking deck. Joy for the amazing love, support, and faith pouring out on campus. But God. But Joy.

James 1:2 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,”

So show love by choosing joy today and pray for the Niner Nation.

For the Love… of Growth

You know when I was a beginning teacher- I knew I had to improve in my brain. But, in my heart I thought I was the next best thing next to sliced bread. Now, years upon years later, I lay awake, sleepless some nights, tossing and turning, because I feel like I am not good enough. The truth is- I have grown exponentially since year one. I am so much better now then I was then. The more I hone in on my craft, the farther I feel I am from the finish line.

On my morning drive I realized- this is how I feel in my faith walk.Years ago- I thought I was a great, not perfect, but great Christian women. My faith walk has endured storms, attacks, lulls, and I have been tested and tested over and over. I am so much closer to the Lord, my relationship has grown so much. Yet, I feel so much farther from the finish line. Funny how real growth, from a seed into a baby plant – growth out of the darkness (dirt), actually makes you realize how much more distance you have to get to the clouds.

For the Love … of Tears

Crying in church. Every. Time.

I have an aunt that cries all the time. I love her – she is more than an aunt. She is my sister, friend, spiritual guide, aunt, therapist, and the list goes on. Crying comes natural and from my perspective easy.

I am not that person. I don’t cry. I just don’t. It isn’t that I choose to not cry- I have days I want the tears to be released and just flow. Just maybe that will solve the current struggle.

In the past year, however, I cry at church. Every. Time.  This was worrisome to a degree. Now,  I know it shouldn’t cause great concern, but it did. As simple as that- it did. I would have a great Sunday morning and walk into church willing myself, convincing myself that I had absolutely no reason to cry. I am so very blessed. I would leave the service with watered down eyes.

Ecclesiastes 3:4 (NIV) a time to week and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance … a time to tear and a time to mend…

My story of storms in the recent year(s), honestly, left me utterly broken. Fallen, unable to get up, unable to do basic daily life… but blessed because I feel at his feet. What a great landing place. As I redefined my life, with my new scars and embracing some new flaws. I am a child of God – and the scars from the storm – really have hit home in my heart – with because  of my scars and flaws- how much grace, love, guidance, understanding has been poured over me by God daily. I don’t mourn every Sunday. My eyes well up, my voice cracks complete overwhelmed by this realization. He did restore what I thought I lost. He drew me near. He ran to me. When I couldn’t fly- he carried me up the mountain. He listened to my cries, my prayers, my unspoken pleas- he gave me peace in a storm- that couldn’t have produced peace. He gave me strength. He loved me. He loves me. The unmeasurable gratitude that fills my spirit- I redeclare my love for him. I redeclare my desire to forever be his. To forever love him. To feel that, especially in his house – brings on the tears.

For. The. Love. Of Tears – Every thankful Sunday … and quite a few days in between. 

 

For the Love… Of Time

Looking back almost 2 years ago, I made a drastic change in my career. Along with the theme of my journey, testimony- I truly believe God was using that day to prepare me for a day coming. I just had no idea.

I had walked in my faith my 4 years as a middle school administrator … so many words from the good Lord have come through the countless moments shared by staff, parents, community and students. That place not only tested my faith and purpose but solidified it. I can honestly say I had NEVER been truly blessed to work at place that really had become a second home … because they were family and one serious part of my heart.  I tend to be a fairly private person in my personal faith struggles and accomplishments. I spend allot of my commute (50 min each way) praising the Lord, listening to sermons, or quiet praying. This was definitely worth my time – but I had pushed (due to a natural urge) to increase that time in a place I could write and reflect on the word of the Lord, and well this just could not happen in my commute. My hours at work were long and my time with my family was limited.

The year prior to that time, I had started prayer journaling, stopped prayer journaling, made a mobile war room, packed up the mobile war room, and finally create a corner of our bedroom with a small desk, a chair, a fresh plant, and pens- my bible, mobile war room and journal.

So I had this space created – at the time I was working on prayer journaling (Something I need to get back to). I remember this particular Saturday and I dug deep and wrote…Dear Lord I admit I have not been good at being still. Being quiet. Listening to your guidance. I admit I have voices that I doubt. Is this the devil messing with the path you have provided – or is this you oh Lord. “ I move to prayer requests … “ Oh dear Lord if this is not your guidance help me to quiet the distractions. Dear Lord if this is your guidance please help me find the confidence to trust the voices and help me find and balance my time to fully give to this calling, I think I hear.  Help me with the strength to carry out your wishes/plan. Please, please, help me find the time to achieve this.”

Later in the day a listing for a position teaching engineering catches my eye. I fly by it, not paying much attention.

Sunday I go to bed thinking of all the things to be done Monday. I toss and turn for hours about that job. I finally email the principal about the school and position. Go to bed and think nothing much of it.

In a whirlwind of a week – I visited the school, interviewed, and was offered the position. This opportunity- was not at all on the “path” I had created for myself. I prayed allot.  I prayed – I asked was this a joke – I felt I finally was finding my groove and loved to school I was at. I started to think about the staff, the students, my hopes and dreams for future programs. I was convinced this was a cruel joke – the school was amazing and now I get an opportunity like this. Where was this a few years earlier when I questioned my place and purpose at this school.  I cried. I told the Lord OK I hear you. I slept.

I awoke with such peace about my future, my time with mini me and to dig deeper with my relationship with the Lord. I awoke with a hurting heart for all of my work family. As I look back at that whirlwind of a week. I also realized that opportunity did not come when I was seeking an opportunity so hard – because I was too busy to seeking my purpose and place in life. It came at that time because I had shifted my focus to seek him and then he will provide the purpose and path to get there- sometimes without us even realizing it happened. And even later from that moment, again I realized he was preparing me then for what was coming.

 

Bedroom Food Confession #1

Confession

So not even in 12 hours into posting again and I have a confessionBut first…. what in the heck is bedroom food. So imagine yourself hosting a picnic/BBQ. Go ahead close your eyes…. scratch that – keep reading. Any who – picnic hosting…. friends and family bring dishes to pass. In comes that cousin – with the to die for brownies (insert here what ever you crave). You hug them and thank them for bringing the brownies. When they go out to the deck to say hi to everyone else – you covertly take a good stash of the brownies (OK who are we joking – you take all but 2) to the bedroom. Return to the food table and work those 2 single brownies into the table scape.

After the day is over and you have finished cleaning up – you put the kids to bed, you wish the hubs a good night and head to the bedroom – and have a brownie.Every women should have some bedroom food. Bedroom food saves lives. OK maybe that is extreme …. maybe not.

Confession – not even a day into my re-entry of the blog-o-sphere, with a plan to share my our story/storm through my eyes over the coming weeks/months- and I am overwhelmed. Not with the story sharing- but how many “arrows” have been aimed in my direction to cause me to loose focus. Focus on God, daily digging into the word, focus on my kids needs, focus on my husbands needs, focus on this deep desire (that I can not explain to write). So many things the last 2 days. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING major – each individual “arrow” wouldn’t even have been remembered 5 minutes later, typically. OK- maybe the crazy women who purposefully put her car into reverse at a busy red light and backed into me – but the rest of it would have been easily forgotten in 5 minutes. But the onslaught of 1,000,001 arrows at once- has me off kilter. 

My husband took me for a short drive for a needed cup of delicious coffee, on this cold rainy evening. When we pulled back into our driveway – I could have sat in the car for hours to hide. Maybe it is the super-moon, maybe it is coincidence, maybe it’s the enemy, maybe it’s PMS, maybe I needed a cookie with that coffee? So who has the bedroom food… I’ll be there in 5 minutes. My husband is on a diet and we have nothing.