Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Repeat the Sounding Joy

This holiday season has been filled with carols and songs, as usual. During church one morning, however, we sang a new version of "Joy to the World," a la Chris Tomlin. The song has the traditional lyrics but also includes a new refrain:

Joy, unspeakable joy
An overflowing well, no tongue can tell
Joy, unspeakable joy 

Rises in my soul, never lets me go 

As I sang those words, I felt the joy rising inside my body. I couldn't hold back the tears, and I couldn't suppress the smile on my face. I listened to the entire congregation sing together, and I truly felt a sense of peace and happiness. For the first time in a long time, I felt complete. 

One of the things I'm learning is that joy shouldn't come only at Christmastime. Joy does not come from the baby in the manger; joy comes from the sacrifice that baby would later make. As tempting as it is to focus on the story of Jesus' birth, we must remember that Christmas, his birth, would hold no value for us if He had not died for us. Christmas is a wonderful holiday to celebrate the birth of the baby who would later save us, but it's also a perfect opportunity to celebrate his death and resurrection. 

Throughout 2011, let's focus on the joy that comes from knowing Christ and his love for us!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!

It's finally Christmas Eve!

This year, my parents will be staying the night at my house and spending Christmas morning with the hubs and me. After so many years of them caring for me, it's a nice change to have them here so that I can do something for them. We've got lots of surprises for tomorrow morning.   :)

In all of the excitement of gifts, family time, and vacation time, let's not forget the true meaning of Christmas! We give gifts to others to show our love and to represent the amazing, glorious gift that God sent us in the form of a baby. Have a happy Christmas!

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

He Gave Me the World!

The hubs got me a wonderful graduation gift...

It's a charm necklace from Fossil. He chose the globe since I'm now licensed to teach social studies.

The best part? The globe opens...

To reveal a super cute peace sign. Because, really, who doesn't want world peace? 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Classroom Planning

I'm not planning on having my own classroom any time soon, but I have figured out a cute decorating scheme.  :)

Social studies-appropriate, no?

Anyone have other suggestions?

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Today, I had to think of five words to describe myself, per Mama Kat's instructions. Let me tell you, it was not easy. On a more optimistic day, I hope I would have been able to come up with a few more favorable descriptions. That was not the case today, friends. I labored for awhile to devise a flattering description.

First of all, I'm clever when I need to be. That can be good or bad. I'm slightly demanding, just ask the hubs. I'm more than a little sarcastic, but I'm also very compassionate. More than anything else, I am an introvert. No shame here, I'm proud to be the kinda girl who's happy to sit at home with the hubs and the pets. I'm a happy hermit.  ;)


A quiet night at home,
With a few friends or alone,
Makes me happy.

A day reading a book,
In a comfortable little nook,
Makes me happy.

A mid-day nap,
Or a cuddly dog on my lap,
Makes me happy.

A quiet dinner, before the crowd,
Getting out before it gets loud,
Makes me happy.

A little quiet time, 
listening to the clock's chime, 
Makes me happy.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What Now?

I have been waiting for this day for a very long time.


I woke up this morning, filled with joy at the thought of graduation. Then I thought, "What do I do next?" Because I'm graduating in the fall instead of in the spring, there aren't many job options right now. There are two school districts that I would love to sub for, but one of them is no longer taking applications. Fantastic.
Let's face it...it's not going to be easy to find a job as a social studies teacher anyway. Most of those jobs go to coaches who couldn't be happier to teach history. (No, no...that wasn't sarcasm. I NEVER...) The basic goal now is to make myself more marketable. I do have a couple of viable options.

1. Study, study, study. Then sign up to take a Praxis II, which would allow me to be licensed in another subject area upon passing the test. Subject to test- English

2. Apply for graduate school at Arkansas Tech University. I don't intend to begin full-fledged graduate classes, but I would take several courses for Teaching English as a Second Language. After completing the four required courses, I could add TESL to my teaching license.

Whatever I choose, option 1 or option 2, I will have to work toward while subbing this next semester. Of course, I'm still sending out resumes and placement files. Graduation may be the time for a new beginning, but it's also a waiting game. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Uncluttered Christmas

This year, Christmas at the Trent House is going to be simple. I even boycotted the Black Friday sales. My time is valuable; why waste it rushing to a register or shoving senior citizens?

This year, Christmas will be about family. This year, Christmas will be a time to be thankful. This year, Christmas will be simple.

One of my all-time favorite Christmas movies is How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The Grinch, if you remember, has a heart that is two sizes too small, so he decides to keep Christmas from coming to the unsuspecting Who's. When they wake on Christmas morning, the Who's realize that their Christmas preparations have vanished.

To me, this story has always been a little satirical...poking fun at the people who think Christmas is all about gifts. I'm not exactly a sentimental girl, but it always warms my heart at the end of the cartoon when the Who's all come together to celebrate Christmas, without the gifts, without the feast. Once he realizes that the people of Whoville are going to celebrate the holiday anyway, the Grinch has a change of heart. Literally. His heart grows two sizes.

Would I still be cheerful if Christmas came for me with no gifts? No Christmas tree? I like to think that I would be my usual, radiant self. (Please note the sarcasm.) But honesty compels me to admit that I would be a little dismayed.

This year, I'm focusing less on the material aspects; the gifts and the food don't matter. I'm going to focus on the things that are truly important.

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? 

It came without ribbons.It came without tags.

 It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Triumph and Trepidation

As of 4:00 this afternoon, all of my semester assignments have been turned in. I am so incredibly happy to be done. A tremendous sense of JOY and relief overwhelmed me as I walked to my car, leaving the campus library one last time.

I was able to pick up dinner, come home, eat said dinner, and plant myself on the sofa by 6:00. Thoughts were racing through my head.

"Surely there's something I should be doing..."

"Did I add enough student samples to my portfolio?"

"I should re-read my senior thesis...just in case."

"When will I get my portfolio grade? It's not in yet. Something must be wrong."

All of a sudden, it hit me. FEAR.  DREAD. PANIC.
It hit me like a punch straight to the stomach...it's time to leave college, my comfort zone, my safety net.

School has always been there, and it's something I'm good at. It's been my way of staying safe. So far, I've not had to do anything that really, truly scares me. But this week will be my last of my internship. I'm leaving the familiar faces of my smelly 7th graders, my mentor teacher, my college cohorts, and even my picky professors. 

I have to fly on my own now. It's just me...warts and all. (I don't really have warts, but you get the point.) It's time for me to take the things I've learned over the past few years, put them all together, and try to make something out of it.

 I KNOW that I can be a good teacher. I care about my students, and I have a passion for my content. After December 15, I'm putting those traits to use. 

Job hunting...HERE I COME!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

10 Things to be Thankful For

1. In my classes of 7th graders, there is always so much going on. These kids deal with more at that age that I ever dreamed of. I don't miss the drama.  I AM THANKFUL FOR GROWING UP.

2. My cat sheds and my dog throws up sometimes. I AM THANKFUL FOR MY PETS AND THE WAY THEY TEACH ME TO LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY.  

3.  My clothes are a little too tight. I AM THANKFUL THAT I HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT.

4. I like to hit the snooze button on my alarm because I am not a morning person. I AM THANKFUL TO BE ALIVE ANOTHER DAY. 

5. Sitting in class today, people are talking and being generally annoying. I AM THANKFUL THAT I HAVE THE ABILITY TO HEAR. 

6. I get restless just like everyone else. I often want to get away, to go somewhere a little more exciting. What I often ignore is the higher cost of living  and an increased crime rate in these "exciting" cities. I AM THANKFUL FOR MY LITTLE TOWN.

7. My plans don't always work out the way I would like. I AM THANKFUL FOR SECOND CHANCES. 

8. I have been reading until my eyelids absolutely cannot stay open any longer. The final semester is winding down. And I'm rushing, cramming in as much information as humanly possible. I AM THANKFUL THAT I HAVE THE ABILITY TO READ.

9. All last week my husband drove me back and forth to school because his truck was in the shop. I got a little grumpy because that took up what used to be my "quiet time." The hubs never complained. I AM THANKFUL TO HAVE A HUSBAND WHO WILL DO ANYTHING FOR ME.

10. Grudges come naturally to me. It's incredibly easy to be mad at someone who has treated you badly. If I choose not to forgive, Christ cannot forgive me. I AM THANKFUL FOR FORGIVENESS.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Forget What You Believe

Normally, I don't get political or controversial here. Today, however, I am really feeling pressed to share something a little different. 

First of all, I am not conservative in my political beliefs; neither am I liberal. Some of my views fall  into the conservative category at times, but I also possess views that would be considered liberal. With that being said, one of my biggest complaints is that people who claim to be spiritual or religious often choose one side or another and follow the guidelines blindly. Politics are a necessary evil, but they should not dictate the way we live. I do not believe that homosexuality is natural. I do not believe that abortion is an appropriate alternative. I do not believe that the death penalty is a suitable punishment...for anyone. Agree or disagree with me as you please. It doesn't matter because it won't affect how I live. 

For a moment, forget what you believe. Underneath our ideals and pretenses, we are all the same. No matter what we believe, we all have the same basic needs: food, shelter, and belonging. 

We all want to be loved. 

Whatever you believe, live a life of love. Care enough about the future of the world to love everyone, regardless of differences. 

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them." 

 Mother Teresa

Monday, November 15, 2010

What Dreams May Come...

In my newly redecorated bedroom!      :)

The hubs and I have been working hard lately! We are redecorating our house. We moved in three years ago, but nothing was really our style. That's all changing now! 

Before, our walls were baby blue with dark hickory furniture. We repainted the walls in Secret Passage (which is gray but turned out blue in the picture), replaced the dark wood furniture with a bright white,  and took out our nightstands. Because our house is  on the small side, we're trying to save as much space as possible. Rather than having the typical 2-drawer nightstands, we're opting for some small, simple side tables. 

The transformation is by no means complete, but it's well on its way!

Don't Worry Baby

This week my goal is to worry less about the things I can't control. I'm a worrier, plain and simple. When things take a turn for the worse, I worry. When everything is going just as planned, I worry.
I had dinner with one of my best friends last week. We spent some time talking about some of the things we worry about. Is it necessary? Absolutely not. More than half of the things we worry about will never happen. I like to think that I'm being responsible and making sure I'm prepared for any mishap that does fall my way. Truthfully, I'm just telling God that I've got things handled on my own, and I don't need His help. 

Oops. That wasn't the message I wanted to send. 

According to Craig Groeschel, "Worry is the result of trying to carry a burden that never belonged on our shoulders. If we...make this attempt, we're admitting we don't actually trust God. In our minds, our God is too small, and we must come to our own rescue." That does not mean that it's acceptable for me to sit on my sofa day after day to wait for God to answer my prayers. It is my responsibility to do all I am capable of doing; then I have to trust God to take care of the rest.

 I cannot control the economy; sorry, that one is just out of my reach. Instead of worrying, I need to make sure that my finances are handled responsibly, and God will take care of the rest.

I cannot control when the next tornado will occur. What I can control is how prepared my family and my home are, in case of such a storm.

I cannot control whether or not I get a job next semester. I also cannot waste valuable, precious time worrying about it. I'll prepare my resumes and job packets, but everything else is in God's hands.

"Get on your knees and pray, then get on your feet and work." 

 Gordon B. Hinckley

And then...you give the rest to God. 

He can handle it.           :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mountains and Molehills

What a crazy week.

Even when I'm at my worst, God uses my faults to guide me and teach me.

I spent all day Wednesday pouting. Why, you ask? After all of my hard work, I will not graduate with an honors diploma. GASP!
I wanted an honors diploma, not only for the recognition, but also to prove to myself that I can overcome my past and my mistakes. It just wasn't meant to be. Mountain or molehill?

On Wednesday night, my mom became sick, and we had to rush her to the emergency room. That, my friends, is the real mountain.

Missing out on an honors diploma is still a big thing to me, but in reality, it's only a molehill. Through God's grace, my mom is home, and she will be fine. Through God's grace, I've gained some perspective. How often do I make a huge fuss over a minor issue? Too often. How often do I gloss over a major issue? Too often. God used a potentially horrible situation to show me how selfish I can truly be.

This week, I'm praying for guidance to know the difference between a mountain and a molehill.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Welcome Vacation

This weekend the hubs and I went a a mini-vacation. It was short but sweet, fun but relaxing. We left home Friday evening and drove about 3 hours to Hot Springs. We stayed at our first bed and breakfast, and we were not disappointed. It was fabulous!

We had breakfast delivered to our room.

We loved exploring the old home!

The best part of the weekend? We were able to relax and do a little exploring. It was well worth it just to have a little time to unwind and be lazy. The drive back was even more magical...the autumn trees are gorgeous! It's amazing that we have all this beauty surrounding us and we often don't even notice!

Thank you, God, for the many blessings you've given!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up (or Why I Love My Life)

Just for the record...


This weekend was wonderful. Last week
was a little stressful, so the hubs and I went to eat on Friday night and came home to relax. Because he's awesome, the hubs watched a Harry
Potter movie with me. He must really love me. :) We also planned our Halloween costumes (I'm so excited!). While we were out, we went to a thrift store. This store was really just a glorified garage sale, but we have fun wherever we go! We did manage to find a video camera the hubs would like to buy.

Flashy, no?

We spent Saturday morning working at church. It really made me realize what wonderful people we go to church with. For many people, a church family can be more loving and more supportive than a biological family. We have been truly b
lessed. I am especially amazed by the teens in our youth group. They face major issues every day, but they manage to make time for God and church. They make me proud!

Saturday afternoon, I talked hubs into driving an hour away for an apple festival. I've heard great things about t
his festival every year, so I was very excited to go.

It was a beautiful day, 70 degrees and sunny. We drove with the windows down and the sun shining through the windows. I was dismayed when we arrived at the apple festival and there was no apple cider. Sadly the only things apple related that we saw were apple butter and caramel apples. Call me crazy, but I had hoped that an "apple festival" would consist of a little more, well, APPLES.

We were both a little let down, but it didn't matter in the end. I had a great time just being with him. With the hubs just getting a new job and me working on my internship, our time together is usually spent working on one project or another. But it was great to spend the weekend together and to be reminded that it doesn't matter where we go as long as we're together!

Monday, September 20, 2010


"But it's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then."
-Alice, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Do we change from day to day? Should we?

According to Romans 12:2, we should rely on God to create a change in us. I like the way the New Living Translation puts it:

"Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, b
ut let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."

After reading that verse today, I've come to realize that it's okay to change. In fact, God expects and requires change! Every day, I should allow room for Him to work in me.

I hope that I am different today than I was yesterday; and I hope that I am different tomorrow that I was today!

"There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears."

Philippians 1:6, The Message

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Fall is my absolute favorite season, and the official first day is coming soon! In honor of fall and the new beginnings it brings, here is a list of my favorite things about autumn.

1. Thanksgiving
2. My birthday
3. The hubs' birthday
4. Baking
5. Super comfy, warm clothes

6. Beautiful leaves & trees
7. Cooler weather (a welcome change from the humid summer!)
8. Campfires on a cool night
9. Pumpkins

and last but not least....

10. Razorback football

Here's to a fantastic fall!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mrs. Trent's Unfortunate Event

It's my last semester...obviously I'm excited (note the countdown on the bottom of the page).

All summer, I looked forward to doing my internship and graduating. This was going to be my first semester taking less than 15 hours. Until now.

I was told last week that I am 3 credit hours short to graduate, which translates to one measly class. My advisor was off-campus all summer, so she was unable to check my transcripts, and the missing link went unnoticed until just last week. Fortunately, the dean of the history department is going to let me participate in an independent study to make up the credits. Thank goodness!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Repeating 7th Grade

The internship has officially started, which explains the long period of time with no posts. :0/
I'm back in the classroom!
It's a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by students again. I did not realize how much I missed be arounds them and teaching them to appreciate new things!

One of the things I've learned so far is that I do not want to be a teacher who gets stuck in her own ideas or her own way of doing things. I've started a new habit every morning. On my way to school, I turn off the radio and spend time in prayer. It seems so simple that I don't know why I hadn't done it before! In spending this time talking to God each morning, I'm preparing myself for a long, sometimes stressful, day of teaching and interacting with students.

As the new school year begins, let's spend more time in prayer for our students. They deal with more than we can understand. As the next generation of doctors, politicians, moms and dads, these kids deserve our prayer!

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Brand New Adventure

Well, I have been absent from blogland for almost a month. I'll have lots of pictures to post of my trip to Orlando, but first...

The hubs GOT A NEW JOB!!!

I've been keeping this new opportunity to myself for awhile, and it has been absolutely killing me. He has worked for the same company for eight years. Now, however, he is pursuing his call to ministry. In order to do that well, he needs a job with a little more freedom. Three weeks from today, the hubs will be officially starting his new job. I am very proud of him!

So, in honor/celebration of my husband and his hard work and dedication, here's one of my favorite songs...it's surprisingly appropriate for the situation!

#40 by Dave Matthews Band

Tables turned again
And you my friend
You and I face each other
Oh time and time out
I know it's sometimes hard
But knowing just oh
That we will get along
Til we're old and gray
And doubled up
We're doubled up, we'll sit
And think of times were hard
And laugh of times when we thought
All it would end, it was all over
Then again
And know that I'm yours less rain
And to leave you out, I'll die
Oh my friend
It will be you until the end with me

Sunday, July 11, 2010

We love seafood!

I just found these pics on my camera!They're from a few months ago, but I love them.

The hubs and I LOVE seafood.

We don't have a Joe's near home, so we find one whenever we can!

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