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!

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