Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 1 of exams is over. 4 days left of school--oh. my. gosh. At some points this year, I thought that this day would never come, and now I find myself wishing I could slow things down! My kids are being so wonderful, and I am realizing how much I am going to miss them. I was thinking after school today--why am I leaving again? Why don't I want to teach? Then I remember all of the rediculous things that happened this year, and yes there were some very frustrating times, but through it all, I LOVE my kids! So much! I never really thought I would feel like this, but here I am! I think I am beginning to understand the parent mentality of loving your kids no matter what. There were so many times this year where I could have strangled my kids, but now I realize I really love them even through those moments of craziness! Because of those moments, we had some awesome conversations, and they as well as me were able to learn some pretty important lessons. I am realizing how much I actually care about them, and how much of a difference they have made in my life. Man, Friday is going to be a sad day!

For part of their language exam, I had them write a paragraph about this year in 6th grade. I got some pretty good paragraphs (and some pretty rediculous ones!) but this one is my favorite:

This year in 6th grade was the best year ever. In 6th grade, I started going to chapel with the high schoolers and going to Wyld Life. I went to Wyld life camp and it was really awesome. Now I am almost a big girl. In 6th grade I had a boy****** (boyfriend!) Now I am learning more about God thanx to Miss. Stanley. In 6th grade, I can go to break with the big kids. I started having more friends. I started knowing how I can live my life next to God. My birthday was really cool because I got to get highlights. In 6th grade its like the middle of your whole life, like in the 5th grade I was a girl who had never gone to WyldLife, who had to go to chapel with the little kids, and had to eat with the immature people. Life is changing for me. I thank God for this whole year that I passed next to great friends, a great boyfriend and a great teacher. I thank God for everything! I love 6th grade!

Yes, THIS is why I love middle school kids:)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! LOVE the Lord your God with ALL your heart, ALL your soul and with ALL your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deut 6

I was listening to a teaching by RVL this morning, and it totally took me back to the time I spent in Israel. I remember waking up every morning, and starting the day out by reciting the Shema. That was SO empowering! Why? Because the Shema is exactly how God tells His followers that we need to live, and repeating that every day was such an awesome reminder of the purpose for that day! Is the Shema WHO I am? Is it everything about me that matters? RVL always asked us the question: “WHO ARE YOU? WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?” That is such a simple question, but it has so much meaning behind it!

Who am I? Am I a person who is completely obsessed, completely preoccupied with obeying and following God with all of my heart, soul and strength? My goal as a follower of Christ should be one thing: becoming a woman who is madly in love with God, and therefore living out my life with that single purpose filling my mind!

What am I doing here? Is my time, energy and resources dedicated to bringing the kingdom? How much of my time is focused on God’s work and purposes?

“How we live our days is how we live our lives” Annie Dillard

Phil 4:4-5 “Celebrate God all day, every day! I mean, REVEL in Him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the master is about to arrive! He could show up any minute!”
Colossians 2:6-7 “You received Christ Jesus, the Master, now LIVE Him! You’re deeply rooted in Him. You’re well constructed upon Him. You know your way around the faith, now do what you’ve been taught! School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving!”

Francis Chan said “We live and plan like we don’t believe God even exists. We try to set our lives up so everything will be fine even if God doesn’t come through. But true faith means holding nothing back. It means putting every hope in God’s fidelity to His promises!”

As I wrap up my time here in the DR and start a new adventure, this is a big time of questions...and I hope the main question I ask myself is if I am making choices by how I can best serve, or what I want most?

Friday, May 27, 2011

This year, I have often found myself getting very discouraged and wondering if the kids at Wyld Life, and at school, listen or care about what we have been sharing (or attempting to!) with them all year! BUT, every time I begin to feel like that, God has seriously shown me some way in which the things I am doing ARE for a purpose! Then, I am always like “okay, this is seriously embarrassing….how many times does God have to prove to me that He is more powerful than I can ever imagine….when am I going to get it?” I was reminded yesterday that as long as I am living my absolute best out of love for God, He will use it! After all, nothing I am going to do or say is going to be perfect anyways! My job is to be all out for Him. That’s the best I can do, I just have to let Him take control, because with HIS intervention is the only way my human attempts to do the right thing can ever be successful!

We had our second to last Wyld Life on Tuesday night--the “final talk” ( we had general “Who is Jesus” talks all year, then the last three weeks were sin talk, cross talk, and then this week was the “Jesus did this for YOU and LOVES YOU” talk! Rachel spoke and did a GREAT job--the kids were really into it! At the end, she gave the kids the opportunity to write a note to Jesus if they wanted to, and throw it into a basket. These are a few of the responses…..

-We do so many sins and you keep on forgiving us! Thank you!
-I love you too, I want to feed your sheep, help me Jesus!
-I love Jesus back with all my heart, soul and mind
-Lord, I just want you to forgive me and love me! I love you and you know!
-Dear Jesus: I love you and I want to go your way. I want to be accepted like a daughter! Show me how to go in your way.
-Jesus, I just want to tell you I love you back. Thanks for everything. I really appreciate that you gave me life!
-Jesus, I love you back and I know I am not perfect and I fall sometimes, but doesn’t matter what happens, know I love you!
-God, I am going through some hard things in my life, but I know you are there for me and watching over me!
-Jesus, I love you and I want to follow you and want YOU to take control of my life."

Seriously, God has been working in these kids' lives! I think the most important thing I have learned this year is this: Ezekiel 2 “Your job is to speak to them. Whether they listen is not your concern. Tell them-This is the Message of God! Speak your piece, whether they listen or not!”

God can do anything, my job is to say the words, and He will take it from there!

I read some sweet things in 1 Timothy this morning….

“The whole point of what we’re urging is simply LOVE-love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God.”

“The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray-not shaking angry fists at enemies, but raising holy hands to God. And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God! Not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions, but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it!”


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Every week, my kids have to write a story to go with their spelling words… is the best one this week:

I acknowledged my ambition to meet Taylor Lautner. Some people exaggerate when they see him. I, on the other hand, will scream or faint! He is so magnificent, good thing he discarded his girlfriend! He was soo cute when Bella trembled and he helped her. Robert Pattinson is so repulsive compared to Taylor Lautner. I deliberately hate him because he thinks he is so hot. He is very conceited. I will have vigorous revenge on Bella if I ever meet her!

Love it!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Friday my kids had book reports due, and one of my students (Claudill) read a book about a girl changing herself for a boy, and this is what she put at the end of her book report:

That is one thing I have drilled into their minds this year...they for sure needed it! If that is one of the only things that they remember from having me as a teacher, I would totally be happy with that!

On Sunday, we had our annual Kermes fundraiser, which is a carnival the school puts on! It was a lot of work, but so much fun! field games
Josue and Melanio shooting paintball guns
Nicole, Claudill, and Claudill's friend

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

We had a birthday themed Wyld Life club last night!

We even had birthday cake!!

Melisa and I are a Dominican wannabe version of Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift for program.....

Just after the talk ended, a transformer blew up and a fire started!! Crazy! The fire department was called.....and never showed! At least before we left to go home! It was raining and the kids said usually they think the rain will put it out, haha!

Overall it was a GREAT club!!! Only 2 more to go before the year is over!
I had such a good teaching day today! We are reading the book "Sounder" and in it the boy's life is changed because a teacher was willing to help him, so the kids did a writing assignment about a teacher or someone who has impacted their life....and some of them wrote about me:) I was feeling really frustrated with teaching this week after all that went down last week, so this was definitely a blessing!!

Rosemary wrote:
My favorite teacher Miss Stanley! You changed my life because you always make me laugh and I feel safe telling you my deepest secret! I don't say because you want me to, I say it because it is true and I mean it! I know sometimes you get mad at me and I get upset, but you will always be my fave teacher:)

Josue (my boy who was involved in the fight last week)
Well, YOU showed me how to behave and listen to what I like and that I don't need to pay attention to what other people think!

I have teachers that change my life. They are Jessica Stanley and Laura Stanley (her 5th grade teacher). They show me how incredible God is. They show me good things about God. I need to say thanks God for giving me these wonderful teachers!
--afterwards she came up to me and asked me if I read it yet, and she said "its so true! before I had you two as teachers, I thought that God was just something big, not that He was like my dad and He loved me!!!" SO AWESOME!!!!!

Yes, definitely the motivation for the attitude adjustment I needed!