The Choice Is Yours

Good morning! 

This past Sunday I had plans to join my oldest daughter for church and lunch. Just the two of us. No sisters included as we so often do. No grandchildren to interrupt our conversation. I chose that day what I found to be most important. Time spent with God on the Sabbath. And time spent investing in relationship. With my family. My daughter. ♡

For those of you that don’t attend Lifechurch, you missed out on a great little four week series entitled I Choose. So just for you I’m going to give you a brief synopsis of  Sunday’s sermon, Important Over Urgent.  

We all have the same number of minutes in each of our days. How we choose to spend them is entirely up to us. We all have time for what we choose to have time for. Let’s choose the important over the urgent.If Satan can’t make us bad, he can certainly make us busy. Busyness does not necessarily equate to productivity. It can rob you of what’s truly important. If you’ll choose what is important, you’ll have less of what is urgent. But not visa versa.We can all make excuses or we can all make progress.

What important things are you neglecting? Neglecting because the urgent supercedes the important. 

For me I have several. Exercise is one of them. I’ve decided to set my alarm 30 minutes earlier to allow for time to exercise.

Here are a few of our pastor’s tips to help keep the important over the urgent. Create artificial deadlines for yourself. For example I’m going to clean the house for one hour each day to free up some extra time on weekends.  I’m going to be prepared for my upcoming tests the weekend before I take them so I’m confident going in not frazzled. We need to be ruthlessly selective in our yes. Say no to good and yes to best. I’m no longer committing to social clubs or social outings. I have a house to work on a an education. The long term prize is worth the short term loss.

We need to realize most of our issues are not because we are not committed, but rather because we are over committed. Instead of a To Do list we’d all be far better off with a Not To Do list.We can learn to delegate to others to help as well. 

The best leaders do not do more, they do what matters most. Time spent with Jesus should be first and foremost on our To Do list. It’s what matters most. That’s why I like to start my week each Sunday with church. And my day each morning reading a YouVerizon daily devotional to get into God’s word. And last but not least writing this daily blog. It’s my journaling. It’s where God leads me each day. I never know where it’s going. All I know is for now it’s going. 🙂

Let’s all be Marys not Marthas. Let’s choose the important over the urgent. Let’s fill our days with quality not quantity. And let’s all remember to always choose God first. The choice is yours.

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary,who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered,“you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”                                                               Luke 10

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

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Spark In The Dark

Good morning! 

I received this precious little bag of Life Savers mints in my mailbox at school yesterday.  You know me. There’s way more to the story. 🙂

The bag said You are MINT to be a teacher. Too cute! 🙂 

Now who would turn down a breath mint? Especially if you drink coffee and work in close proximity to others. Especislly brutally honest children. 🙂 Not me! But the cool part about it was my bag was more than just a kind gesture from the JWE PTAG or staff. It was a gift from God. A Godincidence. You see, just this past weekend I had purchased a large bag of wintergreen Life Savers from Walmart when I was picking up a prescription for my dad. I don’t want to smack my gum in front of our students, but I want fresh breath. I decided these would be the perfect solution. I have fond childhood memories of biting wintergreen Life Savers in the dark and watching them spark. I’m not so sure if the purpose behind watching them spark in the dark was to test the theory of triboluminescence or an opportunity to experience those junior high kisses in the dark with fresh breath for the first time. ♡

Back to the bag of mints. I’m so easily diverted. Can you spell ADD? 🙂

I stuck my bag of mints in our “candy” drawer when I got home Saturday.  I forgot to retrieve them Monday morning before I left for school..A s I was driving to school I remembered.  I was bummed. 😦 I sent myself a text to remind me to bring them the next morning.   I’d had coffee. I wanted breath mints before beginning my day with students!  Lo and behold I walked in to our workroom, clocked in, and checked my box. There was my very own bag of mints. Not any mint but my sparking mints. God is so good. He gives us the desires of our hearts. And He gives us little signs of His constant presence in our lives if we will just look. See. See through His eyes. He gave me just what I wanted. Just when I needed it.

Triboluminescence is the emission of light from something being smashed or torn. It’s similar to the electrical charge in lightning. 

Scientifically speaking  it occurs when molecules (in the case of Life Savers mints), crystalline sugars, are crushed, forcing some electrons out of their atomic fields. These free electrons bump into nitrogen molecules in the air. When they collide, the electrons impart energy to the nitrogen molecules, causing them to vibrate. In this excited state, and in order to get rid of the excess energy, these nitrogen molecules emit light. Mostly ultraviolet (nonvisible) light, but they do emit a small amount of visible light. This is why all hard, sugary candies will produce a faint glow when cracked. It’s no urban legend. It’s fact. And I’m living proof it works! Go try it in your closet with your kids or grandkids (Or your boyfriend♡). It’s cheap entertainment. 🙂

Sparks. We see them as a good thing. We refer to love as having chemistry, feeling sparks. I’m a spark girl through and through. ♡ But sparks are what also start a fire. Let’s all be careful when we play with sparks. Let’s all keep our sparks positive. In love. And in Life Savers.  🙂 

Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.                                     James 3:5

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

Waltzing

Good morning!

Saturday afternoon I turned on the TV as I was looking over some material for an upcoming test. It was on channel 312, the Hallmark channel. A movie entitled My Summer Prince was on. It was already about 30 minutes into it when I turned it on so i didn’t see it in its entirety. It was more background noise. Chick flick background noise. ♡ I wasn’t really paying attention. ‘Til the end. A one liner caught my attention.

Keep your eyes on me and the trick is anticipating the changes together . She didn’t know how to waltz. The prince did. It was his only instruction to waltzing. Being the hopeless romantic I am, i loved that line! I would have loved to have some man give me those instructions.  On or off a dance floor! Prince or no prince!

Forget waltzing. That’s how we should all go through life. With the one we love, but more so with Jesus.

When one does the waltz it is not done alone, but with a partner. They must touch. Hold hands. Gently grasping their partner’s back and shoulder. They must listen. Following the rhythm of the music. They learn to mirror each other’s moves.They connect. They become a new identity. The two become one. One couple waltzing across the floor. It is beautiful to watch. So synchronized.

Have you ever watched an elderly couple who have been married for many years? Perhaps your grandparents.  They have so learned to “waltz” together through life. They can anticipate each other’s moves so well they can finish each other’s sentences. They can anticipate each other’s unspoken needs. They no longer need to keep their eye on their partner to know. There is no longer a need to anticipate. They already know. They have become one.  They have weathered ample changes together.

Let’s all waltz our way through life. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize.  Jesus. Let’s anticipate life’s changes together with Him. Let’s hold His hand. Let’s let Him take the lead. Let’s become one with Him. Know Him so well we know how He would finish our sentences. Hold His words near to our hearts. Synchronize our moves to His.  And before the music ends, may each of you enjoy the dance.

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.                               Hebrews 12 2

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Keeping Cool

Good morning! 

Air Conditioning.                                               It’s something we all take for granted. Because we have it. Until we don’t.  I’ve been without it. Until yesterday. We’ve had lots of fans. Ceiling fans. Box fans. Tower fans. Oscillating fans. Cowboy fans. Just kidding about the Cowboy fans although I am a Poke fan through and through.  ♡

I just had a new air conditioning unit installed in my home yesterday. The thermostat actually reads 68 degrees for the first time since I can remember!  It’s awesome!  I’m under a blanket as I write this it’s so chilly in here! I love it! Until I get my electric bill that is. 🙂 But for now this girl is enjoying being COOL! 🙂 

Being cool is one thing. We all can pull off being neato, awesome, or swell at some point in our lives. Temporarily. But holding that title is another thing. 

Keeping cool.                                                       It’s hard to do during an Oklahoma summer. Did you know God’s word tells us to keep cool? I don’t think He was talking about our social status or air conditioning back in the day.  He meant to always keep a cool head. Meaning our temper.Our demeanor. 

We all need to keep our cool. Nothing good is ever accomplished with a hot head. In the heat of the moment. Some of us can keep our cool. Some of us need to work at it. For those of us that need to work at it, count to ten. Ask God to help. Trust me I’ve been living in not so cool conditions for too long. None of us want to spend eternity in a lake of fire and sulfur where they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Let’s not give the devil a chance to rear his ugly head. Let’s all let the spirit of God that lives within us shine forth to others at all times. With love. With a cool head. 

And let’s all thank God for the creation of air conditioning! For it too was very good! 🙂

8 Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. 9 Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith.                                                             1 Peter 5:8-9

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

Pie

Good morning! 

After over 15 years of working at St. Francis, I’m presently only working there at The Children’s Hospital one night a week. 

I routinely peruse the cafeteria for my 1:00 a.m.feeding. lt’s fresh, ready, and payroll deductible.  🙂 Hospital food usually leaves something to be desired, but there are a few select items from the cafeteria that I’ve learned over the years to count on to always be good. Their quesadillas for one.  And their chicken tortilla soup for another. When in doubt, there’s always the salad bar. And I’ve been known to purchase a few of their desserts every now and again. Raspberry chocolate chunk ice cream is my fave and their strawberry margarita cheesecake. My dad has a sweet tooth too, so I often bring home a piece of pie to him for his treat. Coconut cream is his favorite. ♡ 

I stopped in on my last shift and picked up a piece for him with my own dinner purchase, a salad and raspberry chocolate chunk ice cream for me. (You do know that a healthy salad negates the calories in ice cream or cheesecake. Or pie, don’t you?. 🙂 ) You see where this is going I’m sure. When I checked out, there I stood with a healthy salad. And two desserts. 🙂 I’m sure that was a comical sight to see. I have seen the gentleman that assisted me with my purchase many times before as the cashier. We’ve even shared a few words of congenial small talk from time to time upon check out. The Hi! How are you? How about that Thunder game?  kind of small talk. But I’ve never so much as known his name.                                               

Until now. Now I do. 🙂  It is Troy.             He asked me if the two desserts were both for me or if the pie was for my dad. I didn’t realize I’d mentioned living with my dad and bringing him home treats in passing conversation before with a prior purchase.  How touching was that? That he remembered! ♡ That wasn’t just good customer service.  It was third shift in a hospital cafeteria not Mahogany!  The man was not required to cater to his customers. There would be no tip involved in this dining transaction. I love the Troys in the world! ♡ He was just a good guy! He truly cared about people. 

I needed to show him I did too, so I asked him his name and apologized for never doing so sooner. From now on when I buy pie, I will say hi to my friend Troy. Who probably still thinks both desserts were for me. 🙂 

How about you? When was the last time someone surprised you with kind words that made you feel valued, recognized,  or appreciated?  We rarely do it anymore. Talk to strangers. Talk to anyone for that matter. We IM and we text and we tweet. But we rarely talk. Really talk. About our day. Our life. Our hopes and dreams. Our fears. Pay people compliments. Truly engage with others.

I do! 🙂 And I’ll never stop! I love hearing people’s stories! 

Let’s all make an effort to speak to others. From our heart. Say hi in an elevator. Hold a door open for an elderly person and make eye contact and greet them. Learn the names of those you come into contact with regularly.  The mailman. Your child’s school receptionist.  Those that wait on you at familiar stomping grounds. Restaurants.  Convenience stores. Grocery stores.  Pharmacy. Pay a compliment when a compliment is due. Tell your coworker thank you for staying and helping you with a task. Tell your children you’re proud of them. Tell your significant other they look pretty or handsome. And never ever quit telling others you love them. Every day! ♡ And eat more pie! It will make you sweeter! 😉

Kind words are like honey. Sweet to the soul. And much healthier for our body than pie. 🙂 Let’s all make a point to use them! ♡

Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.       Proverbs 16:24

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

TGIF

Good morning! 

This past week was the first week of school for many. It was for me. 🙂 There are always kinks to work out that first week…parents understanding the rules, teachers getting a feel for their students, students getting  a feel for the teachers and school in general (especially for our 3 year olds), snacks and lunches and backpacks and school supplies being remembered, car line etiquette put into place, bus pick ups running smoothly, bed times established after a summer of leisure. These are just to name a few. The list goes on. Just getting into the swing of things, a routine, is somewhat taxing. 

It is probably the most stressful and hectic week of school all year.

Today is the last work day of the week (for most of us). It’s almost the weekend!  Time for rest and relaxation! TGIF! ♡

I do love my Fridays! ♡ Fridays are the end to my work week. Five days and one night. The beginning of my weekend. The night the man I love comes back into town. My Friday night dinner date. ♡ The best part of my week! 

Not that I don’t love my job! The kids. ♡ Believe me, I do! And my family and friends. 

There’s just something about Fridays.  🙂 

I love Friday night football.  Especially once the air gets crisp and cool. When you can snuggle under a blanket and drink hot chocolate and cheer for your favorite local team. 

How about you? How do you spend your Fridays?  Do you take time to rest? 

Let’s all come to Jesus for our true sense of rest. When our burdens are heavy, He will give us rest. From all that overwhelms us. Not just on Fridays,  or weekends, but every day. Let’s all truly thank God for our Fridays!  And our Saturdays and every other day of the week!

I pray each of you truly enjoys and finds purpose in your work. And by the time Friday rolls around, finds enjoyment in your weekends as well. For a little rest and refreshment for the weary. 

TGIF! 🙂 Here’s to a great weekend for all! 🙂

  Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

Cry Me A River

Good morning! 

Let me remind you. I work in a pre-school. There’s nothing more precious than watching a bunch of 3, 4, and 5 year olds walking around the hallwayss with backpacks larger than they are, Rustic Cuff bracelets on their tiny wrists, Chuck shoes on their tiny feet, and probably iphones silenced in their little Gap back pockets. 🙂 Just kidding on the iphones.

The majority of them are quite independent. They can do it themselves. And they’re not afraid to tell you so. They’re not your mama’s pre-schoolers that’s for sure. 🙂

 It has been a good week thus far. But odds are, there have been more than a tear or two shed. 😦 We’ve seen a few in our own classroom. But only a few. After all, we’ve got the 3 year old class. But it definitely tugs at your heart strings. ♡

For some it’s valid. Separation anxiety. It’s the first time they’ve ever left home.

 And for others it’s all a ploy for mom or dad’s attention.  They know how to work them. What buttons to push. How to turn on and off the tears in a moment’s notice. Once parents are out of sight, the waterworks shut off and their children are just fine. To those, you just want to say, “Cry me a river.” which translates to I’ve seen worse. Don’t be a drama king or queen. It’s not becoming. But we don’t.  We just think it. 🙂

And there are still those who are merely throwing a temper tantrum at hearing the words no, sit, or walk for the first time in their lives. That sounds like it’s not alot different from obedience school for your canine, but I promise it is. 🙂 (Note to parents: Love does conquer all, but discipline is not a bad thing.)

And last but not least there will always be an occasional tear shed in a meltdown due to physical and/or emotional conditions.  Our job is to diffuse that to the best of our ability.

It amazes me to see the growth maturity wise from August to May in these little youngsters. All from a daily routine, an IB curriculum,  a mountain of repetition, a sea of love and the flexibility of a cat to change directions when something’s not working from an all star staff,  a river of praise, and a smidgen of discipline in each of their lives.

Every staff member in our building without a doubt loves our little “friends.” ♡ We’re not in it for the riches.$$$  Our riches come from the growth of our students. From their success in reaching milestones to becoming independent, productive members of our society.

And as we see them grow up and out of our classrooms, we all probably cry a little river ourselves. To ourselves. As we ourselves move out with the old each May and in with the new each August. Out move those precious relationships we built over the school year with each student. Many like our own children or grandchildren. In moves the opportunity to do it all over again.

That’s where joy steps in. Today I heard a laugh. A belly laugh from one of our students that absolutely melted my heart. 

No more tears. It’s August. There’s no crying in baseball and preschool teaching. 🙂 Each day is a new beginning. A new opportunity to touch a life. But for me, I find it’s more of a to be touched by a life. I myself love the challenges in life. The kids that tend to be different.  The ones others don’t warm up to as easily. They touch my life way more than I’ll ever touch theirs. You can bet on that.

The milestones for some of the kids in our classroom may be a little different than others, but they are still milestones. They can be witnessed. They can be measured. I’ll never understand this side of heaven why some of us have to be different than others if God loves us all the same. I just have to accept God knows what He’s doing. He’s given me a heart to see everyone the same. That’s where my faith steps in. Believing in something I cannot see.  I also believe a day will come when there’ll be no more tears. I can’t wait for that day. Not just for me, but for all those out there who’ve had more than their share of tears. I look forward to seeing all mankind together with no more tears. No more pain. No more physical or mental limitations. In our new bodies. Where we’re all finally the same. Then I shall shed one last tear as I cry a river of joy. 🙂

Let’s all be cognicant of tears. They are an outward display of emotion. Of pain. Children need not cry. If it’s physical, let’s be quick to offer a fix. Whether its a bandaid. A hug. Or a trip to the nurse’s office. If someone’s been hurt emotionally let’s be quick to apologize and make it right. Return a taken toy. Reassure mom will be back soon. If it’s just a battle of wills remember who is in charge. Let’s all protect our children, our future generations, from unnecessary tears. Remember Jesus loves them. And so should we! ♡

Here’s the Jenks West Elementary!   May everyone have a wonderful 2016-2017 school year! 

and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”           Revelation 21:4

Love and laughter, 

Sandy