Boot Camp

Good morning! 

Boot Camp.is defined as a short, intensive, and rigorous course of training. My first thoughts of boot camp took me back to TV as I knew it growing up. Sgt. Carter and Gomer Pyle. What memories!  🙂

The non-traditional route to certification preparation program for special education through the Oklahoma State Department of Education is also known as boot camp. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s nine weeks of intense labor. Except this boot camp is not physical.  It’s academic. Mentally challenging to say the least.

If you think about it, God’s plan for each of us is kind of like boot camp. We all are put through a vigorous course of training. It’s called life.The end result of years of discipline and learning prepares us for our ultimate certification, the one that grants us eternity with our.Creator.

Let’s all work hard at whatever we do. Boot camp or no boot camp. Always giving our best. God has set the perfect example. He gave us His best. He gave His son. 

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.                 Colossians 3:23

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

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Let Your Dreams Set Sail

Good morning! 

This week has been Teacher Appreciation Week for those of us in Building B at Jenks West Elementary.

And we’ve definitely felt appreciated. 🙂 We’ve been welcomed aboard in our teacher’s lounge every day this week with donuts, cupcakes, chips, queso and salsa, soda pop, cookies and candy, and  this afternoon lunch will be the grand finale. 

Thank you to all who made this week possible! ♡

And to all the teachers out there, past, present, and future,  thank you for making education possible!  ♡

Without you, many of our dreams would not be able to set sail. You teach. You instruct. You encourage. You touch minds and hearts. You have been entrusted with that special gift of combining tough and tender, just the right amount of discipline and love, to enable each of us to reach our potential as we leave the classroom and go out into the world on our own.

What you give to each life is priceless. What we do with that is totally up to each of us. 

I encourage each of you today to think back on a teacher who inspired you, to let your dreams set sail. And thank them. Personally.  Through a handwritten note. Through social media. However you choose.  

And hold on to instruction.  It is your life. No matter how old we may be, we can never stop learning. 

Here’s a special thank you to all those who took part in my educational experience! ♡ I love each and every one of you for it.

Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.       Proverbs 4:13 

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

Alphabet of Thanks

Good morning! 

I recently had an assignment to make a list of things I enjoy and am thankful for in life by using each letter of the alphabet. The lesson was intended to remind us of the good in life. When we have challenges in life it’s all too easy to focus on the negative side of things instead of the positive. It was a fun, light little assignment in comparison to my usual 500 word papers that I have been doing for it feels like eternity. (I’m really only on week 5).  F was the easiest letter by far. It was hard to narrow it down to one word. So I didn’t. 🙂 Friends and family just kind of go hand in hand. Like peanut butter and jelly.There was friends and family and faith and football.  Just kidding about the football.  Well sort of. I do love a crisp fall afternoon football game. And I’m very thankful when OSU wins. 🙂  I settled on one word for all the rest of the alphabet, but cheated on the very last one. I do like going to the Zoo and seeing Zebras, but I’m not thankful for them. On the other hand, I work a 12 hour night shift every Thursday night then go straight to work a day shift immediately when I get off Friday mornings. So I AM extremely thankful for Zzzzzzzs. 🙂 For sweet slumber, although it really doesn’t start with the letter Z.  

What are you thankful for?

I just love how God works. ♡ I found myself overwhelned and stressed this past Sunday with all the busyness and uncertainties my life currently holds  I could not see past the negatives. I finally broke and withdrew to a more quiet, peaceful place, alone with God, and found direction. Monday brought my blog back, an unexpected surprise in the mail, all my assignments graded up to date with 100%, my box of Glacier chocolates, and my Alphabet of Thanks assignment to set my sights on positive things. I was truly blessed. And all it took was taking my sights off of me and putting them back on God. ♡

I encourage each of you to grab a pen and paper and just for fun take a little run through the alphabet yourself. See what you are truly thankful for. It just might surprise you. I noticed very few things made my list. 

Let’s all be thankful every day. There’s always something you can find if you just set your sights on Jesus. 

 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.           1 Thessalonians 5:18
Love and laughter, 

Sandy

The Choice Is yours

Good morning! 

I recently received this delightful array of chocolates from Glacier Confections. They were each one a magnificent miniature little work of art. I hated to sink my teeth into them. But I did.:) And they were just as delectable on the inside as they were beautiful on the outside. I had a difficult time choosing which one to pick first. They all looked so tempting! I  sampled two pieces, the Kona Coffee and the Key Lime for starters. 
What’s your greatest temptation? 
Have you ever held something within your grasp that was so beautiful you could hardly fathom it was really yours for the taking? I can just imagine how Adam and Eve felt in the Garden of Eden. In my case, it was chocolates.  For others it may be this year’s latest and greatest model car. Or that new dream second home. 
Sometimes those things we desire come with a price. In exchange for that thing we want so badly we exchange our souls. In my case extra pounds that need to be walked off at the park with my dog. For others it means extra hours spent at the office away from family to pay the car payment or mortgage. .Whatever that price may be, the choice is yours.
Always ask yourself, Is this something that I can use to serve God?  To edify others?  Or is this just a weakness of my flesh? And never forget, the choice is always yours. Always choose God. He will never tempt you, but always provide a way out. 
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.                        Matthew 26:41 

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

By Accident Not By Design

Good morning! 

I recently took a trip to Muskogee. I was not familiar with the exact location I was trying to reach, so I used my GPS to find it. I didn’t want to end up in the wrong place. I didn’t want to end up somewhere by accident not by design. As I thought about it, it occured to me that that’s how I’d lived a large portion of my life. I  had allowed the course of nature to direct me in the path of least resistance. I no longer desire to live like that. I want to be intentional. I want to live not just my life, but each day, on purpose. 

I’ve recently been studying for an upcoming certification. I put an intentional plan into place in an attempt to achieve it. A good plan. Or so I thought. But what I failed to plan for was my busyness overcame God’s plan for my life. And therefore I hit a wall. A proverbial brick wall. Hard. 

Sometimes we get so busy and wrapped up in our own lives that we forget the purpose behind them. We are driven by life’s daily demands and we soon forget that God always has a greater purpose. His purpose for our lives not only encompass our own life, but all the lives around us. 

Today I reach out to you and encourage you to stop the busyness. Don’t let it consume you.  Follow the plan. God’s plan. All the best laid plans in the world will falter if they aren’t God’s plan.  Keep your eyes upon Jesus. He’s the ultimate GPS. He gives you direction. Not by accident,  but by design. He is your final destination.  

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

Favorite Things 

Good morning! 

We all have them. Favorites. A favorite song. Favorite movie. Favorite food. Favorite color. Favorite piece of clothing. Favorite people we like to be around. Those things that give us warm fuzzies.That rekindle the greatest of memories.

This T-shirt is one of my favorites.  To sleep in. It reminds me of its original owner. When I wear it I feel close to that person.  I also have a favorite mug. My coffee just tastes better when I drink out of it. 

Did you know that God has favorites?  YOU are his favorite!  ♡ And I am His favorite.  We all are! 

Just like God has made each of us His favorite, I encourage each of you today to make God your favorite!  ♡ Put Him first above all others. Make Him  first on  your priority list. Turn to Him first for that needed advice. Give Him your first fruits.  They’re His to begin with.  

Think about it.  The next time someone asks you what your favorite anything is, make sure your first thought is God is my favorite!  YOU will always be His! ♡

7 I’m God’s favorite. He made me king of the mountain.” 
Psalm 30:7

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

A Terrible Thing

Good morning! 

Ok! I can’t stand it any longer! Not writing.  😦 It’s affected my general well being.  I feel as if I’ve gone against a purpose God has placed before me. With not writing each morning I’m also not turning to God’s word each morning. And that’s a terrible thing. Being off.of Facebook on the other hand has not been such a terrible thing. 🙂 I haven’t even missed it. Although I do love seeing the pictures of small children and animals, and do love to keep abreast of the comings and the goings of my friends’lives, I do not miss the negativity and disrespect for our fellow mankind. 

So here goes. 🙂

Today I just want to write about how good our God is. You see, I’ve been working on my alternative certification for Special Education this past month.. I’ve basically withdrawn from everything and everybody the last four weeks to concentrate on passing a nine week boot camp. I have to tell you, it’s making me a little crazy. I’ve found myself so self-absorbed with watching videos, working through modules,  and writing 500 word papers that I’ve lost myself. I’ve lost my mojo. I’ve lost my love for life. My love for people. I’m overthinking and second guessing everything.  My intellect.  My hearfelt compassion for those with  special needs. My ability to teach. My  belief in myself. But most of all, my value through God’s eyes. 

After surviving a substantial meltdown, I sat quietly in the dark in the privacy of my bedroom with my Golden Retriever at my feet and thought, “What’s the matter with me? I can do this!  I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. ” I felt the overwhelming stress begin to melt away. I just needed to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and get away from others. Get away from the world, and just seek God’s face. Ask Him to calm me. Ask Him to guide me. Ask Him to use me as only He sees fit  Ask Him to sharpen my mind for the mind is a terrible thing to waste. 

I come to you today. Whatever is bothering you. Whatever struggles you are facing. Just know God is greater. He can provide you with the necessary tools to not only survive,  but to thrive! In all that you do! Let’s all not go a day without seeking God’s face. Seeking God’s word.  That would be a terrible thing.  And never forget,  a mind is a terrible thing to waste. 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.                             Philippians 4 : 13

Love and laughter, 

Sandy