Dust

Good morning!

The dust is flying at our house. It seems to stay covered in it. In a constant state. The joys of reconstruction. We have to mop and dust every day.

Sheetrock, drywall, woodwork going up, bricks or tile coming down, it makes dust.

Some of the laborers working in it wear masks. Most don’t. We try not to breathe it if we can help it. By staying behind closed doors when they are working. But it still seeps in, onto every surface.

Dust is defined as fine dry powder consisting of tiny particles of earth or waste matter lying on surfaces.

Do you have any waste matter seeping into your life that would be best to keep out? I’m speaking figuratively here. Sin.

My advice to you is to close those doors! Don’t let it in!

We all need to dust and mop every day! Spiritually that is! Keep our lives clean of waste matter that weighs us down. Keeps us from breathing in the purity of Christ to its fullest!

It is true, we all come from dust. Our origin. Adam was created from the dust of the ground. Adamah (earth). God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.

And to dust we all will return. Our human bodies are mortal.

Let’s all allow God to breathe life into us. Fresh each day. And leave the dust. The waste matter. For the dustbusters to remove until we are no more. Then we can be dust. For our spirits will soar.

All go to the same place, all come from dust, and to dust all return. Ecclesiastes 3:20

Love and laughter,

Sandy

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Man’s Best Friend

Good morning!

How can you not love this face?

He truly is my buddy. My best friend. The dog is known as man’s best friend. Or woman’s, I should say. Okay, maybe next to my husband now that I’m married. ❤ But, he came first, so he’s a close second.

If you give your heart to a dog, he will not break it. He will never lie, steal, or be unfaithful. He does not know how. He will not be unkind. It’s not his nature. He cannot speak, so no harsh words will ever lash out and hurt you. Q

Where else do you get such unconditional love as you do from your dog?

I’ll tell you where. From your God.

He delights in your attention. It takes so little to please him. Just like our God.

To walk with him is the highlight of his day. One on one. Just the two of you. Again, the same holds true for our God.

You are the apple of his eye. He never loses sight of you. That’s also our God.

My dog’s life is finite. Someday that bond must end. And then my heart will break. But not on any account of his doong. But not my God. That bond is infinite. For eternity. With him your heart will never be broken. Only healed. Of life’s imperfections. For he is perfect. In him you can always hide, find safety and security from life’s imperfections.

God. Not Dog. That is my true best friend.

Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me in the shadow of Your wings. Psalm 17:8

Love and laughter,

Sandy

IEP

Good morning!

This morning I have an IEP meeting before school at 7:30 with the guardian of one of my new students. And another one just like it tomorrow. I had two last week after school.

My caseload has doubled. It has increased from a dozen to two dozen, 24.

IEP – Individualized Education Program – a plan or program developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives specialized instruction and relared services

Each one requires hours of paperwork, the invitation to the meetings through phone calls, emsils, and letters, coordinating schedules of guardians, special education teachers and leads, gen ed teachers, and admins. It takes a team. A village. And most of the time, translators. Most our parents do not speak Rnglish. Which creates quite a challenge in coordinating it all in itself. And the IEP meetibg is not the end. Or the beginning. It is an annual check in. Review, re-evaluate. Once it’s originally written. It’s just the paperwork. The IEP itself is a process. And then you have the lesson plans, teaching, grading,testing and mandatory staff meetings and team meetings to add to the mix. it’s never ending. But we do it in the name of the students.In hopes of making a difference. ❤

When you think about it, God has an IEP for each of us. Our disability is we are human. He makes sure we each have specialized instructions in how to live according to his plan. It’s called the bible. He knows our strengths, what accommodations and modifications each of us may need to make it throught this life the best we can. He provides them. He can tell you what assessments he’s used over the years to test us. To grow us. To make us stronger. His goal for each of us is simple. To love all as He loves us. He knows how many minutes are required for each of us to best learn with direct instruction in his world each week. He’s placed churches across the globe to offer such instruction. He’s placed the Holy Spirit inside each of us to guide us as his related services. And he holds each copy in his own personal book of life.

We are the “I” in God’s IEP.

There is no need for us to ever fear for our Lord is our special education teacher. He goes before us, he is with us, he’ll never leave us. He knows us. Individually. Just like the IEP written by hand for each of our students by their special education teacher. But his are not written by human hands. They are perfect.

It is the lord who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Stairway To Heaven

Good morning!

I grew up in a home that had a grand spiral staircase at its entrance in its day. It was open two stories.

To a child growing up, it was always very impressive. It was the focal point of our home. It was the backdrop for our Christmas tree each year. And my generation and my children’s generation used to play on it for hours. The corner where it made its first curve was the best hide and seek hiding place you could ever imagine. In its day it was our own little stairway to Heaven.

As I’ve grown older, staircases have highly surpassed it in its glory, and it was time for it to come down. To be updated. In the midst of our remodel, we are relocating the stairs and building a loft in the unused space above where the staircase once stood. The wrought iron banisters were removed first, and a crew of half a dozen able bodied men cleared it out piece by piece. Along with it, my childhood memories of running up and down them and many a hide and seek game.

Rewind just two short days. We celebrated my father’s 88th birthday, and a fourth generation, my two grandchildren, played one last time on those stairs. The stairs my father built.

A new and different set of stairs now take its place. They will serve their purpose, joining the first floor with the second. But they will not hold the memories the old stairs did. Of childhood.

My oldest daughter laughed as she recently saw the house in its remodel state. She always thought of it as a huge mansion as a child, and now in its empty shell of a house, she saw it much different. Smaller. Or was she just bigger?

I long for the day I walk on another stairway. Not necessarily the new one. That’s inevitable if I want to live comfortably in my own home. I long to climb the stairway to heaven.

The real stairway to heaven. Not the one from the song we all danced to in our youth. I long to not just purpose a set of stairs to go from floor to floor, but to witness THE set of stairs that my father also built. My heavenly father that is.

I long to climb them to go home. One last set of stairs. Ascending to heaven. To join those before me. But mostly, to join my God. To witness his splendor. In all His glory. And I bet it won’t appear any less grand to me in my older days than my youth when I first learned about such staircase. As my daughter’s did. For it will be the stairway of all stairways. For it will ascend to Heaven.

The doorway for the lowest side chamber was on the right side of the house, and they would go up by winding stairs to the middle story, and from the middle to the third. 1Kings 6:8

Love and laughter,

Sandy

BRRRRRR Cold Day

Good morning! 

Woo hoo! I got to stay up late and sleep in this morning! In my footy pajamas no less, I might add. Because it’s BRRR cold outside! And there’s no school. It’s been cancelled! 

I’ve gotten to miss school before for a snow day, but never a cold day. 

Tulsa Public Schools has cancelled classes for today, Tuesday, January 16th, due to extreme cold. We are not expecting snowfall, but instead are expecting extreme temperatures and wind chill. BRRRRRRRR!

My normal two day weekend has turned into a four day retreat! 

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr.  Day, a school holiday. And today is a cold day. Another holiday.

And I spent last night curled up in my flannel pajamas under a blanket drinking hot chocolate watching The Holiday. A great film. That leaves you feeling all warm inside when it’s freezing outside. With a fire crackling in my fireplace all weekend long. 

It’s winter. It’s cold outside. BRRR cold.

I pray for all those having to be outside. In the cold. Those who have to work in it. And live in it. The animals, the homeless. I pray for their warmth. I pray you all have warm fires burning in your homes and your souls. When it’s BRRR cold outside. I pray ONG heats your home, and Jesus warms your spirit. 

And bring in every living thing you can! It’s  BRRR cold outside!

Now the King was sitting in the winter house in the ninth month with a fire burning in the brazier before him. Jeremiah 36:22

Love and laughter,

Sandy

MLK Day

Good morning! 

I remember my youngest daughter coming home from school one day at a very young age and telling me they didn’t have to go to school on Monday. It was milk day. I had to chuckle.

This Monday is MLK day. There’s no I in it. unless of course “I” march myself downtown to the parade at 11:00. The 39th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Parade, 50 Years Later The Dream Still Lives. 

We went over the parade route with our students at school on Friday.

Kids say the darnedest things. But MLK said alot. Alot of wisdom.With love and equality. And he got results. 

Martin Luther King Jr. is best known for his “I Have A Dream” speech. He refers to four different bible verses in that speech. God’s word tells us we are all one. In Christ Jesus. Not black or white. Today let’s be color blind. Let’s look at all people as one. That was the dream of MLK. 

Let’s all be a little more like him. Not just today, but every day. It’s pretty simple. Dream big. Want equality, and love others. And while you’re at it,  why not pour yourself a nice big cold glass of milk. And have a cookie to go along with it. Or two! After all, it is a holiday! It’s MLK day!

There is neiher Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.                                Galatians 3:28

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Music To My Ears

Good morning! 

God created us as instruments with the ability to sing and make music. I unfortunately was not gifted with such ability. 

I did learn to play the piano as a child. And I bought a left handed guitar later in life to learn to play. Some day. But I can’t carry a tune.

But I do enjoy listening. Hearing. Music. Of all types.

Music is an important part of praise and worship to God.

Last night it may have been cold outside, but nany Tulsans were warm inside as they experienced beautiful music to their ears.

By someone who could. Carry a tune. And compose and conduct.  

It would have been music to my ears as I enjoyed the Tulsa Symphony and Tulsa Oratorio Chorus under the leadership of guest conductor, Eric Whitacre. Except.  I double booked.

We purchased tickets to the Symphony. Not realizing they were the same night as a wedding we would be attending. And then it was also my father’s 88th birthday.

It never fails. When it rains, it pours. I’ll not have another function for months!

The wedding won hands down!  There’s nothing better than witnessing two become one. Then watching them make beautiful music together on the dance floor as they danced their first dance. Love at its finest! ❤💍🍾 Pistol Pete even made an appearance to congratulate the newlyweds and be available for photo opportunities. 

Our symphony took place for us at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame instead. At the reception. The two tickets to the Tulsa Symphony were picked up at will call by my mentor teacher to use. I can’t think of better hands for them to fall into for use. She so deserves them for all her help to me this year! And her husband can carry a tune, working for the TU music department. ♩ And my family will gather tonight to celebrate my father’s birthday, a day late. 🎂 Life goes on. Just like the melody of a beautiful song.

Let’s all make beautiful music unto the Lord however we are gifted.

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the spirit singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.                                  Colossians 3:16 

Love and laughter,

Sandy