Ramblings, Change, & Resolutions

Another year is coming to an end.  Wow. What happened?

To finish the year off, I wanted to write something deep & meaningful, something to summarize how amazing life is. But found myself at a loss for what to say. Life is good, & God is awesome. I sat around & stared at the screen for a long while… Finally I decided just to write "generally" about what this past year has been to me. To briefly write about the good, the bad, change, hopes and aspirations….

For me this year has been probably been the best yet. Much has happened.

2014 in a nutshell: Traveling in Europe, skiing 8 out of 12 months, hiking up mountains, floating down rivers, working in my garden. My year was filled with good sunny & snowy moments, & sure, some not-so-good stuff happened too, but that's life right? I was able to explore, meet new people, learn & grow. I've been blessed with good health & work. Blessed with an amazing church. I've got some really amazing friends & family. (you know who you are.)

Looking back on this year, it's amazing so see how God has worked (& is still working) in my life. To see how time changes things & perspectives… Past experiences fade into the distance, & the rough edges soften. Golden memories linger. Sometimes it seems that day-to-day life can be mundane & repetitive, but now, when I look back, everything is different. How is this possible?

Change is constant - like dark foamy waters swirling around - sometimes change hits like a tidal wave, ripping away those you love, & slapping you in the face, or presenting a new challenge. Change is change, challenge is good, big or little - we need to except the challenge & make the most of it - sometimes change slowly creeps in without you realizing it, until it's lapping around your ankles… Change makes us grow & opens our eyes to see our strengths, & faults, whether we like it or not. Change, by God's goodness & mercy, can beautify us. It makes us realize how much we need one another, how frail or strong we are, change makes me realize how much I need Jesus.

Change is inevitable, theres nothin' I can do to stop it. God is working in my life, in your life - making things happen for us. He never gives us more then we can handle, & with each coming day He is preparing us for the next. Even when we don't see it, even when we can't feel it, even if it's not evident…God is working.

When change is before us, we need to stop & examine our hearts. Don't let your heart become callused. We need to be soft. (Personally I'm pretty thick-skinned & have to work hard on this.) Do not let the world make you hard.  Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. There are so many fragile things in this world. People, dreams, & hearts break so easily. Change is part of life. Everything will be okay in the end. If its not ok, it's not the end.
While change is constant, & life can be a roller coaster, somethings are unchanging, anchored & unmoving.  The cornerstone & foundation of my life is built upon God. He is always there for me. When I took this pic, I was 7 days at sea in the middle of the Atlantic - It stormed, rained, the boat was really rocking around.  I was the ONLY person who ventured out on deck & saw this double rainbow. I spent a quite moment mulling on God's promise to Noah, & His promises to all his saints in the Bible. ..Wet clothes clinging, I stood alone on deck, the cold wind whipping my hair whipping across my face. Change is gonna happen, but God is always there. He's ready to listen to your prayers, guide your steps. He is my Rock, my salvation, what should I fear? Whatever has happened this past year, & whatever is out there, just below the horizon - I know that I am never alone. 

// Resolutions for 2015:
some silly, some serious

1. Seek Jesus more
2. Organize & prioritize - work, play, home, lesson planning, etc. (LIFE in general.)
3. Run more (like with running shoes on roads & paths; trail run)
4. Read 3 books a month - (Honestly, I've been slack with reading. Little goals. Baby steps.)
5. Attend farmer's markets regularly - grow more in my garden, cook with what I have
6. Travel to a new country - Iceland, perhaps? (Totally doubt this will ever happen, ha…)
7. Pray more

With that said - I'm gonna start no.7 right now! I'm resolving by God's amazing grace, that however feeble & poor my prayers might seem to me, that I will pray on — Let's pray together through the last moments of  2014 - & into 2015! Let's face this new year bravely, facing the unknown while knowing that everything is gonna be ok - & whatever has happened, or does happen in your year -  is all part of God's plan. God works every situation for your good, & ultimately for His glory. (Maybe we just cannot see it yet!) Stay strong, do good work, stick to your resolutions & keep the wonder!


Polar Bear Painting Project

Look at their adorable painted bears! This was an easy project for the kindergartners - took about 35 minutes. 

You need: blue construction paper, acrylic paint, sharpie markers, & oil pastels.
(& of course - paper towels, brushes, jars of water, & erasers. But you should know that.) 

First we practiced circle shapes, drew the bears lightly with pencil, then we painted it all in, & added the snowflakes. While that was drying, students used oil pastels to draw the scarves - using two colors, layering them to create stripes. Then we used the sharpies to draw facial features, & lastly added a white highlight in each eye! The kiddos signed their names & we were finished! I absolutely LOVED the way these turned out. So much fun!