Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Years Resolution

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and I hope God blesses this new year for you all.

Normally I make the typical New Year's resolution-to exercise more often and lose weight. While I am going to try and do those things more than I do normally, I am making a resolution to myself, my husband, my family, my friends and My God, that I am going to believe by faith so I can walk by sight. There are many leaps of faith I believe my Father is asking me to take. I am a planner andI like to have things all planned out and organized, but I truly believe God is preparing me and my husband for a different path next year. I don't know what it is, but I feel Him calling us. I see Him working these plans into action for us. I feel Him constantly tugging at my heart. I am seeing changes being made in my ideals and my plans for our family. I am trusting and believing in His power and sovereignty more and more each day. I know He has a plan for me and Curtis. I know He has a plan to one day begin making us into parents, because of the way I am seeing life and thinking about things-every decision I make I reflect on what would be best for us when we have a family.

My prayer for you all is to allow God to take control. I know it is hard. I totally get that. But He does have a plan and purpose for each of you. I hope you can allow God to work in and on you. His plan is better than any other plan you could ever fathom for yourself.

Happy New Year and may God bless you throughout the 2012 year!!! :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

its been a while!

I can't believe how long it has been since I have last posted. Things have been extremely busy...
Curtis and I have been diligently working on not sweating the small stuff. While it has not been extremely easy, I have noticed a difference in my attitude and stress level. We decided that this was something the two of us needed to work on because we started noticing how affected we get after something so piddly. For instance, I dropped a piece of paper and you would have thought the world ended. I was astonished at how upset I was over a piece of paper falling off the wall. I realized that if I am wanting to have kids, then I can NOT let things affect me so deeply, especially such small things. If I can't have faith in the small things, how can God help me in the BIG stuff? I realized I am a unbelieving believer...if that makes any sense. So, I am working on it. I am trying to take one moment at a time, trying to laugh at myself more often (we all know there is plenty to laugh at) and trying to enjoy life better. So, here is to not sweating the small stuff and believing that God CAN AND WILL handle it ALL!!!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011


I have heard Mandisa's song STRONGER several, several times. I have never really listened to it. This year has turned out to be such a difficult year for me. I have never in my life felt so overwhelmed. I have no idea what is going on. My whole life feels so out of it. I don't like feeling like this, I want this to change. I listened to this song and just cried. I feel like waves have overtaken me. I feel so lost and in such pain. I try to put a smile on my face and every day it gets harder and harder to force it on.
Listening to this song I was reminded...I have to hold on...God is making me stronger in this...this is not going to last forever...each second He is molding me into someone stronger. I can't do this alone, I need to hold on to him. I need to hold His hand and fall into the arms of Jesus. He hasn't left me, He is still there, right there. If you haven't already listen to this song, I mean really listen to it. It has done something for me.

Sunday, October 2, 2011 that's why I do this!

The teaching profession can be so hard sometimes but it can also be really rewarding, as well. I was quickly reminded of that on Friday. We were reading this book called Library Mouse. It is about this little mouse who lives in a hole in the library. He loves to write books and surprises the people in the library every day with a new book. They don't know who this "person" is that is writing these books but they leave it a letter to have a "meet the author" day. The mouse is scared because...well...he is a mouse and mice and people don't, generally speaking, have a great relationship. So he sets up this tissue box and decided to put a mirror in it on "meet the author" day and when the kids look in it, they see they are authors. It is a great book to teach children that we can all be authors. Well, after we read this story I shared a dream of mine--to write my very own children's book. But I told them I was scared that I wouldn't be able to do it. That I am not a good author. Now, I have told them time and time again that the words "I can't" are not uttered in my room. That we can do anything and everything if we try. I tell them to reach for the moon and grab it, because NOTHING is unreachable.

Do you know what those little cuties told me when I told them I was scared to write my own book because I might not be good at it???? They told me, "Mrs. Alford, just reach for the moon and grab it. Nothing is unreachable if only you try!!!"

Well, as it turns out, they are listening! God, thank you for the little reminders of why I do what I do every day.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

When it rains it pours...

We were on our way to church this morning and what to my wondering eyes do appear but the check engine light. Well, if you know me at all, you know I don't take warning lights appearing in my car lightly. A trek down to church is about 30 minutes and not knowing what is wrong with my car is taking a chance down an unknown, possibly unwelcome road. We thought it might be that I have low oil since I have an oil leak...probably due to hitting a giant log and carrying it with me hundreds of feet as my friend and I try to make our way through this torturous storm to a better place to pull over than in the middle of the street. We drove to a auto parts store close by and got some oil, but the engine light is still on. Now, I have been in cars who's owners allow the check engine light to stay on for a while and don't worry about it, but this car is not very old at all and it should not be showing this light whatsoever. When this happened I literally burst into tears. I was suppose to be at church helping our worship leader leads the children in worship. I have been completely overwhelmed with life lately, everything about it. Quite frankly, I have been depressed. When that indicator light came on in my car, I asked God, "what else? What else can you possibly throw at me?" Well, hopefully He doesn't show me what else He can toss my way, because truthfully, He could throw a ton more at me. I am going through such a test right now with every single aspect in my life and unfortunately, I have been leaving God out of it. I am not letting Him in. No wonder I can't deal with the daily anymore. No wonder I am drained of every ounce of energy. No wonder I am depressed. I would appreciate any prayers from those of you who believe in the miraculous power of prayer. I am lonely, lost, and just down right sad. I need help from God and I need prayers that I will allow Him to work these things out for me or atleast provide me the strength to get through them.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I wonder???

I wonder about many things throughout my day...I remember thinking on my way to work this morning as I drove through my neighborhood and saw lights turning on and the roads starting to show glimpses of life again and soon enough, another busy day beginning again, if this is what God had intended for us? I know the answer to that. He didn't have this in mind when He created us. He had us living in a beautiful garden living with animals and everything going along peacefully. If only Eve would have had strong will and courage to stay away from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and to resist the temptation to eat that forbidden fruit. Life would be so much more peaceful and think I would actually be able to talk with animals. I mean the snake who was satan talked to Eve in the garden, tempting her to the tree. AND!!! she wasn't scared of the snake! Times were different then!
After another day at work and talking to others that have finished their day at work, I know this is not what God had in mind. But, it is what it is. We are here because of a choice made long ago and now we are paying the price by working long hours, being endlessly tired, feeling pushed, shoved, pulled in every which way and trying hard just to make a living. However, we still haven't paid the ultimate price. The price Christ paid for us on a cross. And I am truly thankful for that. So, tomorrow, when I feel like I can't do anymore, I hope I remember the price Christ paid and remember that there is nothing I can ever do that will ever amount to the sacrifice He made for me!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-11 remembered

We stayed home from church today. We stayed home to reflect on what happened 10 years ago today. I remember that day so clearly. I remember running to my dorm room to call my mom and get a hold of my dad who was traveling to the pentagon for a meeting. I remember people crying. I remember being so angry...everyone so angry. I remember watching the buildings fall and seeing devastating pictures on the tv in NYC. That was a day I will never forget. It still brings tears to my eyes and it burns a hole in my heart.

But what I feel on this day is NOTHING compared to those who have lost family members to this tragedy. I do not understand the total pain they have to live through every day of their lives. I will never understand what they go through day in and day out. I will never understand the worry and fear those who have loved ones who are fighting for this country because of that day must have...the day war was declared on us.

I am always thinking about that day. Not just on 9-11. Those memories and thoughts are always pinned in the back of my brain. To the families who have lost loved ones on that day and to those who have lost loved ones to fight for the USA because of that day; I am so sorry for your loss. I know this day and every other day must be so difficult for you. I am always praying and thinking of you. To those who have allowed their husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, grandsons, grandaughters, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends fight for our freedom and rights in this country, thank you.

To our brave service men and women, thank you for all you do. Freedom comes with a price. Thank you for paying that price for us. Thank you for putting your lives on the line for people you don't know and for the country that you love.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Well, school has begun. I have to say I love my kids. They are fun and are going to definitely keep me on my toes. I can already tell I am going to learn so much from them and I might even learn a little about myself through these children.

This weekend has been especially difficult for me. I am not too certain as to why. I have sat in my bed for the majority of it, just feeling like I don't belong here. I feel that I have no purpose. I have wanted to be a mom all my life....and here I am....with no children. What am I doing here? I try not to worry about it, I really do..but it is not easy. I just need prayers. I need to believe in God and His perfect timing. But, I am having a really difficult time with that right now. Please pray for me as I try to have peace with the fact that I am not in charge, that my timing may not be His timing, and I don't always have to understand why.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A journey

I read a blog called The Journey. It is about a girl named Katie who is about my age 29 or younger. She lives in Africa and has adopted 13 african girls who are of all ages. Not only does she care for these little girls, but she is so available to anyone who comes to her door. Her love for Christ is so captivating. I read her stories and I am in tears and utterly amazed. Her life turns all eyes on Him. It is truly amazing. It makes me realize a deep dream I have had. When I was in high school I would go to an orphanage in Mexico during the summers. Ever since, I have wanted to have something to do with missions and kids. I would one day love to be the "parents" of an orphanage. I would love to be somewhere where I can pursue making disciples...a place where people have never heard His word. But, we (Curtis and I) are not available. We are so bogged down by our responsibilities here we can't just leave it. I want to be available. I want to not have things here that are tying me down. I want to be able to pack up and go to Africa for a few weeks if I want to go do some work over there. Maybe now is not the time, or maybe I am making excuses because deep down I am terrified of what God may have in store for us. Whatever it is, I pray that I will be able to make sense of what God is entrusting me with. I want Him to entrust me with much. I want to have a life story that points others to Him and his sovereignty and power. But, for now, He has me on this journey. So, I will accept the place I am in now and pray that for now I will still point others to Him. I am, however, sitting here, wondering what others roads He will have Curtis and I take along this journey. Here is a link to Katie's blog. You should read is truly and utterly amazing!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Absolutely Refuse

Day 2 of workdays and already I am thinking..."REALLY?" But I refuse to let the doom and gloom of our state's budget get the best of me. Since I have been a teacher, every year we hear how the next year is going to be even more devastating financially. And..every year, things seem to turn out okay. God has our back. So I refuse to let it get the best of me. I refuse to let it interfere with me and my students. I refuse to allow it to consume my thoughts and make me worry. I refuse, I refuse, I absolutely refuse.

I am excited about this year. The fun thing about teaching is every summer a year ends and every August it is a fresh clean start. I am looking forward to getting to know the little younguns that are going to walk in my door next week. I am anxious to see their growth by the end of the year! I know that each child was given to me for a reason and I can't wait to figure it out.

Here is to a successful and fun 2011-2012 year!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

And so it begins

The new school year is about to begin. This is always a nerve racking time of year. Students don't realize that teachers are as nervous as they are when it comes to starting off the year. I am not ready to say goodbye to sleeping in, cuddling with my puppy, going places, eating out for lunch, going to movies anytime of the day and not being always extremely exhausted. I love summer and am thankful I have a job that allows us that time off. The break is much needed for both teachers and students.

The new year brings about a lot of new feelings. It makes you wonder who your students will be and what will the dynamics be like in the classroom. You wonder if you will make a difference in their lives. The public school system gets a lot of bad publicity, but in the school I work in, there are many people who dedicate their life to this job. They love the children, they value education and do everything possible to help each child in their class succeed. I am fortunate enough to work with these people who value tomorrow's future.

So, here is to another year. Another year filled with good times, making differences, learning tons, and growing in multiple ways!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Saved from something by someone to do something

Today's lesson was a continuation of last week on The Great Commission. And, as always, my brain was enlightened and my heart softened.

Now, I have never viewed my being a Christian as a get out of hell card. In fact, even though I am a Christian, I still often wonder if I am going to make it up to heaven. But these simple words were said in today's message "I was saved from something by someone to do something."
I have seemed to have let this go unnoticed. I seem to let the death that Christ faced for me fade away. Since He died for me, He has given me the HONOR to go and tell others about His love for us. I should view it as an honor to tell others about God, but I usually view it as an awkward, difficult task that I am not worthy or able to do.

Most of the time I am not a Christlike example and I make myself not available most of the time. What if my church I grew up in or my parents had made themselves unavailable to me? Where would I be today? Who would I be today?

Father, help me to be available to others. Force words and actions to come out of me that bring You glory. Give me a heart that is open to others and their needs and to put my needs to the side for once. Father, help me an instrument to be used for You, one that brings peace and love. Do not let my lack of confidence keep me from remembering and acting out what Jesus authorized me to do...the reason He died on the cross for me. For I was saved from death by God through Jesus to go and make disciples.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Being Impactful

Todays lesson was really good for me. Docusen did an awesome job. I love how genuine he is about Jesus and His love for us. I love how he preaches pure truth!

The Great Commission was given to all believers. We are to go out and MAKE DISCIPLES and baptize them and TEACH THEM EVERYTHING THAT HAS BEEN COMMANDED OF US!

I can do all things for Christ, but if I am not doing this one task, then I am not doing enough. Whoa! As hard as it is to hear that, it is true. I sat there listening to this, cringing because I know I am not doing enough. I am not bringing others to Christ. I am not doing everything commanded of me...I am not doing the Great Commission.

Some things I understood today that I have never thought about are:
  • I do not have to bring someone to church to show them Christ. When I was baptized, right then the angels rejoiced and the Holy Spirit began to live inside of me. I have the power to bring others to Christ. But it will not happen with the way I live my day to day life.
  • There are many things I have done or said that I am most certainly not proud of. There have been many times in my life, especially at work, where you would not know I am a Christian. I am certain that there are some that know I go to church but look at me as a hypocrite. And, sadly to say, there are people who I am sure would not go to church because of things I have done or said. It hurts to think that this could be true. But it is what it is. I can't go back in time and change those things, even though I wish I could. I wish I could start all over. But I can't. I can however change that way of life and live one filled with Christ's goodness and love.
  • I will never know how much of an impact I have on others, but one thing is for sure, I am making an impact. SO I BETTER BE MAKING A CHRIST LIKE IMPACT. I have failed at this in the past, but plan on making the future a clear path to Christ.
Father, I am sorry for being a disappointment to You so many times in my life. I am sorry for not making Your name famous, for not showing Your love and grace to others. I am sorry for turning others away from You because of the things I might say, or ways I act. I can't erase my past sins. But, You, Father can forgive me for them and I ask for Your forgiveness. I also ask for Your wisdom and strength to be a Christ-like impact to others, because I will never know who is watching and more importantly, it is the GREAT COMMISSION You have commanded me to do.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Moved by You

I have been walking in the morning lately, and as I walk around, I can't help but feel God's presence....and I am so moved by Him. Ever since finding out a week ago that it is quite possible that my husband and I will not be able to have our own children, I have felt God holding me in His arms-whether it is by friends He has placed in my life, comforting words from others, my great mom and dad who are showing us so much love through this, people praying for us, and comforting words from His word. I am truly thankful and feel at peace. I can't say that I don't think about it, because I do. When I see a new baby or a mom who is pregnant, there is a sense of jealousy and envy, and a lot of questions pop into my head. But, I am not angry. I am not angry at Him. More surprisingly, I have been strong. This is surely a strength given only by God. I know that there is something God has up His sleeve for us...who knows...maybe I will get to be an orphanage mom one day...which is a dream of mine. Or perhaps, maybe there is a child waiting on us to find them, or maybe God is going to fix this problem and allow us to have our own. I don't know...I have no idea what His plan is, but I know He has one. He has had one from the moment I entered into my moms womb. I fully trust and believe that! I am so moved by You, Father.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Our Body belongs to Christ

So during this whole summer....I have watched myself eat, sleep, watch tv, eat, sleep, watch tv, and eat and sleep some more. I had a whole checklist of things I wanted to accomplish on my house this summer...yet none of it got done. I have had absolutely no motivation. But then I will start thinking, "Who am I hurting anyway? This is my summer and my life and I am going to do what I want to do!"

While it is true that this is summer and I do not deny that God gives teachers summers to sleep and rest and do things they want to do, I do not think He would agree that this is my life and my body. My body belongs to Christ. It says so in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price, therefore honor God with your body."

My body belongs to God. I wasn't created to live Mandy's Life, I was created by God, for God's purposes and only to bring glory to God. I live every day doing what I feel like doing. It is rather selfish. My father sent His son to die on a cross. His son had nails pierced into His hands. He had a crown covered in thorns bearing into his head. He died and He had done nothing wrong. But because God knew I would sin, He had mercy on me and asked His son to bear the burden of all my sins and all the others in this world. So, my body is God's body most definitely.

Father, I pray that I can have a physical body that glorifies you. I pray I will vigilent. I will guard what I see, hear, do, think, and choose for my life. I pray that I will walk in righteousness and fill my body, which is Your temple, with holiness. Please forgive me for always thinking that I could do what I want when I want with my body and not allowing it to glorify You even after knowing that You gave up Your son on a cross for me.

Monday, August 1, 2011

It has been a while since I have been on here...I wish I came with some great things to say and offer, but I don't.

Curtis and I are trying to start a family, but my doctor called me Friday with some unfavorable news. I have had a hard time since Friday smiling and enjoying life. Tomorrow, Curtis and I celebrate 8 years together and all I can think is that it is 8 years with no children and we may very well not ever have our own. I am not closed to adoption, nor have I ever been, but we wanted to have a couple of our own first. But, it seems God's plan is very different than mine. I know His plan is better, but right now I am having a hard time understanding that. I sat in church Sunday and I was not there. I felt so far away from God. I know I put that distance there. My heart was definitely not in the right place.

My mom told me that I have always been very good and loving towards other people's kids, so maybe God has been preparing my heart to love and care for someone else's child that needs a home. Even though that may be true, it doesn't make the feelings easier that come with finding out you may not be able to physically have your own children.

We are meeting with a special doctor soon, but in the meantime, we are going to start researching adoption and getting a better understanding of that. So, here is to what may be a new journey for us and I hope that my heart will open up to it.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bear fruit that will last...

First of all, to my friend Ginny...goodluck having that baby girl! I wish I could be there! I cannot wait to meet her when I get back from the cruise! Love you!

Bear fruit that will last
"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go bear fruit-fruit that will last."
John 15:16

God is the vine and I am the branches.
I know a vine can only produce branches if those branches remain attached to the vine. I can only be one in God if I stay attached to Him because He is my source of life. I cannot live without Him. If I am living without Him, I am producing nothing but rotten waste. I want to bear fruit...I want to be a glimpse of Jesus to somebody. I want others to know me and look at me and know whom I belong to. Unfortunately, I do a cruddy job of this daily, all day.
What a disappointment I feel I am to Him. What fruit do I bear? He gave me gifts that will help me spiritually and do I use them? God placed me here on earth to increase the number of those who believe in Him and love Him. He didn't suggest it to me, he appointed me to do so. It is called The Great Commission. Matthew 28:19, " Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Holy Spirit." God expects me to do this...and boy do I need a kick in the pants.
Father, help me to bear fruit. Fruit that will make a lasting impact on Your kingdom. Help me to be someone who knows I love You and belong to You. I get so caught up in the drama of daily life that it gets in the way of me doing what You appointed me to do and being who You have appointed me to be. Give me the strength to just step out of the way of my life and allow You to work in every nook and cranny of it. I love You and want to bear fruit for You.

Well I hope you all have a wonderful week. I will be enjoying a beautiful cruise. I will get to experience God's amazing power, wondrous works, and complete sovereignty in a whole new way! Love you guys!

Monday, July 11, 2011

A life that actually works

In my Bible study time today, I was reading about blessedness...a person who reveres the Lord, Follows His commands and looks to Him in all situations. God is their life... their reason for being. When you have this blessedness, your life actually works.

I was thinking about my life actually working out. This means that I rejoice in the Lord in all things...good or bad...pretty and ugly...easy and hard...when understanding or when confused...when frustrated or happy.

I feel my life "actually works" when I am happy. But when I am happy, I feel it is more of a human reaction than a condition of my heart and soul. I rejoice in the good, pretty, easy times. I rejoice when my life makes sense. However, I don't rejoice when things happen in my life that I don't understand, or when things get ugly and hard. In fact, I ask , "Why, GOD?"

Now, I have never denied that God was God. I have always believed that He does work in wonderful ways, but I have denied God to work that into my life and allowing Him to make it actually work. I get too much in the way of my own blessedness. I see people I go to church with who are blessed. They love God, they follow Him anywhere He leads, they call on Him for wisdom and guidance in the tiniest matters of life...they make God their life. They exude blessedness and their blessedness bring me joy and a yearning for my own blessedness.
I have gotten better in the past few weeks of allowing God in. Allowing Him to direct my life, make my decisions, and capture my thoughts. I have worried less and less as each day passes. I know God is bigger than any problem and He will provide me a strength that is insurmountable even in times of trouble. But, I want to be blessed. I want a life that "ACTUALLY WORKS!"

Father, God, help me to walk in Your ways. May my steps be to worship, may my thoughts bring You praise, may my words bring honor to Your name. Help me to look to you even in the smallest affairs of life. Give me wisdom and knowledge like you say in Isaiah 33:6. For I know your ways are right and just...I know they are the ONLY way that I can truly live if I want to have a life of true blessedness and one that will actually work!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Well, I am back from the beach and had a fine time! One more week and I will be on my big vacation to the Caribbean!!!!
While at the beach I decided to keep my nieces there a couple extra days since they were going to be going home earlier than I was. I had a good time with them and my other niece and nephew. Once again, I was reminded and encouraged at how much I am wanting to be a mom to my own children.

I am reading about how basically, God is the builder of your home, if you allow Him to be. God will be the guardian of your home if you allow Him to be. If you don't allow Him in, you are doing all things in vain. When you allow God in, He will deliver many blessings to you.

I am so guilty of seeing the "picture perfect" family and wanting that for my life. But God did not make any one of us alike. So, not only is He a builder, but He is a custom builder. He will work hallways and staircases into your life that fit perfectly with His will for you. He will create doorways that lead to countless blessings, IF you allow Him completely into your heart.

The picture perfect family for me is one with a few children, a white picket fence, a couple of dogs...but more importantly, it is one with a foundation firmly built on the Lord. Because I can have all the kids I want, the beautiful house with all the beautiful things inside, all the little animals to make my family look complete. But the truth of the matter is NOTHING WILL EVER BE GOOD AND FRUITFUL UNLESS GOD IS THE ONE BUILDING MY HOME.

God has not decided that now is the time for Curtis and I to have a family. I am getting better at being okay with that. I am trying to patiently wait on His timing, because deep down inside I know and truly believe that His timing is best and perfect. But after reading this today, I decided that I may not be a mother to my own children, but I can be an other (like a mother) to my nieces and nephew, to the children I teach and any young person who needs someone to love them. I spend a lot of time with my nieces and I find myself teaching them many things, so then I am like a mother to them...until God builds children into my home.

So, if you want to have countless blessings, you have to decide what is more important, material things which moths and dust will destroy...""Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal." Matthew 6:19. These things here on earth are nothing and will always be nothing, but store up a relationship with God, do things here on earth that will bring you closer to heaven and living eternally with our custom builder, God. If you want to be a mother and are not one yet, be an other to someone who needs love. If you want a sense of family, but don't have it, find a church and build community and relationships there. And remember, your life will always seem like it is in shambles unless you allow God to build and perfect it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Be Still

Be Still and know that I AM GOD. Psalms 46:10

In the hustle and bustle of every day life being still is just not on our priority list here in America. We are always on the go, always wanting more, always in a hurry and we must have instant gratification. This is not good.

I wonder how many times God whispers these words into my ear. When God said this in Psalms, he was saying Stop! Realize, completely understand, acknowledge that I AM exalted above this world. I AM in control. I Am holding this world in the palm of my hands. "I Am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and Last, the Beginning and the End." Revelation 22:13

I am not good at being still...just the past 2 days I have been bustling over the possible grade level moves I have been hearing about. Letting myself get consumed in the fire of these thoughts...Is it me? What grade level will she put me in? Why? Do I even have a job? This doesn't leave me much room for listening to the whispers of God's voice into my heart. I have to find quiet times in my day to actively listen for God to speak to me. I really struggle with this. I have to be doing something all the time. I even have a hard time watching a movie without working on something. It drives me bonkers!
God...You sure our making more aware of all my imperfections....but bring it on! Keep refining me!
Father, help me to BE STILL, to listen...actively listen to You. Help me to know that You are in total control and to remember that there is no one I would rather have in control than You. You are my help in trouble...You are always there.

Psalms 46: 1 "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fear of the Lord!

The wedding was beautiful and perfect. The words that were said during the ceremony were so beautiful. I was able to see many old friends and that was wonderful, as well.

Being at this wedding has made me reflect on my own marriage. I think all weddings do that to many people. My marriage has not always been a fairytale...I am much of the reason why. My stubborn and opinionated self often get in the way of me being the helpmeet that I was created to be for my husband.

A few years ago, I bought a book called Created to be his Help Meet by Debi Pearl. I read like 4 or 5 chapters of it and if my memory serves me correctly threw the book on the shelf instead of carefully placing it on the shelf. My students would be appalled at the action I took with a book since I am constantly telling them.."We are book readers...NOT book beaters!" Anyway...I couldn't spend one more second reading that book. Only recently, after doing a study on how to be a woman of godly character have I even thought about reading it again and after going to the wedding, I have decided it is important that I read it again. So, this morning, I picked it up and started it.

What I read today was about..."The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Proverbs 9:10
Now Ms. Pearl went on a whole different route with that verse. One I can't really relate to and one I am going to work my hardest at not relating to EVER! But, nonetheless, I thought the verse was fitting with my recent "fears" I am having. When you truly fear the Lord, you are brought to an overwhelming desire to know God more and more. When you read His word and spend time with Him, knowledge and peace are developed in you. I think when many people think about the fear of the Lord, it makes them think negatively about God. It makes them think of this overpowering giant who doesn't really care. But when I think about the fear of the Lord, to me it means a reverence, respect for God. It means that when you truly fear the Lord, you are intentional about your relationship with Him. You are not worried about your relationship with Him, but take an obligation to build a more comprehensive relationship with Him every day.

Father, create in me a true, respectful fear of You. Help cultivate peace, fear, and knowledge in me so that I can be a better help meet for Curtis as You have created me to be.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fall in step with God

Yesterday I read a of my favs! "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm to you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29: 11

When I read this it fell in perfectly with what I have been struggling with lately..well, really, all my life. I have a hard time trusting in God's faithfulness even though I have never been given a reason to. This verse is so beautiful and such a reminder of God's love for me...for you! God already knows what is going to happen to us...He planned it. His plans are for us to prosper. Being prosperous is having wealth in a plethora of areas of our life. In fact, God wants us to prosper in everything we do. He wants to protect us and keep us safe! He has predestined each of us with a hope we can't even fathom and a future far better than we could pick out for ourselves.

I hear a lot from people, why does God hate me? He doesn't hate you. He loves you. You may be waiting on prosperity. But, one thing you have to understand is yes God has this plan for you, but there is also satan out there. Well, then why doesn't God intervene? God wants you to choose Him. Life is full of choices and some of our choices can interfere with us stepping in line with God's plan. If you want to prosper and have a hope and a future, start making choices that fall in step with God's. I am working on it myself and so far I am feeling so much more peace. You can feel that, too!

On another note...I love you Curtis Alford!

Today I am attending a wedding of an old friend I grew up with. I love weddings! They are filled with such blessings and wonderful memories.

It has been almost 8 years since I married Curtis and God could not have picked a better partner for my life. He is SO patient, loving, kind and forgiving. I hope I am the helpmeet he needs like he is for me.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Proverbs 24:10
"If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!"

Yesterday I mentioned needing to learn to have faith, trust, and patience in the Lord and His plan. When I read this verse this morning, I was reminded of the start of yesterdays journey. I am like a baby Christian. I am at my weakest when there is trouble which shows how small I am in my faith.
I realize that many people of faith struggle with this. Abraham, David, the gospel writer John Mark and Peter are just some men of faith that when tough times came they hit the ground hard. These men, though, never gave up their desire for the Lord. They were persistent in knowing Him and learning more about Him and being with Him.

I remember a few times when I kept making the same after the other...each time asking for God to forgive me and help me stop. Then 2 days later, there I was asking for the same thing again. I remember thinking God has to get so tired of this! When is He going to give up on me? Maybe I should just give up. But I remember these men mentioned above, I remember my parents never letting go of Him and I was reminded of how I am nothing without Him. John 5: 19- "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself." John 15:4-5 "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."

I have realized something and I am not proud of it at Luke 8 producing a crop is discussed. Verses 11-15- " This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then devil comes and takes the word away from their hearts, so they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among the thorns stands for those who hear but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches, and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop." I read this and found myself between a rock and a hard place (metaphorically speaking of course). I am that seed that fell on the rock and, often times, the seed that fell on the thorns. I long to be the seed that fell on good soil. I want to have a good and noble heart and produce a crop.

I find it sad that after all these years of reading the word, I have never retained it. I think it sounds good for the moment and then its forgotten.

So today I have decided that if I long to be that good seed...the one with the noble and good heart, the one that hears the word, retains it and produces a crop then I have to change the way I do things. That is why I like blogging...I read something that means something to me and I can apply it to my life and look at what needs to be refined. Hopefully, when you read it you can apply something meaningful to your life to...just remember this God loves you no matter what. He longs for you to love Him back. He never tires of your mistakes and your imperfections. He welcomes all us sinners into His loving and merciful arms. Don't think twice, like I did, about ever giving up on Him, because He will never give up on you. If the God who calmed the storm, who parted the Red sea, who has the power to move mountains, and who raised His son from the dead can love you and protect you...then He can move you through any obstacle in life, any struggle you are having or mistake you are making. When you falter, your strength may be weak and small, but His is not!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

happiness and joy

Psalms 126:4-6
"Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow in tears will reap withs songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him."

These are the verses I read today. This has been a trying time for me. For those who know me, this will come as no shock to you. But for those who don't...I am a huge worrier. I worry about everything. If you have ever read the book Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes...a children's book of would find out I am so much like her. I worry about every single thing. Not only do I worry, but I am also a worst case scenario kind of person. I figure if something is not going to go my way it is going to be the worst thing that could ever happen.

This just goes to show my immaturity in Christ. I have known God all of my really...all my life. I have known him, believed in Him, and loved Him. However I have not truly believed in His power even though I have never been given a reason not to.

I need to trust in God, not just the fact that I believe there is one. If I believe there is a God, which I truly do, then I need to believe in everything about him. Believing in God means having faith and patience and trust...both of which I am a struggler. Faith is knowing that He will see you through no matter what, knowing He is bigger and stronger and more powerful than anything that comes my way. Patience is knowing that trusting in Him means that my life is according to His proper timing and not mine at all. Trust is believing in His mighty work and it produces joy!

These are things I need to work on!

Father, all of my life I have known You, believed in You, and loved You. But after 29 years I have not matured. I am still a child. A new Christian. My mind is always filled with worries and MY plan for MY life. When times, things, plans, etc., are uncertain or don't go according to my plan, I don't believe faithfully in You. I don't trust in You. In fact, I believe that the worst is going to happen to me and my life. Father, You have not ever harmed me or given me something I could not handle. On the contrary, You have given me everything I've wanted. Things often go my way. You have never let go. Never.
Father, refine me. Help me to learn to trust in you and to cast my anxiety and worries to You. Because you have always been and will always be there for me. Thank you for Your unfailing love even though I fail to show you how much I truly do believe in You.
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Monday, May 30, 2011


9 days are left....9 days with my little lovelies...I am going to miss this group of kids. While I am so excited and so ready for summer break, it also means I have to say goodbye to people I have spent 180 days with. People I have come to know so well and understand and love. It makes me sad to think of. It even scares me a little, because you never know what is in store for you in the coming school year. What these children will never know is how much I have learned from just being around them. They always teach me so much..each year I learn so many things about life and myself from my students. They make me a better person and teacher.

I am so proud of the growth of each student. They were hard workers who worked to impress me and they have so much to be proud of. Their love for one another will never be forgotten. They have been such an encouraging group for each other and have shown pride in each other's accomplishments.

I will never forget them and hope they know how much they mean to me and how much I do love them.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

He must become greater; I must become less.
John 3:30

I read this today and it put something on my heart. I am always trying to prove myself to someone...anyone who is willing to look or pay attention to whatever it is I am involved in. I am constantly trying to make myself bigger, better than I really and truthfully am. I must become less....Wow! What a thought! It goes against everything in our society. Everyone is wrapped up in making a name for themselves, proving themselves to someone, becoming better and best at something in someones eyes. But instead this is what I should live by-- "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:2 I need to let God be bigger. I become less and He becomes more. Even though this feels and may sound selfish, when I become less and God becomes bigger, he will still change me, mold me and make me perfect, pleasing and good.

I have to remember that I may not be destined for monumental things...I may not be an orphanage mom, I may not adopt a lot of kids like Katie in Africa (a blog I read), I may not be like the family in the movie Blind Side. I may lead an ordinary life, or I may not.

"Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?" Romans 9:21

Father, I pray that you will allow me to let you mold me and make me what you need me to be. I ask that you help me to be okay with who ever it is You have purposed me to be. More importantly, I pray that You will help me to live my life for the purposes You have brought me here and that I will always be the person You need and want me to be. It isn't always easy and I know there will be many times I fail. I am not being negative, but I am human. But Father, You are a God of grace and mercy and You love me no matter what. Help me to allow You to be the potter for the lump of clay that I am! :) Help me to remember that even if my life seems ordinary, as long as I am living it for You and doing what You want from me, then my life isn't ordinary, it is extraordinary!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Mom

My mom is a beautiful person inside and out! I am so lucky to have her in my life! My mom did a wonderful job raising me (if I do say so myself). She was very concerned with raising me to be a child of God. I will remember her always praying with me and teaching me in the way I should go. My mom was my mom first. She disciplined me, she taught me right from wrong and she loved me unconditionally. She has very high expectations for me still and has always believed in me. Now, she is not only my mother, but she is my friend. We don't always see eye to eye, we even drive each other crazy, but we are best friends. I am thankful for my mom and the rules she placed in my life. I am thankful that she made me go to a christian college. I am thankful my mom prayed over me. I am thankful she wanted me to meet a good christian guy to be my husband. My mother was always supportive of my dreams and has always wanted to see them through. Mom, there are not near enough words for me to say to you. But I want you to know I love you, I thank you for being a role model on how to be a good mother to my kids one day and I would never be where I am today if you did not love God and want Him to be a part of my life. God did well when He chose you to be my mom. I love you!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Big Dreams

I am a typical girl who had and has big dreams. When I was little I dreamed of being a little princess, marrying prince charming (which did come true :) and having a unicorn. I dreamed of being a professional equestrian jumper and rider, I dreamed of being a pilot for commercial airlines, I dreamed of being a irish dancer or playing the violin for the Riverdance, I dreamed of living on an island. But as I grew up, things in my life changed. I had to sell my horse because my mom was afraid Jazz wouldn't get a lot of attention with me going 16 hours away to college. It broke my heart to see my beautiful arabian mare go to a new home. My dreams of being a pilot were not long lived...that was a very temporary dream.

As I have gotten older, priorities changed. Paths changed, ideas changed, feelings changed, life changed, I changed!
When I would work with orphans during the summer I realized, I want to adopt or one day be the momma at an orphanage. I would also like to have a camp for children with all different needs where they can come and take care of horses, ride horses, anything involving horses. These are things that may not happen in the anywhere near future, but they are dreams that I could see in my future someday.

The past few months, I have been contemplating my job situtation. I love my children, I love teaching. I do not like the politics involved in it. It takes so much away from the actual job of teaching and knowing what our kids do and do not need. So much time is spent on worthless, meaningless, small things, that in the big scheme of things, DO NOT matter.

A dream that has recently come to me is one that involves the church I am now going to, Center City Church. Center City wants to start a coffee house called Ebenezer's Coffeehouse, here in Charlotte. Ebenezer's Coffeehouse is already in existence in D.C., but this church is trying to extend it to here. It is a multiple use venue where we can reach out to the community. One way David Docusen has mentioned reaching out to the community that really speaks to me is doing an after school. I would love to be in charge of that. I do not have a clue what that would entail, I don't know what I am doing, but God does. If you are reading this, please pray for this. Please pray for guidance and God's voice to be heard. I do not want to do something that He does not see favorable for my life or those at Center City or those in the community.

So those are my dreams. Ones that are closer than others, but exciting all the same! What are your dreams? Remember, you can have the best dreams planned out for you and your life, but Gods dreams and plans for you are so much bigger and better than anything you could ever imagine for yourself. Put your faith, trust, and hope in Him. He can work and will work miracles in your life if you allow Him to. He can make all your dreams come true and you will live happily ever after with Him for eternity!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Devastation across the South

Life is just so daily. I think that quote is so is daily, but what is important is how do I spend my DAILY LIFE? I am so consumed with the unimportant things, I take every second of my life for granted. As I hear about the devastation across the south, especially Alabama, I am saddened. Things can be replaced, but lives cannot. There is bad weather coming this way and I am thnking about all the things and people I take for granted. I am thinking about those who have lost their homes and belongings, I am thinking about those who have lost loved ones and I am truly sorry for their loss..Father, please provide comfort to those who are heartbroken right now in the southern states. I pray that you will wrap your loving arms around them and help them to see Your glory in this, somehow. I pray You will provide comfort and help to those in need. Thank you for your safety and love over my friends and family, but bless those who were not as fortunate.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


So I have had my nieces here since Sunday. It has made me realize how ready for a family Curtis and I are. I have really enjoyed having them stay with us and will miss them when they leave. I know that God has a plan for me and Curtis...I just wish I knew what it was. I don't have the patience to wait and see. I never have the patience for anything. In fact, I stopped asking God to grant me patience because every time I did, He would present me with something to practice having patience for. When you are a teacher, you don't need any more reasons than you already have to be taught a lesson in patience. Therefore, every time I would get ready to ask God for patience, I thought twice and stopped. Awful, I know, but also so true.

But patience is what I need. "But for those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint." Isaiah 40:31

If I just wait on God I will soar on wings like eagles and will not be tired, stressed, anything, but strong and stress-free! Now that is is hoping and waiting on you God!

On a funnier note though, my niece informed me today that you just need a pregnancy test to get pregnant...ohhhhh...the innocence of more reason I love them and my job of working with children every day.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's been a while

Wow! I can't believe how long it has been since I have last posted...

So much for one weekly...haha...that's the way life goes sometimes. Well I am concluding my spring break as of tomorrow. I can't believe it is already over...tear... It was a terrific week. I did what I wanted when I wanted. There was no to do list for me...if I felt like doing something I did, if I didn't then I didn't....PERFECT!

This is so different from the norm for me. I have demands to be met and needs to facilitate. Life has been stress free for me this week....its been super nice..but it is back to reality.

We have about 8 weeks left of school...8 WEEKS!!!! I can't believe it. This year has flown by. I am going to miss my kids. It is really funny...I can remember at the beginning of the year thinking this class could never make me fall in love with them like last years group. But I was wrong...they are so wonderful. I love them all..they mean a whole lot to me and I am so proud of them. They have all made tremendous growth. I get to see daily why I chose teaching as my profession.

Now, onto a more pressing issue--tomorrow is Easter. I am lucky and get to spend it with my family (minus Curtis) :( What is Easter exactly? It is the celebration of Christ our Savior coming back from the grave. My savior died. MY SAVIOR CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD!!!Isn't the amazing? Christ died for my sins and yours. He laid his life on the cross-the punishment for those who committed the most horrible crimes-for MY sins. People yelled names at Him, people asked for His death, people beat Him, people enjoyed watching Him be beaten and get His hands nailed to a cross. Did He deserve any of this? No. We did, but He took the fall for us. Because of Him, I can be here today. I don't ever deserve any of what Christ did for me. I could never repay Him and a do a lousy job at even trying. But I am choosing to live each day for Him and to remember that it is for Him I do all things.

You watched your Son die a shameful death for no wrongdoing. You even asked Him to die for us. He prayed that You would come up with some other way, but ultimately He trusted in You and let Your will be done. I can't even imagine watching my child (when I ever have one) being beaten, scorned and nailed to a cross. You did and You could have intervened, but You didn't because You love me. You love me even when I am unlovable and lazy. You give me chance after chance to be more like Your Son. You grant favor over me even when I am least deserving. You continue to bestow blessing upon blessing on me. Father I love you. I am thankful for Your sacrifice and I am thankful for Your Son. He didn't have to die for my sins, but He did because He loves You and Your sons and daughters more than His life. Father, grant me the courage to stand up for You when I need to. Give me the love You desire from me. Help me to love others like You would love them. Help me to be honest and hardworking. Help me to surrender to Your will. Help me to be helpful, kind and friendly to others. Remind me that I am here because of You and for You I shall do all things. I love You.
In Your Holy and loving name,

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Who's neck am I going to step on?

Really I should title this what's neck am I going to step on instead of who's

Anyway, sometimes I think my neck is the neck that needs to be stepped on...but I know that is satan talking to me and not the love of God. David at Center City posed that question today...a great one I thought. One that made me think and I came up with a few things I need to step on. I am struggling at work. I am easily frustrated...not with my kids, but coworkers. I just get so agitated. I have had a very cold heart this past week, especially. I hate this about me and I want it to change. I think I am better at my job than others, that I have all the answers, etc., etc., etc. I need to step on the neck of pridefulness. I have recently learned that I am a very proud person...not very humble at all. I have got to see others before myself. In 1 Peter 5:5 it says God opposes the proud but give grace to the humble. I want to be someone who is quiet and not quick to speak or act. I am not those things at all.

I am a very opinionated, black and white, my way or the high way kind of person. This can be a good thing. Being this way kept me strong in very hard times in life where for most it was easy to choose friends or paths that were cool but not right. I didn't care about being in the "in" crowd. I was and am proud of who I was/am and was sure of who I was/am. There is no changing it. In this case being so strong-willed is good. However, it does have its detriments, too. When someone doesn't quite agree with me I think they are simple minded and think I am better than they are. This doesn't leave my heart very open to showing them the love of Christ. Sometimes, I feel like I done all the running of my life...and honestly...I haven't let God take the reigns of most of it. I profess His name, I certainly believe in Him and His power and sovereignty...but why don't I believe it and allow it for my own life? I have to be so frustrating to Him. Yet, maybe I am not. One thing is for sure...I am truly thankful that He is God and I am not. I would not be so forgiving...of even myself.

Father, I need you. I truly do. I have known this all my life. Yet, I struggle with allowing You to take the lead. Father, because I haven't let You in as I should have, there are many things inside of me fighting. I am not the person You need me to be. I don't even know if I know who that is anymore because I have dug myself into such a muddy hole. I need Your strength. The strength You have to quiet and still rivers, to move mountains, to make the Earth stand still. I need Your wisdom and Your light to brighten my heart and my head. Help me to step on the neck of being prideful. I don't want to be prideful anymore. I am not perfect, nor will I ever be. I am just me and that is good enough to You. Why isn't it good enough for me? I have realized that I am not as strong as I thought I was. I am weak and can only make it with Your strength. Please help me to seek Your strength, every day, in everything I do. Help me to be more mindful of my thoughts. Let loving words and gestures flow out of me. Help me to love my coworkers as You have loved me.

This verse was read today and it gives me hope!
Psalms 30: 1-5
I will exalt you, O LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. O LORD, you brought me up from the grave; you spared me from going down into the pit. Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Every Season

So, I think every week (we will see about that...) I am going to think of a song that I can apply to my life. It may be an old song, a new song, who knows??? Since going to Center City, I have met several people there who refer to live in seasons. I love looking at it in that perspective. I also can't believe I have never looked at it in that way before...especially with the chapter in Ecclesiastes. I like looking at life as seasons, because you know seasons come and seasons go. I am ready for this season of my life to move on to a new one. I am ready for the busyness to come to an end, I am ready to spend some real quality time with my husband, I am ready to have a break from the stress of my job, I am ready to begin motherhood...

I know God is working in me, on me, and through me. I know there are reasons why I haven't gotten pregnant and I am trusting God in that. I don't know the reasons, but I know He has them. I think God is working on me and I need to form a more perfect bond with Him. My husband and I need to be more united in Him and in each other. God needs us to make Him the number one priority in our life, so we can be the parents He desires us to be...ones that will raise our child or children to know Him, really know Him, love Him, live life to serve Him and serve others.

Anyway, this song below is a song I have loved for many, many years. I love to think about it, sing it and meditate on it when I am stressed and feel like there will be no end....It is called Every Season and it is sung by Nicole Nordeman. I love it and I think you will too!

Every evening sky, an invitation
To trace the patterned stars
And early in July, a celebration
For freedom that is ours
And I notice You
In children’s games
In those who watch them from the shade
Every drop of sun is full of fun and wonder
You are summer

And even when the trees have just surrendered
To the harvest time
Forfeiting their leaves in late September
And sending us inside
Still I notice You when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what has been and was to come
You are autumn

And everything in time and under heaven
Finally falls asleep
Wrapped in blankets white, all creation
Shivers underneath
And still I notice you
When branches crack
And in my breath on frosted glass
Even now in death, You open doors for life to enter
You are winter

And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
What was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how You make me new
With every season’s change
And so it will be
As You are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring