About Impact

Monday, January 28, 2008

This just in...

We had a total of 183 girls at Friday's Girlz Only Glamor Night!
- 143 Students
- 16 High School Leaders
- 24 Adult Leaders

I think I'm starting to figure out why God has placed me in the South Bend schools.

I played at Lifeline last night and I didn't realize how much I missed playing.

I got my haircut because Debbie Mann is amazing!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Girlz Only

Last night was insane! I have no idea how many girls were there but I think we successfully transformed the church into the largest salon ever!!!! Nails, hair, make-up, lip gloss, crafts and tons of pictures! I forgot to mention the fashion show. Susanna had some amazing passages and excellent thoughts to share with the girls about inner beauty.

The girls seemed to have a great time and had the chance to make some new friends. Our high school students stepped up and showed tremendous leadership. Let me brag about them for a minute. Heather Stevens was doing some amazing camera work and I'm looking forward to her video. Nea still doesn't have her voice back but was there giving 110%. It didn't hit me until last night but almost all of my small group girls are serving at Oasis in some way. I am blessed to be able to hang out with them every week. I could go on and on about our student but I won't. Let me just finish by saying this; you should meet these ladies and see how amazing they are!

Next Girlz Only Event: February 29th - Mark your calendar. This one will fill up early!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

IMEA - Day 2

I just finished attending my last session of the conference. Soon will be packing up the bus and heading home. Today I met some amazing music educators who are willing to share all the resources they can. I was able to collect some information for music therapy graduate programs and certification. We will see what comes from all of that. Good times. Back home we go.

Friday, January 18, 2008

IMEA - Day 1

Early this morning I left Mishawka with the CMENC chapter at Bethel to head to Indianapolis for the IMEA conference. Since I teach choir and have little experience in that area I've focused on vocal seminars all day. My brain hurts. Vocalist have a totally different way of thinking than instrumentalist. I've felt very out of place but am learning some great things.

There are always tons of exhibitors at the convention and I've had the opportunity to make some new connections. I've talked to a few schools about music therapy certification and some curriculum specialist about adapted music. They have pointed me towards some possible resources.

My highlight of the day was watching some of our Oasis students sing in the Discovery Middle School Vocal Jazz Ensemble. The girls were AWESOME! They did four part pieces and some complex rhythmic things. I was so proud of them. I've been bragging about them all day and I'm not even their teacher. I love our students!!! Great job ladies!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Back in the swing...

Yesterday was a very long day. I went over 12 hours without stopping. UGH!
Today was a little better. I only went for a little under 12 hours with a short 30 minute break to run home and change clothes.

I'm was going to go to the IMEA conference this weekend but have decided it would be best to stay home and clean my apartment. Perhaps even get a bit organized. The good news is almost all of my paper work is caught up. I think I may call it a night as far as school work goes and head home. Grabbing a book or some paint some pretty good right now.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Praying In Color

This week at Lifeline and Oasis, DC talked about prayer. He talked about how we all have this idea of how prayer is suppose to look or sound like. We've set a standard for ourselves and think that if we don't met that standard we haven't prayed correctly. The reality is that all God wants is for us to talk to him.

He also showed a picture that was given to him by a young child. He made the point that our prayers can look like a child's drawing that has color outside the lines and scribbles the look like nothing all over the page. It reminded me of a book I read last year called Praying in Color by Sybil MacBeth.

The book is the results of a math teacher who loves to doodle and was frustrated with the state of her prayer life. She decided combine prayer and doodling. She discovered a completely different way to pray and shared her experience and thoughts in this book.

I enjoyed the book but was a little skeptical about the whole thing. I decided to give it a shot and discovered growth in my prayer life I never thought could happen. If you are looking for something to stretch your idea of prayer, read the book.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

New Schedule

I've had some people ask about what my class load is like this semester, and in a sad attempt to get people to actually read my blog I told them I would post the answer here if they really wanted to know.

7 General Music (5th or 6th grade) - Most of these are large classes, the biggest having 31. Another class is a nice size but a third of them are special needs and the others are devils!
2 Choirs (7th and 8th grade) - One has 30 students and the other is small but has very few girls
1 Adapted Music (5th - 8th) This class has 19 special needs students, which is very large number! The paraprofessionals don't help much even if you ask. It is my favorite class but takes the most energy and concentration.

I think it should be a little easier to manage than last semester. Time will tell.

Thanks for reading friends!!!!

Monday, January 07, 2008

First Day Back

This semester I have all new classes and all new students. With that and the weather I felt like it was the beginning of the school year. I had the beginning of new semesters because I have to go back to being The Regulator, my least favorite role.

Now that I'm more organized things should go smoother. I'm trying a slightly different approach this semester taking into consideration some key things I learned about the way the students' home-lives. I think this will either be really successful or magnificent disaster!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Leaning In

Desire is the name of our new weekend series and it is off to an incredible start. The last few weeks I've had three different people tell me that they truly believe 2008 is going to be a great year. I actually laughed out loud when the first person said it. The last four years have been far from good.

Tonight Mark shared the dream he had for our church and the struggles and pain that came from desiring that dream. He touched on every question and doubt I've had in this journey using Luke 24:13-35. That passage makes more sense now than it ever has. These men were at the end of their rope and ready to throw in the towel. But they chose to lean into the Scriptures this random man shared with them and in the process found the very thing they desired, Christ.

When I reach the end of my rope I find it so hard to lean in and listen. I usually throw up my hands, tell God how angry and hurt I am and then eventually come back to the leaning in bit. How is 2008 going to be different? How is it going to be a good year? When I reach the end of my rope, I'll lean in a little harder and keep leaning in.

"The success you long for comes from God. You have to want it bad enough to say, "You are God and I am not." You have to want up there to come down here." Mark Beeson

God, it is a new year and honestly that scares me. It could just be another year of pain, but I'm choosing to make 2008 a year of leaning. This year I'm going to keep chasing after the passions you've given me. When I hit the bottom, I'll lean in further and listen to your voice, not the lies Satan shares. This year is YOURS!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Last Day of Freedom

Today I enjoyed my last day of Christmas break by doing no school work what so ever! I had lunch and spent part of the afternoon with some amazing friends and then made wheat-free brownies. This evening I went to see Sweeny Todd with my roommate and another camp friend.

Tomorrow it will be time to face reality and dive into the schoolwork again. I spent most of Thursday working on it so I just have a few more classes to finish grades for and some lesson plans to get ready for next week. Oh the joys of teaching. Say extra prayers for me next week. I’m seriously lacking motivation to go back to work.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Top Ten, Week 1

My friend, Jason, spoke at New Community tonight. He threw out all sorts of great thoughts and kicked the series off very well. Here are a few of the things I walked away with tonight.

The Journey – Jason Miller
Series: The Top Ten

-We are God’s monuments. We are created in his image and should be reflecting him. (Genesis 1:26-27)
-10 Commandments – this is what it looks like when you look like God
-The world needs to see that God’s holiness is holy. The world needs to see God’s light shine in the darkness. (I Peter 2:9-12)
-The world needs coaches and players, not referees who are impartial and don’t care who wins.
-And my favorite quote from the night: “Sometimes it is your current weakness that keeps you from seeing.”

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Welcome 2008!

Goodbye 2007, I won't miss you at all!

I spent the last few days hanging out at my friend Brooke’s house. They always have a big New Year’s Eve party every year and allowed me to join the fun this year. Brooke was telling several of us about a book she is reading about surprises from God. For 30 days, the author started each day by praying, “Surprise me God.” After a conversation about faith, trusting God and not being afraid we decided we would give it a shot.

So the month of January I’ll be praying for surprises, good or bad!

Other goals for the year:
-Send at least two encouraging notes to people every week.
-Make time to read five books by June. (This is VERY hard to do when you are a slow reader and a teacher!)
-JOURNAL! I’m so bad at that.
-Start the prayer wall again. I’m a slacker!