About Impact

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Miserable Day

Today was a miserable day. Several things went wrong with our trip. It was freezing cold. My ankle really hurts now. I will be okay if I never return to Six Flags Great America!

Upside: I was able to enjoy several laughs along the way with Mr. Kurtis and Mr. Threet.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A few reasons...

A few reasons why I love student ministry...

Ups and Downs

This week has been filled with ups and downs and it is only Tuesday. I’ve been trying really hard to keep my attitude positive towards school since the end is so close. I started the day doing really well.

I love the diversity that our school has. I have a couple students who see me in the hall way and bow as they say hello. Today it made me smile more than other days. Both of my 7th grade bands flew through brand new material today. The highlight was when after helping one of my top players look through some music. He left the room and said “Thanks for the courage Miss Koutz.”

There were plenty of students that gave me problems, but that wasn’t the real problem. I was talking to my mom tonight, who reminded me that tomorrow it will be three years since my ordination. She had just listened to the weekend service in which I received my smooth stone award. She listened to it while she was working and had the chance to share with one of her students who decided to listen with her.

Three years since being ordained…and I’m a music teacher. Some days I really struggle with that. Am I where I believe God wanted me to be this year? Absolutely. Do I believe committing my life to serving in full-time ministry was the right decision to make? Absolutely. There is no doubt God is using me where I am right now but my heart and passion is student and worship ministry.

Do I have any answers? NOPE! I just keep being obedient where I am and trust that God will take care of the rest.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Long Monday

I have to be honest. The whole Smooth Stone Award thing has blown me away. I've been so overwhelmed I don't even know what to think. Thanks to all of you who have send your congratulations and encouragement this weekend. It help be get through today.

Do you ever have those moments when you wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep because something comes to mind that you can't stop thinking about? Well my morning started extra early due to this very thing. I got to school and it rapidly went downhill. We didn't really get things worked out but I've done all I can on my end.

My ankle was doing really well until last night. I was sitting around talking with some friends after Lifeline and all of the sudden I felt and heard a pop in my ankle. I have no idea what happen but it has been really sore ever since then. I had just got to the point I could almost walk at a normal pace. The swelling has gone started to get worse as well. I'm glad I already have an appointment scheduled for tomorrow.

My apartment is still a mess. I started cooking dinner tonight and gave up because my ankle hurt so bad. Hopefully the ankle will stop hurting enough I can stand up long enough to clean and pack up school supplies for the summer. I'm heading to bed early tonight and I'm excited.

Girlz Only Retreat Pictures

So it took me a little while but here they are. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bummer...

I'm so bummed right now. Dominic and his family are going to be gone tomorrow so I won't get to see him. I'm going through special friend withdrawal. I'm so anxious to give him his birthday present and it will have to wait for another week. I'm going crazy here!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Household Chores

Being a teacher, house work doesn't usually happen during the week. At least not during the school year. If you've ever been to my apartment in the middle of the week this is obvious. The weekends are dedicated to catching up on those type of chores.

The last two weekends I've been at Camp Adventure for girls retreats. Last week I was horribly sick and spent the little free time I had sleeping. This was concert week, which means the normal clutter from the week triples in your classroom and at home. I've started bringing home things from school that need to be packed up for the summer. On top of that spraining my ankle has slowed me way down.

So here it is Friday night and my place is trashed, my ankle is still swollen and hurting pretty bad. And my Grandpa is coming into town this weekend and something must be done to this place. We'll see how much more I can get done before I have to crash before tomorrow's Chicag08 work day.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Dominic!!!

Today is my special friend Dominic's birthday. I am so proud of him. He has grown so much this year. I brag about him all the time at school. Seriously, I love this kid.

I haven't been able to see Dominic in three weeks! I'm about to go crazy. The last two weeks I have been leading worship for our high school and middle school girl's retreats. He was also sick one of those weeks. I'm so excited to hang out with him this weekend.

I think everyone should spend time hanging out with students who have special needs. They are the greatest!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DOMINIC!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

the show must go on…part 2

I have decided that being a music educator is a very dangerous occupation. I can't count the number of bruises I received from breaking up fights and teaching live skills students while at Dickinson. This week alone I've sprained an ankle, got a blood blister and several large bruises. Seriously people, they don't tell you this in college.

Our concerts are done for the year. The choir has a very low key performances for a couple of our sixth grade classes. I was very proud of all of my classes. They performed well.
--> The band was solid but I know they have a whole lot more in them. They ended with a tougher piece and did a very nice job.
--> The choir was strong but mighty. They were presented with some very difficult circumstance and it didn't show during the concert. All their music was memorized!!!
--> My fifth and sixth graders nailed their performance. Unfortunately I had to cut their favorite pieces but they didn't complain once. They behaved better than any other group of general music students I've ever had. I can't tell you how happy this made me. We are talking about a group of around 100 students.
--> The jazz band rocked it out today. I did something very risky and counted off our last chart at the fastest tempo we've tried it at. The last time we did it that fast it was a little sloppy. But for some reason I was just feeling it faster today and they delivered VERY well. It was the cleanest they have ever played it.

So despite the injuries and other very frustrating events this week in the world of music education, I'm proud of my students. They have done well.

Monday, May 12, 2008

the show must go on…

We had our first Edison Encore concert today. About 5 – 10 minutes before the concert started I was walking down the stage steps. I was unaware of the fact that one of the steps had a crack in the wood’s corner. As I stepped down on that corner, I fell flat on the floor and rolled my ankle. I laughed until I realized I could barely stand up and the whole room was spinning. My vision kept blacking out for seconds at a time. I couldn’t but any weight on the foot BUT…

…the show must go on…

So I leaned on the stage for a while and answered some questions. I sat on the steps and answered some more. Then I stood up, walked on stage and directed the band and choir. After school I had to clean things up and headed to a meeting on the other side of South Bend. I figured I could walk this all off. Not so much.

So as things got worse with the ankle, I finally got a hold of someone to head with me to get it checked out. I’m stubborn and insisted on walking on it. BAD IDEA!!! I have a really bad sprain that will take a while to heal. The doctor didn’t say I needed crutches so I’m hobbling around trying not to scream with each step.

Only I could have something like this happen before a concert.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Fun things to do on a Tuesday night

What should one do on a Tuesday night? Hang out at the Vukmirovich Manor! Seriously that family rocks. "Why?" you ask. I'll tell you why.

Lisa taught me all sorts of great recipes tonight. She is a great cook. Dan and I discovered why we are best friends. Horn players are amazing! I love that I can hang out with Dan and Lisa and have serious conversations, laugh a lot, be challenged and be encouraged while covering all the subjects I'm passionate about. Their girls are very perceptive. Anna asks some great questions when she meets someone for the first time and shared some good school stories. Sophie killed me in Toss Across, more than once.

Lisa and I almost have things finalized for our session at the Girlz Only retreat. I'm really excited about the direction things are going. I need to make sure I communicate the idea clearly to these girls. It will challenge our girls to go to a deeper level. I want to do that, but I don't want to speak over their head at the same time.

Thanks for all of your prayers last weekend. It was an phenomenal weekend. Keep them coming for this weekend. It is going to be great.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Chick Night Retreat, Part 2

This weekend's retreat was a blast! These girls are phenomenal. Honestly, I would take these girls anywhere. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. God showed up and we all walked away challenged. We have more stories from the few days together than we even know what to do with. I'll share some more reflections after I have a bit more time to process things. Until then enjoy some pictures.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Chick Night Retreat

I can't tell you how excited I am about this weekend. I know you are thinking, "Oh Sarah you are always excited for the weekend." FACT! But this weekend we are taking our high school ladies to Camp Adventure. Angela Bryant and Stephanie Rorie have some great things to share with the girls. Kelli Myers and I are leading worship.

We are all praying our girls will walk away refreshed, challenged and encouraged. Pray for our leaders as we pour ourselves into these girls. Pray especially for Saturday evenings worship experiece. It will be a completely new experience for most of our girls but one that could really set them up to finish the school year strong and hit this summer running.

We have some AWESOME students; let me tell you! And I get to spend the entire weekend with them. Booyah!