About Impact

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Walking through Proverbs

Earlier this semester another GSM leader (Allison) and I decided to start studying Scripture with one of our GSM students (Ditto). We walked through the book of Romans together and recently started the book of Proverbs. I don't know about anybody else but I tend to find Proverbs a difficult book to study. It often just seems way to ADD for me. However, I'm loving our study and tonight's discussion was awesome. We took a look at Proverbs 3 and 4.

We summed up our big take away from chapter 3 and everyone had completely different answer! Each of their perspectives brought more depth to mine. That lead to a great discussion about how where we bring our own experiences to Scripture.

We also spent a lot of time discussing verses 20-27 of chapter 4. There was a great conversation about the "randomness" of verse 24. Check it out.
20 My child, pay attention to what I say.
Listen carefully to my words.
21 Don’t lose sight of them.
Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
22 for they bring life to those who find them,
and healing to their whole body.
Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.
Avoid all perverse talk;
stay away from corrupt speech.
25 Look straight ahead,
and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
26 Mark out a straight path for your feet;
stay on the safe path.
27 Don’t get sidetracked;
keep your feet from following evil.
We had a great conversation about verse 24. At first glance it seems pretty random, even to the point some might look over it. But we all came to the conclusion that there is nothing random about it. What do you think?

Five Rough Days

The last five days have been very long ones. I did nothing but sleep and watch movies. I'm not really the type of person who likes to spend time alone. In fact if I have to go an entire with not talking to another person face-to-face, I feel like I'm going to explode. Imagine five days of that!

But that is what it takes to get over a horrible case of bronchitis. According to my doctor if I would have waited any longer to come in I probably would have had pneumonia. Fantastic! Of course when I went back to work today I got a million questions about whether I had the swine flu or not. I'm not sure it was the best decision to go back but there is a big deadline tomorrow morning and ISTEP started today. I'm so thankful to be feeling a little bit better.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What is this?

God is up to something. About 20 minutes ago I finished the last of the "Must get done Today" list. Needless to say I started that list around 6:30 this morning. I decided I would quickly check my e-mails, voice-mails and such to make sure there was nothing I was forgetting before I finally head to bed. Somewhere in the midst of that something strange started to happen.

My heart started beating a little faster. There is a uneasy stillness in my chest. For a stillness, it sure rattles a lot. It is a sense of urgency but I'm not sure what for. What is this restlessness I asked myself? Not having any idea I decided to retrace my steps, but my thought process had evidently disappeared. I don't remember what I was thinking. This feeling is stirring in my gut and rushing to my entire being.

What or who can cause such anxious feelings covered with a peace that is hard to understand? For me these feelings can't co-exist, a rattling stillness and an anxious peace. Such polar opposites cannot come together. But that is the very thing which leads me to believe it must be Jesus. Only God can fuse together such things. Past experience tells me when an urgency this great overtakes you, God is up to something great.

I have no words to place with these feelings. I have no meaning for them. Only a source far greater than I can conceive and some dreams to fill with endless possibilities. What could the ultimate Creator be designing next? What shape is he molding?

Only time will tell, as I treasure the beauty of the collision that is happening inside me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easily Annoyed

I am easily annoyed today. Here are a 10 easy ways to easily annoy me. Some of these may or may not have happened in the last 24 hours.
  1. Park directly over the yellow lines instead of between them. (Even worse when multiple cars have done this in a small parking lot.)
  2. Smack your lips at me or look at me like I've ruined your entire life after giving you a writing assignment and detention for not having your instrument multiples days in a row.
  3. Overflow the trash and never take it out.
  4. Blatantly ignore me. Not cool!
  5. Continuously ask me why I'm in my late 20s not married, still live in an apartment or chose an easy career like teaching. Seriously?!
  6. Walk away from me while I'm talking to you.
  7. WHINE!
  8. Leave dirty dishes laying around for several days. Worse yet, don't even rinse them. (Teacher's lounges can be gross!)
  9. Make excessively loud noises at night while others are sleeping.
  10. Be stupid and fail to use common sense on a regular basis.
Wow. I'm annoyed just typing that.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My Little Man

My sister-in-law, Nicole, took this picture for me today when we were at my grandma's for lunch. When Logan walked into the house he was still dressed up for church, complete with his new tie. He came running to give Cora and me a hug. I leaned over to hug him and whispered in his ear, "Hey there my little man. You are one handsome looking fellow. I love you!" He rolled his eyes and ran off.

I don't know if he was looking at these pictures with his mom tonight or what but this is what he told his mommy. I'm not going to lie; I teared up a little when I read it.
"I love aunt Sarah very much! I am glad your in my family!"

Spring Break 09 - Take 3

My plans to take over the world while I was on spring break started out very well. Unfortunately those plans hit several bumps later in the week. Guess I'll try again next break, which is SUMMER!!!

As you can tell from my previous posts I had a great time visiting my family. I even got to chat with Anna on the phone this weekend. You won't be surprised to find out I took lots of pictures just for you to enjoy.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

It will be in Heaven!!!

We started making a list of a few things from the Farmer In The Dell we think will be in heaven.
  • Turtle Sundaes
  • Flurries
  • Lemon Shakes
  • Strawberry/Orange Dole Swirl
  • Ice cream cones (Lois insisted I add that)
  • Chocolate covered frozen bananas with nuts
  • Smoothies
We also agreed that Sonic's strawberry limeades will be in heaven as well. All are simply amazing!

Just for Jeff

After posting the picture of Cora and I playing the piano my friend, Jeff, demanded I start teaching her the drums. Well we’ve tried that a few times and it didn’t work out so well. She has cried every time. Even thrown a couple sticks and maraca. I was able to get a picture though.

However, it appears her favorite instrument, at least right now, is the organ, but only certain settings. She gets very upset if you change it. Look how intense she is when she plays.

Afternoon Nap

This is how we spent our Saturday afternoon.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, April 10, 2009

Just for Jon

When we were younger my brother loved going out back and hitting golf balls into the field. My job was to chase the balls after he ran out. One day while he was practicing his swing he promised to teach me how to golf when I was older. I'm still waiting.

Then someone came up with this great invention called the Wii. I've become a far better Wii bowler than I'll ever be in real life. I was hoping the same would be true in golf. The first time I played those dreams were shattered but I thought I would give it another shot this weekend. Here's what happened.
I'm so nervous about this game. My nephew just shot one over par on the first hole. (Actually my practice swings were so bad, Logan said I need to get a nerf club to help me.)

Please let me hit the ball right. Please let me hit the ball right.

FAIL! I wanted to break that Nerf club. It didn't help me at all. I was 5 over on the first hole. I quit not long after that.

Rumor has it that my friend Jon is going to start a side business of giving wii golf lessons. I also know he is really good. So good I might now be able to afford him. I'm hoping after reading this he'll feel so sorry for me, he'll donate part of his time.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Nap time

Cora and I are going to take a nap on the couch as we watch a movie. Last night we were looking at old pictures and discovered that Cora looks a lot like me as a baby. We are so cute!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Ice Cream!

The Farmer In The Dell has opened. I'll be going there at least once a day while I'm home. Today I had a Turtle. AMAZING!! Tomorrow who knows?!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Never Too Early

It is never to early to teach my girls to play the piano!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Warm Welcome

My family has called, sent text messages and used facebook to beg me to come home soon for break. When I finally got home Amanda came running out of the house and almost tackled me. Adam greeted me at the door with baby Cora. Emily came running with a hug. Lois was snapping a million pictures and Heather stood and laughed. Sometimes coming home makes me feel so loved.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Settling for Half the Picture

For the last few months I've been reading and re-reading the book of Hebrews. Every time I read I keep coming back to this idea. So I thought I would blog about it. But before I go on let me make it perfectly clear I am NOT a scholar. In fact I must have zoned out during the seminary lectures on Hebrews because I don't remember any of them!

As I've been reading I've tried to imagine myself both the shoes of the author and the audience. When I think about the recipients of this letter, I can't help but sense this battle of tension they are facing. They've grown up with this wonderful gift from God, the law. They have followed incredible leaders along their journey. It was their life, their every being. It was what they knew.

Now they've met Jesus. He took the law and showed its beauty in its entirety. They now had a bigger picture of God and his kingdom. What Christ did was so different from what they were expecting, some where a little unsure of what to do with Jesus. So they took Jesus and his teachings and tried to put it in the same nice box they had placed the law.

I find myself in that same boat as the audience. God reveals himself to me. I encounter him in new ways. I read his word and am amazed at his greatness. Sometimes it blows me away so much I don't know what to do with. I store it away in a corner of my mind and leave it there because it is so good I don't want to lose it. But instead of making it a part of me it stays in the corner and I settle for only part of the picture. I keep living as though that piece of God's goodness doesn't apply to me.

I read Hebrews and imagine the heart and feelings of the author. The passion this writer has for these people to understand the greatness of Christ and his love is very clear. He longs very deeply for these people to understand the bigger picture. He wants them to understand that Jesus is IT, the whole thing. He is the one who shows them the Father, the Creator, the one who gave them that law that they love.

He wants to them to understand the law is so much more than they imagined because in Christ the law has been fulfilled FOREVER! The box they had tried to live in has burst open and this life that Christ has brought them is more beautiful than anything they could imagine. Christ brought them the rest of the picture.

However, some of them just don't seem to grasp that, much like me. I think about the author of this book and I think about how God might feel when I respond in the same way. How does he feel when I settle for just a smaller part of the law? What am I saying to him when I live my life for the law and strive for nothing less than perfection? How does he feel when my actions say I'll earn my way to us instead of fully accepting the beautiful sacrifice of Christ?

I'm excited to continue to wrestle with this as I continue to dig into Hebrews. And as I move forward this is my prayer.
Beautiful Jesus, your life and sacrifice is the greatest gift I could ever be given. Forgive me for my desires to focus on the smaller picture of you and your kingdom. Help me take those truths I've stored in the corners of my mind and bring them into my everyday life. Help me take off the blinders that block me from seeing the bigger picture of you. You are far greater than I can conceive. I'm so thankful for your patience with me and you constant pursuit of me.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Spring Break 09 - Take 2

The T-Shrit Gang
Brooke, Allison, Ang, Stephanie, me, Katie & Rachel

Most of you know I have top secret plans to take over the world over spring break. You may have read and seen pictures from the first phase of this plan. Phase 2 is now complete despite a few set backs.

The T-Shirt Gang (I just came up with that name) decided to keep it simple tonight and enjoy an evening at Uptown Kitchen. We got there and they closed at 2 PM!!! Who does that? I mean seriously! So we had to come up with a back up plan and headed to Friday's.

Unfortunately not everyone could be there but it was still a great time. These girls are some of the most encouraging girls I know. They have helped me through some tough times so I decided to make it a very encouraging night for them. Hopefully they had as much fun as I did.

Phase 3 has two parts and it by far the most complicated of the phases. We'll see what happens.

Slow down

At the beginning of the school year I set a goal to create some space in my schedule for rest. That hasn't happened much this semester. In fact I had been running so fast and doing so much I couldn't hear myself think.

Last summer a friend of mine pulled me aside and asked how I was REALLY doing? I was so caught off guard I didn't know how to respond. This friend was patient enough to give me some space to answer but the truth was I had no clue. I had been running forward so hard for so long I had never taken the time to think about it. My friend knew this and quickly reminded me how important slowing down to rest is. They were painful words to hear at the time but words that hold truth and love.

A few weeks ago I talked with this friend again and was asked the same question. I stumbled over my words to come up with a quick answer and change the subject as quickly as possible. As I drove home after that conversation I realized how distracted I had become by life. The words of last summer's conversation replayed over and over in my head. Here I was again flying through life without taking time to breathe.

So I started this year's spring break with nothing on my schedule. Since Friday afternoon I haven't done much. I've met a few friends. Spent lots of time just chatting with Jesus and reading. It has been glorious. I'm so glad I started break this way.

I read this today, which is what inspired this post, and thought I would share it.
How kind the Lord is! How good he is!
So merciful, this God of ours!
The Lord protects those of childlike faith;
I was facing death, and he saved me.
Let my soul be at rest again,
for the Lord has been good to me.
He has saved me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling.
And so I walk in the Lord’s presence
as I live here on earth!
Psalm 116:5-9

Monday, April 06, 2009

Family of Educators

I come from a family of genius educators, which most days makes me feel inadequate as an educator. My parents are teachers. I have aunts and uncles who teach at the college level. Several of my cousins have gone into education. They are all very good too.

Uncle Ron is one of those. He is a professor of psychology at York University. He was recently featured in an online magazine for his use of technology in his courses. For those of you outside the education world, making use of technology in teaching is a HUGE deal. You can read the article here.

Recently my dad was nominated by his student council to receive a Golden Apple Award. My understanding is there are only three handed out in the state. Here is what one of his students wrote about him.
Larry Koutz - Math Teacher
Vestaburg High School
Mr. Koutz is a very hard worker. He knows how to get through to any student. He is a no-nonsense teacher and truly cares about the education of our youth. He has been a teacher at Vestaburg High School for 37 yrs. He is the student council adviser, quiz bowl coach, and he keeps score for every boys and girls basketball game, boys football game, and girls volleyball game including both middle school and high school games. He also teaches many college and dual enrollment mathematics courses and many times does so without the benefit of a prepatory period. In addition, he is a very active member of the community and participates in many community activities. He is truly an amazing teacher and person and is greatly respected by the entire community.
He was my favorite teacher of all time. He'll do whatever he can to help students understand the material. Even answering math questions over the phone late at night! Voting is currently taking place and the winners of this reward will be announced in May. You can read more about the award or vote for him here.

I'm proud of my daddy and Uncle Ron. I've learned a lot from both of them. Hopefully it helps me become a better teacher.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Spring Break 09 - Take 1

Spring break is here!!!! Glory! Hallelujah! Praise Jesus! I don't think I've ever been more ready for a break than I was this year. I kicked off break by spending Friday night at home watching movies. This was mostly because I was just too tired to do anything else. Saturday after church I went to dinner and hung out with some student ministry friends at the Curry Casa.

It has been a great to relax and not do much of anything but I've been waiting for tonight for several weeks. The GLCC Concert Choir had their home concert tonight and my friend Kari happens to be a part of the group. So a few weeks ago I put all the final details together and arranged a surprise visit to see Kari sing. It was a great concert and I'm so glad I made the trip to Lansing.

I'm so proud of Kari. She is doing amazing things for the Kingdom. I've loved watching God stretch her and show her His plan for her life. I love that she gives all of her gifts back to God, whether it's volleyball, singing or just being an amazing friend. God is using her in big ways and I'm glad I got to be a part of it tonight.

Enjoy the first set of photos from Spring Break 09!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I thought it was funny...

I got a Facebook message from a friend asking for my mailing address. I responded concluding the message with this:
Please don't send me any hate mail, exploding packages or wheat. Thank you.

I thought it was funny. Fortunately, so did my friend. She thought it was laugh out loud funny. Finally the one time I'm trying to be funny it worked. It will probably never happen again.

Yea there really was no point to this post.


- First Wednesday was incredible tonight. You can't sit and reflect on Christ and his life for over an hour and not be stirred.
- Random worlds colliding this week. Interested to see what God does with that.
- Some days I just look at my girls at school and tell them boys can be dumb. It is easier than having to deal with the drama. Does this make me a bad person?
- 2 days and 1 concert left until Spring Break. Guess I should make some plans.
- "Sarah they have special Jesus bread for you!"
- Really do you have to turn the tv up that loud. And why must the neighbors ALWAYS slam their door and stomp from room to room? You know you are loud when the deaf girl things you are!
- I think I'm going to be keeping my dart gun handy the rest of the week. My car is strategically parked right by my bedroom window.
- I get to see my baby Cora next week and meet my brother's foster boys.
- I'm having a spring break party.
- Chicag09 and camp is getting closer and closer! Yippee!!!!
- My apartment is trashed again. Having concerts two weeks in a row is not good for the housekeeping.
- This may be the most boring scatterbrained post I've done. Life is boring these days I guess.