Friday, January 22, 2016

Lessons From Littles: Praise God, From Whom All Blessings Flow

I spend about 90% of my time with little people. I teach in a 3K classroom and also work with kids ranging in ages between six weeks and twelve years. I absolutely love working with kids, but it can wear you out! By the end of some days, my patience is thin and my energy level is way down. Although work can be tiring, something that always blows me away is the lessons I learn from my kids! Yes, I'm the teacher, but if you have ever worked with kids you know as well as I do that kids can teach grown ups a lot too!

With all that said, I have decided that I'm going to start a segment called "Lessons From Littles" ...and this right here is the very first one!

On Thursday afternoon (Thursdays are currently my last day of the work week) I was more than ready to just go home and hide away for the weekend. This work week was long. Most of my time was spent wiping noses, calming tantrums, and trying to remind three-year-olds how to listen. When it was finally time to punch out for the day, I headed into a different classroom to grab my coat. The scene I walked into was humbling. Another teacher had turned on a CD for the kids, and it happened to be the CD given out at vacation bible school this past summer. All the kids who attended VBS loved this CD and used to ask to listen to it all the time in the months following the summer program. Well, when I walked into the room a few of my four-year-olds were dancing around to a song about praising God for His blessings. The kids ran up to me and asked me to dance with them. I spent the last two minutes of my day laughing and twirling around the room praising Jesus with my students.

What a reminder that although days are long and hard, I am so incredibly blessed. This was a moment where I was able to take a step back, take a deep breath, and realize that things really aren't so bad...they're actually pretty great. I don't want to let my weariness blind me to all the joy and blessings I have in front of me!

God definitely uses children to show us grown ups a thing or two. I am sure I'll have more "Lessons From Littles" in the days ahead.

Love Wildflower - Lessons From Littles: Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

Monday, January 11, 2016

One Word: Abide

You may have heard of this "One Word" craze going around. The idea is that you're supposed to choose one word that you want to be your focus for the year. Instead of having multiple resolutions, your word should be something you can meditate on throughout the year to inspire you to be the person you want to be. I know I just did a resolution post, but I really like this idea too! We had a staff meeting tonight at work and we were all invited to share what our "one word" is and why. My word is ABIDE.

I remember talking about the word μένω (menō), meaning to abide, in a Greek class I took in college and what it means to abide in Christ. When I was trying to come up with my word for the year, this word came to mind and I decided it was perfect!

To abide means to remain. To abide as a Christian means:

~to remain in Christ
~to be firm and immovable in my walk with God
~to live Christ-like

John 15:4-5 says "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."

It is only as I abide in Christ that I can bear fruit, meaning to grow in character as well as in my walk with Him. This year I really want to strive to abide in Christ through it all. For I know that if I abide in Him, all else will work out for good.

If any of you have one word you've chosen for the year, I would love for you to share!!!

One Word: Abide---Love, Wildflower

Sunday, January 3, 2016

goals for living

Goals For Living---Love, Wildflower

Well, it's that time of year again when we can't help but reflect; reflect on where we've been, who we are, and where we want to go. 2015 was a great year filled with family, friends, and beautiful memories. I can't believe how much God chooses to bless me each day. I'm incredibly thankful for all He has provided!

Along with seeing the blessings in my life, this time of reflection has also shown me areas in my life in which I need to grow. I know I'm not alone in this; there is always something we can work on improving! This past year has been a whirlwind of trying to figure out where I belong and what I want my life to look like.

One thing I know is that I want God to continue to be the center of all I am and all I do. Something I want to improve on this year is actively displaying God at work in my life. I want to start going to church more and seeking ways to serve Him and my brothers and sisters in Christ. I used to be very active in church and ministry, but recently I have struggled to make that a priority in my life. God deserves my entire heart and more of my attention, so I plan to take steps to make this a priority from now on.

The other thing I want to improve on is to be vulnerable in love. This quote from C.S. Lewis has been very dear to my heart over the years:

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable."

I feel like this has described me for so long and I've been working and praying for God to change my heart back to what it once was. I don't want past heartache to rob me of loving like Christ. I need to have an open and loving heart if I ever hope to reach others for Christ.

So, these are my goals for 2016...and every day after! Serving God more and loving Him and others more. If those two things happen in my life, I know that everything else will fall into place and have the best outcome for His name's sake.

Oh, and let's not forget the totally realistic goals of eating no sugar, going to the gym every day, and reading twenty books a week! =) But really, I'd love to hear your goals for the new year and how we can encourage each other in reaching them!