Challenges

A friend of mine asked me about publishing a book he is working on. I was very honest about my experience with publishing. I have been rejected formally 7 times, 4 of which were from editors who asked that I submit a book proposal to them. Publishing is filled with rejection. However, rejection strengthens one’s character if one takes it well and learns to grow from the challenge. I am going to be really strong one day!

they are loved sincerely

A love so sincere that it will give all that it has to take care of the other, selfless, unabashedly giving of every last breath to the other.

Are you loved like this by anyone in your life? Do you love another like this? Is there love like this in the world?

A parent knows this type of love for their child. Some spouses know this kind of love for one another. God has this love for each of us every moment of our existence. God’s love breathed us into existence. Knowing God, knowing love, gives us the ability to love like this. Which explains why some cannot love like this. If you have not been loved how do you learn to love? It is not hopeless those who have not known love are still able to find a person to love them so deeply that they will learn to love.

Jesus Christ loved with a sincerity of heart, without sin, without reason or need to hurt  another. Jesus gave every moment of his life, every breath he had so that we might learn to love as he loved us. He forgave from the cross so that we can forgive no matter who is nailing the nails into our hands.

As parents we are given the unbelievable opportunity to love like God loves us. As spouses we are given the amazing opportunity to love like God loves us. As children of God we are given incredible opportunities daily to love anyone and everyone as though they are part of our family, because they are.

Today, try to love sincerely, give all that you have to take care of others, selflessly, unabashedly give of every last breath to others.

Lori’s Symbols

Symbols are nothing if there is no story, emotion, or history behind them. Symbols can be spellbinding if there is an attachment to them.

I am a mom first. Spencer gave me the little mom decoration. He bought it at a Santa’s secret shop. When I opened it he had that look of hopeful anticipation on his face. Of course I swooped him up into a big bear hug and told him I loved it. The little trinket says more than the name mom, it reminds me that I am Spencer’s mom. The statue with the book in her hands came from my husband. He bought it for me as a gift the day before I started teaching for the first time. I look at it and remember how much support and strength he brings to my teaching and my life. The rock says, “Destin,” it reminds me of our last trip to Florida as a family together. We have only been a few times. The last time was so relaxing, peaceful, and filled with great memories of doing nothing but being with my family. The pencil symbolizes my love of writing. A gift I believe that God has graced my life with to share with others. The flower was given to me by a student who knows how much I appreciate nature.

Many people would think those are just a few trinkets on her desk at work. To me they are symbols of my purpose and existence in this life. What symbols do you keep close to you at work that represent who you are as a person?

Within our Christian beliefs we hold the crucifix as a powerful symbol of the love of God, salvation of the world, and the redemption of our sins. However, back in the days of Jesus that symbol would represent what we consider now as capital punishment. It represented the ultimate act of violence and death. That is probably why Jesus Christ decided to use the cross and change its symbolism completely. Jesus Christ conquered it’s violence, death, hate, and punishment. Now, when people view this symbol they think of peace, self-sacrifice, eternal life, and unconditional love.

Symbols can represent a religion or a person. What symbols best represent you as a person? What symbols do you relate best to in your faith life?

I took this picture at a farm last year in Kentucky

I could read inspirational quotes all day long. Each of them has something within its words that move my spirit. I cannot find the author to this quote but its a really good one: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

What takes your breath away? These are just a few things that take my breath away; an amazing sunrise or sunset, standing beside the ocean, watching the clouds meander across the sky on a powder blue sky afternoon, a kiss from my husband, a tight hug from one of my children, laughing so hard with an old friend that I can barely catch my breath.

Think about the things that take your breath away. Feel free to comment so we can all sure what takes our breath away in life. Today, try to appreciate at least two new situations or sites that will take your breath away.

 

My Frog from Dakari

F- fully, R – rely, O – on, G – God

I wonder if Dakarai knew about this abbreviation when he bought this stuffed animal for me. I have only received a few things from my students over the past 2 years. A few cards and one letter that I will treasure for a lifetime! A little lego trophy from a student who said I was his #1 teacher, a small tree,  and this frog.

I was told as a teacher I am not allowed to have a favorite student. Well, I do, I am only human and I love this student. I truly love every student I have (it’s crazy but I sincerely do). I actually have lots of favorites that I will never forget. Dakarai is at the top of my list. Maybe because I could not pronounce his name my first day ever of teaching. Maybe because of his great energy in life, funny stories, or silly antics. Perhaps because he is so raw with his emotions, he says what he believes, and he feels all emotions with an intensity that is captivating. He was not the best student academically, he did not turn in all of his assignments, get straight A’s, or not get in trouble. On the contrary he was in trouble often. However, he is one of my all time favorites because when I look at him I can clearly see God in his eyes.

He gave me this frog and a card the last day of school. I taught him for two years and I will miss having him in my classroom. Teaching will not be the same without him. I will keep my frog on my desk to remind me to have fun in class, and to always be open to where each student is in their faith life.

My Church Window

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely; In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

We get so caught up in what we believe we know and can do that we think we don’t need God. We think we are doing it on our own. It is when we forget God, become arrogant, and try to do it our own way, that we are often shown how important it is to rely on God. Don’t let pride take you down that slippery path. Instead be humble, rely, and trust in God and he will lead you the right way every time.

 

Aaron and I iceskating

 

Lots of my students talk about how they want a relationship like mine. I talk to them all the time about marriage and how in love I am with my husband.

I can’t believe it has been 18 years. I love him even more today than I did back then. We are both blessed that we were able to find one another. Happy Anniversary Aaron, here’s to the next 18 years.

Splashing through every window pane the love of God will break through any darkness. When we are in the darkness of our lives; depression, addiction, hopelessness, or death, we cannot see that light splashing through the windows. It is when we are at the bottom in the despair that we need to know that someone else can see it for us because we cannot see it for ourselves.

 

Today, pray for those who are in the darkness that they may see the love of God through our actions and compassion.

Anna’ with her broken ankle hugging on her little brother

Happy Birthday to my favorite girl in the world! Fourteen short years ago I was beyond blessed with my daughter. I told my husband I was willing to have ten children just to have one daughter. Anna was my second and I can’t tell you how happy he was that the pressure was off!

I love and adore each of my children. I have three boys and one girl. They are completely different from each other. I have a special bond with each one of them. The bond I have with my daughter is different. It’s just me and her in a house with 4 guys. We love it that way! Guys are fun. I am blessed to be getting the best of both worlds raising carefree boys, with a daughter who is also laid back, carefree and fun.

I thank God that I have my Anna, we are very close and I pray we always will be. The boys to a certain extent will be taken away from me by their wives, who will cling to their own parents. But Anna, I am claiming dibs on her forever! As a daughter I still cling to my parents and I pray Anna will do the same. For right now I am treasuring every moment of being her mom!

Happy Birthday Anna you are a precious gift from God to my life.