Thoughts From The Mind of A Princess

My faith is like shifting sand changed by every wave; My faith is like shifting I stand on grace. -Caedmon's Call Shifting Sand Isaiah 26:8, James 1:4, James, 1:22-27

Monday, February 28, 2005

Not sure what's going to happen...

Well, I am sitting in front of the computer screen, just typing away, not really sure of what is going to come out. This is a strategy I teach my students when we do our creative writing unit: free writing. You just write and write, with nothing really in mind, and eventually something will form on the paper. I really don't have anything to write about, I just have an itch in my fingers that makes me want to write. This could be a dangerous thing.

I sang yesterday for the first time in like a month. It was fun being able to sing with Jay. I love singing with Sarah, but when it's just Jay and me, it feels like old times at FBC. I led Come, Now Is The Time (which I guess has sorta' become one of my trademark songs, even though I am completely bored with it) and You Are My King. I love that song, "I'm forgiven because you were foresaken..." How true!! Those words hit home when I was singing them during 1st service.

Phil and I hung out at Melanie's on Saturday night. That was a lot of fun--maybe too much fun, wink wink. It felt good to be with grown ups, especially when those grown ups are Steve and Melanie. I have really been trying to make more time for my friends. With my job, it is so easy to forget people. I have to be honest though, most days I am so tired after work, all I want to do is crash on the couch and not move until it is time to transfer to my bed. I am not a mother, but I totally understand when a mom says that the kids take a lot out of you. I stand up all day long and try to impart these kids with some sort of knowledge they can take to the "real world." Most days it doesn't feel like I am getting anywhere, but every now and then, one of them gives me a hopeful glimpse into their brain. Right now I am reading Lord of the Flies with 4 classes, The Count of Monte Cristo with 1 class, and The Outsiders with another. Just trying to read those three books at the same time wears me out!!

FCAT is coming up. One week from today. I absolutely loathe this test!! I hate the way to State of Florida has made this test out to ruin our eduational system, as if it wasn't bad enough. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of good that comes along with the test, but the emphasis that comes along with the scores is just not right. I remember taking standardized tests all through my scholastic career, but never was it such a big deal; and I grew up in CT which has one of the hardest school systems in the country!! I don't think it is right for teachers to be held accountable for every students' score--a lot of these kids won't even stay awake during the duration because they are so bored (or they can't read the text--but that's a whole other story). Once you get to high school, you should be held responsible for your own actions!

Anyway, I am getting worked up for no reason. I am tired so I think I am going to move my increasingly large rear end to the couch for a bit of down time. I hope everyone is doing well. I'll get back soon. MUAH!!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Lesson Learned

Oh, my baby, when you're older
Maybe then you'll understand
You have angels that dance around you shoulders
'Cause at times in life you need a loving hand

Oh, my baby, when you're prayin'
Leave your burden by my doorY
ou have Jesus standing by your bedside
To keep you calm, keep you safe,
Away from harm

Worry not my daughters,
Worry not my sons
Child, when life don't seem worth livin'
Come to Jesus and let Him hold you in His arms

Oh, my baby, when you're cryin'
Never hide your face from me
I've conquered hell and driven out the demons
I have come with a light to set you free

Worry not my daughters,
Worry not my sons
Child, when life don't seem worth livin'
Come to Jesus and let Him hold you in His arms

Oh, my baby, when you're dying
Believe the healing of His hand
Here in Heaven we will wait for your arrival
Here in Heaven you will finally understand
Here in Heaven we will wait for your arrival
Here in Heaven you will finally understand

Worry not my daughters,
Worry not my sons
Child, when life don't seem worth livin'
Come to Jesus and let Him hold you in His arms
--Come To Jesus by Mindy Smith

I heard this song on the radio about a month ago, and of course the DJ didn't say the name of the song or the singer. It drove me insane because there was something about those words that really struck me, even the first time I heard them. Anyway, about three weeks later, I was getting my hair done and the girl who was cutting my hair was telling me about a new cd she had recently purchased. She began describing one of the songs song to me--it was the mystery song!! I ran out the next day and purchased the cd and have been listening to it nonstop (admist my new Watermark cd). Thanks Shannon!!

If you haven't heard this song, I strongly recommend that you read the words. They are awesome!! Granted, I am a firm believer in the Reader Response Criticism which states that every reader will interpret what they are reading differently, based on their current and previous experiences (wow!! I actually did learn something in college!!).

When I hear these words, I can visualize the mother going about her daily routine, taking just enough time to instill a life-lesson into her children. She is saying no matter what is going on, Jesus can handle it if you allow Him to. Let him comfort you in His arms; He will solve your problems for you. I pray that I will remember this life-lesson when I have children (although at the rate I am going, I'll just have to help my sisters raise their children). Not only that, but I pray that I remember this song next time I feel like I cannot handle something.

As I am writing, I am reminded of an old hymn:

What a friend we have in Jesus, all all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a priviledge to carry everything to God in prayer!
Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friedn so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He'll take and shield thee; thou wilt find solace there.

Wow! Isn't it amazing when God speaks truth to you, right there in front of you? Lesson learned!! Thanks God.

Monday, February 21, 2005

What's Up?!?!


I am officially going back to grad school. Well, I've officially applied to UCF's Reading Education program. I sent in my application, transcripts, and fees. Now I am working on the FAFSA (remember that crappy thing?) to see what funds I am eligible for. The last step is the one I am dreading: the GRE!! I bought a book and registered for practice tests online, but I am really nervous. Way back in middle school I took some standardized tests and did really bad. I actually tested remedial in everything. That was very difficult for a young honors kid to take. Thankfully I had teachers that really knew I was better at school than remedial level, so they pushed for me to be in all the top classes. Since then, I've had a mental block about standardized tests--they freak me out. I need to just stop procrastinating and get my butt into gear.

I am still teaching at Freedom High School. You may have seen my school in the paper recently. One of my collegues was teaching a lesson in Chemistry and one of his (and my) students went home and tried it out. Well, apparently he did a really good job and when the police asked him about it, he blamed it on his chemistry teacher. I don't know exactly how it all has been playing out, but I do know that national media has made it to be worse than it actually is. Poor guy!!

Anyway, my school year started out pretty stressfully this year but I know this is where God wants me for the moment. I am learning so much from fellow teachers, and just the system itself. I am becoming the teacher I've always imagined myself to be. I am currently teaching 5 English II Honors classes, and 1 FCAT (intensive reading) class. I have a good group of kids this year but they love to test me. 10 school days until FCAT!!!!!!!!!

I've been working with the marching band at my school, and truly enjoy it. I guess you can say I'll always be a band geek!!

I am still involved at CrossPointe. I recently stepped down from my Celebration Arts Director position. It just wasn't the place God wanted me. I served in the capacity that was needed, but now God has someone even better for the job. Congrats Chris!! I am really excited about our new director--he is absolutely perfect for the job. I'd rather focus more of the musical side anyway.

I finally joined a small group: From Water To Worship (read the story of the woman at the well). I LOVE IT!! God has really blessed me with a group of women that can challenge and love on me. It is exactly what I've been needing. I mean, I have friends and family that do that, but this group takes it to a whole new level. I am so excited about what God is going to do with the group!!

Phil and I are still together, and very happy. It's been about a year and a half (including the few months hiatus we took). I think this is the most mature relationship I've ever been in. We don't play games and we're very honest with each other. Phil teaches me to not take everything so personally, and to look at the positive side of things--two things I have always struggled with. He encourages me in so many areas of my life, as well as looks beyond my past (something I was very worried about when I became single again). Not to mention, he treats me like the princess I am.

I guess that's it for the update part of this journal for now. I am really excited about what God is doing. And to think: His plan is nowhere near complete!! That's something this Princess is really excited about, being a work in progress! :-)

Why A Journal?

Some of you may be wondering why I would waste my time on something like this. Well, to be honest, I don't think this is a waste of time. This journal is going to serve two purposes:

1) An easy way to update what's been going on with me lately. So much has been happening the past few days, weeks, months, years... Time flies by, literally, and I have been losing track of everyone that has been close to me at some point in my life. I want to be able to share things with everyone, as they are happening. As weird as it sounds, sometimes a mass email just doesn't do it for me.

2) Accountability, if you will. God has been growing and stretching me lately. If I write it down, I have a log of what He's been showing me, not to mention a public record. A friend recently explained how theroputic her journal has become, so I figured I would try it out.

What's the worse that could happen? No one reads this except for me? Oh well!! That's who this is for--ME!! (Back to sounding egocentric again, huh?)

Princess?!?! How egocentric!

For those of you who don't know me well, you're probably thinking I am immature or egotistical, based on the title of this page alone. Let me explain...

A few years ago, after my divorce was final, I was a little nervous about getting back into the dating scene. I was sitting around with some friends, being silly, and exclaimed, "I just want to be treated like a princess!" At the same time I was working at The Jungle Cruise in Disney's The Magic Kingdom. The nicname Princess JJ (Jungle Jessie) sorta' evolved and stuck.

Soon after, I received a license plate as a birthday gift that read "Princess Daughter of the King" on it. I thought it was absolutely perfect. I am a princess! God is my heavenly father, the ruler and creator of the universe, the King yesterday, today, and FOREVER!!

As far as romantic relationships go, I should be treated like a princess--is that too much to ask? I think not! If I am the daughter of the one and only King, why shouldn't every man acknowledge that I am a His eyes?

Not so egocentric anymore, huh?

Phil and Me in Colorado Posted by Hello