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

Thursday, March 31, 2005

What a week

This has been a very interesting week. I am not really sure what I should be getting out of it, but I know there is something going on...

Monday: We started back to school after an entirely too-short Spring Break. The day was decent, didn't really do much teaching, just set the kids' minds up for what we'll be doing for the rest of the school year. That evening I went to dinner with Phil and A LOT of people from church. I usually don't do much socially with my church friends because I am so busy, or am too tired from school. It was nice to just be around people, and laugh and goof off. (I also learned that if you say the words boobs or panties to a boy, they will absolutely crack up--you should try it some time.)

Tuesday: Normal day of school, again didn't really do much, just discussed our novel and new vocab. That afternoon I had an interview at Sylvan--I got hired on the spot, but I knew that would happen. I am going to start working as soon as I take the GRE on April 29th. That night I had an instant messenger conversation with one of my oldest friends, Brian. We chatted for about three hours about everything. We caught each other up on our current lives, then reminisced about the "old days." The funny thing is that we only lived in the same town during all of middle school and 9th grade!! I mean, we still kept in touch through letters and phone calls, but that's it. It felt good to talk again.

Wednesday: Easy day at school, silent reading (fun stuff). I had a meeting with my principal--he rehired me for next school year!! Only one more year in OCPS and I will be tenured. What that means is unless I do something really bad, I cannot get fired; BUT I can be moved involuntarily to any school in the district. That usually doesn't happen unless you are either a really bad teacher and they want you to quit, or you're a really, really good teacher and they need you to teach at a failing school.

Today: A really good day at school. We just finished reading the Holocaust memoir, Night by Elie Wiesel (fantastic book if you're interested). We read and watched an interview that Oprah conducted with Wiesel a few years ago. This man is so compassionate, and just the subject of the Holocaust by was a very emotional day. My kids were excellent learners today, they were making real-life connections, digging way beneath the surface of what we were talking about. I had kids that started making connections between the Holocaust and their own lives, breaking down in tears... It was just one of those days where you, as a teacher, think "Wow!! I really am making a difference." It was such a good day.

Tomorrow I get to go on a date with my man and then on Saturday we are going to see Jason Mraz in concert.

Now I am going to go take a nap to refresh myself before small group. I'll post soon!! MUAH!!

Monday, March 28, 2005

It's my baby Brownie--isn't she cute? She's actually not a baby anymore--10 1/2 years by human standards. That's very old!! Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 27, 2005


After a long talk with God and a close friend, I've decided that I am done complaining. I am done being frusrated. I am done worrying. While I've been trying to work through my hurt emotions and feelings, my attitude and words have been hurting others. I know how easy it is for me to be negative, so I need to stop. I refuse to cause dischord. I refuse to allow Satan to creep in and use my hurt to steal my joy. I just won't do it!! If I can trust God with my life, my relationships, my finances, and everything else around me, why can't I trust Him with this situation? I NEED to, even if it takes a daily personal butt-kicking. I'M DONE!!

Happy Easter!!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

My Very Own Faith Story

Isn't there a saying about how things will always get worse before they get better? Well, I posted the other day about how I was stressed over finances, and yesterday it got worse. My dog has been sick for the past few days. She is pretty old (10 1/2 in human years) and losing some of her energy. She has developed a hot spot on her back and it is getting worse. After doing a little research, I finally came to the conclusion that I am going to have to take her to the vet. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but when you have no money...

Well, after I got sad about my dog and then began stressing about money again, I hopped on the internet and did a little more research. I worked at Sylvan Learning Center last summer--it wasn't a bad job, but when you teach all day long at summer school or marching band, it's not exactly the idea of the perfect way to end your evening. I looked around online and found two centers closer to my home and school (I worked in Casselberry last year and it took forever to drive). I polished up my resume, wrote an email and contacted the two centers. Last year it took a few weeks before someone contacted me about an interview. Around noon today, I got a phone call. It was one of the centers! They want to interview me ASAP! They are happy to see that I am already trained and certified by Sylvan so, if I get hired, they'll only have to refresh my memory on some things. AND, the person that is interviewing me used to work at my school last year, so I already know her. I am so excited! My appointment is for this Tuesday, so we'll see what happens.

For the past few weeks I've been reading and listening to stories about faith and how God blesses people who show faithfulness. Now I have my very own story!! YAY GOD!!

Friday, March 25, 2005

I think this says it all!! Posted by Hello

"Friends are friends forever..."

When I was growing up, I always had a lot of friends. We moved a lot, but I was very outgoing and personable so I always made friends quickly. For some reason I was always closer to my guy friends than I was with my girl friends--girls were so petty and gosspiy (is that a word?) and I didn't like that. I had my best friend every year, in every grade, in every school.

In middle school, I started in one group of friends. I can't remember the details but I remember getting into one of those typical girl fights where the group splits in half, so our little circle split. To top it off, middle school is when you try to figure out your identity and I was one of those music kids: band, chorus, drama...involved in every aspect of the arts, so of course my "group" became only the musically oriented kids.

In high school, I attended three different schools. I had my 9th grade friends in Windham, CT: Brian, Aaron, Chelsea, Susan. I kept in touch with them for a few years after I moved. In fact, I still touch bases with Brian every few years or so.

10th grade was a significant year for me. I transfered to Naugatuck High. I don't know if it was actually this way, but to me it felt like the musical kids were the popular kids. I made so many new friends. I was especially close to a small group of 5 other girls. We did everything together. Then, 9 months later I moved to Florida. I kept in very close contact with that group of girls. I even drove up to see them one summer in college. Two of them flew down to my wedding. But of course, time took its toll--I keep in contact with Karla, but have lost touch with Sarah, Caitlin, Kelley, and even Melissa. Every now and then I get updates through the grapevine, but haven't really talked to any of them.

Florida: Hmm...what can I say? I didn't really like my high school. There was just something about it. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't an outcast, it wasn't miserable...I just didn't connect the way I did in Naugatuck. I was successful at St. Cloud High, won many awards and scholarships for music and academics. I had lots of friends, but it just wasn't the same. I still talk to Jenn every now and then through email, and met up with Mark last year (he filled me in on what everyone else is up to), but that's pretty much it. I am coming up on my ten year reunion, and I'll probably go, but I'm not really excited to see anyone. **sigh**

COLLEGE!!! Ok, even though growing up is inevitable and some pretty pivital events take place, college is really where you find yourself and your life-long friends. I started out at Valencia Community College, and was involved in both the VCC and UCF music programs. I marched UCF Knights my Freshman year of college and met one of my bestest (Jessieism) friends, Melanie, during band camp. Then, I met Brian, David, and Kyle. The following year, Lauren entered the picture. That was our group. We had separate friends outside the circle, and hung out with tons of other people, but for me, those were my best friends. But then life got in the way...We all began to change, to make some life decisions, to grow up, and even though we tried, we eventually all lost touch and then reconnected at certain points in our relationships.

Now: I still talk to my VCC group, but it's different. I still consider Melanie and Lauren my best friends. We don't talk every day, we don't hang out all the time, but when we do, it's just like nothing ever happened. Brian and I talk about once every two months. Our relationship was probably the most unique relationship I've ever had, and I miss it tremendously, but I cherish the times that we talk and hang out. I see Dave at church and when I visit him and Lauren, and Kyle and I talk online every now and then, but that's it.

It's so funny to me how we have our groups of friends. I have my church friends, my work friends, my band friends, my Disney friends, my small group, my South Florida friends, my Connecticut friends, the friends I go to when I need prayer, the friends I call when I want to go dancing or grab a drink, my friends that will tell me I am doing something wrong, and my friends that will let me do something bad...

I have Melanie, Lauren, Karis, Katie, Heidi, Mercedes, Clark and Vi, Charlie and Erin, Sarah, Tracey, Ashley, Mike, Thad, and so many others...but what it all comes down to is this: God brings people into our lives at planned out moments. Love your friends, pray for them, and God will handle the rest.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Cinderella's Castle Spring Break 2005 Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


I am sitting here at my computer, working on my finances, quickly realizing when you have no money, it's hard to do anything.

At the beginning of our church's 40 Days of Faith campaign, I decided that I would give to CrossPointe regularly (I am used to just giving whenever I feel like it). I've been really trying to be faithful with my finanaces: giving each paycheck, not eating out as much, not shopping, saving a little bit, etc... Well, even though I am paying things off, I am still living paycheck to paycheck!! I cannot figure it out. Summer is quickly approaching and I have nothing saved up. Once again I am going to have to work this summer. I am hoping on getting a summer school assignment, but there are no guarantees (and the pay is lower during the summer than during the school year). Everyone asks why I don't get my paychecks deferred throughout the school year. People don't realize how little teachers actually make!! Between all the expenses of living on your own, leftover debt from a dissolved marriage, the student loans taken out to get a college degree, and the dang gasoline prices, I don't know how I can afford to continue being a teacher. I've gone into more debt as a teacher, than when I was a student!! CRAZINESS!!

I won't even start on Grad school expenses...

Anyway, I have continued to be faithful with my money but I am starting to get to the picking-and-choosing bills to pay stage...LORD GIVE ME STRENGTH!!!

If anyone hears of any summer employment opportunities, please send the info my way.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Passion or Past-time?

January 1999: I am sitting in an arena in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, surrounded by 11,000 other college students. I feel God impressing upon me some pretty powerful, life-changing things, speaking so loud and clear amidst the noise around me; granted, it's not exactly noise, the arena is full of musical worship. The song: Agnus Dei. Holy, Holy; Are you Lord God Almighty? Worthy is the Lamb, worthy is the Lamb. Amen. I am raising my hands in worship. What an amazing feeling!! I am just worshipping God, letting Him see that I am surrendering my life to Him, ready for the purpose He has set forth for me. I feel God telling me about His purpose for my life. I am so excited that He wants to use my vocal talents to help lead people into His presence. He wants to use my organization skills to teach others with the gift of leading musical worship how to be successful in the behind-the-scenes tasks of being a worship leader. He wants to use me!!!

Since that moment, I've committed my life to this calling, His purpose. I've clung to it so that when I got in the way, my actions of worship would push through. I've worked with various worship teams, either helping administratively, working with vocalists, or just helping as a lead worshipper. I've learned lessons about being selfish. I've learned lessons about leading worship versus being a lead worshipper. God has brought me down a few different paths, based on choices I've made and places I've lived; but no matter where I've lived, I've been involved somehow on my church's worship team. Never once have I been made to feel like my time and energy was not worth it, and that I wasn't following God's plan for my life. Never once have I felt like I was insignificant. Never once have I questioned God' plan for my life.

Until lately...

Lately I've been feeling like I've been pushed out of an area in my life that is so important to me. That my passion is just a past-time. That I am just not good enough to be a lead worshipper. Lately I've been feeling like my calling is not a calling, but just something to occupy my time, and more often than not, a hinderance in my busy week.

Were those words 6 years ago from God, or were they my dreams and desires welling up inside me and just gushing forth? Have I been pursuing a selfish ambition? Do I have a selfish heart, is it all about me? Is my talent good enough to help lead people into His presence or is it a distraction to their actions of worship?

I know that I am good enough in God's eyes, and I know that sometimes my heart is not in the right place. I strive daily to make sure my actions of worship line up with the life that I live. Do I make mistakes? YES!! Who doesn't? On the other hand, when does man get the option to step in and hinder someone else?

Is it time for me to move on?

Sunday, March 06, 2005


A guest speaker at church last week mentioned a poet that he frequently reads. I decided to check the guy out and found this poem. I love it!! ENJOY!! (WARNING: I am not a fan of the curse word GD, but it is in this poem. Sorry.)

What Teachers Make, or You can always go to law school if things don't work out
By Taylor Mali

He says the problem with teachers is, "What's a kid going to learn
from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"
He reminds the other dinner guests that it's true what they say about teachers:
Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.

I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
and resist the temptation to remind the dinner guests
that it's also true what they say about lawyers.

Because we're eating, after all, and this is polite company.

"I mean, you're a teacher, Taylor," he says.
"Be honest. What do you make?"

And I wish he hadn't done that
(asked me to be honest)
because, you see,
I have a policy about honesty and ass-kicking:
if you ask for it, I have to let you have it.

You want to know what I make?
I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.

I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional medal of honor and an A- feel like a slap in the face. How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall in absolute silence.
No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won't I let you get a drink of water?
Because you're not thirsty, you're bored, that's why.

I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
I hope I haven't called at a bad time, I
just wanted to talk to you about something Billy said today.
Billy said, "Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don't you?"
And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.

I make parents see their children for who they are and what they can be.

You want to know what I make?
I make kids wonder,

I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it. I make them write.
I make them read, read, read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful
over and over and over again until they will never misspell either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math.
And hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you got this (brains)
then you follow this (heart) and if someone ever tries to judge you by what you make,
you give them this (the finger).

Let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
I make a goddamn difference! What about you?

FCAT Anxiety

Well, we've come to FCAT week. For those of you who are not familiar, the FCAT is the state-wide assessment test. Students in the tenth grade must pass the reading and math sections in order to graduate high school. I teach tenth grade English. The state (and county) tends to use these test results tend to be used as accountability for the schools and the teachers. I am sure you can guess the amont of stress I am under right now.

Phil's been awesome--he realizes how much stress this is for me. He cooked dinner tonight and went shopping with me this afternoon. He has MPA on Saturday, so it'll be my turn to help him out. MPA is the Music Performance Assessment that all bands in the state have to go through. He's a great and well-respected director so I am sure he will get a very high rating.

I talk to Vi this afternoon. I miss them soooo much. I think we're going to go down South during Spring Break to visit with everyone for a day or two.

Does anyone know how to Salsa dance? I think Phil and I are going to try that out. We were inspired after going to City Walk this weekend with Steve and Mel. BTW, the Jazz club is jazz only by name--not by music. Each club has their won theme but they all played the same music--hip hop. The ony one that seemed like fun was the Salsa club and the piano bar. Not so sure we'll be venturing out there anytime soon.

Anyway, I need to get some sleep, or at least try to sleep. Tomorrow is the first of three test days. I'll write soon. MUAH!!!