Monday, December 30, 2013

School Christmas Activities

Once again this school year seems to be flying by.  This past month was filled with many activities for the Christmas season.

The students spent several hours making scores of little gifts for our elderly friends in the nursing home. How fun it was to distribute our gifts among the elderly people...

Christmas Party Fun

On the last day of school we preformed, "The Gift."  The students did an incredible job! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Added Pressure

In science class this week, we have been studying rocks, minerals, and gemstones.  Honestly, not my favorite thing to teach.  I would much rather teach my students oceanology, astronomy, or biology.  However, the book demands I teach rocks for a chapter.  I was dreading teaching about could I possibly make rocks interesting?  I am totally, without a doubt, uninterested if a rock is metamorphic, igneous, or sedimentary...
However, my students, on the other hand, absolutely are loving it.  They have been bringing in rocks of their own to show to their fellow classmates.  They have been drilling me with questions!  Because of their enthusiasm for the study it caused me to look a little closer and study my lesson a little more carefully. 
Today I taught about gemstones.  I was teaching my students that many gemstones were regular "rocks" that had much pressure placed upon them.  The pressure was hard upon them; the heat was unbearable.  But the pressure eventually ended and in the place of an ugly worthless rock was a gemstone...a "rock" of great value and worth.
As those words came out of my  mouth I could help but think of the spiritual aspect.  I stood there for a moment just think about my life. I began to think about the pressure God seemed to put on me often in my life. I thought about the times, when I looked at other people who seemed to float through life without a problem in the world.  I wondered why God seemed to place so much pressure on me?  Did He love me less?  What was God doing in my life?  Why did I have these added difficulties? After a moment of silence, I remembered.   I was standing in front of eager students wondering why their teacher was silently standing in front of them. 
"Class...Sometimes, God brings hard times in our lives.  Sometimes, someone we love very much becomes ill.  Sometimes the things we want more than anything in the world, God tell us, No.  Sometimes, it might feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.  We call that pressure...."

"But listen, those who handle those difficulties, that God has placed in their life, in the right you know what will become of that individual? ..that's right..they will become for the Savior."

"Class, remember when hard times comes in your life...when pressures push down upon you just like pressures pushes down on that rock, you have two choices.  You can crack, you can break, you can quit.  The rock that does, is never anything but a worthless rock.  But, the rock that handles pressure correctly..that rock becomes the diamond.  Life isn't always going to be easy...but kids, God wants you to be emeralds, rubies, and sapphires...therefore He WILL bring pressure in your life..When He does..don't get bitter, remember He loves you and He wants you  to become a gem of great beauty."
"But the choice is up to will you handle the pressures life brings your way?"

Thursday, October 31, 2013

First Quarter Down...

I can't believe the first quarter of the school year is already completed.  As always, times seems to simply fly by.  
This first quarter has definitely had its ups and downs.  I have felt completely stressed out and overwhelmed like never before.  Sometimes I get so frustrated, yet I love each and every one of my students.  Not a day goes by that I don't silently thank God for my kids... They make me laugh out loud at times and make me want to scream at other times..yet each of the these students are very special to me...
Here are a few highlights from our first quarter

Officer Friendly's visit to OCCA

We took a field trip to a historic village. What fun we had visiting and participating in an one room school house.

Thank you God...for blessing me beyond words... 
Sometimes I miss home so much it take everything within me to simply suck it up and hold my chin high.  But, every day in the classroom and every Wednesday in my Children ministry, and every weekend in my Jr. Church I feel so much a part of Ohio.  Although I miss my parents, church, and sisters...I don't think I would be happy in Indiana..God wants me here for now..and I can't imagine my life any other way. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Passing though the open door

You may be wondering where I came up with such an strange title for my post.  Well, let me explain. This morning, while doing my Bible reading, I came across a verse that I have read many times before yet today it really struck me and I cant seem to get the thought out of my head.

"Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to preform it thyself alone."

How discouraging that verse would be if I would not have continued reading.  How often do we feel this way...completely and totally overwhelmed, stressed, walking about as if the weight of the world were resting upon our shoulders.. However the passage goes on..

"...God shall be with thee..."

I simply stopped for a moment and meditated upon that little phrase. As I was meditating I recalled a memory I have long forgotten about.

No doubt, we ladies have had the door opened for us by many gentlemen in our life time.  Well, I suppose I have a twisted way of looking at things sometimes.  And I remember in high school often purposely going through another door if I saw a young man holding the door for a crowd of ladies. Why you may ask...Well, you see, in my perspective I looked at that poor young man with pity.  Here he was, standing, holding the door for a swarm of girls who passed right through many times without a look of gratitude.  In my mind, I thought I was being thoughtful by kindly going to the next door and opening it for myself.  I went about this practice for several years, in my mind thinking I was being thoughtful and considerate to all the young men who would never have to worry about opening the door for me.  Until one day, a gentleman opened the door for me and I, in my thoughtfulness, went to the other door, opened it and passed through... He called my name and said, "Brooke, you know every time you open the door for yourself I feel like it is a slap in my face.  Why is it that you insist on opening your own door when someone is standing right in front of you wanting and willing to help you."  I tried to explain that I was being thoughtful. My explanation didn't go far..he simply shook his head and told me, "Brooke, let people help you."
Today as I read this passage in the Scripture I felt God tell me those same words, "Brooke, let Me help you.  Sometimes I look around at people who have problems much greater than mine.  I see so many people cast their burdens, their worries, and their cares upon Jesus.  In my mind, I see Jesus with so many people's burdens.  So I think..I don't want to burden my Savior with another load; I will take care of this one myself.  On I go through life struggling, stressing, and seemingly making no progress. At times wondering if I am able to take one more step...and then He reminds me...I'm here..holding the door open ,so to say..why keep going through life opening your own doors?
Today I resolve to simply do my best to give my burdens to God.   My load may appear light to most, but to is heavy. I can't carry it on my own.  Every time I try, I find myself down discouraged and defeated. Savior is with me and telling me.."Brooke let me help you"

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

First Day of School

So, it has officially began. I have now started my second year as a teacher.

Meet my new class:

This year I will be teaching combined 3rd and 5th grade. Although, I know it will be a lot of work I am up for the challenge. 

Mrs. B's 1st and 2nd graders

Following my jungle theme for the year we started off the day by making a new decoration for our classroom door.

I am so very thankful for this lady...
What a huge help she is to me daily.  How lucky am I that I get to work with one my best friends...

One of the ladies at church offered to make my class this Jungle cake for the first day back to school.  It turned out so cute.

Looking forward to great year with my rambunctious class....