Thursday, June 18, 2015


Thank you to @MuellerHolly for opening up her blog every Thursday to link up our #spiritualjourney posts.  I appreciate the offerings of everyone as it provides me a much needed dose of perspective.  I'm grateful for all who link, write, read, and comment.  It is from you that I learn and grow.


I love the idea behind this simple topic.  Laughter.  The act of finding joy that bubbles inside you until it escapes for the world to see your pleasure.  It is a sign of pure and moving emotion. 

In Ecclesiastes 3, God reminds us that there is a season for laughter. 
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

It's a verse that is probably familiar to all of us.  There is a time for all things.  The good and the bad.  After all, if we don't have bad, how do we know when it's good?  Without each other, it's not possible to define or understand either.  They require knowledge to know they exist.

I've grappled with the idea of bad things happening to good people a lot lately.  Why does this happen?  Why is faith challenged?  Why does laughter seem to come to others so easily when people who work hard and are faithful are filled with trials.

It's not fair, but it's in this basic challenge that it's answered.  Your faith will be tested.  Bad things will happen.  There will be mountains upon which you'll climb, fall, stumble, get lost, go forward, grow, and eventually conquer only to find that you're in the middle of the range. 

BUT God is good.  He is walking beside us, encouraging, teaching, guiding.  He teaches us that there is a time for all purposes.  There is a time to grieve.  There is a time to release.  There is a time to surrender.  There is a time for laughter.

It's through the choice.  To choose God.  To choose faith.  To choose life.

It's worth it.

Hoping you find much today that brings you laughter --

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Leaving a Legacy

Thanks to @MuellerHolly for creating a space for reflection on our spiritual journey each week.  This week's topic came from @dashthebook about leaving a legacy.  Feel free to read and enjoy our musings on Holly's blog ( - or join in on the fun. I'd love to read your reflections as well.

Leaving a legacy - a gift left for generations to come.  A story to be shared . . . such a neat concept.  We all have our story, our gift to the future, but not all know exactly how it plays out.

For example, you have authors.  We know the legacy of the heroes, villains, and ordinary people who walked the face of the Earth in biblical times.  The fact that we know it thousands of years later makes me question my choice of the word "ordinary" at all.  To me it's extraordinary that I have these stories that shape my life today to help me become the person I want to be.

Then there are musicians.  Music feeds the soul in so many ways.  The legacy they leave, their mark on the world, can impact for centuries to come.  The memories become instant, almost a direct line to the heart.  "Canon in D" -- my wedding; "I Will Survive" -- a friend's triumphant war cry in the face of cancer; "What Child is This?" -- my grandmother's church as a child with glorious trees and loving hands. 

I could go on -- the artists, the athletes, the people who fought against evil.  Their legacies are celebrated, beautiful, sometimes haunting. 

But I'm just an ordinary person.  I haven't finished a book (yet).  I haven't composed a masterpiece (probably not in my skill set).  I haven't painting anything that someone beyond my parents would appreciate.  I'm just me.  A believer.  A wife.  A mom. A friend. A teacher. Someone who can fade into the woodwork of life. 

However, God doesn't let that happen.  He is good.  He provides.  He answers prayers.

So when I start my day with, "God, let me be what You need today.  Help me to do Your work." He answers.  He moves in ways that I will never know - and when I start to doubt.  When I question, "Is this what You want?", he nudges me.

As a teacher, I'm probably seen as an idealistic person.  I believe that relationships with kids will move mountains.  When those relationships are forged, kids begin to believe in the power of "What if . . . ".  They begin to see possibilities that they never knew existed.  They begin to trust.  That trust is a powerful tool to help them engage in learning, though it's often not a quick process.  I fall on my face at times, but I believe if I exhibit grace, grace will be given in return.

I was blessed by a former colleague (1993 - 1996) this week.  We taught together in my hometown.  I was green then -- just out of college and full of ideas.  I really wasn't much older than my students -- 10  or 11 years.  (In fact I'd taught many of them swim lessons, babysat, and knew their families socially from my elementary, middle, high school, and college years.)  But I loved those kids.

I can still see them.  Once a student enters the room, he/she enters my heart.  It's kind of a messy thing -- caring -- it allows for failures, follies, and a million powerful moments.  It was one of the hardest things I've ever done.  It was also one of the most rewarding.

I'm friends with a few on Facebook.  I treasure seeing what they've done with their lives.  I love seeing them embrace life as adults -- they are now teachers, professors, professional actors, bakers, designers, architects, parents, etc.  They are doing things that were only dreams when they were in 7th grade.

Anyway, this week, my colleague shared a story with me:
Hi Amy. I had surgery on my Achilles' tendon Wednesday and saw several former WRMS students during the process. My post op nurse was a former student of yours named Kelly A......... She credits you with turning her life around. She was hanging with the wrong crowd. She stated that you cared more about her than she cared about her self. She and her mother are so grateful to you. Today she is a delightful, professional who took good care on me. I had to pass it on to you.

I cried.  Of course I remember her.  I can still see her as a 7th grader . . . and a lump of happiness sits in my throat.  I'm honored by the gift of these words.  A gift of the power of relationship in the classroom.

You see -- this is the legacy that I want to leave.  It isn't really about me at all -- it's that I want to be open to Him and how He needs to use me as a person. 

So my challenge to myself this year is to listen -- to continue to focus on the person He needs me to be. 

That may be the greatest legacy of all --