Friday, April 30, 2010

We Are Door Holders For The World

In 1 Chronicles 15 there are these 4 guys that are mentioned that normally would be passed over. Their names are Berekiah, Elkanah, Obed-Edom, and Jehiah (Jessica, how about any of those names for Baby Bronco?) They were doorkeepers for the ark of the covenant. The Israelites were bringing the ark back, and people kept touching it and dying. Clearly what they were doing was not working out for them. So they took the ark to Obed-Edom's house where it stayed for 3 months. The Bible says that his entire household was blessed. Well of course it was! The very presence of God was living with him! So later David and his crew get it together and realize that the ark is supposed to be carried on poles, so they go back to get it. People were appointed positions: priests to carry the ark, then musicians to play instruments, then musicians to sing, then our friends the doorkeepers. The last ones. The least important. But really, the most important. They monitored who came in and out. They were the people letting people come into the presence of God.

We are door holders to the world.We are the face of Jesus to the world. A door holder is someone who has been on the inside and chooses to stand outside. They know how great it is in there, and they are volunteering to come out so that others can come in. They stand where the blaring sounds of the outside world intermingle with the melodious sounds of eternal life inside. A door holder signals that something good great is on the inside. If there weren't, why would they be needed? Door holders will fight you to hold that door. It is a privilege. They are worship leaders. They can't contain their joy and others want to follow their lead. They love people before they come inside. Door holders take the door to the people and meet them where they're at. They can put themselves in the world and not become the world. They serve all in order to win some. Their faces shine undeniably. Their only reward is the look on people's faces when they come out.

We are door holders to the world.

"better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked." Psalm 84:10

Thursday, April 29, 2010

To Do

I was looking for my last To Do list of the semester to take a picture of and put it here, but then I remembered that I threw it away last week in a fit of rage/ celebration. So what you need to know is that it filled the entire front and back of a piece of notebook paper. All school work, for one week. So you can imagine the excitement I felt when this was my list for the next few days:

-work on my blog (yay for new fun things!)
-blog a lot
-make Kelly's treat for London
-make Lindsey's treat for graduation
-make a new journal
-go to lunch with Kelly and her new iPad (we missed you Kelly and Brooklyn!)
-email Jessica
-email Savannah
-start my new Kay Arthur study
-catch up on my shows
-watch Parenthood
-make a playlist for Panama
-sleep late

I am a fan of this to do list :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

So Long, Insecurity: You Have Been A Bad Friend To Us

This past weekend Beth Moore was at First Baptist Woodstock and was talking about her new book, So Long, Insecurity. I have been hesitant to write much about it here, but I have been struggling with insecurity a lot lately. I am so confident in who I am most of the time, but I have really been struggling with a lot of insecurity. I am a words of affirmation kind of girl, and I feel great about that, but lately it has been eating me up. I have felt insecure about every decision I've made unless someone has agreed. I found myself reading into every facial expression and worrying about whether they agreed with my decisions, even about the smallest things like where to eat. Such a little thing led to every other area of my life, mostly in the area of my friendships and who I am in Christ, and I felt like I was being consumed by my insecurity. Needless to say, this day with Beth was just what I needed; she is full of so much wisdom. It is nice to know that I'm not alone.

A secure woman is...
1. saved from herself.
     -insecurity is it's own form of pride.
2. entitled to truth.
     -the last thing that the enemy wants me to know is the truth about who I am.
3. clothed with intention.
     -act like you're secure, even if you're not, and you will be. it starts in the mind, goes to the feet (actions), and resonates in the heart.
4. has been upended by grace
     -how much more likely would I be to forgive if I were secure?
5. rebounded by love
     -how different would my life be if I walked out of my house every morning acting like the beloved daughter that I am?
6. exceptional in life.
     -be the exception!

At the end, Beth had us commission each other. It was so awesome and Kelly found this so I got other Kelly (ha) to send it to me :) 
My dear sister, If Christ is your Savior, you are the dwelling place of His own Spirit. You have it in you to be secure. Every day of your life you have a choice to make: you can live in your old defeat or you can turn from your unbelief and choose life. Make up your mind to put off the old you and put on the new you. Never, ever, ever, forget that the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap. he will take care of you to your very last breath. Now leave this place and go out into the world and act like a person who knows she is dearly loved. You were born to be exceptional. So, girlfriend, go forth and walk worthy of your calling. Now unto Him who can keep you from falling, be glory and majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Chris our Lord now and forevermore. Amen.

So long, insecurity!

Junior Year: BAM, Roasted!

I have survived the first year of the education program. Nothing has ever almost gotten the best of me like that before in my whole life. Nothing has ever made me want to give up so much before in my life. I honestly thought that I couldn't do it. When I had 6 days of classes left (that's 3 days of each class) I made a list of all of my assignments I had due and when. I had 32 different things on this list. And that was just assignments; that didn't include Alpha Gam stuff or teaching every day or Bible study. To say that I was freaking out would be an understatement. Linds made us paper chains of all of our assignments left.

I'll give you one guess as to which one is mine. yep, that stinks.

Many of you know that I am horrible at math. In fact, a teacher that I am rather close with has presented the idea that I may have a learning disability. way to shoot my pride. and I can't believe I would even mention that here, but there it is. out there for all to know. I will check my pride at the door. Anyway, that being said, this time last week I had a 69.3 in math. I am not a good student because I hate school, but I get good grades. This year math just knocked me down for the count. I went to her for help (though it didn't help much at all) and did a little extra credit activity that moved my grade up to a 70. I started studying for this final on Wednesday. The final wasn't until the next Thursday. I made a practice test with questions from our tests and did it over and over. The day before the test I finished my other finals at 2:00 in the afternoon and started studying as soon as I got home. I moved locations a few times, but I left the library at 2:00 that morning where I studied for 2 more hours because I was so stressed I couldn't sleep. Woke up the next morning and studied for about an hour, went to physical therapy, and studied another hour. I have never been so nervous about a test before but also have never left a math test feeling so confident before in my life. All of that work paid off when I got an 82 on the test and PASSED! PTL! I ended up with a 76 in the class. I brought my grade up 6 points in less than a week. My goodness, that was hard. I am thankful that I NEVER have to take a math class again!!!

So I did it. I survived 2 semesters of 20 hours of classes and came out with all A's... except for C's in math both semesters.

Things I learned in my first year of the education program:
-frolicking is the preferred method of exercise
-a made up student always follows your behavior intervention plan perfectly
-exit interviews always elicit an emotional breakdown
-I will want to change my major at least once each semester
-waking up right before time to be at placement and still looking presentable is a form of art
-we get prizes for answering questions right and candy during breaks
-every teacher loves to eat
-an all nighter is necessary at least once per semester
-coffee is essential
-commuter appreciation day means free chick fil a sandwiches which is awesome
-this is the time that everyone starts getting engaged
-carpool is always eventful
-Bible study with such wonderful girls keeps me sane and grounded
-you tube videos of neti pots are not abnormal
-teaching on crutches is hard
-I am prepared to be a great teacher

senior year begins in Panama 1 week from today!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Music Expresses That Which Cannot Be Put Into Words And Cannot Remain Silent

1. One song that always takes me back to my youth is Strawberry Wine. I used to play it on my boom box and jump on the trampoline and my cousins hated it!

2. My first concert ever was Martina McBride. She was playing at something the police department was having. All I remember is that we sat at this table up front (my dad is kind of a big deal) and Sasha and I kept banging on the table and chanting her name while the opening band played. I was 6, don't judge.

3. If I could create my dream music festival I'd want these bands to be there: Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, Christy Nockels, Matt Redman, Hillsong, Matt Wertz, Dave Barnes, Andy Davis, Bethany Dillon, Francesca Battestelli, Kari Jobe, Lady A, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Justin Timberlake, and T Pain, my 2 guilty pleasures.

4. The best make out/ "boot knocking" song ever is I agree with Linds, we'll find out when I meet my husband. and let me know if you find him.

5. The best concert I have ever been to is Hillsong. hands down. both times. the first time was last May. It started pouring, and I mean pouring, right in the middle and no one even moved. No one even cared. The worship just kept right on. I couldn't help but think about what a testimony that was to the people working at the venue. Then again at Passion. They do late night concerts and you have to have tickets. The line was ridiculously long and we waited forever! then found out that they sold out. disappointed doesn't even begin to describe how we felt. I mean, I'm pretty sure tears were coming. then on our way out we somehow ended up this random line and had no idea where it was going, but when we got to the end someone handed us tickets. It was awesome. And the "concert" was so much more- it was one of the best worship experiences I have ever been a part of.

6. A memorable music moment for me was ... I have so many of these. Music is kinda my thing. 1. listening to Healer for the first time after I could walk again after breaking my leg. the song means so much more to me after having to depend on Him to be that for me. 2. church in Jamaica. they were dancing all over the place and just having such a good time. I had never seen worship like that. 3. church in Mexico. let's just call a spade a spade and say that the music was awful. I'm sorry, but y'all, it was horrendous. But heartfelt. And it was the first time I worshipped in my favorite language. 4. Passion 2010. I kept thinking over and over that the next time I am worshipping with that many people will be when I'm in Heaven and tears were just streaming down my face at the very thought of how amazing that will be. 5. Hillsong concert at Passion. I didn't realize until Lindsey told me later that I was singing half in Spanish and half in English. at that moment, all was right in my world: I was worshipping and doing it in my favorite language with all of my heart.

7. The song on my iPod that's getting played the most right now these days is the Francesca Battestelli CD, Passion Awakening, and our spring break CD we made.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Don't Stop, Make It Pop, DJ Blow My Speakers Up

This year's formal was by far the best formal I have been to! So maybe (according to the doctor) I'm not supposed to dance, but, y'all, I love to dance. I couldn't help myself. I paid the price for a few days, but it was an absolutely wonderful night! it also needs to be said that I achieved the best hair teasing I've ever done that night.

typical family picture

family :)

the sweet engaged couple

cohort friends

You've Been More Than A Friend To Me

I have a lot to blog about, so just get ready, friends.

Last week was the last chapter of the year, and also Lindsey's last chapter. North Ga and Alpha Gam won't be the same without Linds. I can't believe that there was a time when she wasn't here and wasn't in my life. I am so thankful for such an encouraging roommate and loving friend. Ruby Hollow will not be the same next year.

And, these are just 30 of the things I love about Lindsey Nicole Carter:
1. when you scream "I LOVE YOU" at me at night.
2. you came to Mexico with me and suffered through Mexico face, crazy Mexico hair, and Mexico sweating and let me share that part of my heart with you as well as shared yours with me.
3. you missed your last bid day and spent your birthday in the hospital with me.
4. you carried my stuff up the stairs for me every night and dealt with my emotional breakdowns about the broken leg situation for 2 months... and somehow managed to love me anyway.
5. our picnics on the roof and the kitchen counter.
6. you felt bad about almost wearing a sports bra to chapter with badge attire.
7. you are always available to be my personal fashion consultant, PFC if you will.
8. you made a paper chain of all of my assignments.
9. you danced with me when my leg was broken and I got restless... which basically meant jumping around the room on one foot with me.
10. you love Twitter as much as I do.
11. and blogging. and my bloggy friends that I don't actually even know.
12. how many times we quote Kittens Inspired by Kittens and David After The Dentist.
13. you share and support my music addiction.
14. you taught me how to make awesome journals.
15. you rekindled my love for a good bubble bath.
16. you introduced me to LOST.
17. you always let me lay on your bed and talk incessantly.
18. you legitimately think Jesus could be the sun.
19. you can always tell when I need encouragement the most and basically smother me with it.
20. you have the spiritual gift of making me laugh when I'm crying.
21. you are insanely obsessed with your TV characters and very particular about the viewing of your shows.
22. you always point me to Jesus.
23. you think I'm Bailey Flanigan.
24. the way you talk about and pray for our men.
25. you can go from laughing until you cry to having a completely serious conversation in half a second.
26. you always yell "welcome to Japan" when you put the hot skillet under the faucet.
27. sleepovers in your room.
28. you share my love for Bones.
29. Jesus dance parties. enough said.
30. most importantly, you think I'm funny.

I love you sweet Lindsey friend!

ps- you can read about Lindsey's last chapter from her perspective here

you've been more than a friend to me
you fight off my enemies
'cause you have spoken truth over my life
you'll never know what it means to me
just to know you've been on your knees for me
you have blessed my life
more than you'll ever know
-More Than You'll Ever Know, Watermark

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hello, Procrastination

Turns out just because a paper is the LAST OF THE SEMESTER doesn't mean it will be easy to write. And by easy, I do not mean that the paper itself is difficult whatsoever. I could discuss the importance of parent involvement all day long, but for some reason I cannot seem to write about it. I digress. Point is, I'm still avoiding that paper therefore I am doing this here blog award business that Linds has... chosen? picked? tagged? whatever, me for. (*edit: paper is now DONE!!!!)

I'm supposed to give 7 interesting things about myself...

1. I legitimately want to be Hispanic. I hate being white with every fiber of my being. I think they are such beautiful people who speak a beautiful language (which I attempt but am not always as successful as I would like to be). I would say at least 5 out of 7 days I think about how great it would be to be a brown girl.
2. I want to write a book one day. Which seems very ambitious and I'm not even sure why I want to. Or what I would write about. Or why anyone would want to read it for that matter. I know I am not a phenomenal writer or anything, but for some reason I just want to.
3. I learn the words to songs ridiculously fast. I can hear a song twice and know most of the words and become obsessed with it.
4. I am addicted to Diet Coke. I wish it wasn't true, but it is. I can't explain it, I just love it.
5. I am obsessed with teasing my hair. It is an art to be perfected. There isn't anything in the world (hair wise, of course) that some good Freeze-It hair spray and a teasing comb can't fix.
6. My spiritual gift is crying on command. I wasn't going to add this, but Savannah did and I have to admit that it's true. However, I would not say "on command" would be the correct term. I would go with "over everything". And by that I mean that every emotion known to man can cause me to start crying.
7. When I was younger, I wanted to be a glass blower because I saw it on Reading Rainbow. Then I wanted to be a sidewalk maker because I saw them on the side of the road. Then it was a preacher. But my mom told me Baptists don't ordain women. Good news is I'm 21 now and still don't know what I'm going to do with my life.

so now it's your turn!
I don't know who all reads this so just do it :)

Love Is In The Air

The count of engaged people is up to 4 in a little less than 2 weeks. (I almost just typed, "must be something in the water" but then I realized that sounds like something my grandmother would say.) So that being said, the weekend after Bekah was my precious friend Carrie. Carrie and I went to middle and high school together. Through a friendship that lasts that long, there are bound to be ups and downs, and we have had our fair share, but we have made it. She understands the missions part of my heart in a way that no one else does, which is probably what has kept us so close through the years. We don't get to see each other very much, but when we do we pick up right where we left off. I am so thankful for her sweet friendship. I am SO excited she is getting married and can't wait to be in her wedding in December. (you can read about her engagement here)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday... on Sunday

1. The first thing I do in the morning is check my phone, sometimes get a shower (just being honest. some days I get one the night before and opt for a ponytail in the morning), make coffee.

2. Every night before bed I read my Bible, set my alarm, turn the rain on.

3. My favorite thing to do when I'm having a bad day is take a nap or just be by myself.

4. Something that makes me cringe is when my students show me their loose/ lost teeth. I would rather them throw up than show me or talk about their loose teeth.

5. Social situations are often made more awkward by my presence.

6. I like to collect ...well... I don't really collect anything. I might go with t-shirts though. I am a sucker for a good AGD social/ formal t-shirt or one that supports a good cause. 

7. Weekends are for, well, this weekend has been for formal, IRD, case studies, unit plans, guided reading lessons, functional behavior assessments, behavior intervention plans, pre and post tests, research papers, studying for finals, and church. whew.  

now back to researching the impact of parent involvement on children's reading abilities...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Goin' To The Chapel Of Love

Once upon a time, a bunch of girls moved into A 100 of Donovan Hall. This girl didn't know anyone, but there was this loud, crazy girl named Bekah who lived down the hall and was also from Canton. Could this be a friend? At least it would be someone to talk to. Turns out I had all of my classes with said loud Bekah girl... and she wasn't so bad. In fact, I quite enjoyed her. So began a wonderful friendship turned sisterhood.

When I first met Bekah, her boyfriend Justin was at basic training and she hardly ever got to talk to him. They hadn't been dating very long, but she knew she was going to marry that boy. She used to sit on my futon and cry on the days when she missed him the most and, even though there was nothing I could do, I liked just being able to be there for her. The day she got to see him was so exciting! I got the privilege of watching Bekah and Justin's relationship almost from the beginning. As soon as we met him, we all loved Justin almost as much as Bekah did. Bekah and I made a pact that we would tell each other as soon as we got engaged and before the candlelighting (candlelighting: sorority thing; the engaged sister only tells the president who then notifies the chapter of the event known as a candlelighting; sisters stand in a circle, candle is lighted, and passed around twice: once all the way around, the second time the engaged sister blows it out, thus announcing her engagement; aka my one desire before graduation that will probably, most likely, definitely not happen.)

Last weekend, Justin finally made it official and put a ring on that poor girl's finger! Though Justin made Bekah keep silent, causing her to break our pact, I basically figured it out and was already tearing up when the candle started going around. I could not possibly be more excited for the two of them.

I don't think Bek and I have ever hugged as much as we did then. Nor have I ever cried so much at a candlelighting, haha.

showing off her ring

Justin just smiling and watching :)

"and then he got down on one knee..!"

the middle stone belonged to Justin's grandmother

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Christ Is Risen From The Dead, Trampling Over Death By Death

(turns out I have a knack for long blog titles these days)

Like Linds, I am struggling to come up with the words to put together a blog about Easter. That being said, this is probably going to be a jumble of thoughts.

This was seriously the best Easter I have ever had. The older I get and the more I know God, the more Easter means to me. And the more I know God, the more I become painfully aware of my humanity. I want so badly to be perfect. I want to love every single person I come in contact with at every moment and never get frustrated or annoyed. I want to never thinking negative thoughts about anyone or anything. I want to not have low points in my walk with the Lord because I have all of the time in the world to devote to spending with Him. I want to never doubt His plan or His faithfulness (as if He has ever given me a reason to doubt either). I want to be full of unending trust. I know it's impossible, but I want to. I try so hard, and I am never successful. Yes, I realize I am not the only one who isn't perfect, but for some reason the reality of my sinful nature has overwhelmed me and I just want to be better. All of these recent feelings left me feeling so overwhelmed with and covered by grace. I am so thankful for grace and forgiveness, because I am a mess on my own.

Friday night I went to Passion City Church's Good Friday service at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. 12,000 people worshipping. It was incredible. The whole night benefited rebuilding Haiti, which was really cool since so many people have kinda forgotten about it. What I love most about Louie Giglio is that he always expects God to show up big time and do something amazing. And God always does. He wanted us to raise somewhere around $50,000 dollars (I think..?) for 3 different causes. That's a lot of money. This is what he tweeted on Saturday morning: GOOD FRIDAY! Sold out Verizon Amp., 30,000+ joining online, cross of Jesus high, $189,469 given for Haiti! Goals doubled! That. is. awesome. God. is. awesome. Enough said.

I went to the sunrise Easter service with my dad this year. During said service, I came to the following conclusion: I love Jesus and my Daddy more every day. I seriously never thought that I could be so happy. I never knew Jesus offered so much joy. Every day gets better and better. In the words of my new friend Francesca Battistelli, "never knew that I could feel the way I feel, never knew that there could be a love so real, never knew that I could feel the way I feel right now." The best part is that I am only 21 years old, and really only about 6 years into really seeking the Lord in my life. I still have my whole life ahead of me and it's only going to get better! That completely blows my mind! I am so excited to see where the future holds and where God leads me. Now, Daddy. I just adore him. He has changed so much over the past few years and we have gotten so close and I love it. He is always the first one I call when the stresses of school are too much. He still lets me crawl up in his lap. He doesn't mind when I cry so hard he can hardly understand me. Even though he gets frustrated sometimes (like when I lock my keys in my car at 1 am and he has to come and bring me a key...), he loves me unconditionally. He shows me the love of God in his life. He has taught me how to expect a man to treat me and that I deserve the best. And best of all, he thinks I'm really funny. I mean, both of my parents do, but he is pretty much just smitten with me. When I think about how much I love my Daddy, I get so excited about the thought of how much I will love my man one day.

Last order of business about Easter: Some of the girls from our Sunday school class went to the Easter play at church on Saturday. The worst part is always when they are beating Jesus. I just can't stand it. Sometimes I can hardly watch and other times I can't stop watching. I seriously felt like just screaming, "STOP!" at the top of my lungs. I can't even begin to imagine what Jesus went through. for me. for you. for them. you know, those people who you can't stand. He died for them too. I was thinking about how I can't even believe that anyone would go through such a thing for me, when I felt like God just whispered to me, "Caitlin, you were worth it." wow... really? yep, I'm worth it. He loves me. wow. That's all I have to say about that: wow.

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave
Oh death, where is your sting?
Oh hell, where is your victory?
Oh church, come stand in the light
The glory of God has defeated the night
Our God is not dead
He's alive! He's alive!
-Christ is Risen, Matt Maher

"I like Easter. But let's remember that Christ's resurrection is not truer at Easter than at any other time of the year." -AW Tozer

Monday, April 5, 2010

" that God's son may be glorified through it." John 11:4

Last December, Woodstock High School lost a precious friend, Victoria. She was texting while she was driving and lost control of her car. Words can't even describe the devastation and heart break. She was 18.

Yesterday the same (soon-to-be-official) family lost another member. Ross was diagnosed with leukemia in December and died yesterday. Heartbreak. again. devastation. again. He was 17.

It doesn't seem fair. They were too young. They still had their whole lives ahead of them. It's one of those times that just shakes you up and, if you're going to question God, this is the time. I don't understand why He would choose to take them from this world. I don't understand why their families should have to feel this pain. I don't understand why they didn't get to live and I do.

All of this makes me feel so insecure about life. Of course we hear people say that we just never know when it will end and such, but now it is real to me. I saw it end way too soon. Who's to say that won't be me? I'm not saying I'm going to walk around scared, or that I'm even really scared of dying, but it just makes me a little uneasy.

Savannah and I were talking about it and how we really should live each day like it's our last because it might be, and she said, "it's so tiring to do that. some days you just don't want to." I couldn't possibly agree more. It wears you out to put that much effort into a day. To intentionally love others. To actually do your best in every single thing you do. To tell others about Jesus. To go when God says to go. It takes so much energy, but it's worth it. Because you seriously just don't know when your chance could be over.

Even if we can't see it right now, I am so thankful that God has a much bigger plan and will do something great through this. In the meantime, please keep the Pischkes in your prayers.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Best Teachers Teach From The Heart, Not The Book

Teaching on crutches was so difficult and awkward. I couldn't stand for long periods of time. I couldn't get to them when they had questions. I couldn't get on the ground and help them or play the games with them. I felt useless to my cooperating teacher.

Without the crutches, it's like I have found the joys of teaching all over again. Last week I started teaching for the whole 3 hours I am there. My class is a little wild and sometimes my cooperating teacher has a hard time controlling the class. If she can't control them, how on earth was I going to control them? Turns out they are really well behaved for me. In fact, they might even like me. I was so nervous at first and I was being observed by my supervisor, so the pressure was on. I was a little shaky for a few minutes, but I would like to attribute that mostly to nerves. It felt like I just came alive up there. I had so much fun. They were completely in tune with what I was doing and they were such an enjoyable group of kids. I couldn't believe how natural it felt.

I really have no desire to be a teacher. I love to teach, but I don't want to teach math, reading, writing, etc. I want to teach about the love of Jesus. I want to guide women in His love. Some days I don't even want to be in this program... ok, most days. And some days I want to know what I'm doing here and why. And then God shows me why. Because, believe it or not, I'm good at this. It's so refreshing and just what I needed to get me through the last few weeks of this incredibly draining, but rewarding program.