Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Looking for work

So I have been presented with an interesting opportunity. A few weeks ago, I posted on Craigslist that I was a certified teacher who was willing to do childcare/tutoring in your home. I haven't gotten any hits, and I just figured that Craigslist probably wasn't the prime spot to find childcare (I mean, goodness, who's to say I'm not the next Craigslist killer?! I'm not, but people don't know that when they decide to respond to my post about taking care of their children). I'd actually almost forgotten about it until I got an email last night from a woman in Maumee who is looking for someone to nanny her 2 and 3 1/2 year old kids 5 days a week from 8am to 3pm, plus tutor her kindergartner. After talking about it with my mom, I decided to look more into it. It would be until June 10, and I had to figure out where I would end up living after May 8 since that's when my lease is up. Thank God for kind friends, because Nan (a woman I work with a Glass City Academy, and the mother of a good friend) has offered to let me move into their house in Maumee for that month! So I've emailed the woman back about setting up a time to meet this weekend to talk about details. No, it's not teaching, but it's childcare and it's going to pay more than the long-term sub job at Fostoria would (which I still haven't heard back about) and it is going to pay more than I would get for subbing all week after taxes anyway. So I guess now I'll meet with the woman and discuss what could/would happen if I took the job---let's see where God takes me with this!

Monday, February 22, 2010


These are the two sweetest little boys ever! JJ (4) and Jaxson (3) are my friends Julie and Jason's boys, and yesterday I got to play with them when I went to Julie and Jason's for dinner. These 2 little boys (and their wonderful parents, who are great friends to me!) are truly a blessing to my life!

Love Language

So I've been hearing a lot about "The 5 Love Languages," which is this book about finding out how to communicate better with you spouse and how to strengthen your marriage. I am not married, but it's important to know what your love language is so that you can connect better with others and understand how to help others connect and communicate better with you. is offering a chance to take the test and find out what your love language is, so I decided to take it today while on my planning period. Here's my results:

Words of Affirmation

Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important–hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.

So I guess the best way to connect with me is by speaking kindly to me and telling me affirming words. I guess I've kind of known that for a while, because I would always ask past boyfriends about why they enjoyed being with me, and I love to hear "I love you" when I'm in a relationship. And it's true about insults and discouraging words--they bring me down very very quickly! Hmmm interesting...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Teen Challenge USA

Today on the radio on my way to work I was reminded of a program called Teen Challenge USA, which helps teens, adults, and families who are struggling with addiction or accidental pregnancy while sharing the word of God. I first heard about this program in high school through my youth group. I remember at an Ohio Youth Conference for Assemblies of God churches about 8 years ago they had an information table. When I heard about the amazing program that they offered, I was immediately drawn to the idea of Christian centers (in the form of half-way houses and programs) that help teenagers work through tough things like addiction and pregnancy, among other things. It's incredible what this program offers.

On the page of "becoming the change," I felt like maybe this was a way God was calling me to help out in my area. The closest Teen Challenge center is in Jonesville, Michigan (about 60 miles away from BG) and it is a maternity center for teenager girls who find themselves pregnant and with no where else to go. I emailed the main office of the center to ask about volunteer or work opportunities, explaining why I felt God might be leading me to work there. We'll see what kind of response I get; fingers crossed that it's a good one!

So now I wait and pray. Is this where God is leading me to start being the change? Maybe. I'm going to trust in Him to lead me in the right direction.

On a side note, I had an epiphany about my personal life from God last night. Due to a breakup about 3 and a half months ago, I have been seriously dealing with a broken heart and questioning my belief in love (not Godly love, just romantic love between man and woman) and relationships. I swear I pray almost every day for healing of a broken heart and a renewed belief, but I've been doing it from the perspective of "so that I can find another relationship, possibly with my ex." This was totally wrong!! While talking with my roommate about what I wanted in a relationship, religion-wise, with any future man, I realized that I don't want a man who is just a Christian--I want a man who puts his relationship with God BEFORE his relationship with me! How awesome would that be?! I've never had a relationship with someone like that before, but I know that that is what God is calling for in my life, especially with where I am at with Him right now, and I have never felt so sure and so blessed about something in my life! It's an amazing feeling, and honestly, while I may have had to end a potential relationship with a great guy, I know that I'm following what God wants for my life and that He will reward me with something so much greater and wonderful. So I'm doing it---I'm dropping my own preconceived ideals about relationships and letting God take this one over, and I've never felt so good and confident about something! God has shown me so much over the past few weeks, and I can't wait to see what else He has in store for me! :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

First Steps

Last night at church, Pastor Scott challenged us to be radical; to find out what God is calling us to do that will bring others to Him. Now, I've always known I was meant to work with teenagers. Originally, I thought maybe I was being called to be a youth pastor, but God's path lead me into teaching instead. I have had some amazing opportunities over the past year of teaching high school to work with teenagers, mostly inner-city or low socio-economic status, and represent God to them in that way. But after a lot of prayer last night and today, I feel that God is challenging me to do more---to become the change that we need to see in schools today and to represent Him through it all.

I will be using this blog to chronicle how I will "become the change."

First, though, a little background:
I am a December 2009 graduate of Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's degree in Adolescent/Young-Adult Education, specializing in Integrated Language Arts--basically, I'm licensed in the state of Ohio to teach 7th through 12th grade language arts. During my student teaching, I had the opportunity to participate in something called "Challenge Day" (see Challenge Day's website) which is a program put on at high school's throughout the nation challenging kids to become the change in their school. Their vision and mission statements are:
Our vision is that every child lives in a world where they feel safe, loved and celebrated. The Challenge Day mission is to provide youth and their communities with experiential programs that demonstrate the possibility of love and connection through the celebration of diversity, truth, and full expression.
As a teacher, I got to participate in the capacity of an adult leader during the 1-day program at Fostoria High School. It was incredible! I can not even begin to put into words how amazing this experience was! I saw kids who would never associate with one another work on breaking down barriers; I talked to kids that I thought had it all together and found out that there is so much more going on in their lives behind their smiles; I saw kids realize that they have more in common with one another than they thought and connect on a level that they never would have gotten to if they had not been in the Challenge Day program setting. It was one of the most incredibly emotional things that I have witnessed as a teacher, as kids experienced how to break down barriers, connect with one another, and become the change in the school that is so desperately needed. I realized immediately that this was something I wanted to be a part of on some level. What I am explaining here does not begin to do justice to the amazing ideas and practices that go on at Challenge Day, nor does it do justice to what this incredible program does every year across the country.

There are a lot of ways that I can get involved in Challenge Day. As a teacher, I can continue to act as an adult leader when Challenge Day comes to my school. There are workshops that I can attend about how to put into practice these principles and challenges for my students every day in my own classroom. I can volunteer to work at the offices in California (okay, that's a little far for me). But the capacity that I want to try is as a Challenge Day Leader. Every year, Challenge Day takes on new leaders who spend their year traveling across the country to different high schools presenting the Challenge Day program. Not only do they facilitate the program, but they commit to living out the Challenge Day principles in their lives on a daily basis, spreading the message of love for one another (hmm...also one of Christ's messages...).

They become the change to show others how to do the same.

I would love more than anything to become a Challenge Day leader and spread this message to high schools, showing God's love through my work with the program. I realize that maybe this is not the extreme that God has planned for me, and I totally accept that. So I'm going to keep praying, while at the same time begin to take the first steps towards becoming a leader. God may call me to a permanent teaching position or something else in the mean time, and if that is the case then He's got plans for be to be the change in that way and I will follow His path. In the meant time, I will continue to start to look into becoming a leader while also work constantly on becoming the change in my own community in Northwest Ohio.

Being a leader takes a lot. First of all, you need to attend as many local Challenge Days as possible. Then, there is attending one of the workshops. Finally, there is an application process to go through. Applications are accepted once a year, in early February. Since I have missed this past year's application deadline, and I have a lot a preparation to do like attending the workshop and the various Challenge Days in the area, so I will spend the year doing two things:
1. Becoming the change as much as I can in the area that I am at now, and doing what I can to become the change in my own community.
2. Attend a workshop and different Challenge Days

This blog is to keep me accountable to becoming the change in my community and being radical for God, and to record my journey towards either becoming a Challenge Day leader or whatever else God has in store for me.

I'm asking that you agree with me in prayer as I go on this journey, and that you follow my story to keep me strong with encouragement and love.