Thursday, October 30, 2008

Finally a Sorority Girl

Okay, so Kappa Delta Pi allows guys too, but it at least sounds like a sorority. On Monday afternoon, I had the privilege of being inducted into Kappa Delta Pi -- International Honor Society in Education. Awesome! I received a letter in the mail a few weeks ago, informing me that one of my professors from my master's program had nominated me for induction. It was so encouraging, especially since I have been having such a difficult time finding a teaching job out here. Yeah for encouragement! Yeah for Kappa Delta Pi! In all seriousness, this is truly an honor. Not only does Kappa Delta Pi serve as a resource to further educate and prepare educators (past and present), each chapter plays a large part in it's community. So to Teach. So to Serve. So to Live.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Today's Prayer

This is my prayer in the desert,
When all that's within me feels dry.
This is my prayer in my hunger and need,
My God is the God who provides.

And this is my prayer in the fire,
In weakness or trial or pain.
There is a faith proved more worth than gold,
So refine me Lord through the flame.

I will bring praise,
I will bring praise,
No weapon formed against me shall remain.
I will rejoice, I will declare,
God is my victory and He is here.

This is my prayer in the battle,
When triumph is still on it's way.
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ,
So firm on His promise I'll stand.

All of my life, in every season,
You are still God,
I have a reason to sing,
I have a reason to worship.

And this is my prayer in the harvest,
When favor and providence flow.
I know I'm filled to be emptied again,
The seed I receive I will sow.


The Beginning of a Family Tradition

Saturday, October 25th 2008 marked the beginning of a fall tradition that will be in the Mitchell family for years to come.....Pumpkin Carving and Caramel Apples. Apparently Patrick and I had no real childhood since neither of us had participated in any formal carving of a pumpkin. Lindsay and Harrison (our fellow Georgians) jumped at the opportunity to be the first to partake in this experience with us. Patrick, the zealous pumpkin carver he is, bought a rather large pumpkin, which made the cleaning out quite a task. Bailey had his share of pumpkin himself, being that he licked our arms or hands with every attempt to clean out the gunk (yes, that is a word) in the pumpkin. By the way, have you ever felt that stuff? Wow. After I did the cleaning, Patrick did the carving. Because Harrison takes this very seriously, he provided the carving kit, which came with numerous options for the face of the pumpkin. We went easy on Patrick since this was his first carving and picked an easier face. He did a great job! He carved meticulously with precision and accuracy. We topped off the night with homemade caramel apples. Geez oh Pete. They were fabulous. A little hard on the TMJ, but fabulous. It was a great night and I look forward to doing it for years to come.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

UPDATE--I'm Lame

I am lame. The last two weeks have been a whirl wind, and I can't believe it has been so long since I have posted. It won't happen again. I am still committed to posting two times a week, and this post can count for last week. I will use this post to fill you guys in on what has been going on here and then I will post some fun pictures tomorrow of our pumpkin carving last night. I am also going to be posting some updated pictures of our place, which I hope can give you a better idea of it's layout....and size.

First things first--I have "unofficially" passed the Basic Skills test in California. YEAH! I say "unofficially" because the scores were sent via email and the "official" scores will come in the mail. This means that I can now begin to sub in the public school system....which opens up a can of questions. One of those questions is: How long do I substitute teach without a job offer, before I just get another job that allows us consistent income? We are bouncing around ideas about how to work toward the long-term goal (my being a professor of education) while still achieving the short term goal (saving my income for a down payment on a house that will allow me to stay at home with our future children). I am going to be applying for adjunct professor jobs in the area, as well as some PhD programs. We will see what happens.

Patrick is loving his job. He was a little overwhelmed last week, as he had three speaking engagements to prepare for, as well as his first Hebrew test. This week (today actually) he is sitting on a panel with pastors at the church to answer different questions the church members sent in. Patrick is answering "Why does a loving God send people to hell?" Intriguing. There are some other great questions and answers by the other pastors on staff too!

We will be having our first REFUGE tomorrow night. REFUGE is a college gathering we have once a month to study in-depth and prepare to practice spiritual disciplines. We are extremely excited about the first REFUGE and can't wait to see what God has in store for the College ministry at CCV. Lastly, Patrick will be speaking for the first time at the College/Young Adults service in a couple of weeks. Please be praying that the Holy Spirit will guide him as he prepares for that.

So, there is a quick update about how things are going here. I will be posting at least two more posts this week and I will not ever go two weeks without posting again. Love you all.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Annual Testing of the Mitchell Marriage

There comes a time every fall when true love is tested. Two universities, both committed to excellence in the classroom (though one more than the other) and both committed to excellence on the football field--two traditions that maintain immense respect for themselves and one another. And yet on this single day, although all energy and effort will be left on the field, only one will leave the field victorious.

And so it was on this fateful fall day, when the University of Tennessee entered into Sanford Stadium to challenge the Georgia Bulldogs between the hedges. What was at stake? Glory, bragging rights, pride...and yes, the relationship of a blonde Georgia native and her Tennessee bred husband. Would the clash between their respective schools (though neither attended either) be a peaceable day, or would it be one of hard feelings and hateful glances?

Let's be honest--Tennessee isn't having their best year. In support of UGA making it to Atlanta for the SEC championship, and hopefully the national championship, Patrick--my beloved husband--secretly cheered on the Dawgs. I assured him it wasn't betrayal. And so, there was no hatred, no harsh words, only gasps and cheers. Rest assured, Patrick wasn't pleased with Tennessee's play, but how can you not pull for Mark Richt?

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Tribute to Elisabeth Elliot

As I returned to scripture today after a long hiatus, I was reminded of God's faithfulness, specifically in the times when things have been uncertain and uncomfortable. I found myself looking back at old journal entries and being amazed at how much God has carried me through. I was reminded, as well, of the faithfulness of Elisabeth Elliot. I remember praying for just half of Elisabeth Elliot's strength and faithfulness.

The first book of hers I read was "Passion and Purity" and it changed me. For those of you who have not been privileged to hear her story, it is one worth reading about. The book is centered around her journals and struggles during her courtship with Jim Elliot. It was a long courtship, full of waiting, uncertainty and many difficult emotions. When I read her journal entries included in the book, I was overtaken by unbelief. She was incredibly willing to do the hard thing. To wait. To yield. To die to herself....sometimes many times a day.

This book has a different meaning to me as a married woman than it did when I was young and single. I do, however, still have moments of waiting and opportunities to yield to Christ and die to myself each day. It sometimes seems that I am actually given more opportunities to do this as a married woman than I was as a single woman, with no one else to put before myself. Everyday I face "little deaths" when I am given the chance to say no to myself and yes to God. These opportunities show up in all shapes and sizes. They can be obvious or go unnoticed. They can involve others or remain between God and myself. They can involve the way I spend my money, what I am entertained by, my attitude, the way I speak to my husband, the way I spend my time and energy, and sometimes they can even involve what I eat. Every struggle must be offered up. It takes faith to die these little deaths--faith to believe that I must die in order to live.

"It takes faith to live by it, faith to act on it, faith to keep looking at the joyful end of it all." Elisabeth Elliot

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Here Comes the Weekend

I love Fridays. After a long week of keeping fourteen five year olds under control while using various pedagogical techniques to teach them phonemic awareness and mathematical processing, the weekend looks really nice (aren't you impressed that I can still use the big words I learned in my education classes?!). This week has been one of those weeks where I find the concepts I am teaching to be so basic, that they are extremely difficult to teach. For instance, there are moments in the my teaching vocation, where I just simply can't come up with any other way to teach position words, letters or numbers. I come up with a million creative ways to teach it, but there is always a student who struggles with these basic concepts. That is why I love Fridays. Fridays bring forth the weekend, which provides me an opportunity to regroup and come back in on Monday with the motivation it takes to create and try one more creative method to teach the basic concepts. With that being said, we have a full weekend ahead. Tomorrow night Patrick and I are heading to Santa Monica to check out the Third Street Promenade, maybe the Santa Monica Pier or even a blues club I've scoped out. I am so excited about finally getting out and doing something after a month of "getting settled." Saturday morning I am rising early to head a few cities east to take the California Basic Education Skills Test, which is required to work in the public school system. I am currently at Classic Coffee in Glendora, which is one of my favorite quaint little towns. I came to study while Patrick is in class, but needed to take a break from fractions. If I can get past fractions and pass (and let's hope I do), I will be able to at least sub in the public schools come November when I am jobless once more. PAUSE-I just got kicked out of the coffee shop because they closed and am now sitting on a bench with no one in sight, waiting on Patrick to come get me. Awkward. I'm glad I have some battery on my computer and free WiFi. Lastly, the "new" college/young adults service starts up this weekend. I say "new" because we are essentially moving the service from Tuesday nights to Sunday nights, but it is going to be great! Have a great weekend!