Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So Easy, and So Hard

Today was one of those days where it was so easy for me to become extremely irritable, and so hard to snap out of it. Just the thought of forcing myself to "be nice" is wearing me out. I pity my family, students, and anyone who crosses my path, and yet, even though I know my attitude is sinful, I just can't seem to find release.

Jesus...help! I can't do this on my own...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Here We Go Again!

It's Monday after a long weekend...a weekend that provided NO rest. So, here I go with a long Monday...preparing for programs at 3 schools; a likely staff meeting, an early leaders' meeting, and Bible Study tonight.

I'm praying for endurance, patience, and a lot of GRACE today. I know that I can't do it, but Christ can.

Can I get an AMEN!?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gretna Singing Christmas Tree

This afternoon was the final performance of the inaugural season with the Gretna Singing Christmas Tree.

Last August, I sat with three of my friends and listened to over 40 students audition to be part of this endeavor. We ended our season with 35 second through fourth graders. They memorized 23 songs, plus choreography. In addition to the great music, a very sweet drama took place, sharing the Christmas story straight from the Bible.

I have had the privilege of sitting in on rehearsals with these kids every Sunday since Labor Day. This week held 4 rehearsals and 4 performances. Needless to say, I'm tired.

But I want to reflect just a bit. I had 11 kiddos in my small group. During every rehearsal, we broke into our small groups to look at the Bible (thanks to a local church, all participants were given their own Bibles!) and discover the Christmas truths we were singing about. One day in October, my group was looking at John 3:16. Several of the kids were sharing all the good things they did (reading their Bibles, saying their prayers, going to church, etc.) Not one of these students seemed to realize that they didn't need to do a single thing to get to heaven. Jesus had already done the work for them. When I explained this to the students, a collective gasp went through my group as the simple Gospel message went straight to their hearts.

Today, sweet Isabella gave me a little card and told me that she wants to be an accompanist when she grows up. Another young man gave me a hand-crayoned card that said: "Merry Crismas! From Jonah. Thank you four accompanisting us. I know your hands got tirde Mrs. Alaina. Your welkom to have a rest Mrs. Alaina"

You know, I'm exhausted, and this commitment has at times been hard to keep, but I see the eternal value in saying yes to something outside my comfort zone. Dan has likewise been involved as one of the sound and light technicians. He asked me last night if we could do this again next year. Right now, I'm leaning toward a really big yes.

But first, I'm going to get some sleep!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Eatin' Some Bison

My late Aunt Sharon had a great tradition every year on the day after Thanksgiving.

After today, the tradition ends...

As Nebraska and Colorado both leave the Big XII conference at the end of the season, the post-Thanksgiving rivalry will end.

So, in honor of Aunt Sharon, we're enjoying some Buffalo Chili for dinner!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey's in the oven, Dan's parents are almost here, and the house is as clean as it's going to get.

So, I have a minute to sit down and wish my friends and family a happy Thanksgiving. This has been a tough fall, with a lot of adjustments to our family. To be honest, a heart of gratitude is something I've really struggled with this year. But I'm so thankful that God understands, and that my situation isn't coming to Him as a surprise. I'm thankful that He continues to love me in my weakness and longs to shape my heart and attitude so they conform more to His will. I'm incredibly grateful to my patient husband who has stepped up and picked up a lot of the pieces that I simply can't keep up with anymore. I'm thankful for Dan's family and my own who find practical ways to help and encourage us.

But most of all, I'm so incredibly thankful for Christ and His sacrificial love for me.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ah! Politics...

You know, November is a polarizing month in the United States. I was hoping some of the hooplah over the elections would have died down by now.

What really surprises is me is what it has done to some of my friends. You know, I really do have a lot of friends (A LOT!!!!) who disagree with me politically. I know it, they know it, and it really isn't an issue (usually). In fact, it's pretty much a non-issue as (I thought) we just agree to disagree and focus on what we have in common. I respect their rights to their opinions and (I hope) they respect my right to mine. Isn't that what makes America so unique?

Well, I must say, I have been surprised by some of the hateful comments my friends have posted on Facebook this month. Not necessarily directed to me, but I certainly fall under the scope of their comments. I have been called an idiot (i.e. "The idiots have spoken"). I have been called ignorant. I have been called all sorts of names that these friends wouldn't say to my face, but seem to have no problem saying as a generality in a public forum.

I know that elections haven't always gone the way I would have preferred, but I know that our government is in the hands of God...nothing happens that comes as a surprise to him. Thus, I never get all that worked up over elections that may or may not go "my" way. But, I would never make public statements about people being idiots just because they don't agree with me.

What makes this even sadder to me is that most of these comments are coming from people who claim God as their Savior (I'm not saying that He's not, but the comments, attitudes, etc., don't really seem to be reflecting God.)

Just my $.02 worth...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Semper Fi!

A huge thank you to my dad and other Marines who valiantly fight to protect our freedoms as Americans.

Semper Fi, and Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

From the Heart of a Child

Dinner conversation at Panda Express was about Orphan Sunday tomorrow:

Dayna~What's an orphan?

Mom~An orphan is a boy or a girl who doesn't have a mommy or a daddy.

Dayna~So was I an orphan?

Mom~You were, but you aren't anymore!

Dayna (to Dad)~Were you an orphan?

Dad~No, I wasn't an orphan.

Mom~Did you know that there are over 143 million orphans in the world? That's why we're telling people about it at church tomorrow.

Dayna~What can I do to help an orphan?

Mom and Dad share several ideas.

Dayna~Can we go buy some clothes now to send to Gutian (the orphanage where she once lived)?


Panda Express was conveniently located near Wal-Mart. A half hour later, we were walking out with warm clothes for older boys and girls, several pairs of thick socks, some fun baby toys and knit winter hats. We have to restrain Dayna from packing everything up tonight!

I'm so glad to see her generosity.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Presidential Proclamation

Whatever your political leaning, this is pretty cool.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nana Time

Dayna's Nana is teaching her embroidery this week. Dayna's working on a little bluebird. I'm sitting in the next room listening to them. Nana has taught Dayna how to do a backstitch around the edge of the blue, and she has promised to teach Dayna how to do a satin stitch if they get to the beak. Dayna's response: "Oh, I hope we get to the beak soon!" What fun memories!

Her stitches are remarkably even. Way to go, Dayna!