Wednesday, August 31, 2011

bulldawg #2 in the Miller house!





As of August 30, 2011, Lauren Kristin Miller joined the Bulldog Nation. She will be transferring in the spring of 2012 to pursue a degree in Fashion Merchandising in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. I knew this day would come, and I could not be more proud. Congrats, baby Lauren.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

hope


Verse 1:
When I call on Your name You answer
When I fall You are there by my side
You delivered me out of darkness
Now I stand in the hope of new life.

Pre-Chorus:
By grace I'm free
You've rescued me
All I am is Yours

Chorus:
I've found a love greater than life itself
I've found a hope stronger and nothing compares
I once was lost now I'm alive in You

Verse 2:
You're my God and my firm foundation
It is You whom I'll trust at all times
I give glory and praise, adoration
To my Saviour who's seated on high

Bridge:
Love came down and rescued me
I thank You, I thank You
I once was blind but now I see
I see You, I see You

The Bachelorette Pad

As promised, here are some pictures of my bachelorette pad. :)

I am still making little changes and improvements as time goes on. Hope you like it! I feel quite homey and cozy here. 

The "front door" is really on the side. :)





I love my quilt!

Closet/sitting area in the bedroom.

Dresser and bookshelf that I thought I would not be able to fill...

Gotta rep UGA and my TOMS

All my race numbers :) Hebrews 12:1-2

Christmas lights= ultimate cheap decor option

Don't you love the mismatched cabinetry? ;)

Couch in the living room/kitchen

Thursday, August 25, 2011

fall

My parents will be here in exactly two weeks. I am beyond excited. In other news, I am extremely ready for fall and would like to protest the heat. Praise the Lord that as I write this the scent of rain is wafting through my window and the sound of raindrops is lulling me to an earlier bedtime...mmm I love rain.

Let us now fear the LORD our God,
Who gives rain in its season,
Both the autumn rain and the spring rain,
Who keeps for us
The appointed weeks of the harvest.
-Jeremiah 5:24



Sunday, August 21, 2011

holy

This morning I was reading in Romans, and I was in chapter 7, where Paul is talking about his struggle with sin and how he constantly goes back and forth between doing what he wants to do and doing what he should do in order to please the Lord. And the song "Holy" by Jesus Culture popped into my head. I just thought about how God is holy, perfect, blameless. He is good. He is eternal. But most of all He is holy. Set apart and without blemish or imperfection. Holy.

So this morning after walking the dog, I came back and put that song on and listened to it as I got ready for church. I love the simplicity of the lyrics:

And only one word comes to mind
There's only one word to describe
Holy, holy, Lord God almighty


There is no one like You
You are holy, holy

So this morning in church, worship was good as usual, but then our leader Winston started playing a song on his guitar that sounded much like the one I had been singing all morning. Holy. I thought to myself, no way. There was a new introduction that I had not heard before; it spoke of what it will be like in heaven when we are all casting our crowns at His feet. Mmmm what a sweet image. That thought took me back to my discussion of heaven with the kiddos this week. Good memories.We haven't done this song before and there isn't a Spanish version that I know of. But we sang it. I love hearing the voices of my church family lifted high in both Spanish and English. I love hearing people sing like they mean it.


Una palabra te describirá 
Solo una palabra puedo expresar
Santo, santo Dios poderoso

No hay nadie como Tu
Tu eres santo
 
I was just so overwhelmed by the Father's love for me this morning. We all go around saying that we know God loves us and that He cares for us, but it is so meaningful when He shows us in a deeply intimate way that He cares for us. Worship was wonderful this morning, and it lifted my countenance for the entire day. I love Him. He is way too good to me.



Saturday, August 20, 2011

first week of school

Well, aside from a turtle escape and soda explosion, the first week of school went off without a hitch!
Seriously though, things are off to a good start at Colegio Binimea this year. We are under new leadership as our principal and his family are on furlough this year, and we welcomed a new couple to the field, whose last name is also Miller. So now we have Miss Miller, Mr. Miller, and Mrs. Miller. Nate is teaching in the junior high and high school, and Megan is due to have a baby next month! Things are different this year, as the fifth graders and I are alone in the mornings while my colleague Walt takes the sixth graders. When the sixth graders come in halfway through the morning, we have a full class with thirteen students. I have all of the same kids from last year plus two new students. Much to the girls' dismay, the boys outnumber them. However, the kids are the same from last year; they are full of energy and eager to talk talk talk. 

This week we had some interesting discussions, including one about heaven and the fact that God has no beginning nor end. We all erupted into laughter when one girl said, "If God didn't exist, that would be so weird. You would be a...a NOTHING!" Maybe you had to be there but we died laughing. It was such a privilege to get a glimpse into their little minds as we dreamed and imagined about heaven together. If I end up teaching in the public school I know that I will miss these discussions. They are so precious to me.

I have made a goal to be a more reflective teacher this year. After hearing about and taking part in an exorbitant amount of reflection through my time at UGA, I, along with the thirty other girls in my cluster, had grown to hate the word reflection. It had really become like a four-letter word. However, I recognize the importance of reflection upon the days; the practice is a valuable one for any teacher who truly seeks to improve the ways in which she serves and relates to her students. So what I have tried to do is sit down after the kids are gone and write about the day. I do not have a particular formula per se, but I try to think about what made me happy, sad, or upset during the way and how I reacted (or responded) to certain situations. Hopefully I will learn from each day and teach differently because of it. I'm hoping that I can be a better teacher as a result.

I love just talking with my kids about life and hearing their thoughts about things. How fun school would be if I did not have to teach them anything! Just kidding...but seriously. They are quite intelligent these kiddos. In the spring, the whole school had a week of Stanford testing. I was so nervous about messing something up and somehow skewing the results of my kids. Actually I was afraid that they had not learned what they needed to know in order to do well. During our teacher inservice week, we got the opportunity to take a look at our class results, and I was very pleasantly surprised. My kids did phenomenal work! Several of them scored above their grade level in various subjects, and they all showed that they are intelligent children. It definitely had nothing to do with me.

On Monday night, we had our first Parent Teacher Fellowship (PTF) of the year. One of my kid's moms told me that her daughter actually liked school for the first time last year. She said that last year was the first time she did not cry and want to stay home with her mom. That meant so much to me; I had a lump in my throat as she spoke such sweet words to me. I have to say that it is not about me, though. The Lord brought me here for a purpose, and I am just honored to be a part of what He is doing here.

In other news, I spent the morning on skype with two of my closest friends from home, Katie and Haley. They live together, and we went from making and eating breakfast to beginning the preparations for lunch. I am so grateful for the friends God has blessed me with; I do not know how I would get through this life without them!

Haley, Katie and I at a NeedtoBreathe concert in ATL. Goood memories. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

the little things

I know that it may not seem like that big of a deal, but after coming from Athens Clarke County schools, which are technology-driven, to a small mission school, a projector is a big deal. Last year I did not have wireless internet in my classroom until November. The only white boards we used were personal sized at the back table. There was no overhead projector, no SmartBoard or ELMO document reader. Just the chalkboards and the kids crowded around my laptop when we wanted to watch a video. But this, my friends, is a huge leap. A projector. That lives in my room. Words cannot describe my happiness. Already we have gotten a big kick out of using the projector this week; we've watched BrainPOP! videos, youtube clips, and seen Power Point presentations. This is the start of a very good relationship.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

one of those days


Today is one of those days where I am going to curl up with a good book, watch a movie, light a candle, and drink a few cups of tea. You know why? Because it is raining. And it has been since this morning around 1:00 AM. And I am so grateful for that. Tomorrow is the first day of school, so even though I didn't need any motivation to lounge around the house all day after church, now I am truly inspired. Thank You, Lord.

You sent abundant rain, O God,
      to refresh the weary land.
-Psalm 68:9

Friday, August 12, 2011

brickyard beauty

This afternoon was my last afternoon at the brickyard for the summer, but hopefully I'll be able to get out there in a little while. This year my kids have Spanish/English class at the end of the day, which is when the brickyard team leaves, so I am hoping that I might be able to scoot out early one Friday a month and get back to my loves. Here are a few pictures from today. Most of them were taken by kids whom I let borrow camera, and they are not too shabby!

Sweet Maria Elena with a picture I gave her.

America, Aurelia, and Maria Elena

Ryan helping Jasmin.

Mother and daughter

Aurelia already learning how to mother.

Even the boys love the babies!

Playing outside

This photo is so precious to me.

Sweet sweet children.

Walking home after a great day.



rain

Things have been quite dry around Chihuahua this summer. While rainy season usually begins in July and lasts through with August, with downpours every afternoon that bring cooler weather, the rains have been few and far between this summer. Sometimes at night, I go to bed praying for rain. Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, I decided to read for a little bit, because it was thundering and I figured I couldn't get to sleep while it was thundering anyways. After I put my book down and turned out the lights, I fell asleep. About 30 minutes later, I awoke to the sound of more thunder and great flashes of lightning. Since I sleep under a window with metal bars, I figured I should move from my bed to the loveseat, which obviously is not as comfortable. We had lost electricity, so I sat in the darkness with the light of my cell phone flashlight and a candle reading my Bible to remind myself of God's great power and might, along with His faithfulness to take care of us.

As I sat there, I thought, "Well, I wanted it to rain, but I didn't want it to rain like this." This being in the middle of the night, where my sleep is interrupted and the power goes out and makes my house all stuffy and dark and scary. And an instant later, the Holy Spirit asked me, "Who are you to tell God what to do?!" I wanted to slap myself across the face. I mean, seriously, though. I go to bed praying for rain at night and then get upset when it does. How weak and insanely human am I?

The bottom line is, whether it rains or not, God is still on His throne. And He is going to keep doing things His way in His timing. And I need to rejoice in that and quit complaining when things do not go my way in my timing.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

video update #2

Here's a little video update to let you guys know what is going on. Hope you enjoy!
Also pictures of the new house will come soonish...while I am quite comfortable and settled in, I am still waiting on a few things to come from El Paso to make everything look just right.

video








Monday, August 8, 2011

one year.

I honestly cannot believe that I have been in Mexico for one year. Last week on August 3rd, I celebrated my one year anniversary with Chihuahua. It has been a good year. There are so many things I could tell you all about the things the Lord has shown me and the amazing ways in which He has proven Himself faithful over and over again. Instead of trying to recount every single lesson or give you one long-winded and disjointed post, I decided I would share with you my journal entry from August 3rd:

I cannot believe that today marks one whole year since I have lived in Mexico. How insane is that?! Wow, Lord when I think of where You have brought me from in this past year and all that You have taught me...thank You Lord. Thank You first of all for being my Lord. Thank You for never leaving or forsaking me. Thank You for always watching over me and protecting me. Thank you for leading and guiding me. Thank You for always providing for me. Thank You for never giving up on me. Thank You for Your patience with me. Thank You for being my best friend. Thank You for romancing me. Thank You for comforting me. Thank You for staying close by my side. Thank You for calming my fears.

Today, I am grateful for my Chiuahua/Mexican friends: Ju, Ale, Alex, Sergio, Rocio, Ana, Anahi, Rosy, Alma and Nena. I am grateful for a job and I am grateful for the opportunity to teach these kids and expand their worldview. I am grateful for more experienced teachers who can offer me advice and wisdom. I am grateful for my ten years of work to learn Spanish in school and through Juanes and People en Espanol. :) I am grateful for the provision and guidance of my parents, because without them I could not be here. I am grateful for my Mexican church home, Capilla Calvario, where I have been challenged and found genuine fellowship. I am thankful to the Raffertys, who have become my surrogate family on all holidays. I am grateful for my amazing support system back home -- so many people are praying for me and are so kind to invest in the Kingdom by giving to me and to the Lord. I am thankful to the myriad of women who have shaped me and made who I am today: my mom, Miss Carol, Jan Vaughan, Alison Blanton, Lindsay Sebesta, Carla Sibley, Kelly Whitehead, and Cortney Norris. Basically I am grateful for everything the Lord has allowed me to do and see at this point.

I remember feeling so brave at first when I told people that I was moving to Mexico. And then when the time came for the rubber to hit the road, I was somewhat petrified. When it hit me that this was to be my home for the next two years and I really was going to be here, I was somewhat disillusioned and freaked out, and suddenly two years seemed like forever. But alsas, one of those years has already flown by. I absolutely cannot tell you where the time went. I can't remember who, but while I was at home (oh it was Mark Antonuccio) said that it seems to take until forever to get to 21, and then once you hit 21, the time just flies. I couldn't agree more. I feel like my life is just running away from me, and at times I just want to press pause.

But as Sean said on Sunday, God is faithful. His promises are always true. And He always gives us exacltly what we need exactly when we need it. And right now at this very moment, I may not have every thing I have ever wanted, but I'm still living my dream. And I have every single thing I need for right now. 




Tuesday, August 2, 2011

a miracle

Hello friends, you may remember me mentioning my friend Jaci a little bit ago. On Monday, she and her family were involved in a serious accident. Somehow control of the car was lost, and they flipped five times. The people in the car were Jaci, her mom and dad (Nancy and Dorr), and her sister, Kelly, who is also pregnant. The baby is fine; praise the Lord! Each family member was hospitalized but has since been discharged. They are all pretty bruised up but doing well considering the circumstances. Please keep this sweet family in your prayers. Their car is totaled, so they will need a new vehicle. Also pray for healing--physically, emotionally, and spiritually. For more detailed updates and pictures, you can follow this blog: http://themeaghercovenant.blogspot.com. If you would like to give to the Grangers, you can donate here.

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
-Romans 8:38-39

Monday, August 1, 2011

must-read

I absolutely cannot wait to read this book. God is doing so much through the life of this one girl completely surrendered to Him.

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