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pictures for thoughts

these are my thoughts today. just did a lot of blog-reading and wow- people have a lot to say that is so valuable, informational, encouraging and inspiring. well guess what? yep. I was inspired to blog. I have not had a whole lot to say lately with all that is going on around me. but I found all of these photos at We Heart It. What a fun website! so here are a few of my thoughts today- in the middle of this crazy teaching journey, learning to love God through everything I do and in all that I am. 

I feel God’s love the most when I think about the freedom he has given us. The freedom to choose him, to bring all that we are before him, to be more vulnerable than with anyone else, freedom to make mistakes in front of him, freedom to either trust in His word or ourselves, reaping the consequences of either decision. Freedom in Christ is the result of His greatest sacrifice on the cross. and that is something we never deserved and still don’t deserve even today. but my response to freedom as I come to understand it more and more is true submission, excitement, and trust in what God is doing for me in the now and what he is doing to prepare me for the future. Because this world needs to best of me. It needs the best of you. People need to meet people with hope, love, grace, and truth that can be found nowhere else but in the loving arms of Jesus. Birds are a great example of freedom. and freedom is a beautiful portrayal of God’s love for us and how thoroughly he can be trusted.

I fell in love with this picture when I saw it. Ok, I didn’t fall in love. But I like this photo. A lot.  I really like my camera. Sometimes I feel like we make a great team. Other days I don’t like it so much, but unfortunately I can not blame anyone else except me for my poor photography skills in that moment. Nonetheless, I want to live each day with this thought: How can I capture life today? How can I capture the very essence of what today holds? Life is made up of precious moments that get passed by every single day. I don’t want to miss these. Ever. For example: today in class, one of my second graders read the line, ” She squeezes the eggs out of her body” in response to a book about butterflies when they lay their eggs. The rest of the story goes like this: the student stops after reading that and says, “Ew. That’s gross.” The teacher says, “Well that’s how all females lay their eggs. Frogs squeeze out hundreds of little eggs and chickens lay eggs.” Student says, “But ew. That’s gross. Does it just throw it up?” (teacher hesitates as to how far she should take the conversation) Saved by another student who says, “Well your mom squeezed you out of her body!!” -like duh! I literally had to walk away from the conversation so I didn’t die laughing in front of this student. What a precious moment. I walked to the back of the room and wrote the conversation down. One that I don’t want to forget. Each day has moments to capture: some can be taken with a camera and others can not. But in all circumstances, I want to capture life’s moments. And the day that gets to happen with someone else will be a great day. Meanwhile, I get to do it as I learn about who I am and the moments I want to capture in life.

I found this and a few amazing others at http://www.shineorset.com – a great blog that I came across today through a random series of clicks of my mouse. I feel like the self-interpretation of this is better than me sitting her and explaining it to you. But it is an encouragement to me. Women who follow Jesus are strong, they are adventurers, they are gracious, they learn from their past and they move forward into the future with smiles on their faces (Prov. 31). God gave me the dream and calling to be a teacher. In response, that is my greatest plan and goal right now. It is hard, really hard at times. It is exhausting and emotional. It is stretching and crazy too. But at every turn and challenge, I find complete sanity and comfort in Jesus. You will be a teacher, Ally. Well ok then, God. This is what you have called me to be. Therefore, I can not do this without you molding and shaping me into that teacher. When I changed my thoughts to look more like that instead of “oh my word, what did I get myself into?” I was filled with the peace and truth of the Lord. He leaves nothing undone, unfinished or unprotected. He will make me into a better teacher each and every day that I let him. But that takes surrender, awareness, and a genuine trust in his Spirit working in and through me. My job as a second grade student teacher right now is absolutely phenomenal. I could not love it more and I feel like I say that at the end of each day. What a blessing these children are. Every single one of them.

these are a few others that were posted on her blog. how amazing. how encouraging.

 coffee. conversation. community. comfort. cozy. casual. collaboration.

I love fall. I love the smells, the weather, the sounds, and the relationships that evolve as the holidays come around.

More than that, I love coffee. I love the conversation that is formed as two meet for coffee, coming together either for the first time or the hundredth time. I don’t know about you, but I know that laughter, tears, smiles, heartache, pain, triumph, forgiveness, honesty, vulnerability, endless stories, passions, and dreams have all been shared over these infamous coffee dates. I am headed to have  coffee with a new friend in a few minutes and I look forward to the stories that are shared, the differences and the similarities, in order to see how God works in every single person. So completely different. Each person has such a different story and they have been influenced by people, the church, communities, organizations, and Christ himself in endless ways. I love hearing about those ways because it shows how big the body of Christ is, the purpose of all of us, the need for each and every one of us, and the ways in which we can continue to create more opportunities to be Love to those who need it most.

pictures for thoughts. and lots of words for each picture 🙂 hope you can be encouraged today by a God who is crazy for you and who manifests himself in endless ways. specific to the particular needs of each of his children. that’s you. and that’s me. and God is there for our seeking and our devotion. he wants it all.

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes” (the message version)
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