When I moved to Vermont I came totally expecting to experience my first real winter. I know that fun surprise is still coming in a couple months but one thing I never thought I would have to deal with when coming to the Northeast was hurricanes!
This weekend hurricane now tropical storm Irene, decided to make me feel like I right back at home in Florida where hurricanes are a normal part of life. How considerate of her. A little wind and rain is fine but I was totally bummed out when I got an email from the race director of the Race to the Top of Vermont (running up Mt. Mansfield, VT's highest peak) on Thursday evening saying they had decided to move the race I was entered in from Sunday to Saturday to avoid having to cancel it all together. I understand the reasoning behind it but it was still really disappointing to find that out.
Even though the weather changed my plans to run up Vermont's highest mountain on Sunday it at least opened the opportunity to spend part of the weekend with my good friend and fellow Vermonter, Temple! After church on Sabbath we went on a nice hike up a mountain called Camels Hump. It was a great climb with amazing 360 views of the NY Adirondacks and Lake Champlain, Mt. Mansfield, and Canada. The hike was followed by a terrifically fun evening in Burlington eating good food followed by delicious Ben and Jerry's ice cream and finding dirt cheap books at a Borders bookstore that was closing down! 50-70% off of everything in the store!
It's now Sunday afternoon and the supposed "hurricane" is currently dumping lots of wind and rain which makes for great weather to get all my last minute school preparation done! I am looking forward to my first year of teaching. Preparing for this year has at times felt like riding out a hurricane. It's come with its ups and downs, "floods" of emotions and stress, anxiety over not really knowing if the teaching strategies and techniques I have learned in college will actually work with my students. Thank goodness I won't be weathering this first year teacher storm or any storm for that matter by myself! I am reminded that as long as I keep Jesus as the captain of my vessel I can smile at any storm I may encounter this year. So with that said, bring on the new school year and may God be with me every single step of the way!
Vermont is a neat place! I have been here about a week now and already I can tell I will never be able to run all the amazing trails that are around here! For now I am living in a farm house about 15 minutes from school in a small country town called Graniteville. I love living in the country and have plenty of company around here in the form of 4 horses, 10 hens, 8 Long-haired Chihuahuas,and too many cats :-)
If you didn't guess by the name, Vermont has a ton of granite! In fact this area is the granite capital of the world! So if you ever need nice rocks come on up for a visit! Speaking of amazing trails I discovered that my back yard is home to miles and miles of awesome snowmobile paths that just so happen to be very easy to get turned around on. Getting lost is part of the adventure Right?! I love how quaint it is here. Small general stores all over the place, gardens, bike paths, and parks galore!
School preparation is going pretty well! I still have lots of work to get done before school starts August 29 but I can see the light at the end of summers tunnel! The classes I will be teaching are small but I am looking forward to teaching a Vermont worthy curriculum, especially in PE! Teacher dedication was this last Sabbath at church which was really special. After church I met Gary, a very accomplished 82 year old marathon runner! It was really neat to hear some of his stories and experiences! I will do my best to write more about him later!
I am really excited to see what adventures God has in store for me in my first year of teaching! I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous or scared about being somewhere completely new and outside of my comfort zone, let alone being responsible
for helping to mold something of pretty high value; a child's education! Thankfully though I serve a pretty awesome God who knows just how to cure an apprehensive mind!
I pray that I will always seek HIS strength and wisdom and allow HIM to work through me each and every day, through the good times and the bad!
I have really come to appreciate the gift we as human beings have to incorporate the beauty of music into worship. Although I don't consider myself musically "in tune" whatsoever I love, love LOVE the pure simplicity and wonderfulness of singing a sacred hymn or scripture song with a group or by myself whether that be on top of a mountain, in the car, or anywhere where I can be in the presence of God. Since I don't read music I am very often attracted to a particular song because of the tune or beat. Besides singing the words of a hymn I think one can get a blessing out of a song by simply reading the words to a song or scripture verse. Because of a SONS OF KORAH scripture song (Psalms 37, Shine like the dawn), there is one particular Psalm I have really come to like. I listened to this song over and over because of the catchy tune but then stopped one day and read the actual verses in the bible and it made what I was listening to all the more meaningful! Psalms 37:1-6 states:
1 Do not fret because of evil men
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
I was browsing around looking for more meaning behind this particular section of Psalms 37 and found this websites dissection of Psalms 37 Interpret it as you may.
Q: In Ps 37:3-5, what is the difference between trusting in the Lord, delighting in the Lord, and committing your way to the Lord?
A: We are to do all three, but sometimes believers do only one or two.
Trusting in the Lord means to have faith to believe what He says, the peace to know that you are in God's hand, and the courage to stand for what is right and against what is wrong. It does not necessarily mean you have any joy in the Lord or that you are trying to please and obey Him. Psalm 62 is a beautiful description of trusting in the Lord.
Delighting in the Lord means that your life is one of rejoicing with praise to God. It does not necessarily mean you know Him deeply or obey Him very well.
Committing your way to the Lord means to follow what God says and not do what God forbids, to have an attitude of obedience. Obedience can be only out of duty, and not necessarily out of much love or springing from faith.
Each one is important for us to do, without neglecting the others