Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tis the Season

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone, and Advent begins tomorrow! I truly love the season of Advent, though: four weeks of heart preparation for the coming of the Lord. What an awesome time of the year.

I especially love the dual meaning of it all. As we prepare to celebrate the Lord's birth, and the entire meaning of Christmas, it is with the privilege of knowing the entire story: He was born, He lived and taught, did incredible miracles, suffered and died on the cross, and rose from the dead--all for the love and salvation of mankind. So as "every heart prepares Him room," it is with the advantage of knowing the history of it all.

But there's the dual meaning I mentioned. For as we prepare for His coming, it is also with hearts full of the knowledge that He will indeed come again. His second Advent. The fulfillment. The completion of it all. There is so much unknown about that future day. But it is with great hope that we prepare and await that awesome Day.

May these weeks of preparation for Advent be times of drawing your heart closer to the Lord, and readying yourself for His coming: the celebration of His birth and the anticipation of His second Advent.

Meditate on this passage, and let the coming King work it into your heart, as you make your heart preparations! God bless!

"But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death."
I Corinthians 15:20-26, RSV

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I just wanted to take this quick chance to wish you all (in the U.S.) a wonderful Thanksgiving. I guess I missed Canada's...but hope you all had a wonderful one, too!

My family started this week with a bad case of the stomach flu...first me, then hubby, then, eventually both the boys. Ugh! But, thankfully, we're all on the mend. We're in Michigan visiting family now.

I hope you all have a wonderful day as you reminisce on all the goodness of God in your life!

"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." II Thessalonians 5:18

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Life Is Crazy!

This is pretty much what life feels like right now. Just trying to keep everyone happy and well-cared for, and keep it all in balance.

Work is going okay. I can't say it's something I want to do for the rest of my life, but it's a good job. I work with some really nice people, too.

The kids are doing okay. School is humming along. We've had some bumps along the way this semester, but overall all is well. Our oldest son is growing too tall, way too fast. He's about my height now!

Hubby is doing well, too...other than a nasty cold. We are making some progress in future plans, so I'll have to clue you in when I know more on that subject.

I do drop by your blogs from time to time, even though I'm not doing well with keeping new posts on my own.

Happy fall, friends!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Touching Lives

A friend from Kansas e-mailed the following to me. It was written by an educator in Kansas. It touched something deep within me. I felt I should share it with my blog readers.

This message far transcends any building or school district and it is about kids everywhere. This email was written by Bonner Springs High School Industrial Technology Instructor, Kris Munsch. A few years ago, Kris lost his son to a tragic car accident while he was still in high school. Kris shares his story of loss with an incredibly open heart and mind and he welcomes the discussion of his story in hopes that it can make a difference in this world. He sent this message after we finished Parent/Teacher Conferences. I have read it over and over and am moved every time I read it by the raw emotion and incredible resolve that Kris has demonstrated. I have told Kris that he should publish this but he is far too humble to do so. We are truly fortunate to have Kris here in our community and I feel blessed for the opportunity to know him.
Parent Teacher Conferences are over again, I am still at a loss at how fast time flies by being a teacher. I was disappointed by the numbers that I had but honestly it was better than last year, so I call it a win. I was disappointed that the parents I needed to talk to did not show and the parents that have kids that are doing well showed up. It all makes sense; I used to be one of those parents who did not show up, kind of strange. Now I am a teacher and see the light.

So you may be asking yourself, why am I sharing my thoughts with all of you, maybe I shouldn't, but I am. This morning I woke up and have been needing to take care of a few tasks I have been putting off, one of them was making a copy of my sons death certificate and moving the money I had saved for his college education to a fund that will help support a scholarship we give at Hays High School in his name. Doing this is hard, you spend your life looking out for your child, moving this money is like a closing chapter to Blake. It is very hard to do.

As I looked for the certificate in a large box of his things, I came across a notebook he used in school. I opened the cover and inside just his simple signature, honestly, the sight of it just made my stomach churn. I just wanted to bury my head and cry, the loss is unexplainable. As I continued to explore his notebook, I looked at some of his assignments that he had written, turned in and received his grade. Page after page, you could see he tried but his grade was marked with failure. 5/20, 7/25, 3/10, "Need more information", "Explain More", "-6", it went on and on. Blake was not the best student, as a matter of fact he really struggled. But as I read his words, he was trying, he was really doing what he could with what he had to work with.

As a parent, I failed him. I was the parent the teacher needed to see, but in my mind, I thought that if I had a bed for him to sleep in, computer, cell phone, X-Box, stereo system, etc, Blake needed to do the rest. Blake needed to do his part, but I failed to do mine as a parent. This morning I just lay on my living room floor, holding his notebook to my chest and cried for him and what I had failed to do. I know you can imagine the loss, it hurts so much more now that I realize this, we can become so blind.

So why am I sharing this with all of you? I don't want sympathy or hugs, I just want you all to realize that if a student is frustrating you or a parent is failing to understand your struggles, take a minute to consider that I had to lose mine to realize this. You may not reach that parent because they have not "seen the light". But I also want you to take a minute and realize that each and every student in your room is the opportunity to build a relationship, each and every paper you grade can be success or failure. Did they just not get it, did I not teach it well enough, did they just not care that day, do they care any days? Kids can drive you up a wall and back down the other side and many times, through the wall. Take a minute and build a relationship with them, maybe that is all it will take and it will spark something inside of them. It is not easy and it all takes time, but I want you to know that lying on my floor holding a notebook with my sons writing and my failure is not the answer either.

Each and every one of you can make a difference to a child, a parent, maybe if you build a relationship with a student it will help a parent "see the light". I share this today because knowing this myself and not sharing it is not building a relationship, it is not making a difference. I am glad that "seeing the light" is the easy part, being the "light keeper" is the battle. Build a relationship with a student, maybe the most difficult student you have, take a chance and give them the opportunity to "see the light". Then just maybe, they can go home and save a parent like me. Please share this with any teacher or parent you think will find benefit from my "seeing the light", if enough people can share this "twinkle of light", we have just created a "Relationship".

Kris G. Munsch
Instructor of Industrial Education
Bonner Springs High School
Bonner Springs, Ks.