Wednesday, September 28, 2011

God moments...

The Lord knows that Middle Schoolers are VERY difficult to deal with. They act crazy and wild and they act like they hate you BUT the Lord knows this. He lets me see little things that no one thinks about and it encourages me.

See You At The Pole, one of the students who prayed in front of everyone is typically not paying attention and dosn't always seem to care *God moment*

One of the boys who hated my guts a year ago and wouldn't speak to any adult EVER came up to me tonight and asked what game we were playing and wanted to ACTUALLY PARTICIPATE in what we were doing AND he quoted a scripture from memory last week *God moment*

Another boy who acts like he doesn't like me and usually is disruptive at church not only showed up at the pole this morning, but he came up and gave me a hug (IN FRONT OF HIS SCHOOL FRIENDS) as if to say he appreciated the support. *God moment*

One of the "wild" boys (crazy, rambunctious, talks all the time, jumping over chairs, getting kicked out of class) who usually makes his teacher want to slap him, heard his teacher give a praise report about hs daughter and turned around, smiled at his teacher and gave him a high five and said congradulations *God Moment*

Honestly people the list could go on forever. Its really really really hard to see these good things the God is doing in the lives of these kids because Its not always a big dramatic change, BUT GOD IS MOVING, in His way, in HIS timing he is changing the hearts of these kids. He lets me see it so I want want to quit every time I catch them doing dumb jr high kid stuff. I LIVE for little *God moments* like these.

break time-part 1

Well step one of getting a break was a great success. I actually was not fully aware of exactly how much I needed a break from life until I got it. A very precious young man came and picked me up and took me out for dinner and a movie Saturday night. I was so nervous! HE was super super sweet and opened the car door and every other door we came across really lol. Anyways the movie was aweful (my fault since I picked it) but he was sweet about it and said he had a nice time anyways :)

 So there we go, nice night out.

Then there's Sunday. I was in a fabulous mood I was way more patient with the kids and I enjoyed them SO MUCH! I was like thank you JESUS! I was so relaxed and was just able to enjoy them. The same thing happened Sunday nigh- so I ask myself why the heck am I in such a good mood? Then it hits me, I had a few hours whee there was no stress. I didn't have to worry about driving and figuring out how to get there, I was not planning in my mind when I was gong to do homework, I wasn't brainstorming for a paper in my head, I wasn't working on my budget or grocery list, I wasn't trying to motivate myself to work out, I wasn't txt or talking to a student, I wasn't worried about what my family was doing or getting to the next job or babysitting or whatever! I actually was relaxed. It was SO NICE! To have someone who was paying attention to me and taking care of everything for me, SO GOOD! I had no idea that I was under so much stress until I got away from it for a few hours! So my new solution to stress is random little breaks from life. This "good mood" that has come out of the short little break is STILL GOING ON! Its Wednesday, the long tiring day. I enjoyed the kids, I was able to slow down enough to see each one of them and not just the group and I was able to talk with them-So to my sweet friend, Thanks

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Time's been ticking away...

As I was marking everything in my calendar yesterday I had to stop myself and say, "wow I'm really busy." It always seems that SOMETHING else gets added to every day no matter what day it is! So I thought I'd give you a little taste of today just as an example of how ridiculously full my life is.
 First off, I allowed myself to sleep until 8 for my sanity and the sanity of everyone I'll come into contact with today. So from 8 till about 9 I did homework and got my homework organized by priority and due date. Around 9 I had to shower and start getting dressed for work (at Crosby Middle School). 9:45-I'm out the door and headed to the church to input the attendance from last night and drop off some books for my Bible study later tonight. Around 10:10 I'll leave to go pick up Janna (A little girl I baby-sit for and pick up from daycare to help her mom and make a lil extra money) and drop her off at dance class. I have to be at Crosby Middle School to sub for Mr.Greer (science) until about 2:45. I blocked of time from 3 till 5 to spend with my friend Mary whom I have not spent time with in a million years. Then fro 5 till 6 Bible Study with a few of my students. 6:30 pick up Janna from daycare and take her home. 7 till around 8:30 is praise band practice, I sing on Sunday mornings occasionally when the regular singer is not able to make it. after that its do more homework and hopefully I can go to bed before 10. TOMORROW I'll have to do homework while watching my sweet babies Samuel (5) and Caroline (almost 2) and be at the church to help cook for the football team around noon then pick up Matthew (7) at 3:30 pick up Janna at 6:30 and take her home, with the other kids in tow. Then somehow figure out how to do the bleacher creature thing with Matthew while still watching the other two! Whew I'm tired just thinking about all of it! Anyways now you all know when I say I'm busy its really true...I have to set aside time for "fun" things or quality time with friends and then be strong and say no when-not if but WHEN other things try to come fill that time. Sigh well I've already wasted too much time blogging but ready or not its time to get going.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Break time already!

We are only about 5 weeks into the school year and I already need a break! With schoolwork and planning for youth mission trips this fall and girls retreat in the spring PLUS working at least 3 jobs a week sometimes more I'm exhausted! I think maybe its wearing on me sooner because I didn't get much of a break at the end of summer. Last year I was able to go to college week at Glorietta

It was an amazing time of rest and spiritual renewal. I spent a LOT of time in the prayer garden :)
This year instead of Glorietta I was taking summer classes(not fun). It paid off and that's one more science down and three more to go (yuck). However this lack of a break from the precious children has left me a little more impatient than usual and less understanding and well as the kids tell me too much Mike not enough Kathy (those of you who know my parents know what I'm talking about). SO Hence Operation break time! This weekend I'm going to go see a movie (not with a teenager) with someone a little closer to my age who has no drama and I am going to turn my phone off-yes OFF every night at 8:30! then of course there is the long awaited Youth Ministry Conclave coming up in October. 

Conclave is a big 3 day conference for youth ministers or any adult that works with youth. They have sessions based on all kinds of things. Vendors with lots of resources (and free stuff). Best thing is being able to connect with other youth ministers and fellowship with them. A lot of great ideas come from conversations with other youth leaders. PLUS added bonus, this year Mike Satterfield will be there (LOVE HIM!) and as always p2p. It will be sad because Bro Jeff will not be able to go this year to introduce me to everyone since he does in fact know EVERYONE. I know people now though since I've been doing this almost 3 years now and so hopefully I don't look like the random person who is alone that no one talks too-whatever I love conclave so I'm going and I get to miss a day of class!I'm sure the one follower I have has now abandoned me because of my rants about needing a break from life but oh well! 

What kinds of things do you need a break from? 
do you do to get away from life?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

God moments..

The Lord speaks in so many ways but one of them for me is simply watching the normal youth activities on this normal Sunday night. For some reason tonight the Lord showed me students who are making progress and are excited to learn and to share their faith. Its hard to explain but its sorta like He just kinda set my up in His lap and let me watch the little ones through His eyes. Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen. Isaiah 32:3 Sometimes I get so caught up in planning and organizing and trouble shooting that I overlook whats actually going on. Tonight the Lord slowed me down enough to see.

What is this "normal" Sunday night schedule??
Well at 4 we have praise band practice. I take care of Jr. High praise band tonight only 1 out of 4 of the students showed up and I began to get discouraged but the Lord turned it around and the time was great because that ONE student was able to get some one on one time with me ad some good practice time all to herself.
Then at 5 we have FAITH 101 or Youth FAITH. Sometimes this can be discouraging when the students have not followed through with their plans to talk to different people at different times during the week and we did have a few of those BUT I was encouraged and excited because after I collected the cards I found that a group that had been struggling had actually shared with someone! (baby steps)
Last but never least at 6 we have our Ambassador discipleship training. This train is split into levels or "tiers" and once you complete the first tier you are then asked to teach the tier you just completed to someone else while you are going through the second tier. I love this program because its very basic material and the students are being trained to not only evangelize but to DISCIPLE their friends. after all Jesus did say, Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:19

So that is a typical Sunday night in the youth department and it also happens to be one way God speaks to me :)

Adventures in Galveston

Well Crosby had a bi week meaning no football game. I took this as the perfect opportunity to have a little beach retreat with some of our girls in the youth group. I spent lots of time and going back and forth between different places to stay and to eat and how much it would cost and FINALLY camp up with this: Laquinta on the sea wall that had breakfast included and a pool we could stay in all night as long as we didn't disturb anyone, Beach time the next morning, then lunch at "The Spot" before we headed home. All this for $40 per person.

The Journey
 We left the church by 5pm Friday, didn't get to the hotel until probably 7pm(no I didn't get lost) traffic on 45 at 5pm is awful. The girls were troopers in the traffic, they listened to their ipods and talked and cracked me up the whole time.
Bible Study
We did a Bible Study Friday night and they did good, most of them had brought their Bibles and were willing to read and imput on discussion! Yay! The Saturday morning Bible study was lead by one of the girls! I love it! She did a fantastic job preparing and even though she was a little nervous she did a great job.
The Beach
The beach apparently wasn't as fun as I thought because after about an hour and a half most of the girls were ready to leave-crazy teenagers. SO they decided instead of simply wrinsing off in the little outdoor showers they would shampoo and condition their hair in the little outdoor showers-Katie and I sat and watched them and It was hillarious since most of the showers were shorter than the girls.
The End
So after the beach we headed to "The Spot," a burger place on the seawall. Everyone found something they liked and after that we headed home. It was slightly uneventful but the girls seemed to have a good time and we all made it back in one piece AND under budget!

After writing all this I realized a good blogger would have taken a picture to go with each thing, I really should've taken a picture of them washing their hair in their swim shirts outside ha priceless. Oh well I did manage to remember to take a few pictures at "The Spot" so here they are...

note to self...remember to take more pictures

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

God's perfect timing.

Well I've done this blogging thing before but its been so long I can't even remember which email address I used to login to the blogger thing!

 often find myself stuck by the reality of how good God is. I don't know if I should just know it all the time but sometimes I have little "God Moments" when the Lord does sweet little things for me and I become once again overwhelemed with joy and gratfulness to Him for just being who He is in my life.

My life has been a crazy rollercoster ride of twists and turns and loops and its insaine. It starts before I was born. My mother was told she would never have children and ten years later the Lord blessed my parents with ME! Then my brother two years after that. God knew my parents would be parents but only in HIS timing. The next part is apparently when I was born I almost didn't make it (so I'm told). Then when I was ooohhh 18months old I clibmed out of my crip and popped the top on my moms anti-sezure meds and downed the bottle and went back to bed. My parents found my stiff in my bed in the middle of the night. I shouldv'e died then but the Lord saved me. My parents said the doctors really thought I would at least have permanent liver damage from all the medication that had gone into my system. I went for several months to follow up visits to check my liver and then they realized there was no permanent damage and I don't remember EVER going to the doctor for ANYTHING related to that incident. Now i've definantly gotten hurt many times over the years since then (mostly because I'm clumsy) but never top the extent that I felt my life was in danger. Other than some car accidents as a kid that my parents told me we shouldv'e been seriously injured from. I give you all this information so that you will realize why I am today doing what I'm doing. My parents have told me my entire life that I was their miracle child and that God had a special plan for me, partly they said because, "the devil kept trying to take you out"-dad. So of course hearing this my entire life I believed it. I came to know the Lord at VBS when I was like 6 and always thought that God had some great plan for me. Over a series of ups and downs in my life I've come to realize I was right as were my parents. Not because I'm special, but because HE is special. He came so the sinful, unclean person that is Amanda Cross could be used to further His kingdom. So the more I sought the Lord He moved me around a little her and there and has brought me to First Baptist Church Crosby. I am the Youth Associate working with girls and with Jr.High students. In all the ups and downs of life I've learned that I'm not always right, in fact I'm rareley ever right. God is always right and HIS timing is perfect. He will let me know what the plan is when I need to know. I'm not in control, I'm simply following directions...Following in Faith