Wednesday, February 15, 2006

1 Corinthians 13 (The Message)

The Way of Love
1If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

2If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing.

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
5Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
6Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
7Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
8Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit.

9We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete.
10But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
11When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
12We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Monday, February 13, 2006

How I celebrated my birthday...

* On Friday the 10th, my parents and brother called from Kunming, China and wished me a happy birthday on the speaker phone :).

* On Saturday morning I got to sleep in. Then, I checked my email and got a few more birthday wishes. I did a few things around the house but mostly enjoyed the sunshine and the day to relax.

* My Farmor and Farfar Stokland came down to Lacombe for birthday lunch. Marco made soup and sandwhich fixings. For dessert we had homemade coconut cake that Farmor brought with fresh strawberries, whipped cream, and coffee. It was wonderful! After lunch, we drove around Lacombe to show my grandparents a bit more of where we live. At about 3pm they headed back to Edmonton.

* For my birthday, Marco gave me a card and a Starbucks Coffee gift card that said "to help you unwind in the days and weeks ahead in kindergarten." This was my first birthday since we've been married so it was special to spend all day with him.

* Then Marco and I went into Red Deer to meet my Aunt Laurie, Uncle Gary, JD, and Amy. One of their gifts to me was tickets to the Red Deer Rebels WHL hockey game. It was a great game...the Rebels won 2-1 in the last minute.

* After the game we went to Moxies for drinks and birthday dessert. I had a Hawaiian Hunny margarita and the Banana Carmal Xango: "Creamy. Light banana cheesecake wrapped in a pastry tortilla. Dusted with cinnamon-sugar and served with warm caramel, ribbons of chocolate and French vanilla ice cream." So yummy!

* My sister Erika and boyfriend Arden were waiting for us at Moxies. They had driven down from Edmonton after work to help me celebrate. It was supposed to be a surprise, but even though they were very stealthy, their cover was blown half way through the day. It didn't bother me at all because I was glad I could spend the day with part of my family. I couldn't stop smiling.

* Erika and Arden spent the night at our house. It was a good visit but too short. They left Sunday morning after breakfast.

And that is how I spent my 24th birthday!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Here is an email I sent to family and friends this week that I thought I would share here too :)!

Well, the last few days have felt like a whirlwind of excitement and nervous anticipation. Last Friday (February 3rd) I had an interview at Iron Ridge Elementary School in Blackfalds, AB for a part-time position teaching kindergarten. The interview went very well! I understood all the questions and felt I was able to answer them confidently. The principals were impressed that I supported my answers with lots of examples from my practicum and substitute teaching. At the end of the interview, they explained that they had narrowed it down to myself and one other candidate. Before they could make the final decision they need to see me teach.

I was back at the school on Monday afternoon (February 6th) subbing in the kindergarten room and so I prepared to teach a Math lesson. That day I could see God working in so many ways--their were only 17 kids instead of 23, some of the kids had colds and so instead of "acting out" listened very well, the kids weren't distracted by the principal being there, and instead of scrambling my words when I know I someone is watching me teach, I was able to speak clearly. My hands and voice didn't even shake!

Wednesday (February 8th) I got a phone call at 8 am. I recognized the number from the school and knew it was the principal. She offered me the position and wanted to know if I would accept it. My hands and voice were shaking at this point. I asked if I could have one more day to think about it (a.k.a. phone Marco and let him know about the offer). After talking with Marco that morning we knew it was God directing our steps. I phoned the principal back at 10:30 am and accepted the position. It isn't official yet but I like saying that I am a soon-to-be-part-time-kindergarten-teacher :)!

Right now, I am so thankful for God's blessings! He is faithful!