“…a little bit of this, a little bit of that”

the ramblings and musings of an elementary music teacher and aunt extraordinaire

Thankful Thursday #7 May 31, 2007

Filed under: Thankful Thursday — marlise @ 1:42 pm

I Chronicles 16:34 (NASB)
“O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

It’s hard for me to know where to begin this week. Trials have hit hard in the last week, and it makes writing this list a little difficult. It’s not difficult because I’m not thankful. It’s difficult because God has so richly blessed with comfort and grace that I have trouble knowing where to begin.

1. First, I’m thankful that when my roommate received a phone call that her sister had been shot by her husband, I was there with her to drive her over to the house, to pray, and to call church and school people to have them join in praying for the family.

2. I’m thankful that even though the victim’s mother and sons (my roommate’s mother and nephews) were in the house and saw the shooting, they were not harmed at all.

3. I’m thankful that my roommate and I go to the same church and work at the same Christian school, so I knew who to call for prayer.

4. I’m thankful that those two little boys (nephews of my roommate and my students) have so many people who love them and can care for them. I’m also thankful that they have a loving Heavenly Father that can heal even this darkest of issues for them.

5. I’m thankful that the funeral service was beautiful. The shooter’s brother was there to see the forgiveness and hear the clear presentation of the gospel.

6. I’m thankful for the devotions presented this morning in our teacher’s meeting. The leader talked about how God allowed Peter to do the impossible, walk on water, as long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus and not on the waves. I needed that reminder. I know that these next few months of grief and processing will be difficult, and I have been fearful. I know that it will not be easy to support my roommate through this time, but I know that if I keep my eyes on Jesus, He will give me the strength I need.

7. I’m thankful that even though the shooter has not been caught by the authorities, his location is no mystery to God.

8. I’m thankful that the shooter can still reach out to God for forgiveness.

9. I’m thankful that none of this took God by surprise.

Please visit Iris at Sting My Heart for even more reasons to praise the Lord.


Thankful Thursday #6 May 17, 2007

Filed under: Thankful Thursday,what I'm learning — marlise @ 8:05 pm

This week’s thankful list is centered on things I have (until recently) taken for granted.

1. I’m thankful for alarm clocks. For an explanation of why I am so thankful, please see my previous post.

2. I’m thankful for electricity. After a storm knocked out the power for six hours on Tuesday evening, I have a new-found appreciation. It takes a loss of electricity every now and then to remind me of how many things I use it for every day.

3. I’m thankful for the repair men who had the power up and running again in a matter of hours as opposed to days or weeks.

4. I’m thankful for candles. As a teacher, I get more candles in a given year than I could possibly use in a normal decade. I always have appreciated them for ambiance, but I sometimes tire of them. On Tuesday, though, I depended upon them to get through the evening.

5. I’m thankful that my car is a little one. This morning on the way to work, I had to pass a spot in the road where a semi had decided to park with it’s nose sticking 3/4 of the way across the street. Thankfully, there was just enough room for my tiny little car to squeeze between the truck and the mailbox on the opposite side of the street.

6. I’m thankful that my tiny little car gets great gas mileage. (No explanation necessary on this one.)

7. I’m thankful for the Thursday reminder to count my blessings. Swing by Iris’s place at Sting My Heart to read more lists of gratitude. It’s always a blessing for me.


Thankful Thursday #5 May 10, 2007

Filed under: Thankful Thursday — marlise @ 6:36 pm

Today’s “Thankful Theme” will center around my mother in honor of Mother’s Day (which reminds me, I need to get her gift, and soon.) Here is my list of things about her that make me very thankful (in no particular order):

* Her love of Jesus Christ and her desire to serve Him wholeheartedly

* Her love of my dad. Their marriage of 36 1/2 years through all the highs and lows is a shining example in a world where divorce is becoming increasingly common.

* Her love of each of her five children, her four children-in-law, and her eight (soon to be nine) grandchildren.

* Her commitment to being a prayer warrior.

* Her quiet humility.

* Her disciplined approach to all areas of life. (I wish I had inherited a little more of that. Instead, I inherited my dad’s randomness–sigh. It’s fun, but not always profitable.)

* Her fairness. She is a high school math teacher (and a good one at that), and she has an exceptional talent for making sure everyone gets exactly the same amount of whatever is the treat of the day.

* Her strength of character.

*Her frugality. Again, I wish I had inherited a little more of that. She’s a whiz at finding a good bargain. She has always been the family bookkeeper, and she’s fantastic at it. It was only during the last few years that I realized how hard it must have been for her and my dad to make ends meet when I was a young child. Dad’s salary couldn’t have been very big, and they were working for dad to go to seminary and for all five of us children to attend Christian schools. Still, she didn’t ever let us think we had less than the best. We were always very well-fed and well-clothed and happy.

*Her honesty. She’s never one to gush or say something she doesn’t mean. So a compliment from her can mean the world.

Thanks Mom! I love you!


Thankful Thursday #4 March 29, 2007

Filed under: Thankful Thursday — marlise @ 7:17 pm

I came across the following quote by C.S. Lewis. These are truths for which I am very grateful, and since C.S. Lewis put it into words so beautifully, I’ll leave it as it is.

No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, and the clean clothes in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one’s temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us: it is the very sign of his presence.

Aren’t you thankful for that presence? I sure am! I’m also thankful that, even as the very dirty child I am, that beautiful home is waiting for me.


Thankful Thursday #3 March 22, 2007

Filed under: Thankful Thursday — marlise @ 1:17 pm

He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He
increases power. Isaiah 40:29 (NASB)

It’s been a rough week. First, there was school stuff–grades due, children antsy for spring break, and the start of the marathon that is the last few months of the school year. Then, it’s been a week of wierd things, too. The skin around my right eye is red and swollen for some unknown reason. I drove to work this morning in a black-skied, strong-winded, angry thunderstorm (after fighting with my hair, of course.) The list could go on….

Then, just a few minutes ago, it hit me that today is Thankful Thursday. Today, I need to stop feeling sorry for myself and start counting my blessings. So, here I go, in my attempt to adjust my attitude. I am thankful for…..

1. Makeup to cover up the horrid redness around me eye

2. Safety on the way to school

3. Being able to get my grades in on time

4. Lots of new and excited students for the beginning band (over half the class, actually)

5. A good response from the sixth grade students when the musical parts were announced

6. A pretty good start to my new business

7. Warmer weather

8. Spring break being only a little over a week away


Thankful Thursday #2 March 8, 2007

Filed under: Thankful Thursday — marlise @ 1:35 pm

He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. Deuteronomy 10:21 (NIV)

Many of my thankful thoughts today will focus on my whirlwind trip last weekend. Last weekend, I left Indiana on Thursday afternoon for Cincinnati. I met a good friend and former roommate there. We piled in the car with her husband, her 3-month-old son, and another close friend to head to Knoxville for the night. Then, on Friday, we three girls and the baby headed to Georgia for a wedding. Jen (the bride), Kari (my former roommate with whom I carpooled), and I all worked together at a school in New Jersey. The three of us and two of our other fellow teachers went through some very difficult situations at that school. The resulting friendship has stayed very strong even though we have all gone our separate ways and are now living in four different states. We call ourselves “the Jersey girls” even though none of us lives in New Jersey any more. That very difficult situation was a defining part of who we are today.

That brings me to my thankful list:

1. I am thankful for the Jersey girls’ friendships that helped carry me through that difficult time. I can also always count on them to be my prayer warriors from their various places around the country and to listen and offer good counsel or a good laugh when I need it.

2. I am thankful for those trials. I could not have honestly said that while I was there, but through hindsight, I can see how it made me grow closer and more dependent in my relationship with God. I can also see how He used it to teach me more about life and to draw me into good and lasting friendships.

3. I am thankful that I was able to go to Jen’s wedding. It was such a blessing to meet her new husband and to sense her joy. He seems wonderful and godly, and her joy was contagious and encouraging.

4. I am thankful that all of the Jersey girls have wonderful things going on in their lives right now. Jen is newly married to a great guy. Kari has a beautiful 3-month-old little boy. Grace has a beautiful 1-week-old little girl (which is why she couldn’t be at the wedding.) Erin is engaged to a great guy with a wedding scheduled for August. I am living close to family again and enjoying a wonderful job.

5. I am thankful for the beautiful home where we stayed on our trip. Kari’s in-laws live in Knoxville, so we stayed with them. Their home is huge and beautiful, and they are incredibly hospitable. Also, Kari’s mother-in-law puts Martha Stewart to shame. She had printouts in
each room to let us know where we could find anything we might need–extra towels, soap, snacks, toothbrushes, etc. She had put chocolates on the beds, and as if that wasn’t impressive enough, the breakfast was amazing. She made a huge and delicious breakfast of pancakes and eggs. She kept the plates in the oven to warm them for us. She also offered me a glass of milk, which I very thankfully accepted. She served it to me in a chilled glass! I’m very thankful for the mini-vacation time at their home–I felt so pampered.

6. I am thankful for the carpool to Georgia. It saved us all on travel expenses.

7. I am thankful for the travel time. I’m not normally a big fan of lots of time in the car, but it was nice to have time to catch up with Kari. We also had time to call Erin and catch up with her. She couldn’t make it to the wedding because she coaches basketball and it’s tournament season. It was very nice to spend some time catching up with her on the phone, though. We tried to do the same with Grace, but she’s very busy with her newborn.

8. I am thankful that Grace is a mom now. We always knew she’d be wonderful mom, and she has wanted that so badly for so long that it’s wonderful to see it becoming real for her.

9. I am thankful that the wedding went well. It was a beautiful and simple ceremony. I even enjoyed the bagpipes playing for the processional and recessional.

10. I am thankful that I got to spend the weekend in beautiful, warm weather. It is still very “wintery” in Indiana, but the preview of spring was a good encouragement for me to keep pressing on through these winter doldrums.

11. I am thankful that I didn’t need to overspend my personal days to go away for the weekend. My school allows 2 personal days per school year. (I had taken one in the fall to visit my grandfather who is unsaved and whose health is failing. ) The weekend trip would have put me one half-day over my allotted, but since school was cancelled early last Friday due to a sudden storm, I didn’t need to use the extra half-day.

12. I am thankful for the time alone in the car from Cincinnati back to my home. I was able to spend lots of time on the phone with my sister who lives in Tucson. Her husband is stationed there for the Air Force, and the transition to being so far from family was a tough one. It has been a big encouragement over the past few weeks to hear how much she is enjoying her life there now. She and her husband are expecting their first child (a girl) in early July. Her husband is scheduled to deploy for six months beginning in mid-July. I am thankful that he should be around for the birth of his daughter. I am thankful that she has responded to the news of his deployment with such peace.

13. Finally, I am thankful that I can pray. It is always a comfort to be able to talk to God, but I especially enjoy it when I see His answers to prayer so clearly. It is really wonderful to be able to thank Him for His rich blessings on me and my family and friends. It gives me the motivation to keep persistently praying for the answers I have not yet seen.


Thankful Thursday February 22, 2007

Filed under: Thankful Thursday — marlise @ 8:49 pm

A few things I’m thankful for…
*A loving Father in heaven who sent His Son to take the death penalty for my sins
*A loving mother and father on earth who set a wonderful example of following God and loving each other and who pray for me all the time
*Great siblings and their spouses–A group of people that manages to see past my worst flaws and love me anyway. Sure, they have to because I’m family, but they don’t try to deny that.
*My adorable nieces and nephews (all 8 of them, and the one on the way)
*An awesome church home–my second family
*(At the risk of sounding really cheesy) Friends– I have lived in several places in my life. In each place, I formed new and wonderful friendships that have lasted. Those people care for me, pray for me, encourage and let me be as crazy and random as I want.
*A job I love where I get to sing and dance for most of the day
*A wonderful house for which I can share rent with a good (and easy-to-get-along-with) housemate for a very good price
*A car that runs well

* The fog day (see below) that cancelled school yesterday and allowed me to get all my laundry done
**Finally, I’m thankful that I did this today. I stumbled onto this meme on a day when I needed a tangible reminder of how much God has given me to give me my much-needed attitude adjustment.