Shannon Falls, August 2012

Friday, August 23, 2013


I don't think I cherished the days I had this summer to spend outdoors with Hayden, watch tv, and sleep past 5:40! Don't get me wrong--I thrive on a busy schedule; I get so much more done. But we are BUSY.

David is coaching football (and basketball this winter) at my school, serving as student pastor at a church, and is a seminary student. We leave our house before 7 and, on a good, day, we're home a little after 5. Then it's a rush to repack lunches, cook supper, clean out bookbags, and make sure everything is ready for the next day before Hayden heads to bed. I foresee many late nights in the near future as papers and tests start really rolling!

We love living in TX. I plan to cherish my Friday nights (as much as I can) and not do any work, if possible. I feel I live two completely separate lives right now, though. This summer, Hayden and my only friends were here on campus; now I spend more time at TCA (school) than I do at home. I love working at a Christian school. We start each day with devotion; I can't believe what a difference that makes.

I know I'm not the student at Southwestern, but I feel even more distanced with the amount of time I spend away from campus. I also realize we're still relatively "new." Everything takes time. But I'm SO thankful for my job at TCA (and for very gracious, understanding students!).

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Year 5

Can it possibly be my fifth year in the classroom? Man, I missed the rush and excitement of a fresh year last year; don't get me wrong, we were supposed to be in Vancouver at that appointed time, but I love the start of a new school year.

Right now, after two days of teacher inservice, I'm exhausted and my brain is running nonstop with the lists of things that need to be done around meetings and other obligations. It'll all get done, but I hate pushing it to the last minute.

Take a digital stroll through my classroom. Not the best pictures, but you can get an idea of what my crazy, color-filled box looks like. I miss my window(s), but I love the atmosphere of the room. Now I just need to wrap my mind around American Literature and research papers!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Only He Can Provide

When I accepted the position at TCA, we knew there would likely be some significant cuts/changes in our life/budget to accommodate being at the right school for less money. And we were fine with that. But God has placed some incredible opportunities in our lives for the coming year. And He is refining us all and showing us what matters most.

I've learned that I pretty much need to voice my trust in order to see results. Let me explain before some of you get all spiritual and crazy on me. God and I talk regularly. But I've begun to note in the past months when I speak out loud my trust that my Father will provide, I see Him do so. (Not that God doesn't always see through and take care of our needs.) Two instances: the Tuesday before the Saturday we loaded the moving truck for Fort Worth, I was in the bathroom readying to run errands. God and I had a talk where I told Him, "Okay, God, I give this car situation to You; I have no idea how You're going to fix this, but You can." (We only have one vehicle; David was staying in MS and Hayden and I were to be in TX. Thus, the dilemma.) Literally, ten minutes later, David texted me saying a huge prayer request was answered. The car. The issue was solved.

Secondly, we knew we needed to account for the discrepancy in salary with my job. We knew David would work somewhere; not an issue. About a week ago, we spoke on the phone discussing the upcoming year. I said to my husband, "God will work out the details and give us what we need." We hung up, and a church called David immediately. And as of today, David has positions(s) that account for the money we had "lost."

There are still many unknowns, but I have no doubt He has been with us every step of the way, providing. Only He could do what He has done.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Yes, folks, you read that correctly. I'm beginning to think we wouldn't be us without curveballs always being thrown our direction! I am not at liberty to fully divulge the juicy news just yet. Know several things:
1. David is still going to school.

2. We aren't leaving Fort Worth.

3. It's nothing bad. Actually, it's a HUGE blessing.

As soon as I have the assurance and definitive go-ahead, I will lay it all out!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Job Situation

I am not a good blogger; this is not my gift. But I do know there are a few of you that read this and sometimes it's therapeutic to write out my thoughts.

For the first month we were here, any time anyone (mostly family) called, the first question was, "Have you found a job yet?" No. The answer was always no. But based on what a principal told me, the main hiring time was late May-late June and again in late July. So I wasn't panicking. Except that now as of June 19, I've still yet to receive a single call from any of the billion districts (and 90+ middle schools) that I applied to. Not one public school interview.

Why is that?

Because God had a different plan. A plan I never would have dreamed of because David and I had laid out, in detail, OUR plan for our lives here in TX. And I'm sure God laughed. So He fixed those plans.

As of about two weeks ago I accepted a position with Trinity Christian Academy in Willow Park, TX. Trinity is fabulous. However, I never imagined I'd be teaching at a private school, or teaching as many things as I will be! I'll be doing two classes of English 7 (divided actually into 2 classes of grammar/comp and literature=4 total periods), an English III (American Literature, 11th grade) class, and a Pre-AP II (sophomores) class. I think I have those grades right. I know the courses are correct. And I have the books and resources to prove it!

Right now my life consists of planning. planning. planning. And getting excited about things like projects found on the internet connecting different Puritan writers! I'm a little nervous about reading essays, inputting grades, reading the selections myself, and planning lessons in a 45 minute planning period. So I'm doing as much groundwork now as I can!

Between my new position and the insane amount of books David will be reading, it ought to be an interesting year. I'm definitely seeing the reasons why God placed me at Trinity, though at first I was very hesitant. Hayden is going to go to Pre-K (5 days) at the elementary campus for actually less than we were going to have to pay for him to do Mother's Day Out with the extended care and someone to keep him Monday afternoons on campus. He has to wear uniforms which makes my decisions easier, but unfortunately, they have to come from designated suppliers. Boo.

Anyway...Go Eagles!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tough Week

It's been a long week. I know why God designated parenting to be a duo-affair. There were many times this week I wasn't a very good mom. In fact, I hated who I was. What I had become. I'm working diligently on many things in my life. I haven't quite nailed it yet. Hayden isn't on the schedule I imagined he would be, but what we have is working. And he's getting to be a little boy; for me, that's honestly more important than he know 100 sight words. It is. Shoot me. I'm not a Pinterest-perfect mom. I'm Jamie. I'm selfish. I'm a failure many days. I succeed other days. I want to be a good minister's wife. A great minister's wife. I wish I kept my mouth shut more. Why do I tell people so much junk about my life? Why do I lose my cool? Why do I worry any time I have down moments? Why is losing weight such a struggle? Why am I not happy with me?

AAGH! This is how my brain operates ALL.DAY.LONG. What can I do to be busy right now? What should I have Hayden learning? What do I need to do for a future classroom (and an update on the job situation will come soon; just know that not a single public school has asked for an interview. FAIL. Talk about feeling worthless.)? What do I cook for lunch/supper? Is laundry done? What else can I clean? How long is my checklist today? Am I supposed to be somewhere that I've forgotten about?

I made a conscious effort this week to check on friends at the moment God brought them to mind. I had gotten very complacent in muttering quick prayers: "God, please help so-and-so with all the stuff she's going through. Amen." Yep, heartlfelt and sincere. Saying junk like this at the same time laying my life on the line and whining about all the stuff I have going on. I was blessed by conversations with friends and talk that didn't center around me. Our immediate neighbors are moving back to Oklahoma; they've been so welcoming and become friends in our month in Fort Worth. I'll miss their family of 4.

David is at Student Life camp at Covenant College in Georgia. I've really missed my husband this week. I never want to complain on FB about missing my husband for days/weeks because we have dear friends with deployed spouses. My summer of craziness is nothing compared to half a year+ that friends of mine have to be single moms with multiple children. David and I had a great conversation late last night about what had transpired with his students at camp. I have no doubt that this is exactly where God wanted him to be for the past few months. I also see how God is going to use his time there to transition him to seminary and service in Fort Worth. My husband's faith and ministry-heart is exactly what I prayed for before I ever met him. Don't get me wrong, it's taken me nearly six years of marriage to realize what I have and how he thinks. He challenges many. He's not a typical Southern Baptist. I pray I become the help-mate he needs beside as we travel the years ahead.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Finding Our Way

I love and hate moving. I love setting up a new "home." I hate all the firsts that accompany moving: finding a new church, new activities to be involved in, new job(s) in this case, even things as trivial as new hairdressers. Things are going well for us here in Fort Worth, but there are still mountains of firsts that need to be tackled.

I have been on one official job interview at a Christian school. I'm not sure whether I'll be offered a position or not, so I'm still applying at local districts as well. I'll admit that sometimes it is very frustrating to talk to family and that be the first thing asked. Every day I work on a potential job opportunity in some fashion; trust me, it's at the top of my priority list. But I just can't fathom how after the way God has orchestrated every detail thus far that He'd leave me hanging. He won't. And maybe He's preparing me for something better.

Hayden started "school" at the Mother's Day Out program on campus today. I'm not counting today as his first official day; something about it being the end of May doesn't make it feel very "school-like." He enjoyed it though and I think the few hours apart each week this summer are going to be good for us. Until we know finances and schedules, we haven't wanted to over-commit ourselves just yet. Hayden may play basketball in June/July and there's a kids' gym called The Little Gym that offers gymnastics/tumbling classes for young kids. That may be perfect for him as he loves to climb. Classes coincide a bit with MDO or are offered only on Wednesdays, so we're still looking into that. Plus, every moment that he can be outside, he is. We have what is considered the plastic playground in the center of our six buildings of townhomes. Eventually, I'm sure I'll add pictures of our home, but I have a few touches I'd like to still add. Some days our townhome feels huge; other days, I feel there's nowhere to hide!

I haven't been very diligent in working with Hayden on his reading skills. I have quite a few things I haven't been very consistent in.

David leaves for youth camp next week, so he's been here this week with us. It's almost strange when he's here because he's still working on so much in Biloxi and neither of us leaves for work. I'm thankful for the structure that MDO will help provide and it gives Hayden something to look forward to. I hope to be able to use that time on Tuesdays and Thursdays to get some good workouts in. I have A LOT of work to do in that area.

I really want to invest in our community and get involved in everything that's available. For example, the Fort Worth Zoo offers a "school" on Wednesdays during the school year for kids to learn school skills using the animals, their habitats, and eating habits. It looks amazing. The price seems high, but really I suppose it's not for an entire year. But again, while I'd love to involve Hayden in it, we'd need a second car and to be sure it was a wise money investment. In a sense, there's almost TOO much to be involved in here!

We do look forward to continuing to partake of fabulous BBQ and shopping and getting to attend some Texas Rangers games and make visits to Six Flags. I'll be much calmer once we have a routine and my job in place!