Apr 29, 2009


I've been doing a lot of pondering lately, mainly being questions that begin with a "What if..." Questions I ask myself "If I had done something differently would my life be altered drastically now?" I guess it is some meloncholy coming out into a state of regret. Is having regrets a bad thing? I'm sure we all have them sooner or later, I guess I just thought that was something you don't get until you are old and looking back on your life. I am only 22 years old I didn't think I was old enough to have regrets...but I do. The problem with regrets are that no matter how regretful one may be it does not change the past. "If only" must be two of the saddest words in the world. I suppose I'll never know the answers to my "what if" questions; I'll never know how I would be living my life, "If only I had..." Alexander Graham Bell wisely said, "When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us." I also know that everything happens for a reason, already known by God. The hard times I may go through will either build character or will provide me with valuable life lessons. As a Christian I can rest assured that the Lord is in control of my life, both the good and the bad. I know that God can make straight the crooked paths and calm the seas of life. "Is there anything too hard for the Lord?" No there is not, whatever mistakes I have made, whatever regrets I may have, when it all boils down, God is still on the throne...

Apr 24, 2009

Playing Hooky!

Yesterday, I played hooky and I couldn't have picked a more beautiful day to do so!!! Actually, my sister and I had put in a request to have this day off over two months ago. Knowing that Preaching Conference would be a busy week with morning and evening services, we were sure we would appreciate a day off! Lauren had off of school anyways so Dad and Mom got off at 11:00 and we picked up Paul and went for a picnic! We packed two separate baskets so that Paul and Brooke could enjoy
each other's company without us to "bother" them...
I don't know what my dad was doing here...
I think he is contemplating whether or not to jump! ;)
Me and Mom!

It was so gorgeous out even the whippoorwills were singing about it!
Brooke and Me!
Absolutely love this picture of us girls!
And so they all lived happily ever after!

Week's Reflection

Last night ended my church's annual Preaching Conference. As usual, it was a very profitable week, with many great sermons by-David Cloud, Pastor Allison, Dr. Green, Pastor Whitecar, Preacher, and Dr. Unger. Thursday's messages seemed to tie the whole week together and send us home with a call to action.

As a senior, I was able to attend the Sustainer's Banquet on Monday night. Since I am a lover of food, I have to include the wonderful menu for that night:
Assorted Deli Tray
Caesar Salad

Main Course
Chicken Kiev with Wild Rice

Malibu Blend Vegetables

Tuxedo Cake
Lemon Raspberry Cake
Red Velvet Cream Cheese Cake

Four students gave a short word of testimony and then Pastor Dunbar gave a very thought provoking message on what is means to be a sustainer for the Lord. Sitting at the table with seven other seniors really set me to reminiscing. It seems like just yesterday that I was sitting in high school eating lunch with these same students. Now a few of them will be getting married this summer, others will be leaving to further their education or to go teach out of state. Where did the years go? If is wasn't so exciting it would be rather sad...I have seen some classmates fall off track but then I see others that I know the Lord is going to use in mighty ways!
Here are a couple pictures of my friends and I after gorging ourselves at the Banquet. I think I look a little puffy...I blame it on all that food!

Apr 18, 2009

Please Shine Down On Me!

The weather has been super duper beautiful!!! Yesterday, it reached a high of 70 degrees and today it maxed out at 76 degrees! I love all of my seasons, but a shining sun has been long awaited for me. I definitely was glad to take out my kiddies at work, they had been cooped up inside for way too long. I probably spent four out of my eight hour day yesterday outside; it was great. Being able to get out there and release all their energy and feel the sun's shining rays upon them, definitely put the children in better moods and made them much more behaved...which of course, in turn, affected the teachers. Except for this one-

I love ya sis! ;)

I didn't get to spend as much time outside as I would have like to today...I had good intentions of doing some sort of workout outside...but, alas, once again it fell through...There is always tomorrow, right? ;)
I was able to observe my dad outside working...does that count? He has been working on painting and finishing our dining room set. My mom has been wanting a new set and she had seen one that she liked that had black chairs and brown-wood table top with black legs. It sounded kinda weird to me, but I can tell it is going to look incredible. My dad started off with painting all our wooden chairs black, then he painted the table legs black...today he sanded, stained, and painted the table. The only thing left is to varnish it. Below are some pictures of the process, it should be completed early next week. Never realized how important a dining room table is until this last week. I am definitely missing sitting around our dining table, as opposed to downstairs, or lounging in the living room!

Apr 13, 2009

What I'm Reading Today

I laid it down in silence,
This work of mine,
And took what had been sent me-
A resting time.
The Master's voice had called me
To rest apart;
"Apart with Jesus only,"
Echoed my heart.

I took the rest and stillness
From His own Hand,
And felt this present illness
Was what He planned.
How often we choose labor,
When He says, "Rest"-
Our ways are blind and crooked;
His way is best.

The work Himself has given,
He will complete.
There may be other errands
For tired feet;
There may be other duties
For tired hands,
The present is obedience
To His commands.

There is a blessed resting
In lying still,
In letting His hand mould us,
Just as He will.
His work must be completed.
His lesson set;
He is the higher Workman:
Do not forget!

It is not only "working"
We must be trained;
And Jesus "learnt" obedience,
Through suffering gained.
For us, His yoke is easy,
His burden is light.
His discipline most needful,
And all is right.

We are but under-workmen;
They never choose
If this tool or if that one
Their hands shall use.
In working or in waiting
May we fulfill
Not ours at all, but only
The Master's will!

Apr 11, 2009

A Day In My Life...

“To get up each morning with the resolve to be happy... is to set our own conditions to the events of each day. To do this is to condition circumstances instead of being conditioned by them.”

Saturdays are probably my favorite day of the week...One reason being because it is the one day I get to sleep in and by sleeping in I mean 7:45, which is 2.5 hours longer than week days. So my morning started off with a piece of left over pizza for breakfast as well as a cup of coffee to go.

Our Nursing Home Service started at 10:00 with the attendance being up. My dad preached an excellant message on the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord. Usually, during the service I go out and visit the residents who were not able to attend...however, today I stayed back to hear my dad preach. He has such a way with the elderly; we like to tease him about all those little old ladies..:) I really enjoy hearing my dad preach and today he was especially good.

After nursing home, we came home and picked up alittle; but, since we had had company last night the house was still pretty clean. I studied my lesson for bus, which is the Resurrection Story. This Bible lesson, tops my favorite list, along with the Christmas story, David and Goliath, and Esther. I am excited to tell it and hope to convey the message clearly to my bus kids.

My parents took me up to a couple car dealerships to get some ideas for cars. I hope to be able to save up money over the summer to put down a good size downpayment and purchase a reasonable car come September. After drooling over the Corvettes, Chargers, and Challengers, we came to the used car lot section and I saw a few that I was impressed with...

1. My top choice would be a Chevrolet Cobalt which is a little pricey, but maybe we'll be able to find a good price on a used one.

2. Another one I like is a Ford Focus...

3. Chevrolet Aveo

4. And my last pick...Toyato Yaris

From here we went grocery shopping, which I always enjoy...being the lover of food that I am. We purchased our Easter dinner along with some goodies for our Easter Baskets...I know as a 22 year old I still enjoy getting an Easter basket...pretty pathetic, what can I say...I guess I'm just a kid at heart!

Mom and I tried out a recipe for Shepherd's Pie, which turned out deliciously yummy! (http://teamdewhurst.blogspot.com/2009_03_01_archive.html) After getting dinner in the oven, Brooke, my mom, and I dyed two dozen eggs for my bus easter egg hunt. The evening has now come and the night is drawing to an end...my eyelids are closing and I'm thinking to myself..."Ahh...what a wonderful life!"

The Rich Family In Church by Eddie Ogan

I'll never forget Easter 1946. I was 14, my little sister Ocy was 12,and my older sister Darlene 16. We lived at home with our mother, and the four of us knew what it was to do without many things. My dad had died five years before, leaving Mom with seven school kids to raise and no money.
By 1946 my older sisters were married and my brothers had left home. A month before Easter the pastor of our church announced that a special Easter offering would be taken to help a poor family. He asked everyone to save and give sacrificially.
When we got home, we talked about what we could do. We decided to buy 50 pounds of potatoes and live on them for a month. This would allow us to save $20 of our grocery money for the offering. When we thought that if we kept our electric lights turned out as much as possible and didn't listen to the radio, we'd save money on that month's electric bill. Darlene got as many house and yard cleaning jobs as possible, and both of us babysat for everyone we could. For 15 cents we could buy enough cotton loops to make three pot holders to sell for $1.
We made $20 on pot holders. That month was one of the best of our lives.
Every day we counted the money to see how much we had saved. At night we'd sit in the dark and talk about how the poor family was going to enjoy having the money the church would give them. We had about 80 people in church, so figured that whatever amount of money we had to give, the offering would surely be 20 times that much. After all, every Sunday the pastor had reminded everyone to save for the sacrificial offering.
The day before Easter, Ocy and I walked to the grocery store and got the manager to give us three crisp $20 bills and one $10 bill for all our change.
We ran all the way home to show Mom and Darlene. We had never had so much money before.
That night we were so excited we could hardly sleep. We didn't care that we wouldn't have new clothes for Easter; we had $70 for the sacrificial offering.
We could hardly wait to get to church! On Sunday morning, rain was pouring. We didn't own an umbrella, and the church was over a mile from our home, but it didn't seem to matter how wet we got. Darlene had cardboard in her shoes to fill the holes. The cardboard came apart, and her feet got wet.
But we sat in church proudly. I heard some teenagers talking about the Smith girls having on their old dresses. I looked at them in their new clothes, and I felt rich.
When the sacrificial offering was taken, we were sitting on the second row from the front. Mom put in the $10 bill, and each of us kids put in a $20.
As we walked home after church, we sang all the way. At lunch Mom had a surprise for us. She had bought a dozen eggs, and we had boiled Easter eggs with our fried potatoes! Late that afternoon the minister drove up in his car. Mom went to the door, talked with him for a moment, and then came back with an envelope in her hand. We asked what it was, but she didn't say a word. She opened the envelope and out fell a bunch of money. There were three crisp $20 bills, one $10 and seventeen $1 bills.
Mom put the money back in the envelope. We didn't talk, just sat and stared at the floor. We had gone from feeling like millionaires to feeling like poor white trash. We kids had such a happy life that we felt sorry for anyone who didn't have our Mom and Dad for parents and a house full of brothers and sisters and other kids visiting constantly. We thought it was fun to share silverware and see whether we got the spoon or the fork that night.
We had two knifes that we passed around to whoever needed them. I knew we didn't have a lot of things that other people had, but I'd never thought we were poor.
That Easter day I found out we were. The minister had brought us the money for the poor family, so we must be poor. I didn't like being poor. I looked at my dress and worn-out shoes and felt so ashamed--I didn't even want to go back to church. Everyone there probably already knew we were poor!
I thought about school. I was in the ninth grade and at the top of my class of over 100 students. I wondered if the kids at school knew that we were poor. I decided that I could quit school since I had finished the eighth grade. That was all the law required at that time. We sat in silence for a long time. Then it got dark, and we went to bed. All that week, we girls went to school and came home, and no one talked much. Finally on Saturday, Mom asked us what we wanted to do with the money. What did poor people do with money? We didn't know. We'd never known we were poor. We didn't want to go to church on Sunday, but Mom said we had to. Although it was a sunny day, we didn't talk on the way.
Mom started to sing, but no one joined in and she only sang one verse. At church we had a missionary speaker. He talked about how churches in Africa made buildings out of sun dried bricks, but they needed money to buy roofs. He said $100 would put a roof on a church. The minister said, "Can't we all sacrifice to help these poor people?" We looked at each other and smiled for the first time in a week.
Mom reached into her purse and pulled out the envelope. She passed it to Darlene. Darlene gave it to me, and I handed it to Ocy. Ocy put it in the offering.
When the offering was counted, the minister announced that it was a little over $100. The missionary was excited. He hadn't expected such a large offering from our small church. He said, "You must have some rich people in this church.
"Suddenly it struck us! We had given $87 of that "little over $100.
"We were the rich family in the church! Hadn't the missionary said so? From that day on I've never been poor again. I've always remembered how rich I am because I have Jesus!

Apr 6, 2009

Marvelous Mondays?

Mondays...the dreaded day of all days...I awoke at 5:15 to look out my window and see snow upon the ground and covering my car.

"Seriously," I'm thinking, "Snow in the second week of April?"

I had to pick up the pace when I received a call from a coworker asking me to come in 1/2 hour earlier because she was sick. I clocked in at 6:28, a whole 2 minutes early, and so my Monday started. I really think that the kids have stored all their weekend adrenaline to let loose at pre-school on their teachers.

It was a little crazy during our pre-school group times since we were one teacher short. Usually I have 5-7 children in a group, but today one group had 10 kids, and the other had 13! The room seriously looked like a tornado had come through; parents coming in with late drop offs would step in and I would catch them looking around the class in amazement at the colorful array of toys and little kids scattered across every bare spot of flooring.

"It's Monday, don't you know?" I felt like explaining to the parents, but instead I mustered a smile and managed cordial greetings.

Today, more than usual the children were full of tattling. Tattling is something that I can not stand; I've tried to teach them that unless someone has hurt themself or another child, and if there is blood involved, then they are not to come tattle. However, it was Monday, and the rules were out the window. I learned something from my 3-5 year olds today-I learned why, in their little minds, why they are justified in hitting their playmates. Here are some examples; it actually got to be a little experiment for me as I'ld confront each hitting culprit.

"What did you do that for? Why did you hit?"

Never ask a 3-5 year old, "Why", it unleashes realms of excuses. Here are a few:

  1. "Because, because...he was thinking about hitting me."

  2. "Because...I don't know."

  3. "Because, because, because, because, because, because..."

  4. "Because, I wanted to."

  5. "Because she took my toy."

  6. "Because he was looking at me and smiling funny..."

  7. "Because, he's mean to me."

  8. "Because, she is sooo ugly to look at."

  9. "Because, because...ummm...did you see my boo-boo Miss Nickel?"

  10. "Because, because...yesterday I was playing with my mom and brother and, and..."

  11. "I didn't do it, it wasn't me...I don't think..."

  12. "Because...wah!!!!!!!!!!!"

Ah...yes...Mondays, they truly are so very marvelous...

Apr 4, 2009

A Book is a Gift to be Opened Again and Again...

Once upon a time there was a little girl who looked forward with great anticipation for her daily visits to the Public Library. This girl would carefully select her choice of ten books, for that was the patron limit per card. Her library card was one of her most prized possessions, for with it she felt the world was at her fingertips. While most of her friends wanted to play with dolls and barbies, she wanted to read, read, and read all the day long. Her mother and father would actually make her set her books aside to do some other activity. At night, against the knowledge of her parents, she would lay awake in bed, with a flashlight, and hide under the covers to read a few more pages of her newest book. Her love of reading continued through elementary and into junior high. She now had the responsibility to watch her sisters in the summer when mom and dad were at work. Despite the pleadings of her siblings, she would insist that they make a visit to the library at least once a day. The girl, along with her sisters, become such frequent visitors at the library that the librarian once sneered and commented to her mother, "Doesn't she have anything better to do?" To which the girl's mother gave that librarian a piece of her mind...

High school came and her visits became less frequent due to sport's practices, youth group activities, and school work. However, if asked, the teenager (no longer a young girl), would say that the library was amongst her favorite places to be.

College came and with it reading for pleasure now became very scarce. The young woman now had books that she had to read for her classes and no longer had time for "fun" reading. When between semesters and during summer break she always tried to catch up on her reading, however when making visits to the library she began to feel as if she had read every good book worth reading there.

The young woman now has completed college and is quite excited and anxious to get caught up on her reading!

Here is a list of some of her favorites:
*Not in any particular order-

A Tale of Two Cities-yearly
Great Expectations-another great work of Charles Dickens
The Scarlet Pimpernel-yearly read
Chicken Soup for the Soul-short stories that one must read with a box of Kleenex nearby
Row 22, Seats A and B-more short stories, some sappy, suspenseful, or purely pointless
The Perfect Wife-biography of Laura Bush
The Christmas Hope Series by Donna Van Liere-must read every holiday season
Anne of Green Gables Series
Emily of New Moon Series-also by Lucy Maud Montgomery, an awesome read
Pride and Prejudice-the best work of Jane Austen (in her mind)
The Inheritance-a newly discovered novel by Louisa May Alcott, written at age 16
Works by Richard Paul Evans
Your Father's Voice-written by the wife of a 9/11 victim
Not My Will-a favorite from her teenaged years
The Deerslayer-another teenaged favorite of hers

Here are some books that she is presently working on:

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot

And now she is going to publish her post...

Apr 3, 2009

The hardest words to say...

What are the hardest words to say? Some say, "I love you" others, "Goodbye" but I have come to the conclusion that "I forgive you" pretty much tops the chart. Working at a day care, I have been able to observe and note the behavior of children amoungst children. It has always amazed me how quickly kids forgive each other. Take our class bully GB, who is always picking on everyone, including his so called friends...GB will totally bully and beat one of his friends down and leave them crying, then have the audacity to lie and blame it on them. We are forever punishing him to no end and of course we always make him apologize to whoever he was mean to. I never to cease to be in awe of how easily the other children forgive him. The same kids who five minutes ago were having their hair pulled, face stepped on, stomach jumped on, tongue pulled, or face spat on by GB are right back with playing him. I don't really know if that categorizes them as truly forgiving, or just plain naive...

Often I've thought how different we as adults react when soomeone wrongs us. Forgiving people who offend us never comes as easily and usually they haven't beat us up, poked us in the eye intentionally, or given us wet willies repeatedly. When does the change take place? When do children have the change? and Why can't we forgive and pick right back up where we left off? Why is it so hard for us to forgive others, but then when it comes to us needing forgiven we expect to be forgiven all? It reminds me of a passage in Matthew, "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

Right up there with "I forgive you" are the words "I'm sorry." I have also seen how willing most children are to admit they did something wrong and say they are sorry. I emphasize that sentence on the word 'most', however. Take little "Mano" as I call her, a little two year old girl whose stubborness often gets the better of her.

Yesterday during snack time Mano was playing around being her normal goofy little self. I told her to settle down, to which she responded by dramatically falling on her bottom, off her chair and onto the floor, making all the other children around laugh. Their laughter only egged Mano on, so she continued falling off her chair and rolling around on the floor.

"Mano! Get off the floor, sit on your chair, and settle down right now!" I told her in my strictest voice possible.

My jaw dropped when Mano looked back at me with her big blue eyes and blurted out, "Youuuu are uglyyyy, and I'm not gonna listen to youuuu!"

I could not believe my ears, sweet two year old Mano had an evil streak in her. I reprimanded her and another teacher told her to tell Miss Nicole "Sorry". I knelt down on the ground and got face level with her waiting to hear her apology, but nothing came out of her red little mouth, nothing except a little giggle. Okey, so now she was not making this easy on me at all!

Little Mano sat in the time away chair for a good five-ten minutes before she finally whispered, "Miss 'Cole, I sorry for being mean..."

To which, of course, I responded with a hug and an "I forgive you."


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