-- In His Strength: January 2010 www.superfluousbanter.org

In His Strength

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength --- Philippians 4:13

Friday, January 29, 2010


2nd graders
In this class, I am helping wherever needed, whether its housekeeping (paperwork) or having children read to me, even sitting by one child and helping them out while we do a class assignment. Today the seond graders graciously asked if they could pet Alehe. They have EXCELLENT memories!!! If I tell them not now but at such and such a time....they don't let me forget! LOL!!!! As is the case for one child today. I talked to her during class on Monday saying she could pet her on Friday at the end of our day. One little girl (Joaquin, pronounced ha'keen) loves the fact Alehe is there. searches me out just before we go to luch and again at the end pf our day to talk to me.... all the time. She and I talked today about why I was in the wheelchair. I wrote names on childrens packets today and stapled papers together, even put together booklets that children can order books from. THAT was a daunting task. Especially when all teh pages start looking alike after the third or fourth one! I think I wasted fifteen twenty minutes trying to figure out the order of pages! then it was time to go to our assenbly put on by Wildlife Rescue here in SoComing back from lunch I passed by a seond grader "You're a great teacher!" It's only my THIRD day :D
I learned something new from the assembly today regarding birds that fall out of nests. When I was in school we were taught NEVER to pick up a bird if it had fallen out of its nest. Apparently, this is not the case anymore. it used to be that if the mother bird smelled human on teh baby bird, said baby bird would be rejected. Now, it is advised that if you can reach the nest, to go ahead and put the baby bird back into it. If the nest is too high to reach, find a small container, line it with something soft and put the baby bird back in. Then put the container as high as you are able to reach. The Mamma bird will still feed their baby this way.

Kindergarten/1st grade
Ohmygoodness I never thought sitting and listening to children could be so daunting! Reading is one thing...but reciting numbers by ones, fives, tens, and two's, and all to 100?! It was really a learing experience in teaching young children. I was having fun in a way.....
I was surprised that counting by ones, fives, and tens was easier than counting by two's. here is where most struggled. Some children i had to help more than others, had to exxplain to them to take one number (two for example) and add two more (four). What do you get when you add two to that number (six!). it was interesting to me tha counting by two's from, say, twenty-eight to thirty, thrity-eight to forty,forty-eight to fifty, and so on and so forth was a bit difficult for one child.

I can't wait until Monday!

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Alehe is Back to Work, Finally!

"GASP, She brought her dog!" children said excitedly. Yes, today was the first day I was able to bring Alehe to Gage Elementary school in San Carlos, CA. I had been in the kindergarten/first grade class for a few months now, and just today started in the second grade classroom after that. I was worried about passing by the preschool classroom this morning, but thankfully none of those children spotted me. But I was assured on my last day in that class that there is always next year.
I wheeled into the office to sign in on the volunteer sheet as I always do and the Secretary ooo-ed and ahhh-ed over Alehe. I then proceeded to my first class of the day, kindergarten and first graders. They had been well informed of my bringing Alehe, her duties while she is with me, and that they are not to pet her unless I give them permission to do so. A few told me about their dogs at home. The children did an excellent job while working with me. A few kept peeking under the table at her whole with me, and one boy I had to tell repeatedly to pay attention to his teachers up front because he would not stop looking at her and talking. One child I have difficulty with not wanting to work with me was a tad more cooperative today. I was able to get two answers out of her. Which was a lot for her. She is usually really shy around me. I am hoping the more Alehe is there, it will bring her out and we can become more comfortable around each other.
The second graders also did an excellent job, and cracked me up in the process; they were almost relentless in asking me when they could pet her. I finally told one girl that "possibly Friday" I would let her. I talked about Alehe a bit before class and showed them a thing or two what she could do, and they raised their hands and started talking about all of their dogs. So cute! As they were lining up for lunch today, I did manage to allow them a quick pet as they were leaving. I went to the break room with the teacher and had lunch with her, a substitute teacher, and a few others. Yeah, they couldn't keep their hands off of her either, lol! Even my morning teacher was there.
I cannot WAIT to go back on Friday! In the meantime, I am still waiting on the Salvation Army to call me so that I can set up a time on Wednesdays to volunteer there.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Sometimes God Closes a Door, Only to Open a Window

Sorting through feelings of today, trying to come up with a title to this post....this line hits me, "Sometimes the hardest things to do are in perfect sync with God's will and plan". Today was my last day with preschoolers. It was a tough decision on my part, and definately NOT easy by any sense of the word! And as I type this, 'None Compare' is playing on my computer. "Do Nnot be afraid, for help is on the way".

When I first started volunteering in schools, it was rough having to leave the dog but I wanted something to do and wanted to be with children so bad. Poor Alehe couldn't understand....she kept running to the door, somtimes with the leash in her mouth or jumping in the van... and I would have to tell her to stay. Well, lately I have been noticing that this leaving her most of the time I am gone is affect the times she DOES work with me. She is not as responsive to my commands as she needs to be. In my CCI training sessions with her and previous dogs, we were told that this could happen over time.

I pressed into one of the preschools abotu the issue, and it sorta fell flat. I wrote a note to the volunteer coordinator at this same school and started the ball rolling looking into other classrooms at that same school or inthe same district. Another classroom, this time second graders, came available and said no prob. I am already a volunteer TA for a first graded class, and so not doing the preschool would open up opportunity in that class to bring Alehe, and they are excited. Why, the past two weeeks kiddos come up to me "when do you get to bring your dog?" And they ask me all sorts of questions about her. Friday is my first day with Alehe in both classrooms.

My last day in the preschool was difficult. My heart felt heavy, I LOVED these kids! They in turn LOVED me! (and so did the teachers). I felt like God was closing yet anbother door I thought He had led me to walk through. When I got home, I listened to a song RA had posted to his Facebook page yesterday. I don't always listen to them becasue I have all of them on CD :D ,but felt led to do so this time. "None Compare' played, and God spoke. "Do not be afraid, for Help is on the way".
God is totally in control!

After that and I started singing the chorus to yet another RA song, 'Take My Will'

Take My Will
Make it Your own
I'm on my knees, I'm letting go
Seeking more of Youu
and finding less of me , and now I'm free\
So take my will
And let Your kingdom come
Let Your Will be done

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sunday Sermon - Five Challenges for the New Year

Dr. Tom Thompson

Numbers 13
children of the promised land
How are we going to go in?
(God's question to me: How am I going to go into the new year?
My answer: with hope)

13:1,2, 17 - 20
Test of faith
Challenge of who they are, were

Five Challenges

1. Reprioritize Your Life
Focus on the Blessor, NOT the blessings
vs. 23
fruit = blessings
the fruit didn't make any difference
Without God, we wouldn't have ANY of the blessings we do
we would have no reason to praise
Hebrews 12:2
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2. Become a Risk Taker
vs. 28 - 29
it will maximize reward
The blessing will never satisfy
God tries to get us out of our comfort zone

3. Embrace Your Struggles
produces authenticity
***vs. 30 - 32
Am I looking at life through eyes of faith, risk, God, or through my own eyes?
our struggles can be an encouragement to others.
***Trust God more than man
God is in control
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
God is developing spiritual discipline
Noah, Joseph, David, Sampson, Daniel, Christ, Early Disciples - Life-changing agents by the grace of God
***There is not testimony without the test

4. Look Beyond the Circumstances
vs. 31 - 33
faulty assumptions = faulty conclusions
The giants in our hearts create the issues we battle every day
"I have met the enemy and it is me"
Satan wants us to quit and give up
***our faith never grows in comfortable surroundings
***When God wants to do something wonderful, He begins with a difficulty
Joshua and Caleb

5. Envision the Extraordinary
vs. 33
God is much bigger than we think

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Friday, January 01, 2010

Why Must He Be so RIGHT All the Time!!!!!! LOL>D

I am in my van, on the way home from spending the afternoon with my mother and my cousin. I am somewhat reclined in my powerchair, half-asleep as todays lunch, the sunshine from the afternoon, and the comfort of my position render me half asleep. Suddenly 'Take My Will', a song written and sung by Richard Andrew is rolling through my head. I start thinking about the events that eventually led up to my moving back to Southern California and wonder why (silly me!) things just had to happen the way they did. And then I crack up laughing..... His immediate answer? "Because, you wouldnt have bent to MY WILL otherwise" There is a reason why God does things the way He does them!

If that song came *before* all this had happened, it might have had a totally different outcome.

I am simply amazed that in this crazy time I find myself running the opposite direction from where I really want to run; running *to* Him instead of *from* Him. He is simply teaching me to trust Him.

Meanwhile, I cannot stop listening to this song!!!!!!!

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