Walking in Freedom

Miscellaneous musings along the way

When the lights go out June 26, 2011

Filed under: Faith — songofjoy88 @ 10:00 pm
Tags: , , ,

As some of you may know, I’m doing some private math tutoring this summer.  This past week, I was at the library working with a student in a study/computer room upstairs next to some pretty big windows.  It was somewhat cloudy, but not at all stormy.  Out of nowhere, the power goes out in the entire library (and I later found out, it affected about two thirds of the town where I live for 3 hours!).  The people who had been in the same room piddling around on the computers were quite disappointed, as it didn’t seem power was coming back anytime soon.  But for us, the light streaming through the windows provided sufficient light and we were unfazed.  We were positioned in such a way that the sun provided light, allowing us to continue working (…until it got stuffy).


This got me thinking… what do I do when my power goes out, when my energy is drained?  Am I close enough to the sun (or, The Son) that I can still see and keep going?  Or do I give up?  Do I quit pressing on because somehow I sense a lack of guidance or clarity?


In Psalm 119:105, God’s word says: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”  And read this wonderful promise from Isaiah 42:16 which says: “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”


So, what about you?  What do you do when the lights go out in your life?  Where do you look for direction?  How do you expect to see what’s in front of you?  Who do you look for to illuminate your path and to strengthen you?  Have you tried looking to The Son?


And, I’ll close with an oldie but a goody from D.C. Talk… enjoy! 🙂



Steak and llamas June 23, 2011

Filed under: Just for laughs — songofjoy88 @ 12:40 pm
Tags: , ,

Sometimes a completely random post is in order… you’re lucky, because today is that day! 🙂

First, check out this comic (particularly great for a future geometry teacher!)













If you don’t know what a Mobius strip is, you should let this wikipedia page educate you! 🙂

And, if you didn’t think that was too funny, perhaps you should listen to/ watch THE LLAMA SONG!!!!!


Mmm mmmm, good! June 21, 2011

Filed under: Food — songofjoy88 @ 1:49 pm

I’ve been out of school for less than 2 weeks, but have already been putting my kitchen to good use!  I thought I’d share some photos of my creations and some recipes in case you want to make them for yourself!  Enjoy! 🙂

A good friend of mine came over and we made an amazing (and easy) apple coffee cake.  We got the recipe from the best site ever: allrecipes.com.  Click here to check out the recipe!  We used jonagold apples and it turned out great!  I had to make it pretty before bringing it to church!  The frosting is simple: melted butter, milk, vanilla and powdered sugar.

Apple Coffee Cake!! yum!















When I had some leftovers carrots from a veggie tray, I decided to use them to make homemade chicken noodle soup.  I had never made it before, but can you really get something like that wrong?  So, I picked some stuff up at the store and threw it in a pot.  I thought it was pretty good and I had a couple people over and they both finished their bowls, so I guess it’s a win!  This is how I made it:

1) Sautee onions (I like using the chopped frozen ones because they’re easy!).  Add unmeasured amount of chopped carrots and celery.

2) When the onions are starting to brown, add 1 can of chicken broth.

3) With your hands, shred up a “savory” flavor rotisserie chicken (had a coupon for that guy!) and add to the pot.  Add water as needed.

4) Chop fresh herbs: parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme.  You can use dry herbs too and wouldn’t have to use all of them. (had a coupon for fresh herbs too!)

5) Boil whole wheat egg noodles in a separate pot, as directed on bag.

6) Add noodles and herbs to soup.  Add water as needed.  Flavor with lemon juice, pepper and salt to taste.

Serving suggestions: Parmesan or Asiago cheese, sour cream





Next, it’s smoothie time!  I tossed a large handful of fresh raspberries, strawberries and blueberries into a plastic container and put it in the back of the freezer for an hour or two.  Then, I dumped them in the blender, added some yogurt, milk and a touch of vanilla and VROOOOM… pour, enjoy!  A fresh mixed berry ice-less smoothie!  YUM!


Today’s song is what my family used to sing before praying for a meal: “Mmm mmmm, good!  Mmm mmmm, good!  The food that God makes is mmm mmmm good!” 🙂


This is just the beginning, but I’ll save more photos and recipes for later… gotta keep you coming back! 😛


Yesterday June 18, 2011

Filed under: School — songofjoy88 @ 2:11 pm
Tags: , ,

It’s so hard to know where to start since my last post was from the first day of school!!! So, I’ll do my best to sum things up (pun intended :-)). I’m sure memories will resurface in other posts throughout the summer.

First the facts… this was my first year of teaching and I was assigned to teach Algebra 1 part 2 (lower level math class for 10th and some 11th graders) and Algebra 3 (12th grade). I was the only first year math teacher at the high school but fortunately there were a few new science teachers who were a great support. My district is considered “urban,” but is definitely not inner city. Although 87% of statistics are made up on the spot, I’m know I’m pretty close when I say that about 60% of our student population is economically disadvantaged. This is even more apparent in the lower level courses I taught.

Now that I’ve set the stage, here’s a quick recap of 1st semester: It was awful! I can look back on it now and laugh about how bad it was, but it really was a tough season of my life! I had to adjust to living by myself (quite a change from college life!), being a teacher (not a student!), working with older students (I student taught 7th and 8th grade), transitioning to eating non-mushy foods (still recovering from my jaw surgery in the summer), getting to know people at a new church and new financial responsibilities. I was overwhelmed to say the least. My life was completely absorbed by school; it hardly mattered when I left my classroom, because I knew I’d just be doing school work from the time I got home until I went to bed. I was miserable. But, God was faithful! Through my daily, period-by-period, struggle to make it through each day, God sustained me.

Over winter break, I had a great time visiting with family in Colorado. I am blessed with a fabulous loving and supportive extended family who encouraged me to stick with it and trust God through the struggle.  I came back refreshed and eager to make changes in how I spent my time and how I viewed my job.  I started taking a weekly cardio dance class and committed to going to a weekly young adult Bible study.  As I slowly reached out to other people and carved out time for non-school activities, I found that things at school were going better.  It was definitely a process, but God was revealing how to find my identity as “Ms. S” in Him.  He had already taught me how to find my identity in Him when I was with friends, but now I had to relearn who I was when 50 eyes were looking at me.  Gradually I felt like I was being myself in my classroom; my quirky, nerdy, enthusiastic, funny, sometimes serious  personality was on full display in room 122.  And, by the end of the year, I came to enjoy every minute of it, praising God for such a great transformation!  I think I’ve learned more this year than I could have ever taught my students!

Since my blog name is “SongofJoy88,” I’m planning on including some sort of connection to music in each post.  These lyrics from Jonny Diaz’s song “Yesterday” fit my first year of teaching well.  Check them out as you listen to the song!

Yesterday was a big disaster, yesterday I was the boss
Yesterday couldn’t have gone faster, yesterday was one big loss
Yesterday I was the big dog, yesterday I was the tree
Yesterday I rolled with the punches, yesterday keeps hitting me

But the bridge has burned, the thing I’ve learned is:
Starting new with a brand new sunrise,
Moving on with the things I’ve learned
Amazing grace has made me realize
That yesterday is a page that’s turned

(… is a page that’s) turned me ’round and upside down and everywhere but free
But I thank God for grace, amazing grace, that it’s not based on me…
Lord You came and set me free…