Walking in Freedom

Miscellaneous musings along the way

Kind of like jaw surgery?? July 18, 2012

Filed under: Colorado,Faith — songofjoy88 @ 3:10 pm
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trying to eat warm cereal through a syringe… between the swelling, jaws rubber banded shut and numbness all over, this was quite a task! also, note the bell for me to ding if I needed something- haha!

Just over two years ago I had jaw surgery.  It wasn’t an emergency surgery or anything, so I had time to prepare, but the change from before to after surgery was dramatic.


Back in middle school (when it was cool), I had braces for 2.5 years, so it didn’t seem to make sense why I was now considering surgery… about 7 years later!  I didn’t need surgery, the doctors told me, but if I didn’t, I may have problems with my teeth wearing down later and needing crowns and whatnot.  Also, there was the ever present nuisance of avoiding any food that required my front teeth to make contact (sandwiches- especially with lettuce, tomatoes, etc.; chips, apples…).  Over the years, my jaw grew in a less than ideal way and my teeth didn’t fit together well at all.


So, I had braces for about 9 months leading up to surgery as they prepared my teeth for the position they would need to be in once they did the surgery.  Things seemed to get worse, but I knew the orthodontist was just setting things up for the surgeon.  Two months after graduating from college, I had the surgery.  After that day, everything changed… though temporarily not for the better!  The swelling was ridiculous and the whole rubber banded shut jaw made it very difficult to communicate!  In many ways, I became like a baby- laying around/ sleeping all day, eating liquids only (later mushy foods, then soft foods), not being able to talk, and dependent on the help of others to get what I needed (Thanks, Mom and Dad!) 🙂

taking my pain-killer medicine through a syringe- yum! (not really, but I couldn’t really taste anything, so it could have been worse!)

But now I can say- it was all worth it!  I can now eat whatever I want without wondering if food will awkwardly be hanging out of my mouth because I can’t bite it off!  Everything fits together so now I can enjoy the simple things like eating a burger that has lettuce, pickles and tomato on it!


Thinking back on all the changes and adjustments I had to make through this makes me wonder if moving and/or starting a new job isn’t kind of like jaw surgery.  For me, my first teaching job was a good fit (at least in that season of my life)… but as time went on, things didn’t fit together quite as nicely.  Nothing unbearable, but just enough to make me look ahead and consider how long that was the place for me.


When the opportunity to teach in Colorado came up, I had a decision.  It was less about a “right” and a “wrong” choice and more about where God wanted me in the long run and what he wanted me to be doing.


I imagine in some ways, the transition will be like my surgery.  A sudden change that God has been preparing me for that will require adjustments on my part.  I can’t expect to do everything I was doing here right after I make the move- it’ll take time to get plugged in to a church, learn the roads, get plugged in with a community band/orchestra, etc.  And not only will it take time, but it will take the support of others that God graciously puts in my path.


But, I trust, that in the long run I will be able to look back and say it was all worth it!  So, thanks to those of you who have “tweaked the wires” and helped prepare me for this transition!  And, most of all, thanks be to God who has orchestrated this and had this in his plan all along! 🙂


I’ll be posting more regularly now, so check back if you’re curious how the “surgery” goes!


Don’t Waste Your Life February 14, 2012

Filed under: Faith — songofjoy88 @ 8:08 pm
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About a year ago, I read a book by John Piper titled “Don’t Waste Your Life.”  I just wrote a book review for a church newsletter, so I thought I’d share my comments on the book with you:

John Piper opens the book with the story of an old man who accepts Christ at the end of his life and laments through tears about his life saying, “I’ve wasted it!  I’ve wasted it!”  The impact of this story on Piper’s life led him to consider what it really means to live a life that is not wasted.


In a world of subjectivity, he emphasizes the importance of reading God’s word to know His will.  And as he studied the Bible, Piper came to the conclusion that the aim of our life is the glorify God and delight in Him.  He expounds on what Paul meant in Galatians when he wrote about boasting only in the cross.  The book also details the implications of living out the Gospel in our relationships and at work.  Moreover, Piper exhorts his readers to treasure Christ above all else.


While the content of the book is challenging, the 1-2 page sections within each chapter make it easier to digest.  Throughout the book, Piper quotes and references Scripture and quotes teaching of well-known authors, like C.S. Lewis.  The solid theological foundation and applicability of this book guarantee that your time spent reading it will not be a waste of your life.


And even if you’re not a big fan of rap… give this high energy song by Lecrae a listen- the title is the same as the book: Don’t Waste Your Life.


In case you were wondering… January 31, 2012

Filed under: Just for fun — songofjoy88 @ 8:20 pm
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Spaces and commas are important.

For example: Mans laughter vs. Manslaughter (I’ll concede that there would need to be an apostrophe in there too- “man’s”- but you get the point)

Love this one!!!
















And as a math teacher, I’ve gotta include a few numbers among all this grammer stuff!










Perhaps a more informative/ substantial post next time… perhaps! 🙂


Be My Everything January 22, 2012

Filed under: Faith — songofjoy88 @ 3:40 pm
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Church was canceled this morning because the parking lot was apparently more like an ice skating rink.  Roads are totally fine though so I checked out another church with a good friend.  We sang this song by Tim Hughes called Everything which I’m listening to as I work on some school stuff.  If you like Jesus, you’ll probably like it too! 🙂


Also, I heard a song by Jeff Deyo on Pandora which led me to youtube to listen to some more of his songs… I’m loving this one called Keep My Heart


On a side note, can I just say how great it is to be able to catch up with a good friend at a coffee shop?!  Got to do that twice this weekend!






Just another week in room 715 January 20, 2012

Three day weekends are nice… the fact that they are followed by 4 day weeks is pretty great too! 🙂

After a refreshing weekend which included a visit to a new coffee shop in town, I managed to get a pretty nasty cold.  But, not enough to keep me home- just enough to make me sneeze and cough on my students a lot and push my bedtime up a couple hours because I was so tired!!

Thought I’d just share some random happenings from the week:

  • Two senior (as in 17 or 18 year old) guys happily helped me grade some quizzes in exchange for some glittery Disney princess stickers.  One was planning to give them to his girlfriend…


  • In one of my classes, several students who I had 1st semester only (they were making up a credit) have stopped by to visit this week since it’s the first week of the 2nd semester.  Guess they’re just going through withdrawal!  haha!


  • In that same class, some of the girls wanted to know how I folded my scarf a particular way.  I showed them a couple weeks ago but someone wanted to see again, so I jumped at the opportunity to demonstrate.  Since it’s a Geometry class, I explained how “you find the midpoint and fold it in half so you have two congruent segments.  Then… etc. etc.”  After my animated explanation, I quickly racked my brain- ‘how can I transition to diagonals of a parallelogram??’  Then I had it… “So, just like the midpoint divides the scarf into 2 congruent segments, the diagonals of a parallelogram bisect each other- forming two congruent segments.”  Good times…

  • I’ll finish with one more: I have a student, I’ll call him Eric, in one of my classes and he somehow got this idea that he wants to have me as his math teacher again next year.  Well, there’s been a lot of talk with scheduling for next year already and he was asking me what math class he could take so that he could have me again.  He wanted to know if he’d be able to take the senior math class I currently teach.  Time will tell what I end of teaching (there will be lots of changes in the department next year), but it does make you feel like you’re doing something right when a student is trying to have you 2 years in a row.

More stories for another day… 🙂


Emmanuel… still January 16, 2012

Filed under: Faith — songofjoy88 @ 6:53 pm
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So, here’s the “more reflective post about Christmas” that I alluded to a couple posts ago.


You may be thinking, Christmas?!?!  That was forever ago!  You’ve gotta wait another 300 or so days before you start talking about it again… Well, this just can’t wait that long.


It’s pretty crazy how the hype about Christmas crescendos the month or two before the big day.  And then all of a sudden it’s Boxing Day (aka Dec. 26th) and it’s like a subito piano when it comes to the dynamics of the holiday hype.  It’s not such a bad thing that the mad rush of shopping and gift giving is over, but I quickly forget the message of Christmas along with all the materialism.  Maybe you do too?


In part through a great song by Casting Crowns titled God Is With Us, God was stressing to me this Christmas that it should be a reminder that God is near.  And not just for one day, but every day of the year.  But don’t take my word for it, let’s check out some passages in His Word:

In Matthew 1, an angel appears to Joseph letting him know that Mary is pregnant by the Holy Spirit.  This fulfilled prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 where it says: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”  (Immanuel means God with us.)  Jesus’ birth was a celebration of God coming to dwell with man.  We sense John’s excitement when he writes, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (John 1:14)


This was great cause to celebrate for the people in those days, but Jesus no longer walks on this earth.  So, is he still with us?  Can we still sing songs giving God the name Emmanuel?  The final words of the gospel of Matthew address this reassuringly.  Just after Jesus commissions his disciples to go forth and make disciples, he finishes with these words: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:20 b)  And how will he be with us?


When Jesus is having a heartfelt conversation with his disciples, he assures them that “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18)  And later, Jesus explains that “Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you… But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:7b, 13a)


What a great truth to hold on to: God is with us!  By now, maybe you have already forgotten the presents you gave and received this past Christmas, but may you never forget His presence!  Emmanuel! 🙂


Satisfied? January 9, 2012

Filed under: Faith — songofjoy88 @ 9:17 pm
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“Contentment is not found in having everything we think we want, but in choosing to be satisfied with what God has already provided.”

-Nancy DeMoss


Not sure where I stumbled on this quote, but I’m glad I jotted it down. 🙂  And while it is good to be satisfied with what God has provided, I desire to be satisfied with God himself.  I’m definitely not there yet.  John Piper has definitely said a few things about treasuring Christ and being satisfied in Him.  Most notably, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”


The words of Psalm 90:14 inspired the song “Satisfy” by Tenth Avenue North:

“Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
   that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”


And another good song- “Only You Can Satisfy”


The truth of God’s word through these songs is refreshing and calming.  I think I’ll be playing these songs on repeat indefinitely… 🙂