The Texas Bluebonnets

Its a "thing" in Texas to take pictures of things you love (children, dogs, yourself) in the bluebonnets.  In fact, bluebonnets in themselves are a "thing" in Texas.  I remember the first time I passed bluebonnets in the car with a Texan and they pointed them out to me and I, of course, had been clueless.  I did not really appreciate them then, but now that I have been there 3 spring seasons their beauty has become something to wait on.  When spring time rolls around you will be driving down the highway or interstate and there they are, as if they sprang up over night.  

In honor of my 3rd and last spring in Fort Worth I took pictures of something I love in the bluebonnets, Cali.  


Morningside Milers Club

At our after school program at Morningside Middle one of my teachers recently did the most amazing class. He pulled together a group of students with potential and desire to be runners and created a run club. They trained for 4 weeks and their goal was to run the Seminary stride 5k on April 25th. Some incentives for the kids were a brand new pair of custom fitted running shoes, a nights stay in a hotel and a celebration dinner.
We found teachers and friends to donate money to buy each kid a brand new pair of shoes and each kid got to go to Luke's Locker and get fitted for shoes that worked for them.

The night before their race they got to stay in a hotel and hang out. They were so well behaved. All of us were so proud of them.

All of the team members finished the race and 2 of them even won trophies in their age division. They were the highlight of the race. Everyone there cheered them on each time one crossed the finish line. Below is a picture of the 2 students who received trophies. To the left is Ellisiah. He finished in 25 minutes and placed 2nd in his division. And to the right is Tayana. She finished 2nd in her age division.

We also had a lot of parents and families come and cheer on their students as they crossed the finish line. It was very moving to watch them. Below is Tayana with her grandmother, aunt and brother.

This final picture is of the entire team. I have been here for 3 years in this job and this is by far the most amazing thing we have done. These kids may not have a lot, but they have a lot to give if someone taps into their potential and gives them a chance.



When I was in high school I had to do this leaf collection for science class. I am sure most people hated this project and though I am sure I will be labeled a dork, I loved it. My favorite discovery was the plant in the picture to the left. This is called Resurrection Fern. It grows on trees and goes mostly unnoticed by people. It gets its name because it looks dry, dead and withered most of the time. But after a rain, the plant opens up and comes alive again. This process repeats throughout the entire cycle of the ferns life.
I am getting so close to the end of this three years that has been so difficult and trying in so many ways. My soul has been dry and weary and battered. I have spent so much of the last three years withered (not dead). The past three years as well as all the things that are weighing on my heart right now (my future, a job, finishing in Fort Worth, my grandmother's impending death, etc.) though they are withering to the soul they are also causing me to lean into the cross more heavily. They are an opportunity for the Lord to bring the rains and resurrect what appears dead. My prayer this Easter for myself, more than for a job and more than for direction, is that the Lord would resurrect my heart. That He would grant me the grace to lean into all of these things and await the rain He will inevitably send.

Romans puts it this way: "For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of His resurrection."

In Philippians Paul says, "My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead."

Peter says, "Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."


A Day of Firsts

About a week ago I experienced two "firsts" in one day-one good and one not so good. I was sitting in my office when one of my students who had not come for a while came in and sat down. A few weeks before she had skipped out on her class and disappeared until after our program was over. When I tried to confront her about it she ignored me and when I tried to pull her aside to speak with her she jerked out of her book bag and stormed off. When I chased after her to see what was wrong she broke down and told me to leave her alone so she could go home. This was not like her. She was really upset. She finally let another staff member sit down with her to talk and she cried her eyes out- stuff at home is really rough. She stopped coming to the program for a few weeks until this particular day. She walked in, sat down and said, "I want to apologize for how I acted towards you. I shouldn't have done that and I am sorry." I have worked with these students for 2 years and 1. I have never had a student admit that they did anything wrong and 2. I have never had a student apologize. That was a shining moment for me; a light in a sometimes dark world. It gave me hope, but what happened later that day cast a dark shadow over that hope and it was my second "first."

I had a confrontation with an angry parent, whose only agenda was to let me know how she felt about everything my staff and I had done wrong. She did not want to talk or discuss issues that were for the benefit of her daughter. She did not give me a chance to speak. She was angry and she came to let me know it and leave. I was somewhat dumbfounded. I often wonder why students are the way that they are and why the so poorly handle conflict and then I am enlightened by an experience like that. We teach our students to lay aside the fighting and the arguing and handle conflict in a more productive way, but we


Fit Stix

Recently, I have been on the lookout for unusual things in the grocery store. It's a weird thing to do I know, but it has actually proved to be very interesting. It all started because I have to go to this tiny non-mainstream grocery store for work and there are all kinds of things there that you would not find in your local Kroger or Albertsons or whatever store is predominately shopped my middle to upper class folks.

This find, however, was at one of those said middle to upper class stores-Albertsons. Last night I went to pick up some things with my roommate and I found this on the baking aisle...Sunsweet Fit Stix, Plum flavored. If you try to google it you will come up with this website, which is promiting actual sticks that you hold while doing aerobics. They are marketing their product to the average consumer who is enticed by the NBA logo and the idea that one bite of this product and you would be on your way to athletic stardom. Maybe Fit Stix is an offcial sponsor of the NBA, who knows. If that didn't speak to you there is always the "100% Fruit Bar" plug that is calling the fit nut in you to act by purchasing this product and the fact that the name of the product actually contains the word "Fit."
Working against them however, is the picture of the shiny, juicy, NATURAL plum sitting right next to the 100% Fruit Bar. If someone was standing in front of me with a real plum in one hand and plum flavored stick of gum looking thing in the other, I am going to have to say I would choose the plum.
If you are into the Fruit Stix thing, however, you might be interested to know that Plum is not the only flavor-there are 2 more equally enticing fruit imitations, although I can't recall what they are at the moment. I think I will stick with the real deal and give up my dreams of becoming a fit NBA star- I was never much for fruit snacks anyway.