Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011

2010 has brought many blessings for the Keith family. This year God opened many doors for us, including Matt going full time with Journey Church and me making the decision to continue teaching for another year. I was really thinking about leaving the teaching profession back in March, I thought I blogged about it...but I can't seem to find that post :) We've both grown a lot this year. I've been reminded many times that my timing is NOT God's timing. And sometimes he has a WAY better plan than we do for ourselves.

2011 will bring new joys to our family & extended family. Just to give you a sneak peak...

-In May Matt's twin sisters graduate from Appalachian. Megan with a degree in Family & Consumer Sciences Education & Morgan with a degree in photography.
-In June my baby brother graduates from high school...This is a pretty big deal, he's thinking about going to my alma mater..AppState. (fingers crossed he gets that acceptance letter at the end of January)
-Also in June my sister will be competing for the title of Miss NC here in Raleigh. This is something that has been her dream since she was a little girl and she feels that God can really use her to be an example of a Christian role model for youth across our state.
-BABY KEITH COMES!!!! in July. My due date is July 18th and we are THRILLED to become parents in 2011. I can't wait to meet our little one!
-Morgan (Matt's sister) gets married in November. We're gaining a wonderful brother-in-law and we are super excited about the plans for their special day.
-And finally...in December Anna (my sister) will graduate from UNC Charlotte with a degree in Elementary Education.

Many other wonderful things are happening in 2011...weddings of close friends, vacations, and of course many surprises and blessings from God. We can't wait for 2011...bring it on!


Merry Christmas! A few days late...

Matt & I had a wonderful Christmas! We actually started last Wednesday (Dec 23rd) and had something every day through December 26th...sometimes something twice in one day. We celebrated Christmas 7 times, missing 1 family get together with my dad's side of the family. We traveled to Fuquay Varina, Sanford, and Kannapolis...by the time we got home I was exhausted and sick with either a major case of morning sickness or a nasty stomach bug.

Even though I was sick, we were able to enjoy our wonderful families and I was reminded once again, how blessed we are. God had given us such big families and we have a great time anytime we are together. It was great to stop from the busy month of December to celebrate the birth of our Savior and what that means for us. I was reminded as we drove around NC of how full I feel all the time because of the love, grace, & mercy of my Savior. I can't imagine celebrating Christmas just to celebrate Santa Clause & getting presents...what an empty reason to have a holiday. As Christians we get to celebrate the birth of the One who came just for us, and I can't think of any better reason to gather with my friends & family.

Matt & I scaled back on the amount of money we spent on each other this year, mainly because we just don't need anything...but as I shopped & as we opened gifts the theme of why we celebrate just continued to run through my mind. Every time we opened gifts with our family, I thought about how I had more than I need & the God of the universe came to be born in a stable...A STABLE! No heat, no nice hospital room...but a barn with animals and smells. Such a humbling thought. As we get ready to celebrate the new year, I've been reflecting on what this means & my prayer for the year is that I will come to know Jesus & fall in love with him even more than ever before. Matt & I have an exciting year ahead of us...(I'll save that for my new year's post) but without listing it all God is going to do HUGE things in our family. I want to make sure that through it all, people see Jesus in our family. After all, if you take everything in this world away...he's all that's left. He's all we need.

Anyways, I realize this blog probably doesn't make any sense...it's really just my ramblings of Christmas. Thanks for enduring it! I hope your family had a wonderful Christmas!

Our child got a lot of presents this year...you would thing he or she was already here. Our parents are going to spoil this kid rotten. Can't wait! :)
Aunt Megan couldn't resist when she bought this onesie! I think this was secretly Matt's favorite Christmas gift.
Molly enjoyed Christmas too, even though she has already chewed up (I mean bit the head off and ate it) one of her new toys...sorry Mr. Chicken.


Not Much Lately...

Exactly what I've been doing...

Since I found that I'm pregnant, I've not really done a whole lot...except work & sleep. Of course this is a whole new experience for me, but I'm usually a go getter. Despite the fact that I don't get a lot of sleep as it is because my job is so demanding & I strive to have a life outside of working, I usually just go with the flow...sleep or no sleep, headache or feeling great. But I've experienced all of the 1st trimester goodness...nausea, vomiting, need for MORE sleep, headaches. I feel like I've been such a baby about it, but I've found myself sleeping or laying around any chance I get. For example, I was really planning to get a lot done since it's a snow day. I'm sooo behind on grading & other school responsibilities but when I woke up this morning, even after eating, taking nausea medicine, & showering I still felt like crap & my head was pounding. So what did I do today? Sleep & lay around & eat. It's killing me, this isn't the normal me.

People keep telling me that it will go away after my 1st trimester & I really hope it does. Of course I've also heard the horror stories of women being sick for 9 months. Regardless, I'm trying to make best of this time & I know that whether I feel like a million bucks or I just feel like crap & have to spend the next 7 months going to work, sleeping & eating...7 months from now I'll get to meet the little peanut inside of me that seems like it's growing like a weed because I can't get enough food in my body & that's also been making me so sick.

Matt has been amazing & has had to work WAY to hard recently. He's been doing the cleaning, laundry, & keeping up of the house. He did a lot of the decorating for Christmas (what got done this year...we didn't get everything out, which makes me sad but next year I'll have the energy to help). I've done good to get dinner cooked when I get home from school & keep the fridge stocked with food. Don't even get me started on Christmas shopping though, we have barely started. The goodies I usually bake won't be made this year either, Matt keeps telling me "it's okay," but it's my favorite time of the year & feel like I'm not making the most of it. He is such a wonderful husband & I know he'll make a great daddy. I just feel so bad that he has to take care of me, grab me a snack in the middle of the night, & take over a lot of the stuff that I normally do in the house.

Hope I haven't bored you, but I haven't written in a while & this is really all that's on my mind...and it's what I've been up to. Until next time, I have my saltine crackers & my gingerale! :)


A guy, a girl, a dog, and...

Take a look at our latest blog post on our Matt & Magan site. www.mattandmagan.com

Exciting things to come in the Keith family! :)


Your's is the Victory

I really can't write much about the situation, but just know...

Over the past 3 days I've seen the devil try to tear apart what is going to be a wonderful outlet for Jesus' name to be spread all over the Cabarrus County and North Carolina this year...but guess what...Jesus has already won the battle! It might be a long road of healing for the people involved in the situation, but I believe God is good and he will be glorified through all of this!

The power of death swallowed up in the hope of our Savior
All fear overcome in the light of Him
All of our sin covered up in the love of our Savior
Set free by your grace made alive in Your righteousness

At the cross where You took my place

Yours is the victory
Yours is the victory
Yours is the victory
Yours alone

The power of death swallowed up in the hope of our Savior
All fear overcome in the light of Him
All of our sin covered up in the love of our Savior
Set free by your grace made alive in Your righteousness

In Your power, You abandoned the grave

At the cross where You took my place
In Your power, You abandoned the grave

-NewSpring Church Worship


Babies, the BELL, a Championship, and a Crown

I told Matt Friday afternoon, as we left Knightdale ,that this was going to be my blog title at the end of the weekend. I just knew that it was going to be an incredible weekend. I could write and write and write about it...but pictures are fun too!

On Friday morning, we woke up to a phone call from our friend Blake that his wife, Jacqui, was having their twins! They are some of our best friends, so this was pretty exciting for us. I was able to take a half of day and spend the afternoon with them and their precious babies since her family lives all the way in Indiana. Little AnnMarie & Aiden are just so precious and we are so excited that they are finally here.
Friday night we bared the rain to watch my brother's football team win a tradition that has been around for over 80 years...the battle of the bell game (and yes, Kannapolis has won this game more times that they've lost). This game is between A.L Brown High School and Concord. The Wonders were able to pull off a win, despite the downpours...bringing the bell back to Kannapolis and sealing the conference championship.To finish off our time at home, my sister accomplished a life long dream of becoming Miss Cabarrus County. She has competed in the pageant for 3 years and after many years of hard work, accomplished her dream. You can read more about her and her calling to participate in the Miss America System at this previous post. I know that I am biased, but Anna did an amazing job last night. I can't wait to see how the Lord uses her with this title to make him famous. She will now advance to the Miss North Carolina pageant in June. I am so proud of her!

To finish off this wonderful weekend, I better get off of here...I need to get ready worship at Journey this morning. We have so much to be thankful for today!


I Gotta Grade Essays...BUT

I really need to go grade essays that my students did a week ago, but it's just been on my heart to share the message from this past Sunday at Journey. Jimmy spoke on the questions that so many people ask, believer and nonbelievers..."What does a Christian look like."

This sermon really meant a lot to me because I know a lot of people who have given up on Christianity and some that just do not believe because of the way Christians act. Jimmy reminded us that Christianity is not about rules, and it's not about religion. God didn't send his son to be the Savior of the world so that Christians could be "good people." He came so that we can glorify him with our lives. If we are following Jesus and have an authentic relationship with him, then we do good because it comes from the overflow of our hearts...not because in order to be a Christian you have to be a "good person." (1 Peter 2:11-12, Matthew 5:16)

I could say so many more things about this past weekend, but one thing that he said that remains in my mind is "The Christian life is not about obligation, it's about obedience." It's about bringing glory to Him. I love that. I know that I am not a perfect person, I don't always do "good," because I'm not perfect and I do mess up. Just like little children mess up and sometimes disobey their parents, so do Christians and God loves me even though I don't always make him proud. But one thing I do know is that I want to live my life so that I am transparent and others see Jesus in me. I want to be obedient. I don't want to be the stereotypical Christian. I want people who do not believe to see something different in me, and I want them to fall in love with him...not because of me, but because He is real!

If you have 30 minutes to spare, or even if you don't I highly suggest you listen to Jimmy's message from last weekend. You can watch it here: Sermon.

Now, I must go grade these Revolutionary War essays!



Every once and a while I write a post about my family members. I've written before about my sister & brother, Andrew. This past weekend we celebrated senior night at the A.L. Brown football game for my baby brother Luke. (He's no baby at 6'2, 240 lbs.)I can't believe he is a senior in high school. It's so hard to believe that the last of the Seagroves children is finishing up at Brown. I'm so proud of the young man my brother has become. He loves Jesus, has good grades, he's a great athlete (football & swimming), and he has a great sense of humor...he's always keeping us laughing.

Good luck this week at Concord Luke...bring home that BELL!!! We love you!

And just for fun...here's a recent picture of Matt, myself, and my siblings.


It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

Tonight I didn't bring home any school work and Matt is at band rehearsal, so I had to decide what to do...finish the laundry, clean the house, bake. Nope, I'm relaxing on the couch with the Molly girl watching one of my childhood favorites, "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."
I love fall & I love Charlie Brown...oh, and I'm learning to LOVE time to relax. One of my favorite women in the world tells me it's important. (Thanks Beverly!)


I Will

Well...my posts have turned to weekends only. At least I'm still maintaining a blog.

Friday night we went to the NC State Fair and like always had a lot of fun and FOOD! But, we also went to the Chris Tomlin concert. We've heard him before in concert, so I knew we were in for more than a concert...we were in for a whole worship experience. The whole time I was thinking..."How cool is this? We get to experience the state fair and we get to worship at the same time." Tomlin is coming out with a new cd in November and he did a lot of new songs from his album Friday night. One song really stood out to me, it's called "I Will." This is really how I feel about my life. I've been so bogged down with so much junk lately (I'm not going to get into it again)...just read past posts. God has brought me to my face recently...I just want to make sure that whatever I am doing, I am allowing the Lord to use me and teach me something about him. No matter how overwhelmed I may become.

Where you go, I'll go
Where you stay, I'll stay
When you move, I'll move
I will follow...

All your ways are good
All your ways are sure
I will trust in you alone
Higher than my side
High above my life
I will trust in you alone

Where you go, I'll go
Where you stay, I'll stay
When you move, I'll move
I will follow you
Who you love, I'll love
How you serve I'll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow you
I will follow you

Light unto the world
Light unto my life
I will live for you alone
You're the one I seek
Knowing I will find
All I need in you alone, in you alone

In you there's life everlasting
In you there's freedom for my soul
In you there joy, unending joy
and I will follow



I'd like to say that I've easily been able to create margin in my life...since that was what my last post was all about. But, unfortunately I haven't. My days consist of 5:30 wake up, school at 6:30 till 5:30, home to cook dinner, and school work until I go to bed. I haven't figured out how to create much margin, all this school work HAS to be done. There's just so much paper work these days. People always give me a hard time and tell me to give up something...to learn to say no, but really there is nothing I can say no to. If you talk to any public education school teacher they will tell you...we're swamped. Yes, I coach cheerleading but really it's 2 hours a day and it's something I enjoy about school.

So for now, I have to make the most of my weekends and any little free time that I get during the week. For example, tonight I have school work that needs to be done but I also had a blog post & some pictures that I wanted to get online...so I decided you know what, I'm doing it. I work all day & the school work will get done. I just NEED me time & I need Matt time. If I don't get those two things I know I'll end up sick in the bed and then school WILL suffer. I don't write all of this for people to feel sorry for me...remember, this is my online journal. If you don't like it, you don't have to read. :)

Now, on to the blog post I wanted to write... This weekend we spent the entire time with my family in Kannapolis. We went to my brother, Luke's, football game Friday night. It was homecoming & I went to Brown so it was fun to be there...although, I didn't really see anyone that I went to school with. If you're from Kannapolis or if you've known me long enough you know that I love Kannapolis football anyway. There's just something different about watching the Wonders play...it's not like normal high school football, it's not to me anyway.
I love my brothers! (And my sister, sad she couldn't be there...)

Saturday & Sunday I didn't do anything but eat & sleep. We slept in till 10:30 on both Saturday & Sunday and it was glorious. Usually I would feel bad for wasting my day away, but I don't because I needed that rest. We were also able to spend time with my Mom & Rusty, Dad & Teresa, Anna & Jeremy, Andrew & Chelsea, and Luke. Yes...this is just my immediate family...there's a lot of us. We're rather silly when we all get together too, but it makes things fun.

I've come to really value my weekends. I love spending time with Matt, catching up on housework, and worshiping at Journey. I especially love when we get to spend time with family. There's a lot more family weekends to come with Matt's mom's birthday this coming weekend, Luke's senior night & big rival football game, and Anna's pageant in November. Matt & I will also get to spend a little family time together in November when we head off for a long weekend vacation...we've decided that we need it and even though it's still a month away, I can't wait!

Off to tackle some of this school work and drink a cup of coffee to help me through, yes i know...it's already 9:00. :)


Creating Margin in my Life

This has been the most overwhelming & stressful school year yet! I just can't seem to get a grip on my work & feel "caught up." There's more paperwork & more meetings than ever before and I've just had a hard time getting orgainzed...this isn't like me. I'm always "on top" of my job and I always have a plan...nope, not this year.

I am always stressed...which is not good for me. The picture above says it all...:) Matt & I have been trying to figure out how to create more margin in my life...I just haven't had time to do anything that is not school related lately, with the exception of going to watch my brother play football on a Friday night in Kannapolis. Obviously, I can't quit my job & I can't quit the meetings...so I've got some praying to do. Please pray with me for some relief, some margin, & some stinkin organization. I would really like to feel "on top of things" and not like I am drowning in work.


Something to Look Forward to...

It has become our family tradition that we go see some kind of play around Christmas. I love any musical or ballet and love to go see a show anytime I get the chance. I'm not really sure how Matt feels about it, but he always seems to want to go. If he doesn't like it, he puts on a good face anyway. We've seen South Pacific, the Nutcracker, & A Christmas Carol. This year, we're going to forgo our traditional December performance for...


Matt was able to get tickets for us yesterday afternoon to see The Lion King at the DPAC in January. I have wanted to see this show since it came out probably 10 years ago. It was my dream to see it on Broadway in NYC...maybe one day I'll be able to check NYC off my list, but for now I'll settle for seeing it at the DPAC.



It's been almost another month of NO blog posts...really Magan? Geez...I've just had a hard time adjusting back to school life & we've had a lot going on. No one at school feels organized OR on top of things...we're all just taking it 1 day at a time. Anyway...I did not intend on talking about school in this post.

The weather has been atrocious! 95 at the end of September...and miserable. BUT the weatherman says the temperature will be dropping soon, at least it will be in the 70s, lower 80s. Not quite fall sweater weather...but at least it's a start. I'm longing for some pumpkin spice, apple fritter, & cute fall sweater days.

This picture makes me think of my ASU days & how beautiful Boone is in the fall. This morning I'll settle for this...
and pumpkin spice candles. I can't wait for fall mums, pumpkins on the front porch & cooler weather!


Whoa! A Month?

It's been a month since I blogged last, but it has been a whirlwind of a month. Since then...
I've started back to school
We've moved into our new space at church

Been to Kannapolis for a few football games

Spent time with both sides of our family

Decorated my house for fall

Celebrated 3 friends engagements





Needless to say, I haven't had time for blogging on this site, nor have we had time to update our Matt & Magan site. (It hasn't been updated since June...)

God's been teaching me about simplifying my life recently. Focusing more on him & his will than on material things & my life. I spend so much time on facebook and things that don't really matter than I do reflecting, reading & worshiping. This fall I want to shift my focus a little bit. Pray for me, hopefully I'll spend more time reflecting on the things that matter than wasting my time on things that really don't matter. I look forward to taking more time to rest & reflect on his work, my family, and building relationships. I'm not good at goal setting, because I'm a creature of habit...this is going to be a HUGE challenge for me, but I really feel led to make this change.


Summer is Almost Over

Can you believe it!? Summer is almost over, well for teachers & students that is. I go back to work on Tuesday and students come back the next week. There is a lot to be done to get my classroom ready for kids, but I'm putting that work on hold for a few more days...

I'm about to take advantage of summer over the next few days...Kannapolis, beach, and spending as much time as I can with Matt. We have an exciting weekend ahead at Journey with the opening of our new space as well.

I promise I'll be posting some pictures of the fun to be had between today and Monday...and an NCCAT post in there as well!


Tonight I was getting some things ready for a presentation I have to do tomorrow on a successful lesson I use. I didn't get a chance to use the lesson I'm presenting tomorrow last year because of certain circumstances. When watching over the example I'm going to share, I thought of this original post from last August....I thought I would share again. These kids are now sophomores in high school, but I still miss them and they hold a special place in my heart!


Just Thinking This Morning...

We have a lot going on today...Matt is at a men's breakfast at church, I'm cleaning the house, got to go to the grocery store, and then head to Sanford this afternoon for Matt's cousin, Brandi's, wedding. While I was cleaning this morning I was thinking about my students from last year. It was a challenging year because I taught Language Arts and Social Studies, but I had the best group of kids. Yesterday I found out that the students (at the school that I was at last year) scored the 4th highest EOG scores of 30 middle schools in the county, with 90%! We were an honor school of excellence and we met our growth. Now to a lot of you, this means nothing, but to me it means a lot. I am so proud of the achievement of the students I worked with last year. I will miss them tremendously and they will always be a special group.

Below is a video of a Social Studies project they did the last week of school about the 1950s-2000s.

My "Kids" and Their Music Videos from Magan Seagroves Keith on Vimeo.



So...I'm here. I've made it to NCCAT, the week I've been waiting for since March. For those of you that don't have a clue what I'm talking about...I was accepted to attend a teaching "academy" at Ocracoke Island for a week. This is an all expense paid trip...food, lodging, materials, you name it. I'm super excited to be here and my first day was amazing! I am so excited to meet other teachers from North Carolina and share experiences.

I decided this evening that I'm going to make this trip more than just a time of renewal and preparation for the school year...academically. I want to allow the Lord to work on me this week as well. We have a lot of down time and of course I want to network with other teachers and explore the island...but I really want to spend a lot of time with the Lord as well. I have my own room and I brought my bible, journal and book along with me. I really want to allow God to prepare me for this mission I'm about to embark on...a new school year. If you know the situation of last year, you know that I was super close to quitting teaching all together. The Lord has really worked on me and completely changed my outlook on my job. I really believe that I am at Wendell Middle School to be used by him.

Please pray for me this week. Pray for a few things...first of all, and this is huge to me...I'm not scared to admit. I'm away from Matt with no cell phone signal. The devil could really use this as a distraction for me. I can't just text or call whenever I want. We have to plan to talk at certain times and it has to be limited. Pray that this is not a distraction and that when Matt and I do get to talk it's fruitful. Pray that I can learn a lot to take back to my classroom and also that the Lord will renew me and continue to give me the mindset and strength that he has for me. Pray that I do not miss opportunities this week to learn and grow in him. Also pray that I can share his love with the teachers here.

Pray for Matt. He is working hard this week to prepare the new space for our church so that we can begin services there on August 15th. Pray that he and the team can safely get the new space set up and with no major problems. Also pray for their energy. (They have A LOT TO DO)

I can't wait to share lots of pictures, stories, and probably even future posts very soon. Love you all!


Fairest Lord Jesus

I've been studying God's sovereignty during my time with Jesus the past few mornings. This morning as I was reading about his sovereignty over Job during his suffering, I came across this verse "We cannot imagine the power of the Almighty, but even though he is just and righteous, he does not destroy us." (Job 37:23) This means that the Lord of the universe, no matter what we do or how we act still loves us. This just blows my mind! I am so not perfect, and no matter how hard I try...I'll never be perfect. BUT he is and he loves us, he wants to bless us. How can we not want to bless him back?

While I was thinking through and praying through this verse the hymn "Fairest Lord Jesus," came on Pandora. What a perfect song to go along with my time this morning...

Fairest Lord Jesus, ruler of all nature,
O thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
thou, my soul's glory, joy, and crown.

Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
robed in the blooming garb of spring:
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer
who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight,
and all the twinkling starry host:
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
than all the angels heaven can boast.

Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
now and forevermore be thine.

I just love old hymns, what a wonderful Creator we have!


Mom's 50th

I've been putting off blogging about my mom's 50th birthday because we gave her a surprise birthday party last night. Her birthday was last Saturday and we celebrated with a weekend at the beach, but my sister and I also planned a surprise party for her. Here's a little recap of both events...

Our weekend at the beach was wonderful. This is the 2nd year in a row we've been down to the beach for mom's birthday, thanks to my Aunt Kim and Uncle Chuck, who have a beach house in North Myrtle. Since mom's birthday is July 3rd, we get to spend the 4th of July at the beach as well. Matt & I did a shrimp boil (which I will have to share the recipe for later, it was sooo good!) for my family and the Nicholsons to celebrate. Mom thought this was her party, we did gifts and cake and had a lot of laughs like always. We did some family pictures as well, mom always wants new ones for her house.

Anna and I have been talking about surprising mom on her 50th for a while. Growing up she always did surprise parties for us. We invited people from different walks of life to celebrate with us. It was so wonderful to see so many great people, some I've known my whole life. Anna was in charge of getting mom to the party and she was very tough to get there. She through a good fight when Anna insisted she stopped by their church on the way to dinner. Then she was really upset when Anna wanted her to come inside to see some "wedding decorations" that were in the family life center. She finally got her to come inside and she was totally surprised.

Mom would have killed us if we would have done an "over the hill" theme, so we stuck with a luau theme. Mom's best friend Donna loves to decorate, so we let her do her thing and we took care of the other details. We kept things simple with the food. We did BBQ and, of course, cake from the Party House in Kannapolis. If you live in the Charlotte area and ever need a cake, they have the best! We've had Party House cake for every occasion since I was a little girl and yes, they did my wedding cake!

Matt and I are leaving tomorrow after church for the beach for a week. We haven't been on a vacation for a week since our honeymoon. We are looking forward to relaxing, soaking up the sun, seeing some friends at Caswell, and enjoying our favorite place...the beach! I may or not post while we're gone...if not, have a great week and I'll be back after a wonderful and relaxing vacation. :)


This blog post is long overdue...and I will tell you now, words will never express this trip. They will never do it justice, but I will do my best.Honduras...wow! I don't even know where to begin because this is the 3rd mission trip I've been on out of the country. But I can't even begin to tell you how eye opening this mission was for me. The other out of country trips I've been on were Moldova and the Bahamas. The people we worked with in those countries were poor and we were able to share the word of God with them. Both trips included lots of opportunities to do bible teaching and work. Going to Honduras was different for me in that we were there to love on the people of Honduras, to show them God's love. Yes we did do bible stories through puppet shows but mostly we just loved on the people. We handed out clothes and toys to the adults and children in the villages we went to. I could share story after story with you, but to keep you from reading for days I'll just tell you this. If you were able to put a value on the beauty of Honduras, the people are richly blessed. Monetarily they have nothing, literally nothing. Some people had the clothes on their backs and huts for houses. It is so sad to see the villages and what very little the people in Honduras have. It is a slap in the face, however, to see how the Christians view their lives. They don't mope around about how they don't have anything, they are so happy and joyful for the blessings the Lord have given us. As an American, I feel like such a brat. The trip made me so thankful for what I have and it made me want to figure out how to live on less so that we can help people who have nothing.

We also loved on the missionaries that we were partnering with. Roger and Marilyn Reeck are good friends of our pastor and have been working in Honduras for many years. We were able to work on their house. We did some painting inside and put a roof on their terrace. Their family is such a wonderful group to be around. It is so obvious that the Lord is using them and working in them.I would love to post more, but I just can't put it into words. If you EVER get a chance to go on an overseas mission trip, you just HAVE to do it. The Lord will teach you things far beyond your belief and the people you come in contact with touch your heart more than you could ever imagine.

To see more of what we did....visit the website Matt did for people from Journey to follow while we were there. (www.takeajourney.org/honduras)


Crazy Summer!

Just FYI...I am planning to write a post about Honduras soon. I am still processing our trip in my mind and heart and I'm just not ready to write yet. Stay tuned for pictures and a post soon!

I was looking forward to summer say...mid-February when my kids at school were just nuts. Little did I know that my summer would be jam packed! So far in just 2 weeks...I've been to the beach & on a mission trip to Honduras. In the month of July we have a lot more planned. We'll be at the beach twice and sometime I plan to visit my family in Kannapolis.

This morning I sat down to download some applications to my computer, since the hard drive crashed while we were in Honduras...as I was waiting on things to download I started processing everything there is to do before August 17th. Whoa! I am busy and I didn't even realize it. By the end of summer I will have been to the beach 4 times, Ocracoke Island for a teacher's academy, Honduras, and Kannapolis. I wonder if we'll finish our kitchen? Ha!

Enough rambling...I just needed to get it all out. Really...for my sake. Sorry I bored you. I have a real post coming soon!

For now, hope you are all having a wonderful summer!


Celebrating Our Anniversary

Earlier this week I took off for North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to surprise my brother for his 20th birthday. I had a great time laying on the beach with my mom & sister and being silly with my brothers, Andrew & Luke. Too bad I don't have any pictures to share, I left my camera in Raleigh and my sister hasn't uploaded her pictures yet...so I can't steal them from her.

I came home yesterday to have a little 2 year anniversary celebration with Matt. Our anniversary is actually Monday, but we'll be in Honduras. Last year we went all out to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary by spending a weekend at the Biltmore House. This year was a bit more laid back. We had a nice dinner at 518 West Italian Cafe, took a walk down Fayetteville street in downtown Raleigh, and had a little Starbucks on our way home. If you live in Raleigh, love Italian, and don't mind spending a little money...518 West is great! We wouldn't normally spend a lot of money on eating out, but it was a nice treat.

I cannot believe we've been married for 2 years, the past two years have flown! Matt is my very best friend and I am so thankful for our marriage. God had blessed us in so many ways this year, and I cannot wait to see what he has in store for the next.
(Photo by Kate Ashbrook...the best wedding photographer in the Charlotte area! We miss you Kate.)

I'm looking forward to writing a blog post about the blessings we received while in Honduras over our anniversary. If you get a chance, take a look at our team's blog. We're not sure how often we'll be able to update, but we're hoping we have internet access so we can keep our friends and family updated while we're gone.


Blessings in Disguise

I cannot explain the emotions I have felt this weekend thinking about the 2009-2010 school year. God grew me and stretched me far beyond my belief and I am so thankful that I serve a God that is bigger, far bigger than any problem I had this year. Consider this my disclaimer, this blog post is super long AND super personal. I'm completely opening up here, so be prepared and don't say I didn't warn you.

I started my school year as excited as I could be...a brand new classroom, a brand new school, a brand new staff, and some new kids. Little did I know what I was in for...

I cannot explain to you the type of kids I had this year, but I will say that they were different from anything I've ever had. (Now...I know what you are thinking, Magan you've only been teaching for 3 years and you were at the same school the whole time) But really from my experiences in Lenior, Boone, Cabarrus County, and Apex...it was just different! I had a hard time relating to them at first and they to me, a lot of the year. This made getting to them very difficult. There were many discipline problems, a lot of attitudes, and A LOT of students acting in defense mode ALL of the TIME! For example, if I called on a student many of them would react with "WHAT DO YOU WANT?" instead of answering a question or telling you why they raised their hand. I guess I say all of this to say, the culture of many of the students I taught this year was different from my culture or any culture I've been a part of.

On top of having student issues, we had some issues within our school...mainly because we are a new school...only 3 years old and this was the first year in a new building with 3 grades. There were and still will be next year, a lot of kinks to work through.

Many days I just wanted to quit, thinking these kids don't care and this school is a mess! I often thought, they don't care about me about social studies or THEIR education. So many days I reacted to situations any human would...before I finally realized I couldn't fix the problems in front of me and that I was making myself miserable. Back in March we had lunch with the wonderful Jimmy & Beverly Carroll to discuss the future of Matt's job with Journey and honestly, for me, to seek some Godly wisdom on my situation. (At the time I was seriously considering leaving the teaching profession all together.) Jimmy said something that day that has stuck with me and the Lord really spoke to my heart about my attitude. He told me that I had to pray that the Lord would change my attitude if I was as miserable as I was until I could get out. Or I needed to pray that he will change my attitude and my heart all together if I felt like this is where he is calling me to be." At the time...I thought I was supposed to leave WMS and teaching and work in full time ministry in the field of ministry. I've felt called to ministry for a long time. I kept fighting the idea of staying where I was and really allowing my mission field to be WMS. As I prayed for a changed attitude, the Lord did more than change my attitude...he changed my heart. I realized in March that WMS needs me...well WMS doesn't need me, they need Jesus. I realized that he wants to use me in this difficult situation to be that "something different" among the students and among the staff at WMS. The day I allowed the Lord to change my heart and my attitude, I realized what I had been missing all year. So many blessings and opportunities were missed because I acted "in the flesh."

I am not going to act like the last 3 months were a breeze or that I allowed the Lord to work through me everyday. There were many days that I know I was stubborn and I did not surrender my day to him. There were days that certain students drove me nuts because I did not allow the Lord to take control. I am staying at Wendell next year, no matter how hard it is for me, I am looking forward to it and looking forward to allowing the Holy Spirit to put me aside and pour into the lives of those I come in contact with. I pray that this summer I will allow him to renew me and remind me of how much I need to surrender everyday.

At Journey we at studying Proverbs this summer. Last night Smooth, our student pastor, preached about fearing the Lord. This is something I know I've struggled with for a long time. I always thought, "I'm not scared of God, he's good to me...I know this isn't the right type of fear the bible is talking about, it can't be....but what does it mean?" I realized last night that as a Christian, fearing God is revering him. Revering him so much that you don't care about what anyone else thinks. Proverbs 1:7 says "Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline." This made me think about my year at Wendell and what God has in store for me next year. I want people to look at me and say, "wow something is different about her." I want them to look at me and see Jesus, not Magan. I want my students to see something different in their teacher, something they've never experienced before.

As I finish this ridiculously long blog post, I continue to reflect on this past school year. I pray and I can only hope that the students I let go of last Thursday saw a spark, a tiny something of something different in me. I hope that they saw that I loved them for who there are because I love Jesus. I hope they know from my social studies lessons, that they know I love all people no matter where the person is from or what background they have because of Jesus. I'll never know the impact I had on those students or any staff member I worked with this year, I don't expect to, but I pray they saw Jesus in me. I pray that if they don't know Jesus that He will continue to show himself to them and that they will one day come to a relationship with him.


My Second Love, Planning & Decorating!

I've always said if I wasn't a teacher I'd be an event planner, in fact I've looked for planning jobs several times. Over the past few weeks I've been able to put the two together, I planned the 8th grade semi-formal. I don't normally blog about school and I am not one to brag about what I do at school. What I do is for the kids, not for myself, but in this case...I'm proud of turn out and I have to share!

I was on a committee with two other teachers and with everything going on this time of the year...we had our hands full! I called a few parents that I knew I could rely on, told them the idea in my head and we ran with it. The theme: "An Evening in Paris." The budget: No money...

Here's what we came up with:The entrance: a welcome sign, a patio table, and the eiffel tower.

Students were welcomed into the dance by the eiffel tower and white pillars. We lined the cafeteria with a city scape that my students cut out. There were plants, Christmas lights and tule everywhere to make it seem like a garden in Paris.

The "terrace" where the kids enjoyed a sub dinner from the "Cafe." (Aka, a local deli) Thank goodness Mrs. Bolen and myself saved decorations from our weddings. She had fish bowls with flowers, I had tule and Christmas lights!
We had to hide the drink machines somehow. :)
We had a photo booth for the kids to get their picture made. Two of our very talented students painted this backdrop. It was beautiful!
Mrs Bolen, one of my fellow dance committee members, and myself. I think we had as much fun as the kids did.

Thankfully my best friend, Jenni, had an eiffel tower from the winter formal at Chowan University where she and her husband work. Everything turned out really well and for the first 8th grade dance at Wendell, I would say it went over very well! Thank you to all of the parents, teachers, and husbands for helping make the 1st ever Wendell Middle School 8th grade dance a success! The kids seemed to have had a good time and we were able to clean up, get the kids picked up, and out of there in 1 HOUR!

I'm off to enjoy some time at the pool with our friend Dave before he leaves for Caswell for the summer...4 more days of school this year and then let summer begin!


Blog Neglect

I'll admit it...I'm a blog neglector(I created a new word). Actually, like always, school has been so crazy busy that I haven't had the time or energy to bust out a great blog post. I don't even want to go there...after this week, I don't even want to think about school right now. So...I'm not and that's why I'm blogging.

The past two weekends have been filled with some old school BDT goodness. (BDT was the ministry team I was on for 4 summers at Fort Caswell.) Two of my very dear friends from my wonderful summers at Caswell got married, not to each other, they didn't break contract like so many of us did. :) Sorry Merrie, God does crazy things sometimes.

The first weekend was spend in Kannapolis with my family. We had a great time of laughter and eating...like we always do when we go home. Gotta make a stop at either Gary' Barbecue, What-a-burger, or Stag & Doe every time I go home, yum! Anyway, Lindsay's wedding was at the Cliff's at Keowee Vineyards. It was one of the most beautiful weddings I've been to, and Lindsay was a gorgeous bride. We had the most fun hanging out with friends and dancing the night away to a live band.

Last weekend Matt & I decided to get a condo at Carolina Beach with our friends, Dave & Laura. It was a wonderful weekend and a much needed beach getaway. We started the weekend by eating at Provisions Co., the best seafood restaurant in Southport, NC. It's on the Cape Fear River and their shrimp is the best! Saturday we laid on the beach for most of the day and attended Matt Holland's wedding in the evening. His wedding was at Scott's Hill Baptist, where he works and where his beautiful bride, Liz, grew up. It was a sweet wedding and the reception was at an Art Museum. Of course we ate Britt's doughnuts twice in one weekend and enjoyed ourselves very much!

This weekend we are just resting at home and I'm excited about finally being back at Journey. I've missed my 2nd graders and of course some great worship & preaching. I'll probably end up doing some kind of school work, but we are planning on just doing some things around the house and probably start thinking about our trip to Honduras in a few weeks. Yes, we are going to Honduras. We're going to be doing construction on a missionary's house and hanging out in the schools with local children. This is our first mission trip with our church and as a married couple. We're excited to see what the Lord is going to do while we're there.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend! I'll be back soon, hopefully before the school year ends...if not, see you after June 10th!


The World's Best Mom

Everyone thinks their mom is the best, but I will argue...my mom really is the world's best mom. Most of you know my story and the things I've been through, my mom has been there for me through it all. Since I was a little girl she's made sacrifices for me and my siblings that no one should have to make. She has been there for me no matter what I needed to talk about, she has encouraged, she has listened, she has laughed with me and cried with me. She has been an example of a strong woman who has faith in God, she has taught me how to be Jesus to others when I didn't feel like it, and she's looked to the Lord to provide finances, encouragement, and comfort,when she didn't know how. She has shown me love and has supported me no matter my endeavor. There aren't enough words to describe how great my mom is and how thankful I am for her. I pray that one day I am the mom that she's been to me to my children. She's a very special woman and what I love the most about her is that no matter her circumstance, she has shown me how to trust in the one has our plan already worked out, Jesus Christ!

Mom, I'm celebrating you from Raleigh today. I wish I could be there to celebrate with the family, but I promise next week when I'm home we will celebrate you! I love you!!!

I have another special mom in my life, Darlene. Some people don't get along with their mother-in-law. But let me tell you, she is the best. She is my other mom and I am so thankful that when I married Matt, I was blessed to get her too! Darlene, thanks for always being there and treating me just like another daughter!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms in my life. Many of you are special to me, and I'm thinking of you today!


Kitchen Remodel Reveal

I posted a few months ago that we were going to remodel our kitchen and I also promised to keep you updated, but I never did write a blog post. We did post facebook pictures, so I didn't do too bad. We are in the home stretch of finishing up our kitchen. We still need to get our new stove & dishwasher, give the walls a fresh coat of paint & do our tile back splash. However, The big tasks of replacing countertops & painting the cabinets are finished. Before I show you the new kitchen, take a look at our kitchen before.

And the new, almost finished kitchen.

We felt like the kitchen was really dark and I'm all about lightening up things a bit, so we painted our cabinets antique white, got a smaller cafe table, added the island back in for more counter/cabinet space, got a new sink/faucet, & replaced the counter tops with a more neutral color. I'm proud of the way things turned out. Like I said, it's not finished but we've come a long way. AND the thing is, we did everything ourselves except install the counter tops. Matt & his dad ripped the old ones out and did the plumbing. We are proud of ourselves considering neither one of us are really do-it-yourselfers. We'll be posting soon with the finished product!

When you get a chance, take a look at our "family" website. Matt's going to post about our project outside....