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!