Co-Hosting Week #3 of Chain Linky CLIMB Party

Remember when we were kids and we tried to climb EVERYTHING? Join us this week as we CLIMB from blog post to blog post! 

God’s Growing Garden

Share your posts and share other’s blog posts!We’ll have a great time swinging around from post to post!!!

If you read this blog post and join the CLIMB, please leave me a comment so I can make sure to give you an extra shout out on social media!!!

Co-Host Carrie


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God’s Growing GardenGod’s Growing Garden

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WELCOME!



It’s the month long Networking Blog Hop 




Networking means helping each other grow!!  If you want to promote a CLIMB link, then use #ChainLinkyCLIMB on Twitter or Google+ so that we can all help each other grow!

Here’s how the Giveaway & Co-hosting works – the co-hosts from the previous month’s CLIMB will have the opportunity to participate in a Giveaway during the next CLIMB – that gives co-hosts 2 months in a row of blog growing fun!!  (If you would like to co-host please sign up at the end of this post using the last “Linky”)

Also, our CLIMB GIVEAWAY! Please enter below -one person will win:



– $20 Paypal cash from Sew Crafty Angel & from Cuddlebug Cuties 
– 1 Ad Space on A Peek Into My Paradise – $30 value

– 1 Monthly Ad Space on God’s Growing Garden – $15 value

– A gorgeous Necklace with natural raw marble beachstone by ShorelineDesigned – $20 value

MARVELOUS MARBLE NECKLACE
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Marvelous Marble – Natural Raw Marble Beachstone from Lake Michigan, Black Waxed Cotton Cord, White Recycled Glass Krobo Bead Unisex Necklace“Simple and elegant Stone. Glass. Fiber.  I have found and drilled this Lake Michigan raw black and white marble beachstone, hand drilled a 5 mm hole, hand strung it onto a quality waxed cotton cord and topped it with an ice-white recycled glass Krobo artisan bead.  This unisex necklace can be worn long as is – perhaps for layering with others, or you may snip and re-knot the cord to your liking.  As is, the necklace as tied will hang a long and leisurely 27 inches including the 2 inch glass and stone pendant.”



by ShorelineDesigned

Total prize value is $85!!


CLIMB Giveaway Rules & Conditions: – this is open worldwide (void where prohibited)

– You must be 18 years or older to enter 

– You MUST have a blog to win the Ad spaces (otherwise these will become a second place prizes)

– You must live in the lower 48 of the United States to win the Necklace (otherwise this will become  second place prizes)

– You MUST have a valid PayPal account to win the Paypal Cash (otherwise this will become a second place prizes)

– This Giveaway is open from January 31st, 2015 until February 28th, 2015

– Winner must respond to email within 48 hours or a different winner will be chosen

– Giveaway Hosts & Co-hosts can NOT enter this Giveaway!, however – FEBRUARY 2015 CLIMB blog hop co-hosts ARE allowed to enter this Giveaway (provided they are not also part of the Giveaway)

– correspondence is done through email and the winner’s email addresses will only be used to deliver or set-up e-prizes.  Email addresses will NEVER be sold or shared.
– All prizes will be delivered by the contributing Bloggers/Shop Owners.
– if you have any questions or concerns about this Giveaway please email one of the hosts:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now onto the CLIMB (blog hop):We have changed it up a bit – instead of linking your homepage you may now link up to 4 of your family friendly blog posts per month!!

 

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By participating in this blog hop your understand that your link might be featured &/or promoted on our blogs & social media.  Also, by participating in this blog hop your email address will be added to our CLIMB list & you will be sent an email reminder next month. 


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Remember – If you co-host you will receive a free Weekly Sidebar Ad and your blog button will appear on both Angie’s blog & Angel’s blog!!



(The Ad will run live a few weeks after you have co-hosted)




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Love–Don’t Panic


If we were having coffee, it would have to be later in the day this weekend. I’m tired. Exhausted, really.


Sometimes I can plan and prepare for this type of physical and emotion attacking week, but this one I felt I was totally prepared for.


WHAM!


I wouldn’t say anything bad happened, but when you hit survival mode by 8:15 on Monday morning, well, it gives you an inkling of what’s coming.


So, I did what all overwhelmed, panic attack looming, over-time employed, mothers of teenagers do when they find themselves hanging on by a thread.


I drank more coffee, ate more sugar, got up earlier, stayed up later, and made sure to spend a bit of time doing things for me. I left work when everything wasn’t quite finished. I read a book that I have a book review coming due on. I went and watched a movie. I had dinner.



Yeah. I’m a party animal!


At one point during the week I could feel the panic attack coming on. My breathing pattern was changing. My eyes were expanding in my head. My thoughts were racing.


This is new for me. Recognizing the symptoms before they get too far.


So, I shot my hubby a quick e-mail at the break.


I’m feeling a little overwhelmed today. Tears…panic attack pending…


And in less than two minutes I got an e-mail back.


That stinks! I love you anyways 😉


Um, who wouldn’t stop and smile at that reply?


Take a deep breath. Assess the situation. Nothing terrible is happening today. What do you need to do right now? One thing. Not everything. Do that.


Yes, I still went home exhausted. Wore out. Feeling emotionally wiped out. But with one quick e-mail response, the full-blown panic attack was averted.


What do you do when you get overwhelmed? Can you recognize the symptoms of impending meltdown?


Do you need someone to strategize with you? Talk you down? Or just remind you that you are loved?


Do you have to withdraw from everyone even if that means leaving work or your own family immediately?

I’d love to hear what others do. I will need to find some other strategies as my husband will soon be released to return to work and won’t be able to respond to me immediately for much longer.

Let’s Go to the Hop! The Valentine’s Day Hop!

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! 

I’d love to help you grow your blog love this week, so join us in the Valentine’s Day edition of the Bloglovin’ Blog Hop! I read some AMAZING posts from our contributors last week, and can’t wait to visit all your blogs this week!

Share love with your friends and invite them to hop with us!

I’d also like to encourage everyone to try to leave at least one person you don’t already know on the hop some comment love, repost their blog on Twitter, and share your favorite post from someone else on your Facebook page. You’ll be surprised by the love you’ll receive in return!



Bloglovin Blog Hop Happy kids Inc Blogging link up

Bloglovin Blog Hop Happy kids Inc Blogging link up

              

   

Bloglovin Blog Hop Happy kids Inc Blogging link up

1, Please follow your host and co-hosts.

2. Add your link directly to your Bloglovin’ profile in the linky. You will need to manually upload your profile photo.

3, Visit and follow at least 2-3 other bloggers.

4. Tweet and share this hop!

Bloglovin Blog Hop Happy kids Inc Blogging link up


Happy Kids, Inc.

Put the Stones Down!



In the past two days I’ve done quite a bit of reading where Christians have made harsh statements about other Christians based on decisions they make. One instance was a church website that went as far as to say that anyone that didn’t share the churches beliefs wasn’t actually a Christian to start with and would burn in Hell.


Another included many Christians arguing about the legality of Christians watching a particular movie. It ended with many Christians stating that born again believers would not have a desire to watch said movie. Therefore, anyone saying they were going to watch the movie and claiming to be Christian were either never saved to start with or living intentionally in direct rebellion to God’s will.


And then the Christians on the other side throw out the “Judge not…” from Matthew 7. The “judging” Christians comeback with Ezekiel 3:18-19 if they’re talking to non-Christians and Matthew 28:15-17 if they’re talking to Christians.


I really want to just put on my teacher voice and yell, “Knock it off! What is this argument benefiting either side? Why did you even bring these subjects up?”


You see, Paul addresses a similar topic in Romans 14. I’m going to change food to wine for a contemporary topic that is still very much relevant.


Let’s say two Christian families attend a non-denominational church that has no strong belief on partaking in alcohol. Believers are left on their own to decide what God speaks to them about partaking of alcoholic beverages. It is not condoned nor condemned.


One family has searched the scriptures, prayed, and waited for God’s answer. They are at peace with the decision that Jesus water to wine was not grape juice, but fermented juice that is present day wine. They do not drink to become drunk, but they do enjoy an alcoholic beverage with dinner several nights a week.




Family two has an adult member that has struggled with an alcohol addiction. After being sober for 16 months, they have returned to church and are becoming grounded in the faith they were raised in. They feel that alcohol is not only a sin, but will destroy their family if given any foothold at all in their lives.


Both families meet for dinner on a Friday night. Family one goes to order a bottle of wine. The recently sober member of family two asks if they could please not drink in front of their family because they have pledged not to have anything to do with alcohol to God.


Which family is right?


Most of us want to choose a family to be right. We want the answer to be black or white. Right or wrong. One way or the other.


The truth, however, is somewhere in the gray.


Scripture speaks of alcohol taken to cure stomach ailments. It talks about alcohol and men of leadership in the church. It speaks of Jesus turning water into wine. It speaks of the crowds thinking the apostles were drunk when they were preaching.


It also speaks of being sober-minded. Too drink or not to drink?


The answer is clear.


Let. It. Go.


Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Romans 14:3



Sometimes we are free to live according to the promises we have made God as long as it doesn’t create a problem for someone else.


If I’m a recovering alcoholic and you drink in front of me, you’re causing a problem for me. If I’ve made an oath to God that I personally will never eat beef, that’s not your cross to bear. I can’t expect everyone else to live by the promise I made with God.


Yes, sometimes we are called to warn someone that they are headed down a slippery slope called sin. But we warn them and then we pray for them. We don’t berate them publicly. We don’t harass them. We don’t stone them.



I may choose not to participate in what they’re doing. I may even separate myself from their company because of their decisions. But I don’t proclaim for all to hear that they are on a one-track path to Hell with no hope of returning to God.


We can choose not to condone without choosing to stone.

Will you join me in putting the stones down? Let’s help somebody up instead of reminding them of just how low the world thinks they are.

This post was shared on:

A Fresh Start

Motivation Monday



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Divine Devouring Fire


I came across the above quote on my facebook feed today, and it really caused me to think. It had no scriptural reference. Nor did I recognize the name associated with the quote.


“Your Lord is a fire…”


No. No, He isn’t. He’s mercy and love and creativity–not destruction.


What an awful way to present God. And this is a Christian site sharing this!


Well, I ran across the image a couple times this evening, pausing to ponder its meaning each time.


Before reading The Crucible with my high school Juniors, we do quite a bit of background work to make sure we understand the history behind the witch trials. In order to understand the history, we must familiarize ourselves with the core beliefs of the Puritans.


As part of the front-loading process, we read an excerpt from the sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. My students don’t typically appreciate the excerpt. However, it gives them a clear picture of how the Puritans of this time viewed God.


And every time I scrolled past this image, I kept seeing God gingerly holding a spider between His index finger and thumb, as if it were the most vile thing ever created, over the raging fires and flames of an inferno called Hell.


The God I know created the spider from His imagination and creativity. He loves His creation. He does not abhor His creation.


Discipline? Yes. Give them freewill to choose heaven or hell? Yes. But to barely hold them over hell and then intentionally let them go? No.


So, imagine my surprise when I was reading the Bible this evening and stopped with Hebrews 12:29.


For our God is a devouring fire. Hebrews 12:29


Our God acted as a devouring fire when He consumed (burned up) all of our sin when He accepted His Son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for our sins. Our sins are ashes once we invite Jesus to become our personal Lord and Savior.


Where do we all gather when we’re camping?


What about the church hayride and bonfire?


Christmas Eve to read the Christmas story?


When it’s cold outside?


Don’t we rush to the fire? Don’t we draw in and huddle close? Do we find ourselves inviting others into the circle so they don’t miss out?


That fire isn’t all a destructive thing.



It brings warmth. Ability to cook. Light to the darkness. Fellowship. Protection. It provides comfort.


So, if the Lord is a fire, and He lives in our hearts, what condition should our hearts be in?

Cold? Lukewarm? Or bonfire blazing?

On the Other Side of Mourning

Have you ever lost something that was important to you? I mean something more than an object. Something that really can’t be replaced.


Something like your joy or peace or desire to serve.


What happens when you lose something like that? How do you feel?



I’ve mentioned before that a couple years ago a Christian counselor told me I needed to take at least a year break from the church I was serving in because of the stress it was causing me. I really struggled with that suggestion. I quit going to counseling because of it, and continued serving in church.


And my stress levels continued to cause increased anxiety until I entered a period of great loss. The loss was so devastating to my spirit that I found myself in a period of mourning.


My season of mourning couldn’t have been any clearer if I had thrown ashes on my head and dressed in sackcloth.




My joy? Gone.


My walk with God? Hindered by the overwhelming emotions.


My serve? Out of guilt and obligation.


And I had tried everything to get out of this ‘funk’.


Prayer. Bible study. Counseling. More involved in serving. Encouraging others. Loving those I didn’t even like. Saying yes when I knew I should be saying no.


I finally hit rock bottom in the most freeing way.


In a final conversation with myself I decided I couldn’t be so miserable any more. God didn’t create me to be in a perpetual state of mourning. This had gone on for too long.


I had punished myself for long enough.


God loved me, forgave me, and had work for me to do. I had to get up and get well.


That has almost been a year and a half ago.


Not an easy year and a half. On the other side of mourning is a lot of anger, hurt feelings, additional loss, a totally different kind of mourning, and then, sometime when you aren’t paying attention, the ashes get swept up.


Then, you find yourself out of town late on a Saturday night for an annual family event. You’ve missed church most years on Sunday after that event. You could have made it this year, but no one sets an alarm and everyone oversleeps. Then when you finally wake up and realize church has already started and you can’t make it, you’re sad that you’ve missed church.


And that thought made me smile.


I was actually SAD that I missed church.


I didn’t feel guilty for missing church; I felt disappointed that we missed out. I wasn’t worried about who had to cover my jobs and what complaints I would hear about. I wasn’t concerned about who might think we were looking for a new church or skipping church because we were mad at someone or weren’t truly Christians.


I was simply sad that we had accidentally overslept and missed church.


It was a huge breakthrough for me.


I’m actually happy again. At work. At home. At church.


That last one was hard to type. I’m afraid to say it.


But this evening as I drove home from work I paused as I heard a song on the radio for the first time in a long while.



“Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn”
-Worn by Tenth Avenue North


I have. I used to bawl through this song because it was my prayer, but now it is my praise! God can mend a heart no matter how frail and torn! I am singing again…from my heart not from routine! The ashes are being shaped into something new! And that new? It’s beautiful!


Are you struggling? Do you feel alone? Past the point of redemption?


Friend, God has great plans for your life! He’s not done! He can restore, redeem, and renew whatever is broken or worn out in your life. No, there’s no quick fix, magic pill, but if you ask Him, He will do it!


And I don’t want you to have to do it alone. I’d like to help someone out the way I wish someone could have been able to help me. To help bear the burden. To pray you through. To speak words of encouragement, motivation, and, yes, sometimes tough love.

If now is your rock bottom, here’s your sign and your hand up! If you haven’t hit rock bottom, but you’re close enough to see it, don’t wait! Reach up for help now.

Shared with Motivation Monday

Coaching Authentic Learning #WeekendCoffeeShare

If we were having coffee I’d ask if we could just meet at my house.



Sure, it’s a mess, but I’m tired and would rather lounge around in my comfy clothes than dress to meet you out.


I make us a couple cappuccinos in the Tassimo. Or I could make the mochas or white mochas if you’d prefer. Tea? I can do breakfast tea.


Oh, could you grab some pastries on your way over, though? Anything would be great!


It’s still too cold to visit outside, but we could sit in the kitchen or the living room and catch up. Or just calm down.


Do you teach, too? Were your students bouncing off the walls yesterday? You would think after a snow day we would have all come back to school better, but it was actually worse.


Someone did mention it was a full moon too. That does make an impact. I wonder why it isn’t ever a POSITIVE impact.


What’s your best full moon story? Deliver any babies? Crazy naked person show up at your door? Werewolves?


You know I could focus on the crazy all morning, but do you know what the best part of my week was?


I got to do what I love and watch it work.



I was terrified about introducing this argumentative research paper to my seventh graders. My fear grew when I realized the topic I chose was too deep.


I planned a week for this portion of the unit. We’re on week three.


It’s been slow. Painstaking. Work.


However, this week.


This week I’ve watched a few teams in each hour finish. I’ve coached teams through “aha moments” and watched them jump the hurdle and sprint for the finish.  I’ve asked the teams that finished early to turn around and coach the teams that weren’t to the typing stage yet. And there I saw magic.



I watched “coaches” sit down in between partners, help them get organized, develop a plan, and get them motivated in a way I had not been able to do.


I watched as one “coach” met with a set of partners for a few minutes and moved on. Odd, I thought. Until one of the partners hollered at me, “Mrs. Tripp! We are almost done with our figurative language. ‘Coach’ explained it to us again and it finally makes sense! We get it now!”


I had been attempting to move that particular group through that stage of their writing for three days. They should have been one of my first groups done. A few minutes with a student coach was all it took.


I had students ask to explain examples of figurative language they found on the internet. When I broke it down to a concept they would understand I couldn’t believe the reaction. “Mrs. Tripp!” one exclaimed placing both hands on their forehead, “That is deep. It absolutely makes sense, and now I understand, but you have to think to see that. Wow. We read that at least twenty times trying to figure it out. Just wow. That’s perfect. Exactly what we’re trying to say, but in a different way.”


At the same time another student on the opposite side of the room hollers my name, “All of this thinking is starting to hurt my head. Who knew these things meant other things? You really have to pay attention. Now I have to read the whole thing again. My head is going to be killing me!”


Did I mention I was worried about teaching them source cards, notes cards, and how to do a works cited page?


Yeah, at this point in time I am amazed at how much authentic learning has happened in our classroom. And how much of it I didn’t plan.


My English 3 classes have been just as motivated.


My week has been everything I haven’t expected. The good and the bad.


What about yours? Has anything gone GREAT that you expected to bomb? Or, like my yesterday, has anything gone crazy that you expected to be great?

I’d love to hear about your week over coffee!

This post was shared with:
Literacy Musing Mondays

photo credit: Teaching via photopin (license)
photo credit: Good morning via photopin (license)