Friday, April 17, 2009


John 10:10 says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. "

For some reason, today, this verse has stood out in my mind. I think part of it is because I am realizing how often I allow Satan to steal my joy. I believe that God has come to bring me a fresh, new, and abundant life. When I first discovered Him, I experienced new and abundant life, but as time has gone on, I have fallen in to old routine, where I am sitting and waiting for life to happen to me.

No longer. Today is a new day. I have decided to set goals for myself. Goals that are obtainable, but will require me to not sit around. Amongst these goals, I will do my best to not waste money in the process, but be creative in how I pull all of it off. I will also invite friends on my journey. Here is what I hope to accomplish by May 2010:
  • Complete my Master's degree.
  • Maintain my teaching position in the same school.
  • Let the people closest know how much I care for them by loving them in their love language.
  • Serve others as often as I can, not just when asked.
  • Run a marathon. (Stop talking about it, and DO IT!")
  • Get involved in a Bible Study.
  • Rebuild my relationship with the Lord to one that is strong, and full of joy.
  • GET HEALTHY!!- Include veggies, fruit, water and exercise in my daily life.
  • Pay off credit card debt.
  • Plan outings with friends, and have friends over.
  • Make ateast 5 new friends.
  • Reconnect with 5 old friends.

For the fun stuff:

  • Go kayaking or canoeing
  • Go camping.
  • Go hiking, possibly in the mountains.
  • Get a group to go to Stix River.
  • Beach trips with friends.
  • Rock climbing.
  • Mountain biking (10 mile trip)
  • Boogie boarding/ surfing
  • Ride a wave runner
  • Go boating
  • Spend an entire day on the water with friends.
  • Get in touch with someone I have not talked to in a while, and meet up to hang out
  • Go to a concert
  • Plan 2 really good girl outings

Anyone want to come along for the journey?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Look Back

It's weird to me to look back on my six years of youth ministry in Orange Beach. Sometimes it feels as though that time did not exist. It is almost painful to look at pictures from students that I worked with. It reminds me of the movie Back to the Future when Marty's face seems to be disappearing from all the pictures. Why does that happen? Why do we seem to grow so far apart from people we were once so close to? Six years...six years seems to be a long time. I often wonder if I made an impact at all. I loved those kids. I still think about them often. I do not think they know how often I think about them.

I believe that God has given me a mission to make a difference in young peoples' lives. Right now I feel like my relationship with the Lord is so stale. I pray that God give me a fresh insight into his Word, a new desire to serve Him and love Him with all of my being. I want to make a difference in a good way. I hope and pray that the students I work with now, and have worked with in the past know that I love them and care about them. I want them to know that I love them the way Jesus loves them. I know that the Lord has me where he wants me. I also know that He desires for me to be in youth ministry, not neccessarily as a paid job, but in some form or fashion. My heart breaks for ones that seem so lost, and do not know they need a Lord in their life.

I think the hardest part in youth ministry is to see students that you have poured your life into, and have chosen to run away from a God that loves them and wants only what is best for them. If they only knew...if I only knew how much we are loved and desired by our Creator.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

You gotta do what you gotta do...

In the first semester, I had a student that drove me crazy, but every once in a while he still visits me. Right after second semester, I brought some doughnuts to school for my students. Anytime I do things for my second semester students, my first semester students surprisingly show up.

Well, three of my old students came by after a visit to the library asking for a doughnut. No biggie, I gave them each a doughnut, and sent them on their way. Well, one of boys asked the girl next to him to take his book for him. She looked at him like he had lost his mind, and asked why he couldn't take his own book to class. His response was, "Girl, you know I can not be seen carrying books. Please girl, I have a reputation to uphold." She just laughed in his face, and turned around an walked out. He was like, "Crap, I can not be seen with these." Next thing you know, he was stuffing them up his shirt." - I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring Break

The Godfather ate two bags of chips and a rice crispy treat in my class today. He seemed really hungry. I am not jumping to any conclusions. I am just saying....

Spring Break is around the corner, and all the teachers seem to be talking about is how they can escape a day early. My thought is let's just get this week over with, one more day to go then I am headed out of town.

Can't wait to hang out with my family. I am sure I will have plenty of stories to blog about when it comes to my niece and nephews. My niece is having her birthday while I am in South Carolina at my sister's house. We will all be headed to see the new Hannah Montana movie. Oh, don’t feel sorry for me, I love me some Hannah Montana.

Recently my 8 year old niece got really sick. She ran a fever of 105 the first two days, then nothing below a 100 for the next week. My sister said that Jason, my brother-n-law had to take her to the Emergency Room. Alex, my niece freaked out on them. (It ended up being the flu and a bad kidney infection.) Peyton said that every time they used a word Alex did not know in front of her she would start crying, and ask what is ____? For example, Peyton said,"The doctor is going to have to take a urine analysis." In the background, I could hear Alex get this loud whiny voice, "A urine analysis?....What is a urine analysis?" Then Peyton asked Jason to meet with the Peds. (pediatric). Alex whined again, "Peds..what is that?" You have to laugh. I know it was all because she just felt bad, and every thing sounded bad. Fortunately, she is doing much better now.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I salute you, middle school teachers!

I have been teaching middle school in the Bayou for the past year; and everyday I say to myself, "I need to write this stuff down." So, that it what I am doing. I am not even sure where to start, but I will try...

The other day one of my students, Wes, farted in front of me. I was so taken off guard, not because he did it, but because he was so proud of it. I was like, "Wes, that was totally inappropriate. You know, no girl is going to want to go out with a guy that passes gas in front of them; especially when he finds it so amusing." Wes looked at me, and with all seriousness, says, "Ms. Petty, times have changed since you were young. Girls, today, like it. They think it is cool." I thought I was going to fall out. So, I took a survey. Not much to my surprise, things have not changed...girls still find this act disgusting. (Wes told me that the girls I asked did not count.) This is the same student that walks in everyday, and sprays himself down with my air freshner. I don't stop him either. That spray is my life saver.

I have another student that finds it amusing to talk about drugs on a regular basis. He is known as the "Godfather." One day he asked me how to spell marijuana. I said, "Why are you asking me this?" He responded with, "I want to look it up on the computer. Besides, it is not like every teacher here doesn't know I am a drug dealer. But...they will never catch me." When I told him that I was going to have to report what he had just said to me, he just laughed, and said, "I guess I will just spell it W-E-E-D." Am I the only one that finds this unsettling?

I wish I would have begun this blog earlier. There have been so many stories througout this year that deserve to be written down. I could write a book.