Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Greetings

But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.”
1 Samuel 12:24

As the end of 2007 draws to a close, this verse reminds me that I should truly consider what great things the Lord has done for me and my family. It is at this time of year that we celebrate the most important thing—the birth of Jesus Christ! I am thankful for the hope I have because of Jesus and the ways that this hope has transformed my life. I pray you too know this great hope—

This entire year has been a transition to teaching for me—I student taught at Pine Ridge HS in Deltona, Florida for 12 weeks last spring. Deltona is a suburb about 45 minutes north of Orlando; I taught under Erin Johnson, a seasoned teacher who taught me much about the art of teaching but most importantly about my own motivation to teach. May was the month that I graduated with my Master’s of Science in Agricultural Education and Communication from the University of Florida—Go Gators! I figured I might as well retire for a few weeks since I hadn’t been paid for the previous five months and I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a retiree—it gave me plenty of time to say good-bye to the amazing friends and family that I had made during my short two years in Florida.

God is surely generous as He helped me line up a job before I even graduated! I came out of retirement promptly after moving back to Arizona so that I could start my job as one of two Ag Ed teachers at Buckeye Union HS, which is about 45 miles west of downtown Phoenix. Teaching is honestly the hardest thing that I have ever done but I love it dearly. There have been a few potholes, some of them deeper than others, but God has given me a heart for this age group and this topic, both of which I am thankful.

My brother helped me find a beautiful home in Buckeye in early August and I moved in over the first weekend in September. Home ownership has been fun—I love figuring out where I want to hang things and am continually rearranging trying to find the perfect spot for items. The hardest part has been finding time to maintain my backyard and it currently looks like a small jungle—my goal for the spring is to mow it more than once every 12 weeks. What can you expect though when I spend more time in my classroom than in my own house?!

I wasn’t the only one in my family to move this year—both my mom and dad moved into new offices at the beginning of this year. Paul and Gretchen (my brother and sister-in-law) moved their four kids up to Cottonwood and are living in my grandparent’s old house which sits across the road from my parents. My sister, Anna, completed the year of great moves of the Groseta’s by moving in with me after she graduated from the University of Arizona with her BS in Agriculture Resource Economics and Management in December.

God’s blessing upon my life was far beyond what I deserved this year yet He continually showered down more. I praise God for the health and happiness of my family and am eager to start a new year full of exciting changes and new adventures! If you’re ever in the neighborhood, please stop by—I am never too busy to cook a good meal for good friends!

Blessings in Christ,


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

When opportunity knocks

2 Corinthians 4:11 says, "For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body." This verse is the answer I've been looking for over the past year in my search to understand what it means when I say I want to love God more. I have prayed, read the bible, meditated on, journaled, reflected, and discussed with friends what love is and what loving God more looks like in my life. I have been confused, frustrated and almost afraid of what the answer might be at times. But (the merciful "but") this scripture made it so clear--I am to die to my worldly self (translation: my own needs, wants, desires, justifications, etc.) so that Christ's character (translation: God is love) may be revealed in me.

Hmmph. Well, that seems pretty simple. And it's clear as day in my mind. No confusion, honest. I guess it's time to see if I truly want to love God more because we all know that knowledge without implementation is useless. What am I going to do with this new knowledge?

As I updated my friend Brian on this last night, he shared some insight--oftentimes when we ask for something from God, he doesn't just give us what we ask for. Instead, he gives us the opportunity to demonstrate more effort on our part to become that way. For example, when we ask for patience God doesn't always wave a magic wand and "wa-la" make us more patient, right? Oftentimes He will provide the opportunity to become more patient. Think about it--how many times have you prayed for more patience and then found yourself in the slowest line at the grocery store and behind the slowest car in every lane for the next two weeks? Or maybe you find yourself waiting for an answer for an additional month, or six months. And it's in these moments of opportunity that we find that God is more than enough for whatever it is that we want. He has enough patience, joy, love, grace, kindness, and mercy for any situation that we're ever in. Once we ask for it, we must make the connection between wanting it and knowing that God provides it.

So go on, ask for it. Do you want, to want God more? Do you want more mercy for those around you? Are you desiring more patience? God can knock your socks off if you let him.