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Some days, I think my greatest talent is believing Satan's lies. It comes so naturally to me, happening with no conscious thought and requiring no effort. I have never had to work at it, never needed to force myself to hear his whispers.His quiet, condemning statements are directed at me constantly, from the moment my eyes open in the dawn to the last moments of consciousness in the dark. Often they come out of nowhere, and I am blindsided by their presence."You're not good at that, you know.""You'll never have the time or money to really pursue your passion.""You're not pretty enough.""You're not enough.""You'll always be left out.""You obviously have nothing to contribute.""They don't include you on purpose."He whispers in my ear that my efforts will fall short, my feelings deserve to be hurt, my life is insignificant.He whispers, and I listen. Not every time, of course, but enough to matter. I listen to him the most when I'm with Jesus the least.And the truth of the matter is he's right. Without Jesus. Without Jesus, I am not enough. My life will be insignificant. My passion will be unfulfilled.Satan's lies, without Jesus, are truth.But with Him, they are just lies....


My sweet little first grader just had her Christmas program at school, and it was Precious. The capital letter is on purpose there, because those crazy little kids were so cute with their missing teeth and gangly legs that I could have fainted from the sheer amount of adorable-ness in that cafeteria.(BTW - [see how hip I am there with the abbreviation? Mom, it means "by the way."] - this is NOT how she normally goes to school. Eyeliner and lip gloss are for special occasions only, like when your class is supposed to look like rock stars.)I'm telling you. Six year olds dressed as penguins and Christmas trees and rock stars will make you grin like a Cheshire cat and simultaneously thank your lucky stars you don't teach six year olds who have to dress as penguins and Christmas trees and rock stars.  They were adorable.But y'all.The parents.I have never.As the program began, the noise level in the cafeteria lessened slightly from its pre-performance roar, but allow me to exaggerate the word SLIGHTLY. There were some loud folks up in there. People behind me were carrying on a full-fledged conversation in normal conversational tones with ZERO attempt to hush...


For several months I have wanted to tell you about a miraculous event in my family's life, but I haven't been able to. Now that I can, I'm not sure I can do it justice.On October 11, we legally and forever gained a new niece, Ivey Elise. My husband's sister, Mandy, and her husband, Chad, adopted the most beautiful baby girl, a child whose story grabbed our hearts and whose presence has changed our lives.Mandy and Chad had gone through all of the paperwork and preparation for adoption, having their home inspected, fingerprints run, and lives dissected. Their names were placed on the list, and just four months later, they received the call. Both teachers, Mandy and Chad were at work when the call came saying, "There is a baby girl - if you want her, come to the hospital."You have to hear Chad's story of running through the halls and parking lot - I picture it like the scenes of expectant dads in movies. Of course they wanted her. They were going to have a daughter.Sweet Ivey had been dropped off at an upstate South Carolina hospital under what is known as Daniel's law. Under this special provision, parents may...


My earring fell out of my ear today while I was in the restroom and nearly landed in the toilet. What is one supposed to do in such a situation? Flush it? Reach in and grab it? Thank goodness I didn't have to decide. I wouldn't mind flushing it - it is a cheapo earring, but I would mind ruining the only adult female toilet in my wing of the building. I might never be forgiven.I hate hand painted signs by the side of the road. What makes you think I want to vote for your candidate because you spray painted with yellow paint on a blue tarp? Professionalism you do not require, apparently.The day before a teacher workday is tantamount to the day before spring break or Christmas vacation or the day of a full moon. They're nuts. And I need a nerve pill.While we're on the subject of teacher workdays, is it too much to ask that teachers be allowed to really work on said workdays? I could get so much teacher stuff done - say, planning and grading! - if I were not required to be in meetings all day. Guess that's what the weekends are for,...