Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 59

PICTURE: a new book.
I am starting this book with my middle school girls that I meet with on Monday nights. They picked this book out. We read through the first chapter tonight, and already I am wanting to devour the entire thing! It is so good. The premise of the first chapter was teaching us what it means to "really live" for Jesus. It should be an exciting and insightful journey.

READING : Deuteronomy 24-27. God makes us soooo many promises that we take for granted. His promises are this one in Deuteronomy 26: 19 "He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised."

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 58

PICTURE: Upward Celebration! Today was the final day for Upward. It ended with a great celebration. This is the best pic I could get of my team. They don't look too thrilled, but the atmosphere was amazing and they were great. There was a juggler and they were watching rather intently. I had an absolute BLAST this season. I was blessed with a great group of kids and a wonderful assistant.

READING: Deuteronomy 20-23. One verse really stuck out to me and I want to share it. Deuteronomy 23:14 "For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you."

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 57

PICTURE: girls' night! I went to my friend, Amanda's, for some girl time. We had on our sweats, watched a few movies, ate fruit with dip and carmel, and went to Wendy's to get frosties! It was a great, much-needed night of laughing and hangin out.

READING: Deuteronomy 16-19. Deut. 17:18-20 "When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel." What would happen if the leaders of today followed the rules in these 3 verses? Is it possible for a hum to not get power hungry when they are placed in a place of authority?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 56

no picture today

READING: Deuteronomy 12-15. Moses, for being shy and having bad speech, sure can share a word about the Lord with the people. Deut. 13:4 says, "It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him." God is the ONLY person we have ever been commanded to follow 100%. Sure we have leaders, many of whom God has paved the way for. But, God deserves our faithfulness 24/7.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 55

PICTURE: school is closed. This is the view out of my window at 7:30 this morning. It looks so pretty but the road is coated with ice. So, school is closed for the 6th time since Christmas Break. UGH....ready for a full week with no delays or closings. But, happy to have a morning to read and catch up with friends.

READING: Deuteronomy 9-11. From my 55 days of reading, I have realized something. Just reading the account of the Israelites is enough to make me want to worship God! He didn't have to do any of the things He did, but God loves his children and wants the best for them. Who am I not to worship God and obey him?! I want to share a chunk that really hit me. I hope you take the time to read it all and soak up all that God has done.

Deuteronomy 10:14-22
To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Yet the LORD set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today. Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. Your ancestors who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 54

PICTURE: wrist tat. I got this tattoo a year and a half ago (right before school in August of 2009). It says "trust Him". I used to wear a bracelet on that same wrist. Over this past Christmas I took the bracelet off for a change. The cool part, I see this tattoo DAILY now. It is not longer "hidden" by my bracelet. The other cool thing is other people see it. I never dreamed that a tattoo, gotten as a reminder for me, would open so many doors for sharing my testimony. It is one of 3 tats that I have. Lately, it has been my favorite.

READING: Deuteronomy 5-8. Holy buckets!!!!! So much great reading in these 4 chapters. I am beyond encouraged and filled with a sense of hope. I have been in a rut lately (about 2 months) and these provided hope - Hope that God is good and has HIS best for me and everyone who chooses to follow him.

I want to share Deut 5:32-33 with you. I pray that you are encouraged as well. "So be careful to do what hte LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 53

PICTURE: uptown snow pile. Um....where did all of this snow come from!?! I wasn't expecting it, and I don't think I was alone in that. Oh well...I love the snow! One of my favorite sights around town are the HUGE piles on Main Street. The city plows, piles all of the snow in the middle of the street, then comes and hauls it away. I have been trying to get a pic of the piles of snow all winter. Today my wish came true. The pile in the pic is about twice as tall as my Jeep!!!!

READING: Deuteronomy 3-4. I enjoyed these chapters. They are a good recount of all that has happened to the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land. God truly does take care of his peeps.

Deut 4:31 "For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath."

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 52

PICTURE: new hair! Since I didn't post a pic yesterday, I am posting 2 today! I had the day off...thank you Presidents! I spent the entire, sleeting, snowing day with my friend Erin and her 2 cutieheads. She has done my hairs for a long time. Today, I got to hold sleeping Oliver while my hair processed (Erin was doing dishes). That's the first pic. The second pic is my STRAIGHT hair (it will be curly when I wash it next).

READING: Deuteronomy 1-2. Chapter 1 verses 16-18 seem like rules for a court to follow - judge fairly, do not discriminate, be fearless. BUT, God is the ultimate judge.

I really liked Deut 1:30 "The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you...." It is always good, for me, to be reminded that God has already paved the way for my life. He will take me down that path if I continually choose to follow him.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 51

PICTURE: Didn't take one today. Had intentions to take one of Robin and I at lunch, but conversation took priority today.

READING: Numbers 33-36. I FINISHED IT!!!!

I find, as I have been reading through Numbers, myself talking to my Bible. When the Israelites want to quit and go back to Egypt, get mad at Moses and Aaron, or just go astray, I find that I am telling them NO! Wait! Reading their account and knowing that Jesus is coming is frustrating.

I can't help but wonder if that is how God feels. When I am ready to give up or have grown weary and go astray, I am sure God is saying "don't stop! Dina, I know how your story ends. Keep going!"

Tomorrow I start a new book, Deuteronomy, and I am excited. I also know that it is the 5th in the books of the law. So, I find myself, again asking for God's strength to keep my routine. I am learning so much and ready to move on.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 50

PICTURE: my sister-in-law, Melissa. A group of us went out to celebrate her bday! She has been part of the family for over 10 years. We had a good time and sang a little karaoke together (Pat Benetar...Hit Me With Your Best Shot).

READING: Numbers 30-32. The Israelites set out to destroy the Midianites (who had led them to follow Baal of Peor), but they spared the source of the problem - the women! I can't help but wonder if they were being 'gentlemanly' or thinking like guys. Good for Moses, seeing that the source of the plague is still alive, that he ordered the women be killed.

I also found an answer to my question about Caleb and Joshua. Numbers 32:12 "Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the LORD wholeheartedly."

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 49

PICTURE: my magic blanket. My great grandma made this blanket for me when I was born. It was so well-loved that my grandma had to put a new blanket on it and added the satin border. It had started to get pretty ragged on the outside about 2 months ago. I asked my great friend, Shannon, if she could fix it. This is the final result. The white is new - she put it over the old pink quilting. She also cut a piece of the old backing and made a little patch. Then she sewed everything to keep in nice and sturdy. I LOVE IT!!!! Can't wait to take a nap with it.

READING: Numbers 27-29. I'm guessing that Joshua was spared because he is to become the successor of Moses. What HUGE shoes to fill! Moses has helped to bring God's people into a new land. However, none of those who began the journey are still there. A new generation = a new leader.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 48

PICTURE: the cutest puppy EVER! I just love this dog. This is where he was while I was getting my lunch ready....sitting so handsomely in hopes that I would give him a nibble of something (which I never do because people food is not good for doggies). He is the best and VERY therapeutic.

READING: Numbers 25-26. The plague is gone! The only people who are left from the census that Moses and Aaron took in the desert at Sinai are Caleb and Joshua. God promised that not one Israelite from that first census would leave the desert....why Caleb and Joshua? Did I miss something?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 47

PICTURE: Spongebob lunchbox! My mom got me this lunchbox my very first year of teaching, 9 years ago. It has carried many meals, started some great conversations, and been a connection-maker with the kiddos. Today was the last day for the Spongebob lunchbox (tear...). It is getting torn, tattered, and bit smelly. I got a new lunchbox.

PICTURE: my NEW lunchbox. This is the replacement for good 'ol Spongebob. I recently hosted a Thirty-One catalog party (my friend, Lindsay, is a consultant) and these were on sale! So, I found a fun, new lunchbox and had it personalized. I hope my new lunchbox is as good to me as Spongebob was.

READING: Numbers 22-24. I love how Balaam stands firm to his directions and his word. he told Balak's messengers that he could not go against God. Balak still calls for him to curse what God has already blessed.... Numbers 23:19-20 "'God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Doe he speak and then not act? I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it.'"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 46

PICTURE: my Bible. Today was a day that I found myself extra thankful for God's word. It has been a rough few weeks in my making "not-so-great" choices. Today I came home and had some quiet time and it was soooo nice.

READING: Numbers 19-21. I am noticing how ungrateful the Israelites can be. Every chapter consists of some sort of grumbling and whining from them. They constantly moan about their situation and direct it at Moses saying, "Why did you bring us here?" STOP complaining!!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 45

PICTURE: Valentine's Party. We had our classroom party today. I took pics of all of the groups. This group, the Psycho Monkeys, kept giggling and laughing. I took 3 pics of them trying to get normal smiles. This pic is one of MANY reasons why I love my job.

READING: Numbers 16-18. When will the Israelites ever learn?! They question God's authority again and several are struck dead. God has His ways of doing things and we need to accept that HE knows what He is doing! When we question God and rebel, it doesn't turn out well.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 44

PICTURE: "Gnomeo and Juliet" I highly recommend this movie for some family entertainment. I went with our adopted family member, Cortney, and we enjoyed it! I had to take a pic of the screen for my pic of the day. Let me know if you go and what you think of it!

READING: Numbers 14-15. There are consequences for not trusting God. The men who saw the land flowing with milk and honey will NEVER get to dwell there because they openly doubted God. Only their children will get to live there. This also causes punishment for their children...they can't progress to the land until all of the men have perished in the desert!

I can't help but wonder if God still works like this...does he still keep things from us when we doubt?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 43

PICTURE: Upward dads! This was absolutely hilarious!!!! Each player and cheerleader had to take off their shoes and untie them. The shoes were piled in the middle of the gym with the dads and grandpas circled around them (backs to the shoes). The task: find your kid's shoes, put them on your kid, tie them, and make a basket. It was hilarious and a great time. I had tears from laughing so hard. This is one of MANY reasons that I love being part of Upward.

READING: Numbers 11-13. Verse 11:23 says, "The LORD answered Moses, 'Is the LORD'S arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.'" This goes right along with chapter 13. God has PROMISED the Israelites a land "flowing with milk and honey" and they have seen this land with their own eyes. But, because there are scary things there that they hadn't imagine, they lie about the land. They question the power of God! How often we, as believers, do this - we question what God has placed before us because it doesn't look like we thought it should! God's not like us. He keeps His promises and sees more than we do.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 42

PICTURE: so I misplaced my camera! I thought I had it at school, but it wasn't there. I then assumed it was home, but nope! Hopefully I will find it!!!!

READING: Numbers 8-10. The site of the Israelites moving, must have been something! Millions on the move, following specific instructions, a routine. Numbers 9:15-23 tells how God's presence directed their movement. He chose when they moved and when they stayed. I don't know that there was any type of for-warning or if God just decided on the spot. I can't help but wonder how long it took for their camp to move. I'm imagining an area the size of Ft. Wayne....did it take a day to get everything gathered? a week? a few hours?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 41

PICTURE: Huntington Street! This is one of my favorite places to eat and hang out in Syracuse. I love the atmosphere, the people, and the food (especially their breadsticks). My good friend, Amanda, and I had dinner here tonight. It was yummy and I always LOVE her company.

READING: Numbers 7. The Tabernacle is finally dedicated. I have trouble picturing the size of it. How cool would it be to see a recreation of it!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 40

PICTURE: school work. My students finished up their poetry and I have been working on grading it all. I have 22 kiddos and they each published 5 the math. It was about 3 hours of grading and worth every minute! They are great writers and their individual personalities came out in their poems.

READING: Numbers 5-6. Numbers 5:6-7 "'When a man or woman wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful the the LORD, that person is guilty and must confess the sin he has committed.'" Why is this so hard to do?! This is something that I have been trying to teach my students (I had 2 kids cheat on a test, know they had done wrong, and lie about it). We all know when we have done something wrong, we can feel it in our gut. I'm challenging myself and you, readers, to make things right when you get that gut feeling. I believe it is the Holy Spirit's way of getting us back on the right path.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 39

PICTURE: lazy puppy. He spent all night right here! I was grading papers and he normally lays right next to me. I guess he needed his space tonight.

READING: Numbers 3-4. Theses chapters were about the assignments for the care of the Tabernacle. They reminded me that God pays attention to every detail.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 38

PICTURE: "THE table" It was parent/teacher conference night at my school. This is the table where I have met with countless parents over the past 4 years. As a teacher, I love to have that face-to-face meeting with each parent.

READING: Numbers 1-2. The 12 tribes of Israel were HUGE. Over 600,000 recorded - that was only men over the age of 20 and excluded the tribe of Levi. My ballpark guess is that, by this time, there were about 1.5 million Israelites. Numbers is about 40 years after the exodus from Egypt. They are growing....

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 37

PICTURE: Superbowl! I had a great time, despite the Packers winning, at the Holsopple house. Good food, cute kids, great company, and the best seat in the house! I got the recliner for coming closest to the returning kickoff yardage...Go me!!!!!!

READING: Leviticus 26-27. A few thoughts as I finished Leviticus...I wonder how Moses remembered everything to tell the Israelites? I know all of this had more meaning back in the day, but it is very specific instructions for everything! I'm beyond grateful that we don't have to live according to these things now. Honestly, I think I would have given up.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 36

PICTURE: Holy Snowing! Yes, I took this while I was driving down SR 13 in the blizzard-like snow this morning. Where did it come from?! I wasn't expecting this when I left Upward.

READING: Leviticus 24-25. Today's reading talked about The Year of Jubilee. I had never heard of this. My Bible gave lots of rules and laws about this Year of Jubilee, but I didn't quite get what it was all about. So, I looked it up on the internet. Here is what I found on

"At this year of jubilee all Israelites who had sold themselves into slavery were set free, and all land that had been sold reverted to its original owner. This meant that no Israelite could ever be in permanent slavery; nor could any Israelite permanently lose his inheritance."