Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Best of November

Time flows fast when, school is happening, Nanowrimo is wrapping up, and family is visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday. November came and went with the speed of light. My head is still spinning. But I still cherish that month greatly, there is so many special things about it. I wanted to share a few of those favorite moments. 


-My cousin's visited so we hung out before and after Thanksgiving.


-My best friend's Birthday was on the fourteenth.


-Read A.D. 30 by, Ted Dekker, now I am dying for the sequel


-My Birthday was on the fourth. (Sweet Sixteen this year!)


-Nanowrimo of course!


-Got to go see Tenth Avenue North and Royal Tailor in concert, got a front row seat by chance!


-C. S. Lewis' Birthday is on the twenty ninth. His birth date was Nov. 29. 1898, almost exactly 100 years before mine!


-Cold weather has arrived! So the whole, baking in a warm kitchen thing, was appreciated greatly.


-Big Hero 6 came out in theaters, it is so awesome!

All around, this was a pretty awesome November... I loved it and look forward to another amazing month this December. Hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving. Enjoy the Christmas decorating and sugar over loads this month!

-Melody

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Who are you being?

I had a recent realization. I am no ordinary human. I'm kinda special, and special can mean a lot of good and bad things. I am pretty different. I am sort of random. I don't fit in anyone's box. I had been trying. I really wanted to fit in a box, that would have been refreshing. Being able to fit in like everyone else, stay in everyone's lines and keep them all happy. But, that is just not who I am. 


I tend to be the challenger. I never go with one idea, even when people tell me there is no way, I still have to find out for myself. 

I tend to be a thinker. Not that everyone does not think, it's just that I do it on a much higher scale. It may be unhealthy in fact, my brain refuses to allow my mind to pass up something to think about, no matter who small it may be. 

I tend to be bold. Many who meet me think at first glance I am a pretty quiet subdued girl who writes books and reads in her free time. After one hour with me they soon learn I can be quite honest and bold, strong in my opinion while also open to hearing other sides. I am not afraid to share who I am with others.

God has taught me, to stop hiding in the dark. I keep drawing back from who I am, trying to stay in everyone's boxes, and please them all. Keep up to their standards of fashion, their standard of popular, their standards of right. 

A thought struck me. I will never reach their standards. 
No matter how hard I try, I will never reach it. You know why? Because in my heart, I don't want to. Oh sure I could manipulate my wardrobe and dress the way they want me to, I could change my conversations to linger around the things they enjoying hearing, I could keep in their boundaries of what movies to watch and books to read. I could do all of that. But in my heart, I never want to. 

Everyday that I struggle to meet everyone else standards, I seem to forget to listen to that voice inside saying, "But why? You love the person you really are, not the fake imitation you make up to please them." 

Everyone says it, few do it. Be yourself. Don't try to imitate.  

-Melody

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Love of God

The love of God. 

It is bigger than we could ever know

Bigger than we could ever estimate

Bigger than we could ever give

Bigger than we could ever dream of giving

Bigger than we could ever imagine

Bigger than we could ever fathom.

Bigger than any fear.

Bigger than any sin.

Bigger than any doubt.

Bigger than any crushed dream.

Bigger than any wound.

Some times I need to be reminded of just how powerful God's love is for us. It has the power to heal, restore, and protect. Sometimes, I worry that the love He has for me, can fade away or be taken form me. I doubt that it is in fact everlasting. I fear that when I stumble and fall, that God looks down on me with disgrace, and withholds that love I once had. That's when I need to be reminded of how much He really loves me, and how nothing could withhold that love for me. Romans 8, verses 38 through 39, say it perfectly.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

He doesn't stop loving you. He doesn't decide he doesn't love you for a day because you have been sinning. He doesn't withhold his love for you when you have hit hard and fallen. He doesn't look on you with shame as he holds His love back for when you have gotten yourself together again. No, he offers His love always. He extends his merciful grace to us at every moment. 
His love overflows for us, and he offers it abundantly. 

-Melody


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Math U See Review

Today I will be doing a review on the Math U See curriculum, namely Pre Algebra. For years I have struggled with grasping math and all of its components. I have tried multiple curricula including: Rod and Staff Math, Teaching Textbooks, Saxon Math, and I have even tried Life of Fred. I at last simply settled with Rod and Staff Math, working through the large amounts of work and struggling to get it all finished while still keeping track of all I was learning. A friend of mine recommended Math U See as a way she found to conquer her math problems. I thought I would give it a try.

I started with Pre Algebra to give myself a refresher on what I had already known, to be able to get used to the new curriculum. Each level in the Math U See curriculum come with a DVD, teacher's text book, a student workbook, and a test booklet. For older students, the manipulatives are optional, I found them handy for certain problems, but not necessary. At first, when I received all of the components, I was a little confused. After reading through the introduction and watching the first video on the DVD, I started to understand how it all works.

After watching your lesson on the DVD, you will go to your workbook and start work page A of the lesson you are on. There are worksheets leading from A to F. If you think you have the concept of the lesson by D, then you take the lesson test. If you pass the lesson test, you move on to the next lesson and repeat. If you happen to not pass, go back and start work page E and move on from there. It is slightly confusing to understand at first, but once you understand how the system works, you will fly through it.

For practical purposes, I have found storing and keeping everything together is more difficult then using just a textbook and workbook. For older students who can watch the videos themselves, it is easier and fine. But when dealing with younger students who need to work with a parent, they may find it hard to be able to make time to do it. Especially if a parent has multiple children who need them to watch it with them as well.

For me personally, I have found the videos to be incredible for helping me grasp concepts. Even having the manipulatives helped me to physically see and understand how something works. The workbook was handy as well with many of the concepts I had already grasped long ago. I was able to get through the tests easily and move on the next lesson at my own timing. Rather then having me work one lesson per day, this gives me the freedom to work longer on a lesson that I may be struggling on, or continue to do multiple lessons in a day that I already have down.

This system in genius. The DVD is perfect for listening and watching learners. For reading learners, the text book has the DVD's lesson written down. Physical learners can use the manipulatives to form the problems with their hands and fully understand. All around, the system was designed for every learner and is perfect for families that have children with multiple learning forms.

I have found Math U See to be very helpful for me in my education. I appreciate the quality and creativity of the system and I am enjoying it as my new math curriculum. I would like to thank Math U See for the complimentary Pre Algebra system that they gave me for my honest review. It is a wonderful curriculum that is perfect for every person's learning needs.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Value

With bitter frustration I fell under the push up. I had tried, I failed epically. Knuckle push ups had always been hard, worse when you woke up at five in the morning and dragged yourself to work out at Karate by six. I felt so weak, so pathetic, so ridiculous, a sweaty mess, face first on the floor of the Dojo. I just wanted to be strong, I just wanted to feel good about my body. I was failing.

If I couldn't feel good about my body, maybe I could feel good about my mind. I was determined to push myself to doing everything I possibly could. If I couldn't be strong and gorgeous, I would be smart and sharp. Reading and researching, I pushed, pressed, and struggled. Seeing my math grade made me crumple to the floor in a puddle of messy failure. So much for that plan. All I wanted was to be sharp, brilliant, and smart. 

Starring at the mirror, I stopped. What was I doing? Why did I have to be strong or beautiful? Why did I have to be brilliant or sharp? What was I trying to do. It clicked. I was trying to find worth. What? Worth? I already had worth, all my life I was told how I was worth so much. What was I doing? I shake my head, trying to clear the fog. 

Peer pressure. Was I really breaking under it? I didn't even know I really experienced it, until I began to panic when I had to leave the house. What did I wear? What did I bring? Should I wear make up just in case? Should I bring multiple books that I am reading, just to be sure people can tell I am intellectual? Should I keep my hair down to help mask the acne on my face and back? What if I have to talk? Should I come off as bold and funny or smart and proper? 

I was really letting it take a hold of my life. I needed to be reminded of something. Something I have been told all my life, but I fail to understand day by day.

I am worth more than the entire universe to Jesus.

I still can not fully fathom this. I feel like I have to earn this kind of love, this kind of true value. When I receive peer pressure, I fail to understand how I am worth anything. It drains me of any valuable feelings I once had. Through this pressure, it made me think God could never really value me without me proving my worth. I was unconsciously doing it. I didn't realize what I was doing until I finally asked myself why.

God doesn't need me. He wants me. Because He loves me. He never needed to make me. He never needed to do anything for me. He did it because, He loves me.

He just loves me. Nothing I did or ever will do will change that fact. I can't make Him love me more by doing good things, he already loves me more than any person is capable of loving.

My value is immense.

Your value us immense. Don't let the words or the looks from others, change who you are.

I know I will have to be reminded of this again soon. It will probably be a never ending process of having to remind myself of my value my whole life. Knowing how much Jesus really loves can make the biggest difference. We all need to be reminded of it. We forget to easily.

Jesus loves you.