Looking for the Blessings of God's Goodness

Friday, August 30, 2013

What Makes You Feel Accomplished?

Do you even remember your New Years Resolutions, your goals for accomplishing great things?  For those of you who are on track, you're over coming around the back stretch...can you believe it?! Are you on track?
For those of you like me, who started with the greatest intentions and fizzled out as the days faded into weeks and then months, TAKE HEART!  As I read on Twitter today, "We learn to walk by stumbling."  So a lot of us have stumbled and missed out on the feelings of accomplishment that catapults us into creating new challenges to accomplish. Take heart and try a different approach. Maybe some baby steps are more your learning style right now.
Over the last six+ months my "stumblings" have transformed into accomplishments that have left me shaking my head and feeling a profound sense of "wow"ness and deep accomplishment.  Last year I bought a bike and decided I needed more fresh air and lots of sunshine (baby step #1).  Being a teacher, the summer afforded me the time to get out and bike to my hearts content.  Throughout the year, I discovered the @MapMyExercise apps that developed my curiosity in the stats behind my workouts (baby step #2).  I was amazed (or disappointed) by the numbers of when I either walked, ran or biked, and it seemed as I moved from workout to workout I was motivated to up my statistics.  I went from putting in 2-3 miles to easily 5-7, sometimes even more!
Then I discovered the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a biking adventure I'll never forget.  I had a blast, never once looked at my app, but remembered to start it as we left on our adventure.  When I got home and saw we had biked over 20 miles and burned 904 calories, I was hooked (Big Baby Step #3).  The numbers intrigued and enticed me and I developed a desire to push myself a little further each time I worked out.  Did I always feel this way?  No!  But over time I stretched my "normal" and saw myself going distances I never dreamed I could do.
Spring rolled around and I was poised and ready to challenge myself!  I felt like I had transformed from baby steps to giant leaps.  I had built a solid foundation of baby steps and now I was confident in making attainable monthly goals.  And boy did I make some serious and realistic goals that I'm still shaking my head and thinking, "I can't believe I accomplished that!"
April and May's accomplished goals all led to the making of my most challenging goals for June: 200 miles of exercise and burning 11,000 calories.  To anyone who has no experience in understanding these stats, I'm sure they seem crazy!  But on June 30, I moved beyond accomplishing beyond my goals and logged my highest stats ever: 208 exercise miles and 11,718 calories burned...WOW!!!  I felt an immense sense of accomplishment!  That is, until today, when I received my Mid-Year Fitness Report...I was in SHOCK!!!
I don't even think I would have ever set goals like this...I would have thought I was crazy!  I'm not a major biker or runner; I'm just the "down to earth, girl next door" whose trying to take care of her body through exercise.  How in the world did I accomplish exercising 645.2 miles and burn 37,508 calories? In looking back over the process, I am convinced of three things:
1. I allowed my "stumbling" failures to help me take realistic baby steps.
2. I found a way to merge my passion for technology with exercise. My fascination behind exercise statistics gave me a focus beyond the fact that I was exercising, and I didn't particularly want to.
3. Fascination + Passion + Motivation over time = Accomplishments Beyond What I Could Imagine!
So, where are you? Where can you start turning you "stumblings" into baby steps? A sense of pride and accomplishment is priceless and I wish for you the ability to attain these as you find what makes you feel accomplished!
"Little by little, inch by inch.  By the yard it's hard, by the inch, what a cinch!  Never stare up the stairs, just step up the steps.  Little by little, inch by inch, IT'S A CINCH!" -Ron Hamilton

From Blahs 2 Blessings!

It's so easy to catch the blahs allowing them to silently seep into your heart and mind. It happens so quickly you don't realize what transpired until later, when you scratch your head and ask, "Why do I feel so blah???"
I am guilty of this process far to many times, much more than I'd ever like to admit!
God constantly challenges me to focus on who He is which would instantly eliminate the blahs! But my flesh and limited perspectives wrestle in constant warfare to impede a higher perspective.
This morning's struggle and surrender of the blahs brought surprise and blessings that I am convinced would never had occurred if I hadn't taken one simple step...humble acknowledgement of my blahs before The Lord!  Something about surrender and asking the Lord for his Divine intervention always brings internal peace and an anticipation to see how He will work. Even if nothing seems to happen, you can't beat the internal peace that passes all understanding!
Maybe the blessings weren't exactly how I wanted them, but God cleared the foggy lenses of my heart allowing me to see the blessings He specifically designed for me today.
As the verse on a plaque from my friend @GinnyFoster35 says,
"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord ’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord." (Lamentations 3:21-26 NIV)
My Blah: I have friends my age who have teenage children and are successful parents. Why has God not blessed me with a husband and children to celebrate Father's Day with? Still to this day I do not understand God's plan for my life, His purpose for withholding marriage and my own family, and how He is trying to use me as a single girl.  The older I get and despite the hurt and my continued lack of not understanding, I am confident of one thing, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!"  It is not necessary for me to understand in order to bless and praise the Lord.  My humble act of submission and obedience to Jesus Christ says, "I, Kitty Tripp will bless you even in the unknown!"
My Blessings:
1. Cathy of @SummitUpstate was purposeful in helping me feel welcome and a part of her church.  She is a true example of what our churches need.
2. Today's message in Psalm 103 softened my tough heart!  I am sadly delinquent in praising and blessing the Lord, and I am deeply grateful for His patience in my times of stubbornness and forgetfulness!
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits," (Psalms 103:1, 2 ESV)
Bless The Lord, praise The Lord! Make it a regular practice even when its hard, especially when it doesn't make sense!
3. Dad answered his cell phone (a TRUE miracle) and I was able to plan a get together for Fathers Day. We had easy going conversation over lunch and I'm excited to hear dad talking about wanting to bike (one of my passions).
4. My cat Pumpkin is the biggest blessing when he snuggles up close and purrs in my ear! He makes me feel loved and cherished!  Sounds silly to most I'm sure, but God designed Pumpkin just for me! I am firmly convinced that if Pumpkin could talk, his purrs would be just the right words I needed every time I was down or feeling blah :)
5. God gave me the inspiration to write this blog in hopes of encouraging someone else with my experiences!
What are the blahs in your life God wants to turn into a blessing either from your mouth or from His hand? Be encouraged and at peace as God does his redeeming and transforming work in your life!
Sing away the blahs with Matt Redman in his song 10,000 Reasons!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I Was Able to Teach My 3rd Grade Teacher~How Cool Is That!

Today, I had a fabulous time sharing ideas I'm currently using in my class for how students can learn their basic math facts.  To see my 3rd grade teacher sitting in the audience brought tears to my eyes!  To think about all she had invested into my life over 30 years ago, and now I was able to give back to her life as a teacher, even if it was in a very small way. It's one of those indescribable moments that bring few words, but tons of feelings and emotions.  This is truly a special fulfilling moment of my life! #Priceless!

Thank you Miss Kazian, now Mrs. Gailey, for being a fabulous 3rd grade teacher to me.  You taught me well. You helped lay the foundation for my excellent education that has served me well today!
Today, Mrs. Gailey continues to be a 3rd grade teacher at Taylors Elementary in Greenville, SC, and if I could talk with her students today, I would tell them how privileged they are to have such an excellent teacher!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Springboard Dynamic Professional Development Through Twitter!

Are you using Twitter for chatting with friends, following the latest celebrities, posting your favorite foods, or highlighting your past time activities.  These are all possible uses, but as a teacher, Twitter holds the capabilities for so much more!  Over the last two years, Twitter has catapulted me from not only being an elementary teacher in Wellford, SC, but also a global communicator, collaborator, and learner of the latest and most dynamic information in the world of education. I am immensely grateful for my Twitter Professional Learning Network (PLN), and I would not be the same teacher without them!

Are you new to Twitter?  Are you trying to understand the purpose of Twitter for you as an educator?  Have you found a PLN that leaves you learning more than you ever dreamed you could? Please join the Summer of Twitter: Teacher Challenge and catapult your learning to galaxies beyond...Let's learn and grow together!
If you are a part of Spartanburg District Five Schools, join our page and definitely invite your colleagues...the more the merrier!

Looking for you on Twitter!

Kitty Tripp
 @SSoperator13 @Kitty_Tripp

Thank you @ajjuliani for sharing about the Summer of Twitter: Teacher Challenge, and I look forward to learning from over 100+ schools that have already joined!
@TweetSmarter The Anatomy Of A Tweet  http://bit.ly/19OPOhM 

Gr8 resources! “@jaymelinton: Work with teachers who are Twitterphobic? Click here for videos to share.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Good Times In Chucktown!

It's always a GOOD day when you get to go to the beach, but it's always a BLAST when you can go with great friends!  Thank you Ginny, Austin and Clint for a fabulous time in Charleston!!!

Remembering the Good Times:
Ginny and Kitty know how to use GPS when they get lost!
Snyder's Honey Mustard and onion pretzel pieces are the travel food of choice.
Austin learned how to eat vegetables (some.....okay, very little!)
I almost beat Austin in the kayaking contest....okay, he beat me, but only by an inch!
Clint "leaned right a little" so Austin couldn't win in their kayak showdown!
Kayaking at dawn and dusk is a must!
Never run on a knee that's hurting....it makes you walk crooked later, right Austin :)
Phase 10 ROCKS!
Staying up till 2am playing games and spreading infectious laughter happens naturally.
Austin loves Saved by the Bell and has a vernacular that revolves around movies!
Skipping rocks can lead to fleeing through a rain storm from some unknown danger.
Unlocked front doors and silent opening garage doors freak Clint out!
Catch Phrase of the trip: Precious Cargo!
If you want a smooth driving car, get a Pilot...ask Clint!
Austin's marrying a girl name Julie!
Eating steak and eggs for breakfast allows you to skip lunch.
Peach Snapple was a hit!
We crashed and burned when it came to setting up umbrellas at the beach.
Boiled peanuts are the perfect "wait for the storm to pass" snack, especially the Cajun ones!
Beach-time banter can last for hours and be very enlightening!
A gorgeous man can step into your photograph at just the right time, right Rob? :)
Ginny has a super power.  She can squash a whole nests of 20+ roaches in one fatal swoop!
Per Austin: Kitty has a set of lungs as displayed after an onset of Ginny's super power!
My super power is hearing 2am conversations through earplugs.
While Clint is mid sentence, Austin belts out, "Mike, mike, mike, mike, mike, mike, mike....."
Clint is very handy with a vacuum cleaner!
While Clint's choice of Hymans for dinner was fabulous, his directions to the waterfront fountain needed some refining (he was even using his iPhone app!)
Hurray for homemade frozen pudding pops, maybe not banana cream as much as chocolate?!?
Power quadruplets activated! Gingersnap, KitKat, Technomite & Surfer Boy
Siri says some crazy things at 1am in the morning!

Clint thinks he can make it to Charleston in 3 hours...Ginny knows she can :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Blessed are the Merciful, Peace-Making Iron Sharpeners!

Struggle, awkwardness, pain, mental games, anguish, frustration, loathing of the process as it cycles repeatedly through your heart and mind. You pray. It won't go away. You do exactly what you didn't want to do. More guilt and frustration piles on. Silence. Isolation. Darkness. Defeat.
Someone notices your struggle.
They venture into the unknown to bridge a gap with you. They walk gently and tenderly. Grace and mercy are in their words.  They empathize. They affirm. They cautiously but firmly question. They persevere even in your silence.
"Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." Proverbs 27:17
"Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy." Matthew 5:7
The clouds begin to break.  A glimmer of light shines into the foggy bog. The thaw of mental ice signals a feeling of life. Another force has stepped in to counteract the storm of feelings, thoughts and emotions.  You sense more than a glimmer of hope.  Someone cares. They stuck by you in the seeming ugliness of your struggle.
I can move forward.
New perspective.
Peace is restored. A thirst for life and vigor begins to develop. Baby steps. Unsureness. A sense of growing confidence. Firm steps.
Full out laughter and enjoyment of life surges through your once desolate being.
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." Matthew 5:9
This changed perspective could never be accomplished without those God-sent, blessed, merciful, peace-making iron sharpeners. Thank you Jesus for these people in my life!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Get Nervous?

Tomorrow I have a wonderful opportunity to teach at the Upstate Technology Conference and it's been a great experience the last couple years.  Each time I prepare for the conference though, I get REALLY nervous!  In the past conferences, everything went great, so why do I get so unnerved?  Just because I'm a teacher and adult DOES NOT disqualify me from getting the butterflies...can you believe it?  Even your teacher gets nervous!  What helps me get over my nerves sometimes is exercise, organizing and cleaning something, singing, praying or talking to an encouraging friend. Crossing my fingers for a GREAT time tomorrow and Wednesday!

What makes you nervous?  What do you like to do to help you not be nervous or as nervous?

Monday, May 13, 2013

So Why TenThousand?

I read the story of a struggling Christian who couldn't see God's goodness in her circumstances.  In sharing this struggle with a friend, the understanding listener quickly challenged the struggling friend to make a list of reasons why God is good. 

As I read this story, I knew there were many ideas of why God is good, but how could I communicate them myself? I've struggled to know God's goodness in my life circumstances, but in my mind I still knew there had to be limitless reasons of why God is good. I had never challenged my heart and mind to consider the possibility of "my own ten thousand," so in this blog I'm beginning my "Ten Thousand reasons" journey. I also want to challenge you to start your own list.

Each of my blog posts will not reflect any particular order or ranking of my reasons, but will simply be a reflection of what God has shared with me in my daily walk with Him and how He's changing and molding me into someone accomplishing His goals and purposes. Come back often, start your own list and share your ideas as we journey together to personally know the goodness of God!

"God is good whether you see the good in your 
circumstance or not." -J Berg