Monday, November 21, 2011


Yes, it's true...I still have a blog. It has been highly neglected, but it still exists.

I figured Thanksgiving time is as good of a time as any to re-start.

Here's some things I'm thankful for this year:

1) Jesus. Without him, there would be no reason to be thankful.

2) My family. It's been fun getting closer to my sisters this year. I always love coming home. My family is incredibly supportive. I am especially thankful for my mom's help this year.

3) My boyfriend, Steve. He is amazing, and the last few months have been the best. I love his humor, his love for sports(most of the time) and his love for Jesus, among lots of other things. I am incredibly blessed. :)

4) An awesome faith community. I can always count on them to be there for me, and we always have fun together. Church planting isn't always easy, but it has been an awesome adventure, so far.

4) My new job and y 97 6th graders. Yes, this job is a lot of work. Yes, it exhausts me. But those kids keep me going and laughing everyday. They're the greatest! I love middle school. I don't think I can ever go back to elementary. :)

5) My friends. 2011 has not been an easy one, in this area, but I'm thankful for my friends who love me, unconditionally. I am blessed to have a lot of amazing friends. :)

6) Great seasons for the Padres and the Chargers...umm...ok. Not so much this one. :)

Overall, 2011 has been great. I have amazing people in my life, a God that loves me, and I'm healthy (even if my car isn't:)

Steve and I are heading to San Diego for Thanksgiving. I am super excited to spend Thanksgiving at home for the first time in 4 years! I'll miss the Ghiorsos and turkey bowling, though. :

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Hearing God

I have been thinking about this topic a lot, lately. I'm sure it is a topic that most Christians struggle with. In the last year or so, especially, I have struggled with what it means to hear God.

What are the different ways God can speak to us? After reading through some stories in the Bible, this is what I came up with: Through his actual voice, Through others, Through our heart and convinctions, dreams and visions, the Word, and in some cases, through angels.

There are some people who say that they hear God's voice, very clearly. That is awesome, but I'm not one of those people. When I pray for something specific, I end up overanalyzing everything, wondering if that's what God is using to speak to me.

For the most part, I think I rely on the convictions I feel about the situation. I also rely heavily on my friends. Although, if you ask some of them, I don't listen to them very often, either. ;) Then comes the ageless question, How do you know if that's what you want or what God wants? For example, I know exactly how my heart feels about some career and personal situations I have been praying about. Does that mean God has answered my questions in those areas? Not necessarily. Sometimes, it feels like God has spoken to me about something, and then something happens to change the situation, and I have to start all over.

What I desire, more than anything, is to glorify God with every decision, relationship or situation in my life. Because of this, I want to make sure that my decisions are God decisions, not Christal decisions. Unfortunately, it's not always that easy, right?

What I have learned, is that finding out what God's will is involves some risk taking. If you are willing to take a risk, and then God shuts the door or adds another door, that may be the way he answers. I have also learned that God may not want you to continue taking that risk if it is continually hurtful or if it creates situations that are not glorifying to Him. Where is that line drawn? Another answer I don't have. :)

So do I have an answer to my original question? Not at all, and luckily, I don't think anyone I'm not the only one. All I can do it continue to give my life to God, and make sure I am taking the time to listen. Luckily, for us, God already knows what is going to happen, so we don't have control over anything, anyways...although we like to think we do! :)

1 Chronicles 16:10-11
10 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
11 Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.

How do you hear God?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Teacher of the Month

Ok, ok, Bobby is right. That last post was awfully depressing. It has been a long, hard year of teaching. Maybe my most difficult, since my first year. Last week, we went to science camp. Now that we are back, I can tell they really had a great time. It makes everything worth it. I love my job, and will take everything that is not in the job description!

In other news, I was selected as the teacher of the month for the Pajaro Valley Unified School District, for the month of March. It will be presented at a school board meeting and at a staff meeting. It is a huge honor, and I'm thankful for the timing of it. Sometimes, it is good to know that you are doing your job well.

Stay tuned for some science camp pictures... :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Not in the job description...

I been getting some harassment from some readers for not updating my blog...maybe that should have been one of my goals for 2011?

Life has been so busy lately! I feel completely drained. Most of that is due to the fact that work seems incredibly overwhelming, right now. I'm in the middle of report cards, science camp, crazy amounts of meetings, and middle school placements. All of that keeps me extremely busy, but it's not what is wearing me down.

My heart is so heavy with the things I am competing against, as a teacher. All I want for my students is to have an opportunity to be successful. Each of them has such great potential, but there is so much getting in the way. My partner teacher and I feel like we've lost control.

Some kids are bullying each other over text messaging, girls are hurting each other using gossip, boys are forming groups to go harass other boys about recess soccer happenings...and that's just the start of it. One of my students has a brother who is in a gang. Currently he's spending his time at juvenile hall. She can't make it through a day without crying.

We're doing everything we can. I have class meetings, every week. We scheduled a meeting with a probation officer. We're teaching an anti-drug/peer pressure program. I use every lunch and recess time to meet with students, so that they know I'm there for them.

How can I compete with this? It's not in my job description. I wasn't taught how to deal with this stuff. My main concern is that they learn the 1,345,345,789(ok, that's an exaggeration) standards that they need to be successful. Lately, that concern has shifted a little bit. If these things aren't taken care of, they will not learn a single thing. It doesn't matter how hard I try to teach them.

That being said, I turned to the only person I know who can do miracles, Jesus. So often I leave Him out of my job. I feel like I can control the things at work. Obviously, that is not the case. He is the only one who can change these kids, for the better, so that they can get out of this culture and be successful. So, today, I add another goal for 2011, praying for my students and their futures, daily.

Thanks to all of you who are still reading. That is real dedication. :)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Goals for 2011

On Sunday, I went to my mom's church, which was also the church where I spent most of my elementary and junior high years. Only now, it's about 3-4 times the size it was then. I'll admit, it's taken me awhile to warm up to it again. They scored major brownie points by singing Glory to God that day, too.:) Anyways, the pastor encouraged us to write down some goals for 2011. I hate new year's resolutions, they are always things that you never stick to. Over the years, I have become a goal oriented person. Maybe it's all the goal setting you do in teaching? I need something to reach for, or I won't be motivated.

Did you know only 5% of Americans write down their goals? These 5% are also the Americans with the highest salary. Not that that is why I'm doing it, just a random, interesting fact. :)

Here's some goals I'd like to reach in 2011:

1) Be in the Word, daily. Get up 30 min earlier to do so.
2) Pray for the Middle East.
3) Meet around 5 new people, a month.
4) Get closer to my goal weight.
5) Work out at least 5 times a week.
6) Stick to a monthly budget.
7) Be better about sending cards, letters, aka keeping in touch
8) Work LESS.

Feel free to ask me how these things are going this year! Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 01, 2011


I'm not usually one to write super serious blogs, but as I read the newspaper today(skipping over the horrible articles about the Chargers), I came upon an article about something that happened in Egypt, this morning. This article gives a pretty detailed account. I'll be the first to admit that I'm horrible at keeping up on current events. I just don't make time for it. Lately, I have been feeling convicted about it. How can I be praying for things, if I don't know they're happening? I have a huge heart for missions and for other countries, in general. This year, I want to be better about keeping up on events that are affecting people's daily lives, in other countries.

That being said, my first reaction was, why did the Christians attack the muslims? As if Christians don't already have a bad reputation with those things. The "Christian-y" thing to do would have been to go on and show them they didn't shake you. BUT as I thought longer, I wondered what I would have done if one of my loved ones was one of the 21 who was killed by yet another suicide bomber. I can't say I would have reacted in any other way. As I continued reading, I realized how heartbroken I was over this.

I'm saddened that Egyptian Christians had to cancel their Christmas celebrations because they were afraid of terrorists. It breaks my heart that some extremist Muslims believe this is the way to please their god. At some point, the Islamic leaders will have to condemn these attacks, or they will continue. I fear that that will never happen.

Even though the terror of 9/11 is not as visible in America anymore, it is more than real in other places. I don't really like New Years resolutions, because they are generally things you can't keep. After reading this, I did decide that in 2011, I am going to try to be more aware of what is going on in the world, so that I can be praying for God to change it. He is the greatest hope we have.