Hellooooo, and welcome! Post title courtesy of the musical, Hairspray. :)
I suppose I should begin with an explanation about why I'm here, as in, why I'm writing this blog. I just spent the last year blogging about my first year of teaching, and, while I didn't write as much as I would have liked, I enjoyed it. I liked having a place to share the everyday victories, the more prominent challenges, and the funny things that I encountered in my first classroom. So, that's why I'm here. I'm beginning another new journey now, as a married woman, in a new city and state. And it's a journey I want my friends and family, who seem so far away, to be a part of. It's also a place where I can share my reflections (and hopefully recieve some accountablity) as I make a renewed effort in my daily walk. With the hectic-ness (is that a word?) leading up to getting married and moving, I spent less time with God than I should have. So, here are my goals for this blog, and I hope you will choose to make the journey with me!
1. Share the daily blessings of God. (I know there are plenty!)
2. Share the daily challenges I come across as an adult . . . a wife, a teacher, and life far from home!
3. Share the funny stuff. No explanation there! Life is funny. I want you to laugh with me.
4. Share my personal discoveries as I read God's word. It's amazing how, because of the Holy Spirit, we can read something and it really does apply to our personal lives. God is awesome like that.
5. Let everyone into the world of the McLaughlins in Maryland! Craziness for sure. Hope you can handle it!
I guess I should also include my inspiration for my blog. Big names include The Pioneer Woman and the movie Julie and Julia (I'm a sucker for those movies, it's true. Aaaaaand, I love to cook!). Other names: my dear friend, Brittany, who sparked my interest for journaling during our time together as small group leaders, and my mbf, who is a much more diligent blogger than I am. I am hoping to improve that here!
So, that will have to do for an introduction.
And now, let's jump in. My current position is in my huge comfy chair in our small apartment living room. The TV is on the floor, Brent is on his computer, and I am content to catch up on Skype time with Mom, facebook messages from friends at home, and the latest NEA articles about new teachers and the mistakes they make (don't worry, I made them all!). We are slowly transforming our apartment into a home, finally hanging some things on the wall today! Can't wait to paint tomorrow and hang up wedding pictures when we get them.
I feel the need to highlight the fact that Brent and I have not eaten out here in our new town. We have successfully lived off of sandwiches, spaghetti, roasted chicken, and delicious shrimp jambalaya, courtesy of Mom's recipe (ok, and we had frozen pizza 2 nights... but we were unpacking and didn't have access to kitchen stuff yet!). Our current snackage includes carrots, grapes (ok, and the zucchini bread from Grandma) so we're doing pretty well on the whole healthy eating thing. Looking forward to Brent starting his job and gaining access to a workout facility!
Last night, I jumped back into my bible reading. I started with 1 Thessalonians, where Paul is encouraging the Thessalonians in their faith, and celebrating their continued dedication in their faith (pardon my non-deep reflections here. I consider myself an amateur!) and also reminded them of the coming of the Lord. He ends the letter with some simple, but important reminders for us in the Christian faith. My favorite begins in verse 16 of chapter 5:
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
And that, friends, is my goal for this blog. Counting my joys and blessings, accountability to prayer and growth, and giving thanks in everything, both in trial and celebrations.