After reading Angela's bio, I had a difficult time believing that she is that accomplished and yet, still so humble and down to earth! I met Angela through Facebook a couple of months ago in a private education FB group called Top Teachers (not exclusive - everyone can invite anyone they would like to join). I did not know who she was; however, I noticed her encouraging responses to many of the posts and how much she was respected and liked by other amazing teachers!
Top Teachers has been such a positive place where teachers from all over the world have come together and completely support one another in ways beyond words. We help each other with critical decisions, pray for one another, provide resources for one another and we are all cheer leaders for each other's continued accomplishments and successes. It is not a place where teachers compete, but a place where teachers find that there is an abundant power and strength when we are working together. I have met so many talented and funny teachers who continue to inspire me everyday. I am actually a bit addicted and have a hard time closing out my browser to work when everyone is online because I love being a part of the team.
There is a place in the group where we can link up to the members' blogs and further support each other's growth. I noticed Angela's link in one of the threads and immediately clicked on it to get to know her a little more. I was completely amazed, so when she announced that her new devotional study guide for educators was to be released soon, I excitedly waited for her to tell us when we could purchase her book. I even made a joke and told her that I was going to order her book, but I wanted a signed copy..hehehe
When my book came - IT WAS SIGNED!! I laughed so hard when I opened it because she had actually taken the time to sign it! Okay, maybe they are all signed - but I will just continue thinking that their not and I am special...hehehe
I am a bit of a nerd in that I get so excited to get stuff, especially books, in the mail! I found a little spot, took a quick flip through the book, cover to cover, before actually reading anything. The first thing I noticed about this book is that Angela included a special page for her readers located right before her acknowledgements. On this page, she includes two prayers for her readers and asks for wisdom, insight, growth and blessings. I found that to be very special because to me, it felt like she was praying that I would gain personal growth as I studies and read through the pages. What a powerful blessing!! She wants us (her readers) not just to read through the book, but to learn, reflect and learn as we participate in each lesson.
I can tell you that I have really struggled with my faith over the last two years. I find myself questioning God and sometimes, I have even been angry with Him. Some of you know about my personal life and some of you may not, but I can tell you that the past few years have been the most difficult and the loneliest!! I do; however, have so much to be thankful for and I know God is real because He is real to me. I don't ever prove to people that God is real because it is a relationship that can only be understood when someone experiences it themselves. Even though God has been real to me in my life, I have still questioned my faith along the way. I have been in multiple abusive situations as a child and as an adult and there are times when I just do not see any purpose or good that can possibly come from some of the hurdles I have overcome. I would often get really angry when people would say things like, "God never gives you more than you can handle" because I didn't feel like that. Instead, I think of how am I supposed to overcome or learn from something I had no control of - I didn't choose to be in the situation I was as a child and I certainly have not had an easy time accomplishing the goals that I have. It seems as though I continue to find myself at an impossible brick wall to get through, but that I have to get through it. I refuse to give up. So I begin by scratching the surface. Then as time goes by with little progress, I begin to hit harder and harder until I break through. Once through, I close my eyes, take a deep breath of relief and then look up to find another wall ahead. I have not attended church in a long while even though I desire to.
I received Angela's devotion at the perfect timing in my life. I couldn't just let it sit to the side and not read it - after all, a friend wrote this. The more I reflect, study and ask for wisdom, God is certainly faithful to provide it. It is sort of funny because I almost do feel like I have awaken and I am getting through one day at a time. I know that teaching can often be such a difficult environment with the amount of responsibility required and the endless "to-do" lists. If not for anything else, this book can be your reminder to take a few minutes to put down the "to-do" lists, read a little bit and reflect on how you can grow personally. Teachers play such an important role in the lives of many children and I think that in the profession, many forget that we need to refresh our own minds so that we can be at our best when we need to be.
I am so far from being in a place to say that I have overcome my strongholds and now I am happy - in fact, I struggle everyday. Angela's book, The Awaken, is my reminder to take a quiet time out everyday. The great thing about devotions is that they touch people in different ways.
Well, I am very excited to announce that Angela Watson will be a guest on my blog on August 30th to answer a few questions about her book!!! That's right! For those of you who have this book or for those that are considering getting this book, please include a question that you would like Angela to answer on August 30th. Please add your questions to your comments and we will choose 3-5 questions for her to answer. I know that asking a question may feel a bit detached, but I can tell you from experience that Angela is not detached from her readers. I have someone close to me that suffers from bi-polar disorder and I have really struggled to understand the behaviors that are often unbearably hurtful. I asked for a little support in TT and Angela sent me an email that has really touched me and given me some hope.
She shared a personal story and I found comfort and hope in her words. I am not going to restrict your questions - feel free to read through her bio and a brief overview of her book and ask away!!
Thank you so much for participating! I know this post is definitely not the norm for my blog, I feel that blog is a reflection of all of who I am & this is one more piece that I am sharing with all of you. Thank you to those of you who take the time to read my blog - I promise, I am only crazy about 90% of the time...the other 10% of me is perfection - well, anything can be perfect when you sleep...HAHAHA!! Well, please put your questions in the responses and come back on August 30th to see what this amazing woman is up to.
A couple more things to share with you before I release the words into cyberspace...
Today, I was announced as Carson-Dellosa's Best blog of the week!!! Thank you CD!!!! I made it on their Twitter and Pinterest Pages....Double Whammy good news!!
Check out my award...I feel so special!!
And I can't leave without giving you a little piece of me...hahaha...here is a puzzle piece I recently made. You can duplicate this piece in your documents and place them together to make a complete puzzle!!