Time to WAKE up, Best blog & a FREE Puzzle Piece image!

I have REALLY exciting news!! Author, Angela Watson will be a guest on my blog on August 30th, 2012!!!
She is quite an amazing person and such an inspiration!
Hop on over to her site to read a quick bio about Angela and her work in the field of education, 
The Cornerstone for Teachers
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
The Awakened Devotional Study Guide for Christian Educators
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 is a puzzle piece I recently made. You can duplicate this piece in your documents and place them together to make a complete puzzle!!
Kindergarten, 6th, 7th, 8th - Pin It


  1. Michelle, you are amazing, positive, strong, and wise, and genuine. I already knew you were incredibly creative and generous.

    Blessings and continued strength to you to get through all of life's hurdles. Thank you for your inspiration.


  2. I am literally in tears after reading this post!! Just yesterday, I was searching for a great devotional aimed at teachers. Let's just say it's been a TOUGH first week of school with my current group of students. I was feeling like a failure in certain areas and really wanted something to help me refocus my energy and remember why I went into the field of teaching in the first place. God is so awesome and his timing is absolutely perfect! On my way to buy this now!!

    1. Ashley - you completely touched my heart!! I know exactly how you feel and I want you to know that I have had many devotional books, but this one is truly something special! During a tough year, I once had a really close female friend (who happens to be a pastor) suggest that I arrive extra early in the morning and pray over every student before they arrived in my classroom. I can't tell you how much of a difference that made!!

      I will pray for peace and a clear mind....stress tends to fog up our thinking doesn't it??

      Thank you for sharing that & you can email me anytime!!

      Do you have a blog?? I would love the link if possible.

  3. It is tough to keep the faith sometimes, I really get what you mean. I like to think that all of those experiences were meant to make us more empathetic, and better able to understand the struggles of others. Sometimes, when I imagine what must be going on in the lives of people who really get on my nerves, I think of my own tough times and it does help me to be more tolerant.
    Those times also help us to be humble by reminding us that we aren't 100% in control, and we still need to rely on our Heavenly Father to help us through.
    (I'm not going to church either at the moment.. hopefully I'll make my way back soon)

    1. Thank you! I can honestly say that my personal experiences have given me a very clear discernment when it comes to students. I miss being in the classroom, but I know God is working some things out of me right now & I am quite the strong-willed child so to speak..

      Every week I say that I am going to go to church and then something always comes up. I know that I need to stop filling that time with busy work. I just have such a hard time with the idea of being part of a church because my entire childhood revolved around the church we went to. I am so afraid of being like my parents and caring more about appearances than people....

      Facebook me (Michelle Tsivgadellis) and we can encourage each other...I need someone to to give me a push sometimes (-;


  4. Wonderful post and I am so inspired to pick up a copy of this study by Angela. So glad you have been able to find the time to read and reflect on the most amazing person... our God! Blessings and peace.

    Miss Mix

    1. That makes me so happy and I know that Angela will be thrilled as well. She has such a good heart!!

      Thank you for leaving your link! I love to be able to visit and connect with everyone that comments. It really means a lot when people take the time to read my blog & I love getting a chance to see what amazing things everyone else is doing...


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  6. This was a great post. You really let us in on the person behind the blog and that can sometimes be difficult to do. I am proud of you and and inspired by you and your "realness."
    I understand the difficulty of believing when people say, "God won't give you more than you can handle." However, it always seems to be so true. Faith is not an easy thing and God never promised us the easy life, but He did promise to be with us every step of the way!
    You have made me want to pick up a copy of Angela's book for sure and I am excited to read her guest post.
    Blessings to you on your journey! Know that God made you a unique individual and the trials you have faced have helped to strengthen you and make you who you are. I think many people will be able to feel empathy and comfort just through this one post! You are carrying out God's plan. Jeremiah 29:11 is my all time favorite verse. God knows the plans he has for you! You are helping people across the nation and world with your inspirational and honest post and amazing talent as an artist.

    Mrs. H's Resource Room

    1. Thank you so much! I was actually pretty nervous to click the publish button to be honest with you. I love that you quoted Jeremiah! I have to remind myself daily, that God does have a purpose and a plan. I also have to remind myself that I am the one who must align my life with God so that He can work through me.

      Something that seems so simple is always the most difficult and I always find that my own stubbornness to open up or walk in faith is what prevents me from moving forward. After my last birthday, something really changed in me - but I am really struggling to let go of the burdens and to give them to God.

      If I could paint visual picture of myself to represent my personal struggles, I would draw myself carrying a bunch of grocery bags and holding them even tighter when someone tries to take some of the weight - because I am afraid that everything will fall if I let go.

      Thank you so much for the encouragement & for taking the time to comment!!


    2. Your comment about the grocery bags is quite the vivid imagery of how so many of us feel throughout our lives. Rest assured that God is just waiting for you to drop that baggage and give it all to him. ( I just had to tell you that that visual really just stuck in my mind)!

      I know it can be difficult to go to church and even more difficult to find the "right" one but your openness to looking and longing will be fulfilled. If you are ever in KY you can go with me and my family!;). In the meantime, ;), you can listen to our church's sermons at
      Very real life and applicable to this day and time. I hope this doesn't come across as pushy,but jaut want you to know that there are people out there that care!!


  7. Thank you for sharing so much with all of us. I am looking forward to the Angela's question and answer blog session. We all need inspiration and support to get us through the tough times.

    On a lighter note- I just pinned your graphics button on my new blog. I love your work!!! I hope you have a chance to stop by my blog "Granny Goes to School". The name came from my need to poke a little fun at the fact that I have been in the classroom for 40 years!

    Granny Goes to School

  8. Angela is an awesome person, even though I have not met her in person...there is something about her spirit that trancends the internet highway and airways. Every communication I have had with her has been rewarding...She does make you feel as if you are the most important person in her life...God surely does order her footsteps.


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