Image

Miracles

I recently enjoyed reading “Miracles” by C. S. Lewis. Lewis explains theology in a logical, step-by-step way that I find so helpful. And I love his use of analogies! Simple truths come to life. In this book, he starts by explaining the evidence for a God who created nature. He moves on to give evidence for miracles and how they relate to the laws of nature. I love how he pointed out that miracles are supposed to startle and amaze its audience, and in order for that to happen we have to first know and understand the laws of nature. We have to know and understand science to fully appreciate how awesome and creative our God is. Lewis finishes by looking at the life of Jesus and describing the significance of the miracles he performed.

“If they [miracles] were not known to be contrary to the laws of nature how could they suggest the presence of the supernatural? How could they be surprising unless they were seen to be exceptions to the rules? And how can anything be seen to be an exception till the rules are known? If there ever were men who did not know the laws of nature at all, they would have no idea of a miracle and feel no particular interest in one if it were performed before them. Nothing can seem extraordinary until you have discovered what is ordinary.”

 

Save

Share on Facebook
Image

Hello 2017

One of my goals this year is to use Goodreads to keep track of the books I read. Honestly, I was a littel bitter when Shelfari was discontinued, especially since my books did not transfer correctly to Goodreads (nerd problems). I’m still not convinced I like it as much as Shelfari, but I’m willing to give it a try. I am excited that there is an app and an easy way to save quotes. Why not try it with me? I’d love to be “friends” with you and see what you’re reading. Click here to see my profile.

2017 Reading Challenge

Emily has
read 1 book toward
her goal of
25 books.
hide

Happy reading!

Save

Share on Facebook

Summer Reading

Summer Reading from Emily Ed on Vimeo.

Summer reading is drawing to a close. I always look forward to my summer days relaxing on the porch with ice tea and a good book. Here are some of the highlights…

 

Crime and Punishment (Oxford World's Classics) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, translated by Jessie Coulson ~ One of my all time FAVORITE books!

I started off the summer by rereading “Crime and Punishment” by Dostoevsky. When I read it for the first time in high school, I loved it. I enjoyed it even more the second time! I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I just find myself blown away by Dostoevsky’s ability to capture the inner thoughts of characters. The main character embraces the idea of relevant truth and discovers the consequences. The idea that truth is relevant to each individual is still so prevalent today that it makes this book a timeless classic.

 

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin ~ This is one of the rare times when I thought the movie was better than the book. Good story, but I didn't like the writing style.

Of course I had to read “Brooklyn” by Colm Tolbin before seeing the movie. The book was okay, but I was disappointed with the ending. This is one of the rare times when I would say the movie was better than book.

 

Doctor Who: Two Novels by Dan Abnett & Jonathan Morris ~ The first story was pretty cheesy, but the second one was pretty good.:

I’ll be honest. I bought this book because, as a Doctor Who fan, I loved how it looked, but I actually did read it. The stories were cheesy, and I found myself laughing out loud at some of the writing. The figurative language and descriptions were pretty comical at times. But I still love how this book looks on my shelf.

 

The Light Between Oceans: A Novel by M.L. Stedman - A beautiful yet heartbreaking story.

I loved “The Light Between Oceans” by M. L. Stedman. After reading the Doctor Who stories, Stedman’s writing made me want to jump up and yell, “YES! That is how you use a simile!” The book tells about a man and his wife and their desire to have children. Their grief causes them to break the law and become entangled in a hopeless, heartbreaking, and beautifully crafted story.

 

The Kitchen House: A Novel by Kathleen Grissom ~ This was a really good book with amazing characters...hard to put down.:

“Kitchen House” by Kathleen Grissom was another good summer read!

 

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

It wouldn’t be summer without a little Agatha Christie, and now I understand why “Murder on the Orient Express” is one of Christie’s most famous novels. Amazing!

 

I haven’t finished “Jesus Among Other Gods” by Ravi Zacharias yet, but it is good. I love Zacharias’ perspective and knowledge about Christianity compared to other religions.

 

“Moby Dick” by Herman Melville…I tried. I read 150 pages of them preparing to set out on their ship. One chapter of Captain Ahab just standing on the deck. And then I gave up.

 

The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare:

I read “The Taming of the Shrew” by Shakespeare after seeing it performed this summer. I don’t think I would have appreciated it without seeing it performed first. I loved seeing Shakespeare’s work brought to life! That’s how a play was meant to be enjoyed.

 

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster“A Room with a View” by E. M. Forster was pretty good too.

Save

Save

Share on Facebook
Image

Farewell to Summer

After finishing my master’s degree…

WOOT WOOT!!!

WOOT WOOT!!!

….it was nice to have a relaxing summer to refuel. I found plenty of fun and nerdy ways to fill my time.

 

I spent a week on Lake Michigan with my family. Hiking, soaking in the scenery, playing games in the cabin on rainy days, roasting marshmallows over the campfire…it was wonderful.

IMG_2124

 

I spent time digging in the dirt and trying to grow things. I love my herbs, zinnias, and cherry tomatoes!

IMG_2348

 

I transferred all our home videos from VHS tapes to DVDs. This required getting in touch with my inner 90’s child and researching the workings of VHS tapes to save the corrupted 95-97 tape. I felt pretty accomplished.

IMG_2245

 

I made a tea mug rack (with help from my grandpa) out of reclaimed wood from our old swing set. Pinterest win!

IMG_2237

 

My grandpa also helped me transform my $2 garage sale finds into some beautiful chairs. I now have a greater appreciation for Windsor chairs and milk paint thanks to him.

IMG_2353

Before

IMG_2398

After

 

Of course it’s not summer without some summer reading!

IMG_2273

“Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.” -C.S. Lewis

 

I also spent quite a bit of time getting ready for my new job as a school SLP! I have my resource teachers to thank for creating such a cute, organized room.

IMG_2482

 

Add a trip to the zoo, hanging out with friends, lots of bike rides, Shakespeare in the park, a sister road trip to visit friends in KC, and some other summer activities and you have the perfect summer!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Share on Facebook
Image

Zinnias

You can't buy happiness...
but you can plant it.

IMG_2458 IMG_2459 IMG_2467I always get excited when these bright, happy faces start peeking out of my garden. So beautiful!

Save

Share on Facebook
Quote

Life of a school SLP

I have finished my 14 weeks of student teaching and will truly miss the 60+ kiddos I got to work with in preschool through 5th grade. I also worked with an amazing speech-language pathologist (SLP) who taught me so much about working with kids, collaborating with other educators, problem solving, and being flexible. Being flexible is a huge deal, especially when you have a constantly changing caseload.

Although there were stressful and frustrating moments, I have many sweet and funny memories from my time student teaching. In case you didn’t realize it, kids are hilarious. The world would be a boring place without their energy and curiosity.

Here are just a few examples from this semester:

  • While giving an articulation screener, I showed a preschooler a picture of a squirrel. “What’s this?”

“A gurl.”

I repeated what he said to confirm with my SLP that I was transcribing his speech correctly. “Gurl?”

The preschooler looked at me in disbelief. “No, not girl. Gurl!”

Silly me for confusing squirrel and girl.

  • One sweet kindergartner insisted on breaking the no-talking-in-the-hall rule every time she saw me. “Hi! Hi! Hi, speech teacher! That’s my speech teacher!” Super cute. It got to the point where her classmates would say, “Hi, so-and-so’s speech teacher!” whenever they saw me.
  • I loved how kids were excited about coming to speech or language group. Kids I didn’t even know would ask if they could come with me. However, 2nd graders were slightly less enthusiastic. Sometimes we spent more time debating why we needed to do speech than actually doing speech.

One day, one of the 2nd graders came in and started saying his words without being told. I was pleasantly surprised. About halfway through his work, he said, “You know what? I’m not arguing about speech today. Do you know why? Because things take longer when you argue. It’s faster to just do your job.” He acted as if this was a new revelation and not something I had told him every day for the past 2 weeks.

  • I also had an older student who wasn’t thrilled about working on s and z in speech. We had several conversations that went something like this:

“I don’t know why I need to come to speech. I just don’t say words with s and z when I’m not in speech.”

“Well, it’s pretty hard to avoid all s and z words. What happens if you need to ask for a pencil in class?”

“I’d just say I need something to write with.”

“Hmm…something has an s in it.”

“Ugh!”

“And what’s your teacher’s name?”

“Mister…ugh!”

“And your best friend?”

…pause…”Dang it!”

As we walked back to class, he started spinning in the hallway. “I’m dizzy!”

Instead of telling him to stop, I pointed out, “Oh, dizzy has your z sound in it.”

He stopped. Long pause. “DANG IT!”

  • In one of our language groups, we built a model ferris wheel after reading about George Ferris and how he invented the first ferris wheel. This turned out to be a challenging project.

While working on it, one of the students asked, “What’s that word we learned? The one when someone is stronger?”

“Advantage?” I guessed.

“Yeah, that’s it. Miss Emily, will you help me with this? I think you have the advantage.”

(Proof that kids really were learning!)

  • I worked with a preschooler who had a hard time even saying vowels. We worked on vowels with two of the consonants he could consistently say: p and b. So, one of our target words was “poopoo” (after all, it’s very functional vocabulary for a preschooler). The first time we worked on it, I had him say it 5 times. “Poopoo. Poopoo. Poopoo.” At this point, he stopped and started giggling uncontrollably. Super cute.
  • One of my favorite conversations with some 3rd graders:

Me: “If you could meet anyone in the world, who would you pick?”

Student 1: “I would want to meet my great great great … [there were a lot of greats] … great grandfather.” He proceeded to tell a story about what it would be like to meet a caveman during the ice age. The students then had a debate over whether there were cavemen before or after the ice age.

Student 2: “I would pick Adam and Eve, so I could stop them from eating the fruit. Then there wouldn’t be sin in the world.”

Student 1: “Oh, dang it! I wish I had thought of that!” He was sincerely disappointed in himself.

Student 2: “Well, maybe it wouldn’t matter anyway. There are so many people in the world that someone would probably mess it up eventually.”

  • I worked with a hilarious, sweet student with autism who brought so much energy and excitement to school.

We had a rule that she had to finish her work in 30 minutes. Otherwise, she wouldn’t get a break playing with the toy animals. One day, she finished in 31 minutes. So close, yet so far. I had to tell her that she didn’t earn break.

Instantly, she plopped down on my lap, laid her head on my shoulder, and burst into tears. I have to be honest, it was hard not to laugh at her dramatic response.

We talked about how next time she could work hard and get break. She seemed to accept this and calmed down.

Suddenly, she burst into tears again and wailed, “ANIMALS ARE RUINED!!!”

My SLP just smiled and said, “Well, she’s making progress. She used to say Christmas was ruined even when there wasn’t anything related to Christmas.”

  • After reading a book in language group, I asked the students to draw pictures of the story. When I asked one student about her picture, she said, “I drew a picture of the city council. That’s you. You’re the chairperson.” She pointed to a girl in a rainbow dress.

You know you’ve arrived when a student draws you as a key character in a story wearing a rainbow dress.

  • On my last day with the kids, I gave them each a pencil with a note that said, “You’re a sharp student.” I had to explain the double meaning behind “sharp” to most of the kids. When I gave it to one of the students, I told him, “Sharp can have two meanings. You can have a sharp pencil. Do you know what else it can mean?”
    He looked down bashfully. “Yeah, it means you’re really handsome.”

 

Can you see why I’m going to miss these kids? And now I’m starting my next school adventure. During December, I’m subbing for an SLP at another school. I’m actually getting paid to do this work! I’m very excited and nervous.

Share on Facebook
Image

Rejoicing in suffering

Last week, four of my speech pathology friends and I piled our stuff into a car for a road trip. Risking fog, snow, and tumbleweeds, we drove to Colorado for the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA)  annual convention. We joined approximately 14,000 other women (oh yeah, and a handful of men) for several days of nerding out about speech-language pathology and audiology. It was so fun to go on this adventure with some great friends and to learn more about this amazing field I’ve chosen.

I’ll spare you the nerdy details about the sessions I went to about co-teaching, counseling parents, treating patients with spinal cord injuries, and working with kids who have craniofacial anomalies.

One thing that stood out to me was the opening session by Kelly McGonigal on stress and dealing with challenges in life. She discussed several research studies that looked at how people cope with trials in life. Research shows that we are better able to deal with stress if we acknowledge it instead of trying to avoid it. One interesting study had participants sit with a family member or close friend who was about to have surgery. Half of the participants were told to think about how stressful the situation was and to take their worry out on a stress ball. The other participants were told to focus instead on the other person and that person’s pain. Instead of a stress ball, these people were told to hold their loved one’s hand.

Results from these studies showed that the best way to deal with challenging situations is to acknowledge the stress, think about the purpose behind the situation, and to focus on other people and their pain. When we do this, we still perceive pain but not as much as when we try to ignore it. Also, studies show that thinking this way results in neurological changes in our brain. People become more resilient, hopeful, and stronger because of these trials.

As Kelly McGonigal used words like “perseverance” and “hope” to describe how difficult situations can make us better people, I thought of these verses from Romans:

IMG_1690God promises that trials will lead to perseverance, character, and hope. He is able to promise this, first of all, because He is God. He gives us the Holy Spirit to supernaturally bless and strengthen us in the middle of stressful situations. After listening to Kelly McGonigal, I was struck by the idea that He can also promise this because he has neurologically set us up to respond in this way. When we are in the middle of stressful situations, God has given us a way to positively cope with trials by focusing on others and persevering to become a better person. He takes the bad and turns it for good. That doesn’t mean we won’t feel pain, but He’s given us the means to grow despite the pain. As a result, we can rejoice in our suffering.

We live in a world where science is too often viewed as the rival to the Bible. I was thrilled and encouraged to discover another example of research aligning with God’s Word.

Share on Facebook

More than Conquerors

0001YX

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, not powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39 (ESV)

Is there a power stronger than God’s love? Paul follows this question by listing several trials and struggles. This isn’t just a theoretical list. Paul experienced all these things himself. So when Paul answers his own question with a resounding NO, he’s speaking from experience. Paul doesn’t just think God’s love is more powerful than persecution and danger. He didn’t hear about it secondhand. He KNEW God’s love is more powerful because he experienced God’s love at work during difficult times.

As Paul expands on his answer, he says we are more than conquerors. For so many years, I quickly skimmed over Paul’s answer and explanation because it seemed obvious that God’s love is powerful. I never stopped to think about what it actually means to be MORE than conquerors. We know a conqueror is someone who has fought and won a battle. But what does it mean to be more than a conqueror?

When we have God’s love fighting for us, we don’t just barely overcome challenges. We are without a doubt, completely, and utterly victorious. This is victory unlike anything else we’ve experienced or heard of. It’s so incredible that Paul has to make a new word to describe it by combining two Greek words. It means to “conquer completely, without any real threat to personal life or health” (MacArthur).

Because we have God’s powerful love, we know we win the battle against the curse of sin in this world. No matter what anyone accuses us of, we have God’s love defending us. We can face tribulation, anxiety, regret, exhaustion, discouragement, and temptation without fear. No matter what sin I’ve committed in the past or what struggle I’m facing today, I have God’s endless love. Christ already won the victory, and now he’s chosen me to be more than a conqueror with him.
That is powerful love.

Share on Facebook
Image

Magic in a mug

I just dumped 500 calories in a mug, shoved a piece of Easter candy into the middle, topped it with chocolate chips, and microwaved it for a minute.

It was disgustingly delicious.

I now plan to eat all my Easter candy in this way. Every. Single. Piece.

IMG_0399

Share on Facebook

Waiting…

Every weekend I tell myself I should make time to blog. Spring break would have been a logical time. But no, I decided to put it off till the week before our monstrous motor speech exam. I should be studying right now.

In addition to perfecting the art of procrastination, I’ve learned the challenge and the power of waiting. I’ve come to realize that to teach someone to speak well, you first have to learn to listen well.

What does listening and waiting look like in the clinic? Here’s a frequently occurring example of what it looks like with a preschool client:

While playing with Mr. Potato Head, I hold up two pieces and say, “Do you want the arm or the nose?” And then I wait.

1 second…

2…

If she answers this, how can I make the task harder? Maybe I’ll use a foil next time…

3…

Why hasn’t she answered yet? What will I do if she doesn’t answer?!?!

4…

What kind of support should I give her? She needs help!

4 1/2 …

The parent and supervisor watching me on the other side of the one-way mirror is probably wondering what in the world I’m doing!

5…

I REALLY WANT TO SAY SOMETHING TO HELP HER!!!

6…

“Nose.”

Hallelujah! Good /n/ sound! Give that girl the nose!

Do you realize how long a few seconds can be when you’re waiting for someone to respond? But wait time is so important! Not just in speech pathology, but in life in general.

This semester, I’ve loved studying Psalm 130 where verses 5-6 say,

0001RS

Waiting isn’t just sitting around doing nothing. It isn’t forgetting the thing you’re waiting for and doing whatever you want in the meantime. Waiting is exhausting because it involves actively and expectantly watching for something. If you ask someone a question, you have to look at them expectantly, wait, and listen if you actually want to get a response.

Jesus told several parables about waiting expectantly for his return.
I also love the example the disciples set for us in the beginning of Acts while they waited for the Holy Spirit. They didn’t go back to their old day-to-day life or go off and party. They “devoted themselves to prayer.” They waited expectantly and actively!

The more I’ve thought about waiting, the more I’ve realized how dominant the theme is in the Bible! Hebrews 9:28 and II Peter 3:13-14 also tell believers to eagerly and diligently wait for Christ’s return. Wow! I believe Christ will return someday in the future, but am I really expecting it to happen at any moment? Am I anticipating and longing for his return? Am I ready?

Waiting is hard, and I definitely don’t have it all figured out in any area of my life. But when you finally get what you’ve been waiting and watching for, it’s so rewarding!

Share on Facebook