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Good Morning VietMom!

A number of years ago, a girlfriend of mine encouraged me to begin writing a blog.  Blogging was just becoming a "thing" of sorts,  and I gave it a feeble effort.  The title of the blog was "Good Morning VietMom,"  and I chose that title because I was becoming increasingly aware of the fact that being a mother was a serious battle.  At the time, our nation was mired in a war that began on September 11th, 2001, but I was a young mother fighting a serious war on the home front - a war called PARENTING.   This Mother's Day I am reminded of that somewhat silly blog but also of the not-so-silly reality that we face in raising our children in a war zone known as planet Earth.  As the mother of three sons and a daughter and as a full-time educator, I find myself more than ever battling for the emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being of my own children and the children in my daily care at school.  I am astounded at the difficulties and confusions facing our young peop ...

The Great Reward of Christian Education

Thirteen years ago, my family began the journey into Christian education.  Prior to having children, I had no clue what a difficult decision choosing a school would be.  In fact, in the 1970's and 80's, when I was a school-aged girl, I knew very few kids who didn't attend the local public school around the corner.  My mom had no inclination and very little impetus to even consider such a thing as private school, but times have changed.  By the time my first son was headed off to Kindergarten, we lived in a post 9/11 world, complete with an almost daily does of news about school shootings, sex-trafficking, gang wars, and drug lords.  My fragile mother's heart simply could not bear the thought of sending my son into a school system no longer interested in the Bible, prayer, or the Pledge of Allegiance.  In retrospect, I suppose my decision to send my firstborn to a private Christian school was based primarily in fear,  but times have changed.  By the time my second son wa ...

I See You Military Mom

Yesterday was the 243rd birthday of the United States Marine Corps, and tomorrow is Veterans Day.  Flags are at half mast, and Monday is a national holiday.  On Friday, the kids of Gramercy Christian School, as well as most of the towns of Newport and Morehead City, NC,  stood on the side of Highway 70 as a motorcade passed by in honor of fallen soldier Sgt. James Slape.  We had a special chapel the same day in honor of our military heroes, both past and present.  Last week, my sister attended a celebratory Marine Corps Ball with her husband, who is a Colonel in the USMC, and  today at church our local body of believers honored the men and women who have given their time in service to our country.  And all of that is appropriate.  In fact, it's more than appropriate.  It's the very least we can do.   Although I was not raised in a military family, I have had some experience with the military.  I live in a military town.  I work at a school in a ...

On the Edge of the Storm

Horizons are interesting.  There is always such a clear-cut line between ocean and sky.  As I sit here on the edge of Hurricane Florence, however, I find that the line between the storm and a state of normalcy is much more blurry.  We have been out of school for 10 days and will miss another 4 before classes resume.  We have lost a good portion of our Volleyball and Soccer seasons.  Teachers are scrambling to figure out how to ensure students will learn all they need to know about Algebra and Literature before the end of a now shortened school year.  We are wondering how and if we should even make up days missed. And that's just school.  Churches have yet to begin regular weekly services.  Families are still without power or internet.  Homes are in disarray or completely destroyed.  Many local businesses are not yet up and running.  Trash is piled up on the side of every street.  And even the shelves in Walmart look bare.  Recovery, I am finding ...

The Aim of Christian Education

“Arrows are not meant for décor; they are meant for battle.” Erwin McManus For many years now I have considered Psalm 127 a guidepost for parenting.  This Psalm reads, "Unless the Lord builds the house its builders labor in vain.  Unless the Lord keeps watch over the city, the watchmen guard in vain."  As a young mom, this verse spoke to me because I realized very early on that parenting was going to be a lot of work and I did NOT want my labor to be in vain.  In later verses, the Psalm reads, "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons (and daughters) born in one's youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."  I have pondered these words for many years and though I am not a bow huntress, I understand enough about this image to recognize that parenting, like archery, requires a great deal of skill and focus.  If my children are arrows and I am the warrior, then I recognize that I must not be shooting haphazardly.  I ne ...

As Families Go...

School is almost over and honestly, it can't come quickly enough!  Teachers are wilting before my very eyes.  Parents look exhausted and slightly terrified.  Students appear to have fallen victim to a zombie apocalypse.  Furthermore, I'm not sure who that woman in the mirror is, but it can't be me!  For the first time in my life, I begin to understand why presidents look so young when they take office and so old when they leave.  How can one school year do this to all of us?   Remember back in September when we were excited and hopeful?  Remember when we had big plans for all we were going to do and learn and be this year?  Remember when our kid's pants fit and they were bathed and we still made breakfast?  Yeah, me either.  It seems like a decade ago.  Now, I watch helplessly from behind a cup of coffee as my kids rummage through the refrigerator for a piece of leftover chicken and I can't even see my son's face because he's needed a hair ...

What Happened to Quarter Three?

Is it just me or did the third quarter just disappear in a dust cloud of flu virus and freaky weather?  Wasn't it just New Year's Day?  Perhaps I shouldn't even admit this, but on the first Monday after Spring Break, I actually asked one of my classes to tell me what they did over CHRISTMAS break.  I'm pretty sure they thought I was having a stroke.  Don't worry, I played it off, but I think at least couple of them are onto me.  I know my own kids know.  They know their mom is barely keeping one step ahead of them as we literally sprint toward the end of yet another school year.  With Terra Nova testing, Field Day, prom, and graduation right around the corner, can we just pause for a moment  and catch our collective breath?   In just a few more weeks - and sunny, warm weeks at that! - we will be dropping weather-worn folders, a mass collection of homework papers, and yet another broken protractor into the dumpster on the way out of the GCS parking lot.  ...

Speaking of Good Dr's - Happy Dr. Seuss Day!

This morning at Gramercy in celebration of Dr. Seuss Day, our Kindergarten class presented our graduating Seniors with copies of Oh, the Places You'll Go!  It was so precious watching the bookends of our school sit together and read!  I have no doubt as graduation approaches, many of our Seniors' parents will be having vivid memories of their sons and daughters as they began school on that very first day.  Senior year, and especially graduation, is an emotional time for students and parents alike.  Although our sweet Kindergartners can hardly imagine being ready to graduate, our Seniors have the bittersweet gift of memory, and our prayer at GCS is that they will carry their memories of their time with us close to their hearts as they venture out into the world. More importantly, we pray they will carry the love of Jesus and the truth of God's Word and the reality of His Presence to all of the many places they may go.  Dr. Seuss's wish reads like this:  "You'll be on your way up ...

Pastor Appreciation Chapel Next Friday!

Gramercy's annual Pastor Appreciation Chapel will be next Friday, January 19th at 10:15 a.m. Invitations were sent last month to various pastors represented by our student body as well as to other pastors in our community, and we look forward to hosting this very special event.  This joint chapel service offers Gramercy students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to show our appreciation for the men and women who so greatly influence our lives on a weekly, if not daily, basis through their steadfast love and service to Christ.   In addition, Gramercy Christian School would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to Pastor Norm Waligora for faithfully serving Faith Evangelical Bible Church and GCS for the past 18 years.  Although Gramercy families attend many different local churches, Pastor Norm is dear to us in that he has instructed, encouraged, and supported our school in many capacities as a ministry of FEBC, and he has done so with extraordinary grace and wisdom. The teachers and admini ...

And so it Ends...

Ecclesiastes 7:8 reminds us that "the end of a thing is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride."  As we wrap up 2017, this verse sounds very different than the usual hype surrounding the New Year, which is why I'm thinking about it.  In fact, for over a week now I have been bombarded with sentimental quips about resolutions and new beginnings and I was reminded of an old Counting Crows song from the 90's (only some of you parents will remember this one) called A Long December, in which the lyricist writes "A long December and there's reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last."  Those words, unlike the words of Ecclesiastes, echo much of the world's sentiment regarding the dawn of a new year and are filled with a familiar hope for something better.   Although there is nothing wrong with looking forward to the new year and even longing for a better time and place, as we are instructed to do in Scripture, the writer of Ecclesiastes is perhaps r ...

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