Sunday, May 22, 2011


Dear Economy,

You cannot get my hopes down. I feel so excited about finding a job! I know there is one out there for me. It may not be what I want, or even what I am qualified for, but I will succeed!

Sincerely Yours,
Stephanie Van Raden

I just applied for my first job today with a school that is my DREAM school to work at. Even if I do not get a response, I feel empowered to be able to apply for what I have been working for for quite a long time. Yeah me!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Captain Jack Sparrow

Just watch this you will fall in love in love with Michael Bolton.

That is all for today. Just a little humor.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


A wise teacher told me this little diddy today:
" Students need, discipline, want discipline, and fight discipline."

Today I spent quite a bit of time disciplining. If you followed me around during my day you would here the following.

" Kevin, why are you still talking."
"Frank, no one cares about what you are saying right now because what I am saying is much more interesting."
"You can either sit where I put you or I can write you a referral for defiance."
"Joey stop hitting your partner."
"Samantha pull your shirt up, the girls are showing."
"Is it really too much to ask for you to clean up your desk?"
"Jordan you are officially late as you are wandering around the room and not in your desk."
"Donald, come sit in this chair in front you are having trouble talking today."
"Hey, potty mouth!"
"Sammy, why were you in the bathroom for 15 minutes? Do you need to visit the nurse or were you just avoiding work?"

Each of these comments comes from a place of caring and love. Students need order to succeed in school. They also need to know that I am consistent and will administer discipline with a firm hand. I have found that by learning to do these things for my students I can give grace with more sincerity.

Students have responded to this discipline. They know that while they can push the boundaries I will always push back. They are also well aware that I care. Why would someone who doesn't care try to make you better through correction?

This makes me consider my relationship with God. We are always pushing the boundaries. We shove knowing his boundaries are firm. However, when we cross them there are always consequences. With these consequences comes the grace he has promised each of us.

I think this is why people who have really "fallen off the wagon" spiritually love God with sometimes more fervor than a "forever" Christian. They have pushed those boundaries and can therefore experience the grace that God gives in a much greater amount.

Every day I should thank God that there are consequences, that he cares enough for me to uphold them, and that there is grace when I fail.

And THAT is what I learned today while teaching.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


The difference between doubt and non-belief:
Doubt is the honest questioning that comes from a place of wanted to know.
Unbelief is the conscious choice to not believe.

Today at church we talked about doubt and the validity of it.
A list of people in the bible who struggled with doubt:
1. Thomas
2. John the Baptist
3. Jude and James
4. The Disciples

The thing that struck me about this list was these people witnessed miracles, touched the corporal body of Christ, were proclaimed the greatest prophet, and witnessed Jesus levitating into Heaven from earth.

If these great people who lived with Jesus doubted, then of course it is reasonable for us who have not seen of heard his voice to have doubt.

God asks us to have faith in Him. He is not afraid of our doubt. He knows who he is and if we doubt him and his promise it doesn't change him, the unchangeable.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Have you ever felt like who you are and what you give are never enough?
Well, you are right who can ever do enough, be enough, or give enough?
Isn't that the point of God?
He fills in the 2% you can't be.
and that is enough.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Royal Family Kids Camp and what is means to me

Each year I return from this special camp drained, emotional, and changed by God. This year was no different. I became acquainted with a darling young girl (who shall remain unnamed for safety reasons). She crawled right into my heart and I will carry her there for the rest of my life.

A little description:
1. possible fetal alcohol syndrome
2. developmentally delayed
3. learning and speech disabilities
4. incredibly independent
5. possible detachment issue
6. the best laugh at camp
7. a lover of life, splashing, playing hide and seek
8. a great helper
9. a sister and friend to her family
10. Jesus's special child whom he chose and still chooses.

This week my camper and I learned how to get along and be a team. I learned to help a child who needed a lot of help without making her feel less independent and able. We constantly played games and ran around. We laughed all the time. She laughed for pure joy of being a child. I laughed watching her have fun and at some of her hilarious antics. She did some very silly things!

Another list of silly things:
1. falling asleep on a horse repeatedly for 30 minutes
2. splashing water into her own face and then laughing hysterically
3. rolling around on the floor during chapel
4. always running ahead of me into our cabin and hiding under the bunk so that I can find her
5. running around naked while I try to cover her with a towel
6. stomping around like an elephant with a mischievous grin
7. spitting water at boys who call her cute
8. eating in general
9. calling every pet "ugly" as a name
10. sleeping in a bed filled with toys.

This week has changed my life! If you ever want to experience true life change, then participate in this camp. God will show you how much he loves each of his children.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Name Calling

This is my response to a rude girl on facebook. What I wanted to say was.... "If you are trying to flirt with my brother why don't you just tell him he is handsome and funny. Instead, you use reverse psychology and tell him he is an ugly whore. Do you think this will work on him? I don't instead he will put you in the sort-of-friends category forever. No one wants to date a person who puts them done for fun"

There is a growing trend in our culture to use "name calling" as means to show people a few things.
1. How close we are to them that we can joke the way siblings used to fight when they were wee babies.
2. That we are witty and deserving of laughte
r and praise.
3. The use of these names as term sof endearment to make up memorable.

I am just so sick of it. In fact this is not the first time I have commented on someone's facebook
comment of what a bad idea this is! Maybe it is the teacher in me, but I know that this is damaging to most people. I would never want someone to call me a fugly slut to show me how much they care. In case you were wondering here is another.... she also never dated my brother.

I encourage us all to stand up to rude name calling and make this world a better place!