About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

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My Resources



My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.


Pound to Palace


My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.


Little Halos


Proverbs 31 Ministries












Links




Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Survivor


Yesterday I had the awesome privilege of talking with Christy Pepper at Moody Radio

We talked about moving.

What has been your experience with moving?

Have you ever moved? Do you know people who have been transferred and relocated?

Moving is a lot like playing the game of survivor. For me each move has felt like an attempt to eliminate me from life!

But I bounced back- I survived!

Not because I am strong and resourceful, but because God was in the midst of it and He had plan- a bigger picture.

God uses the corporate move, the military deployment, and the missionary’s assignment to strengthen His ambassadors and build His kingdom.

And everyone I know has—survived.

So how do we survive those stressful and difficult demands- requirements on our lives that insist we move if we are going to eat, pay the bills, and get ahead?

My favorite manual for movers is a book- A WAY THROUGH THE WILDERNESS by Jamie Buckingham. It is a journal of sorts- a combination story of Moses’ journey through the wilderness to the Promised Land and our personal  journey,  be it our life’s trip to heaven or a mere move to a new home.

Either way- God has prepared for us an individual journey and for many of us it includes moving- a lot, like our spiritual forefathers.

There are rules in the wilderness- rules developed by the ancient Bedouins and shepherds – manners of sorts that were created to make sure that travelers survived.

Mr. Buckingham writes that “The wilderness code of hospitality recognizes that no man can exist alone in the wilderness. We are not only forced to lean on each other for help, we are obliged to reach out to the stranger who knocks at the door for help."

Long before I became a survivor- of the move, I had no problem reaching out to strangers – that put me in a position of power and control and gave me a feeling of good deeds.

But God wanted me to be more touchable, reachable, real and vulnerable. He wanted to teach me humility. So He insisted that I accept help. It was only then- when I humbled myself and allowed others to help me- that He allowed me to truly survive and come out of the move on the other side- an overcomer, one who not only limped through the process, but one who soared and along the way lifted others.

Want to survive your next move? Bring others along. Let them touch you, help you, provide for you- imagine the euphoria they will feel as they assist you in your attempt to soar to the next destination God has planned for you.

As you soar let your light

Shine!



Sunday, May 16, 2010

LESSON PLANS

When I signed my contract a year ago, I thought I signed on the dotted line- teach so many classes. Teach them Spanish. Since it is a Christian school, weave in spiritual lessons. Do everything possible to manage your classroom well. Make sure to have clear lesson plans. Teach ‘til June. Evaluate.

So here I am just a week away from finals and I am evaluating. Thank God and praise Him from whom all blessings flow- I can give my year a #10 on a scale from 1 – 10. Of course so much of my positive evaluation can be credited to the outstanding little school where I teach. I can’t say enough about small schools. They are a place where
      everyone knows your name
      leadership majors on key priorities
      creativity in the classroom and innovation in the process take precedence

And because of these three descriptors, learning and teaching can be fun and productive!

I digress! So what is new?? As I evaluate my year I also realize lesson plans were written for me. My students were not the only ones learning in the classroom. I leaned in my own classroom. I was not the only teacher. My students taught me!

Case in point: I had a few discipline issues.

I deal with my students individually. I know each is different. I know each learns and understands uniquely.

Al is very smart. He is way ahead of the game. Not only is he intelligent, he is a talented athlete, putting him in a special category. He is handsome, likeable, curious, and involved. Oh is he involved- center of attention involved. And if I ignore him, he gathers his corner of the classroom, builds his own platform and takes my students away from me!!

I CAN’T let that happen.

Al and I had a few little talks early in the year. After a while the talk wore off. I contacted his home with a good response. After a while that effort wore off. I sent him into the hall, left the door open and let him learn from his desk outside the door. He begged me to let him back into class.

By mid April- all my efforts had worn off. I put him in time out: a desk reserved for the most incorrigible. A desk that faces my desk, meaning that he faces me! His eyes on me. His mouth open only to my ears. My eyes on his every move and…
one-on-one attention.

Now- of course he completed his work. He had no choice. So after I taught my lessons, made my rounds, answered questions, and returned to my desk--- there was Al- finished with his work – lessons completed perfectly and ready for something more.
…more to learn.
Al’s basic personality had not changed. He still longed for attention; still sought answers to his myriad of questions. Having no one to talk to, he turned to me- his teacher.

He conjured up subject matter that only deep thinkers consider. He amazed me with the depth of his mind. We talked about God, how He created the earth; about angels, how they fulfill their purpose; about salvation, how it works and is played out in the lives of believers.

Slowly God revealed an interesting picture: the importance and the necessity of discipline. I thought I already knew a lot about discipline and I did- disciplining others. But what about my own need for discipline?

I watched Al submit to authority. I was privy to his heart as he shared his struggles and opened up. Truthfully – these were the lessons I most enjoyed teaching this year.

But what lessons did this teacher learn?

Simple—there have been times in my life when I forced God to discipline me. No, I am not kidding – really! God began with soft forms of discipline. When lite lessons didn’t work, He progressively allowed discomfort to increase. So much so that there have been times in my life when I felt, no I was convinced -- He had cast me out. What I didn’t know – He was not far from me- just "around the corner, in another room." I couldn’t see Him, but He knew where I was. Unfortunately even difficult trials didn’t turn this child’s heart for long.

That is when I forced God to move me into a place apart- apart from the world and all I held dear, apart from my family, friends, and treasures, even apart from my career and my calling!

And there – in that place apart, because I had no distractions,  I opened up to my Teacher. He had my complete attention and before long we were deep in discussion. Not only did I talk to Him and ask Him questions I never knew existed he answered - I heard Him talk to me!

So as this year draws to a close, as I sit evaluating the lessons I taught. Whether or not my students learned, I know one thing for sure ---

the lessons my students taught me far outweigh what I taught them!

I owe you a great big thank you- students. You make me smile and help me

Shine!