I've moved!

I'm still writing; you just won't find me here any longer. If you want to keep reading my writing, head over to mollyflinkman.com. I'll keep a cup of coffee warm for you.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


word of the day: substitute \ˈsəb-stə-ˌtüt, -ˌtyüt\ a person or thing that takes the place or function of another

I wasn't cut out to be a substitute teacher. It doesn't align very well with my Type A personality. I don't particularly enjoy waking up in the morning unsure of whether or not I'll be working, and I have encountered enough vague lesson plans to last me a lifetime.

Don't get me wrong, I had a lot of experiences to be thankful for this past year. I got the chance to work with some really wonderful people and I made plenty of mental notes about things to implement in my own classroom.

That doesn't change the fact that I wasn't cut out to be a substitute teacher, though.

Today I was reminded of the definition of substitute: "a person or thing that takes the place or function of another."

I wasn't made to be a substitute teacher, and for some reason, this past year was a substitution for the ultimate goal.

Maybe it was so I could enjoy another obligation-free year of marriage with Jake.

Maybe it was to remind me of my worth in Christ. To show me again that it is not the things I do which define my identity.

Maybe it was to push me out of my comfort zone.

Maybe it was to reaffirm my desire to be a teacher.

Maybe I won't know why I spent this past year as a substitute until I'm forty and have that twenty-twenty hindsight they are always talking about.

Maybe it was so I would learn that I don't always have to have the answer. I don't always have to try to figure out the plan while I'm in it. I just have to trust that in the end, it will all work out - that God has me right where He wants me.

As I look back, I'm thankful that God substituted this year of my career path with subbing. I know that I'll be able to better serve Him with my gifts because of it.

And you can bet that next year, I'll write the best sub notes around.

Monday, May 24, 2010


word of the day: commence \kə-ˈmen(t)s\ to enter upon; begin

This past weekend, my youngest brother-in-law, Justin, graduated from high school.

I tend to be fairly over-nostalgic about graduations. In fact, I usually get misty-eyed at any event that represents a change from one life stage to another. I also tend to be fairly reflective, and as I watched Justin receive his diploma, I couldn't help thinking about all that I have learned since my own high school graduation 6 years ago. The following are a few of my post-high school lessons learned. . .

Sometimes God takes everything worldly away from you in order to reveal that all that really matters is your identity in Him.

Life is more fun when it involves talent shows and old dance costumes.

In college, you don't have to let your professor know when you're going to miss class.

Eating soft serve ice cream every day is the most efficient way to put on the "freshman 15."

God places people in your life who are different from you so that they can help you grow as a person and provide an alternate perspective on life and all the issues it brings.

Sometimes Christian singers posing as college students are kind of creepy.

The best television shows in the world are ones where a bunch of girls can cram in a room together and never get tired of watching (ex. The Bachelor, Friends, & Grey's Anatomy).

One of the best ways to get to know someone is by writing letters.

Coca-Cola and soy sauce is NOT a good combination.

So You Think You Can Dance is the best television show ever created.

Birthdays are best when they come with a homemade scrapbook, bottle of non-alcoholic champagne, & an engagement ring.

God designed love to be a choice. When we treat it as a feeling, it doesn't last very long.

College girls are still capable of going on scavenger hunts. These scavenger hunts are more fun when you make said college girls dress up like pirates, indians, cowboys, etc...

And then I graduated college and commenced life in the real world. Who knew there was MORE to learn even after your college education?

Even if you tear a huge hole in your veil on your wedding day, you still get married and have a marvelous time in the process.

Whitewater rafting isn't as scary as I always thought it would be.

God didn't design marriage to be easy, but to point you back to Him. The only easy thing is seeing how selfish you are and how much you need God's help in loving unconditionally.

We are not defined by our jobs, but by who God made us to be. (I learned that lesson in college too, but God needed to pound it back into my head this past year a few times.)

God's timing is different that my timing, and it is always better.

Jake does a really good impression of Tracy Morgan and he is really bad at geography.

Kindergarteners say a lot of funny things.

God does not give us gifts unless He intends on drawing them out of us and using them.

To "commence" means you are beginning something new; you are walking a road you have not yet walked. The best part, though, is that it also means a road of continual learning and realizing that you didn't have it all figured out, you don't have it all figured out, and you'll never have it all figured out.

It's all about learning, right? And, there's always something to learn.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


word of the day: speechless \ˈspēch-ləs\ not capable of being expressed in words

So I had a job interview.

And I thought it went really well.

And apparently so did they.

Because they decided to hire me.

So I'm going to be a 9th grade Language Arts teacher in Ankeny, Iowa next year.

No big deal.

But really, it's a pretty huge, surreal, unbelievable deal.

In fact, it's such a surreal deal, that I can't think of anything profound or meaningful to say about it.** Thus, I am officially speechless and overly thankful that God has reminded me (1) to trust in His timing and (2) to be confident of the person He has made me to be.

I am reminded of the following verses from Isaiah 55:

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isn't nice to be reminded that at the end of the day, it doesn't come down to the plans you have set for yourself? If I have learned one thing in the past two years, it is that it's not my responsibility to figure out God's thoughts and plans. He will reveal them in His timing and all I have to do is wait.

That reminds me of another verse:

Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!
Psalm 27:14

Maybe as you read this, you feel as though God is delaying a calling He has on your life. Find peace in the fact that God does not give us gifts and talents unless He fully intends to use them for His glory. Wait patiently for His timing and He will unfold His plan for you. He continues to do just that for Jake and me, because the wait isn't over on the calls He has placed on our lives. I suppose, perhaps, the wait will never truly be over while we seek Him here on earth. . .

I would like to end this post with a picture of me in the prime of student teaching showing of my differentiation skills through the use of graphic organizers. Watch out 9th graders!

**I suppose I mis-titled this blog. Apparently I had more to say about the matter than I originally thought. Whoops.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

self part II.

word of the day: refer to previous blog post.

I have accomplished a lot in life.

A few of my proudest accomplishments are as follows:

Last year, I read all seven Harry Potter books in three months.

Sophomore year of college I licked a tootsie roll pop all the way to the center without biting it. It’s true. There are witnesses.

I made it through all four years of college without ever attending a women’s basketball game.

I have managed to sit through at least five Nicolas Cage movies in my lifetime.

Most recently, I watched all 238 episodes of "Friends" in chronological order. It took me all of eight months.

As I watched the last few episodes of the show, it suddenly struck me why I love the show so much and what we can all learn from Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Ross: They knew each other.

I recognize that that doesn't seem very profound. Hang with me.

In my previous post, I pointed to the importance of knowing yourself. You can't grow as a person or mature in your faith unless you understand your strengths, weaknesses, tendencies, gifts, qualities, etc.

In a similar way, I don't believe we can form strong friendships or relationships unless we know our friends. I think the characters of "Friends" got this.

The show plays into the quirks and eccentricities of each character. Everyone knows that Monica is obsessive-compulsive about cleanliness and organization and that Chandler makes inappropriate jokes when he feels uncomfortable. It's common knowledge that Joey generally takes a few extra seconds to get the joke and that Phoebe is just plain weird. It's even more obvious that Ross and Rachel are destined to end up together.

The friends of "Friends" knew all this very well. They embraced the strengths of each other and recognized present weaknesses. They could predict how each person would respond to certain situations and knew how to approach each other with problems.

Shouldn't we follow the same example? There are many things the friends did that I would not recommend (leaving a baby alone in an apartment for example). But I do think they had the friend thing down. I suppose, then, that the show is very aptly named.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


word of the day: self \ˈself \ the union of elements (as body, emotions, thoughts, and sensations) that constitute the individuality and identity of a person.

I love to learn more about myself. If there is a personality test, I will take it, and I will probably buy into the results regardless of the reliability.

According to Myers-Briggs, I am an ESFJ. The summary of this personality type describes me almost perfectly. To give you an example:

Guardians of birthdays, holidays and celebrations, ESFJs are generous entertainers.

ESFJs are easily wounded. They by nature "wear their hearts on their sleeves."

When a decision must be made, especially one involving the risk of conflict (abhorrent to ESFJs), there ensues an in-house wrestling match between the aforementioned black-and-white Values and the Nemesis of Discord.

I am all of those things. Ask Jake and he will nod his head in great agreement. Especially about the "wear their hearts on their sleeves" part.

I don't believe you can grow as a person unless you understand yourself. In order to utilize the strengths God has given us, we must know what strengths we possess. I, for instance, know that God has created me to be an encourager, a generous host, and a teacher. Because I know these qualities about myself, I can bless God by living them out.

In turn, I must also recognize my weaknesses. I know that I often lack joy in situations and tend to be a little bit high strung due to my Type A personality. These are things I must keep in check daily, and because I am aware such tendencies, I can more easily move past them.

What I am learning, though, is that I can not be defined by the characteristics of my "self."

Even though I am gifted in hosting, I am learning that I do not always have to be the host.

Even though I have a good sense for organization, I am learning that it is all right to let someone else take charge.

Even though, by definition, I am easily wounded, I am learning that I cannot default to that in order to justify bitterness.

Even though I truly do abhor conflict, I am learning that often conflict is a necessary aspect of any sound relationship.

God created us unique and we must know the intricacies of our selves in order to grow in our faiths and relationship with Him. He, after all, wired us the way we are for a specific reason.

We cannot, though, use the qualities of our "self" as a crutch to lean on or a pedestal to stand on. We must allow God to shine through the strengths our of personalities and to display His grace through our weaknesses.

Ultimately, Myers-Briggs can't define who I am. Only God can. And that's a great lesson to learn.

To change the subject, are you wondering who some famous ESFJ's are? I thought you probably were... Mary Tyler Moore, Nancy Kerrigan, Bill Clinton, Molly Weasley, and (the most obvious connection) Monica Geller from Friends.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


word of the day: sugar \ˈshu̇-gər\ a sweet crystallizable material that consists wholly or essentially of sucrose, is colorless or white when pure tending to brown when less refined, is obtained commercially from sugarcane or sugar beet and less extensively from sorghum, maples, and palms, and is important as a source of dietary carbohydrate and as a sweetener and preservative of other foods

Did you make it through all that? Don't worry, I didn't either.

We all know what sugar is. The real question is, do we know how much sugar we put into our bodies every day?

For a 2,200 calorie diet, it's suggested that you intake no more than 73 grams of sugar a day.

Easier said than done.

39 grams of sugar in one can of Coke.

11 grams in a glass of milk.

13 grams in a serving of BBQ sauce.

7 grams in a 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce.

13 grams in a nutrigrain bar.

27 grams in a 6 oz. container of Yoplait Strawberry Yogurt.

It adds up quickly doesn't it?

All this to say, that I have to decided to go sugar-free for two weeks starting May 3rd. Don't misunderstand - this is not a sugar-free diet. Rather, it is my attempt to become more aware of the amount of unnecessary sugar and processed additives that are a part of my diet.

This means no pop, breads, cereals, peanut butter, jelly, milk, chocolate, or (gasp) yogurt covered pretzels and lattes!

It means lots of vegetables, brown rice, chicken, fish, and low-sugar fruits.

It means self-control and diligence.

It means that if I come over to your house and refuse to eat your food, I am not being rude. So please, don't be offended.