Our Happy Dance

Joy in the day to day! Joy in who we are together! Joy unspeakable (1Peter 1:8)!

God Sized Dreams: Student Teaching

Another moment of joy put in writing. . .

I rush from Teacher in Service over to my college halls on a Monday night. My old Suburban is burning oil and rubber as I rush to get to the meeting in time. The humidity is palpable and it feels as though you can reach out and touch it with the window rolled down. I’m listening to the radio, so very loud, and tears threaten. Things are a little tender in my heart these days.

The Director of our Education Department says, “Congratulations, you are embarking on the culmination of your education here.” All day long, I’ve heard about curriculum choices, state standards, and I’ve sat with wide eyes and open heart as teachers more experienced than I, allow me to shadow them and to learn from them. I’ve been allowed a bird’s eye view on the amount of time these educators spend away from home. I’m beginning to realize the weight of this decision; the support families offer in allowing wives, husbands, mommas and daddy’s to educate others. A million times over I’ve pinched myself. In my mind’s eye, I’ve seen me as nine year old sitting with my Dad, writing the plan for college prep. Life proceeded differently and I took a lot of detours… Culmination? This one has been a long time coming. In fact, after seeing the ten year high school class reunion come and go, marriage and two babies,  all of us dared not believe it would ever happen. I want to call my husband and my parents and shout, “we’ve arrived!” I want to call my fifth grade teacher and say, “thank you, with all my heart, thank you!”

I’m handed a handbook of requirements, more rigor, more checkpoints. Afterward, my Professors shake my hand, wish me well. There are offers of support and exciting exchanges concerning commencement. One Professor, stands before me and apologizes for cold hands. He says, “After 26 years of teaching, I still get nervous before crowds.” He spoke to all of us moments earlier about some reflection requirements and standards of excellence our State requires we embrace as teachers.  He’s one of the good ones, one of those seemingly carved out to instruct. When he speaks, I listen and I look for the teachable moment because I’ve learned from experience, its coming.  I reply, “I always get cold hands too.” You can see the feeling in his eyes when he says, “Because you care.” He’s been adamant from the beginning that his teaching students never stop caring. He’s taught me that the very best instructors approach it in this manner–as an act of service. He’s reminding me of why I’m here. I do care.

Its impossible to say what sort of impact I’ll make in two months time. I know my heart though, this is a gift. I’ll approach it in that manner. Student teaching has begun!

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Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday

Linking up with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday. We write for five minutes flat (unedited) on a prompt she provides. Today’s prompt is: Lonely.

Here goes. . .

It’s there in the beginning, ‘it is not good for man to be alone.’ Mr. Simon sings about being a rock and an island. Lonely? As though, the soul is being stretched and left much too thin, like a well running dry. I am neither rock nor island but I do so enjoy solitude. In solitude, I wear my skin like a cashmere sweater…I’m comfortable, I’m carefree. I collect my thoughts like old records strewn about me on the floor. I revive my soul. Does this make sense?

Momma said, ‘I enjoy being alone, but you are a social butterfly.’ How is it possible, to grow under the woman who has radar that detects your coming, and going, and growing and she misses what truly sets your soul ablaze? Scripture and quiet. Nature and quiet. Poetry and quiet. Here I am away from the din of the rat race, tucked under a homemade afghan on a thrift store chair and I do not feel lonely, I feel alive. It is dark, the stars are out, but there is sunlight here . . . I am like a sunflower with my face turned toward the sun—the Son actually. You redeem everything . . . even in being alone; we never really are, are we? Just like the Psalmist (Psalm 139), I have learned I can never flee your presence. I wouldn’t want to.

End.

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Maximize Your Peace

Just me thinking out loud again. . .

Today, I’m writing about three precious words, my husband graciously tosses my direction when I am getting discombobulated by the here and now. Seems I’ve got myself quite a toolbox of beautiful phrases to meet the needs of my heart. . .here’s another one for you to munch on:

Maximize Your Peace

The fact is peace is a gift given to us. It sort of comes with that grace package Jesus offered us. If we already possess this gift then maximizing it should be less than rocket science. Tricky business? I tend to make it so. Tell me I’m not the only one. Of late, when chaos or anxiety pushes in on me, my thought process goes something like this. . .

Does this thing give me joy or does it zap my energy. . .

Does this relationship make me better in some way or does growth seem like an impossible pursuit?

Am I jumping to conclusions?

Am I operating in my gifting and talents?

Maximize Your Peace

John 14:27 promises that Jesus has given peace sufficient for us. It reads, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”  See there? It’s a gift. I feel like Jesus is saying, though, don’t let this gift get robbed from you, hang on to it. I wonder if you could use that encouragement today?

Jesus knew full well what we’re up against here. I bet He knew too, our greatest danger wasn’t the circumstances or people we’d meet. I bet he knew our greatest hindrance would be our reluctance to accept what’s He’s so graciously given, that we in our human pride would prefer a task list, a ladder or a how to video, and a pat on the back for our stellar accomplishment.

I’ve been doing some reading and much of what I read in scripture concerning peace does involve our active participation…check this out. . .

Isaiah 26: 3 assures us that God will keep in perfect peace those whose mind is steadfast.  So be steadfast. . .

Psalm 34:14 tells us to seek peace and to pursue it. 

Romans 12:18 reminds us as much as possible to live at peace with everyone As much as possible, absolutely! Friend, it’s not always possible. . .

Galatians 5:22 tell us that the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.  A fruit. . .hrm. . .

So now I know, and now friends you have been reminded too, peace we’ve been given. . .unwrap your gift and utilize it and don’t you let any person, place or thing take what is rightfully yours.

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