My 8th grade students are taking their final today and the essay prompt is, "What have you learned about yourself this year?"
As the pages flipped and pencils scratched, I began to think about what I am asking of them. Reflection. Introspection. Confession.
This has been a year of change for me, mostly in regards to my spirit. I feel alive! Reborn! I feel like I did in high school when I was ON FIRE for Christ! I've learned that I am happiest and most fulfilled when my thoughts, words and actions are glorifying My Savior! I've learned that if I read the Bible then the Holy Spirit will guide my thoughts and reveal truths to me, truths that have been on my nightstand for 31 years. My New Year's Resolution for the past 5 years has been to read my Bible more. I actually started doing this last summer with a study of David. Then Ester. Now Love. If all of this knowledge has been here, why haven't I been diving into it? My ignorance baffles me. My sin humbles me. But My God loves me!
I've learned that I have questions about the Bible and my faith. Not doubts, just questions. I want to learn more so that I can share more. The drive for this is heavy on my heart right now. I have felt unsettled in my job for the past year. I've wondered what God has in store for my future. How long will I teach? What is next? What does He want for me? From me?
My students this year have been amazing. I began this year full of doubt and fear. They had a reputation. I wondered if I would "love" them. How am I going to teach this bunch of kids? I haven't been teaching for many years, but it was my first year to receive nothing for Christmas or Teacher Appreciation. "What am I doing wrong?" I wasn't concerned for selfish reasons. I don't need "things" from the students, I just appreciate a word of thanks from them. But, this was the year that I received a Mother's Day card from a student. A Birthday present from another. Mrs. Ora, our custodian, told me that, "Even Jesus couldn't reach 'em all....but if you just reach one then you're doin' all right." I'm trying, Mrs. Ora. Lord knows I am.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Few people can boast that every visit to the in-laws is an adventure, but I can.
A crowd of folks greeted us as we unfolded ourselves from the car. I didn't even know everyone, but I did recognize the Cheshire smiles of my family. The boys played basketball in the driveway for hours while the girls chased the kids and got dinner ready. Harper skipped around the yard in a pink tu-tu and a flower headband.
All was well until DRAMA pulled up to the house. The new guest, who wasn't on the guest list, stayed for almost two hours. The mood quickly changed from lighthearted and silly to tense. I kept wondering, "God, you have me here for a reason....what is it?" I'm not sure what the Big Guy wanted to teach me, but I did get to see my mother-in-law try to stall and distract the guest with all the sincerity she could muster. Grace under fire.
On Saturday morning the boys squeezed into Brianna's VW Bug to go play golf. The girls piled into the SUV for retail therapy. Well, the retail wasn't great and we needed therapy afterward! After time in the car with the Cauley girls my belly hurts from the laughs. I think it was my mother-in-law that said, "There's no such thing as a functional family!" The three of them: Jill, Renee and Brianna, are so lucky to have each other.
Harper and Baylor got plenty of snuggles from Mimi, Papaw and Aunt Brianna. Uncle Clint got one or two.