Tag Archive | school

I Am My Sister’s Keeper

I have a group of 6 women friends with whom I share life on a daily basis.


So sorry to be missing 1 friend in this picture. Back row from left: me, Marjorie, Julie; front: Alyson, Keturah, Crystal


Alyson, Julie and me

We live near each other. We attend the same church. We all were involved in the same K-8 school for many years. We are raising our kids together, walking through troubled times and celebrations. Graduations, jobs, school successes. Two of them came and sat in the lobby of the hospital and prayed when my grandson was being born. Even our kids have become really good friends.

We’ve laughed and cried and raged and cheered. We pray earnestly and often. We share holidays together because most of our families are far off.


Marjorie, Keturah and me

We have a Facebook messenger group where we are available whenever we need each other.

We were built for community, and we are all aware that what we have with each other is not normal. We have a bond that will transcend place if anyone would take the gigantic step of moving away.


Kehau and Alyson (they’re sisters in law)


We know each other well.

As women, we thrive on the words we exchange. We don’t always have to do something together, but we know we are always there for one another. Because we all have families, getting together isn’t always easy, but those times are precious too.


Crystal and Alyson


We call ourselves the “wonder women.” Our tribe. Our cadre. Our peeps. We are fearfully and wonderfully made and need to remind each other of that fact often. We can also do wonderful things as we make our requests known to the God of the universe who can do immeasurably more than we can ask or think. And we share the wonder of that great God.


Keturah and me


We are unique in that we have such a group of soul sisters, but we certainly don’t want to be alone in that fact. Pray, ask God for such a group. It doesn’t have to be 7 like we have. Just 2 or 3 will be a blessing as long as you can share your hearts and be honest with each other.

Go, find your tribe.


This post is part of the Five-Minute Friday link up. Join the fun!

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Ride Into The Danger Zone–Or What Teaching Seemed To Me To Be

schoolhouseAt the beginning of last year, I set out to list 1,000 things for which I was thankful. I stalled out at 860. As we approach the end of the school year–and my first year of teaching 6th grade–I want to work on completing that list. Today’s are all school related, but the rest won’t necessarily be. Better late than never, so here goes the first of the last:

861. Jenni, my fun and capable co-teacher who has owned the science curriculum
862. Iris, my math teacher, because I would be totally unable to teach that subject, but she loves it
863. An hour at the beginning of each school day to gather my thoughts and consult with the teacher who has taught this curriculum for 16 years
864. 10 bright, happy students who have given their all this year
865. A grace-filled school that understands my limitations but entrusted me with this job anyway
866. That our school is right across the street from my house
867. For relatively little drama in my own house so that I could have the emotional energy to tackle this job
868. The Internet, which allows me to look up information on the fly when I have very little knowledge of the subject I’m teaching
869. My education, which taught me more than I thought about things like ancient civilizations
870. Julie, Michele, Sheryl, Christine, Gigi, Sheri, Cristina, Jo and Jill–my students’ moms who are also my friends
871. Carol, my stupendous teacher’s assistant
873. Mary Alice, the aforementioned previous teacher of this curriculum. Her input saved me many, many times
874. A management team who believed I could do the job
875. My husband, who put up with my hours of lesson planning and paper grading
876. Grace, both to do what I feel incapable of doing and to cover my many mistakes
878. Recess
879. Field trips
880. Latin curriculum so that I have tracks to run on
881. My iPad and Apple TV, which way rock over overhead projectors
882. Shari, our teacher mentor, for her input
883. Flexibility
884. Starting each week with teacher prayer
885. My students, because they’re engaged, fun, good kids with good attitudes and good hearts

That’s all for today. It’s good to look back and remember all the good that has happened. It gives me a renewed breath for looking ahead to next year.

A-Camping We Will Go

Every year for the last 11 years, our family has gone camping with our kids’ school, Trace Academy. Trace started this tradition the very first year it opened, believing that the “shared adversity” of tent camping with everyone would build unity. For our parent-involved, “family owned and operated” structure, unity is very important.

Some of our families had never been camping until they joined us, and some will never do it again after they leave. I wasn’t in the first group, but I may very well end up in the second after freezing at night for the past two years.

I am not built for the cold. I know, I know. There’s no bad weather, only bad clothing. That may be true, but, living in Florida does not lend itself to keeping cold-weather gear on hand. This year, I watched the weather report; I knew we were in for nights in the low 40s. I pulled out my ancient thermal underwear, got my fuzziest, thickest socks, piled on the blankets, had a little heater. Still, I froze.

Even my hot flashes weren’t helping.

There is nothing longer than a night with no sleep. O.K., I shouldn’t say NO sleep: I probably got a couple of hours scattered throughout the 7 hours I laid there shivering. The next morning, I was the teacher on for the day–and even before that, I was a part of the worship band during the assembly that starts our day. But God gave me grace, and I was able to get through it and even enjoy it. But man, when we got home, did my warm bed ever feel so good.

Now, before those in colder climes call me wimpy because anything less than 60 is cold to me, let me just state that all people are different, and I am one of those who would rather sweat than shiver. But, I want to look on the bright (think warm and sunny) side, so here are the things I like about camping with our school:

#1 sitting around the campfire with friends
#2 cooking outdoors
#3 the change of scenery
#4 knowing my kids are having such a great time with their friends
#5 once it finally warms up, I love the beautiful, Florida fall weather
#6 the assembly time, laughing at the MCs’ antics and being a part of the worship band

Next year, though, I’m seriously considering borrowing an RV. Our neighbors have one–about a 20-footer I’m guessing. That should do the trick.

Thankful today for

642. A weeklong break
643. Hair cuts
644. Protection
645. Coffee–not because I need the caffeine, because I drink only decaf, but just because I like it
646. Slow mornings
647. Health
648. My far-away family
649. S’mores

What Teaching Has Taught Me

Tuesday ends my second year as a second-grade teacher. If I think that I have been in that classroom simply to teach those 10 8- and 9-year-olds reading, writing and arithmetic, then I am sorely mistaken. I’ve been in there to learn things myself. Here are a few of those things:

Our innate desire for justice is very strong.

Other people cannot know what we need if we don’t tell them.

Forgiveness sought and given restores relationships.

Our desire to flee increases exponentially with the difficulty of the task before us.

Even though we might fight it, we thrive when there is order. Chaos makes us crazy.

I may hear you, but sometimes I’m not really listening.

I won’t really learn if I don’t participate.

Every time we get together is a reason to celebrate.

Thankful today for:
312. A good school year
313. Bug spray
314. Life lessons
315. Seeing old friends
316. 3-day weekends
317. Those who gave their lives in the service of our country
318. My nephew Aaron whose golden birthday was yesterday
319. The sound of a horse’s whinny
320. My co-teacher and TA this past year

It’s Too Hard!

My younger two kids attend a private school (Trace Academy) that is unique in its operation: the entire school is run by parents. Every family is required to volunteer at least one and a half days on campus. If you do more than that, if the school’s budget can handle it, you get a break in your tuition.

I teach 2nd grade. I have 10 little yard apes: 8 boys and 2 girls. I never before saw myself as a teacher. One of the reasons we chose this school is that I knew I wasn’t cut out to homeschool. For my first 8 years at the school, I worked in the office and then as part of the team that helped manage the school. I am an administrator.

And then, through unforeseen circumstances, God put me in this position. He made it very obvious, or I definitely wouldn’t be here.

Due to the circumstances, if I I hadn’t been walking in the Spirit, bitterness would have been my response. I would not have been able to see what He wanted me to do. I would have said, like I hear so many times in my classroom, “I don’t get it! It’s too hard! I don’t understand!” But because I saw the situation through God’s eyes, I responded in the Spirit and so find myself leading this precious though precocious group of kids with joy. And some have even said I’m good at it. Imagine that.

First Corinthians 2:14-16 in the Message says, “The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics. Isaiah’s question, “Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what He is doing?” has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit.”

Serve those who have wronged me? Ridiculous! (“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head” Romans 12:20.)

Don’t hit my brother back? But he HIT me! (“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” Romans 12:19).

We see a child who would otherwise, or so we think, have no home, being adopted and loved by a gay couple. How can we say that is wrong?

We see medical “advances” being made using fetal tissue. How can we deny someone a cure for their disease by not allowing experimentation with fetal tissue? How intolerant and rigid.

“The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness.”

I don’t get it! It’s too hard!

“Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing,”

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

Thankful today for:
28. a mild winter
28. my Vista Church family
29. a group of moms with whom I can pray