At 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
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
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.
Today is called Good Friday. When you think that it’s in commemoration of the day Someone died a violent, torturous death, you might wonder what’s so good about it. Here’s what I think:
The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom giving us free access, through Jesus, to God the Father. No more priests, no more animal sacrifices. When we want to talk to Him, we simply say the words.
My chains are gone; I’ve been set free. My God, My Savior has ransomed me. Amazing. (1 Thess. 1:10 “rescued us from wrath”)
I am no longer a slave to sin and death. Romans 8:1-4: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
I am so, so, so loved “For God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Thankful today for:
169. what will be a great gathering of friends at our house on Easter
“He replied, ‘Whether He is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!’” (John 9:25 NIV84).
I was in junior high school when I first began walking with Jesus. Though there are some who have lived hard lives even at such a young age, I was not one of them. So taking the hand of Jesus and giving Him control of my life wasn’t a huge leap for me. It was a simple, yet profound, change in direction.
But I can still say with the blind man whom Jesus healed, “I was blind, but now I see!” Jesus changed everything. I had a new perspective on my relationships. My future looked different to me. My spiritual eyes had been opened.
There are still times when I choose to close my eyes and act like I’m blind again. I don’t see the needs of my neighbors, my family, my friends. I want to go where I want to go rather than where Jesus wants to lead me.
But Jesus gently tugs my hand again and reminds me that I can see. “The people living in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (Matthew 4:16, NIV).
Jesus is the Light.
Today I’m thankful for
4. a day off
5. a comfortable house
6. chocolate chip cookies (think I’m gonna have to go make me some)
Ann Voskamp’s book 1,000 Gifts is very popular these days. I haven’t read it, but from what I’ve gathered, the premise is that you can find blessings in every single day. There are multitude tiny ways God shows us He loves us.
King Solomon had that idea long before this book came out. Ecclesiastes 11:7 says: “Oh, how sweet the light of day, And how wonderful to live in the sunshine! Even if you live a long time, don’t take a single day for granted. Take delight in each light-filled hour” (The Message).
In that same chapter, Solomon says, “Be generous: Invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns. Don’t hoard your goods; spread them around. Be a blessing to others. This could be your last night” (Ecc. 11:1,2 The Message).
Enjoy what you have and share it with others. Live generously and you will find that God is generous with you. Sow thankfulness and you will reap a thankful heart that is a blessing to others. It’s a people magnet: others will be drawn to you because of your heart.
I’m getting a little bit of a late start, but each day I am going to list three things for which I’m thankful, so that at the end of the year, I have 1000. Maybe I’ll even read Ann’s book.
I’ll start big:
1. My salvation
2. My husband
3. The way all my children still like to hug me (my boys are 15 and 13–in 8 days–and my daughter is 9).
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