Tag Archives: Teacher

2020 VISION: Who Will Go for Us?

Got your fingers out of your ears? Got your eyes open?

2020 seems to be the year that the whisper in the deepest part of the heart is swirling a little longer…a little stronger…a little more intensely…than it has since the late 60’s, early 70’s. I felt it then.
My stomach revolted.
My head throbbed.
My heart wept.
I pulled the pillow over my head and burrowed deep into my covers.
I prayed.
I rebelled.
I prayed in the midst of the rebellion – after all, I had a life I wanted to live, and what I heard in my soul wasn’t part of it.

I heard – I saw – I turned away.

“I heard the voice of the LORD saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Is 6:8

Those early years of adulthood was when I discovered the wisdom and the power of Isaiah, a man who lived in a completely different world than I did, and yet – his words echoed more stridently than the protesters on the Quad. I would crawl out of my top bunk and curl up in the standard dorm room chair, reading his words by a light shining through the window from a nearby parking lot so that I wouldn’t wake the roommates.

“Who will go for Us?”

I heard the question.
I saw it in writing.
I closed His WORD.
I turned away.

50 years later, the call is reverberating all around me once again.

Perhaps it is in the hindsight of that 50 years that I see all of this through a different lens. I know my father and mother tried to explain to me several times what they felt during those unsettled years of civil unrest. Seeing my Father on his knees in prayer in the middle of the night said it best. I heard the words louder than ever that night as I crept back up the stairs and buried my head as deeply as I could.

“Who will go for Us?”

I’m still not sure that I don’t want to crawl into my bed once again. After all – ignoring the call is sooo much easier than answering that question. How many times have I sat in a classroom with my head down, hoping deep within me, that the teacher would not call my name – – – now or ever.

The stories in the Bible are full of people who pulled the covers over their head – ran in the other direction – sank their teeth into an apple – – – until – – – the heart of the Father whispered one last time, grace-to-rebellion, heart-to-heart, love-to-love:

“Who will go for Us?”

The thing I learned over the last 50 years is that I never waited to hear the words that came after His first whisper. I trembled. I hid. I covered myself. I put my fingers in my ears and closed my eyes. I bit the apple and missed the words that have made all the difference.

“Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Is 41:10

The cloud pillar is moving forward. It is time to stand on His Rock. Pick up my Bible and take a step. Maybe a baby step, but a step. It is time to look up and reach out with open palm to those gathered in my sphere. It is time to pray His WORDS in my heart and then – speak the answer that has been in my heart for 50 years. Speak it aloud because the Teacher has looked in my direction and is waiting for my answer. The birth pangs are coming with more frequency and harder with intensity, and scary as it is – answer the question.

“Hineni.”

“Here am I. Send me.” Is 6:8

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RATIONS 100 DAYS! #60

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know You, I know you…”

Rabbi Yeshua knew us so well. ‘…the world does not know You…’. When we look at what is happening in our world today, we recognize the truth of these words. A Russian leader says we are already in WWIII. Anger oozes out of the four corners and into the mainstream of societies everywhere. Cries of the innocent – the righteous – are heard across the lands and their sorrows pierce His hands once again.

‘..the world does not know You…’

But it is the end of this one particular verse that holds me tight each night as I enter my prayer room. The ‘Good Shepherd’ – Rabbi Yeshua knew 2000+ years ago that His words were a precious promise – a bond that would bring comfort to the sheep who know His voice – His words. He was not only a preacher, He was a teacher. A righteous teacher. A righteous Son of a Righteous Father.

“…they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” John 17:25–26, NIV

As the ancient snake rises and roils around our beloved garden, it is good to remember there is always the Light that shines forth in the darkness. It is the Light that will guide us out of this mess – if we let it.

1942 Daily Rations: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”~Matt 5:16

“We acquire our outlook on life not so much by hearing what people say as by watching how people behave. Nothing helps to build a heroic tradition so much as the sight of a brave soul living courageously. Nothing is so fatal to faith as the sight of men and women living faithlessly.

“Plainly, as we add to the beauty and power of the teaching of Jesus the convincing sight of his followers actually living it, his word becomes the most compelling thing in all the world.

“‘Now when they beheld the boldness of Peter and John…they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.’~Acts 4:13

“Read: Luke 6:27-36

“Prayer: Give us eyes to see the power which we exert by the way we live. Help us, O Lord, to sense what our manner of living does to other people. Save us, we pray, from the sin of contradicting high professions by low actions. Save us from insincerity. Grant that we may be willing to practice the brotherhood for which we so often pray. As we plead for peace, may it be in our hearts to live peaceably. As we pry for faith, may we be kept from breaking faith with our fellows. Wash us thoroughly and make us clean. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

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25 NAMES OF CHRISTMAS – TEACHER

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajoTFpwHJoAjesusourjewishsaviour

The past couple of days have been filled with some teary nights. In fact the past week has been filled with some sporatic outbursts – here and there. This normally would not be a good thing, but this week has been different. It has been as if My Father has been lighting candles on the menorah within me for each day of Chanukah. And – – – as my dad said so many years ago, “…most of that light comes through the children.”

“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”~Titus 2:78

This past week several of my former students have shared their memories with me about our times together. The candle they lit in this fogginess of our housing dilemma has been a blessing. A gentle light just bright enough to see the next step, trusting in a path I can not see clearly enough for myself without their gift.
“You then who teach others, do you not teach yourself?”~Rm 2:22a
The last candle of Chanukah was lit today. Since it is also the last week before Christmas break, not many students had homework, so only my 8th graders needed some time. Got to admit, it is still my favorite age group to teach. Grown-up enough for serious conversations and yet, even the most “hardened” ones still have dreams in their eyes.
Work was finished quickly, and we spent most of the time talking. Talking about books (they had just finished the Giver). Singing a Chanukah song from a child of a mixed linage (she learned it so that she could get her Chanukah gifts) while we shared a cookie she brought as a gift. Listening about the drama of the latest cheer competition. Laughing about music notes that the trumpet player could play but not name.
Wow – I have missed these types of encounters with my students, so my candle burned just a little brighter with joy.
Being a teacher is never easy. Low pay, Lengthy in-services. Long hours. Life hazards. (Believe me – between projectile vomiting, jumping bugs, germs, angry encounters (luckily for me – only a few – yes indeed – teaching can be hazardous). Most of us chose this job for one reason or another – not knowing what all it entailed. Yet – there is One who knew all of the bad stuff that went with the job description and still volunteered.Yeshua teaching
 
“You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am”~Jn 13:13
I have thought about these teaching verses in the WORD often during my career. Each one providing a little more light on the kind of teacher I wanted to be. While I did have some wonderful teachers that served as role models for me, it was a small town Rabbi that truly held me captive in the way He taught.
“Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”~Jn 3:2b
Those verses and a few others have kept me striving to try harder, to search longer, to pray constantly. As I listened this week to Syrian Christians express their willingness to die for this teacher,I pondered these verses again.
  • Can I not try a little harder?
  • Give a little more?
  • Pray a little more often?
I am broken once again in the simpleness of the story.  A man born long ago. Humble beginnings in a cold stable and surrounded by animals and excrement. Swaddling clothes instead of a ton of onesies and a multiple outfits.
A single candle lighting the darkness. A rabbi who walked with his students A teacher willing to sacrifice all for those who followed in His steps. A professor who waits to see if we have the courage to seek His wisdom and follow His steps into the unknown.
“Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God”~Mk 12:14
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BLESSINGS TRIAD #4-6

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A FOURTH BLESSING OF THANKSGIVING

On November 4, 2015, I am thankful that the Holy Spirit is present in my life and in the world. Until Christ comes again, what more could I ask except that I have the wisdom and discernment to pay attention whenever and however He speaks. Blessings!Be!

“I have spoken these things with you while I am with you. But he, The Redeemer of the accursed, The Spirit of Holiness, whom my Father sends in my name, he will teach you all things and he will remind you of everything whatsoever I have told you.” Jn 25-26

A FIFTH BLESSING OF THANKSGIVINGscaffolding

Today, my students hugged me, made a game of touching my peek-a-boo strands of blue or purple hair, and untied or tied the long necklace of cooper beads that hung around my neck as we worked our 3rd grade division problems. I hear God laughing everytime I work with them doing math because He knows it is not the thing I love best in the world. I laugh because, even now, He is still trying to teach me.

So tonight, I as I finish up devotions and scan back through my ever circling prayers of petitions, praise and thankfulness, I remember He is a God who “delights in mercy” (Micah 7:18). He is the God who taught His people in the early days through Abraham, Sarah, Moses and on and on and on. He sent His Son to teach and model for us what could be done when we stand firmly upon the rock of faith. He sent the Holy Spirit to continue to teach us when things threaten to break us and remind us of His promises.

me 1978Lev Vygotsky may have written it down for our modern culture, but Rabbi Yeshua lived it as He taught. Scaffolding works in so many areas, but especially, teaching. So today, I am thankful on November 5, 2015, to have been wise enough to choose the path that my Father set before me so long ago.

“Stand up and bless Yahweh your God from everlasting to everlasting! Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise!” Neh 9:5b

A SIXTH BLESSING OF THANKSGIVING

On this 6th day of November, I am thankful that I am not going through a testing period right now. Several people I know are going through challenging times right now. Some through illnesses. Some through financial crisises. Some through relationships. And some – through choices of their own desires.

I told my son earlier this evening that life is like a classroom – one pop quiz or test after another. Some tests seem to go on forever. Some are only one question long. Some are full of long disjointed essays, and our head hurts after awhile – not to mention our hand cramps.

The Bible is filled with such stories – from Adam and Eve to John on the Isle of Patmos, so I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. The good news? Tests never last. The classroom soon fills with yakking teachers. Students questioning. Laughter. Games. Celebrations. Naptimes. “To everything there is a season…” -.even testing.

Tonight is a good night to be smiling and thankful. Still struggling with a cold that just won’t walk out the door and leave me along. But over all – instruction time is still taking place in my classroom. Sometimes, I’m doodling and looking out the window (much like I did through most of my classes – ever). Rare times – I am focused and paying strict attention (but I am getting better – I think). Most times, I am just content. Loving my family, friends and always – my students. Basking in His mercy. Sleeping in His palm. Praying always that I am learning enough. All-in-all – thankful.

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JABEZ

images (1)When you get that early morning call from the daughter, you know it is going to mean one of two things. One – they need a babysitter because a) someone is sick, b) the babysitter canceled, c) school was canceled due to ice/flu/etc… or two – they need something to be done because they forgot. Today it was the latter. Since the family has been under attack by the latest flu/ear infection bug, meds were forgotten in the morning rush and grandma needed to come to the rescue. (BTW – grandmas love this when they have nothing else on their agenda – oh what the heck – grandmas love this even when they have something planned) Any excuse to see the Grands is a treat.

The special attraction (for me) was getting to go to their school, Willow Oak Montessori. Maria Montesorri’s educational mission makes sense to me. I loved teaching at the OSU nursery school where we used many of her techniques, so getting to go to the Montessori school was not a dreaded chore, by any means. As expected, there was interaction, laughter, talking. One teacher sitting at a table helping three students with a math worksheet, two students talking together as they worked on math at a center, one student and teacher crawling along the floor measuring, two others on the floor working on math puzzles with another teacher, another student sitting alone looking at book with a smile on her face. The Grand didn’t even noticed I had arrived – in fact, none of the kids paid any attention to my entrance. Luckily, the third teacher (who had been crawling on the floor and had purple hair, no less) got the Grand’s attention and the forgotten meds, a quick hug involving arms and legs tightly wrapped around me, and all is back to normal.

Actually, as I was driving home thinking about how I wish all schools were like images (2)this, my mind rotated (as it is prone to do) to this thing we call life. We are all in a “Montessori” school. Each of us going about our missions. Some of us sitting on the floor “puzzling” over some task, Some of us working with the teacher. Some of us standing with a friend, talking over our ideas and sorting out life. Some of us sitting by ourselves. Some of us crawling, just trying to get to the end or “measureing” how long this journey will take.

“His mother called his name Jabez, saying, ‘Because I bore him in pain.’ Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!’ So God granted him what he requested.” – 1 Chron 4:9-10 NKJV

Jabez went to a Montessori school, too. He went about his life in his own way. His mother named him Jabez because of the pain he had caused her. Jabez decided (with his free will) to try to never cause pain to anyone else. He strengthened his resolve by asking God to help him in this test, and God granted him what he requested. God didn’t create us for blind adoration. He set his children in a “Montessori Garden” gave them free will and walked with them. When they didn’t pass one test, He continued to let them seek more wisdom in their own way, sent plenty of teachers to point the way, sent His Son to remind them of how they should live – love – laugh, and lovingly,He continues to offer to teach them more when they fail a test with grace and mercy. At the Grands’ school, they have a birthday celebration called, “Walk around the Sun” to celebrate the child’s passage into a new year of life. Metaphors are great teaching tools. Couldn’t ask for a better school than that, could we?

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Attitude of Gratitude #26

rainbowAttitude of Gratitude #26: Teachers Treasures. When I was in Jr Hi I had a history teacher that was a story teller of history. Movies and TV were in their infancy and certainly, not in the schools. But…if we were lucky, teachers treasures were there. Most teachers were okay. I doodled a lot, played the ‘I Wonder…’ game in my head (which was basically a daydream), wrote notes to my friends, and waited for the bell to ring. (BTW – my grades were not horrible, but they weren’t great) However, – there was that one teacher – every now and then – that one teacher who made their subject come alive in my head and my grades actually became exemplary (YEA- me). In other words – a teacher treasure.

Anyway, this teacher of history was actually an American history teacher. I fell in love with our country that year. Especially the stories of early America. Because of him, I began to read biographies, diaries, articles, historical fiction…Now, I have access to multiple sources on line and continue to read. I especially love the sites that cite their sources…it gives me a little faith that maybe they are reporting the truth.

Teachers can be found in any occupation and the good ones are a treasure worth more than gold. The past couple of years, I’ve been blessed with encountering a few teacher treasures when I really needed them. Tonight as I watch a Hallmark movie that is more spiritual than most, I am smiling, because even made-for-TV-movies can be a teacher – if your eyes are open. Teachers can be treasures, and I am thanful that God has put some really special ones in my path.

“When I left Springfield [Illinois, to assume the Presidency], I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ.” – Abraham Lincoln

http://www.wallbuilders.com/…/CelebratingThanksgivingInAmer…

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Commandment Series: Prohibition of Harming a Person through Speech

ten-commandments-400.hebrew abbrevI lost a friend Sunday night.  Three days after receiving his second kidney transplant and telling his wife: “I love you”, he was called Home.  I know there was plenty of rejoicing in Heaven yesterday…just as I know there will be lots of sadness expressed in my hometown over the next few days.  Losing a teacher/preacher man is like that.  It is just plain hard to say good-bye to one of the “good” guys – even when we know from Jewish tradition that good never ends – and all of Heaven is rejoicing and throwing a fantastic “Welcome Home” party in his honor.

I’ve  led a blessed life that has allowed me to encounter a few teacher/preacher men and women. People who managed to stand on their faith everyday, no matter the circumstances swirling around them – no matter the confrontations that they had to endure because of their testimony.  Reaching out and  being able to teach others about the Love that surrounds us all – even when facing everyday challenges – is what sets a teacher/preacher apart from many others.  They daily walk in the Light as He is in the Light, and they reflect His Love to all that are blessed enough to join them on that walk.

‘On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.’” — Leviticus 23:40

sukkotTomorrow at sundown, the Jewish festival of Sukkot begins.  It will also be the second blood  moon that has fallen on a Jewish holiday this year.  It is a time of great joy.  A time to live in a temporary shelter so that they remember what it was like on the journey to the Promise Land and seek to create the  trust that should live within them for Jehovah-Jireh. The New Year has just begun (Yom Kippur/Rosh Hashanah), and now it is time for each person to dedicate themselves and their lives to the One True God.  They gather four species of plants that Sages say represent the body, wave them in all four directions of the world, and stand on their faith, letting David’s ancient words sing for all the world to hear.  For a short moment in time, they become teacher/preachers and people are blessed by their words and actions.

“With every bone in my body, I will praise Him,”  Ps 36:1

Words can be curses or blessings.  The 9th commandment points this out ratherlie succinctly.  Most of us learned it: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Ex 20:13.  Needless to say, most of us think of that this means just don’t lie about something someone else has done or not done.  However, Jewish tradition applies this commandment to all sins that are done in the form of speech.  Making fun of someone?  Gossiping?  Swearing falsely about anything?  Leading someone away from the Light with your words?  It is a basic reminder that we are to use our words as a blessing instead of a curse. A reminder to be a teacher/preacher with everything we say.  heaven-of-angels

My friend was one of those people.  His words were a blessing and a gift to our world.  We will miss you, my friend, but I also know that your journey with the angels has just begun.

 

 

 

 

Commandment Series-Respect for Parents and Teachers

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“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.” Rev 22:1-5

I love the word picture that John paints in these verses.  I haven’t read Revelations for a while.  Truthfully? I’ve been avoiding it.  When I was in high school and college I was fascinated by Revelations and read it often.  I thought if I read the words often enough, I would eventually glean the wisdom it contained. But so many of the pictures that John was trying to describe in this book was beyond my imagination and knowledge at that point.  Needless to say over the course of the last 45 years, I’ve returned to it periodically.  Occasionally grasping a thought or image only to feel that most of the wisdom in this book was still beyond my ken.  However, lately…even now as the sun’s rays are finally slicing through the clouds that have covered our area for the past 3 days to warm my typing fingers…hints that it is time to return to a more in-depth study of this book.

I wish there was a Jewish Talmud written about the New Testament.  A rabbi who looked at Our Lord’s and His disciples’ words in much the same way as they ancient-rabbi-teachingspoke them.  That is one thing that I truly love about the Jewish religion.  The sages have never stopped debating – concentrating on the very basics of the written Hebrew language, each jot and tittle, as well as the overall context and content of the Torah – seeking to take new understanding from the WORD and Our Father who spoke through them.  In our society, I believe most of us tend to think that if we have read our devotions and forced ourselves to find time to read a few new chapters in the Bible, we’ve done enough our filial duty.  Can we ever understand anything about God in just a few minutes out of our “busy” day?

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Ex 20:12

In Jewish tradition, teachers are included in the fifth commandment.  Since most societal groups look at parents as the first teachers of a child, this inclusion teachermakes a lot of sense.  The extension of respecting teachers follows logically. Yet – as more and more parents are working full time (or several part time) jobs – teaching children has become a communal project.  Teachers, yes – babysitters are teachers – are entering the child’s sphere of existence at earlier and earlier stages of life.  Whether you acknowledge it or not, children are being taught by whoever is around them. Teachers are found in all shapes and sizes.  Yesterday, at our after school program, a young 13 year old was explaining the facts of life to some of our  much younger students.  I’m not sure some of  our first grade parents were ready to have that conversation last night around their supper table.  Hmmm….that is….if they sit around the table to eat supper and actually talk to each other.  sigh.

“To one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” – James 4:17 NASB

Is it any wonder that I kids argue with their parents and teachers?  They have had many teachers.  They see their parents argue with their teachers.  They see parents argue with each other.  Teachers argue with each other.  By observation Family_Portraitalone, children learn that rules must be negotiable.  Children learn that one set of rules at home, may be different at the babysitters’ – the pre-school’s – the other biological parents’ or grandparents’ homes.  Nap time?  Negotiable.  Homework? Negotiable.  Cuss words?  Jacket worn to school?  Move to a new seat in the classroom?  No recess?  Fighting at school? TV? Computer? Phone?  Children are adaptable and learn pretty quickly where they can stretch the boundaries…any boundary…ALL boundaries.

Our “busy” and “denuclearized” society makes this commandment even more difficult.  Parents divorced.  Many step-parents and siblings. Many quasi-step-parents and sibs.  Grandparents – married into or quasi????  Attachments extended familyto family members?  As adults enter their own sphere of knowledge, it gets easier and easier to break those familial attachments.  The “Honoring” bird flies quickly away when not fed.  Instead, it is much easier to use our “new” family, our job, our extra curricula activities (sports, friends, downtime etc.) as an excuse.  After all, how much time does that grown child remember spending with their own parents while they were growing up – especially if there was a divorce or multiple divorces?  A few phone calls – every so often (weekly? monthly? occasionally?) – to the parental units and call it good.  That’s honoring, right?  Spend a holiday or two with them – maybe – if they live close enough and nothing else is planned.  That’s honoring, right?  Asking them to help out with a sick child or pick-up child.   That’s honoring…right?

I don’t know about you, but as I ponder the fifth commandment more deeply and think about all the messiness of our world, I wish this commandment was handed out to every family unit and read aloud each evening as prayers are said. I wish it was still posted in schools.  Perhaps……sadly……the fifth commandment really is  hard to follow.

BTW – the sun that broke through the clouds as I was typing the first paragraph?  Was completely swallowed up by the said clouds as soon as I started typing the second paragraph.  God winked so I guess I’m going to be spending some time reading Revelations today.  joy-comes-with-the-morning

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Grandma Mac

“My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.” Prov 3:1-2

Long ago, children were raised by a village.  Family was all around.  Teachers could be found on every little street, church and school.  Good teachers hold a special place in our memories.  Sometimes those memories swirl around in our head and emerge to remind us of some knowledge that we gained because of that one person.  One of my favorite Grandma Macteachers was Grandma Mac.  There are so many memories of this lady.  Mother 0f 8 and an additional still-born set of twins.  Strong matriarch after her husband died.  Loving Grandma.  There was nothing better than stopping to see her when I was out riding my bike or walking home from school. Her kitchen was full of aromas that never came out of our kitchen at home.  (Mom may have been her daughter, but she never could manage to cook like her mama.)   Homemade noodles, cookie jars full of un-burned sweetness (mom always “overcooked” cookies), chocolate-meringue-topped pies, sauerkraut setting on the back porch with the wine bottles brewing..and on and on and on.

“Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.”  Prov 17:6

In those days, we could ride our bikes all around our small town…day into night…at least…until the car horn beeped three times or the fireflies lit our way home.  Parents never worried about what we were doing; they knew that neighbors were always keeping their eyes open for mischief, and I could get spanked from them Grandma Mac retirementas well as mom or dad. Inevitably, there were the stops at Grandma’s house – especially after she got home from working at the Flxi (Flxible Bus Company). If she was not home yet, I would wander around her kitchen garden, sit on the porch and read my favorite book of the day, or explore the old barn behind her house.  To my way of thinking, the 50’s were the perfect time to grow up. Church on Sunday, family gatherings, bike rides, minstrel shows, a library full of books, and endless list of happy times, but at the top of that list was always Grandma Mac.

grandma's panYesterday, my daughter picked strawberries and shared some with us, so today I made shortcake. Grandma taught me her recipe as I stood on a chair by her side….flour, buttermilk, baking powder, butter, sugar and a touch of vanilla.  Sometimes she even patted it with powdered sugar as she put it in the baking dish…golden brown heaven covered with strawberries, homemade ice cream and real whipped creme.  Some of her grandma toolskitchen pictures and  tools remain in my own kitchen, and it makes me smile as I think about her hands holding the same ones that I hold.  Double boiler pan slightly colored on one side from our house fire several years ago, an porcelain funnel, a potato masher.  Simple things but so precious.

Memories bring us close to those who have traveled through this world before us.  They were our first teachers –  our touchstones.  Stones that are handled throughout many generations.  Stones that have been carved by the sharp knives of  knowledge, wisdom, and love.  Stones that are left behind for us to hold and treasure.  Now I have my own Grands, and already, they stand on chairs by my side.  We haven’t made any of  Great-Grandma Mac’s recipes…YET.  But summer looms ahead. and I think there will be a day – or hundreds of days – when we will chose one of her touchstones, carving a little more love into it, and passing on the skills that she passed to me.  And believe it or not, I believe the Grands will be teaching me much more than I am teaching them.

“At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.”  Luke 10:21me grandma 1954

 

Lenten Journey #24

Today, the disciplinarian teacher in me came out in full force, and there were a few third grade boys who were not thrilled. (Hmmm…haven’t forgotten that teacher tone of voice at all) As for myself, it was good to touch base with that part of me again.

That being said, I should have known. The first devotion I read this morning (Thank you very much, Miss Tiki) was about jobs. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching with this retirement thingy. As ready as I was to get away from the idiocy of Common Core Standards and the daily nonsense of things that have nothing to do with educating our youth, I was not ready to quit teaching. (For a person who never considered that I would EVER walk into a school after high school graduation, I had to laugh at that last sentence.)

Our life journeys sometimes surprise even us. Teaching was one of my surprises. Yeah – sure – I did get “volunteered” to help teach the little kids in Sunday School. I did start a group to teach “Little Majes” how to twirl a baton. I babysat. I tutored and read to little kids while working at our local library. I joined Future Teachers of America, but only because my mom wanted me to join a club (and it got me out of class sometimes). I even fought my parents about going to college. School was boring. School, for me, was mostly about daydreaming, doodling or writing poetry…stories…songs… Certainly, nothing productive ever came out of sitting in a classroom and taking notes and tests.

And yet — 40+ years later — I don’t think I’m done. Unlike Rabbe Jesus, I’m not sure of what lies ahead. However, I am getting the idea that He is about to let me know. “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD…” Jer 29:11

I have no idea how this will work, but I think today was all about reminding me who is in control. Luckily, while my teaching day started out with the disciplinarian me, it ended with the “Miss Grammie” me. Three 1st graders sitting on my lap – waiting to read their minute stories, running accounts of mistakes, re-read the stories, 2nd graders hanging over my shoulder waiting for me to get to them and their vocabulary questions, integers being added and subtracted (I called for help – literally – I used my phone’s calculator to double check what I told them =) ) , algebraic word problems which needed to be re-stated in numeric form (do you know how hard that is for someone who intensely dislikes math – let alone the 6th graders who were struggling?). No one ever said that the plans He has made for us will be without a few bumps. sigh.

BTW – one of the 4th graders spent his time-out writing “I am stupid” until he filled the page. When I came back to where he was sitting alone, he dug it out of his book bag and handed it to me. Now either he is the smartest one in the group of boys, or he was sincerely sorry. In any case, we had a talk. Told him if I ever heard him writing such a thing again, we would have another talk. Second, he got out of time-out while the others had to stay in. “Miss Grammie” got a hug, and I wondered why he chose to write the words he did. I’m still wondering…and praying. I like to think that is exactly what Rabbe Jesus did on His lenten journey. When he found one of His lost sheep, I’m pretty sure He wondered how it got so lost…and then He prayed. The neat thing??? He hasn’t stopped interceding for us with the Father. When we pray??? We eventually stop – get sidetracked – forget, but not Christ. He continues walking with us and interceding every step of the way.

“The name of the LORD is a fortified tower, the righteous run to it and are safe.” Prov 18:10 jesus-christ-sermon-mount