What Did I Just Say?

As a teacher, sometimes I feel like a broken record.  I’m sure other teachers can relate.  I repeat instructions many times.  I review concepts that students should have already mastered.  I remind kids to wash their hands, wipe their nose, and write their name on their paper. Sometimes my students are just not paying attention.  On many a day I will catch myself saying, “(Jimmy), what did I just say?” Sometimes I feel like my students will never get to where I want them to be.

And yet, isn’t that how we are with God?  He gives us countless examples of his faithfulness, his forgiveness, and his sovereign control in our lives.  Still, we stumble.  We forget.  We get distracted.  We don’t hear his voice.  We don’t see the evidence of his hand in the day-to-day of our lives.  Sometimes I can almost hear God saying to me, “Elyse, what did I just say?”

I feel overwhelmed.  God says,

  • “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9
  • “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” – Psalm 91:1
  • “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

I feel like a failure.  God says,

  • “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
  • “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him” – Daniel 9:9
  • “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

I feel fearful.  God says,

  • So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
  • “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

I am so thankful that I serve the Lord who never gives up on me.  Who never tires of repeating himself.  No matter how many times he has to teach me something, he does it with grace and love.  He takes my hand, tells me to look him in the eyes, and gently speaks truth to my heart.

When I am tempted to lose patience with my students who need me to remind them of something, may I remember how patient God is with me.  He gently pulls me aside and says, “What did I just say?”


This Smells Good

This year I am teaching a variety of subjects and a variety of grades.  It keeps me on my toes!  This past week I was teaching primary art, and we were working on outlining our “Pop Art Hearts” (an idea I got from Art with Jenny K).  I let my students use Sharpie markers to outline, which was a pretty big deal to them considering that they are PERMANENT markers.  Anyway, this particular afternoon had been a bit hairy, it was nearing clean-up time, and honestly, I was counting down the minutes until the bell.  It was then that I heard a “sniiiifff” sound behind me, and then a quiet, “hmmm….. this smells good” from one of my students. I couldn’t even stifle a laugh.  It was that funny.  I didn’t even have to correct the student either, because one of my other students quickly piped up that Sharpie markers “are not good for you and that you shouldn’t smell them.”  What can I say?  Sometimes it’s the little things in life that bring joy.  For my student, it was experiencing the smell of a Sharpie marker for the first time.  For me, it was an overheard conversation between two primary students.