Thursday, August 6, 2015

Blessings of a new school year and a thank you to teachers.

I spent yesterday and today taking my 3 boys to their respective schools to meet their teachers, get their schedules, and make sure they can find their way around the schools. (I even went to a school that we aren't registered for, but more about that later.) All in all, things went well. None of them are thrilled about going back to school. Who can blame them? All that work and having to get up early (extra early for my new high schooler), rules and projects, etc. But I know that they are looking forward to seeing friends. And I think they like the challenge of learning, even though they won't really admit it. :) I was pleased today to see, not necessarily their passion for school, but to witness the impact that a single teacher can have on a student, and vice versa. We started the day at the high school, a new place for us. My oldest son will be a high school freshman this year. (Not quite sure how we got here, but at least we made it!) He got his schedule and we found his classes. It wasn't difficult or eventful. Then, we headed over to the middle school. My middle son will be in 7th grade there this year and, obviously, my oldest son just left there. We got his schedule and proceeded to his classes and met his teachers. Again, it was fairly uneventful. The main purpose of today's blog is what happened next. Both (yes, BOTH) of the boys INSISTED that we go see Mrs. Irvine before we leave. Each of them had her for social studies at some point during middle school. And they would each tell you that she is, by far, their favorite middle school teacher. (I, as a mom like hearing that because it means that my kids have engaged another adult and even realize that the teachers are not there to torture them.) So we headed around the school to find her room. We found it in the same place that it was last year, surprisingly, and walked in the door. Mrs. Irvine stopped what she was doing (talking to a family that would be in her class this year), walked right toward us and hugged, really hugged, each of my boys. In talking to them she used the words "favorite" and "enjoyed". It was so refreshing to see that, not only did she have an impact on them, but THEY had an impact on HER. I've tried hard to raise them right and teach them to be good gentlemen and responsible citizens. It's so nice to see that all the hard work and struggle has paid off. THANK YOU, MRS. IRVINE! But it doesn't stop there..... My middle child also asked if we could go by the elementary school. Normally, that wouldn't be a problem. We usually do that anyway for my youngest child and the other boys get to see teachers from their past. However, this year, my youngest had changed schools and is no longer enrolled at the elementary school that they all remember. However, at my son's prodding, we went to a school where I had no vested interest for the year and no child enrolled. Yes, it took up more time. The parking lot was crowded. The building was crowded. It wasn't easy. But again, a teacher had made an impact on my child enough for him to want to return to see her. We walked into the elementary school. All the staff were very helpful. They wanted to give us maps and tell us what we needed to knew. I politely told them that I don't have a child enrolled, we were just there to see people. The first teacher we come across was my oldest son's 4th grade teacher, Ms. Austin. She's great! She engaged him in conversation and even asked if he would be interested in coming after he gets out of school to help her set up science experiments. (The high school is right next door to the elementary school.) Nice! Mrs. Bross, though, was our main target. She was my middle son's 5th grade teacher. He will easily tell you the she is his favorite elementary school teacher. A bit of background may be necessary for that one. 5th grade is the year that he, after many years of tests, was diagnosed with ADD. I informed Mrs. Bross and she immediately knew what to do. She has had experience with that before and knew how to handle it. Did she ever! She single handedly helped Zach gain confidence in his abilities and self esteem. She believed in him and, in turn, helped him believe in himself. She spent the time we were there telling him that she knew middle school was going to be great for him. (He is in all gifted classes.) I thanked her for her large part in who he is now, she rolled her eyes and said a sarcastic please, we both smiled and then we left. THANK YOU TEACHERS FOR WHAT YOU DO! IT DOES MAKE AN IMPACT AND WE PARENTS SEE IT AND APPRECIATE IT. I KNOW YOUR JOB ISN'T EASY, AND IT IS GETTING HARDER BY THE YEAR, BUT WE THANK YOU!!!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Giving it all to God

Last week, I posted a question on Facebook asking people how and when they do their quiet time with God. See, even though I was a pastor's wife for 10 years, I've never been very good at setting aside that time to get closer to Jesus. I've always felt the need. I've always believed that, if I could just get that part of my life right, then everything else would fall into place. It has been true several times over the years. I'm just never able to stick to it. So, last Friday I starting being intentional about getting up early and spending those first few moments of the day with my Savior. Starting my day off in the right frame of mind and getting my priorities straight from the moment I get up. And, of course, as God has promised and shown my many times, it proved beneficial. I've been more joyful over the last few days. (Hopefully my family has noticed. I at least feel it.) The mysteries of life suddenly don't seem so mysterious anymore. God is using that time and the fact that I am now more open to Him and to hear what He has to say to me. And I'm listening.... Friday, the very same day that I started being intentional about my quiet time, I got a call (while walking around Target) from a company that I had sent a resume to a little more than a month earlier. I had completely forgotten about this company and the fact that I had applied for a job. They wanted me to come interview. That afternoon! I was knee deep in toys, popcorn and coke at Target so I told them I couldn't that day. But I was available the following day, Saturday. So we set it up. I went to the interview not expecting much. I spoke with the manager, who was very pleasant, but didn't get a real sense that I would get the job. "I have more interviews and we'll call if we are interested" has never worked well. So I went on about my day. Steven and I took a grocery store date (you take the time that you can with 3 kids!) and spent some of that time talking about the job. As we are walking through the meat department of Kroger, my phone rings. (Keep in mind, no one EVER calls me! I get texts but very few calls.) It was the manager from my job interview. She "really liked" me and wanted to offer me the job. Note, this was only 2 hours after I left my interview. I told her I would think about it and hung up. Steven and I spent the rest of the grocery trip talking about whether or not I should take the job. (I was so into the discussion, that I spent WAY too much on groceries!) We both agreed that the extra hours would be good for our budget and my sense of purpose. So we agreed I would take the job. I find it to be NO coincidence WHATSOEVER that this happened AS SOON AS I started being intentional about my time with God. Like I said before, I knew this was possible. I knew that He could change my life if I would just give Him the time, but I never did. Instead, I would get up and watch Sportscenter first thing in the morning. SC won out over my Savior. (Yes, I'm ashamed to say that out loud. But confession is the beginning of forgiveness, right?) Anyway, I'm back on track now. 6 days in a row! And now I have a new job to look forward to. Nothing glamorous, but I think it will be fun and I'm looking forward to it. Also, in the last 6 days, I've been communicating with the Gwinnett Braves and I will be working at the stadium again on Fridays and Saturdays until the end of the season. This is exactly what I needed. Why did it take me so long to truly give everything over to God? I have no idea. But....better late than never.