On Ten

A decade ago you changed my life.

You started it. You turned a flighty girl into the fiercest mama bear the world will know. You gave me the reason and the bravery to run after and fight for the things we needed. Someday you will understand that you, sweet boy, are the reason our family is here. You made US. 


A week in, and we knew that your will would match mine. You were the hungriest baby and I have seen that turn into a symbolic hunger in all things. You are always seeking more and I admire it so. You helped me learn the true meaning of responsibility, love, and sacrifice. 

And so, Corbin Paris Williams, I hope that you know how much you mean to me. My love for you is deep and full of gratitude. We have battled mightily at times, but I am grateful for your quick mind and tongue– even when it does get you in trouble. A brilliant professor once told me that, “people are who they will be in character and personality by the age of 10.

 If this is true, I am the luckiest. You are brilliant. Your intelligence already scares me. You are musical, artistic, and witty. More importantly, You love Jesus. You already care about the heats of your friends. You are your sister’s keeper. Your consideration and kindness to your peers puts me to shame. Your heart is sincere in your desire to do good. 


I cannot wait to see where the next 10 years takes you, but I need you to slow it down. You feel nearly grown and Mama simply cannot deal. I miss my cuddly, squishy baby. I know you will do great things; this year, and in the years to come. However, you will have to excuse me if I kiss you in public and make you hold my hand when we walk. You will always be my baby boy. 

Small Obediences

Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:4

This morning my devotion was centered on Phil. 2:4. The text was encouraging those of us who are in a life that is not allowing for grand acts of spirituality…..the ones that are NOT shaking up the world right now…

God sees our hearts, and our daily obedience to Him honors Him even if our life does not exhibit grand gestures. 

 This spoke to me. I don’t feel trapped, but  I do feel a lot of other things: like deep sadness and lament for our current political state, the same sadness for the division growing on my social media feeds as well as my personal life. I feel guilt for not doing things…  

I fall into what Sarah Bessey referred to as a “complicated middle” that” won’t make Facebook rants.” And remember, freedom of speech is not a real thing for teachers.

 I feel angst and restless for things beyond this current season, like faraway missions, and radical career and life changes all in a ravishing pursuit of the Kingdom. Actions that Jesus, for whatever reason, keeps saying,”No,” or “Not yet.” 

I really really really don’t like “Not yet.” 

Despite all my “book learning” and life experience I still listen to lie of a division between the sacred and the profane. 

I took today off to go to a much needed appointment. As a teacher I rarely take days for the doctor for myself. I worry about my students missing instruction and as I read this devotion I had a sneaking sense of guilt for actually not going to work. However, as I prayed through it I kept hearing the words, “small obediences.”

Help me Lord to honor you in small acts of obedience. 

Help me Lord to trust that you do see my heart and recognize the fire there. 

Help me believe that my small obediences are enough. 

As I drove to my appointment I made a list of other things I could do to be productive with the rest of my day. I begrudgingly added chores that would help at home, like laundry and dishes. 

When I walked out of my appointment I had a call from the kid’s school.

I picked Corbin up. Somewhat agitated that my list would be abandoned to another day, but my boy is sick.

We received a positive Strep test and he buried his head under coats while I drove to get a prescription and pick up his sister.

And I am grateful for today. Not that C is sick again, but that in a Grace filled world, I was already off and could pick him up. Grateful for a kind doctor who took care of us. Grateful for a God that still speaks quietly to my heart to show me where He needs my focus and gives me opportunities to live it out. 

Small obediences. 

Washing dishes, doing laundry and cooking dinner everyday after a long day at work. 

Devotions every.single.morning, even when it makes you late

Staying in a career when you are restless and ready for change 

Compassion for every.single.person you face. 

Homework and discipline

Kindness and faith

Maintaining hope for the Kingdom to come.

Small obediences

Beloved by the Father. 

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9

When they ask you how teaching is going….

Today I had to submit an assignment.

It went as follows:

In a paragraph with anecdotal evidence

or a chart or diagram

OR a poem or song,

Answer the following question:

Essential Question:  How does what I do in my classroom work with the characteristics of gifted/advanced learners in ____________County Schools?

I chose a poem. And a friend said I should share.

So I did.

 

How Teaching Goes…….

The struggle is real

I hear them say.

I hear you! I think as I smile

And remind them that “all learning is valuable.”

Every damn day

We lean into our strengths

But adapt when we need to

Because the real world will not care that I see the world through

Colors and often music too.

But I see you.

So yes, please color your picture.

How does this literature make you feel?

Annoyed, because it “does not feel valuable like the numbers and charts

You create across the hall.”

How do we argue that your feeling is valid

Can we agree to disagree?

Can we please be quiet for just one moment?

Collaboration is key—

But when you work productively.

with those that think like you

Except when we don’t

And it hurts because

Susy does not like other people

And Joe is convinced that “no one else works with excellence”

And Carmen wants world change by making everyone laugh without putting anything on paper.

And my Sheldons and Temples get overshadowed

By the Ashtons and Keishas

But make me cry when I read their essays,

And hear their hearts.

Every day a tightrope dance

An exercise in flexibility

And humility.

Can I up my game?

Will they learn,

See,

Feel,

How much I love them?