Seeing The Other Side

Last summer, my youngest son Caleb and I went to San Diego to visit my oldest son, Zachary.  Zach worked during the day and since Caleb had lived in San Diego a couple of years, he knew his way around.  Zach graciously let us take his car while he was at work.   This meant I was at the mercy of Caleb driving me around!  Seriously, he’s a good driver navigating the busy freeways of California.  We decided to stop in La Jolla.  La Jolla is beautiful.  Hiking up the mountain, on the dry, dusty paths, passing by succulents and flowers,  I couldn’t wait to see what was on the other side! A crystal, blue, shimmering ocean was on the other side!  Viewing this majestic ocean from the top was breathtaking. Watching the waves roll in fascinates me.  One of the many creations which leaves me awestruck are oceans. At one point I was so focused on getting to the other side, I wasn’t taking the time to enjoy the many splendid plants/flowers along the way.  I had to stop, take in their beauty, shoot a few photos and continue my trek.  As I continued to stand at the top staring at my surroundings, I was mesmerized by all that God has created for our enjoyment.  Not only was the glistening ocean beautiful, the sounds of the waves crashing, the breeze blowing through my hair and the sun sprinkling rays of joy onto my face, it was a most peaceful feeling.

Isaiah 45:18  For this is what the Lord says – he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited-he says: “I am the Lord and there is no other.”

Seeing the other side was well worth the dusty hike.  Alas, there are times in life which brings problems and we just cannot see the other side through the dust.  We are blinded by clouds of grief, anger, frustration, betrayal, and sadness.  Some of us may not want to see the other side because of what it will bring or take away.  Not seeing the other side is scary.  Our human minds and hearts want to see beyond our present.   We want to control our situations.  Remembering that God can see the other side of our hike is difficult when we want our way.

Psalm 71:20  Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.  

I was climbing, making the hike everyday.  The  hike started out fun, fruitful, joyful, and I received many blessings along the way.  Yet the hike was getting steeper.   I stopped seeing the blessings,  my joy was being stolen, then suddenly, without warning, the hike was over.  I’m not ready for my hike to be over God! I still have strength,  I am loyal Lord,  I can still do it!  I need the bounty that this hike brings into my heart!  Yet, He has whispered to me that this particular hike is over.  I am a stubborn child.  I fight against this, I try desperately to rejoin the others who were hiking alongside me, but my Father continues to tell me this hike is finished.  I am angry, depressed, sad, and bitter. I hate bitter things, which is probably why I don’t like tea.  I grew up around tea drinkers.  It’s what was served at every meal in my grandparents home.  Oh, I would drink it, but I thought it was bitter, even with a half a pound of sugar in it!  No matter how much sugar I added, the tea was still bitter.  No matter how much sugar I add to my long hike, the bitterness corrodes my sweet memories. I want to hike again and I want to see the other side right now.  Maybe God is telling me my hiking season is over.  I should put my dusty, cracked, well-worn, much-loved hiking boots away and let the new, shiny, smooth, gotta break these babies in boot wearers take over where I left off.   I do not like this one bit.  I feel like a toddler having a fit some days.

Ephesians 4:31:  Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

GULP!  S L O W L Y,  I am learning to let go of what I  want and listen to what God wants for me.  I must remember that God always has the best for me.  He can see the other side and it’s always better!  I cannot see the other side.  There are days when I wonder if there is an other side.  Today God gave me a reminder of well done, good and faithful servant.  I went to the post office.  As I entered, I saw a mother and daughter at the side counter, upon a second glance, I realized this girl was a student of mine last year.  I completed my transaction then came up beside her to give her a hug.  She lit up.  I’m honestly not bragging…..she said, “Hi Mrs. Frame! I miss you, even though I liked 5th grade.”  My heart filled with joy.  I left the post office with a feeling of satisfaction.  I had given my all to this hike and my bruises, sweat, and tears were worth it.  If only for a brief moment in a post office, local store, or restaurant, God reminded me that my hike was successful and complete.  I need to have peace about making it to the finish line.  This child gave me some of that peace.

Philippians 4:7  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds, in Christ Jesus.

When life brings you a dusty season and you want to see the other side, stop to look at all the blessings that were brought along the way.  Let God guide you, for He truly can see the other side.

 

 

 

 

** I dedicate this to all the students, staff, and parents, who have become ingrained in my heart during  21 years of working as an instructional assistant in the K-12 schools. I love many who God put in my path on this great trek of mine.  Keep on trekking!

 

This entry was posted on June 15, 2018. 2 Comments

Hurricane Help

As we all know Puerto Rico was hit with the devastating hurricane Maria.  It has been described as leaving apocalyptic conditions.  Heartbreaking.  I have been watching the news, reading the reports about the massive suffering of these people.  It’s wrenches my heart.  I become so involved in it that it starts affecting my thoughts, emotions, and everyday thinking.  It consumes me.  I am only one person.  I am not able to jump on a plane and go help people personally.  Here’s what I can do……give money to trustworthy foundations that will take my money to actually help these people out.  Not just in Puerto Rico, but in Texas and Florida as well.  Donate supplies that are requested to trusted drop off sites.  Pray!  That is something I can do no matter what my finances are, no matter where I live, any time of the day or night.  As I have mentioned before, God uses ordinary people.  These are the ways in which He can use us in these humanitarian crisis.

I know there are many people here in the United States who have family/friends in Puerto Rico.  They are worried sick.  They don’t have the means to get to Puerto Rico to help, so they are relying on our government and volunteers to help all people who are suffering due to this hurricane.

I made a facebook post about Puerto Rico this morning ONLY because again, God laid it on my heart.  He gave me the words.  Now, does this fix our political problems?  NO.  Does this get aid to those people quicker?  NO.  Did I do anything at all to contribute to helping these people by making this post? NO.  But, my Lord did something.  HE gave me the words, maybe they will comfort someone, maybe they will encourage someone.  I don’t know.  I don’t know why God tells me to write things, I just don’t.  All I do know is that HE knows.  So, I write……

Puerto Rico is in desperate times right now.  They need the basics in life.  Help is not coming as fast as it should.  Trust me, I do not say this lightly at all!  I’d want help NOW if I had gone through what they are going through.  I know when my power goes out, I want it back on asap!  God gave me these words…..again, I don’t know why….

Imagine you have been living in a very small house and you are a saver.  You save everything so your little house is literally stuffed with “stuff”.  You can now move into a 2 story house!  You are packing and moving yourself.  No movers. No-one is helping you.  It’s all your own muscle.  You have a small 2 door car.  This is what you’re using to move yourself.  How long might it take to pack, drive back & forth, unpack, organize, get the power, cable, and all the amenities we want set up?  You’re moving from a bustling city with most everything you want/need around the corner to a very remote, mountainous place.  The nearest grocery, gas, and department stores are 2 hours away from your new abode.  How long would it take you to get moved, unpacked, organized, all the supplies you need, find a new Dr., Dentist, barber, etc.

God is saying that help is coming Puerto Rico!  Help is there right now.  He’s there in the people who arrived to help locate missing loved ones.  He’s there in those who are putting their medical training to use.  He’s there in those who are distributing the little food, water, supplies they have to those in need.  He has servants who are there, doing His work everyday.  Some of these servants are simply giving hugs, listening to life stories, drying tears, offering a blanket, or just sitting beside someone so they’re not alone.  This doesn’t seem fast enough to us or not what needs to be done.  We want relief for these people NOW.  Nobody that I know wants people to suffer like this.  God is telling me that He is there, working and moving.  We only see through the news what is happening.  What we do not see are the ways in which He is bringing people closer together.  All things take time.  Especially in a disaster of this magnitude.  Do not lose heart.  Do not lose faith.  Your families/friends are and will be taken care of.  HE IS WORKING.  The GREAT I AM is working!  Trust in that.

*On my facebook post, I asked for no political comments please.  ONLY because these are God’s words, not mine.  This is not a post for debate, there’s enough of those going around.  I am just the messenger.  I’m hoping/praying that someone will see this and take comfort that God has given them hope.

**I dedicate this to all people of Puerto Rico.  I ask that if you’re reading this, you pray for these people daily.  Give of your time or finances if you can.  If not, prayer will help.

Early Morning Whispers

Hello, my name is Janann and I am not a morning person. It’s very early for me.  7a.m. on a Saturday.  My husband is working from open to close 8a.m.-10p.m. at the retail store he manages.  Normally I sleep while he eats cold cereal and gets ready for work.  This morning, I jumped out of bed to make his breakfast, 2 eggs sandwiches, a banana, his hot tea, then I pack his lunch/dinner.  Now when I say I jumped out of bed, I mean that.  Monday thru Friday I drag myself out of bed, but this morning I was nudged to get up and do these things.  So, I jumped!  After Michael left for work, I decided to treat myself to some chocolate milk at my neighboring Casey’s and grabbed a donut as a bonus for getting up so early.  My plan was to come home, enjoy my tastiness, then go back to bed for some much needed sleep, which eludes me at night.  Try as I might, I could not sleep because of God’s whispers.  Yeah, I know, this sounds crazy, but as I’ve always tried to explain, this is how God communicates with me.  He whispers these thoughts into my head then immediately I must put them down in writing.  I know I’ve explained in these blogs before that if I do not write these whispers down, I will not have peace until it’s done.  So, I made a facebook post.  Ok Lord, that’s done.  I tuck myself underneath the warm covers, close my eyes…….ohhhhh man, another whisper!  I think about this one. But God, this involves politics, people will read it with a political mindset and I’ll get all kinds of rude comments about President Trump, when this whisper isn’t about the President at all.  So I try to close my eyes, ignoring the whispers.  UGH!  Ok, I make another facebook post.  Finished.  I did my work Lord.  Snuggling further into my warm cocoon, sleep will not come.  GEESH!  I decide that these whispers are not going away until I get on my blog and write this the way it should be.  Not in a short facebook post, but the way God works through me.  This blog.  This blog was never my idea, it was HIS.  These thoughts I have are never mine, they are HIS.  I may not be an eloquent writer, but as I learned in a message at church, God uses those who are ordinary, the ones who think they cannot be used for the kingdom.  So, my blog was created.  Now, back to those whispers.

The first whisper was formed out of a bad yesterday.  I know this as sure as I know I’m not a morning person! I love my job, love it!  Education is etched deep into my heart.  I made poor choices after graduating high school which led to an unfulfilled dream.  Of becoming a teacher.  God gifted me with 5 children, so He allowed me to be the teacher of their childhood.  The year before my last child was to enter Kindergarten, God placed me in the position of being offered a teaching assistant position.  With an eager, heart full of joy, I accepted.  This was not easy, however, because my youngest had 1 year left at home with me.  I enrolled him in the preschool/daycare where I was working at the time so he was used to being there, I thought he’d be alright.   As the reality of my working situation neared, this pulled & tugged at my heart, because I felt very guilty not spending the year before Caleb entered Kindergarten at home with him.  God whispered to me, “I will take care of our child, now go take care of those I put in your path.”  I digress!

We all have bad days.  I went to school with joy in my heart, a smile on my face, looking forward to a fantastic Friday, when my day took an unexpected turn, and BAM!  My joy was gone.  Seriously gone.  Usually, I can bounce back from a BAM! Another BAM!  Oh yeah, I’m being tested and failing!  That’s it, I’m done.  I came home defeated, feeling invisible to the world. Another BAM after I got home!  I felt like a failure and a great big, fat, nobody.  You know how that feels, I know you do.  We’ve all been there.  I was grouchy and wanted to hole up in my house, soak my soul in a big pepsi and close the world out. Whispers…..I start to hear Him.

Nehemiah 8:10  “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is our strength.” 

The grandchildren will be here Saturday to spend the night.  They need your joy, laughter, and love.  4 of these blessings will be here to make memories and here is another opportunity to teach.  Wow!  I got out of my chair and into the car.  Rushing to  the store for craft supplies.  My kids loved pumpkins and anything to do with Halloween decorating, they have passed that love onto their own babies.  I decided salt dough pumpkin ornaments or ghosts will be the fun craft.  I loaded up on paint, paintbrushes, and the ingredients for the dough.  Happy!  I was happy!  My joy was returning.  I stop at a gas station and get a pepsi.  Decide to wash my car.  During the car wash, I could feel my cares washing away with the suds going down the drain.  I came out of the car wash with a shiny, clean car and a shiny, clean heart! I love the way God works!  I had a new purpose and I was going to forget about the bad day and the way in which I tend to reflect myself in others eyes.

This early morning, here is what God whispers to me:  You cannot rely on a single person or persons.  You cannot gain confidence or feel significant from the world.  You cannot let the world make you angry and bitter(which is so easy to let happen).  You cannot put your hopes, dreams, and wishes in people.  We are fallible human beings.  This sets us up for disappointment.  Instead, find your gift.  Hone it.  Craft it to uniquely you.  Build confidence with it and never let someone or something steal joy from your gift!  Without God, I don’t know how people do life.  Let Him in.  You will  never look back and think, man, I shouldn’t have let God in.  However, I have thought many times, man, why didn’t I let Him in sooner? In the world we live in, it is super easy to get discouraged, think we are insignificant, and seem invisible.  We feel beat up.  However, The Great I Am will always validate, love, stay right beside you, lift you up, and carry you when you’ve had enough of life.  I promise.  Better yet, that’s His promise.  Spread your gift!

Romans 12:6  “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us…”

I Corinthians 12:4 “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same spirit distributes them.”

I am thankful for these early morning whispers.  I hope and pray that you will listen when you hear God’s whispers.

 

*I dedicate this post to all of you who feel beat up by the world.  I pray that these words will soothe the soul.

 

This entry was posted on September 30, 2017. 1 Comment

“James Story” Lawnmower Safety written May 27, 2012 (facebook notes)

May 27, 1997.  A day that I will never forget.  15 years ago and it seems  like yesterday to me.  A nightmare I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.  This is long, for that, I apologize, but I feel so strongly about getting the message out, especially at this time of year when people are mowing their lawns.  PLEASE KEEP YOUR CHILDREN INDOORS WHILE MOWING.  DO NOT LET THEM FOLLOW YOU, DO NOT LET THEM RIDE ON YOUR LAP, DO NOT LET THEM MOW UNSUPERVISED AT AN APPROPRIATE AGE……IT ONLY TAKES A SECOND………

 

My happy, rambunctious, life loving, cheerful, 7 yr. old James was in 1st grade.  There were 2 weeks left of school, James would not be able to enjoy the end of the year activities with his classmates.

 

We had just gotten home from school, Zach, who was 13 at the time asked if he could start mowing the yard, it was a very old riding mower.  I said sure, I went outside to get him started & had just came back into the house to start baking cookies with my Carol.  After a few minutes, the mower stopped, which I thought was odd.  I stepped outside to see James, he appeared to be sitting by the mower with one leg back, I actually yelled, “James what are you doing near that mower?!”  He just sat there, & Zach didn’t say anything, I think they were both in total shock.  I went runnning & realized that James foot was under the mower, now I must have been in shock because I didn’t realize his foot was actually caught, but James started whimpering asking me if he was going to die……I assured him NO.  I ran inside to call Kevin, so he could get emergency services out to the house, which was in the boonies, off a gravel road, a long lane back to our house & 7 miles from town.  Long story short, neighbors, townspeople, showed up quickly.  I will just say that the mower had to be tipped while someone held James & the blade had to be grinded off, kept in his foot. 

 

Now, I had no idea how serious this was, that sounds stupid, but I ran inside & put a pair of pajamas & some underwear in his little backpack.  Neighbors, & friends divided up my 4 children to house them for what would be many days.  We followed the ambulance, I was hysterical, I just cannot describe the helpless feeling of my baby being in an ambulance,  I cried, screamed & yelled as Kevin drove us to the ER in Clinton.

 

Arrived at the ER in Clinton, it was immediately clear that James needed special treatment…..he was flown by Lifeline Helicopter to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.  A nightmare!!!  Neither parent could ride on the copter, so we had to speed, on Rt36, another horrible feeling!  Not only was I hysterical about my James, but I wanted to make sure my other 4 children were alright after what they witnessed.  Cell phones?  Didn’t have any back then. 

 

When we finally arrived, which seemed like hours, we reached the ER.  A Dr. came out and told us that the main artery running through that area(the ankle & above) was “kinked”, this Dr. told us he had never seen anything like this and stated if that artery hadn’t been “kinked”,  James would have bled to death!  I don’t believe in coincidences and I knew that God had done that.  He saved James life, I also believed that God would use this awful circumstance in James life for good in the future.  Our pastor arrived later & asked me if I was mad at God, I told him, “No.  He just saved James life.”  The Dr. asked us if we wanted to see James foot(the blade still in it), we declined, there is no way I could have seen something so horrible on my baby. He described it as looking like a piece of meat, his foot was nearly amputated.  The blade was very rusty & old.  The prognosis was grim.  Chances of saving his foot were very low, if they could save the foot, they told us he would walk with a limp and he would never run.

 

James had 13 surgeries between Methodist Hospital in Indy and The Shriners in St. Louis. James had a “new” foot made out of muscle taken from his side, he has a scar from underneath his arm to his waist.  They then took skin from his right thigh to finish out the “new left foot.” I remember I almost passed out after this major surgery, he had tubes in him, he was so pale & his left foot was wrapped up & was very big, the Dr. warned us when the time would come to take off all the dressings, that this new foot would look like a raw piece of meat.  He also had a PIC inserted in his chest, so I could administer antibiotics through it to ward off anymore infections. We made several trips to the ER in Clinton & Indy, due to infections.  An infection took what ankle bone was left, he has pins & a rod in his foot. After enduring all these surgeries, painful Drs. visits, setbacks & the whole summer in the hospital, James kept his bright, cheery, happy go lucky attitude.  I journaled every single day, every surgery & procedure, every Drs. name, every person who called, sent cards & visited.  I knew someday he’d want to know more details than his 7 yr. old brain would be able to retain at the time. 

 

James defied the Drs. dreary prognosis.  God not only saved James life & his foot, but he gave James the will & healing to  walk without a limp but that child  could run like the wind!  The summer of 1998 James was able to play his much loved coach pitch ball.  He had to wear a brace, but he hit that ball & made a homerun!  People were cheering & on their feet.  What an amazing swell of love we felt from people in Montezuma & surrounding communities, many of whom we didn’t personally know.  His classmates were amazing, such caring 7 yr. olds, I’d never seen anything like it!  James wasn’t able to start his 2nd grade year on time, an infection set him back a couple of weeks, then he started school in a wheelchair, but that did not keep him down, in fact, I believe he used that wheelchair for some 7 yr. old antics!  🙂 

 

James is now 22.  He still walks without a limp and can still run like the wind.  He does have some arthritis during rain/cold.  He still may need a surgery to replace the rod/pins or a fusion surgery, which might take away his range of motion, but I know God is in control & He will continue to keep James healthy & victorious! 

 

Thank you to all who were involved in taking care of our 4 children, those who did selfless things to help us, the communities of Montezuma, Rosedale & Rockville….strangers & friends.  Everyone who lifted James up in prayers & thoughts…..the amazing teams of Drs. at Methodist & the wonderful, wonderful Shriners.  Our church family of Cross Lane Community Church in Terre Haute. 

 

Please, take care of  your children & don’t place them in danger.  None of us purposely place our children in danger, but mowers are dangerous and IT ONLY TAKES A SECOND.

 

Questions, questions!

The little boy is sick.  He’s 4 years old.  He has tonsillitis and the Dr. has prescribed a pink liquid called amoxicillin.  This child is very stubborn, has a mind of his own, and doesn’t just go with the flow and comply easily.  This child has got to know the whys & hows.

  • Why do I need this?
  • Who says I need it?
  • Why is it pink?
  • What will it taste like?
  • What if I don’t take it?
  • My throat doesn’t hurt, so I don’t need it!

The child has been to a very competent Dr.  The child knows his mother would not do anything to harm him.  Yet, he questions.  Questions, questions!  If you know any of my children,  you should guess right away that this would be my number 2 son, Jacob Timothy Knoblett.  Jacob is very much his own person.  He has been that way since birth.  If things don’t make sense to him, he will question until it makes sense to him.  If it’s not logical, you may as well forget it!  Jacob was also very sensitive to changes.  I remember he did not like to travel, he was not a very happy visitor, out of his routine and he’d be one grouchy baby.  True story, when Jacob was 18 months old, I decided to rearrange the two boys room(Zachary & Jacob).  I moved Jacob’s crib to the other side of the room.  I’m telling  you, that child screamed for 3 nights straight until I figured out that he didn’t like his crib where it was.  I switched it back to the original spot…….seriously, he slept all night!!!(which was a miracle in itself, since he didn’t sleep all night until he was 3!)  I knew at an early age with him that he had a will of his own and the older he got, the stronger that will grew.  🙂  I say that with much love because Jacob’s strong will has served him quite well in some life experiences, as has the logical thinking.

I digress.  Getting Jacob to take this medicine was like asking Garfield the cat to eat green beans instead of lasagna!!! haha  He really asked me those questions.  The child was 4!!!!  I was having to debate this child of mine, explaining the medical reasons why he needed this medicine.  Lordy, that was exhausting!  I cannot remember how I finally convinced him to take the pink stuff, but once he did he said, “that’s not bad.”  We finished the prescription and the tonsillitis went away and did not return.  Thank you God!

This reminded me of the way I question God.  The why’s?  Although I have gotten much better at not asking God “WHY?” as I’ve grown older. I know that He will not do anything that will purposely hurt me, just as I would not give Jacob medicine that he didn’t need or would hurt him. I doubt.  I don’t trust.  I try to lean on my own understanding.  BIG MISTAKE!  God knows exactly what I need, when I need it.  It may not be something that tastes good, but it will be good for me.  Trust.

This takes me back to a few weeks ago when I was at my daughter’s house.  I was watching 4 grandchildren, ages 18 months to 7 years old.  When my oldest grandson Jonah got upset with me over a piece of candy, he ran to his room, locking the door.  I could hear him crying and I went to the door trying to convince him that I had another snack that was better for him…….when he finally unlocked his door, I opened the door quickly, not realizing he was standing behind it, and I smashed his toe in the door.  Wailing & gnashing of teeth quickly ensued, the door was slammed, & I was locked out once again.  Don’t we lock God out of our lives sometimes?  We’re like mad little children when something bad happens to us and we question why this circumstance is happening in our lives.  We question why we didn’t get what we wanted.  WE question why we are hurting.  When we calm down, God gently calls us back to Him, hopefully we listen, and our hurt is soothed, our pain is gone, and we must learn to trust Him.  Jonah finally came out of his room.  I gently lifted his face to mine and said to him, “Don’t you know your meme would never do anything to hurt you on purpose? I love you child and am sorry that you are hurt.  Let me look at your toe and help you feel better.”  I felt as if I heard these words from God a thousand times in my life.  “I love you child and would never do anything to hurt you.  Let me help you feel better.”  Sounded like God to me.

Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Matthew 22:37-39: Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and will all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” 

 

 

 

**I dedicate this post to my Jacob, who has always given me a run for his money in the logical/stubborn/practical, yet tender-hearted.   This has been a source of irritation, and humor for me.  He can now pass this source onto his lovely wife Niki and daughter Delaney.  🙂  I also dedicate this to my sweet grandson Jonah, who can also be stubborn, strong-willed, yet, sweet, tender hearted and a source of humor for me.  Love, Momma/Meme

 

 

 

This entry was posted on February 25, 2017. 1 Comment

No God In School!

“Keep God out of schools!”  “If we wanted our child to know about “God”, we’d take them to church.”  “God has no place in schools, my kids are there to learn Reading, Writing, & Math.” ” Just teach my kid to spell, not pray.”  “We drop our kid off at church on Sundays, he’s learning about God there, not at school.”  Believe it or not, I’m not making these statements up.  I’ve actually heard parents say these things.  I get it.  In today’s multicultural society, there are different Gods for different cultures, some people don’t believe in God and don’t want their children to either.  There are those who just want their child to make up their own mind about whether God exists or not. I respect the parents.  I had my time of raising my children, so I don’t believe in preaching to someone else’s children, that’s not my job.  However, it is my calling(I believe) to be the kind of christian God calls me to be.  I don’t have to talk about God or pray before my lunch at school in order to show people I’m a christian. People post memes on Facebook about Bring back God in Schools or Let Prayer Back In School.  Sometimes I get a kick out of these memes…..nothing against the people posting them. In my opinion, a non believer is not going to be persuaded by these memes, in fact, it may make them turn away even more because they feel as if we Christians have an “attitude” of indignation, which truthfully, turns people off.  So, people continue to post them as if God isn’t in our schools.

I work in a K-4 school.  I have worked in all grades.  Elementary, Jr. High, & High School, Special Education, and an Alternative School.  I will tell you that in my experience, God is in the schools.  We may not be teaching bible classes, teaching scripture, giving time for prayer, or singing hymns in the choir, GOD IS IN OUR SCHOOLS.  How?  Do you see him Jan?  Does he talk to you?  Does he show up on your shoulder & whisper to you?  Do you see Him walking with students?  Yes, yes, yes, & YES.  Now were I to tell this to everyone, they’d label me a “Jesus freak”, “holy roller”, or my favorite, “religious”, maybe even “she’s crazy”.  By writing this, I’m pretty much telling anyone who reads this that those are the names I am, at least in some people’s view.  HOW????  How can this be???  Are you discussing “religion” with my kid?  Nope.  Are you praying with my kid?  Nope.  You quoting scripture to my kid when he’s in trouble?  Nope.  You pray with my kid instead of sending he/she to the nurse when there’s an injury or illness?  Nope. Then what’s going on that God is in my kid’s school?

There is an unspoken love that needs no words.  I see it everyday.  Hugs.  Smiles.  Encouragement.  Comfort.  Food given.  Clothes given.  Clothes washed.  Snacks available.  A shower available.  New shoes given.  Whatever the need, it’s taken care of.  Food for the weekend?  It’s put in backpacks.  Toothbrushes/toothpaste given. Kids who are angry taking it out on teachers or other staff.  These teachers/staff smile, love, and do their job. They keep your child safe.  Well Jan, just because people do this doesn’t mean they do it because they love God.  That may be true, they may just have a heart of compassion, but doesn’t God show compassion?  Maybe they just feel sorry for the kid.  God takes pity on us. Whether the adult doing these deeds believe in God or not, they are serving.

Back to those questions:  Are you discussing religion with my kid?  Nope.  I am teaching your children how to be kind to others, respecting people whether you agree with them or not, thinking about how others might feel if they’re having a bad day, giving a friend a “you can do it”, or “feel better”.  Are you praying with my kid? Nope.  But I am praying for each child that I work with.  I can work with your child and pray at the same time, not out loud, but silently.  Every child I come in contact with, a prayer is said for them,to myself, in my head, they don’t even know it.  Are you quoting scripture to my kid when he’s in trouble?  Nope.  I’m trying to teach your child what the right way to respond to a situation is, so that he/she won’t get in trouble again.  I’m teaching your child to do the right thing, even if you don’t feel like it.  I am using the scripture that I know to show your child that I care and want to help them.  Do you pray with my kid instead of sending he/she to the nurse when they’re sick or injured?  NOPE.  That would be wreckless and plain stupid.  I pray for that child when they are hurt or sick, I pray in my head for them to feel better and to find comfort.  Then what’s going on with my kids in school?  They are being prayed for by me, and maybe others.  I cannot speak for others, only myself.  I pray for your child at school, I pray for them at home.  I want your child to be happy and have a great experience in school.  I hug.  I smile.  I comfort.  I encourage.  I talk.  I listen.  I read with them.  I dry their tears with my hands when they’re upset.  I walk them to the nurse if they are sick/injured.  I get them some food if they have an empty lunch box.  I walk them out the door and watch to make sure they get on the bus safely.  Am I some kind of a saint?  HA!!!  NO WAY!!!!  I am human, so there are times when I am frustrated, exasperated, and just plain tired, I have to call on grace abundantly!

Today I experienced what I like to call a “God thing”.  Two, in fact.  I won’t go into specifics because I want to protect the students identity.  However, I will say that God made it perfectly clear to me that He was using me in 2 situations that turned out beautifully.  Now, I take absolutely NO credit in the positive end result, NONE WHATSOEVER.  I am just a Teaching Assistant bumbling my way through many different circumstances everyday.  But for those who believe that God is not in our schools, I’m here to reassure your believing hearts that HE IS THERE.  If you’re reading this and not a believer, please realize, I am not putting my beliefs upon any child, my actions show love, in my heart, showing love is what Christ wants me to do and what He did and does for us.  I was truly blessed by these two “God things” today and shared with my husband.  He was amazed.  I love the way God works.  So, when you shout “NO GOD IN SCHOOLS!”, it’s ok.  I know He’s already there.

 

*I dedicate this post to the 2 sweeties that God used today, He blessed them, and they had smiles on their faces when the blessing came their way.I am thankful God allowed me to see this blessing. I dedicate this post to all my former students, especially those in High School who had horrible struggles, sometimes I was confided in, I’ve had students write me e-mails from High School, thanking me for my belief in them that they could do something with their lives and that I didn’t give up on them.  Thank you students for trusting me with your inner most thoughts.  Thank you God for placing me in the right schools at the right time, with the right people.  ***Please know this is NOT a bragging post at all, I am giving God all the glory.  I am just an ordinary person, He just puts me there and I have to call upon a lot of courage to let Him use me.

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted on February 25, 2017. 1 Comment

Appreciating the Quiet

Standing in the middle of a forest, I hear the sounds of nature.  Sitting ocean side listening to the waves as they sway back & forth.  On a dark night in the country, just looking up at the sky, taking in the beauty of the stars.Watching the sun reflect off the lake.  These are quiet moments that most of us have experienced at one time or another in our life.  God’s natural quiet.  

Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

The quiet I am learning to appreciate is the sound of silence in my house.  I know lots of busy moms (including my daughter) would love a day of silence in the house.  I remember wishing for that as well when my kids were little.  I would whisper, “just one day of silence and peace Lord, just one day.”  Well, my day is here.  You don’t realize what’s about to hit when your children grow and move out.  SILENCE.  Some of us are ready for it, others are not.  I have been stuck in the NOT category.  However, I am slowly learning to appreciate the quiet.

Isaiah 32:17 “The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quiet and confidence forever.”

Oh how I love that verse.  Because I see quiet and confidence together.  I need the latter very much.  

I just returned from a family vacation.  When I say family, I am talking about 14 adults and 4 little ones.  To say there was a lot of noise would be an understatement. It was fun noise, at times not so fun noise.  We stayed in a cabin alongside Leech Lake in Whipholt, Minnesota.  The lake was shimmering everyday, the waves were flowing, the sun was shining, trees blowing in the breeze, it was beautiful.  Having my family together was wonderful.  In this busy day and age, it’s very difficult to get everyone on the same schedule to make a phone call, let alone, a family vacation.  So this time together was extra special to me.  My husband enjoyed a couple of lazy afternoon naps in the quiet of the cabin, while everyone was either fishing, on the boat, or at the pool.  He can appreciate quiet.  🙂  I am a “noise” person by nature.  I like hearing people and having some type of noise around me, whether it be a fan blowing, the dryer, radio, or tv.  However, I am slowly learning to appreciate the quiet.

Psalm 131: 2 “But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child, I am content.” 

I love having the grandchildren run all over my house, hearing their laughter, make- believe, and shrieks is like salve to my soul.  God is teaching me to take in another kind of salve, His salve.  To appreciate the quietness that He is granting me at this time in my life.  It is His gift to me.  It calms my soul, and rejuvenates my heart.  It gives my emotional health balance and peace.  Not embracing this quiet is to reject this gift He’s giving me.  I am learning that.  I like that I am finally learning this! I can appreciate the quiet.  Thank you God!

Isaiah 18:4 “This is what the Lord says to me: “I will remain quiet and look on from my dwelling place , like shimmering heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.” 

I Peter 3:4 “Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

I hope that in the midst of turmoils that life can bring, you are appreciating the quiet.  

 

 

*I dedicate this post to my husband Michael, who teaches me a lot about quiet in his calm, sweet way.  I dedicate this to my 5 adult children, the little loves of my life, the grandchildren, to my sistor(yes, we call each other sisTOR, instead of sister), my brother-in-law, who were brave enough to tackle a vacation with my crew, and to my nephews and friend who helped make our vacation complete.  You are amazing people.