Fortunately, before I faced the First Monday of 2010 at school, there was a first Sunday of 2010 at church , where I could hear from a sistah-friend and colleague that "No, Pamm, tomorrow's not a work-day – the kids come back tomorrow!"
(And right now you're asking, "As a teacher, how could you have missed that?" only if you don't know me very well.")
Immediately pens and pencils went to jotting my name down on prayer lists.
Thanks, guys! We all -- my kids and I -- survived. In fact, we did something pretty cool that I haven't done classes before that will hopefully set the tone for a new semester. We each decided on a theme for 2010. Well, actually I had already decided on my theme, but it was a new concept for my babies, and it had them wrestling with ideas, pencils, and paper for the better part of a half-hour. (When I first heard about having a "theme" for the year, it took me a lot longer than that to figure it out.) Let me explain.
Robin Rane , over at All Things Heart and Home , wrote that her friend Beth had, some years ago, introduced her to the idea of choosing a theme for each year -- some word or phrase that would focus, shape, and stretch her throughout that year. (You REEEEALLY need to run over to Robin’s blog to read her thoughts on this when you get a chance. Read her “Looking Back, Looking Forward Again” post and the one that follows it. Awesome stuff! Robin is so real, so transparent – and funny at the same time – I think you’ll be inspired.)
As I explained it to my sixth-graders, a theme is better than a list of do’s and don’t’s because it’s much broader that what we could fit onto a checklist. A good, well-thought-out theme has the potential to blanket every part of our lives – our thoughts, actions, words. And, as I also explained to my kiddos, even if there are days that we forget about our themes and make not-so-good choices, at the end of this year, we’ll still be in much better shape as people than if we had no theme at all.
My own theme? “Grow Up.”
Yup, you heard me right. My theme is “Grow Up.”
I could make it sound much more spiritual or “pretty” it up by writing something like, “Magnificent Maturity” or “Growing in Grace” or “Righteous Ripening” (okay, maybe not that one), but Papa didn’t tell me to fluff and style it or to turn it into a Bible study. He just whispered the thing I need to do, and I wrote it down: Grow Up.
“Growing up” will mean different things to different people. Tomorrow I’ll try to explain what it means for me.
Meanwhile, even though we’re well into the second week of 2010, I don’t think it’s too late to decide on a theme for this new year if it sounds like something that might work for you. Go ahead. Have a chat with Papa about it, and see what He says. Then say it out loud . . . write it down . . . walk it out . . .
And if you get a chance, let me know what it is. I love to hear where your focus for the coming days will be.
Grinnin' and growin'!