I'm playing hooky this morning . . . from regular church, that is.
But not to worry, I am having church here at Casa St. Michael. Just me and Papa. Coffee. Oatmeal with French vanilla creme. My laptop. A Phillip's translation of the New Testament. (I've been marinating in Titus. It's about to kill me. More on that another time.) And we are celebrating Sabbath. A day of rest.
I don't know when my body has ached like this. (My misspent youth is catching up with me, and my bones are feeling VERY old this morning!) Orientation for my masters program (yeah, I'm starting that next week, and, yes, I have probably lost my mind) and a two-day seminar on Multisensory Reading and Spelling in the early part of last week just about fried my brain, and then working in my classroom at school for the past three days has just about finished off the rest of me. That's 'cause I don't work in my classroom like a normal person might.
First of all, I've got too much stuff. (I AM working on getting rid of some of it. Those of you that know me, stop laughing.) But that's not the main problem. The main problem is that I like to make everything look cute (the fun stuff) before I tackle the yucky jobs like actually putting books and papers and files where they belong. (Not to mention all of those storage boxes where I shoved no-telling-what at the end of last year.) Backwards from most folks, I know. But, alas, that's the price of being
a weirdo a creative spirit. (Once everything’s cute, then I can start working on the rest of it because anyone who’s raised three girls knows that “Cuteness is everything!” The theory is that being surround by said cuteness will inspire, energize, and enable me to then wade through everything else. Okay, I said it was a THEORY.)
Plus, I’m creating new cuteness this year. After six years of a Texas theme, I decided it was time to redecorate. So, I’ve recovered bulletin boards, file cabinets (yep, they get recovered, too), shelves (yup), painted huge classroom storage cabinets, hung a chandelier (the kids are going to LOVE it – It’s the tackiest but CUTEST thing you’ve ever seen!), made a tablecloth to match one of the bulletin boards, rearranged furniture, and hung up lots of Qs (for “Queen”) . . . You name it – in the spirit of cuteness, it’s been done. (Of course, the room still looks like a bomb went off ‘cause I have to now go through all of those aforementioned books, loose papers, and folders, and assorted storage boxes, but that’s this week’s project.)
Sounds like a lot, huh. And it is. But, I do have a reputation to uphold. You see, I am the Queen. The Queen of the Land of Muz (the shortened form of my last name). And my children will come into Room 105 with certain expectations, and by God –literally – I plan to not to disappoint them. I want their experience in my classroom to be a wondrous thing. I want them to discover that even language arts (you’d be amazed at how many kids think they hate language arts!) can be a fabulously interesting subject. But most of all, I want them to feel special.
I want them to know that I’ve gone to a lot of trouble to make the Land of Muz what it is – beautiful (okay, in a royally tacky kind of way), fun, safe (emotionally and physically)– because they are worth it. I tell them every year that, yes, I am their Queen, but they are my royal subjects, and as such, their well-being is my number one priority. And then I ask Papa-God to make it so. Because I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t do it on my own.
Oh, I can do cuteness all day long on my own, but loving my kids, truly loving them the way Jesus has called me to is way beyond my pay grade. He’s called me to step beyond the warm and fuzzies – most sanguines (of which I am; are you shocked?) can do the ooey-gooey, smiley, huggy stuff in our sleep – and to actually love them through the way that I teach the skills they will need to succeed academically. He’s called me to love them enough to teach them what it means to be responsible, respectful, compassionate students. He’s called me to love their parents and guardians (even the ones who question every lesson I teach or grade I record.)
And that I can only do as I empty myself of me and allow Him to fill with His Spirit the empty spaces left. I have to let go of my thoughts, words, and actions, and embrace and live out His in their place.
Good preachin’ and hard livin’.
And I fall so short on so many days.
Yet, I know that’s the ministry I’m called to these days. Being Him in skin in the public classroom. So I pray. A lot. And trust Him “to keep that which I’ve committed.”
Where has He called you to do the same? I’d love to hear how and where you are living out your calling these days.
Grins (with naproxen),