Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bad Hair, Baby Fat, and Braces: Lessons from a Seventh Grade Classroom

Last time I was home I had the chance to look through my old 2002-2003 yearbook. When I was in the seventh grade I would have used one word to describe my friends and me—cool. However, looking back almost ten years later, there is only one word that comes to mind—awkward. We thought that our school spirited braces bands, brightly colored Saucony’s and Shox, Abercrombie baby tees, and Nokia cell phones were the greatest things since sliced bread. Dances at the armory on 468 were the social event of the week and if you didn’t attend you were a lost cause (sadly, I did not attend). We lived such simple lives. The smallest things could make us happy or turn our world upside down. What a crazy, wonderful life.

I would have thought that in the years since I was in seventh grade, the seventh grade population would have gotten at least a little bit cooler. Maybe they’d realize that Clark’s Wallabees aren’t the coolest shoes they’ll ever own, wearing too much eyeliner isn’t attractive on anyone, and no, that Abercrombie baby tee is not worth the $40 you paid for it. However, I can safely say that today’s seventh graders are no different than my friends and I. Unfortunately, awkwardness during the pre-teen years is a universal epidemic.

This semester I have been so very blessed with the opportunity to observe in a seventh grade Western Civilization class at Lafayette Middle School. When I changed my major to education I was certain that my heart was for high school students, not smelly, hormonal preteens. I could not have been more wrong. Their weird fashion sense, awkward questions, and desire to know everything has surprised me and they have stolen my heart. Watching them I have learned so much! There isn’t a single “cool kid” in the seventh grade. Everyone (including myself ag age 13) has bad hair, baby fat, and braces.

For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26

But, the beautiful thing is—we’re all God’s children! No matter how bizarre or off the wall these kids might be, they are all children of The King and they are all beautifully and wonderfully made. Regardless of how different they all are, they have incredible potential and I can’t wait to see where they all end up!

I am so excited about being a teacher one day and influencing children’s lives. My teachers had a lasting impression on my life and I hope one day I am for my students the example they were for me! To all of my fabulous teachers, thank you.

Peace & Blessings

Lessons from a Book of Days

My mom sent me something today from my “Book of Days” that is totally applicable to my life lately. Who would have thought that something from my Sunday School teacher my Junior year would still be so true in my life four years later? This is a letter from the Heavenly Father to one of His most valued creations. It is a reminder of how great His love truly is, and assurance that His wisdom and power surpass all understanding. Regardless of what the world says, God has a beautiful and perfect plan for my life. I just have to learn how to wait patiently for Him to move in an amazing way. As Chris Tomlin says, He sees the depths of my heart and he loves me the same. My frustrations and fears should be cast completely on Him. When I allow God to shape and mold my heart into the woman He wants me to be, I will be complete and satisfied in Him.

“Everyone longs to give himself completely to someone, to have a deep soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively. God to a Christian says “No, not until you are satisfied, fulfilled, and content with being loved by me alone, giving yourself totally to me, having an intensely personal and unique relationship with me alone. Upon discovering that only in me is your satisfaction to be found, will you be capable of the perfect human relationship that I have planned for you. You will never be united with each other until you are united with me exclusively of any other desires or longings. I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow me to give you the most thrilling plan existing – one that you cannot imagine. I want you to have the best. Please allow me to bring it to you. You just keep watching me, expecting the greatest things. Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am. Keep listening and learn the things that I tell you. You just wait, that’s all. Don’t be anxious; don’t look at the things you want. You just keep looking up to me or you will miss what I want to show you. And then, when you are ready, I’ll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than you can dream of. You see, until you are ready, until you are both satisfied exclusively with me and the life I have prepared for you, you won’t be able to experience the love that exemplifies your relationship with me, and this is perfect love. And, dear one, I want you to have the most wonderful love. I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with me, and to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty, perfection, and love that I offer you with myself. Know that I love you utterly, I am the Almighty, believe it and be satisfied!”