It’s hard to believe that it’s already Thursday again. Time keeps tick, tick, ticking away.
Here are some of the things of the past week that I’m thankful for…
I’m thankful for snow. The week started out with snow and walks and cold. I love how the snow just makes things stop a bit…and feel …well, quiet. Just quiet and still and like you don’t have to rush off to the next thing, but you can sit and linger. Or you can walk and linger. I did a lot of both.
Some things continued even with the snow on the ground. Basketball at the Y was one of those. Life can get pretty active sometimes, so sometimes it really feels good to be a spectator. People sure are unique and when you’re in spectator mode, that’s pretty easy to see. I’m thankful for that uniqueness and individuality. And I’m thankful for a certain someone’s individuality that comes with a dash of sports superstition, (as in ‘gotta-wear-those-same-socks-I-wore-when-we-won’ routines) can be seen whenever Tan is on a court or field.(He’s the one with the yellow, orange, and red socks by the way.) Yep, Tanner is always a unique individual, stand-out in one way or another. It might not be in being the best athlete on the team. It might not be in being the brightest scholar, but this kid definitely ranks high in courage and individuality. I love that, and learn from him all the time.
I’m thankful for initiative. Hope took the initiative to teach Austin how to make chicken pot pie. (This is no small feat, I promise!) Austin followed instructions dutifully until…until the guy who puts cinnamon on just about everything spotted the cinnamon jar and shook a bit in with the other ingredients. That’s when Hope’s left eyebrow went up (which we all heed as a warning) and Austin resumed with following the instructions of his sister. Yes, individuality is good in some places. But sometimes it’s good not to just do our own thing because some things just don’t mix…like chicken pot pie and cinnamon. (But honestly, it was a great meal…with only a hint of cinnamon…)
Thankful for sweet, sweet friends who encourage and speak for you and then encourage you some more. Sometimes we can speak for ourselves. Sometimes it just feels good to have someone speak for us or about us and encourage us.. I think that’s what an advocate is…yep…an advocate is someone who speaks for, advocates for, another. Latin root voc…it means call. To voice. To speak. So, yes, I’m thankful for some sweet moments this week when others spoke for, of, to me and just deeply encouraged yours truly. It wasn’t that I desperately needed the encouragement. Nope…I mean, I’m in an okay place,… but when encouragement comes and someone advocates for us in big or little ways, well, it gives courage to speak up all the more when it’s our turn to find our voice. Some people need more advocating for than others. We need to speak up for those who have trouble finding their voice…even little ones know that. I see it in my classroom all the time…
And another thing I see in my classroom is beautiful individuality once again. In words and looks and thoughts and artwork, no two are alike. I love that and am daily challenged by that beautiful truth…that each one of us has a different take on the world, and contributes something different. The great responsibility in working with these young hearts and minds is to encourage them to mix their unique takes and talents with the requirements that the world will make on them. Am thinking educators equip. We equip with tools and knowledge and resources. But just equip for equipments’ sake? Hopefully not. Am hoping educators also inspire…inspire students to use these unique gifts and abilities to positively impact their world, no matter how big or small that world might be.
I can take these three young minds and tell you myriads about each little one. I love that they know their voice and speak up freely. I hope they never lose that. I hope they can always find their voice. And when they can’t, I hope and pray they have a friend who is an advocate for them….who speaks up for them when their voice goes a little quiet.
The world is full of people pointing fingers. It’s so refreshing when the finger pointing stops and people speak for things, speak for people, rather than against.
Because bottom line, we matter, and like the kids in my classroom we want to feel like we do. We want to know that our actions matter. Futility seeps in when mattering disappears. Hope is suffocated by futility. Mattering matters. Stickers might bring a smile to a first grader and salary bonuses to a 60 year old executive, but no matter how old or young we are, in all of us is a desire to …matter. To know that who we are as individuals counts.
Case in point: I was in my classroom really early this morning. I was turning on the little perks that have become necessities for me in working with students with intensive needs. I was turning on things like the diffuser with lavender and the salt lamp and the string lights, and just getting ready for the day when I hear, “WELL THERE SHE IS!!!” Just as I turned around, I got bear hugged by a little second grade student who said, “I’ve been looking for you!” She’s too cute and made me laugh, but do you know what she accomplished this morning? She accomplished a huge thing. She made someone else feel like she mattered. (Yours truly,ha!) And the great thing is that it doesn’t take much at all….just a little dose of kindness, a little initiative, and a little noticing of someone else…and then, Voila! Success! Would that we would each accomplish that each day…
So, there are countless more things from the week that I’m thankful for. For lots of creative time and talk time and organizing. For goals reached, and goals aspired to. For mistakes and recoveries. For very blatant and bold reminders to never take for granted the people who are in my life…right here, right now. And for reminders to be thankful of how far we’ve come rather than bemoaning how far we have yet to go. For blunders and then forgiveness. For broken things that get fixed. For sickness that reminds me to be so very thankful for good health.
And as I wrap up, am so thankful for a voice. Voices are not just heard in voices. I’m thankful that voices are found in the written word. They speak loudly in art and music and dance. They are translated through woodworking and building and architecture. They are heard as we have the courage to be the individuals who God made us to be and do our thing, use our gifts and our own brand of quirky or perky or goofy or serious. Or all of the above. I’m so thankful for the encouragers and advocates in this world who help people rise above adversity… the people who help individuals find our wings and encourage us to fly…and as we fly…to lift up our voices and sing.
Because we all have a voice. And sometimes we just need to be reminded that our voice is to be heard.
And one more thing… I’m thankful for the amazing gift of having One who speaks for us, who “lives to intercede” for us. He is a voice for all those who call out to Him, and ...anyone can call to Him. He doesn’t discriminate. (Even when those who profess to know Him do). Romans 2:11 says, “there is no partiality with God.” He sees it all and advocates for those who call on Him. That’s the key…to call on Him. It’s not about the state of where or what we are, but the heart that calls on the name of Jesus. That’s the prerequisite of the advocacy…finding our voice to merely call on Him. Then the advocate, the voice, the one who ‘lives to intercede for us’, takes care of the rest. Am thinking that’s a lot to be thankful for.
Blessings to you and yours~
“The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalm 145:18
“but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:24-25