A Teacher’s December Playlist

At a time when we teachers are totally serious about everything, wait no. We are half crazy with Energizer bunny like students, that we know leave parents each morning who are saying, “Ha, ha, there you are. Do something with this why don’t you” as they drop them off at school.While in carpool lines, we are certain we are seeing parents push them out the car door, and throw their backpacks out as they race out of the parking lot. We can almost hear them crying for joy to not have to spend five more minutes with them, as we prepare to spend seven, yes, seven hours with their little bundle of joy. As they walk past me, entering school, there are days when I am thinking, “And someone was glad when you started talking.”
If you happen not to be a teacher, you might say, “Is it really that bad?”
Yes. I do like my job, and there is some sarcasm there, but I will let you figure out where the sarcasm ends and truth begins.

It’s Christmas-Time to Celebrate or Is It?

It’s December-can you believe it? This morning I have begun Christmas decorating. I turned on the Christmas music because it’s time to celebrate, but with the first song, I found myself crying. Not crying, squalling, big, ugly cry.”Why was I crying?”, you might ask. December 12, 2003, fifteen years ago this year, my mom and dad went to a Sunday School Christmas party. While there, my dad had a massive stroke. That year was a blur with days in the ICU followed by more days in transitional care only to be sent home that Spring with a whole new normal. My mom cared for my dad in their home for the next nearly twelve years until he passed away. Understand now why for years Christmas just literally turned my stomach?
Friends, God did so many miracles during that time.  The biggest one was to bring back the joy of Christmas for me.  Believe me, it is still difficult, but I choose joy.  Period.  Joy. Going to explode joy.  Unexplainable, only God can do that joyEvery Christmas I find myself at one point or another getting alone while I just lose it completely. It comes out of nowhere, but the dark sadness hits. It hit this morning as I started up the celebration.

Manic Monday:The Giant of Rejection from Goliath Must Fall by L. Giglio

We have all felt rejection on some level at some point in life.  Do you live with it always in the back of your mind?
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverancethe race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.   Hebrews 12:1-2

“Stop Blocking Your Miracle” by Dr. Tony Evans

“You will not see God do miracles until you believe He can.“

“You will not see it in the physical until you believe it in the spiritual.”

“You and I are blocking God’s miracle when human logic, if it’s correct, trumps what God said.“ Dr. Tony Evans

Manic Monday: The Giant of Fear Must Fall (from Goliath Must Fall by Louie Giglio)

I am a terrified flyer.  What’s your worst fear?  Yours is probably much deeper, but all fears must fall.  As Christ followers, we cannot allow our fears to cripple us.  What kind of follower of the One Who overcame everything would we be?
This is Manic Monday.  My cat loves to steal the show, but since it is Halloween, she’s the wrong color to steal much of the show.

Reaping What You Sow: 10 Words of Advice to Parents

If you’re reading this blog and saying “Amen sister! Preach it!”, then your responsibility is equal to those of parents of children and teens. Our responsibility is to help. Our responsibility is to lovingly teach, assist, do whatever it takes to help a struggling parent around us who needs support. Many moms or dads are single parents and in this alone, and they need our loving support, not our judgment and condemnation.

How to Lose Your Mind as an Educator

I am an expert at this. As I sit here on Sunday afternoon, you know what I am feeling: impending dread, a tidal wave about to crash. I am looking at lesson plans that are congruent and Common Core Aligned(buzz words that get on my nerves), Rachel McBroom)If you are an educator, you are also. Since there is release and freedom in sharing our burdens, let’s release this one.

Top Ten Words of Advice for My Teacher Friends, or It’s August and You Are Tired Already, Aren’t You?

I am a good teacher. No, I am an excellent teacher. God has equipped me and called me to teach these children. They may be a well disciplined class or not, but God has me right where He wants me and I have a job to do. I can change a child’s life forever by educating and loving him/her.

Great Link on Rights of a Christian Teacher in the Classroom

Not long ago, as I prepped for the Fueled Retreat where I will lead two sessions on being a Christian teacher in a public school, I came across this great article and wanted to share.  DO not be discouraged:  pray constantly about our role as a teacher, for our fellow teachers, admin and for our students.  We cannot and are not supposed to know how far our influence goes and in what ways God will answer those prayers.

Week One Augustamania-I Survived. Did you?

Week one: the Keurig in my classroom bit the dust, I found 4 rose plants that I had bought last Saturday and remembered them a week later, I lost 2 lbs.

Ode to the Cake

Go, teachers.  It’s only bad because that good teacher is back, school is now in, and we are going to change lives every moment of every day.  If you are a Christian, then the enemy is mumbling, “My goodness, is it time to start school again? Time to get busy.  I got some destruction to cause.”  

Holy Toledo-First Year Teachers, Get Ready!

Those first PD days will make you wonder “What in the world did I get myself into?” We are taught to give students little bits of info at a time not to overwhelm them, and then great intentioned professionals from that central office come and do the opposite to us. We all feel that pain.  Walk away and daily list your priorities.  Some of that stuff does not matter-shhhhhh….

“What Happens When We Die?” Dr. Tony Evans

“If you are a believer, the only Hell you will ever experience is the hell (let’s say, for example,  a sugar free diet) you get in this life.” If you are not a believer, the only heaven you are going to experience is the heaven you get in this life (such as a Cadberry milk chocolate bar).” *Parentheses part added by me.

The Perfect Man

So for those of you who are like me and want to go to the last page to see how…

Youth Camp or Not? That’s the question (Sharing a blog from ByFaithShe)

So, should I send my elementary, middle or high school child to camp?  What if we don’t attend church regularly?  Is it still ok?  What if we can’t pay for it?  Is my child ready to get away for a week?  What happens if he/she gets homesick?  Will he/she be safe?  Are they really paying attention to my child at a beach?

These are the questions that can make any parent lay awake at night while his child is off, possibly 7-8 hours away, at some camp that they wanted to go to because ALL their friends were going.  Is this a good idea?  

Top Ten Words of Advice for My Teacher Friends or You Are Tired Already, Aren’t You?

I am a good teacher. No, I am an excellent teacher. God has equipped me and called me to teach these children. They may be a well disciplined class or not, but God has me right where He wants me and I have a job to do. I can change a child’s life forever by educating and loving him/her.

Reaping What You Sow: 10 Words of Advice to Parents

If you’re reading this blog and saying “Amen sister! Preach it!”, then your responsibility is equal to those of parents of children and teens. Our responsibility is to help. Our responsibility is to lovingly teach, assist, do whatever it takes to help a struggling parent around us who needs support. Many moms or dads are single parents and in this alone, and they need our loving support, not our judgment and condemnation.

Christmas Can Be A Time of Dread

“Join me this Christmas season every time things start to get stressed or loneliness and despair start to creep in and quietly, humbly, and slowly sing;

“Oh come let us adore Him,

Oh come let us adore Him,

Oh come let us adore Him

Christ the Lord.”

I Choose Joy

Every year, a meltdown is inevitable. I love Christmas, but memories come flooding back every year and I must deal with them. The pain never gets better. God’s grace and comfort seem to increase. I want to be happy and joyful in this season, but it no longer comes naturally. The enemy would have me to wallow in a pit of sorrow, but I will not. I choose joy.

Prescription for the Holiday Blues

You look around you and all the world is two by two. At Christmas everyone has a boyfriend or girlfriend, and guess what, they all got rings.

You want to go to church, but again everyone is in couples. You know that the minute you walk through those doors with two kids in tow and no spouse, you will start to see eyes that you interpret as judgmental. You certainly don’t venture into a small group class because they are all for couples. If you do find a good singles class, you are not sure that you want to go because you are not ready to discuss the whole situation.

Your good friend just got his or her Christmas bonus. Where’s yours? You are not sure how much longer the car will make it, so you certainly don’t have extra money for Christmas. It will be a strain for sure.

She hates you. You know that a certain coworker thinks you are an idiot. Let’s face it: you have said so many things that you wish you could take back. So many times you say the wrong thing. At the top of your prayer list is learning how and when to stop talking.

You really hate this job. You want another job, are looking for another job, but so far, God hasn’t released you from this one. A sense of dread overwhelms you around Sunday each week.

A loved one is dying. A loved one recently died, or you are experiencing chronic health problems. As you see everyone enjoying the holiday season, all the decorations seem to do nothing more than cause knots in your stomach.

Quite frankly, you are staring at a battlefield without the courage to go on it. But, you have no choice.

This is in my field of expertise, this thing called the blues. I am well acquainted with so many of the above situations–that’s why I can talk about them so easily. Been there, done that. If you read some of my other blog posts, you will see some stories from my life. Christmas is definitely a challenge for my family but God has laid on my heart today to share hope. It seems that this is timely. As I was starting to type this, I received a text informing me that a good friend is dying. Unbelievable. My pastor’s sermon this morning hit upon this same subject.

But Christmas is about hope and hope we shall now pursue. Good thing is that in Christ Jesus, we just have to rest and let Him do all the work. He is ready, but are we? Are we ready to let it go and let God take it, never grabbing it back like a mad two year old?

Here are some things that God has taught me in the valley, lessons learned and basically a prescription for the blues.

Do the hard things. Whatever God is calling you to do, whether it is apologize, pay that bill, get another job to pay those bills or grade those papers and plan for the week, do it. Nothing makes you feel better than just tackling it and doing it.
Grieve. Give yourself a break. Let it out. In our former house, Robert and I had an amazing closet that I could shut the door, curl up in the floor and cry, or pray or cry and pray. Sometimes I do this best in my car while driving. You must take it to Jesus. Don’t expect that He knows already, which He does, but you must verbalize all that is in your heart. It will do a world of good.
Don’t fall for the enemy’s pride trap. It’s big, it’s easy to fall into, but don’t. So many things that we don’t remedy have to do with our silly pride. You may have acted a fool, you need to apologize. Do it. You may have done all the right things and looked a fool, so you feel bad. That’s silly pride. Don’t fall for that trap.
Don’t dig up bones. Randy Travis has an old song called “Digging Up Bones”. Do you know how many times I have woke up feeling awful about something that happened years ago that I can do nothing about. Another Satan trap.
During the darkest of valleys, surround yourself with godly counsel. Let them think and pray you through. There are times when you can’t believe you are still breathing, but you are. The pain is too much. Our Christian brothers and sisters will carry you through. They will intercede for you; just ask.
Don’t give up. All things take time. When the money is lean, buying something that I don’t need never seems more tempting, but that is a form of giving up. Stay the course.

Consider this word from God:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 2 Corinthians 1:3-9

Our hardships can be a great tool to comfort others. I know that this is no comfort to us sometimes, but sometimes it is. God has a plan, and we must trust Him. Somedays, I so wish that I knew what that plan was, but we must commit to trust.

Christmas is the season of hope. A child came to save the world. So all the things that our modern day world has made Christmas and many things that may make us sad are not what Christmas is about. A Savior came. I needed saving. What a reason to celebrate.

So turn up the music. The enemy wants you defeated. He loves to see a Christian suffering, but God wants to turn that mourning into gladness. He can. I can testify that when I thought I would never smile again, God brought my smile back. My situation didn’t change, but God did what only God can do and returned to me hope and joy.

Let us strive to be a testimony to only what God can do. Let’s embrace this verse:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Also we need some Christmas music and my friend Travis Cottrell is the best. So turn this up loud:

[caption id="attachment_1020" align="alignright" width="132"]IMG_1330 These are for sale on Amazon. “And This Ain’t Hollywood Either” is a 30 day devo written during the season when my dad experienced a bad stroke during Christmas & I talk about that. Check past blog posts for some of those stories & save ordering it.[/caption]
Travis Cottrell “Ring The Bells”

I love helping with women’s events at churches anytime I can, so check my calendar and contact me if I can help.

http://www.kathymcbroom.com

Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen! Revelation 7:12

The Sounds of Freedom

When our children were young, every summer my family would make its annual pilgrimage to the beach. Over the years we have watched our daughters and their cousins grow up with interests changing from sandcastle building to skim boarding. I love to awaken early and walk along the cool, white sandy beach, spending time with God. When our girls woke up, they would hit the beach, not wanting to miss one precious moment of fun. I loved to lie back in my chair listening to their laughter and screams as an occasional wave overtook them. At the end of the day, nothing that swam was safe as we hit out favorite seafood restaurants. These memories we will all cherish forever.
In the summer of 2008, I had the great privilege of visiting another beach as well.  Traveling with an amazing group of high school students from West Tennessee and Arkansas, we visited Omaha beach in Normandy, France. No sounds of laughter could be heard there.