This week’s Manic Monday is for all those who are down and out. Into every life alittle rain must fall, but sometimes this gets old when it seems to be a nonstop monsoon season.
I refuse to be afraid of something that my God is bigger than. I refuse to be afraid of something that I have power over. My God is bigger and more powerful. I am nothing, but He is everything. I am covered by the blood of a King. I am His.
No weapon formed.
I got friends in high places.
Rejoice always…when we pray, be thankful. Rejoice. There is always something to be thankful for. Our selfishness would say otherwise, but we must remember that none of this is about us.
It’s all about Him.
“I have laughed so much that my face is going to look like the Joker.”
Sharing my friend Ashleigh Anne Hughes’ story. It is incredible, and I am so honored to call her a friend.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
Enjoy this blog by my sister/friend Melinda Stewart. She is one of my friends that is closer than a friend. I am so blessed to have so many sisters in my life that I can cry, laugh and pour our hearts out to God together. Now on to alittle teacher rally tomorrow…
Die to self. The cross requires death. When you see the pit, you feel the pull towards the pit-stop. Combat this with the truth of God. Natural self would have you think and believe things that are not true. The lies are all around us. Die to the lies! Refuse to believe anything contrary to God’s Word, casting the enemy to the curb.
Want to see God move like never before? That’s just a stupid question, isn’t it? God wants to move more than we want Him to move, but we must move first.
“What do you mean ‘we have to move first?’”
If you are still stuck inside because of snow on this Sunday or any Sunday, Dr. Tony Evans brings a great word every Sunday morning.
“If you are messed up because your mother and father are messed up, it’s because you choose to adopt that. You don’t have to.”
Hard but true words that are good for all of us to hear…
I am a 25+ veteran, which means I don’t have it all right, but I am dangerous. I speak the truth.
You and I didn’t choose teaching: it choose us. I’m in. “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
As I start a new school year, help me to remember the most important things and to keep them always in front of my face.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
If this time of year is painful for you, know that I am committed to praying for you. It’s ok to let it out. This time of year, I have at least one meltdown. When there are no words, I just keep telling myself “My only hope is Jesus”.
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.
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
Christ’s love compels us. There are children before us each day that need to see Jesus in flesh. We have this awesome opportunity to shine light and life into lives.
This blog began the minute my youngest daughter Hannah sent a text to Rachel, Robert and me telling us that she was thinking of Rachel as she was in her college class listening to positive behavior intervention. I believe in positive behavior intervention,
rewards and encouragement. With every fiber of my teacher being, I believe that a teacher must reward and encourage those students, but if a class is out of control, well, all I can say is, good luck. Classroom control must come first.
I do not even mean to hint that I know everything or that in college I learned nothing of any value in the classroom. I had a wonderful supervising teacher during my student teaching experience. I gleaned some words of wisdom and ways to write lesson plans while in college, but all the practical, day-to-day survival strategies came from fellow colleagues and trial and error.
After Hannah told me about this class, I thought about all the things that I want her to know as she is going through her early years as a teacher which seem tougher. My oldest daughter Rachel is going through her first year as a first grade teacher, and things are going well. So, this is an open letter to my two girls who have answered God’s calling on their lives to be educators. It is definitely a calling. None of us are in it for the money. I also believe that those who are in it for the holidays and good hours will seriously question that decision after one day, no, five minutes in the classroom with his/her first class. There must be a calling on your life from God to enter this noble profession.
So, to my two favorite educators, one future and one present, and to all of you who feel God led you right here to read this as well…
Rachel and Hannah,
I am first so proud that you felt God’s calling on your life and made the decision to follow when, since you are becoming and are teachers, you could have done something else for a living that would be easier. Many jobs are tough, but in my opinion, there is not one in which you can change a little life everyday, even in a small way. This means the enemy has your number. You are Christ followers so the enemy will try anything and everything to discourage you. I will be honest: teaching will never be easy. As you get older and gain more experience, it seems to come easier, but it has never, I repeat never been easy. There are no easy days when you are changing the world. So, Hannah and Rachel, remember these things when you enter the profession Hannah, and as it changes every year, Rachel. Nothing ever stays the same, but some things do.
These all tie in to discipline, rewards and life saver tips in the classroom:
- Some kids will demand your every minute. They get no attention at home, and they are coming to you empty. They will act bad because people will do anything for attention, good or bad. Solution: Give them the attention they need. This will not solve all the discipline problems with that child, but it will make a big difference with some. Everyone needs a caring adult in their life, and everyone needs a hero. Be one child’s hero, and you have done all you ever need to do for a lifetime. You of course will be many children’s heroes.
- Listen as much as you talk. We teachers do not know everything. The more I know, the more I realize I don’t know. Never stop listening.
- Change with the times. Techniques that I used when I first started teaching do not work now. But…some do. Reading is always the core of our educational problems. The more we get away from reading as a society, the worse test scores will become.
- You will not love all your principals. I want to. It’s the “everything should be right in the world” mentality that I possess. Remember as I tell you all the time that you are not working for man, but you are working for the Lord. Some principals will support you in the classroom; some will not. When you have one that does not support you, as far as discipline, you are on your own. Handle things in your classroom or in your hallway outside your door. Eventually when students realize that you are not supported at the office level, this is going to make discipline problems escalate. Try to avoid that completely by handling things yourself. You can be just as tough as that principal can.
- Some teachers will not like you. Try to be at peace with everyone at all times. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18. You are Christ’s representative to your students, your principal and your fellow teachers. It’s not easy. Some women teachers get territorial. If you are the new kid on the block, they feel threatened. Give them time to get to know you, and that will fade. They will like you with time, and if they don’t, you don’t need anymore friends. You’ve got plenty.
- Along those same lines, pray for your principal and those fellow teachers. God can change anyone’s heart and mind.
- If you think a class is getting out of control, it is never too late to “reel them back in”. If what you are doing is not working, change. Try something new. Dr. James Dobson taught me many lessons on discipline in his books on discipline, and those carry over to the classroom. One of the most valuable nuggets is that you must make the reward enough that a child will choose the reward over the bad behavior. This takes some thinking and trying different things. What worked one week may not work the next week, unfortunately, but don’t give up. Some rewards that have worked for me for a season: tickets earned to equal rewards, candy, a movie day…there was even a time when if a student did what I wanted, I would tell the entire class about things that I really liked about that student–no lying, all honesty. I was amazed at how many students went for that. I do love my kids, so it was actually easy for me to do this. Beg, borrow and steal ideas from educators.
- Back to that movie day thing…some days, you need a break. With the pressure of standards, common core and all other manner of stupidity that people who don’t teach want us to do, a good movie day can go a long way–you and your kids can relax. You can get some things done, and they can enjoy a movie on a huge screen which is not something that they get very often. I am as goal and time line oriented teacher as any you will meet, but we all need a breather. This shouldn’t happen very often, but many of the students I have taught in recent years come from lower income, stressed homes. They don’t go to the movies. They can’t afford to nor do parents have time for that. When it comes to administrators, a good one will understand this. A bad one will push and push until you finally look for another job. And there are always other teaching jobs.
- When it comes to grading, another leg of this that will make you crazy, consider how it will be graded before you give it. Grade parts of an assignment, grade in class, use student graders…don’t make yourself crazy over this. Remember that you can tell if a student knows the material in 10 questions as well as if you had given 25. When it comes to grading in class, students can have a class symbol or number known only to you and keep his/her privacy. Always watch out for your struggling students. Be their best helper and defense.
- Some days, you need to get angry, especially in those crucial first days. You must be very businesslike and establish discipline. Don’t be their friend. If some of them hate you in those first weeks, you are probably doing this right. They will not hate you long. Have a little pep talk with yourself before class, reminding yourself that someone will control that classroom, and that someone will be you. When I knew I was in those first days of getting to know each other, it is like breaking a horse. There are some angels who will never need you to correct them ever, but we’ve all been in Walmart. We have seen children screaming horrible things in their parents’ faces, and they are ready to do that to you also. This is how they have learned to respond to a parental/authority figure, and you must show them that this will not fly with you. You will not be mean in return (no excuses for rudeness), but your “No” will mean “No”. You will show them how to be a productive member of society, and this involves respect for themselves and others. It may start with you.
You have chosen to teach. Thank God for your job that He gives you. Whether it is a good one or a bad one, He strategically placed you there. One of those children comes from a verbally or physically abusive household. One has an alcoholic part. One has a parent in jail or prison. One who has never his/her father and never will. One has parents who are there, but not really. They need unconditional love that only comes from God and can only be shown by a follower of Christ.
A good person will be patient with his/her students for a season, but if the God is not in them, it will not last. You are not the teacher. God is. Pray for Him to show up everyday and do something only He can do.
Glad I haven’t scared you away from teaching all these years…
(or Kathy McBroom)
Now go change the world.
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. I can potentially change many lives by changing this one. I will not shy away from disciplining or loving where needed. I will not always be the most popular person in my room. Jesus wasn’t either, so that’s ok.
Christmas is quickly approaching, but that can mean the blues are also. I am continuing to tell my story of pain at Christmastime and how God has led me through this journey. After all that happened so many years ago, that year, I finally found myself saying, “I wanna live again.” Read my words from so many years ago and I hope that you are encouraged. Don’t give up. Help has come in the form of a baby. Jesus can take my pain and make beauty from the ashes. This is something only Jesus can do when I say, “Yes! I need you sweet Jesus”, and allow Him to take control. Only then can I really live again.
From And This Ain’t Hollywood Either, available on Amazon.
I Wanna Live Again
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-11
As I walked through Walgreen’s drugstore a little zombie-like from the lack of sleep and emotional stress, I passed by a small portable TV showing the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life”. George Bailey was shouting, “I wanna live again!” “Me, too, George,” I thought, “I wanna live again, also.” There are still laughs to be had, joyful moments to experience, and times to be playful like a kitten. Right now, all of those are so foreign to me. But, there is still a lot of life to be lived. There are other people in my life such as my husband and my children, who need me to be a wife and a mom. I must keep living. I must go on. With God’s help, I will live again. I will remember that many I know are also going through great pain and need me to be an example of a survivor. And survive I will. But I will not just survive—I will live again.
Still praying for you,
Eleven years ago tomorrow, everything changed. If you have been reading my blogs lately, I am telling a part of my journey surrounding my father’s devastating stroke on December 12, 2003. Here are two more entries from my book And This Ain’t Hollywood Anymore written years ago. It is available on Amazon, and I hope that it brings encouragement to readers just as I hope that my honest words here are encouraging you. God loves you, He loves me and He demonstrated that great love for us by sending His Son who is the focus of this time of year. That same Son would die on a cruel cross to take my place. Jesus willingly took what He did not deserve, so that I would not get what I deserve, if only I would just believe. And I believe. I run to the arms of the Savior because, clearly, I need a Savior.
Christmas Day in the ICU
“And the angel said unto them, ’Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’” Luke 2:10-11
Funny how things change, and they change faster than you would like. Our Christmases have always been spent with my family on Christmas Eve and with Robert’s family on Christmas Day. That’s been the tradition. But Christmas Day 2003 was also Day 13 in the ICU. My dad’s condition was getting better and Christmas was different. In Christmases past we were excited about the gifts and the time together as a family. Now we are still excited about those, but it is different. And different is o.k. It is a new day now. The old traditions are gone; it is time to start new ones. The first Christmas was different also. A child was born who would save the world. That night changed everything. One night changed everything for us, too. Thank God for the first Christmas that brought our precious Jesus to a dying world. He is our only hope.
Words of Peace
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 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 1:3-6
Exhausted, I sat reclined on the sleeper chair wedged between my dad’s hospital bed and the bathroom. I was wide awake and it was 3:00 A.M. I picked up a magazine that was lying on the floor beside the chair. Due to the bathroom light, I was able to faintly make out the words. I read “Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace”. How true, I thought! I agreed with that totally. “Oh, my word, it really is 3 A.M.,” as I realized that this was a quote by Buddha. I was agreeing with Buddha? I must have been also losing my mind. A night at the hospital will do that to you. Nevertheless, those words are true. Thanks to all those who have offered words that really brought comfort. One friend from church whose father had recently passed away said that she prayed that her dad would improve, and then he died. She felt God may have answered her dad’s prayer to take him home. Those words brought comfort. They came from a sister in Christ that had been where I was and that made all the difference. Her pain brought me comfort. Only God knows why we experience our trials, but our pain can bring someone comfort. We must look for ways to use our trials to encourage our brothers and sisters. Pray today that you may be able to honestly share your pain in order to also share how Christ’s strength will we see us through.
I will continue to blog everyday that I can throughout December reflecting on that Christmas season that changed everything. Whether you read all of these or not, I am praying for all of you who are telling me that we are one in the bond of painful Christmases. I stand with you, but we will not let our circumstances dictate our happiness. Christ only will be my strength and joy in all seasons of life.
Today in Tennessee it was rainy and dreary. It is Monday, so it would be easy to get the blues. I will not allow my spirit to be dreary. I will think of one precious little one whose eyes light up at the thought of Santa and reindeer, and I will smile, and allow my eyes to light up also because I don’t have a Santa; I have a Savior. My Savior Christ Jesus doesn’t come once a year but stays with me everyday throughout my entire lifetime. He walks with me through the good and bad and never says, “Girl, I am done with you. I give up.”
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Today, share this blog with someone who is hurting. Your story of survival like mine will encourage someone who desperately needs to know that you care and understand.
By Christ in us, we will overcome.
Mourning into Dancing p. 35-36 from And This Ain’t Hollywood Either
“I will exalt you, O Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. O Lord, you brought me up from the grave; you spared me from going down into the pit. Sing to the Lord, you saints of his; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Hear, O Lord, and be merciful; O Lord, be my help. You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.”
Psalms 30:1-5, 10-12
December 22, 2003
As I awake on day ten of my father being in the ICU, I want to hear a word from God. Today we meet with the doctors to see if my dad has shown any progress: any sign that we are moving forward, even if it is minute. In order to do this, I need God’s strength and peace. He is sovereign. As I open my Bible, heading straight for Psalms, I read…”weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” I would love to think that this is a sign that today will be good, but I must remain confident that even when it is bad, with God, it is good. He will see me through. He will hold me in the palm of His hand. He will restore my joy. He will heal my father. He will do mighty things that only He can do. I will stand strong because angels positioned on either side of me will hold me up. Angels will continue to fill my dad’s ICU room, watching over him every moment. Rejoicing will come this morning.
Sharing this blog from my precious sister Glenna Marshall. She has such a way with words, and I hope she always makes you want to know Jesus more. https://www.glennamarshall.com/2018/05/22/what-is-a-praying-life/
Making Jesus famous,
You watched the wedding too, right? Loved that mama!!!
Sharing this blog post by my sweet friend/sister Melinda Stewart. She and I first met in college as Zeta sisters (go ZTA). She was crazy, and I was too. Nothing has changed, and it was just five years ago that we graduated college. Sure.
Hope you get a good ord from God with her blog. I am sure that you will.
Crucified with Christ…and free.
Wasn’t sure what to call this Manic Monday blog. There’s so little spiritual value to it.
Some days you just need a laugh especially if you are a middle school teacher and it’s May.
Maybe I will call this Manic Monday video teacher gone cra cra.