Teachers Say the Craziest Things: Back to School Edition

Especially when school is starting back.

Especially in kindergarten.

Sometimes I hear myself and I think, “Really? Did that just get said?” But it NEEDS to be said! Our little friends are very literal and sometimes need very explicit directions on many tasks and routines when starting their school adventures. They give a whole new meaning to the term “explicit instruction”!

They also ask a LOT of questions…and I try to answer as seriously as I can. 

So here are just a few of the crazy things that have come out of my mouth this year…during the first two weeks of school.

Do we eat markers? Noooo, we don’t eat markers.

Yes, I’m a person. Yes, just like you.

This is how we sit in a chair. 

Let’s pretend like I don’t know how to walk. Who can show me how to walk?

Let’s practice laughing for real. Have you really ever seen someone laugh and it caused them to fall out of a chair? Oh, you have? Your dad? Well….

You’re not ten. You’re actually five. Isn’t that great? Me? No I’m not ten either. I’m thirty three. Yes… well, no I’m not dead. I’m still alive, I’m just thirty three.

Let’s pretend I can’t read. 

No, I’m not seventy.

It’s okay to laugh if something is funny, but you MUST recover.

Let’s pretend I can’t sit crisscross applesauce. Who can show me what to do?

This is a computer mouse. Thank you if you are not screaming. It’s not an animal mouse…it’s a computer mouse.

These computers aren’t touch screens. You need to use the mouse. Thank you if you are not screaming. It’s not a mouse like an “animal mouse”. It’s a computer mouse.

Let’s pretend like I can’t whisper. 

No I’m not a second grader.

Let’s pretend like I’m fake laughing instead of “real” laughing. Who can show me how to move on?

Let’s pretend like my beans are stuck to my tray. How will I get them off?

I’m going to pretend like you didn’t put that in your mouth. 

To another teacher: Go in there and tell me if it smells like something is dead in there?

To another teacher: The beginning of kindergarten is my favorite. No really! It is!😊 


It really is my favorite. I love my kindergarten friends and their crazy comments and questions and I LOVE making a difference in their lives. Okay teachers, let’s have it. Share your crazy words below. I hope your year is awesome!!!!!

PS- I totally allow and love laughter in my room! 😉 We’ve just had some issues recovering from laughter this year! 


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The Fragrance of My Worship

One day in class, a child broke out what is considered to be a great treasure among my five year old friends. It was her own personal bottle of hand sanitizer—and not just any bottle of sanitizer… floral scented hand sanitizer. She was feeling particularly generous that day, and she proceeded to share with the entire class until her whole bottle was used up. The kids called out in alarm “Your bottle is used up! It’s gone!”And she replied, “It’s okay, I wanted to share it with my friends.”

Now, the classroom was filled with the smell…a rather strong one…of floral scented hand sanitizer. Aroma just happened to be our vocabulary word that week. One precious little boy told me as we walked down the hall, “Mrs. Givens, we’re taking our arom-y with us, aren’t we?”

And we were. You could smell us coming from the other side of the building!

While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Matthew 26:6-13 (NIV)

alabaster box 

Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume.…

Luke 7:36-38

 

I imagine her face was burning, her eyes were downcast. Her heart was pounding and her mouth was dry. But her eyes were not. She is described in Luke as “the sinful woman”. What is she doing here? Get her out on the street, where she belongs. The nerve of filth like that, coming in here with us. I’m sure the whispers and murmurs were like shouts to her ears and her injured soul.

Still…on she walked. How many steps did she have to take to reach Grace? Was it a few? Was He all the way across the room?

As she fell before Him, she cried so many tears that she was able to wash His feet with them. She dried His feet with her hair. The Bible says that she broke her alabaster jar, a very expensive treasure (Mark says it was worth a year’s wages), and poured it on His head. As the oil flowed over His head, His mercy washed over her’s. Mercy worth more than a whole life’s wages, and she knew it.

The murmurs continued. And a whole jar of perfume? Seriously, that’s a year’s worth of wages she just wasted. And now the whole room is filled with the smell! What a waste!

The room was filled, all right. It was filled with the same thing that our churches and our lives are filled with today. It was filled with the battle between worship and the world.

She was there to worship. She was there in obedience. She was there to seek forgiveness, though she knew she wasn’t worthy. Others were there to dine and visit. They were there to be seen and heard.

While she was there, she surrendered a very precious possession. When her jar of alabaster was broken, the fragrance must have filled the room. I imagine that when she left, the fragrance clung to her hands, her hair, and her clothes for weeks and months. The fragrance probably drew the attention of those she came in contact with. It must have permeated the air that was around her. It was the fragrance of her worship.

May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.

Psalm 141:2

When I worship the Lord, does the fragrance fill the room? Or am I like the Pharisees, too concerned with the actions and labels of others to focus on my worship? When I’m around others, does the fragrance of my worship follow me, or does it quickly fade into the background and noise of the world?

My prayer is to be like her. When my praise and my worship require a sacrifice, I want to offer it without hesitation. I want my worship to be a fragrant offering to the Lord, not the meaningless act of a Pharisee. Even when I know I am undeserving, when I know others might belittle me or question me, I want the worship of my Father to be my number one goal. And when I go out into the world, I pray that the fragrance of my worship doesn’t fade. I pray that it clings to me, and that others will sense the Lord in me. Like my sweet child at school said, I want to take my “arom-y” with me!

Here’s a song from awhile back. I wrote and recorded it about fifteen years ago. It was and still is the prayer of my heart. Take a listen to The Fragrance of My Worship.

Words and Music by: Paige Givens,  Copyright 1999

 

Sharing this week with Holley Gerth’s Coffee For Your Heart and faithalongtheway’s Saturday Soiree.

 

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Teaching Kindergarten: Let Them Talk

When I first started teaching, I was afraid to let my kids talk too much. Or too loud. Or too long. Or too “funny.” I was afraid that other teachers would think I didn’t have control over my classroom if they walked by and heard a lot of noise in the room. I guess I was afraid that I would lose control if my kids were too loud.

Once I gained my footing and my confidence in the classroom enough to look past the basic safety, academic, and management components of my day, I began to question the need for silence during many parts of the day.

Now I have to point out that I do understand the need for quiet and voice control in many situations at school. We need to be quiet in the hallways because we could disturb other classes if we are noisy on our way to lunch. We need to be quiet in special places like the library and computer lab because other people use these areas to study and they need quiet in order to concentrate.

But I had to ask myself, Why are we being silent during our morning work? Why are we being silent when we put our papers in our mailbox? There were times during the day when I realized I was demanding silence, even quietness, when it wasn’t exactly necessary for learning. In fact, the silence and quietness was possibly hindering their learning in some ways.

IMG_2465

A few years ago, I was part of a team that studied the new English Language Arts College and Career Ready Standards for my school system. We discussed in detail the need for more rigorous vocabulary instruction, which I totally agree with. Our school uses a robust vocabulary program in which we teach wonderful words like confidence, ability, talent, wilting, and so many more. The students love learning and using these new words. But kindergarten teachers see so many students who don’t even know simple words. Words like friend, baby, help, above, below. How can we get these sweet kindergarten children to build a mental word bank with robust, meaningful words when they don’t even know how to express themselves in the simplest ways?

We let them talk. We let them talk a lot. Yes, it’s loud sometimes. Yes, the noise is busy. But in my experience the noise is helping them to become cool little citizens–and isn’t that our goal as teachers?

So I sat down in the quietness of my silent, coloring five-year-olds and asked myself this question: When can I let them talk more?

The first place that came to mind was “Morning Work.” How many of you get to work and walk down the hallway with a finger over your mouth, eyes darting side to side as you walk to your office? On Mondays, do you put your things away silently, without talking to your friends about your weekend? The things you did, the food you ate, and the places you went?

We don’t do that! Teachers don’t do that. We are very sociable. When I get to school each morning, I greet people with a “Good morning!” or “hey!”. I have to give a full, detailed description of my weekend activities to my friends. And I listen to them recount their weekend. We take turns speaking and listening without realizing it. Why wasn’t I teaching my kids to do that? Sure, I was reading stories to them and pausing every few pages to say something like “Turn to your partner and tell them why you think this is happening. What do you think will happen next?” But seriously? Do we do that? In movies? Does someone pause the movie every few minutes to say “Let’s stop and talk about what’s happening so far. All of the mustards find a ketchup and partner up. Discuss and then we’ll start back, okay? Now you be mustard, and you be ketchup…”

So I decided to start with real conversations in the mornings. I changed my morning routine from “Morning Work” to “Morning Activities.” I divided my students up into twos or threes and each morning after unpacking and greeting one another with “good mornings” and “heys”, they go to the board and find their morning activity, which could be playdoh, partner computers, reading and puppets, drawing, or–my favorite–home living.

The top of my Morning Activity Chart. Students unpack and check the chart to find their activity. I place the student's picture beside the morning activity picture. Each afternoon, one student goes and rotates the activity pictures in a special order for the next day.

The top of my Morning Activity Chart. Students unpack and check the chart to find their activity. I place the student’s picture beside the morning activity picture. Each afternoon, one student goes and rotates the activity pictures in a special order for the next day.


Morning activity suggestions: partner computers, partner reading, playdoh

Morning activity suggestions: partner computers, partner reading, playdoh


Home Living, game pads, phonics games

Home Living, game pads, phonics games

And, yes, they talk. They talk a lot. I listen to them and my heart feels content knowing that they are learning how socialize like a true community–and the bell hasn’t even rung yet. I do tell them to talk quietly, and we practice for a few days at the beginning of the year talking between a whisper and a yell. I have found that in the mornings, my students are very quiet. They talk about practice the night before, their bus friends from the morning, and what they had for breakfast (The home living conversations are the best- Girl: You be my son and sit here and rock this baby while I make supper. Boy: No, I’m a business man. I’ve got to go write some stuff at my office desk.).

Another time during my day that I found I could add some talking time  was when someone came to my door to speak to me, or we had about two minutes before we needed to line up and be somewhere, or something was wrong with my projector/screen/radio/anything-and-everything and I needed two or three minutes to fix it. I used to play quiet mouse during this time, or say “Everyone on silent while I fix this.” But I have found that if I simply say, “Turn just your head and whisper in your friend’s ear for two minutes while I talk to this important visitor,” my kids actually turn and whisper to each other. I don’t have to police them and fuss at them for not being silent, and they get extra oral language practice.

A third time that I let me students talk is during creative writing time. Now I do understand that some teachers may disagree with me on this point and I’m totally okay with agreeing to disagree here. Teachers have different personalities and teach in different ways. Here is why I started letting my kids talk during writing workshop…I have found that the majority of my five and six year old children have had success with verbalizing their thoughts aloud before and during writing. If you come into my room during writing workshop, you may hear some of the following “noise”:

 ” Can you tell what this says?”

“Guess what I’m writing? My friend went to the beach with me last week. Look at us swimming here.”

“How do you spell polar? /p/…/o/…/l/…/r/”

“You should label your mom in that picture. I like it.”

And that’s what the kids are saying, not the teacher!

I could go into how we converse in morning work stations and in math…oh, math, my love!…but that in itself is another blog post for another day!

The point of letting my students talk  is not to make school a more “fun” place, but it does make school more fun. The point is not to have to fuss less at my kids, although I direct them to lower their voices much, much less. The point–the reason–is to develop oral language and social skills, and that’s what my students are doing by using their words.

Let them talk! Preschool, early elementary teachers, parents of young and old: what other times can you think of to let them talk more? Share with us!

 

 

* I realize that there are times in our day and life when we are required to be silent. As the school year goes on, we “practice” being silent for things like tests, speeches, and even fire/tornado/lockdown drills. I have not found that the practice of letting them talk more has hurt their ability to be silent when I want them to. In fact, their ability to be silent and listen when Mrs. Givens has an important announcement seems to be enhanced. I wouldn’t be sharing this with you if I didn’t think it worked!;)

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Bloom Right Where You Are!

When it comes to gardening, I don’t have a green thumb. As a matter of fact, I don’t have any kind of thumb or knack for gardening! I’ve tried my hand at many kinds of plants over the years, and what I’ve discovered is that I do best with hardy, strong perennials.

lily one

I have some beautiful daylilies blooming right now. I love to study their unique colors. One set is a beautiful crimson color with a hint of amber in the center. The other set is a gorgeous shade of peach with crimson rings in the middle.

lily 2

One interesting fact about these flowers is that one set was orange the first year they bloomed and the other set was yellow. Over the years, they’ve transformed into the beauties pictured above. The other interesting fact is that they sat as bulbs in a Walmart sack for three weeks before I even planted them! That’s right–yours truly forgot about them. When I finally did plant them, it was with little faith in my heart that they would bloom.

But not only did these wonderful daylilies bloom, they thrived. They pushed their roots far into the soil and clung tightly through hot summer days, hours upon hours of rain, and even when Chris accidently ran the weedeater through them. They were crushed down when chubby little boy feet marched over them, and then they valiantly struggled back up to standing. And in the winter, even though they were no longer visible, I knew they were still there. Know why? Because every year in late spring and early summer, they begin to show signs of life again. Green shoots begin to burst up from the ground that once seemed barren. The plant that had five blooms the year before now has ten.

I’m so proud of these daylilies, and not because of any work I’ve done. I mean, gracious, if I was a plant, the Givens garden would be like a nightmare! My brother-in-law recently pointed out a thriving green vine in my flower bed to me as poison ivy. Oh? So that’s what it looks like…

So I’m proud of my daylilies. These daylilies remind me to bloom wherever I am planted. These flowers are magnificant. They look as it they belong in a fine botanical garden, but for some reason their Creator chose for them to be planted in the garden of a person with no gardening ability. And yet they have still bloomed. Not just a little, but a lot. They have bloomed with a profusion of color and beauty.

The Creator of the daylilies wants His children to be that way. He has sent us to our current situation in order to bloom, friends! Maybe you are in a place where you feel like you can’t possibly be used to your full potential, like you are wasting your time. But God has ordered your steps into this exact place at this time for a reason! He wants you to bloom here. He wants you to sink your roots down deep so that you won’t be swayed by your feelings and circumstances. He wants you to bear down through the dry days and the days that drench you with fear, uncertainty, and disillusion. Maybe you are in your own winter, and day after day leaves you cold and numb, with no fruit to show for it. But guess what? The time for blooming is drawing near! Your Creator has designed you not only to bloom, but to thrive. You are the only one who can show your best colors and your best fruits.

So let’s think for a minute about what He’s calling us to do. If you’ve ever looked closely at a flower garden, you’ll see that no two flowers are exactly alike. The same holds true for us. He has equipped us with different talents for different purposes. What is your gift? What do you feel called to do? If you don’t know what your gift is, spend time in prayer and sincerely ask God to show you what He has equipped you to do. He will show you. The world needs all kinds of people…leaders, singers, teachers, organizers, encouragers, listeners…and the list stretches on.

So many times, we feel like we aren’t being used when we don’t see BIG things happening. For instance, I struggled for years with thinking I didn’t need to write songs and music simply because they weren’t being used in the music industry on a “big” scale. But God began to show me the error in my thinking and reasoning. He sent others to cultivate me. Their encouragement watered my dry soul and their instruction clipped away the dead leaves. A simple, “That song touched my heart today. Thank you for that,” at church showed me that He was using me right where He planted me. Perhaps my encouragers had been planted in the garden right beside me for that very purpose. They were blooming where they were planted, and now so would I. Your local church is one of the absolute best places to “bloom”. The church needs all sorts of hands and feet to fulfill the work of God and will grow you in many, many ways.

Last year, my sweet husband helped me to record and release a CD that we made at home. It was an extremely simple process that involved the help of many people who were firmly planted where their Creator placed them. To many, this project would be considered small-scale. However, it is monumental to my heart. It is a reminder of what God can and will do in our lives when we commit to flourishing where He plans for us to be.

A friend recently said to me, “If God had you to write those songs for one single person this year, it was for me.” And those words were His way of showing me that I had bloomed. If it was just for one person, then I had done what He called me to do. If it was just for Christ alone, and no one else ever noticed, then I would have done what He called me to do.

So thank Him today for putting  you in your current position. If you feel like you are trying to bloom in a spot He hasn’t designed for you, ask Him to move you or to show you how to stay. He is faithful and He will make His will clear to you.

When we are where He wants us to be, He will shower us with seeds of His gifts. He will water us and tenderly grow us. He will sheild us from the heat of life and He will cover us with His feathers during the harsh winters. He will use His other blooming children to encourage us and to help us with their special skills. And each day, He will walk through His garden and enjoy us, His creation. He loves you, you know. He created you to be beautiful and unique.

So bloom, friends! Bloom big!🙂

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Teachers Say The Craziest Things

You know, kids say crazy stuff. They do crazy stuff. And those of us who spend most of our days around them end up saying and doing crazy things ourselves. When a teacher is “in the moment,” sometimes words come out that aren’t planned. They’re not bad, they’re just…crazy. But needed!

One of my high school besties once said to me, “I wish I could just be a fly on the wall and see the way you handle the stuff that comes up in your room!” And this got me to thinking…she’d hear some pretty silly things come out of my mouth. The thing is, most of the time when a teacher is talking, he or she is being utterly serious about the matter (in my case at least–if I crack for a minute, my kids lose all control). If you were to pass by and hear a snippet of the things that are coming out of teachers’ mouths, you would probably get a good laugh.

There are reasons, though, for the things I say to my kids! I have this innate, strong need to explain things to them that sometimes drives me to say things I’d never say in a conversation with adults.

So, think “serious Paige” as you read these real comments that have come out of my mouth with my kindergarten students. By the way, names have been changed to protect the innocent  guilty. I’ve never had students named Jane or Robert!:)

Oh, the things I say: 

Thank you if you did not bark like a dog in the lunchroom today. 

Everyone look down at your hands and feet and make sure you have control of them. Look carefully, because some of you think you are in control of your hands and feet but your hands and feet are definitely out of control. Look carefully now!

Thank you if you are not saying “moooos-tache” over and over.

mustache

No, I’m not eighty one.

No, I’m not twelve.

Yes, actually I do have a car. Yes, I can drive. No really, see, here’s my driver’s license.

Hey Robert, fingers aren’t made for mouths, okay?

Hey Robert, markers aren’t made for mouths, okay?

Hey Robert, pencils aren’t made for mouths, okay?

Robert! Don’t put your shoestrings in your mouth!

Thank you if you weren’t howling like a wolf in the lunchroom today.

Oh, look everyone. Jane has decided to walk without her finger over her lip and she’s being so quiet even without it! You don’t actually have to have your finger over your mouth to be quiet! That’s amazing, Jane! Let’s all try it, okay?

No, I’m not in sixth grade. Actually I’m out of school.

Hey Robert, only come out of the bathroom if you have all of your clothes on.

Those are not nice words! You take those words and put them back in your mouth right now! Put them back in and swallow them. That’s right. Don’t let them back out!

Thank you if you did not moo like a cow over and over in the lunchroom today. 

No, those are not water fountains in the boys’ restroom. They’re called urinals…

Everyone look down at your feet and see if they are walking, because some are dancing and we want them to be walking.

No, I’m not seventy- two.

No, I’m not thirteen.

Who’s my “prince”? Oh, you mean the guy in the picture? That’s Mr. Chris. Well, he’s my husband…(which started a looooonnnnng conversation) 

Jane, is your backpack ringing?

What? You have a lizard in your backpack in a cheezits box?

No, I’m not 100. 

Yes, I have a birthday. 

Thank you if you were not sitting in the sink in the restroom. 

Okay, Robert, I’m going to help you gather your thoughts for this sentence. You are a little..(he answers)….heathen?  No, that’s not what I was going to say actually. I was going to say you are a little boy. 

Let’s see who is doing exactly as I said. First of all, put the sausage down

There’s a real way and a not-real way to laugh. If you see something funny, you just laugh normally, like this. Some of us are laughing in a not-real way. We are waiting for something funny to happen  in the story and then we are falling in the floor and hollering and rolling around. That’s not the real way to laugh. Let’s only laugh the real way. Let’s practice right now laughing the real way.

Someone in here is chirping like a cricket but I want them to stop. I don’t want to know who it is. No, don’t tell me. But if it is you, just stop.

You’ve got something in your nose? It looks to be a rock.

Thank you if you are not ribbet-ing right now. 

Go to the restroom, Jane. You don’t have much time. I want you to hurry, hurry, hurry. But I don’t want you to run. Go fast, now. Don’t run!

Yes, I went to college. 

Yes, I can read. 

No, actually I don’t live here at school. 

Okay, so we are telling our opinion about Groundhog Day. What do you want to happen? Remember, your sentence is going to be about Groundhog Day, not macaroni! 

Hey everybody, Robert’s going to be our leader and helper today. Yay!

Oh, the things we say in the classroom. If you are teacher in school, daycare, home, or church, we’d love to hear some of the crazy things you’ve said in all seriousness before. Leave a comment below! These are just the tip of the iceberg for me.🙂

I’m glad I get to laugh and have fun with my friends at school, both young and old!

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What a Friend We Have in Jesus

“But who will be my friend?”

This was the question I constantly asked my mom and myself as a child. I was always concerned with having a friend close by to help me conquer whatever situation I was walking into. Going to church each week, I’d ask “Who will be there today?”, hoping my  best friend  would be there to speak for me. She was my voice. Her name is April, and whenever I needed to say something as a young child, she was there to say my words for me!

And then, school started, and I had to go without April because of the fall birthday rule. She was just a few months behind me, but those were important months when it came to deciding who could go to kindergarten in the fall.

“But who will be my friend?”

I spent lots of time on the playground by myself at the beginning of my school days because I wasn’t good at making friends! I was hindered by shyness. It is something I still struggle with to this day. As a teacher myself, I get a small tug on my heart every time I see a child wandering around on the playground by himself or herself, looking to other children, silently asking to play and be friends because the words just won’t come out. No matter how young we are, everyone wants a friend.

I love my friends. They laugh with me, cry with me, and talk with me. We go shopping together, plan parties together, and watch movies together. My friends listen to my songs and always offer encouragement. My friends pray for me. They pray with me. And even now, as I did all throughout childhood, when I’m going to a new place, I find myself thinking the same question that seemed to grow up with me.

“But who will be my friend?”

This year, God has sent me some awesome opportunities. I’ve gotten to be in the same room and meet people that I have only dreamed about meeting in my life. And every time I’ve gotten ready for these wonderful, life-changing opportunities, I have had moments of overwhelming apprehension over meeting new people and “making friends”. It’s a vicious thing, this shyness. If I try to face it on my own, without God’s help, it can take away my excitement, peace, joy, and even my obedience to His plan. It reminds me over and over again of the question that tries to become my mantra.

“But who will be my friend?”

I may not think the exact words, but I wonder about the people that I will be around. Will they like me? Will we get along?  Will they get me? And then I worry. Will I be alone? Will everyone else have someone to talk to except for me? Will I have to sit by myself? Will I actually have to initiate a conversation, because, seriously folks, sometimes the words just won’t come from my mouth! It may sound silly, but I get so nervous when I’m in a crowd of new people–yet I’m alone– that I just can’t do words. And I love words! From conversations I’ve had with others, I’m  not the only person who is apprehensive over meeting new people. Because no matter how old we are, everyone wants a friend.

Have you ever felt friendless? It’s a sickening feeling. Maybe you are in a new place and you know no one. Maybe the friends you had have deserted you. Maybe you feel like you’ve never had a true friend. Maybe you are constantly asking yourself the question that has tapped me on the shoulder so many times.

“But who will be my friend?”

You have a Friend. The book of Proverbs tells us “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  (18:24) His name is Jesus. He died to be your Friend and Savior. What a wondrous, joyous thought! The King of all kings, Maker of the world, Redeemer of humanity, is our Friend! And He’s not just a Friend who is there when you’re in a good mood or saying and doing all the right things. He’s there for you all the time. He is closer than a brother.

He is bigger than my shyness. He supplies words when I have none. He is my comfort if I have to sit alone. He is my security when I go up and introduce myself to new people. He laughs with me when I do silly things out nervousness and helps me to smile at myself instead of cry over my craziness (I mean, really, sometimes I might as well just shake hands with new people and say Hi, I’m Awkward. And you are?..).

And when I do need to cry, He gives me His shoulder to cry on. You and I know that there are  times when even our closest friends can’t understand our hurts. But Jesus does. He is closer than a brother. The awesome thing about Jesus is that He became us. He left His heavenly home to become one of us. So He knows our hurts, our insecurities, and fears. No one understands us and can be a better Friend to us than Jesus.

I pray that He is your friend today! All you have to do is ask, and He will be there. If you feel like you need help asking Him to be your Friend, let me know and I will help you!

My dad has had a mandolin in his hand since before I can even remember! He joins me in the song “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” with his voice and his mandolin. He’s so good! He and my mother taught me about my Friend Jesus when I was a tiny girl, so this isn’t just my story, it’s his too. And it can be yours today!

This is our story, friends, and this is our song. Take a listen and sing along!

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If You Give A Teacher A Class List

If you give a teacher her class list, she’s going to want some mailing addresses to go with it. So she’ll dig through mounds of registration forms to find “her kids” and write each address. Seeing all those addresses will remind her that she needs envelopes. She’ll go to the store to get some. At the store, she’ll see the discounts on sunscreen and flip flops and she’ll realize summer is ending. She’ll get sad. So she’ll go over to the shoes to cheer herself up. The cute, strappy heels will give her hope, but then she’ll think about standing in them all day at school. She’ll choose Dr. Scholl’s  instead. On her way to pay for the envelopes and shoes, she’ll pass the Back-to-School quagmire. She’ll get sucked in by the fifty-cent Post-It notes. The Post-It notes will remind her that she wanted to buy 40 of the seventeen-cent notebooks. Just in case. When she’s loading the notebooks into her buggy, she sees the pencils, crayons, pouches, pens, highlighters, and sharpies. She can’t help herself, and in they go. The last thing to go in the buggy is a book of stickers, which makes her think of stamps. When she thinks of stamps, she’ll remember those envelopes and the mailing addresses she needs for “her kids”. And chances are, if you give her mailing addresses, she’ll want a class list to go with it!
If you’re a teacher, you’ve probably read them, but even if you’re not, you’d like these books! 😊


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