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What Makes A Good Christian?

Have you ever wondered what makes someone a good Christian? Well you can really never know everything about this topic but there a few things that are known traits that make people good Christians.

One thing that makes someone a good Christian is they follow Jesus’ example at all times as best they can and love others with their whole heart. This makes sense because Jesus loves everyone equally so one thing you can do is try your hardest to love everyone equally in your life.

One other thing that will really help you in life is acknowledging that you have faults and sins and instead of just being sorry about those things repent, change your attitude and pray.

This next thing you can do is something a lot of people do on a daily basis. It is to read the Bible and do what it says and along with that allow God to change you. Now I know it sounds simple like it won’t help you become a better Christian but it actually helps you see other situations in life in more of a faithful manner.

Another thing that you need to be able to do is understand that you will be persecuted for your beliefs.

One other thing that you need to do on a day to day basis is set aside time for effective and meaningful prayer because not only will it aid you to becoming a better Christian, it will also give you relaxation time away from the rest of your life.

The next thing you can do every day whether you are with friends or even if you are just out and about is trying to see the perspectives of others around you. In other words the point of view of others. I know that sometimes I get into little fights with my friends and I sometimes need to just think about what they feel like and think of if I were to put myself in their shoes how hard this fight is for them. This helps you become a better Christian because you are thinking about others and not only yourself. This also goes along with being patient with people who do not make you happy or even with people who make you upset. This trick helps me a lot. Sometimes if you are just so upset about something and you can’t forget about it just work and pray for others to the best of your abilities because if they are that bad of people they really need it. This is a trick I got from my mom.

Lastly, it is very helpful to think about keeping your faith through everything because if you are constantly worrying about things you will never live your life to the fullest. All of these things together if you try to work at them every day you will slowly become a good Christian.

This was written by one of my students and to say I’m proud of them would be an understatement.

Loved by Grace,

Aimee

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Tuesday Truth

Today on this national teacher appreciation day, Tuesday thoughts.

How can one possibly know all there is about the mysteries of life if they’ve never written with its color? It is those who have been brave enough to write with different colors who have always moved us beyond the black and white.

The greatest teacher of this was and is Jesus Christ on this earth. Here is to the many others who live in that truth. ❤️

#keepteachingtruth

Loved By Grace,

Aimee

Little Rosa

You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right. ~ Rosa Parks

A few weeks ago I had an encounter with a third grader that has stayed on my heart ever since we sat together. It’s a story of little Rosa.

As a teacher we spend time reading with the kids and having them read to us which is important in the growth of developing readers. It is usually these moments that stop me in my tracks because children will tell you their fears, hopes, dreams, you name it they tell you. On this particular day A, initialed for privacy, asked if I would sit down with her to read and because she had some questions. She was reading an non-fiction book about Martin Luther King Jr. and was already a few chapters in to the book. At the end of the chapter, the paragraph she began to read out loud to me about the woman who refused to give up her seat on the bus. We all know from history this woman is Rosa Parks.

What A and I read about Rosa was no less inspiring than any history book might cover but it was the question A asked me which hit deepest. The paragraph described a time when black people would have to stand in line at the front entrance of the bus, enter on the bus, give the bus driver their ticket, then exit off and walk to the back of the bus where they were allowed to re-enter to a seat in the back.

We all know Rosa Parks changed the trajectory of this practice, a misguided belief system which was unjust but A just read it. A paused, looked up at me and asked if this could or would ever happen to her on a bus. If I keep in mind she is a black female student in a predominately white community I can immediately begin to sense her concern. It sounded as though she wasn’t quite sure this could or would never happen again.

It was hard to fight back tears. What do I say? I can’t promise her without a doubt that injustice will never happen to her and that means every one of us holding accountability in continuing to speak up at injustice. I can reassure her that Rosa Parks is a hero because she stood for truth and empower her to hold tight to what this incredible woman did in history. To remind her that she has the same freedom regardless of any fear that surrounds us.

A is a little Rosa legacy. At the end of the day I reflect and remember the book of Esther when fear feels too great of thing to change. Rarely has choosing it over love changed the world.

Love demands that we start to push back on shame, and start showing up in our own lives. For many of us, this will be a risk. A huge leap of faith into the hopefully present but sometimes seemingly invisible arms of love. ~ Hillary McBride

Loved By Grace,

Aimee

Confessions Of A Weary Teacher

Much like the rest of the existing world, my mind has been filled with thoughts on schools and the people who fill their hallways nearly every day. What on earth are the right answers to keep them safe? It feels like an impossible answer, a trick question nobody can seem to get right yet everyone seems to know an answer. Meanwhile the debate rages on while lives who fill the hallways continue to die tragically when it all goes wrong.

This is a snapshot of a window into our schools. It is your school, it is their school, it is my school. Most people might see a cozy welcoming entryway for our kiddos but a teacher sees preparing for the worst. You see, those curtains in this picture serve a much bigger purpose then friendly decoration. They are there for a very distinct purpose, to block the visibility of the window to the classroom. While welcoming to most visitors, the intentional reason for the placement there is for protection in an active shooter situation. Yet teachers make it look safe, nothing to panic about when we see it. Look around in a school and you will see it. Every teacher has it in some fashion or theme of their choosing but they have it.

Next look at the door itself. It is open on the inside for entry out but the handle locks from the outside once the door closes shut. Most days students come and go out of the door for various activities or when they need to go to the bathroom which is an all day occurrence. You might be thinking what happens when they have to come back in? You guessed it! Someone is always knocking on the door. To be honest it can be a huge distraction to learning. Much of the time the kiddos themselves automatically place a small magnet in the crack of the door so they don’t have to interrupt when they come back to class. Yet we live in a country where the automatic locking of the door may be what saves lives.

Nobody wants to believe this is all possible in any school until the unthinkable happens. It is easier to push it out of our minds because it is a coping mechanism until we have to accept its reality.

Last week this particular school had a lock down. It wasn’t a drill. A student had escalated to the point of throwing chairs in their classroom, consequently damaging school property and fleeing to the hallway. While there, continued to throw items at the lost and found bins toward staff who was trying to intervene. A threat to themselves and others in this escalated state means the rest of the school secured in lock down procedures. Occurring during the lunch time, the rest of the students were kept longer on recess or in the lunchroom to keep them safe from the situation.

The child I’m describing here is in first grade and I happen to have spent time with them in the classroom. The reality is some of our most innocent, youngest and most impressionable minds are at every school, your school, their school, my school. They are as young as kindergarten. The majority of the time they are as well adjusted and happy as any other child in school. In this one child’s world I’ve seen it. He happened to be student of the week the last time I was in the class and beamed with pride getting to help the teacher read a book aloud and present his show & tell. This is a kind, caring, creative kiddo but one who doesn’t function like the “regular” mold. As such he can escalate to frustration which can quickly turn to anger on to rage and the rage brings out an uncontrollable side to him. This is a child receiving care and attention at school to help him, as much extra care as possible with the resources available.

Is it enough? I’m not certain the supportive services will guarantee this child’s future. What is certain is this first grader doesn’t know how to stop himself once he escalates. What is certain is he is just like every other child I encounter who struggles most in their classroom. The more “different” episodes they experience, the more it shapes their existence. The more it effects how other people treat them.

What is certain is when not escalated he shows love toward others and in turn needs the most love. What is certain is that he needs love tenfold but the opposite so easily happens.

What is certain is seeing school staff scurry to clean up the mess so that others would not panic.

Mental health, it’s struggles, it’s challenges and risks are real no matter how much we try not to face it. Nothing is as raw as seeing it overtake a very young child’s functioning and the impact it has on their existence. Witnessing rules of existing peacefully backfire on their impressionable hearts is disheartening…I behaved badly, now others think I’m bad…my peers say I’m bad…therefore I am bad.

Social connectedness or lack there of is critical to our human experience. God wired us this way because God designed us for love. The stigma of “bad” reinforced over time has the potential to do incredibly more harm than any school support system in place to combat it.

Witnessing those lost and found items flying through the air was difficult because I see this child’s heart. Yet at the same time I could not help but see this kid suddenly lose control of his heart. In that moment I see him behind the eyes of a nineteen year old, escalated to the point of uncontrollable rage they can not control. Knowing it as a cycle that had been building long before any bullets began flying through the air.

It is not justification to take life but it is coming from a broken person. We can and should protect all of our most innocent youth. When will our country wake up when it is almost as easy to pick an AR-15 at the store as it is for this first grader to run to the lost & found? When is it enough?

Love for others, respect for human life and protection of the innocent are all things Christ taught on this earth. Not once are we to value own life and our rights over others and that includes guns.

As a teacher, the thought of spending the day armed with a concealed weapon, to possibly have to defend innocent children’s lives is a weight already heavily weighted shoulders. Even worse, the thought of taking a child’s life who has escalated beyond control is an unbearable thought because at some point or another we have also seen their fragile heart. We’ve seen it and either way we lose.

We’ve failed both. Confessions of a weary teacher.

Loved By Grace,

Aimee

Wednesday Wisdom

Wednesday wisdom roll call from third grade reading and writing gallery:

“You really don’t care what people think.”

“About what?”

“About sitting with me. About anything.”

“Why should I?” asked Dyamonde. “I know what I think, and that’s enough.”

Free just shook his head.

“You can’t do things or not do things just ’cause somebody else thinks you should. I mean, what if they’re dumb as a rock and you’re paying attention to them? That’s silly. Anyways, can I get a couple of fries or not?”

Free pushed the plate of fries toward Dyamonde and was quiet for a long while. She sure gave Free a lot to think about.

From the book:

Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel by Nikki Grimes

Have to admit, this teacher right here paused still as a rock…pause, pause, paused…nope can’t bite my cheeks, laugh, laugh, laughed out FREAKING loud! By the way, I happened to be the narrator reading this to the class…out loud. What can I say? I try to practice the pause but this was just the BOMB of a chapter! Make way for Dyamonde Daniel!

This my friends is like a modern day clip of a Jesus parable. Now having said that, Jesus did not say dumb as a rock in scripture but the point he made was the same. OH YES it sure was so I just stop in my tracks now when I hear it spoken in modern day terms. Note to self, those Pharisees did think they were pretty smart but we know how that went…sucked rocks.

Jesus loves rocks, he loves sucky rocks and dumb rocks which is important to remember. But he sure didn’t listen to them. Just saying.

THIS! From the third grade reading library.

Did I mention how much I love this class? T, my man, OH-EM-GEE look at your epic blue hair! Well duh, of course because this kid is the BOMB of a third grader right here! T. Martinez, he drew me the portrait above in case any of us wondered. Whether you love or hate our President you have to admit, my man T nailed it!

These guys have grown a foot since before Christmas.

And J, you stayed in class today! Although my heart is just a bit sad to hear you are leaving to a new school but I know it is going to be the help you need. Prayers for that J, praise God. Today however, is my opportunity to influence the small voice in your brain above all the other garbage that says doing the work of school isn’t for you. It is J, you just have to find the right way your brain goes about accomplishing it and the rest, well…it’s just BS.

Here is the proof…YOU DID YOUR MATH with me today. Sure, it was only after I asked you to work on it in a different way, okay maybe I tricked you but you did it! You started in on one of your adventures which I welcomed and encouraged. A kick a*% story about Scott, Cindy, Josh and you at the park taking care of the facilities and tending to the tasks of the rocks which it sounds like you actually get to do in real life. Dumb rocks. No irony there, no sarcasm. Then you cleaned some desks with Clorox wipes to keep your hands busy which is not a surprise, your hands are always creating or busy doing something! As we talked about your adventures before you knew we were throwing math in to the adventure and BOOM, math work is done. HAPPY DANCE!

Don’t tell me your brain doesn’t work J because I know it does. Don’t listen to rocks when you are a diamond. Show us how diamonds work. Small voice J, it is there, don’t ever lose it.

Hebrews 9-10 Highlights:

Christ’s tabernacle, the presence of God (Christ’s spirit) is not part of human creation. It is not built by human hands. It is different!

Jesus sets aside the first to establish the second.

Jesus puts his laws in our hearts and minds.

Small voice J, it is spirit there in our hearts and minds. In spite of rocks.

Loved By Grace,

Aimee

Simply Not True

My heart completely broke this morning for one of my students. What do you say to a child wounded by the mean words of another? It is not an easy task. It makes me want to help the world see we must do a better job. His little tears depend on it and the only way I know how to do that is to write about it.

I thought yesterday was a mess which is a story for another blog post but then here came Thursday. Let's just call him T for the purposes of this blog. There he was looking up at me with tears welling up in his eyes as I asked him what was wrong. As he is crying he says J told him Mexicans are bad and people from Mexico don't belong in Michigan. More tears with a pause. Then T says "my Momma and Grandma are from Mexico" and then just huge tears looking up at me. I'm Mexican too.

OH-EM-GEE! Even a young child can understand the fact that there is nothing he can change about who he is or his family. Yet have another person leave him feeling completely unwanted, wrong, shamed, bad. How do you explain to a child what they are feeling is oppression?

T gets it. He's not wanted, shouldn't exist…SIMPLY NOT TRUE. 💔

My heart broke for both these kids today. One because I love J and I know he does not have an easy life. I've written about J in the past. He has suffered in his young life far too much but he has nevertheless learned privilege from this world and his heart is hardening. He decided to use it to deliver incredible harm to T.

J isn't the only child saying harmful words. I've heard a black student called a brownie…I've heard another student told they show everyone what it looks like to be gay. And I've seen and wiped tears from these children's eyes every time.

I missed seeing J today but he was sent home. Educators have to teach them these actions are wrong. But seriously, the odds feel incredibly high when our country has leaders who take pride in this kind of hate. It's sickening because a teacher can see it come straight back out of the mouths of children.

We aren't born of hate. We learn it or we experience it and it just becomes a horrible cycle.

I'm sitting here tonight teary eyed with prayers for T. Praying he never has to hear something so wounding about his identity ever again.

All I could do was hug him and insist what was said to him is simply not true.

Loved By Grace,
Aimee

Khali’s Story

Khali's is a story of healing and a story of faith which I could not be happier to see written out in her words. Love you babes.

It was one of the biggest days of the year for Khali. It was the day of Dance Masters Great Lakes Regional dance competition. This is Khali’s favorite dance competition ever.

“It’s my favorite dance competition ever because only certain dance studios can go to it,” Khali says to her Grandma while sitting on the warm couch cuddling with her blanket. Later Khali says to her mom as they are walking out the door, “Let’s go let’s go let’s go I can’t wait any longer to get there,” Khali says to her mom as they are walking out the door.

“Ok I'm coming,” Khali’s mom says trying to catch up to Khali. “On a scale of one to ten, ten being the most eager and one being the least, how excited are you for today?”, Khali’s mom asks but knows the answer.

“TEN of course I've been waiting for this for five months and I have been excited since the beginning,” Khali informs her mom as she is in the car drinking her Starbucks. Soon Khali and her mom arrived at the High School.

“Yesterday it was fun but I'm more excited for today,” Khali says to her mom as they are walking in the long hallway to reach the dressing room. “What is my order of dances?,” Khali asks her mom while sitting on the dirty choir room floor waiting to know what costume to put on first.

“Ballet team first next is Jazz team third is your solo and last is your duo,” mom says while in the middle of writing a checklist for me. Khali goes over to her bag and finds her fairy dream ballet costume. “I hope we do good,” Khali says to her mom as she puts her purple and dark green ballet costume on.

“I hope you do well too sweetie,” mom says before she kisses Khali on the forehead. “Love you, I have to go to the audience now so I won’t miss your dances,” mom says as she leaves the choir room to enter the stinky hallway. Next Khali touches up her hair and makeup and gets her wings to her fairy costume on. While Khali is backstage ready to go on she stretches and goes over the dance. A few minutes laterKhali is off stage now and her mom is still watching. Next Khali gets her sparkly and shine gold jazz costume on. Khali loves this costume because it’s like a gold sparkly flapper girl costume. Next Khali dances her jazz dance. After her jazz dance she has to go back to the stinky dressing room and gets her Lyrical solo costume on. “I like your solo costume because of the very flowy skirt and the sparkles,” Hannah, Khali’s best friend says to her.

“I like it because of that too Hannah,” Khali says to Hannah as she looks down at her dress and waves it around. Next Khali goes out in the stinky hallway and practices one of her tricks. “Lets go backstage now,” Khali says to Hannah after she does the trick.

“You are going to do great,” Hannah says to Khali as she gives her a hug. Khali goes onstage and everything is going well until Khali fixes her costume because it was in her face.

“I did so horrible I fixed my costume on stage,” Khali says to Hannah and starts crying. Next Hannah helps Khali find her mom and her mom and Hannah comfort her and tell her everything will be ok.

“You got to go get ready for your duo with Hannah now babes,” Khali’s mom says to her and helps her with getting her costume on.

“I already know I am going to make a mistake in my duo and let Hannah down,” Khali says to her mom shaking her head and looking down.

“Hey look at me you are going to do just fine babes,” Mom says to khali as she lifts her chin up. “The only time you’ll do horrible is when you tell yourself you are going to do horrible,” Mom says to khali and gives her a big hug.

“Thanks mommy I feel more confident in myself now,” Khali says to her mom as she wipes her nose.

“Now how about you go backstage with Hannah now,” Khali’s mom says to her as she gives her one last big hug. Now Khali is backstage with Hannah. “Thanks for helping me and always being there for me,” Khali says to Hannah as she gives her a hug right before they go onstage. Next Khali is thinking that she is going to have a good time when this happens. As Khali ran to the back for the ending she fixed her hair. When they get off stage Khali says “I fixed my hair as I ran back and the judges totally saw it,” Khali starts crying again and Hannah gives her a hug and says I'm sure the judges still thought we were amazing. Next Hannah helps Khali find her mom. “Why are you crying what happened?,” Khali’s mom says confused when she sees Khali crying. “I fixed my hair when I was running back and it’s my fault that me and Hannah will get the lowest score for duos. Next Khali’s teammates are walking down the hallway and they ask why Khali is crying and Khali tells them of her mistake. Next they start comforting her and telling her she did amazing. “I am sure we aren’t going to get something special,” Khali says to her mom in confidence.

“Well we don’t know for sure until you go to awards,” Khali’s mom says to her. “We’ll see,” Khali says. Khali is so nervous when she is at awards. It is almost Khali’s solo number. Then they announce that Khali got platinum and Khali is in shock. “I can’t believe I got platinum!” Khali says to Hannah as she goes back to sit down with excitement. Then Khali’s duos got platinum and high gold and Khali knows why. Now it was time for the placements and it was 15 places for each category. Khali didn’t get any of the 15-10 for her solo. “I know i’m not getting placed,” Khali says to Hannah. Then they announce that Khali’s solo got 5th place out of 15 dances. Khali was once again shocked. Khali was so happy with her solo now. Next was the duo placements. It was down to the top 4 and Khali new that Hannah and her weren’t going to get placed. Then she heard their duo name for 1ST PLACE! Khali was in even more shock and her teammates push her up there on the front of the stage and Khali’s face was still is shock. “Is this even real?,” Khali asks Hannah. “Yes this isn’t a dream,” Hannah says to Khali. Then awards ends and Khali and her teammates find Khali’s mom. When they finally find her Khali goes running down the hallway and gives her mom a huge hug. “Thanks for everything mommy and I am so thankful for you,” Khali says to her mommy and starts shedding tears of happiness on her mom's shoulder. “Now these are tears of happiness,” Khali says to everyone.

“I always knew they were,” Khali’s mom says to her as she squeezes her tighter. Last Khali goes to all of her friends and thanks them for not giving up on her when she was feeling blue and then Khali goes around to everyone and gives them each a hug. Later as Khali and her mom are walking to the car Khali’s mom asks Khali if she had the best day of her life or not. Khali responds like this. “Believe it or not this was the best day of my life even though there were a lot of tears,” Khali says to her mom.

I learned that things don’t always end bad.

 Theme: Just because you believe something is wrong doesn’t always mean that it is wrong.

Khali, 12 years old

Loved By Grace,

Aimee

Pick Me Up Jar

This is one of my favorite of favorites of FAVS photos of all time. Now on year four of this journey is mind blowing. It is your journey sweet girl but my job is to clear away the voices of the world that diminish anything other than the truth of who you are in Christ.

You are currently sleeping soundly this morning from overload which is understandable given the week at hand. I know you want to homeschool and this might very well happen at some point in time but for now you are handling the balance of life with grace. It's good for you because it is teaching you how to be true to yourself in a world that doesn't understand belonging is not about being just like everyone else. And in turn it just might be encouraging others to do the same.

However, sometimes we fall…doesn't do any good to pretend otherwise. Not the poster child for the rise and fall message but the amazing thing is Jesus tends to recruit from the pit, not the pedestal. Which means this girl right here is pretty good at the fall, working on the rise. Which also makes me a messy grace advocate. There is a teacher however who shows us messy grace perfectly and his name is Jesus.

Jesus answered them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor, sick people do. I have come to call sinners to turn from their sins, not to spend my time with those who think they are already good enough." ~ Luke 5:31-32.

You'll be very unhappy about this photo but will forgive me a later time when you are once again needing a rest day with a cup of hot chocolate at Christmas. It will remind you of these memories and you will smile.

Because this is the stuff memories are made of right here. I asked you the other day if you think you will remember moments when you got something, you know, brought something home with you.
Or if you will remember the moments you connected with simply the memory of being part of something. You responded with the second statement.

It can be a hard lesson but so very true.

Rest and remember who you are in Christ matters exponentially more than any voices, internal or external to the contrary.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. ~ Philippians 4:13 ❤️

The pick me up jar.

  1. Be still, my soul, the Lord is by thy side” KatherinevonShlegel
  2. Fear not, I Am With Thee, be not dismayed, for I Am Thy God. I will strengthen thee, I will help thee, I will uphold with the right
    hand of my righteousness. ~ Isaiah 41:10
  3. Wait on the Lord, be of courage and He will strengthen thy heart. ~ Psalm 27:14
  4. Keep trying, keep trusting, keep believing, keep growing. Heaven is cheering for you! Today, tomorrow and forever. ~ Elder Holland
  5. See the good in yourself! ~ Elder Holland
  6. We are infinitely more than our limitations and our afflictions. ~ Jeffery R. Holland
  7. Don't you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. ~ Jeffrey R. Holland
  8. Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.
  9. Never give up on anyone, and that includes giving up on yourself! ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf
  10. God didn’t design us to be sad. He created us to have joy! ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf
  11. When life gets too hard to stand, kneel.
  12. Rejection is Gods way of saying “wrong choice dear”.
  13. Come what may and love it!
  14. Don’t let the silly little things steal your happiness.
  15. Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.
  16. God sometimes takes us into troubled waters, not to drown us, but to cleanse us.
  17. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
  18. Think positive, be positive.
  19. And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
  20. Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. ~ Dr. Seuss.
  21. Pray More, worry less.
  22. Nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than when we realize how well we know our Father in Heaven and how familiar his face is to us. ~ Ezra Taft Benson
  23. There are far, far better things ahead, than any we have left behind. ~ C.S. Lewis
  24. You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.
  25. It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop. ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf
  26. Courage, dear heart. ~ C.S. Lewis
  27. The question is not how to survive, but how to thrive with passion, compassion, humor and style. ~ Maya Angelou
  28. Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. ~ Maya Angelou
  29. All flesh is in my hands; be still and know that I am God.” D&C 101:16 30.
  30. We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have. ~ Frederick Keonig
  31. When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. ~ Helen Keller
  32. Happiness is a state of activity. ~ Aristotle
  33. It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
  34. Look to me in every thought. Doubt not. Fear not.” D&C 6:36 39.
  35. Happiness is the art of never holding in your mind the memory of any unpleasant thing that has passed.
  36. If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap. If you want happiness for a day — go fishing. If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.
  37. It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.
  38. for I Nephi will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.” 1 Nephi 1:20
  39. Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”
  40. Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is. ~ Mandy Hale
  41. Comparison is the thief of joy.”
  42. Bloom where you are planted.”
  43. I am encircled about eternally in the arms of His love.” 1 Nephi 1:15
  44. But the Lord stood with me, and gave me strength.” 2 Timothy 4:17
  45. 5 Simple Rules to be HAPPY 1) Free your mind from hate 2) Free your mind from worry 3) Live simply 4) Give more 5) Expect less
  46. Happy are those who take life day by day, complain very little and are thankful for the little things in life.
  47. He hath made everything beautiful in his time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
  48. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. ~ Psalm 22:6
  49. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27
  50. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13

Tough Darling

Waiting in my email this morning I read the question, have you ever cried as a teacher?
Well, absolutely I have cried as a teacher…which is at least a weekly occurrence. How could it not be with encounters like this?

I felt her little hand tug at my sweater. "Mrs. J., I have to tell you a secret." "I'm crying because they are all saying I can read which they think is true. But when I read the words in front of them I'm just pretending because I don't want them to see I'm not like everyone else."

Oh my ever loving goodness if this doesn't bring tears to the eyes of a teacher I might be asleep from daylight savings time. My darling, you and I are going to have a little chat and it goes something this…in the best third grade vocabulary I can find to help you understand.

It is unbelievably hard to live an existence different than everyone else. People don't understand and sometimes it can be hurtful when a person says something they think is funny when it is anything but funny to you. It makes you want to crawl out of your skin just for being you. But you see honey, things are said sometimes without people ever realizing just how hard it truly is for you. And that means you have to work harder than most who might not ever understand. But I would make the suggestion that perhaps all of this makes you super special because being like everyone else doesn't always teach us about strength and faith. This business of being different darling takes a certain kind of special and that is you.

I'm not going to lie to you baby girl, it is not easy to overcome the hard parts of different so I can see why it feels better to give up. But here is the deal…all of this will only stop you from living your very best if you let it. Instead show the world the gift of different because when you do, all of the hard stuff pales in comparison to light you shine out.

Life is tough my darling but tough darlings are some of the most inspirational people the world will ever know. It's true.

I promise we need to see your exact brand of different sweet girl and it will move us to more light. We need that light now more than ever.

I'm by your side and we'll figure this out together. Right after I get my Kleenex box.

Undeniable light. ❤️

Loved By Grace,
Aimee

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