Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘teaching’

They’re All Carrots


They’re All Carrots

orange carrots on table

Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

In My Devotional Today

Rick Hamlin likened our act of praising God to the act of munching on a handful of carrots.

Rick said he ate carrots as a kid not because some adult said they were good for his eyes or his health, but simply because he liked them.

“Whoever said the things that are good for us
have to be hard or come as a result of great struggle
or simply taste yucky?” Rick Hamlin asked.
“Think of… the carrot, not the stick,
about how people are motivated by rewards
rather than threats or punishment…
Praise, thankfulness, enthusiasm,
kindness – they are all carrots, not sticks.”

Carrots in the Classroom

When I was in my last two years of teaching, before I retired (from public education, but not from working) in 1999, I had a group of second graders that I had taken on from first grade.

Our classroom “Discipline Plan” was a set of rules with rewards. They were as sweet as honey! Our classroom theme was a garden. Bees (with the students’ names on them) flew above, in, and around the bulletin board garden. In the soil were listed rules such as “Bee Courteous,” –  “Bee Honest” – and  “Bee Helpful.” A favorite one was “Lettuce Carrot for One Another.”

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Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

If a student was caught BEEing good, exhibiting one of the characteristics mentioned in the rules of conduct, their bee would “fly” into my apron pocket – the pocket with a heart on it. A heart would be drawn on their bee’s body. At the end of the day, the bee flew back into the paper garden, and the thoughtful child added a paper seed to their garden plot on the bulletin board. At the end of the week, all bees that had hearts on them would have their seeds traded for a plant – a vegetable or fruit or flower to “grow” in their plot. (I wore a different colored apron each day of the week – inspired by Patricia Mckissack‘s book, “Ma Dear’s Aprons.” It’s one of my favorite children’s books.)

 

Just that little act of recognition – taking the bee down, tucking it into the heart pocket, and saying, “Thank You for BEEing ________,” – encouraged more students to do likewise.

Carrots in Our Daily Walk

If we “carrot” for one another on a daily basis, we will find ourselves munching on praise, thankfulness, enthusiasm, and kindness. Our gardens of compassion will grow, and we’ll bee happier people. Guaranteed!

We need to carry lots of “carrots” – and eliminate the “sticks”  – on our daily walk. Thank and praise God for the acts of kindness and compassion shown to us each day. Bee caught BEEing good!!

 In today’s devotional in Guideposts,
Rick Hamlin went on to say,
“God likes us to praise Him because it’s good for us.
It feels good.
The words are sweet in our mouths,
nourishing, crunchy, and satisfying. Irresistible.
Like munching on a handful of carrots.”

vegetables market basket carrots

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


Praise God! And thank Him for His wonderful blessings.

Then go out and pay it forward.
Remember you are blessed to be a blessing.
It’s all a bunch of carrots!
Meant to be shared…

Munch on love!

heart of love
See ya tomorrow!

Throw-Back Thursday


CF 2nd graders- 1999

Throw-Back Thursday

When you think back to days

Long gone, in their haze

Do you think of all the ways

Your life impacted others somehow?

.

Do you look into the faces

And see the hopeful traces

Of love and learning in the spaces

Between the distant then and now?

.

Some of those sweet smiles

Transcend the time and miles-

They “friend” their teacher while

She clicks the happy “Allow.”

.

Today I reach out in love

With Facebook’s help and God above

Smiling down like a cooing dove

Singing “I’ll love you forever!” (That’s my vow)

.

God bless all my former students –

What a privilege it was to walk with you

Through learning and growing –

And live to this age knowing

You remember me, too.

.

Just love one another… and let that lesson live on the longest…

What teachers do you remember fondly?

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See you tomorrow!

You Deserve It!


You Deserve It!
Go for it!!
You’re #1!!!

Welcome back to the A-Z series
devoted to ideas for
Adding Meaning
and
Finding Greater Purpose
in Life

Today’s letter is “T”

I could have chosen

  • tenderness
  • trust
  • truth

or any one of several words that represent the important qualities we need to exhibit and value in our lives in order to add meaning and fulfill our purpose more fully,
but I didn’t choose one of those.

It’s not a word that centers on “You Deserve it!”
It is not “You’re #!”
It is about being “right-minded.”

Today, Mother’s Day, I have chosen a word in honor of my dear mother-in-law, Laura Belle Beekman. It was her favorite word. She once wrote an essay on the topic for “The Daughter of the American Revolution.” The word is an old-fashioned one:

TEMPERANCE

It means constraint or discretion,
moderation or prudence,
self-control or sacrifice,
self-deprivation,

tee-totaling!

 

My husband, Bob, said his grandmother was a faithful member of the Christian  Temperance Union. So, no wonder his mom identified so much with the word! But, as you see above, the word has many meanings above that of non-alcohol consumption.

Temperance in Parenting

At yesterday’s birthday party, our sweet little Victoria had a melt-down. If you read my post yesterday, titled Happy Birthday x2, you met Victoria. I told you she was a little girl of many moods. One of them is depicted here in this video. Her mom stood nearby, wisely watching, but not responding to this temper-tantrum!

Meantime, inside the house two moms are busy teaching their 2 year olds to eat properly. Another toddler (Oh my! That’s my great-grandson, the birthday boy!) is independently making a mess, throwing as much food on the floor as he puts in his mouth! It was a busy day, my friends. You can get a minute’s glimpse of it – and our patio & dining room here:

 

Living with Temperance

The concordance tells us that temperance is a virtue – “a cardinal virtue” synonymous with faith, hope, and charity! It is to “be good.” It is to “do no evil.” It is to “keep the right path, and walk the right path.” Follow the straight and narrow. Fight the good fight.

road street sign way

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Teaching Children Temperance

How do we teach our children Temperance? There is not just ONE WAY, of course. But, on this Mother’s Day, it is good to remind ourselves that there are some “cardinal virtues” worth teaching … and the ONLY way our children will learn them from us is by example!

We must be the ones who “walk the talk.” We must be willing to stand by and watch the temper tantrums – and not give in! We must be the examples of following the straight and narrow! Our children will most likely not do as we say for a life-time, but they may do as we do. And we want that “doing” to be PRUDENT, right?

family of four walking at the street

Photo by Emma Bauso on Pexels.com

 

Leading The Way

Take children by the hand – by the heart – and lead them on the virtuous, good, and moral way.

Add meaning to your life as you make meaning in the lives of others. Add meaning to the lives of your children, grand-children, great-grandchildren, neighbors, friends. Demonstrate every day the faith, hope, and charity you hope to see in this world. That is our PURPOSE in life!!

Only by example can we make the world a better place.

Go out and JUST DO IT!

Happy Mother’s Day

See you tomorrow!

Throw-Back Thursday


Christian, Loreal and Tiffany, Adrian And Nicholas (and is that Tanya and Kevin?)… ah, students from way back in the ’80s … or was it the ’70s?

As a teacher, my students (about a quarter century of them) live in my heart.

Some are FB friends who still stay in touch.

But whether they write to me or not, they are a part of me.

Every time they see an accordion, they’ll think of me.

Some will remember the word “Eye-vix-L-cidm” whenever they see Roman numerals= IVXLCDM. They will lay them out and remember:

I = 1

V = 5

X = 10

L = 50

C = 100

D = 500

M = 1000

Yes, 1, 5, 1, 5, 1, 5, 1

Add one zero

Add two zeros

Add three zeros

Helps to know this when reading old copyright dates or the production dates of old movies or the construction dates of ancient buildings!

Others will think of me when their math skills were not up to par with their reading and writing skills and they got 7×8 mixed up with 6×7. They’ll recite:

“If 7×8 makes you wait, 5678, lay them straight!” 56= 7×8!

Others will remember how often I said, “The question is not – Are you smart? – The question is – How are you smart?”

(Thanks Madeleine Hunter for that!)

Ah yes, on throw-back Thursday I remember the Stefans (actually he was a one-of-a-kind – I can’t pluralize him!), the Kevins and Lorei (oh, she’s unique, too), the Hillary and Heidi, the Bucky and the Johnnys… I’m grateful for each one.

 

What teacher or student or classmate do you remember?
What stands out about him or her?
Share!

Be Led, Not Driven


The Purpose Driven Life

I have an affection for Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life. It has so many words of wisdom – and it helped me as I was trying to define my purpose for living. I had recently suffered a burst appendix and had almost died. Prayer, God’s grace, a skillful ambulance driver, and a careful surgeon gave me back my life. I looked earnestly for clues about how I might live purposely for God to thank Him for my survival.

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This book of Daily Inspirations is a complement to The Purpose Driven Life. I used it as a devotional and as a journal, writing in the margins and at the top and bottom of the pages each day.


Soul Feast

But recently I read a quote by Marjorie J. Thompson in her book, Soul Feast.

Thompson wrote, “I admit I do not care for the language of ‘driven-ness’ in recently popular books and seminars…” She went on to explain “… it is significant that the Bible likens us to sheep, not cattle.”


My Haiku

Giving overtime thought to Marjorie J. Thompson’s  quote I wrote the following Haiku:

Live from a posture
Of profound trust and deep love
Be sheep, not cattle

 

Deep Conversation

My husband and I had a deep conversation about life and death, purpose and the difference between being led and being driven. When I am weary, Jesus leads me beside still waters. He refreshes my soul.

alberta amazing attraction banff

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Cowboys here in Montana drive their cattle to the next pasture and farmers in Switzerland drive their cows in the springtime up to fresh grass from the lower meadows where the beautiful animals have spent the winters.

agriculture alps animal background

Photo by Krivec Ales on Pexels.com

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But Bob’s point as my hubby discussed the difference between being driven and led, was that cattlemen drive their cattle for the same reason shepherds lead their sheep. They have their best interests at heart. (Well, they may be driving them to market!)

There is a connotation to the word “driven” in our American culture. It seems to imply push-push-push, a relentless effort toward getting to the top.

 

Hope for the Flowers

I was reminded of a book for adults and others (including caterpillars who can read)  titled, Hope for the Flowers, by Trina Paulus. It was copyrighted in 1973, but it is as pertinent today as it was then (and it still is available on Amazon.com).

As I recall the story, the caterpillars in this clever little tale are climbing over the top of each other, creating a  “caterpillar pillar.” One little creeper is on the outside edge, getting tired of the climb, wondering if it’s worth it. She asks a fellow climber as she looks at the daunting distance to the top, “What’s up there, anyway?”

“Just other caterpillars pushing each other off so they can be on top,” her climbing companion explained as one of the fuzzy creatures came tumbling down and crashed to the ground.

(How sad, huh? I am fascinated by these wonderful creations and their metamorphosis.)

caterpillar close up hairy insect

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Right about then the disillusioned climber caught the eye of a beautiful butterfly cruising by. “Climb on down,” he encouraged. “Spin yourself a chrysalis, rest inside, and eventually you will emerge a butterfly like I did. Then you can join me.”

(Of course those quotes are from my memory, not the actual book. I loaned it out to someone…. don’t remember who… but I have ordered a new one. Hope for the Flowers is a terrific book to have on hand as a reminder of my journey!)

Moving Down the Administrative Ladder

I discovered this beautiful, child-like, but profound, paperback when I was working as a curriculum coordinator in the district office at a school district in central California. My office was waaay too far from the children. I had been an elementary teacher for over 20 years and the principal of a K-6 school with over a thousand students for nearly a decade. The “caterpillar pillar” (that ambitious climb to greater “success”) led me to the district office. I knew after only about three weeks that it was not where I belonged.

I stuck it out for two years. Did the best job I knew how. Wore at least a half a dozen hats (Federal Programs director, language arts and music coordinator, in-service leader for new teachers, mentor for new principals, etc.) I learned a lot, and am glad I did it,but generally, I was not happy. My love & my gift was teaching children and helping “my staff” grow to be their best selves. I loved the interaction with the students, the teachers, and the parents.

As I climbed back down the “pillar” and announced that I was going back UP to the classroom (as soon as I rested a year and earned my butterfly wings), I was told, “What are you doing? That’s the wrong direction!”

Some warned, “You can’t go back down! People will think you’ve been demoted!”

“Yes, I can,” I insisted. I slid into my chrysalis, listened to The Voice of Reason and Transformation, rested, and devoted more time to my family, myself and my God.

I emerged a happy butterfly and was led back UP to a group of first graders. At the end of that year I led them on to second grade. What joy! I still hear from some of those children twenty years later. Several of them are my Facebook friends!

Best move I ever made!!

antenna beautiful bloom blossom

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


The Voice

Contemplative time
Creates vessels of vision
Hear the “still small voice”

.
Let God fill you up
with new creativity
Receive fresh insight

.
I encourage you
To let contemplative time
Be a microphone

.
Let unstructured time
Be a transformative time
Listen to The Voice!


Take time to rest.
Build your chrysalis.
Listen to your heart.

Find your True Purpose!

You may want to consider getting Rick Warren’s, The Purpose Driven Life,
and the accompanying inspirational/journal:

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and look for Hope for the Flowers. It’s out there…

Be Led, Not Driven

T = Trust


Day #20 – T = Trust

It’s been quite a ride! My A-Z series on “What Makes Me Happy?” Is drawing near an end, but today I TRUST you’ll continue reading, and I’ll continue to be inspired with new, pertinent topics. Thank you for being here. The ability to TRUST makes me happy 😃

T rusting brings

R espect and

U nderstanding and

S afety to vulnerability

T rusting is essential

In a world where parents feel a need to teach their children NOT to trust, we must be the models of trustworthiness. We must exude the love 💕 and safety we wish covered the earth.

The opposite of trusting is mistrusting, of course, and that creates worry and anxiety. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could feel free as a people to just trust? To just teach trust?

It’s probably Pollyanna thinking… unrealistic, you say. But, can’t we teach caution without teaching fear? Without causing worry and anxiety?

My go-to guide is Scripture. Jesus shows us the way. He talks about the birds being clothed so splendidly, so why worry about what we’ll wear. He showed us how He fed the multitudes, and told us not to worry about where our next meal is coming from. “Do not fear,” He taught us.

Philippians 4:6-7 is Paul’s message to the people of Philippi in which he cautioned them about worry. “Don’t worry about anything;” he wrote, “instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

So, the way to live in TRUST is to read, study, and apply the TRUTH of Scripture. Trust in God. Trust in what Jesus taught us. Sounds simple, huh? No, it’s not.

In today’s world we worry about safety. We hear of innocent people being murdered all the time.

In today’s world we worry about international affairs, divisiveness, wars, prejudice, and how it’s tearing us apart. We feel helpless to create that peace Paul wrote about. God’s Peace. Where is it? How can we exude it? How can we be the change we want to see in this world? How can we trust those people and situations that seem so untrustworthy?

My only solution is to remember the words of Paul, “Pray about everything.”

And remember/think about the words that remind us of how our simplest acts can make a difference to those we touch… and to those whose lives are affected by what we do.

R. Buckminster Fuller wrote, “Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.

Like tomorrow, if you’re in the USA, we can each make a difference. Go vote (if you haven’t cast an absentee ballot already). Every vote DOES matter!

Reach out to your neighbor in love. Reach out with help to a friend in need. Reach out to a fellow blogger with affirmation. Tell them that the words you just read made a difference for you. They resonated. Trust that your small acts add up to big differences.

Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. In your shared weakness, you exhibit trust and you strengthen others.

Just TRUST!

He’s gotcha in the palm of His hand. Here’s my mantle in this season of Thanksgiving.  Remember to thank God for all the ways He loves and protects you. Trust Him!

May the peace of Christ that surpasses all human understanding be yours today.

Are We Just “Pissin’ in the Wind”?


My blogging friend, Claudia, posted today questioning the effectiveness of her blog. Essentially, she questioned, “Is anybody reading it? Does it make a difference? What’s my purpose?”

I commented on her blog, writing, “I understand your concern, Claudia. I have some of those same questions, doubts, and frustrations. How many million bloggers are out there? And for what purpose? Is it worth the time? Am I accomplishing anything? My husband says I’m just “pissin’ in the wind!” Well, my response is that every writer is doing likewise unless they have readers who are somehow encouraged, influenced, inspired, entertained, and/or educated by those written words. So, that’s my purpose… to create an audience of readers who are somehow inspired by my words to think, to reflect, to open their eyes to see something differently – and perhaps to be encouraged to reach out in love to one another a little more often, sincerely, and deeply. To know God and to thank Him more often for our many blessings – that’s another focus. But, I know we do those things better face-to-face than we do on social media. So, is my blogging taking away from the face-to-face opportunities? No, it’s late… I wouldn’t be out interacting with others at this hour anyway. Not now. Social media (blogging and FaceBook) help me broaden my reach. Don’t they? Or am I just “pissin’ in the wind?”

What do you think? Do you have a purpose for this writing activity called blogging? Do you feel your blog is accomplishing that? How do you know? Do people read and respond to your shared ideas? Is anybody out there?

Or are we all just “pissin’ in the wind” ??

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