A few weeks ago, we had a rainy and cold day, here is Texas. For farmers and ranchers, like my husband, who have cut and bailed hay for many months, it meant a much needed break. He had errands to run and things to catch up on. After lunch, I received a text from him that said, “I’ve got a surprise for you….” Well, since I live with all males, that surprise could mean…. I’ve bought a new hunting dog, I’ve bought a new truck, or I bought you an orange sherbert freeze, from Braums. Needless to say, I didn’t get too worked up. Most of my “surprises” are not earth shattering. In fact, many of my “surprises” are just code talk, for saying, “I bought something you’re really not going to be crazy about (except the Braums ice cream,,,I really do like that surprise). So, a few minutes later, my he called me and said, “Are you excited about your surprise?” Of course, I had to ask, “Is this a REAL surprise?” He promised me that it was…so I waited. He told me he’d drop it by my office. I have to admit that I was cautiously excited!
When Wade arrived with my surprise, I was astounded by his thoughtfulness. While running around on this rainy Tuesday morning he popped in an antique shop in Sherman. We both like to go antique stores, when we are free at the same time, which seems to be rarely. While searching through all of the old treasures, he came across an old framed picture of classroom in Lane County (wherever that is). This sweet picture probably taken in the 1940s shows a class full of students. My husbands sweet words were very touching. He said, “I saw this picture and thought of you.” He explained that he knows that I truly love education and believe that it is my calling. We looked at the picture and laughed because we could identify the little girl on the front row who was the quintessential over-achiever. We also laughed that one of the boys on the front row was there because he was distracting everyone in the back of the room. I am going to proudly hang that picture in my office and use it as a visual reminder about why I wanted to be a teacher.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at this picture since that day, and completely stopped what I was doing to remind myself why I’m in this business. It is a reminder to refocus and carry on. Isn’t education about the kids…not the new standards, or laws, or angry parents. The are so many external demands placed on educators, that it is so easy to lose focus. So, what is your visual reminder? It doesn’t have to be anything earth shattering. It could be a picture of you favorite teacher growing up, or maybe a picture of a student that you fought to bond with. What ever it is, I would encourage you to put it where you will see it several times a day. Of course, we have to ultimately remember that God is our real source of strength and renewal. He is always there ready to give us the boost we need to fulfill the plans he has laid out for us.
Pictures provided by Shimmers of Grace, a new blog with encouraging words and pictures by Annie Guthrie.