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Dear Teacher

Dear Teacher,

I walk into your classroom and the first thing I notice is how inviting your room is. There is a small pencil box on each desk that is filled with sharpened pencils and a few crayons. A poster hangs on a wall with each of the student’s name and birthdays.  Under that poster is a large mat with different colored spots where each child will sit while you read them books. There is a wall lined with small hooks where each student will hang his or her coat and backpack. And this room is filled with all kinds of fun things – books, puzzles, toy cars, magnifying glasses, blocks, magnetic letters, and the list goes on and on.

And then I look over and see you. There you are, smiling and cheerfully greeting each student and parent as they walk in. You listen carefully to each student as they ask all sorts of silly and serious questions. You listen carefully as parents voice concerns to you. You are always gentle, patient, and thoughtful in how you answer.

I will leave.

Drive away.

For the next several hours you will be responsible for one of the most important people in my life. This is no small thing. And it’s not just my child, you have nearly 20 of them!

What a fabulous job you do!

I see the papers my child brings home. I notice how much his handwriting has improved. I am astonished by how much and how well he is able to read. I’m amazed by all the numbers he’s computing. He sings for me the songs you sing with them in class. He tells me about the science experiments you do every week. I eagerly listen as he explains to me why and how a plant makes chlorophyll. He now wants to go to Washington DC because you taught him about the Library of Congress.

You taught him all this.

You.

But that’s not all…

I know there is much, much more that you do.

You wipe snotty noses, tie shoes, zip zippers, apply bandages and clip fingernails. You settle arguments and break up fights. You discipline when needed and then gently wipe away tears. Just yesterday I saw you cleaning a boy’s glasses for him. And I know you added some money to one of your student’s lunch account.

Was any of that even in your job description?

You see, I have a unique look at your job. I’m a substitute teacher. I walk in when you’re ill, have a doctor’s appointment, or just want to have a day off to spend with your family. Because you are such an awesome teacher, you make my job easy. The children know when it’s time to settle down and listen, but they also know when it’s ok to talk and be silly. It is evident how much time you spend with that one child who struggles so much and how you utilize the child who always “gets it”. I can always find exactly what I need in your room because it is organized so well.

But at the end of the day, I close the door and leave. You still have papers to grade and lessons to plan.

Last week, when I got some tissues out of your closet, I noticed several boxes of Little Debbie snack cakes and Capri Suns. I know what those are for. Those are the birthday treats you provide for the class if a student wasn’t able bring treats on his or her birthday.

You paid for those yourself, didn’t you?

I wonder how much money you spend on our children.

You have provided a great deal to our children. And education? Yes, of course. But so much more than that. You have also provided safety, security, kindness, problem solving skills, fun, and topped it all off with love.

As a parent, I cannot even begin to tell you how much I appreciate this. And I know you do it because you love the kids.

My kid.

My treasure.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for being an awesome teacher. Thank you for not doing just what is required, but doing so much more. Thank you for loving on our children. Thank you for investing in their lives.

 

Happy Teacher’s Appreciation Week!

 

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Farewell, My Friends

A year ago I sat out with a small goal: Keep a blog showing how God’s Word applies to everyday life. Show that it is not outdated. Show that it is for us. Show that it really can be read, understood, and practiced.

It was never my goal to have a deep, theological blog. Because that’s just not me. I just wanted to share God’s Word and encourage others in their daily life.

But about six months in, I found the challenges of keeping up a blog regularly to be quite daunting, especially for someone who is not a particularly great writer. Coming up with new things to write about proved to be more difficult than I anticipated. Putting my thoughts and ideas into words that another person can read and understand is not easy.

But the most difficult thing for me is finding the time to write. It just isn’t there. I have spent many hours on each blog that I have posted: writing, editing, rewriting, correcting, finding the perfect picture, making sure I’m not taking a verse out of context, checking grammar, etc.

All of this is to say that this will be my last post. I will be shutting down this blog in a few days.

I want to thank each of you who have stopped by to read a few of my thoughts. Some of you have emailed me, talked with me personally, or sent me text messages. Thank you for doing this. I cannot even tell you how much I appreciated your encouragement. Without it, I would have felt all the time I was spending was in vain and probably would have shut this down a long time ago.

There are many ways you can spend your time and I want to thank you for spending some of it with me.

If you are reading this, farewell my faithful friend. It has been nice growing with you, searching scriptures with you, and sharing thoughts with you. I do pray that this blog has not only encouraged you from time to time, but also showed you that God’s Word is still relevant, He is still on the throne, and nothing happens outside His control.

Sincerely,

Gerri Madison

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Christian, you are being watched!

I wrote this after one of my son’s basketball games nearly a year ago. However, it is something that it just as relevant today as it was then. We, as Christians, are representing Christ. That is no small task! All of our actions and the words coming out of our mouths are a reflection upon Him. We must not forget this.

Everyday Christian Mommy

A couple months ago my son was playing in a sixth grade basketball tournament. He was by far the tallest kid on the court. His height gave him a huge advantage—he was able to get more rebounds and put up more points than anyone else out there.

It did not take long for the other team to get tired of him. Almost as soon as the game began a man sitting behind me started yelling, “He traveled! He walked! Foul! Three seconds in the lane!” Of course the “he” that he was referring to was my son. And it lasted through the whole game.

Yes, it was annoying. But as a parent, it can be hard to take when you feel like someone is being hateful towards your child.

I think we were up by about fifteen points with four minutes left in the game.  About this time the man…

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