when God is in the picture

So yesterday was just one of those days when my frustration kept building. And building. And building. One of the days when it felt especially hard to be a teacher for no monumental reason, but instead, because of the cumulation of nagging little behaviors repeated over and over and over again by a few of the kids. Let me just pause here and say that I have the luxury of having an amazing class of students whom I truly like AND love. None of them displays any crazy terrible behavior, but I was just getting overwhelming by dealing with the same little misbehavior problems over. And over. And over.

So this morning I was thinking about it and realized that my frustration was probably not helping make the situation better (duh… all I can say is, I was clearly too emotional yesterday to be able to make that clear but obvious observation). So I had a few moments to talk to my teammate about it (always helpful and constructive) and then a few minutes before school started to just sit at my desk. And what a beautiful thing “Just Sitting” can be, like anything, when God is in the picture. The early morning sunlight was shining through my window, warming my face and casting a shadow of my profile against the wall next to where I was sitting, and I was struck by the beauty and the warmth of it. I had such a peace in that moment and felt as though I was basking in God’s presence even as I basked in the sunshine He created. After spending just a bit of time reveling in Him and in His creation, I began to pray. I prayed for creative ideas in managing my students’ behavior. I prayed for insight, and I prayed for peace.

And lo and behold, I got to enjoy the fruit of brief but meaningful time spent with Him all throughout the day, and what a blessing, what a pleasure, what a joy it was! Even as I corrected a few of my students for the same behaviors, not once but several times over, I felt completely calm and at peace. I felt like God’s Holy Spirit gave me a couple of specific ways to approach the problems and discussions with my kids creatively, and He gave me helpful insight into the behavior of one of my students. I felt myself loving my students and disciplining them with kindness, compassion, calm, and a genuine attitude of wanting to help them.

If only I could be this kind of teacher always! Not a perfect teacher, but a teacher who still basks in the glow of the light of our Savior, all throughout the day, in spite of what is going on around her. A teacher who disciplines fairly and consistently but calmly and out of love. And oh, to be the kind of daughter of Christ who would spend meaningful time DAILY truly abiding in His presence, soaking in His love, and finding complete and utter joy simply from being with Him! I found myself saying, “See, God? See my need for You?” And of course He knew this, but I am full of thanks for the reminder and the blessing of His unfailing love for me. I am so often poor at showing it and sometimes even remembering it, but oh, how I love my Jesus! Same classroom, same kids, same teacher, same personalities, same dynamics, but everything changes when God is in the picture.

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