Tuesday, April 26, 2016

It's not about the money

Thinking of happy days in all the years of parenting will melt a momma's heart.

One of the happiest days for me personally as a mom is the day I watched my oldest daughter walk across the stage receiving her high school diploma.

For the reasons of big accomplishments as a parent seeing the fruit unveil before your eyes. All the early mornings off to school, standing in line for uniforms, school supplies, lunches, school functions, dances, class parties, the no's, the yes', who is that you're talking to, "this is how we", the countless projects, tutor requirements just to make it through a class, field trips, driving test, drivers ed, sports, Friday nights, 5th-quart parties, "I am sorry, I said No!", sleepovers, awards day, report cards, grades, books, papers, chapels, sick days, etc. all tied up in one big day, graduation.

Then you move on after graduation day. The next question people ask you as the parents as well as your child, "Oh, what's your major?" Kinda like when you marry it's, "When are you having kids?" Then you have a kid and it's, "When are you going to have another one?"

In my families case, my oldest daughter's career path is education, elementary education, "teaching".

When you respond to others upon their questioning, "what's your major?" And you say very proud and confidently, whether it's me, my husband or my daughter herself, "teaching". In most cases, automatical you see the person's nose start to cringe. It's the most disappointing response. Then cringe turns into, "Oh, I could never do that", "I can't believe her dad agreed", "hope she plans to find a second job", "hope she finds a rich husband", "kids are so mean these days", "she can't survive doing that".

If you haven't already take a seat. Come in a little closer. Imagine us sitting at lunch together. That's how personal I want to be with my readers. Friends. Lunch buddies. Real with each other. Talk about anything. Be you. Be me.

Now, think for a minute. What if the responses shared above were about your child, grandchild or you? Are you with me? Are you feeling it? It hurts! Doesn't it? Point blank dog-on hurts. I know how my child was brought into this world. I know the sacrifices her dad and I made daily to raise our daughter, a daughter of the true King.

And that's just it, a daughter of the King's. All the responses, words or cringes, in His love can't touch what He's called His child to accomplish here on this earth to further His kingdom. That's true freedom my friends knowing words, money, nor a career does not define us. When we go places the Lord has called us He blesses us beyond what the world can and will or sees.

All the responses received by others in regards to a teaching career, we as parents have discussed with our daughter. Her awareness makes her stronger. It allows her to see His goodness in her life. It allows her to see the gift He instilled in her on a deeper level.

In a sense, when someone stands on the soccer sideline responding with such words, it hurts. It stings. Until my husband, myself or my daughter make sure our God size goggles are focused do we feel safe and secure. Because let's face it, in the world we live in we can be derailed in a heartbeat to question things just like others do. When our goggles are focused we see the beautiful picture of her life He has painted since day one. We see where she currently is trusting His plan most of all for her future. We replace hurts with His truth.

Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” John 14:19-21

At the end of the day, she can rest assure, as well as us as parents, "I am doing what I love". He knows what makes us tick. He knows what makes us tock for the advancement of His kingdom. Passion.

It is with great joy, I share such personal matter we face currently every day in this season of our life.

Now the school year is coming to the end for your child, your child's teacher, your neighbor's kids, or your grandchild think of how you can bless a teacher. Preparing for this blog post, I thought of a time I heard teachers talking while on a field trip. They were not on the field trip as teachers rather parents.  Their honesty was shared about what gifts teachers wish not receive. So, I compiled those with other responses recently received of what teachers do wish to receive. As well I did my own little research. Please by no means hold this list as etched in a stone. It's simply a suggestion upon personal preference. If you are like me a little toggle of the brain can get us going when making a decision about gift giving.

List of gifts teachers are most likely blessed by:
games for classroom
Qube cart
wooden door hanger
beach towel
grading stamp
adopt a sea creature
charity for art schools
personalized thank you notes
books for classroom
donate something to the school in their honor
provide lunch for a day of choice
cook dinner, drop off or put in school frig
electric pencil sharpener from school supply house
handwritten thank you notes from kids
handwritten encouragement notes
nothing with the word teacher on it
volunteer in the classroom- sharpen pencils, book orders, recess duty, make copies, deep clean classroom
plants
flowers
tickets to a sports event or concert
new classroom scissors, pens, post-it notes, easel, globe, audio learning set
one gift from the class
gift card- teacher aid, restaurant, bookstore, spa, gas, grocery, iTunes, Netflix, carwash, visa gift card, salon, movies, water park, office max, massage, pedicure, ice cream, coffee

Things teachers request not to receive:
anything with apples on it
coffee mugs
bath soap, gels, and lotions
candles
homemade treats
ornaments
cash from individual student
nothing with your child's picture on it
if you saw it on Pinterest so did everyone else
nothing with the word teacher on it

As we give to Him, He gives to us. Luke 6:38

Some may still be thinking, "but we've got to make money." Rightly so, God grants us the wisdom to have means to provide our daily essentials. He also grants us wisdom and knowledge to have faith. So with this, I trust (1 Timothy 6:8-10,17, Ecclesiastes 5:10, Proverbs 11:28) my daughter's obedience to God's calling on her life she will be blessed beyond. As well as her contentment in Christ allows her to know money doesn't bring true happiness. Philippians 4:11-12.

A sign of discontentment is always wanting a little more. Our contentment is based on spiritual wealth, not material wealth. Money itself is not sinful but the love of money is leaving us to know power, wealth, and status lies with money. When we don't view money as our own, rather God's this opens the doors for Him to use us as He wishes. He knows our needs but also expects us to give generously. Proverbs 30:8.

As an added bonus here is a few guidelines to avoid love of money:
1. know your money will be gone one day.
2. content with what you have.
3. manage ways you get more money.
4. love others over money.
5. love working for God over money.
6. sharing what money you do have.

Psalm 107:8-9 He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

In John 14:14 Jesus says, "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."

In your name Lord, I ask according to your character and will over Katelyn's life she be granted with your blessings. Because I know she is sincerely following You while seeking Your will. You will grant them according to your plan.

I am reminded of an article my daughter recently posted on her Facebook page. In summary it states: a career in teaching is the starting seed of all other careers. Our teacher are what holds the future of this world. The job you love a teacher helped you get there. Remember the elementary teacher you liked and did not like they are why you are who you are and where you are today. A love for learning overrules smart. Smart teachers sharpen minds and inspire learning.

My encouragement is, let's celebrate with those who's career path is not something "we could do". Because really when we take our eyes of self and place them on others there's so much beauty and freedom found. We can rejoice with their calling. We can celebrate with them. We can encourage them. Or maybe you're the one with a career path people's nose cringes at. Listen for His truth over your life. Maybe this is a reminder of encouragement whatever path you are on. Stay true to who you are in Christ. I would love to hear from you or even love if you shared this post with friends.

Bless a teacher today, they are blessing you by teaching your family member.