God shines....even in the "awful" days

On a day like today, it might seem selfish, but I need to know that I'm making a difference.  I'm 100% human, and only by the grace of God do I make it through teaching sometimes.  All I can say about my day is an electricity unit and 3rd and 4th graders don't mix.  You do the math.  Just don't ask questions. (Joking.  No, but really....just don't ask.)

So keep in mind I teach in the public schools.  We're only supposed to "talk" about God when we say "...One nation under God..." in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Okay, I get it.  But....I'm just not sure how you can be a Christian without the Holy Spirit's presence not leaking out of you during the day.  It's like telling me not to be compassionate....or not to be emotional.  It's part of who I am...my inmost being.  So...I'll let you in on a little secret.  Sometimes "God moments" slip into our day....because God's cool like that.  God can take a day in the public school with a Christian teacher and completely rock little 3rd and 4th graders' worlds without her ever even specifically saying His name.  I love it.

I was conferring with a couple of my kiddos yesterday about what strategies they were using during their reading.  They are two of my 4th graders that I have had for two years now and are near and dear to my heart.  They were being very honest and discussing some of their struggles with maintaining focus while reading and how it interferes with their comprehension.  We talked about strategies they were trying to use to help self-monitor their comprehension while reading.  (Yes, we get deep...and yes, 3rd and 4th graders are completely capable of those deep conversations.)

While talking with them, I chimed in at one point in the conversation and explained that I had just started reading the bible and my goal is to read it in 90 days.  (Insert---I never told them to read the bible.  I never told them it is the Truth, it is the Way, and it is all about how very much God loves them personally.  Deep down, they know that....God's working in my classroom through some of my kiddos.)  I mean this is the text I'm reading right now, just as some of them are reading the most current "Shadow Children" series book.  It's my current selection.  I explained to them that when I was reading Genesis, the first chapter, there were parts that I had to stop as a reader and re-read parts because they became confusing to me.  I had to monitor myself as a reader.  They got it.  They even started talking about some things they've found in the bible that are confusing.  I just listened...they did the talking with each other.  That was a great moment..but the neat thing is it leaked into today.

When coming to the carpet for a mini-lesson, I noticed one of my kiddos (one of the two that I conferred with yesterday) had a bible he was reading during silent reading time.  He came up to me and said, "Mrs. __, where are you in the bible?"  I smiled and told him.  So precious.  Just maybe my model from yesterday encouraged him to pick up his bible.  What's even better? He has a children's bible available to him....that his parents were completely comfortable with him bringing to school.  Pat on the back for those parents.

So today was awful.  Yes....awful in a nutshell.  However, there were glimpses of joy.  There always are if we look for them.  And today..you better believe I was searching for them! I love when my students inspire me...and I love seeing God work in places He isn't even "allowed".

Where have you seen God today?

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  1. You're right - God is cool like that!
    It's great to see your passion for him... sometimes being an example is not easy, but it's amazing to get glimpses of what he can do if we are obedient.
    Today I saw God when I met with my friend - she is a new Christian and we are reading through books of the Bible together. Her newfound hunger is super inspiring to me!!
    Hope tomorrow is a better day!

  2. That's awesome Caitlin! Beautiful post. :)

  3. Great post, thanks for sharing.

  4. Also, I left you something over at my blog!! Check it out!

  5. Love that! I worked in a classroom for 2 years in a chartered montessori school ages 1st-3rd grade. We always let conversations happen naturally and gave everyone a turn to talk. After long breaks (usually around hoidays) we'd have a group time and let students take turns sharing something special about their time and others could ask questions. After Christmas and Easter there were always a handful of students that had been to church or had some sort of faith based celebration that they shared about and others engaged in the discussion. It was so neat. Often, lessons in science also led to 'big' questions involving God etc. Questions that we would always respond with 'what do you think?'

    We liked to read the Max Lucato childrens books for read aloud at times as well - they are not overtly talking about God, but it is certainly infered. We always had discussion time after reading and that also led to some great conversation between students over what their thoughts on what story was about.

    You're doing a GREAT job!! I'd love it if my boys are fortunate enough to have a teacher like you when they are of school age. ;)


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