The Little Things

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_For_the_Prodigal's _Mom_The_ Little_ Things.jpgIt’s easy to miss the journey en route to the destination—to overlook or brush aside the little things, the simple things.

Sometimes in the midst of all the crazy tug of war and the growing pains I wonder what my kids are thinking. What memories do they have of growing up? So, I was blessed to overhear a conversation between my daughters about a little boy they babysit sometimes. Here it is:

“He’s got a great personality. But I just want to take him and mold him—give him my childhood. I want to take him to the library and make him sit there and read for hours!”

101_0302-001I’m so glad we have those memories. We were the only ones with a book bag with wheels at the time and we always had library fines; still do. I often fell asleep reading my children bedtime stories.

Anna Lisa my little bow legged ballerina has turned into a beauty. Her name means bountiful and gracious or graceful—and she is. It doesn’t seem that long ago that she was popping the heads off her Barbie dolls, and then she graduated to lopping chicken heads off on a Kenyan mission trip.

“Mom,” she said. “ I’m late because on my way home there was a pick-up truck in front of me filled with dirt and it smelled like Africa—so I didn’t take my turn. I followed it for awhile just so I could smell it.”

One evening she stood sobbing in the living room after a really rough day as summer camp unit director. “Anna,” her father said, “You don’t have to work there. You could get a job at another camp where the kids are easier to deal with.”

“But I don’t want to quit. I love it there.” she said as tears streamed down her face.Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_#ThankATeacher

 

She loves the tough kids. She graduated last May and now she is an English teacher. She is one of my 11 interviewees in my prior article featuring teachers.

Sometimes those little things aren’t so little—like taking your kids to the library. Like the smell of Kenyan dirt and how the simple smile of a little child can light the darkest place.

Like taking the time to read my article featuring the voices of those 11 amazing teachers by clicking here.  

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Know this, faithful mom—your measure is immeasurable. You bring things to your family that they can’t hire out, buy out, or do without… CLICK HERE to continue reading my article, The Measure of a Mom, published on Southern Ohio Christian Voice.

Have a blessed Mother’s Day!

© 2019  Rachael M Colby |  Tattoo It On Your Heart

#ThankATeacher

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The highest place you’ll ever step is down to serve another who has nothing to give back—except maybe their heart and a changed life because you invested in them.

Teachers spend their lives investing in the future of others. They deserve our support and listening ear. It is my honor to host these eleven teachers from five states. 

Why did you become a teacher?

Jeff Fauver, Physical Education Teacher and Coach, Marion, Illinois:  I became a teacher largely because my father was a teacher/ coach. I saw the impact and influence he had on young men’s lives. They would come by and visit years after they had graduated. I’ve taught and coached for over 30 years—elementary, middle and high school.

Doctor Laura Seabury, Professor of nursing at Cape Cod Community College:

When my kids started  school, I wanted to take courses at college. I chose nursing and I loved it. I never thought I would be a nurse or teacher when I was young. So whatever led me on this road was the right road. I have my Doctorate in nursing education and I’ve been teaching since 1997.

I was a nurse before a teacher. I graduated from this program at Cape Cod Community College and knew as a student that I wanted to be a teacher here. I worked at several hospitals, such as Massachusetts General and Jordan Hospital in Boston. When I got my Masters degree I returned to work as a clinical instructor at Cape Cod Community College full time teaching at the lab. Three years ago I became a lecturer and I teach clinical also.

Clinical involves teaching students caring for patients in the hospital setting, a medical surgical unit, two days a week. Each student takes care of one to two patients.

I noticed the sticker on your door: “Save a life. Be a nurse.” 🙂 It’s also Nurse Appreciation Week and you are both a nurse and a teacher, so I’m thrilled to have you participate in this interview, Dr. Seabury. Thank you for answering the call to a combination of two of the toughest professions.

Elementary School Special Education Paraprofessional, Cape Cod Massachusetts: I love, love, love my job as an assistant teacher. I’ve worked with children from kindergarten to fourth grade for 20 years. This year I’m one on one with a second grader with significant special needs and I don’t have a minute to spare.

Social Studies Teacher, Fort Worth Texas, 6 1/2 years teaching: To build a better future for a generation that’s lost its drive to go further.

Steve Perkins, High School Latin Teacher, Author and Speaker, Indiana Teacher of the Year 2014: God called me to teaching when I was a high school junior. This is my 28th year of teaching Latin. I have taught in Missouri, Texas, and Indiana at the middle school, high school, community college, and university levels.

Middle School Math Teacher, Texas. (17 years teaching high school and middle school math and science.): I became a teacher because I really loved school and saw it as a chance to make a difference in lives.

Middle School English Teacher, Massachusetts: Because it’s important for the youth to be educated; they are the future.

Special Education Teacher currently for 3rd and 4th Grade, Massachusetts: Different careers interested me as I grew up such as lawyer and nurse. In high school I took a class that included exploration of careers and spent a day on the pediatric floor of a hospital. It was a heart wrenching experience. I realized that day that I wanted to work with children, but I did not have the gifting to be a nurse. It was at that point that I directed my attention to becoming a teacher.

I was drawn to the hurting and needy, wanting to make a difference in the world somehow. Special education was a new field of study when I entered college. Supporting students with learning disabilities piqued my desire to make a difference in the lives of children. I’ve been a special educator for over 25 years and I can say for certain that I made the right choice. 

Leshil Holder, 4th Grade Reading Teacher, Tennessee: I became a teacher because I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life. My main goal is to glorify God in my classroom.  I will begin my 10th year of teaching in the 2019-2020 school year.

Angela Georgantas, 12th Grade English Teacher, Writer and affiliate with The Fellowship of Christian Athletes club at her school, Texas: English was always my favorite subject, but I didn’t want to be a teacher. I majored in marketing but only worked for two years before I became a stay at home mom for a decade. When my kids went to school, I subbed to make money. I tried elementary school for 2 weeks and made a second grader cry. I tried junior high for one day and ran screaming from the building, (metaphorically). I tried high school, and it was like the gears of the universe clicked: God had called me to teach, and I was home. Within two months, I was back at school to get my teaching certificate, and I have loved it ever since. I have taught for 14 years.

Professor Patricia Allen, Professor of English, Cape Cod Community College: I teach because I was the kid who dropped out, the kid who hit the wall of hopelessness. I teach to keep other kids from hitting that wall. I have been teaching for 22 years.

I dropped out of high school when I was 16, I got my GED and found my way to community college when I was a thirty year old mom with five kids and an injured husband. Amazing teachers kindled a fire to learn inside me and I transferred to Wellesley College, then Harvard for grad school. Now I am back to the community college where I was taught, trying to kindle fires in my own students.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 

What is your greatest challenge as a teacher?

Continue reading “#ThankATeacher”

Major League Home Runs & Touchdowns on the Field of Faith with Del Duduit

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It is my pleasure to introduce you to award winning journalist, sports writer, author, and speaker, Del Duduit. 

Del, we’re excited to hear about your newly released books featuring the stories of #MLB and #NFL stars. But first, can you please tell us a bit about yourself, your family, and your writing background?

My wife Angie and I have been married for 32 years. We have two sons who are both ministers and have their own families. We have two wonderful daughters-in-law, one step-granddaughter and a grandson due in May.

My first job out of college was a sports writer for the Portsmouth Daily Times. I worked for four other newspapers, one radio station and two television stations.

I have been a pharmaceutical sales representative the past 13 years. I continue to write for some magazines such as Sports Spectrum.

Three years ago, I wrote a manuscript and was introduced to the Christian writing world where I met my agent, Cyle Young. Since then, I have broadened my platform and write for Southern Ohio Christian Voice, Sports Spectrum, Clubhouse Magazine, The Christian View On-Line Magazine and have appeared on Todd Starnes’ website.

I see you’ve written for Athletes in Action too. You also won two Associated

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Literary Agent Cyle Young & Bethany Jett present Del with three writing awards including “Outstanding Author,” at the Ohio Christian Writers Conference 2017

Press Awards, one for a column you wrote about your interview with Boston Celtic’s Larry Bird, and you received the Outstanding Author Award at the Ohio Christian Writers Conference in 2017.  

 

Recently you Tweeted, “When you think it’s over, it’s actually a new beginning.”

That sounds like there is a story there. Will you please share with us what you were referring to?

That was actually a quote I saw online from CS Lewis. It sounded good — LOL.

My take on that quote means it’s never too late to make a difference. When one door closes, another will open. It tells me to have patience, get out of the way and wait for the next opportunity.

When did you become a Christian and can you tell us about your faith journey?

My sophomore year in high school, when I was 16, my brother invited me to church. I went and it was explained to me that I needed a savior. I heard the Gospel that night and made the commitment to be a follower of Jesus. I’d always tinkered with God, but never made a commitment. I wasn’t a hoodlum, but I was a sinner. A lot is offered out there but none of it satisfied. I saw my need and decided to act on it and gave my heart to HimIt was the best thing I’ve ever done.

I met my wife at church too. She was and still is the church pianist—we dated for four years and got married. She is my rock and one of the reasons I am where I am today. She sings with her family, my sons preach, and now I write as a ministry.

I, like everyone, have had my shares of struggles, but I know that God does deliver and provide in His timing. I don’t think I would have gotten through some things without God. The things that happened to me when I was a young man I questioned, but now know they were there for me to learn and help me on this new journey. Continue reading “Major League Home Runs & Touchdowns on the Field of Faith with Del Duduit”

Quit Quitting!

Tattoo-It-On-Your-Heart-Rachael-M-Colby-Quit-Quitting.jpgDid you miss the memo that anything worth doing is hard? Writing is hard work. For me it is mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausting. And exhilarating too—but that usually comes after the exhausting. It is time intensive and demanding. But it’s worth it. Your calling costs something too. 

Life happens. Sometimes all you can handle is small steps and bite sized pieces, but they will get you where you’re going. Instead of overdrive on the Autobahn you might need to take the slow country road for awhile. Somewhere between doing nothing and doing everything, there is balance. Continue reading “Quit Quitting!”

Alert! Freedom of Speech, Parental Rights & Religious Freedom in Jeopardy: Massachusetts Senate to Vote on Senate Bill 70, (the Counseling Ban)

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Update from Massachusetts Family Institute on Massachusetts Senate Bill 70 (The Counseling Ban)

Updated April 9th, 2019 

MA Senate Bill 70 violates freedom of speech, parental rights and religious freedom

SEE YOU IN COURT!   Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed the Counseling Ban last night, April 9th, 2019.

Massachusetts Family Institute is already hearing from potential PLAINTIFFS and is prepared to help them protect their rights in court.

PLEASE CALL or TEXT my cell phone at (978) 204-9131 if you know a minor (age 17 or younger) and parents that want therapy to escape LGBTQ lifestyle OR a Licensed Therapist that desires to give such therapy.

The only way now to protect free speech and access to therapy is through the courts. We NEED your help!  

Read more about current LGBTQ activist plan to continue to assault religion and family values here: https://tapit.us/lYiuO  Please SHARE with EVERYONE YOU KNOW!Michael King
www.mafamily.org
(978) 204-9131 (cell)

__________________________________________________

Updated March 28th, 2019

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UPDATE Friday 3/29/19:  Unfortunately, Senate Bill 70 passed on Thursday March 28th, 2019 with a vote of 34-0. But I urge you to read this post if you have not already so you can be informed and know what next steps to take to try to stop this threat to freedom of speech, parental rights, freedom of religion and the safety and well being of children. Massachusetts Family institute is urging residents to call Governor Charlie Baker at Phone: (617) 725-4005 NOW and ask him to veto the bill which is set for signing early next week. His office staff informed me today that you may leave a message voicing your concerns after hours and your request will be tallied. *I added more information on the results of the vote and some of my thoughts on them at the end of this article. (A strike-through indicates that information has been updated.)

The Massachusetts Senate will vote voted on Senate Bill, SB. 70, (the Counseling Ban), this Thursday, March 28th at the State House. If this bill goes into law it will violate freedom of speech, religious freedom, and the rights of parents to raise their children according to their moral and religious convictions. This bill would force counselors and parents to go against their beliefs about human sexuality and violates rights to privacy of patients and counselors.

Some think this bill will not affect them as they aren’t facing the situations it addresses. But regardless of where your convictions fall on gender identity and sexual orientation, and whatever your religious persuasion, bills like SB. 70 endanger the freedoms of all. Other states have also been pushing similar bills. 

HB. 140/ SB. 70 would make it illegal for licensed health care professionals to offer counselling or talk therapy that encouraged a gender-confused minor to feel comfortable as the biological sex they were born, or to change, suppress, or stop any behavior or feelings in regards to their opposite-sex gender identity or sexual attraction toward others of the same sex. But they would be legally required to promote hormone therapy and sex-change surgery. This applies even if the minor is the one seeking help to change sexual attractions or behavior they don’t want to continue.

Parents who opt for counseling the state doesn’t sanction for their gender-confused child rather than cross-sex hormones or surgery, would be subject to DCF intervention which could result in the child being taken from their home and then receiving sex-change treatments without parental consent.   

This bill mis-labels certain counsel as child abuse and dictates and limits healthcare workers in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Prohibiting licensed counselors from guiding those who seek help with their struggles by freely discussing and exploring a patient’s symptoms and feelings is negligent medical practice and abuse. If one doubts a healthcare worker’s advice they can choose to get a second opinion.

Many who identify as one sexual orientation shift to another, or between several categories over time. They change their minds. So why the push to alter one’s body with hormones or surgery? What’s the rush? This is especially true for children who do not yet have the capacity to fully comprehend the choices and their long term ramifications.

If a child identifies as a dog should the parent allow them to undergo treatment to become like a dog?

If a child thinks he is Superman, is it abuse if their parent doesn’t allow him or her to leap from buildings with a single bound?

If a white child declares they are a black child trapped in a white body, or a black child identifies as a white child, should their parents be forced to let them undergo treatment to permanently change their skin color?

When my friend’s son was about seven years old he went through a phase where he would drop to all fours and start licking people’s legs. He was convinced he was a dog—but he changed his mind when he grew up a bit. He is currently a 1st Lieutenant in the Army Special Forces, a paratrooper, and is headed to Captain’s School in June. I’m guessing if his parents had hastened to alter him to be like a dog he wouldn’t have the resume he does now. Continue reading “Alert! Freedom of Speech, Parental Rights & Religious Freedom in Jeopardy: Massachusetts Senate to Vote on Senate Bill 70, (the Counseling Ban)”

Messages from Missionaries

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Missionaries upend and sometimes risk their lives to serve the Gospel in restricted nations. They are often bold in the face of opposition, while many people in America display passivity in the face of peace, and take for granted our freedoms rather than being grateful for them. American Christianity is uncomfortable with inconvenience. I pray these messages from missionaries who left the comforts and security of their homeland to proclaim the message of Jesus’ love, deliverance, and salvation, will stir your heart.

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_it_On_Your_Heart_Christ_has _not_called _us_to_comfort_or_convenience-but_to_the_crossAnonymous Former Missionary to China: Sharing the Gospel wherever you are is all about leaving the comfortable whether it’s leaving our home or going beyond ourselves. Compassion and caring for people can awaken anyone to go beyond intimidation and our own limitations. We were missionaries in China for four years—that was our commitment. We had a house church, although a lot of our missionary friends had their church in a building. Continue reading “Messages from Missionaries”

When You Need to Know You are Crazy-Loved

 

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It is my pleasure to share Pearl Allard’s guest post with you today.

I had just settled on the couch, grateful to have crossed the day’s finish line with two kids intact and in bed. I eagerly reached for a book I’d been longing to read, when my six-year-old padded out of her room—one bare foot and one slipper-socked foot. I bristled, wondering with the psalmist, how long, O Lord?

Dear daughter held up the partner slipper sock in one hand and a gray pom-pom in the other. The slipper had (past tense) a pair of dangly gray pom-poms attached at the top which I was preparing to mentally curse. She wanted me to fix it.

Yeah sure, kid. No problem. I’m on it. And by the way, you’re supposed to be in bed!  I choked back the destructive spew and accepted the extended slipper sock and offending gray pom-pom. I examined them (come on, you know that deserved a gold star right there), but I informed her it wasn’t getting fixed that night, if it was even fixable. She looked crestfallen.

I peered at the small mass of gray fibers coming loose in my hand. I’d wait until she was in bed and then throw away this whole fraying mess.

“Do you think you can fix it?” Her little voice held such angst.

It was a gray pom-pom for crying out loud, not a broken limb, or a break-up with a boyfriend, or a life-or-death matter, not even a blip on the radar of important…to me.

I looked up into her earnest expression watching me. Hoping. Trusting.

I sighed. When she’s grown, will she remember me shoving aside what she valued? Or will she remember me caring about even the outlandish details of her life? I sighed, again.

“Couldn’t you sew it back on?” I sensed her trying to lighten the workload, offering the most helpful suggestion she knew.

It was just a mess on my lap, and it was all kinds of unimportant and…it mattered. I sighed for the third time.

“Yes, I can probably sew it on,” I admitted. That seemed to satisfy her since she smiled and, with both feet now in one slipper sock, hopped her way back to bed. Crazy girl. This mothering thing…yeah.

I set the book aside, hauled my rear off the couch, and rummaged through craft supplies, shaking my head. Was I actually comparing shades of gray thread?

Back on the couch, I stitched the fraying mess – and realized I was actually stitching up something far more significant. Is this what real love does? Stitches things, people, back together? Reconnects the disconnected? Takes the time to do crazy for the sake of demonstrating love? I marveled at the way the eye of a needle opened my eyes.

I paused and looked up. Hanging over our fireplace were three crosses – just small hot-glued branches – beneath small heart lights I’d strung around the mantel. The cross, a symbol of the most crazy love ever. And small hearts connected together because of it. Radiating light. In that moment I tasted a richer flavor of God’s love for me. Why does He love me? Me with a wandering heart and reluctance to share what’s been lavished on me. Crazy-amazing love.

How fitting so near Valentine’s Day.

I tied off the knot and surveyed the repair. It didn’t seem nearly so costly a sacrifice anymore. Those few interrupted minutes a disguised opportunity to participate in something much larger than irritating gray pom-poms. Any investment of love, no matter how small, is really part of something big; because God IS love. I’m slow to see, slow to look up. But thank God, I didn’t completely botch this. (Lord knows how many other times I have!)

May this Valentine’s Day bring a fresh awareness of how much God loves you with a crazy-amazing love. Romans 5 is an amazing chapter to reflect on, if you get the chance today. But the verse below from John is a good summary.

Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life. John 3:16 ERV

 

Pearl and I met two years ago as members of The Jerry Jenkins  Writers Guild and joined the same writing group, currently comprised of nine women from around the world with a passion for Jesus and to honor Him with our writing. Pearl is a precious sister in the Lord, a down to earth, gifted and anointed writer and speaker, a prayer warrior with a heart to glorify God and encourage others. She has written for (in)courage,  Keys for Kids, and Breathe Christian Writers Conference.

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Pearl Allard

 

Pearl is an imperfect Son-follower learning to enjoy grace. Sunflowers are her spiritual metaphor, because they track the sun’s movement as Christians seek to follow God’s son, Jesus. She is happily-mostly-aftered, work-at-home mama to two, and lives in Michigan. She writes at LookUpSometimes.com.

Connect with Pearl on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

This article was originally published on Pearl’s website, LookUpSometimes.com.

Update

Progress is slow as I recover from an inflamed nerve which makes it difficult to work on a computer. Eleven of twelve articles are posted for my current series of interviews with pastors and pastor’s wives. I will post the final article in the series, (which features missionaries), as soon as I am able. This link will also bring you to my interviews with pastors and pastor’s wives from prior years.

*You may Click here for excerpts from and links to my Series of Interviews with Pastors and Pastor’s Wives.

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Here in the USA, February is Black History Month. If you haven’t already, I’d like to invite you to click here and read my post, Why are We Shouting? (Remembering MLK’s Message). From there you can link to read  One Blood, A Civil Rights Story,   Jean Colby, my mother-in-law and Sara Clay, my sister-in-law recount their experiences as Civil Rights activists.

Waiting for Perfect

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Please Click here to read my devotional, Waiting for Perfect, published on Inkspirations Online

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© 2019  Rachael M Colby                          Tattoo It On Your Heart