#whyiteach

Rachael_M_Colby_blogs_capecodonline_Tattoo_it_On_Your_Heart_ Remind_me_#whyiteach

 

TEACHER:   Texting you this… Need people to help remind me why I teach when I’m having bad days.

Teaching is one of the hardest jobs. You rarely ever get kudos. You mostly hear what you are doing wrong.

So, in those rare moments when the smoke clears, and you see what truly matters, and you see the little things you do, and the impact they can have, that is the gold you have to hold unto- or you will quit.

So Far Today:

I comforted and prayed with a teacher who just had a miscarriage.

I’m standing in the hallway welcoming students, hustling the stragglers to class. Glancing in my classroom, I realize one of my boys is crying. I motion him to come into the hall and he tells me his aunt died from a stroke last night. We talk, I give him a hug, and help him grieve.  He gives me permission to share with the class. His friends quickly change seats and circle him; No talking or touching; they are middle school boys after all. They support him by just being there. They take out paper and write notes of encouragement- without any prompting. #proud #whyiteach

All before 9:30am.

11:20am Update

Another student running up and down the hallway screaming and crying. Counselor trying to help. He refuses… I step into the hallway, take his hands, have him take deep breaths with me to calm him down so he can talk to the counselor without screaming. #whyiteach

Teaching is never about the subject you are teaching. It’s about showing compassion, how to grieve, process anger, express joy. So much emptiness and anger in my students- they just don’t know how to handle life. Happy that I can be here to help them.

Remind me of this when I’m having a really bad day.

Anyone who becomes a teacher because they want kids to learn a subject is missing a huge piece of teaching. I went into teaching because I want to teach children how to successfully live their lives, process emotion, and become productive people. The subject I teach has so little to do with what I really do.

“When will I use this?” they say.  (Algebra, science, etc..)

The answer is: “Who really cares? Will you remember that I taught you compassion when your classmate’s aunt died, that I held your hands when you just couldn’t take another step, that I told you I care about you?”

And yes, of course, I’ll give you another chance when you screwed up, yet again, in my class, because this is #whyiteach

Update 1:00 pm

Two boys try to fight in my classroom. Calmed them down and talked to them. One of the boys tells me he’s not really mad at the other kid. He just watched his dad get arrested and he’s really upset… Sigh.  #whyIteach

At lunch, the boy whose aunt died comes up to me. “I’m doing better,” he says quietly, and dashes away.

Last Block:

The boy who was crying and screaming in the hallway comes to class. He’s smiling now, and we’re just figuring it all out. It’s a good day. #whyiteach

I know I could get a job in a better district. My family asks me why I stay, all the time.

“Who’s going to teach them if I don’t?” I reply.

“Someone will,” they say.

“But will they care about them? Will they pray over their desks? Will they cry over them? Will they love them?”

I can’t walk away from these kids. Many of them don’t have adults that truly care. They are used to being thrown away, adults not sticking with them. I can’t be one of those people. Teaching is a calling, not a job. I have to teach them how to be cared for and to care for one another, to create community in the classroom. Once I’ve done this, and only then, can I actually teach them any academic content with success. This usually takes a few months to establish.

I have to teach them, I don’t know if someone else will care for them like I do. #whyiteach

A Few Weeks Later:

TEACHER:   Why do I teach again? My head hurts, my neck aches…

RACHAEL:    Because it matters- maybe for eternity for some of your students. Even though you don’t see it now.

Because they need you even when they don’t want you.

Because you may be the only love, the only Jesus, some will see today and over the next few months

Because you have to. It’s your calling.  #makeadifference   #youmatter

Because it costs more to quit than to carry on. #whyyouteach

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37 NKJV

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my
infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2nd Corinthians 12:9 NKJV

*I received the above messages from a friend who is a teacher. She wishes to remain anonymous.

In honor of #TeacherAppreciationDay and #TeacherAppreciationWeek

Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Heroes_Among_Us

Please take the time to encourage teachers, not just this week, but throughout the year

© 2017 Rachael M Colby

Tattoo It On your Heart

Belonging

Angry faces. tattoo_it_on_your_heart_rachael_m_colby_belonging

Phone calls.

Angry words hurled in public places.               

“Get a *?#*!#! abortion!” they said.

“No!” she said.

She would not take the life of her child.

 

“I’m coming over to visit and I’m bringing my camera,” I said. “I’ll take some pictures of you and the baby. It will be my gift to you.”

And there he stood, this giant, cradling the fragile frame of his infant daughter nestled contentedly in his arms.

Grace. Amazing grace.

“Tell him we need to cut the hospital band off; it’s getting too tight on her. He won’t let me take it off,” her mama said.

“Wait,” her daddy said. “Take a picture first. It shows we belong to each other.”

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written,The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. Psalms 139:13-16 (NKJV)

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

         © 2017 Rachael M Colby             Tattoo It On Your Heart

Help from Focus on the Family

If you find yourself in a crisis pregnancy situation, or have had an abortion and are seeking help, here are some links for counseling and resources from Focus on the Family.  

Need Help? Call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459)

Focus on the Family Free Counseling Line: 1-855-771-HELP (4357)

Operation Ultrasound:  1-800-232-6459 or 1-855-771-4357

Monday-Friday; 6am – 8pm (Mountain Time)

Helpful Articles and Resources:

As a pastor who regrets an abortion in my past, I want to say that there is hope for those who have participated in, or who have had an abortion…Continue reading this article by Pastor Shane Idleman here:  http://www.focusonthefamily.com/pro-life/pre-born/my-child-would-have-been-22-this-year

Many women who choose abortion struggle with guilt – guilt that stops them from talking about it or getting the emotional help they deserve… Continue reading this article by Teri Reisser and Paul Reisser here:

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/pro-life/pre-born

Free downloadable Advocacy for Human Life Toolbox from Focus on the family.

Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love. Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! Micah 7:18-19

 

One Blood

An American Civil Rights story as told to me by Jean Taylor Colby and Sara Clay.

It is my pleasure to feature this story in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and for all who stood and stand for freedom, justice, and righteous unity.

“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,” ‭‭Acts‬ ‭17:26‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

Despite the passage of civil rights legislation in 1964 and 1965, change was slow. James Meredith, the first African American to enroll at the University of Mississippi, set out to draw attention to the continuing racial oppression in the Mississippi Delta and to encourage voter registration by African Americans in the face of opposition and the fear it produced. He embarked on his solo mission, The March Against Fear, in June 1966, starting in Memphis, Tennessee with the intent of ending at the State house in Jackson Mississippi, the state capital. On the second day of his march, Meredith was shot by a white sniper by the name of James Aubrey. Upon learning of the shooting, other Civil rights leaders, organizations and supporters, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., decided to continue the march.

Jean’s Story

In June, 1966 my husband, Roy, and I participated in the March Against Fear. The purpose of the march was to non violently support and encourage voter registration of the black population and to not be hindered by  fear or from the hateful opposition they faced. We took our four children with us. Their ages were 5, 7, 9, and 12. The night before we marched, we stayed with families from neighboring black churches, my husband and son with one family, and myself and our daughters with another.

The next day was brutally hot, so our hosts gave us salt pills to prevent dehydration.There were about 200 of us, and as we marched through each town we kept picking up more people. We were among the few whites in the mostly black crowd. Angry faced locals lined the highway, some carrying rifles, harassing us as we walked by. Our oldest child, Sara, remembers the hate filled face of a woman riding in a truck, with guns on a rack in the back. The woman shouted obscenities in her face and spit on her. Immediately our 12 year old was swept into the middle of the marchers to keep her safe. A grandmotherly black woman right behind her said, “Don’t you fret about it honey, we’re just gonna sing.” And they did.

“This little light of mine; I’m gonna let it shine.”

This is how you fight back. You sing.

Then the horrifying word came through that a black man had been lynched that same day outside the town we had just passed through.

As we walked along highway 51, we often saw poor black people bending over in the cotton fields. As soon as they saw us they would rise up tall, wave and give the marchers huge smiles of encouragement.

After a few hours, we stopped at a small farmhouse. We all took drinks of water from the well out front. It was there that our Hartford Seminary classmate and good friend, Andy Young, a colleague of Martin Luther King Jr., discovered us. He said, “Wait right here just a minute.” He went inside the house where Dr. King was involved in a strategy meeting with other leaders. Dr. King stopped what he was doing, came out to the road, and greeted our family. He then blessed each of our children. It is forever a treasured memory. Then some printed handbills appeared and were passed among us with these encouraging words from Dr. King:

“We’re moving up the highway of Freedom toward the City of Equality. We can’t stop now.

In the evening we had supper in the school yard. Out of nowhere came enough food for over 200 people, as in the Bible account where on the mountainside 5,000 were fed. Peanut butter sandwiches, apples, and piles of fried chicken prepared by women from local black churches, who could ill afford it. To protect us while we ate, Federal Marshals with machine guns sat on top of the roof of the school.

After supper, as we left to head back home to Chicago, there were no federal marshals, just an angry white crowd lining the highway, shouting and shaking their fists at us, some with rifles. My husband yelled at us to get down on the floor of the car as he drove quickly out of there.

We were never afraid while walking up that highway, because we were all together, over 200 of us. We kept on singing, and we kept on walking. What a privilege it was to be there. 

Meredith recovered from his wounds and rejoined the march, walking on the front lines next to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and other Civil Rights leaders. The marchers grew in number to an estimated 15,000 participants and on June 26th, 1966, the 220 mile march ended with their arrival at the Statehouse in Jackson, Mississippi. Figures released by the US Justice department, showed that over 4,000 black people registered to vote during the march.

~~~~~*~~~~~

Sarah, you were only twelve years old. How did you feel about participating in the march?

I was never afraid. There were too many of us together to be afraid. I wasn’t even sure where my parents were. I think Mom was driving the First Aid car, and I didn’t know where Dad was, but we were all going to meet for dinner at the picnic place, so it was fine.

Tell me about the woman in the truck who spat at you.

I remember an ugly, angry face, hatred personified. She was screaming obscenities at me, a twelve year old girl- like, ” Are you gonna sleep with that #?*# n—r?! You little n—r lover! She was probably a beautiful woman, but that day she was very ugly.

“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Suddenly, these big black men surrounded me and put themselves between me and the vehicles. And I remember this big black grandmotherly lady saying to me, ” Don’t you pay them no mind. We’re just gonna keep on singing.” Then we sang, This Little Light of Mine.

How did that make you feel? What was going through your head?

I wasn’t shocked. I had encountered southern racism before when I was eight years old and our family moved from Chicago, where I attended an integrated school, to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. On the ride to Oak Ridge, we stopped at a gas station and I went to go to the bathroom. One bathroom had a door with a sign over it that said, “Whites Only.” The other bathroom had a sign which read, “Coloreds Only” and had no door with just a hole in the ground for a toilet. It looked like it had never been cleaned. I refused to get the key for the white toilet, but instead went around the back and peed in the grass. I wasn’t using the White’s Only bathroom.

You were white, and only eight years old That’s very young to have such conviction and make a stand. It would have been really easy for you to just go get the key and use the nice clean White’s Only bathroom.

If everyone couldn’t use it, then I wasn’t using it either. I wasn’t getting that key! I wasn’t any kind of hero; I just had the same gut reaction any decent person would have had.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King Jr.

If then was now, or a similar situation presented itself, knowing the dangers, would you participate? Would you bring your children or grandchildren to it?

Yes. Children need to know, to see and be with people who aren’t like them. And when you gotta stand up for justice, it’s what you gotta do.

“the time is always right to do the right thing”Martin Luther King Jr.

Jean, did you expect the level of opposition you faced during the march?

I don’t know if I thought about it beforehand, but I knew there had always been opposition to the Civil Rights Movement in the past.

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

Why did you do it? If you faced the same situation today, would you take the risk again and bring your children with you, even being separated from your husband and son and staying with strangers?

We felt it was important, and yes, I would. When you feel strongly about a cause you know is right, you do something about it. You make a stand.

“The day we see the truth and cease to speak is the day we begin to die” Martin Luther King Jr.

 

( I am truly blessed to have Jean as my mother-in-law and Sara as my sister-in -law:) )

© 2017 Rachael M Colby                     Tattoo It On Your Heart

Stand

racahel_m_colby_tattoo_it_on_your_heart_standAs a Christian I am called to stand for righteousness. It’s my responsibility to educate myself and pray about the issues that impact my family, the Church, my country and the world. My life must be governed by Biblical principle; not according to self interest or comfort, or cultural norms, or pressure. I must not allow personal inconvenience, complacency or fear, to deter me  from making hard decisions and defending and establishing Godly freedoms, rights, and standards, not just for myself, but for all and for the future.

It’s stand and be counted and take courage and comfort in whether I win or lose, the battle is the Lord’s. I am utterly convinced that when I stand in eternity before Christ, I will not regret the decisions I made for Him and for righteousness. The high road can be lonely at times, but there is a peace that comes from taking the right way.

As I look back on my life, I have no regrets for the times I made a stand, or let my voice be heard for truth’s sake. I only regret the opportunities I neglected to seize. I must be mindful, because as the Bible says, it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine, and as Laura Numeroff wrote, “If you give a mouse a cookie…”

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

*** Now that I’ve returned from overseas, I am going into overtime with my next few posts and will resume my series of interviews featuring pastor’s and their wives from around the world. The response was too great to complete the series during the month of October. Their words are powerful and have much to offer in impacting lives. Since our ministers and their wives need prayer, appreciation and encouragement year round, this is a good thing. 🙂  

© 2016 Rachael M Colby