#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

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

© 2017 Rachael M Colby

Tattoo It On your Heart

Reasons Aren’t Excuses

DSC_0895-001Reasons aren’t excuses. God is fully aware of all my circumstances, but He doesn’t believe in situational ethics. He wants me to keep my attitude and responses in alignment with His Word, regardless of who is right or wrong.

I hear Jesus say, “Do you want Me to defend you, or do you want to defend yourself?” He lets me choose. Why do I  struggle with this? Why do I rush in and react, instead of waiting on God?

I know The Lord  is my defender,  and if I keep my heart right and stay out of the way, He will fight for me. In His time, He will right the wrong and truth shall prevail.

“But Lord,” I say, “this is hard, I just can’t seem to do this. I keep tripping over myself.”

Life is hard. It is bigger than I. I can’t bear it on my own. I’m nothing on my own, but His Word says,

My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.     2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV

Jesus knows me, with all my failings, and loves me anyway. He expects me to fall. That’s how I’ll learn to walk. When I call, He hears my cry. He picks me up and says, “Lean on me. Try again.”

Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.     ‭Psalms 141:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.‭‭     Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NKJV

© 2016 Rachael M Colby | Tattoo It On Your Heart

The Measure of a Mom

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(Dedicated to my friends.)

Know this, Mom: You bring things to your family that they can’t hire out, buy out, or do without.

You can hire someone to clean, buy pre-made meals, and most of the toys and comforts you have you could do without. Yes, you have duties as a mom that you need to tend to well. But the love, listening ear, and wisdom you offer your children is irreplaceable. Your prayers, Godly testimony and teachings of Jesus Christ that you impart to your children are of eternal significance.

Rachael

© 2016 Rachael M Colby                          Tattoo it On your Heart

For the Prodigal’s Mom

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(Excerpts from an unfinished piece.)

Mama,
Don’t you know Jesus loves your children
Even more than you?

Pound the gates of Heaven, Mama
Pray without ceasing

Know the God of Heaven, inclines to your cry
He shares your passion for restoration of the prodigal child

So go ahead and cry Mama
But, make every tear a prayer
An offering of hope and heart

because your prayers are the rain
On the soil of your prodigal’s heart

Your prayers are the rain
On the soil of your prodigal’s heart

Your prayers are the rain
On the soil of your prodigal’s heart…

© 2016 Rachael M Colby                 Tattoo It On Your Heart

 

Sometimes it’s a God Thing

DSCF0515I stood in the kitchen on one of those mornings, feeling suffocated by the pressure of making decisions, afraid of messing up. The weight of responsibility and the barrage of demands overwhelmed me. I felt so distressed because I just couldn’t seem to make all the magic things happen for my children.

God, I’m failing as mother. I feel so inept, Lord.

But then I shook myself, looked at my beloved child and said, “I’m sorry; but all your dreams aren’t going to come true. And that’s OK.”

Yes, I actually said that. I know; it’s not very Disney-ish. But it’s truth!

Let me elaborate. The Bible says, “Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”   Psalms‬ ‭37:4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

This is not to be confused with the idea that God will give us everything we want. Jesus is not a genie in a bottle. We can’t just clap our hands in prayer, then snap our fingers, and expect Jesus to do our bidding. Our wish is not His command. This scripture is about allowing God to change our heart, so He can deposit the desire for Him and His will in us. God is a good father. He loves us, and gives us the  best according to His plan. He is the Master Weaver and sees the big picture.

So, for all my children who weren’t there that morning, I will say it again. “Darling, Sweetheart, Honey; good morning. Hello, and wake up. I love you with all my heart. But all your dreams aren’t going to come true; and that’s OK. Sometimes it’s a God thing.”

And Lord, I will try to remember to rest in Your Word.

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.     ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:9‬ ‭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. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.     ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11-13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.”     ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭32:8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

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A Perfect Mothers Day Gift

Last week the leader of our women’s Bible study asked us to share something we had learned as a mom, or from our moms. I sat terrified as she went around the room, wondering what my teen daughter would say. What if she didn’t have anything to say at all? God, I fall so short!

Finally, her turn came and this is what she said. “My mom taught us to adapt and be resilient, even in situations where we weren’t comfortable. And she really leans on God. When she’s having a bad day, she doesn’t go to anyone else. God is her go-to.”

Wow. Grace, grace, grace. She’s been sick this week and hasn’t been out, so she thinks she hasn’t gotten me a Mothers Day gift. But she did; she was three days early with it. All I really want from my children is for them to see Jesus in me and to love and serve Him. I want them to choose wisdom and apprehend the destiny Jesus has for their lives.

On our way home I thanked her for her kind and gracious words, and apologized for not being a better mom. She looked at me and said, “Why are you apologizing to me?”

“Because I wish I was a better mom. I just want you to know that I love you and I love God… And I’m trying.”

“No one ever thinks you’re not trying mom!” She interrupted.

“Oh. Then we’re good.”  🙂

 © 2016 Rachael M Colby                          Tattoo it On your Heart

Waiting for Perfect

I was waiting for perfect, but it never showed up. So I decided I’d better start the journey without it. I thought I needed to be the perfect Christian, wife, mom, have the perfect family and coin the perfect phrases. Then I’d have something to say. Then God could use me. I mean, who am I?

But it’s not about who I am; it’s about who Jesus is. I am made for His glory. It’s Christ in me. I’m His work in progress, and His mercies are new every morning.

This doesn’t mean I can succumb to slackness, for I believe good enough is not good enough. My work needs to be well done. God doesn’t expect me to give what I don’t have, but when I obey His calling, He makes up for my lack. He equips me. The question is, am I willing to be honest about my shortcomings, and let Christ change me?

Sometimes, there is pain in the process, but there is joy in the journey, as I allow Him to change me from glory to glory. My God is a restorer. That’s why He likes to show up when things are broken. But we have to give ourselves to Him.

“So, here’s my mess, Lord.”

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The Preacher said the power is in the going. The Bible says faith without
works is dead. And when God says
“Go,” we need to start walking.

Do you hear Him?

“Come. Walk with Me.”

It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬
© 2016 Rachael M Colby | Tattoo It On Your Heart