Month: February 2016

Finding My Mission

Finding My Mission

Life is to be lived and to serve others.  I spent my life teaching school, a mission I knew God had placed me in.  After retiring, I wanted to continue serving others and making a difference. It isn’t always easy to find your way when…

Room With a View

Room With a View

Not many years ago the barn on the old homestead farm gave way.  We were able to salvage some of the lumber.  Amazingly one of the windows was still unbroken, providing sunlight and a beautiful view over the farm. I rescued it and brought it…

The Artful Techniques of Life

The Artful Techniques of Life

I spent the evening working on a painting lesson for my students.  I wanted something simple to teach perspective, light and color.  A simple landscape certainly works to do that.  It is pretty amazing what children can paint if they learn to use these techniques.

As I painted I was reminded how these techniques are as important to our life as they were to the painting.  God is the light in our life.  God brings wisdom and understanding which is light in our life.  We need to know where our light comes from just as we need to know the source of light in our painting.

Understanding perspective in your painting helps you get everything else in your picture in proper size and position.  So in life, when we get our perspective of life right our priorities and actions will be right, starting with understanding who we are in Christ.

Color helps us create both perspective and light in our painting.  Repeating colors and mixing colors add enrichment and depth to our painting.  God blessed us with gifts and abilities that color our actions, priorities and understanding.  Maybe I can help my students apply this art lesson to their daily life.

Making Good of a Disappointing Day

Making Good of a Disappointing Day

Today is Valentine’s Day.  We had planned our family dinner today, but the weather did not cooperate.  So my hubby is enjoying a smorgasboard;  Hot Buffalo Chicken Soup, Potato Soup and Beefy Vegetable Soup. I had prepared Swedish Limpa Rye Bread and Artisan-Style Bread, as…

Life on the River

Life on the River

I love this picture.  My son painted it when he was 4 years old.  It is a picture of him and his daddy sitting on the bank of the river fishing.  He always enjoyed fishing while his little brother perferred playing with the worms in…

A Bible Hero for Today

A Bible Hero for Today

I help with the children’s program at our church.  The last three sessions I have been sharing the story.  There are sixty plus kids in our program.  So classes are pretty large.

We are sharing lessons on Bible heros.  My character to teach was Joseph.  When I teach, the first thing I do is plan what I want my students to get from the lesson.  My target was that they would understand why Joseph was a Bible hero and that they too could have those character traits and be a modern day spiritual hero.  I realized to do that I would have to cover his whole story from a boy with a pretty colored coat to governor of Egypt.

As we progressed through the story,  we discussed the calling that God had on Joseph life and the respect Joseph had for his master, for his responsibilities and for God and his law.  We looked at Joseph’s forgiving nature to all who had wronged him, not just his spirit of forgiveness but his spirit of giving and serving those who had wronged him.  Then we talked about his spiritual wisdom to make right choices.

How we teach our children is so important to the impact it has on their life.  But more importantly our own lives speak volumes.  As Christian teachers we must teach with a voice of authority based on our knowledge of God and who He is.  We need to be living examples of what we teach. If we don’t live what we teach and speak with belief, they will see that and not believe.

Yellwo Cars

Yellwo Cars

My three year old grandson loves cars.  He particularly likes the little hot-wheels cars.  I think he likes them because he can carry lots of them at one time.  If you try to play with his cars , he puts his hand out and says,…

The Old Fire House

The Old Fire House

I found a photo of an old fire house in Chicago from one of my kid’s vacation there.  The old brick structure sits amid new glass buildings and the busy metropolis of the city.  It’s character and history stand tall among the others.  I am…

Meet Elbert Fin

Meet Elbert Fin

Today I came with my husband to the MMEA conference in Tan-Tar-A.  Although he has retired from teaching, he enjoys coming, seeing old friends and listening to the concerts.  I have come with him most years.  For some reason, this year I was flooded with emotions and amazing memories.

During my teaching career God opened the door for me to share teaching ideas with other teachers.  I would never have dreamed of the doors he would open for me.  As I walked past the salons, the rooms seemed huge.  For a moment I saw myself in the front of the room talking with all my heart and strength to an overflow room of people.

Over the years, I presented for the National, State, and District Gifted Conferences,  Conference on the Young Years, MSTA Conferences, NEA  Conferences and the Interface Math and Science Conferences.  I am still amazed!

One year I was scheduled to speak at the Conference on the Young Years.  I arrived to find my conference room was the lodge which is just down the hill from the main conference building.  I shared with my husband that I thought it would be a small crowd since it was away from the main events.  What I didn’t know is that the conference had organized with Parents as Teachers that year and the crowd was too large for the number of sessions.  I was also nervous because we had a new principal that year and I was pretty sure she would attend my workshop.

As the people began to string in a few at a time they were not just a bit upset, they were angry.  Many had signed up for workshops and due to overcrowding, did not get to go to their session or had to stand if they did.  I began to pray.  “Lord, bring a calm to this storm and give me wisdom to know how to handle it.”  The rumbling was only getting louder.  How was I to entertain such a disgruntled crowd.  And to add a little stress I spotted my principal seated about halfway back.  The room was completely full by starting time and people were standing in the back.

I began my presentation.  I soon felt the energy in the room change from negative to positive.  The hour went quickly as I presented one idea after another.  It was a great day and lots of wonderful feedback at the end of the presentation.  God is so good!

During those years I created a number of teaching ideas and books.  I still have a passion to create books.  This week I put my efforts into another children’s book, “Meet Elbert Fin.  The story was written by my son.  He drew the illustrations and I painted them.  A really fun story about a classroom pet’s first day of school.

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Before leaving the conference today we made a delivery to my husband’s music teacher.  He had written a letter of thanks to him for being an encourager and mentor to him through all his high school and teaching career.  He included a copy of each of the children’s books we have publihsed.  Each contain a part of a story that reflected the positive influence this teacher had on his life.  So glad he had the opportunity to say thank you to his teacher, mentor and friend.