5 lessons I’ve learned lately

It’s the end of another school year.

Bittersweet, because I CANNOT BELIEVE I GET TO DO THIS JOB EVERY DAY. But also, summer. So, happysad.

In May and June, I always reflect on my year, my pedagogy (philosophy of teaching), my students, my moments – I love reflection. And I love learning. So I thought I would just share a few of the lessons I’ve been learning lately.

  1. DIVISION ÷ DISCLOSURE: Um, so my students are brilliant. And one of my students revealed to me that the division symbol (you know, the one with the line and dots? ÷ One dot above and one dot below? The one placed between two numbers when dividing?)…well, get this. He said the division symbol is just a FRACTION with the DOTS REPLACING (or representing) THE NUMBERS. UM, WHAAAAAT? I feel like my whole life I had NO IDEA about that. My mouth was gaping. I was reborn in that moment. I’m not sure if it’s true, but it TOTALLY MADE SENSE. Math people, please feel free to expand my mind even more.
  2. Lost Letters. Part of the final exam for my seniors was to write a letter about the cause they covered in their documentary project and send it. Assumption is really never a good idea, so I DID tell them to Google “how
    A handwritten letter from a dear student.

    to write a letter”. They are smart kiddos, so they figured it out.  But not without asking what a postmark was or addressing the envelope (accidentally) to themselves instead of the recipient. But SNAIL MAIL is becoming a dead art. Let’s revive letter writing. Maybe you could send me one? I STILL enjoy getting real mail.

  3. #noblame. It’s about to get deep in here. I lead a couple discipleship groups, and last night we were reading in the book of Mark (chapter 7:14-22 for anyone interested). A dear friend of mine was talking about CUTTING OUT EXCUSES BECAUSE WE NEED TO OWN UP. And it really spoke to me. I often have excuses for ALL THE THINGS I do, and it’s time to #ownup and stop blaming everyone else or everything else. She mentioned how she’ll often blame her co-workers for her “grumpy” – and well, that’s ON HER, not them. #noblame #truth, D! Love you! I’m so thankful for transparent, open, crazy awesome friends. It’s time to live the Best Day Ever Adventure with #noblame.
  4. Gum Weirdness. So…in the last year I’ve started going through ENTIRE PACKS OF GUM in about well, say, ONE HOUR. I have this pack of 180 pieces of Orbit Sugar Free Bubblemint gum on my desk – and a student told me that she’s noticed the way I eat gum like, literally, candy. Because I chew it for approximately 5-10 minutes (or until the flavor is gone), throw it away, and then get some NEW GUM. My friend Lauren watched me down an entire pack of BubbleYum during a meeting a few months ago. This is definitely a thing. And I also get tired of chewing and want to give my mouth a rest.

5. Prison Privilege. Finally, friends, I’m learning a lot about obedience. You see, my friend Chris sent my book, Choose: An Invitation to the Best Day Ever Adventure, to her daughter while she was in prison. Her daughter was reading the book – and her cellmate asked her to read it out loud. And then, more girls wanted to hear it, so a bunch of them read my book. One Sunday I was standing in church and there was a beautiful woman standing in front of me, tears streaming down her cheeks. It was Chris’s daughter, Mandi. She told me how the book impacted her life and the lives of other girls at the prison. 

Well, I told Mandi I’d love to go to the prison and meet the girls. Long story short, Mandi put me in contact with the Chaplain and Prison Warden, and I’ll be heading to Madison Correctional Facility in September to speak TWICE to the girls there, pouring out what I’ve learned about Jesus and living the John 10:10 life.

Um, wow.

The obedience part is writing about it on this blog. But not only that. I’ve just felt it in my heart that I’d like to give a book to EVERY SINGLE GIRL IN THAT PRISON. That’s 400 books. And since I can’t donate that many books (would if I could!) I’m asking friends, family, and you as readers if you’d like to help.

You can help by PRAYING first and foremost, but you can also help by donating. It is $15 a book, or $150 to donate 10 books. Use this link to donate to the cause. Right now I have 80 books donated. Just 320 to go! 

The reason I titled this section Prison Privilege is because it is MY PRIVILEGE to get to hang out with these girls and share some life with them – EVEN FOR ONE DAY. I can’t wait to meet them, hug them, cry with them, and laugh with them. I hope you’ll be part of it, too. Buy a book, change a life.

I’d love to hear about what lessons YOU are learning right now. We learn from each other, don’t we?

Choosing Joy,