It was 9:20 a.m. on the dot. I waved to the 2nd graders as they filed raucously out of my music classroom. Transitions aren’t my specialty, but I was on-time getting them back to their teacher and I was happy about that. Plus I got a few hugs on the way out, which is always a bonus. I ate my snack to tide me over till lunch. Teaching music is a little like doing jumping jacks for several hours at a time so I burn a lot of calories. When I was satisfied I wandered down to Mrs. Gill’s room, hoping she would be free for a few minutes. I had mentioned to her earlier that week that I may drop in to pick her brain about strategies for classroom management and behavior at some point and she had told me “anytime.” I was ready to take her up on the offer.
Mrs. Gill was shepherding the last few stragglers out toward recess. They had a hard time leaving as they were petting a black lab who, i found out, was a weekly visitor. I hung around to pet the black lab and lingered long enough to tell if I’d be able to catch Mrs. Gill for a minute. I didn’t want to ask a favor of her in her few minutes of quiet so I turned to leave when she said, “Hey, didn’t you have a question you wanted to ask me?” I told her that I did, but I was wary of using up her break time. She enthusiastically responded that this was a great time and that I was welcome to come chat anytime. Was it her warmth or the pent up emotions or just being with an adult for the first time that morning that made me open up so quickly? Probably all three. I was feeling overwhelmed and my confidence was shaky. How do I handle challenging behaviors- ones that don’t respond to my typical strategies? And when do I call for help? And really, am I going to be able to do this? That was the real question on my mind. I had been helping out in the music room for several months, but it had been on a week to week basis. Now I had committed to the last few months of school and I was feeling in way over my head. I knew I had a lot to offer, and I knew the kids were enjoying music class, but I was exhausted and tense that week, and I needed some encouragement to keep going.
That is exactly what Mrs. Gill offered. She invited me to sit in her rocking chair where she said she invites any teacher to sit when they come talk to her. I told her what was on my mind, and mostly she listened, with a few interjected “you’re not the only one that feels that way” and “what is it that is not working?” and “you’ve got this girl.” I walked out five minutes later feeling so much better and marveling at the magic I just experienced. There is no doubt this woman has a gift of nurturing- not just students but adults as well. But beyond that I was fascinated by how quickly my load felt lighter and I was able to continue on with my responsibilities.
Don’t we all need people to share our load? Mrs. Gill reminded me that day that it doesn’t take much. She offered 5 minutes, a rocking chair, and a listening ear. And it was just what was needed.
Hi friends. I’m here in my music room writing and thought I’d drop you a note. Every once in a while someone from China or India or Canada trips over my site- and I have thought about what I would want to share with someone who only spends a few moments here.
I found this video that expresses what I’m feeling and it’s this: that Heavenly Father, or God, whatever name you know Him by, really is there for you. He hears your prayers. He knows your heart. He’s in the process of answering your prayers before you even know to be worried about something. He is so loving, and because He is there, He will help you through whatever it is that you need.
I think it’s amazing the many ways that Heavenly Father has shown me He is nearby and aware of me. At times it has been a hug from one of my children at just the moment I feel a need. There have been moments that a phone call has come in the middle of a prayer and it’s just what I need. There have sure been times that I’ve wondered, probably like all of you, “Where are you right now? I could really use some help…”
It’s in those times that I remember a story I’ve heard about a little girl who jumped into a lake and though she had a life jacket on, she cried out for help. Her parents were right there- she wasn’t in any real danger, but she felt so afraid. I picture myself as that little girl when I am afraid and calling out for help and it seems like no help is coming. And I remind myself, “Maybe I’m not in any real danger. Maybe I can do this. Maybe I need to try to swim, and as I do that, I will get help along the way.” Maybe the answer isn’t always the rescue I feel I need, but quiet, so that I can remind myself “I CAN do this.”
Here is a video that I enjoyed that discusses that idea.
Today the sun is shining. We are relishing each sunny moment after a long winter! I hope the sun is shining wherever you are. If not, stir up some sunshine inside by doing something meaningful, fun, challenging or relaxing!
On long car rides, my son often asks for “5’s.” It’s a game that my mom introduced to him. One person introduces a category and challenges the other person to think of five things in that category. It might sound something like this. “Name 5 lakes,” or “Can you think of 5 kinds of trees,” or “5 of your favorite desserts.” It can be anything.
This afternoon as I was waiting in the Walmart parking lot for my grocery order, I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to a few “5’s” and anyone that would like to join in the comments below is welcome to! Let’s keep it simple for today…
5 things that help me relax:
Taking a hot shower, drawing, petting an animal, listening to music, receiving a hug.
5 things I’ve done with my family recently:
Went geo-cashing, watched jockeys and their horses warm up at a Kentucky race track (!), had a bonfire on our land, ate yummy custardy ice cream, and attended the Louisville, Kentucky temple together.
What are 5 things that help you relax?
What are 5 things you’ve done with your family recently?
This morning I read this from a talk by Elder Budge (Consistent and Resilient Trust, November 2019):
“After the Lord worked with the Brother of Jared to resolve each of his concerns, he then explained, “Ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare a way for you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come.
The Lord made it clear that ultimately the Jaredites could not make it to the promised land without Him. They were not in control and the only way they could make it across the great deep was to put their trust in Him. These experiences and tutoring from the Lord seemed to deepen the Brother of Jared’s faith and strengthen his trust in the Lord.”
Wow, I love this so much. It reminds me of an experience I had last fall where I kept feeling like I needed to find a new way to move forward because I knew the current way I was going about it was not going to get me where I needed to go in my circumstances. I kept thinking “I need to find a new way” and would often feel a follow-up thought suggested to my mind: “He will prepare a way for your escape.”
“I’ll find a way.” “He will prepare a way.” The suggestion would come gently, and often. I had not mentioned this frequent train of thought to my husband, and one night I asked for a blessing to help me make an important decision about these circumstances I’ve been referring to. In the blessing, I was told that “Heavenly Father has prepared a way for your escape but you need to be willing to do it His way.” It was a beautiful confirmation that I was safely in His care, and the way out was to put my trust more fully in my Heavenly Father.
I’m so grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who is so aware of each of us. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are so real to me. In the challenging experiences of our lives, we find them nearby in a way we don’t have to when we feel comfortable and life is going well. Their love and support is real and I’m so grateful to have felt it in my life.
A few weeks ago, I sent this encouragement to a stranger over the internet. I have decided to post it here as well.
Are you familiar with the story of Moses and the Children of Israel? They were wandering in the wilderness and the Lord provided them with food – straight from heaven – that the Israelites would gather every day. They called it “Manna” which literally means “What is it?” I think that name is hilarious, but it has also come to be very meaningful to me. A few years ago I listened to a talk by Elder Todd Christofferson. He shared a story about a struggle he had been through and though he desperately wanted the problem to be solved by God, he gradually learned to ask for daily bread, or in other words, manna. He learned that the miracle God was willing to give him was what he needed for that day. There was still a lot of uncertainty, but he could trust that if he acted in faith that day with what he’d been given, the next day more manna would be supplied. That is the background for this comment which refers to manna.
I am so sorry that life is so difficult and dark right now. I know in my darkest times what I wanted desperately is rescue, but often I would feel the question “He may not be willing to take it all from you because He knows what’s best for you, but what is a little miracle he may be willing to grant you right now?” For me, one night, that was the miracle of being able to fall asleep, which I felt I needed so badly- and that was my “manna” for then. I knew I would need more, but I was able to get the sleep I needed to try again the next day. I hated the fact that I was not helped in the way I wanted to be helped during the hardest times, but I can look back and see what he offered was what I needed most- it was the gift of “the Peace that Passeth all Understanding”- it would come in moments- not all the time; but those moments got me through until the next time. And gradually helped me figure out how to slow down and accept His timing. It sounds like you are in the fight of your life- you’re not alone!!! Angels on both sides of the veil are there to help and strengthen you, and though it’s not pleasant, we came here to develop the things you are in the middle of developing, even though it’s hard to see that it’s going in a positive direction. Hold on to hope and keep reaching for the Savior- he knows exactly what you need and will be there to help you through it all, even when you can’t feel Him there. Sending hugs!!!!