Be Silent

Well, it was one of those days.
The kind where I literally lose my voice, and a child throws up in my recycling bin. That sort of day.
I woke up this morning, and no amount of clearing my throat or coughing made my voice sound any better. One of my students said something funny to me this morning, and I tried to laugh, but all that came out was a evil-sounding cackle. I hope I didn’t frighten them. I really couldn’t talk, much less sing, so my students led themselves in a rousing rendition of “Building up the Temple”, “Deep and Wide”, “Up Up in the Sky”, and “Jesus Loves Me (without the me’s, of course)”. Then they did their memory-work and retold me the story that I told them yesterday (because yesterday I could talk. And so I did things like tell them a Bible story in devotions.) They did really well.
And then one of them threw up. I saw it happening, and grabbed the first thing I saw, which happened to be the recycling box.
Thoughts That Ran Through My Mind At This Point:
-Kids get sick all the time. This is normal. Not unusual. I can handle this. Teachers deal with this sort of thing, and I am a teacher, therefore, I will deal with it. Why am I rubbing her back so furiously and repeatedly saying that “it’s gonna be okay”? I can’t handle this. I am not cut out for this. What am I doing here? I can never be a mother because I don’t think I could take care of a sick kid properly.
And more importantly…
-Do recycling boxes have holes on the bottom? (Turns out, mine doesn’t. Thank goodness. But some might. Ours at home do. I checked. If I was you, I’d check yours. Just to be on the safe side. You never know what you may need to use that blue box for.)
But it was okay. We all survived.
It just felt like a bad day.
This came to mind several times:
Teaching is hard

But it didn’t make me feel any better, because like, I just don’t get the whole Ryan Gosling fascination.

A sidenote (while we’re on the topic of Ryan Gosling anyways):

It just makes me laugh.
It just makes me laugh.

 

Ahem.

So.

I finished the day feeling extremely frustrated with myself and my stupid disappearing voice. (Voice, you think it’s funny that you just took off on me? Well, it’s not funny. Come back. Immediately. I’m going to raise my 5 fingers and count to 5, and by the time I get to 5, I expect you to be back where you belong.)

All day long, I kept catching glimpses of a note on my desk from one of my students’ moms. It was just a note saying that her daughter wouldn’t be at school tomorrow. But it was the way she signed it that caught my attention. “Have a blessed day.” I was convinced that there was nothing about this day that was blessed. Not the way my voice sounded, not a sick kid, not the tone of voice that I kept wanting to use. Nothing blessed about those things.

But after school… my classroom did that pretty thing where it gets all golden, and I stood and looked out the window, and it was so pretty and glowy outside. It was lovely, and I finished up my work and packed it all up, and walked to my car in the golden glowiness, and decided that it was so beautiful that that moment alone made up for the day I had just plowed through. And I thanked God for the moment, and then realized that there are lots of reasons that my day had been blessed, and there are just a lot of reasons in general why I am blessed. So I made a list.

Reasons I, Jasmine Jean Shantz, Am Blessed:

  1. God loves me. I listened to three songs on the way home that reminded me that no matter how bad my day is, I’m not doing this alone, and I really can (and need to) depend on God. “Oh Love that Will Not Let Me Go” by the Westminster Chorus, “Lord, I Need You” by Matt Maher, and “Captured” by The Digital Age. (Quite the random group of songs. =)) Unfortunately, I couldn’t sing along. Due to my missing voice.
  2. I have 16 sets of parents who show their support in various ways. The other day, a very thoughtful mother brought me this wonderful little bouquet, and wrote a nice note with it. She literally made my day. And she wasn’t the first mom to bring me flowers. I’ve never been a huge flower girl. But I think I might be now. IMG_4696
  3. I am so grateful for my car.

    Jasmine Shantz- Successfully spending money since 1994.
    Jasmine Shantz- Successfully spending money since 1994.
  4. There has been a lot of beautiful moments this fall. Moments where I laughed really hard. One of my favourite memories was the afternoon that Wendy and I randomly went for a walk. 20131020_16053120131020_162159IMG_4479IMG_4533IMG_4478
  5. I absolutely love the changing seasons. I love each and every one of them, and right now, I am getting excited about winter. You try being in the same room as 16 first graders and not getting crazily excited every time it snows. It’s hard. They just get so excited and they are just fascinated and delighted by it.
  6.  
    IMG_4741[1]
    Saturday morning it snowed and snowed. It was truly exciting. 
  7. I felt blessed this morning, because when it was time to pray at the end of devotions, someone said that we should pray for all the sick people. And I said, “Good idea! I think I may even pray for myself today!” and one of the little girls put up her hand and said, “I was already going to pray for you, Miss Shantz!” And then at lunch, I had one of them pray, and in his prayer, he forgot to thank God for the food, but remembered to ask God to “help Miss Shantz’s voice get better”. They’re the sweetest. They are also all I ever talk about really. I’m sorry.
  8. This verse has been so encouraging to me lately. Galations 2:20- I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 

Have a blessed evening!

I Am From

I am from magnets covering the fridge and colorful mugs. I am from books and newspapers. I am from brown and beige and old wooden decks and golden sunshine. I am from Taylor’s Orchard and neighbour kids and creeks and rollerblades.

I am from easy-going and giant Sunday night laughing and snacks. I am from lovingly annoying. I’m from reading and talking during movies and late nights.

I’m from listening to stories and colorful afghans and vanilla candles and waves. I am from pizza on Christmas Eve and long drives home from church. I am from green walls and grandparents and a mint green cottage. I am from a yellow portable next to red brick.

From Starbucks and dark docks and Neapolitan ice cream and peanut butter cups. I am from a brown lawn swing full of cousins. I am from laughing so hard that breathing seems impossible and you wish you didn’t need to. I am from loud music and singing while driving on warm summer nights and cold winter ones.

I’m from walking through snowflakes and gingerbread men and pink aprons and tiny desks and busy minds.

I’m from photos on my walls and videos. I’m from emails and fireworks on Canada Day and “history trails” in parks and French vanillas and purple hats and wrinkly brown envelopes and slow smiles and prayers.

I am from warm smiles and beautiful brown pews and stain glass windows.

I am from notebooks- empty and full.

 

This http://lifeisforlivingbook.com/2013/10/12/i-am-from/ is what brought this post about. It’s kind of fun to think about all the random little things in your life that make you who you are. 

Speaking Love Now

I have decided to do this: http://annieblogs.com/2013/10/01/day-1-a-challenge-for-the-internet/#.UkuHuvltiuk

I like Annie Downs. She makes me laugh, and she says wise things, and I admire her trust in God. I mean, dropping a secure job to purse a rather insecure career in writing because it’s what God is asking you to do? That’s kind of brave. 

And because I like her and think that she’s got something amazing going on, I’m going to participate in her “31 Days to Speak Love” challenge. I don’t know if I’ll get all 31 things done. We’ll see how it all plays out. But I thought I’d at least do Day 1. 

Day 1: Do one thing to speak love now. 

So I don’t know if this is speaking love to you, but I read some words the other day that encouraged me, and were exactly what I needed to hear. And perhaps, some of you need to hear them too? I hope that they remind you of the freedom and the power and the vivacity (the life!) that you have in Christ. 

From Rebekah Lyons’ book Freefall to Fly. I’m a little bit confused about whose quote this actually is. I think that most of it comes from a lady named Marianne Williamson though. And part of it might be Rebekah quoting from another book? I’m not sure. There were weird indentations and I just wasn’t sure who was saying what, but whoever it all was said some good stuff.

“‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world… we were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” 

My words of love to you? 

Don’t act small. Don’t even let yourself feel small. There’s no need. 

Be big! Be powerful! Let Jesus live through you. 

You are more powerful than any opposition that you might come up against. It’s true. 

Live like it.