Posted by Eileen Faber, 1st grade teacher
I’m not only certified to teach First Grade, I have a K-12 English teaching endorsement. This summer when I renewed my certificate for the 6th time, I once again was told that I could take Joel Bratt’s job.
Language and words have always been important to me. I was the editor of the school paper in high school. I’ve always liked to write. Transformational grammar was my favorite college course. I have to make sure my texts have the correct punctuation or I just don’t feel good about sending them. We don’t write a lot in first grade, but we use lots of spoken language. I hope that my first graders leave my classroom remembering many things that I have taught them: (Some of these are grammatically related; some are just my first grade bits of wisdom to live by.)
--Chickens lie, children lay down.
--Cookies are done, children are finished.
--Easy is an illegal word. What’s easy for you may be hard for someone else.
--Children don’t cut, scissors do.
--Children don’t always mean with their hearts what they say with their mouths.
--Intelligent people know how to fix their mistakes.
--I treat you all fairly, just not the same.
Here’s the line that I’m personally trying to use:
“I’m grateful, God, please use me.” Instead of “I am so blessed, or that is a blessing.”
Many people of faith use the phase, “I am blessed”, or “that is such a blessing.” Many people in the world, who are also people of faith, have not been gift the same “blessings” as us. There are Christians in the world who are child-less, even though they’ve prayed for a child. There are Christians who live off of pennies a day or who don’t have enough food. Are they any less “blessed” by God? God isn’t a Christmas elf or magical fairy who waves his wand and blesses or “un-blesses” at will. When we use language like “I am blessed”, we are putting human language on a God who is bigger than our words. God takes all situations and uses us. For His power and His love, I am grateful. I hope He will continue to use me.
I’ve been purposely trying to make an effort to say, “I am grateful” not “I am blessed” as I talk and reflect on my life. I am grateful that God has been a part of my life since the day I was born. I am grateful for the life of faith that my widowed mother taught me. I am grateful for the strength God gave me when that mother died soon after I had become a mother. I’m grateful for the peace and support God surrounded me with after I miscarried my first child. I am grateful for how the Shoreline Christian community encouraged my daughters to be the young woman they are today as they work out their faith in their careers. I’m grateful for healing over time as we’ve grieved the loss of Mrs. Colon. We still miss her dearly, but it warms my heart to see Mrs. Bakker love on those second graders just like Nancy would have. I’m grateful for so many things. I’m not blessed. I’m grateful.
Now be grateful, thankful, and go make a difference.