Sharing is Caring!

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Mrs. Muse teaching, “The Hokey Pokey”

I have been working/playing as a preschool teacher for two and three year old children for a few weeks at Muse Montessori. Although I feel like I’m exactly where the Lord wants me and it’s been a lot of fun, it has had its challenges as well.

 

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Mrs. Ashlee reading a book to those great listeners!

For many of these children, it is the first time they have been away from their mommies for any length of time. We are teaching them to independently choose educational toys in the room, finish the “work,” and then place it back on the shelf before beginning another project. The first week was a little chaotic as they were learning this, but they have quickly learned to keep the room neat now.

Many are still learning to follow directions, exercise self-control, share with others, walk in a line, talk quietly, ask nicely, ask forgiveness as well as accept it, and go to the potty independently. I am amazed at the progress of these children in just three short weeks! Not only are they learning important life skills, they are soaking up reading and math concepts.

The first week I was hearing a lot of, “MINE!” There were also some outburst when the desired object wasn’t obtained. The first days were sprinkled with lots of the typical two year old behaviors of grabbing, pouting, pushing, and talking while I was teaching.

Lest you think I have six little brats on my hands, let me be the first to clear up this misunderstanding!  These children are some of the sweetest, most intelligent, loving, well-behaved children I have ever met.  I get lots of smiles, hugs, and kisses in the three hours I am with them Monday through Thursday. They kiss each others boo boos and often sweetly ask another child to play with them. Unfortunately though, like the rest of us, they were still born with a sin nature that needs to be tamed in order to please their creator.

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There are four boys in my class so I decided to take some of my son’s little toy John Deere tractors, dump trucks, and backhoes (that he hasn’t played with in ten or more years) to class. This one little guy had the hardest time sharing the dump truck.  Within minutes of introducing the toys, I heard, “NO! That’s MY dump truck!  You can’t have it!” I knelt down and calmly explained, “___Name__, this is not your dump truck.  This is Mrs. Gaye’s dump truck. I am sharing with you by letting you play with it.  If I didn’t share with you, you wouldn’t be enjoying it right now. Since I am sharing with you, you need to share with ___Name__.”

As the words were leaving my mouth, a few Bible verses came to my mind.

John13_34love others because I have loved you      flat550x550075f_u2forgive others

It dawned on me that not only was this little boy needing to learn a lesson, Mrs. Gaye needed to be reminded of what Jesus expects too.  And once again I was reminded that I don’t “own” anything.  Every thing I have, my family and every other thing I enjoy in this life, is a gift from God that I do not deserve. Therefore,  I need to hold these people and things lightly and surrender them to the real owner, God.

This little guy and I had similar conversations several times over the next few days.  Then it happened! On about Day 4, with a furrowed brow, he cried out, “Mrs. Gaye! __Name__ has my……. And suddenly, he stopped mid-sentence, flashed me the sweetest smile ever, and said, “…Mrs. Gaye’s dump truck.” Then he turned and walked away to get another toy. I felt like dancing a jig right then and there! I told him how proud I was of him. And he was able to experience the wonderful joy of denying himself and loving his friend. It was an awesome moment.

This is exactly what Jesus calls us to do all throughout every day of our lives. May we experience joy, peace, and wonderful relationships as we obey His commands.

Gaye Hughes

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Broken and Beautiful

Broken-Beautiful-Piano-blurI cannot remember not regularly attending church.  Not only did my parents take me to church, I enjoyed my mom telling my twin sister and me Bible stories while we worked in the fields.  My mom is a gifted teacher and as a result, she made those Bible stories come alive to us.  We would say, “Tell us another one!”  Then she would start singing, Tell me the story of Jesus. Write on my heart every word.  We would get so frustrated because she would keep singing that song just to irritate us and make us beg for more stories. She had a good singing voice, but her stories were better.

Then I went to college at Bob Jones University.  I took a Bible Doctrine’s class where it seemed like we had at least a thousand Bible verses to memorize!  Although I could get around in my Bible fairly well, I had not memorized much of it.  My elementary and high school years were in public schools, but many of the students there had been educated in Christian schools.  They could recite verses in their sleep, while I struggled.  You could find me flipping through those verses attached to a ring while waiting in the lunch and dinner lines. There were quizzes every class period and points were taken off for every missed word.  I passed the class, but barely.  What a self-esteem killer to struggle in a Bible class in a Christian university!

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KNOWLEDGE in the Head

For many years the Bible knowledge was lodged in my brain, but I didn’t have many life experiences to test it.  I’ve found when life knocks you off your feet, you are suddenly faced with what to do with all those facts and promises from God’s Word. You can either claim it as truth and be comforted by it, dismiss it as heresy and become angry and bitter, or try to figure out life on your own.  This is when the knowledge in the mind moves south to experience in the heart.

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 EXPERIENCE in the Heart

When that knowledge becomes experience and we respond in the right way by putting our faith and trust in God, a powerful testimony ensues! This is what causes the tears to form when we’re ministering to others who are hurting.  This is what transforms sympathy to empathy. (Sympathy is relating to another’s feelings.  Empathy is feeling what they are feeling.) This is why we feel compassion more deeply. This is what makes us shine in the darkness. This is what makes God smile.

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Although we would never volunteer for the hard stuff God might deem necessary to send our way, when we see Him carrying us through that trial and the work He begins to do in us, it becomes an exciting way to live!  To experience Him bring beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for  mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness: that we might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified is amazing!

This passage is lengthy, but please read these beautiful words from Romans 5:1-5 in The Message (a commentary). It  reads…

By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us– set us right with him, make us fit for him– we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus.  And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us.  We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand– out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. 

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There’s more to come:  We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next.  In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged.  Quite the contrary– we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!  Amen!

 I think Peter might be alluding to this in 2 Peter 1: 4-7 when he said,

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith

  • virtue; and to virtue
  • knowledge; And to knowledge
  • self-control; and to self-control
  • patience; and to patience
  • godliness; And to godliness
  • brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness
  • love

For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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PRAISE on the lips

Hopefully, after our knowledge has traveled south from our heads to experience in our hearts, our experience will turn north into praise coming from our lips.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. (Ps. 28:7)

If we aren’t praising God for his goodness to us, then there must be a blockage occurring somewhere because He daily loads us with benefits. (Ps. 68:19) It could be because…

  • We aren’t even recognizing our blessings
  • We feel entitled
  • We have sin in our lives
  • We are apathetic to spiritual things
  • We care more about what others think of us than what God thinks

Let’s keep the channels open for God to do HIS thing in our lives. He knows what is best for us, what we need, and where He wants to take us. Let’s be willing to take HIS route.

Keep looking up,

Gaye Hughes

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P.S. I am so humbled by you, my readers, who take your precious time to read my blogs.  Thank you for your comments and encouragement. I love hearing from you! Have a blessed day!