Tag Archives: Prayer

Part the Waters

This time of year is almost always tough in the yearbook advising business. Adding the weight of more school shootings, an awful flu season, the Texas political situation and its impacts educators and their healthcare, and a plethora of life’s emotional dings has made the last six weeks so tough.

Seriously.

This week has pushed and pushed and finally I felt like breaking.

In that moment as I sat in my classroom during my conference looking at what all has to be done and trying to find a plan to make it happen, I looked up and said, Jesus Help.

When I spoke those words I felt so completely broken and yet so completely sure that whatever else happens, God’s got me and I’ve got Him.

Within a couple of hours several little things happened to help relieve some of my worry.

I believe in the miraculous power of God. I believe the biggest miracle of all is God’s unending grace. I believe God had a hand in showing me yet again that if I turn to Him in my always those break down moments don’t have to be so all encompassing.

Yesterday nothing huge changed in the day to day business of a stressful final deadline when deadlines have been a struggle all year. There was no physical “Part the Waters” moment. But that moment of prayer and the peace that came after…the psychological and emotional sense of peace and comfort…it was beautiful.

I’m sitting in my classroom now, and I know it’s going to be okay.

My prayer is this: Lord, help me to remember my why in the classroom instead of letting deadline become my focus. Help me to let go and let You, help me to rest assured in the knowledge that when things are overwhelming, I can turn to You, but I don’t have to wait until that moment. You are always even when I forget.

Opening lyrics to the song that I love so much: When I think I’m going under, part the waters, Lord

When I feel the waves around me, calm the sea

When I cry for help, oh, hear me, Lord

And hold out Your hand

Touch my life Still the raging storm in me

No Fear

Flags fly at half staff at the Dec. 14 4A state semifinal Rider vs. Lancaster game at Northwest ISD Stadium following President Obama's directive after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 26 students and faculty members dead.

Flags fly at half staff at the Dec. 14 4A state semifinal Rider vs. Lancaster game at Northwest ISD Stadium following President Obama’s directive after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 26 students and faculty members dead.

An hour after I’d taken a camo, guns up photo with my newspaper editor one of my students ran into the newsroom and said we needed to turn on the TV. I logged on to CNN, saw “school shooting,” and we turned the station from our school feed to 27.

We’re on December deadline for the magazine and yearbook, but all work stopped as we watched Anderson Copper walk through the horrifying facts he knew. A minute in he said elementary school and 20 dead, more feared, and for the first time in my career as a media teacher, I said “Turn the news off.”

I told the students if they wanted to follow coverage, they could log on to news sites. No one argued, and most quickly sent I Love You texts to their families then went back to work in the room immersed in black and gold state semifinal football game excitement. I prayed silently at my desk, then pushed the reality of the world away and focused on ROHO (Ride on Honorable One) and OFOT (One Family, One Team), two of my school’s unifying concepts. The pall of the events unfolding in Connecticut simmered beneath the surface, but for the most part we purposefully wrapped ourselves in the bubble of avoidance.

After the game, one of the best I’ve ever seen other than the fact that we’re not moving on to State, I sat, soaked and freezing, and posted that I was turning my phone off because I didn’t want to lose the bubble. I made it 45 minutes, and then my news addicted personality took over.

I devoured the New York Times coverage of the shooting and prayed some more. When we got home around 1 a.m. I jumped in a hot shower, prayed again, and went to sleep.

This morning I woke up angry and horrified and so incredibly sad as I thought of those babies and their teachers and that principal and those guns that fire so many bullets so fast. The police press conference added to that anger because the man speaking had to request that the media leave the parents alone when the names of the dead children are announced. It won’t be long and politicians will add to the anger because they’ll turn this into a Republican vs Democrat soundbite opportunity.

Now I’m sitting here on the computer, blogging once again about an unthinkable tragedy brought on by violence and brokenness. Once again I have to say we can’t let the monsters win. We can’t live in fear.

Monday, we’ll have to talk about this in my classes. I’m a media teacher, and this is life.

I’m thankful for yesterday’s bubble. I’m thankful for OFOT and ROHO. I’m thankful for prayer, my school, my students.

I won’t live in fear. I’ll still go to school, to the movies, the mall, to New York City on an airplane. I’ll still dress in camo on Camo Day, I’ll still “get my guns up” and scream “Go, Raiders.” I’ll still pray silently at my desk when the unthinkable happens.

I won’t live in fear. Not ever.

Let Go, Let God; It’s a Process

Photo by Sean Loyless used via creative commons license. Link at end of blogpost.

Funny how you’re cruising along in the it’s all good zone when BAM! you get hit with the “ohhhhhh, you just THINK you’ve figured out the whole let go, let God thing.”
This week I’ve run the emotional gamut. I won’t go into all the details, but suffice it to say things kind of stunk at times the last 48 hours. About 24 hours ago I finally remembered to take it to God. About 10 minutes ago I realized that letting go and letting God is a process. It’s not immediate and it doesn’t make the worry disappear, but it does make it easier to know He’s there and we don’t have to work through the tough stuff alone.

It’s a week of new beginnings. Even though we’ve been to yearbook camp, this week everything truly starts fresh. That’s one of the best parts of teaching. I know this is going to be a great year. The education crisis in Texas will make things emotional, I’m sure, but it won’t affect what goes on in my classroom. I’m sure I’ll be posting about education often throughout the year. I’ll make sure to tag and categorize those posts so you know ahead of time. 🙂
I’ll also post about my writing. I got a detailed request for revisions from Carina Press this week and I’m working through revisions on The Guardian Book 2. I need to write the next Triple Eight Ranch book. So my writing plate is full and I’m ready!

If you like my blog, I hope you’ll look at my books available in print everywhere and in eformat for kindle. I write YA as Elizabeth Lee (Honor and Lies, Dead Girl Walking: The Guardian Book 1) and christian fiction as Mary Beth Lee (Grace is Enough, Letting Go). Find out more on my Amazon author’s page. If you’re a reviewer and would like to review my books for Amazon, Good Reads or a personal blog, let me know and I’ll get you a review copy. THANKS!

Photo Link

Lessons Learned

Anyone who follows my blog knows this year has been tough. Tough enough that I wondered if God was sending me a message.
The end of the year came together in such a way that if God was sending me a message, I heard it loud and clear. I’m where I belong right now.
Today I met one of my former students who is now a co-worker for coffee and we started The Artist’s Way. The former student inspired me to do more in my classroom. It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of my job. The last two weeks of school were spent distributing the book and clipping and mounting our contest entries for several organizations we belong to. That was fun and necessary, but I was so focused on the work, I didn’t tell my kids how much I appreciated them. I didn’t spend time on lessons or learning. I clipped and taped and wrote on the back of entries. I won’t get that time back.
The meeting today was supposed to be about writing and releasing the artist in me, but it was more than that. It was a challenge to spend this summer refilling the well for my teaching and to come back next year determined to do more, do better.
God really does speak if we listen. Today God sent me another message. It was one I needed to hear, delivered by an amazing teacher I’ve watched grow up over the years.
Thanks Scotty! I’m looking forward to The Artist’s Way, and I’m thankful I’m a teacher still learning my craft.