Posted in Education

Year Three

On Monday, I’ll begin my third year of teaching, and it’ll be a bittersweet day because I’ll spend the day with my first year of students, who are now seniors. This year has the potential to be really good. We have new curriculum for English, I’m teaching a fun elective, and I feel like I finally have a grasp of what I’m doing. Most of all I’m thankful I’m teaching at a place where I can share the true purpose for learning: growing closer to God and learning how to be his disciple.

Over the summer, I’ve done plenty of relaxing, but I’ve also spent some time reflecting. I want this year to be a year where I truly integrate my beliefs into what I’m teaching. In the past I’ve done devotions with the kids and occasionally connected our literature to Biblical principles. This year I want to be more cognizant about guiding my students and myself to think about all aspects of life through the lens of the Bible.


I started with the word “love” on my back wall during my somewhat difficult first year of teaching. Last year, I expanded and added all of the fruits but spread them out between the front and the back. This year they’re all on the back wall because I want to remember to filter how I treat my students through those fruits. I want to be kind, gentle, good, loving, loving, joyful, and patient. I want to show self-control and be faithful to God.


Academically this year, I want to inspire my students to enjoy reading and to grow in their reading skills. I’ve finished the literacy part of my master’s degree, so I want to apply some of those skills to the way that I teach reading and vocabulary skills.


Personally, I want to keep my space neat, clean, and organized. The messy desk pest has often invaded my desk in the past, so it’s a goal to keep it organized and wiped down this year. I’m still looking for ways to better streamline my processes and stay organized.


Finally, I want to spend less time on school stuff. Maybe that sounds redundant to put in a post about my excitement over school starting, but in the past school has consumed me to the point of stress. I place high expectations on myself, and I can neglect my friendships. That’s not healthy. I want to be the best teacher I can be, but I also want to maintain and grow the relationships in my life. This year will be about Philippians 4:4-8: Rejoicing and releasing my anxieties.


Here’s to a good year!

Posted in Devotion

Cultivating Fruit

It was so good to be back in what I’m starting to call my church after a few weeks of traveling. Expecting a sermon about fathers, I was pleasantly surprised to hear him speak about the fruits of the spirit.

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Often when I think of these fruits that are supposed to be evident in my life, I get self critical because they don’t seem evident enough, but that’s a misconception. Yes, I can always strive to have more of these in my life and work to keep the weeds of my fleshly desires out, but these fruits don’t just pop up.

In the society in which I’ve grown up in, it’s easy to fall into the fast and quick mentality even when I approach spiritual matters. That’s not how God often works though. He calls these fruits because just like fruit on a tree, they take time to cultivate. I have to water and feed them with his word and weed out the fleshly works such as envy and jealousy.

Just before listing these fruits by which Jesus says we can be judged the author reminds us that there is a battle between our fleshly desires and spiritual desires. In my little flower garden there is a battle between the flowers I’ve planted and the weeds that pop up. If I give food and water to the weeds in my life, they’ll quickly take over the fruit, but if I cultivate these fruits, they’ll grow strong and be appealing to God and others.

So what do I do when the fleshly weeds start to sneak into my life? One option is to despair and give them power. Another option is to speak truth to them much like weed killer “speaks” to weeds. I remind myself that Jesus has already defeated these desires and sins. Since I have a relationship with him, they have no power over me unless I let them.

Praise God that through him I can continue to cultivate the fruits that show His Spirit is working in me.