It’s a season.
I am usually 100% focused on Kids Choir this time of year. And I am still quite focused on this- things like teaching the kids songs and motions, getting ready to work out stage details, costumes, angels, and drama details. We are definitely plugging away towards the Christmas performance. But I have to admit, some of my attention has been on a different project lately.
Towards the end of last year, I knew our school librarian (Mrs. Roberts) was wanting to add a writing program in the school. She had mentioned it to me, which of course I was completely on board with it. Then at the beginning of this year she had mentioned it again, and asked if I might be interested in helping to start it out if she got it approved. Teaching kids to have a heart and love for writing is something I was passionate about, so I said yes. And it got approved! The plan is I get 2 weeks with each of the Elementary grades (2nd-5th) to teach a creative writing mini-workshop (so basically, every single day from 1-2 until mid December).
So Mrs. Roberts gave me everything she had on teaching kids creative writing. And for the past few months I have inundated myself with any and everything that has to do with teaching kids creative writing. I have fallen asleep with these books, drooled on these books, and kept many in my car just in case I had a few minutes before pickup. In all of this writing goodness (I thoroughly enjoyed my research) came a few boxes of teaching materials called the 6 Trait Crate. So I decided to teach my 2 week class from the 6 Traits (Ideas, organization, voice,word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions). And of course I add a bunch of my own stuff to the lesson plan. It’s been tiring yet wonderful.
I love when I see something click in a student and the light goes on. When their faces glow as they read their stories out-loud in class. As they have become more and more confident in their ability to read their ideas and stories in front of other students.
And what joy in discussing bold beginnings, mighty middles and excellent endings. What a thrill to read the beginning sentence of J.R.Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and others. What a delight to introduce them to their favorite author and discuss how that person got started as an author. What fun to tell them I wasn’t even going to correct their grammar or spelling (yet) but to just go ahead and write and dream with their pencil.
But today was the ultimate. I had just finished week one and was feeling pretty good about how well things went this week. I had heard that several of the students enjoyed my class. But then their was Gabriella.
I approached the class to pick up my son. With these huge chestnut brown eyes she looked up at me and said, “Mrs. Barnard, I really like your class. I’ve never written before. I never knew anything about this (insert melting mamma here).” She then showed me a poem. “Have you ever done poetry,” I asked. “No, never.” She wrote the sweetest poem about her cupcake. And she went on to tell me her love of cupcakes. She did a great job. She also told me she was going on vacation this weekend and was bringing her writing notebook. She couldn’t wait to write about it. She gets it. She’s got that spark in her eye.
I went home completely humbled that God would choose me. I am honored. Even though it has taken place of some other things in my life and a change in schedule, I remember why I said yes. I said yes for all the Gabriella’s out there that had something in them that they never knew was there. For those boys that are always in trouble in class, yet their stories flow with such creativity. For the kids that tell me they never heard anything like this before, and look so thirsty for more. For my son in that class, who is already such a creative writer, to be encouraged to continue writing.
Sometimes God will tug on our hearts to do something for a season. I have found that to be true of how He works in my life- in seasons. And it might be a commitment. But if God is in it, He will bless your faithfulness and use you even when you don’t feel adequate (because I assure you, I do not). Christ in me is more than enough. And Christ in you is more than enough. What season are you in? Is He asking you to say yes (or no) to something? Listen for His still small voice and and He will gently nudge you towards His path and purpose for your life.
**So yes, I might have dropped off a little bit from the world wide web (facebook/twitter), but for this season, which is so small in the large scope of things, it is so worth it!**