Sometimes we need reminders of what is most important in our lives. God gently nudges us towards what is right, true, and redemptive. I, for one, become quite self-indulgent while working on my many projects. This morning, I rummaged through some papers and I came across a reminder.
Rereading this letter brought a precious memory to mind. The first time I met this powder keg of a girl was when she waltzed into my literacy class announcing, “I hate to read and if you think you’re going to get me to like it, you’re wrong!”
By the end of the year, Chadijah read novels and became one of my closest and most precious students. I needed this reminder of why I’m a teacher because recently I complained to my daughter about returning to the classroom, “I’m so enjoying this summer and I don’t want to go back.”
“Ah Mom,” Elya typed into the Skype chat form.”You’ll be ready. I was only gone for ten days and I missed my kids. Besides, it feels good to be around so many people again.”
Elya’s words soothed my soul. I had worried about her returning to Korea after her vacation back home. I imagined a sad and lonely young woman crying her self to sleep. Teaching brings her life and her words reminded me of why I love the career. I came across another reminder just this morning. This was a sketch created by a former student.
My heart warmed as Destiny’s soft brown eyes returned to my mind. She handed me her masterpiece explaining, “Mrs. Luna, I want you to have this as a thank you for teaching me how to draw eyes.”
I remember thinking at the time, How could I ever forget you? Unable to read past the third grade level while in seventh, Destiny became riveted by an art book on drawing faces that I brought to class. She worked and worked on sketching eyes until forming the masterpiece I now held in my hand. I promised to keep the drawing forever as a reminder of the unique ways God gifts youth. What she lacked in academic prowess, she definitely possessed in artistic talent.
Yesterday, I fashioned other reminders. I edited photos of time spent with my son, Josiah, his girlfriend, Monique, and her mother, Mariann. Josiah and Monique will leave the middle of September on a work/travel trip around the world. They might be gone for nine months and decided to spoil their moms before departing. They took us to Los Olivos, a quaint wine-tasting town nestled in the hills above Santa Barbara.
I drank in their precious faces while cropping and adjusting the pictures. I thought about how some of my adult children returned from far away for brief visits while others prepare to move away for lengthy adventures.
So when fall rolls around and no one is around, I can pull up this post and cry. Yet in my sadness, I will remember that one sunny summer day we toasted life and each other by taking the time to be together.
Yes, the reminders bring epiphanies of what is important. They frame life moments with heavenly meaning as we give and receive love through human contact. We return to the essence of who we are and what we want most. We cease striving and know that He is God. During these times, I whisper a little prayer, “Lord, Thank you for the reminders.”