Archive for the my life Category

Testing

Posted in my life with tags , , , on April 14, 2010 by tamishields

As a teacher I know that testing is how we can compare our students with the rest of the nation and in some cases world. I know it proves they’ve learned something…hopefully. However, anyone with a heart, would find it unbearable to be in a room with children, and watch them sit still, silent, and read and answer questions for several hours. Mind you they aren’t reading about anything they are really interested in, they are reading mostly about things they have never experienced. So, as a teacher of 20 students who were tortured today, I ask you…what good did it do?

Today I can make a guess about who passed the test. In a few weeks I will know. Yesterday, I could have made a guess and it would be the same guess I have today. And in a few weeks, if I know my kids like I think I do, it will be the same kids on the “official” list as the ones on the list in my mind right now. So what good did it do?

If I can tell you who is struggling, AND I can tell you what I’m doing to help them, AND I can tell you whether I think they will be successful at the next grade, what good did it do?

For me, it is the proof of what I have been telling the mammas and the daddies all year. Proof to others that these students are struggling as much as I have said they are. Proof that they need more help than I was able to give them this year to catch up. Proof that somewhere these students have been failed. So the good that it did is to remind me.

None of us is perfect. Some of you are good testers, I am not and never have been. Some of you are good at sports, I am not and never have been. Some of you are good readers, I am not and never have been. We are all unique and for the most part we have miraculously become productive citizens. And most of us have no idea what our scores were on those state mandated test. (My guess is, if you remember it’s because you scored really high…nerd!)

So, to my poor 3rd graders I say, “I am sorry. I hope when you think of 3rd grade, you remember me smiling and laughing. Us complementing each other in the security of our class meeting and going to the field outside the trailer to do multiplication relay races. I hope you remember the fun times and that today will never cross your minds again!

What do you remember about 3rd grade? I need some ideas to wipe testing out of their minds so they remember something awesome!

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Forgiveness

Posted in my life with tags , , on April 3, 2010 by tamishields

I sat at our Good Friday service between my husband and mother. As our campus pastor started talking about the forgiveness that this time of year means for us and challenged us to forgive someone in our lives that we have been withholding forgiveness from, I knew who that was for me. My mom couldn’t think of anyone. My husband couldn’t think of anyone. Yet I had an embarrassingly large group of people to choose from.

What struck me hardest is that these people haven’t intentionally wronged me. In fact, most of them have no idea that I have been so devastatingly hurt by them. So, although Jeff said we should contact the person to make things right, how exactly do you tell someone you forgive them for something they have no idea they did? I’m not sure that would help rebuild the relationship. Instead of contacting these people I am writing to myself.

I read people. I read people well. Sometimes I read a little too much. I read situations, comments and reactions the way I would mean them if I were the other person. I put words in people’s mouths, thoughts in their heads, and then get offended by what I have put there. I guess what I’m saying is I need to forgive people for how I think they feel about me and how they make me feel. I need to forgive them for not being who I think they need to be, for not being who I need them to be. I need to forgive them for not being perfect. For I have a Savior who knows me, who can read me, and despite knowing every thought in my head about Him and all that He has made, has forgiven me. Despite seeing what I have done, how I have responded, and what I’ve wanted to do, He continues to love me. If He can forgive me for what I have said and done on purpose, shouldn’t I forgive these others for what they don’t even know they did?

For we are saved by grace. His grace abounds in me. I should share it more often.

Facing a Giant

Posted in my life, Uncategorized with tags , , on February 19, 2010 by tamishields

This morning I re-read the story of David and Goliath. Not on purpose but because it was the next chapter in 1 Samuel, which is the book of the Bible I am currently reading. While I was reading the very familiar story, I had a few “ah-ha”s.

1st: Sometimes people will convince you to do something because they think you will fail, even when you think it’s completely plausible that you will succeed. In this case Saul let David go out there cause he wanted him dead, not because he thought he could defeat Goliath. The best part of this is that when you succeed, people are blown away 🙂

2nd: Don’t wear other people’s armor, cause it won’t fit…even if it seems like you’ll be safer. Saul offered David, the shepherd boy,  his armor for the battle. David put it on a quickly realized, it didn’t fit and was going to hinder more than help. Often people offer us what works for them and we want to put it on cause it seems so much better than the “nothing” that we came to the battle with. But if you can’t walk in it because you are not used to it, there’s no use.

3rd: Don’t sell yourself short. You’re probably really good with a sling-shot! David was not only offered Saul’s armor but his helmet and sword too. What else would he fight with? He quickly put down the sword, removed everything else, picked up his shepherd’s staff and 5 smooth stones. He knew what he was good at and decided to play to his strengths.

4th: When giants taunt and come at you, know who’s got your back, run toward your target and aim high! David was confident, not because he was a good shot (although apparently he was) but because he knew that God was in his corner. Sometimes that’s hard because God’s up there somewhere and the people who think we’re crazy are here, telling us what they think. But when you’ve got God in your corner, nothing else really matters.

So, tonight I say to face your giant you must:  1) identify your battles 2)choose weapons from your own arsenal 3) play to your strengths and 4) trust in the one who desires only the best for you always.

Get Up!

Posted in my life with tags on February 18, 2010 by tamishields

There are times in life when we spend so much time making sure everyone around us has all that they need and has that warm and fuzzy feeling but in doing so neglect all that we are supposed to be. So, for Lent this year I’ve decided deal with my inner demons, instead of the outer ones. Often Lent has been about giving up food items or taking on an exercise routine for me. I usually add in a little devotional or two and feel like I’m observing Lent.

I began Lent this year opening a professional door. I am not sure I will walk through that door, but I have opened it. Just touching the handle was a huge step and actually opening it was a minor miracle. But yesterday, to start my Lent season off right, I did it.

For the next 38 days, I will stop thinking about doing what I feel like is right, and start actually doing it, no matter how hard it is. I will stop looking for answers that have already been given, and guidance that has already been handed. I will get up and do something with what has been given and handed to me. It won’t be easy because I can find a crisis in each day that will stop me in my tracks if I let it. I will remind myself in those times that each day seems like such a huge deal while we live it, then it gets replaced…with tomorrow and all the new that it brings.

Dragonflies

Posted in my life with tags on February 17, 2010 by tamishields

So this weekend I added a new charm to my bracelet. I got to help out with a friend’s wedding at Tybee Island. I did the cake, photography, decorating and the flowers and was pretty much told to just do whatever. The bride wanted turquoise and that was about the only thing she knew she wanted.

It ended up a beautiful (although cold) day at the ocean and I was thrilled to be able to do some fun additions to make the wedding theirs. One of the things I did was put a turquoise dragonfly in her bouquet. She has a dragonfly tattoo on her foot cause she loves them so much and she squeeled with glee when she saw the one seen here (kind of ) in her bouquet.

So, in honor of the Mederos’ Wedding, I got a dragonfly charm to put on my bracelet. Now, if only I could figure out a way to make a living doing weddings. It was SO much fun!!! I would love to do it again!

Recovery

Posted in my life with tags on January 24, 2010 by tamishields

Today I took dinner to a friend who is recovering from a double mastectomy. She is an incredibly strong person who had the surgery on Wednesday and was texting us all on Thursday and has been answering the door for us the past 2 days since she got home from the hospital. It is amazing how quickly her body is healing and how good she looks.

I am often in awe of what doctors are able to do to make us “better”. I am also often in awe of how much we take being “better” for granted. When I think about my friend recovering, I am so grateful for detection of the cancer early enough to do something and for a quick recovery. When I think about Haiti and the time it will take not just for the people of Haiti to heal, but for the nation to heal, I am unsettled. I wonder how long it will take for them to recover. I think of the roof over my head and the extra beds in my house and wonder why I am “better”. But then I see images of people rejoicing at receiving water or finding a friend alive and I don’t want to be here. I want to be there, helping. And then I think, my house isn’t “better”, it’s just not as hard. I live an easy life compared to the people of Haiti…compared to a lot of people.

So in the midst of people recovering from a variety of things, may I be His hands and feet. Taking food to the recovering, sending money so food can be given to the recovering…while my life is easy. For when it is hard, I will need someone to help me recover too.

Are you recovering or are you helping someone recover?

Making a Difference

Posted in my life with tags , on January 23, 2010 by tamishields

There is nothing greater than having the opportunity to share joy and help someone else. Each day we have the opportunity to make the most of an encounter. We can choose to make that encounter about us, and the woes or rejoices of our day, or we can choose to consider our brother/sister. It is when we take our focus off of ourselves and place it on others that we have the opportunity to make a difference.

So, as I go to bed tonight I pray tomorrow, I will focus on those with whom I share space. My family who I will ride to church with, the random people who will sit around me as I worship and listen, and whoever else I may encounter throughout the day. May it make a difference in their lives that we shared the same space for a moment in time.

Today, my husband sat at a table with me and 2 of my girlfriends and walked one of the friends through her potential marriage ceremony and his perspective on marriage. Not only did he do it with grace, but he also did it with a transparent honesty that not only made me proud, but I think helped my friend understand a little more about what marriage means to us. Today, he made a difference for my friend and in that moment, made a difference for me!

How did someone in your life make a difference today?