“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Your words continue to shed a light Our hearts continue to seek Darkness must not be our plight Your words continue to shed a light They do not call us in hate to fight They call us instead to be strong yet meek Your words continue to shed a light Our hearts continue to seek
The above poem is a reflection of recent cloudy days, but today the sun is shining! Except for some thin, wispy clouds near the horizon, the sky is so blue. I really needed this today, to both see and feel the sunshine on my face. A welcome relief.
The dreariness of the past few days had me focused on the sunshine or lack thereof. One morning not long ago I woke up with these words playing through my mind.
There is sunshine in my soul today More glorious and bright Than glows in any earthly sky For Jesus is my light
I have not heard this hymn in years. It was a standard in the small church I attended as a child. So, what made me think of it now? Possibly all the complaining I’d been doing concerning the absence of sunshine…
Or maybe I needed to be reminded of God’s love. Always present, ready to provide light and warmth for my soul if I’m willing to accept.
Today the warmth from the sun is not just wishful thinking. For that I am thankful. I am also grateful for songs, old and new, which remind us of all things sunshine, both physical and spiritual.
For teachers, Fridays create an interesting contradiction. The day begins with an air of excitement. Yay! It’s Friday! We made it! The weekend is in our sights, and that means rest and regroup.
So, where’s the problem? We still have one whole day ahead of us to teach. And for me personally, that second half of a Friday is one of the most difficult parts of my week.
This week was no exception. Three forty-five-minute classes filled with rhymes, body percussion, singing, and playing instruments made the morning fly by. On my feet-singing, clapping, snapping, scanning the room. Making sure everyone is engaged. It was exhausting! I’m not complaining here, just stating a fact. 😉
Next came lunchtime. Always a welcomed break. Visiting with my team, laughing while we ate. But right as the break is about to end, I suddenly found myself lacking the motivation to finish strong.
The afternoon brings kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders. They require a much different level of energy when compared to my morning classes. In addition to the usual music activities, I now have to be a convincing puppeteer, tie shoes, and remind them to keep their hands out of their mouths and off of their neighbors.
Confession time. Today I was tempted to scrap my afternoon plans and take the easy way out. Surely there was an appropriate music activity we could do which would require less energy from me. After all, it was Friday.
But then the thought hit me-these little ones deserve the same energy I gave my morning classes.
I’m happy to say I did not give in to the temptation. And I’m so glad. We marched around the room while reviewing tempo terms, listened to a Freddie the Frog story, and played instruments. Instruments! Little hands echoing rhythmic patterns on xylophones and metallophones. They were making music, and their smiles made it all worthwhile.
Most certainly I will face this dilemma again. It’s part of being a teacher. If I’m being honest, there will be at least one “change of plans” day before the school year ends. My goal, however, is to remember today and the positives which resulted from pushing through. And when I feel this way again, allow those memories to help me once again finish strong.
A multiple-choice question concerning Oklahoma weather might read something like this:
What was the most likely weather forecast for Tulsa, Oklahoma on January 17, 2019?
All of the above
If you answered number 4, you would be correct! Oklahoma is known for sudden weather changes. A common saying here is-If you don’t like the weather today, don’t worry, it will be different tomorrow. During the month of December alone we have experienced tornadoes, spring-like sunshine, and cold rain. But what about that snow?
Snow has been in the forecast several times this winter. This very week, as a matter of fact. So far this winter, only a dusting. Don’t get me wrong, I have no desire to be stuck at home with 10 feet of snow. But is it too much to ask on these cloudy, damp days for a covering of white? Maybe enough to build a snowman.
Lately we’ve had more cloudy, dreary days than sunny ones. Gray skies with cold rain falling. The kind of days which make me feel blah. Yes, I know its winter, but would it hurt the clouds to part and allow the sun to peak through? I either need some sunshine, or I need it to go ahead and snow.
There is something refreshing about snow. Everything simply disappears. The dead winter grass and mud from recent rains are covered by a fluffy, white blanket. Even though the covering is temporary, it provides a fresh start. A fresh start for things in nature and a fresh start for my attitude.
Once again, the snow which has been in our forecast for tomorrow, this entire week, has disappeared. I must admit I’m rather disappointed.
So, what is the forecast for this weekend? Cloudy with a chance of…your guess is as good as mine! I’m still holding out for snow. 😉 Even though it just started to thunder, pour down rain, and hail. That’s Oklahoma!
Through laughter and tears
Remembering when both occurred
With anticipation and hope
Not knowing what lies ahead
Remaining firmly planted
In this moment where life is lived
Kelley Morris is a public school elementary music teacher living in Oklahoma. She is passionate about the need for music education in public schools and the right of all students to receive a quality public education.
Waiting rooms are interesting places. I’ve visited several different ones over the past few days. Some appointments for myself, others for family members. Each waiting room full of people, all there for different reasons…yet all waiting. Waiting for answers, for relief, for some news.
Certain waiting rooms bring a flood of memories. Such was my experience this morning. Some of the memories were sad, but the sadness mingled with sweet faces and comforting voices. As I thought about past events, encouragement from others is what I remembered most clearly.
Other circumstances came to mind throughout the day. A room full of family and friends during my mom’s mastectomy. A dear pastor friend visiting when my father-n-law had surgery for prostate cancer. A phone call during an emergency room visit…the same emergency room I waited in today.
Today’s visit for my sweet mother-n-law was not life-threatening, but the many text messages from friends eased the waiting. Waiting is never easy, but I’m beginning to understand that it does have purpose. Waiting forces us to slow down. Forces us to place our focus on someone else. Reminds us that we are not alone.
Precious reminders come with each visit, phone call, text message, prayer.
Or in a quiet whisper…
“…Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9