Friday, July 12, 2013

Thank You Notes (Trina Agee Cornell)

Third night in a row from the wonderful Trina Agee Cornell! I appreciate all your prayers while I'm in Vietnam!

Since I was a little girl, my family taught me the importance of thanks.  When I received a gift for any occasion, or for any reason, I was to write a note of thanks to the giver.  Each note I  wrote expressed my gratitude for the gift and the thoughtfulness behind it.  What was a chore as a child has now become a passion of mine as an adult - I truly enjoy writing notes, not only for thanks, but also for encouragement and support.  I find that, when I write a note to someone, it powerfully encourages and strengthens me - as much as I pray it does for the recipient.

As a teacher, I receive the occasional thank-you note from my students at different times each year. At the end of this school year, I shared with my current 8th grade students that, as they would move to the high school, I would be moving on as well - to find a new teaching position elsewhere.  Little did I know, after I shared this with them, they would find a way to encourage me beyond my wildest dreams.

During the final faculty meeting of each school year, time is spent recognizing those faculty members retiring and those moving into new positions.  My team and mentor recognized me in front of the staff, surprising me with a card, signed by staff members, and a stack of notes from my students.  I was honored and humbled by the kindness shown to me.

As I was reading through the notes from my students, I came across the following:

"Thank you so much for everything this year!  I really loved how you challenged me and our class in ways unlike any other teacher.  I never got bored in your class with fun timelines, World War projects, and dot games.  In my opinion, your method of teaching is wonderful and helps me take in much more valuable information than any other classroom.  You are a great teacher and I hope you find a great new teaching job in another district.  You deserve it!"

The words of this student truly blew me away - the encouragement in them made it much more meaningful.  As a teacher, I wonder, sometimes, how effective I am - how my students see me and my teaching.  This, among many other kind words, said it all very clearly - job well done.

Sometimes I wonder if our Lord feels the same way - we go to Him in prayer for many things, including concerns, worries, fears - even complaints.  How often do we go to Him when things go right? When we recognize His blessings in our lives?  I like to think that God would not mind a verbal "thank-you note" every now and then - acknowledgement of the good that He does and the ways He takes care of us.  What will you thank our Lord for today?

"Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.  Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere."
Ephesians 6:18

God bless,
Luke 18:1

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