You thought I was done, didn’t you? All two of you, that is, who noticed I started my Three Things Thursday posts, made it just two weeks, then… nothing. Well, you were wrong. Here it is, 3 weeks (and a day) later, and I’m posting my third ever Three Things Thursday. Why? Partly because I started this post yesterday – a Thursday – but I got totally and completely entranced by watching “The Voice” on-demand for the first time (Um, LOVE!) By the time it was over, I had fallen asleep before finishing this. But also? Because I’m no quitter.
Just as long as you don’t count the time I was going to blog every day for 40 consecutive days and I only made it 8. And also, they weren’t even consecutive. Oops.
Or the time I was going to teach myself how to play guitar, and my dear sweet supportive husband bought me all sorts of guitar type things, like new soft strings (because I may have quit one other time when my fingers hurt too bad), a tuner doohicky thing, (yes, I think that’s the technical name), and several other inspiring guitar paraphernalia that turned out to be not quite as inspiring as we had hoped. (To be fair, I did learn how to play two chords. That I have since forgotten. Just WHATEVER.)
Then there was the time when I was 19 that my aunt and uncle announced they were going to have a baby, and they planned a Peanuts Gang themed nursery. I thought 9 months was plenty of time to cross-stitch 12 scenes of Charlie Brown and Snoopy for a home-made calendar as a baby gift. And then another 4 or 5 years to finish it off (before she was old enough to realize I hadn’t earlier), since I didn’t make the 9 month deadline. Except that now my baby cousin is 16, and I still have the 12 nearly finished cross stitch pictures in a box somewhere in the garage. And disappointingly, she no longer has The Peanuts Gang decor. Not only that, but if you were to visit her today in her teenage room, you would find nary a cross-stitched picture of any kind. Lame.
So maybe I’m a little bit of a quitter.
Except that is not what this post is about. No, this edition of Three Things Thursday is entitled “I’m No Quitter!” And I’m not. At least not when it comes to these 3 things…
1. I will not, I repeat, NOT quit going the speed limit when you’re on my tail. Sure, I may speed when you’re a safe distance behind me, or when I’m running late. Again. But start driving a foot behind my bumper? You might as well be a cop. Because I am suddenly law-abiding Lucy. And probably also, my windshield will be very dirty and require some crazy amounts of washing. This may cause me to slow down just a bit until I take care of all that window gunk. Sorry if that means you get a little wet, too.
2. This one is a bit more serious (although, I am completely dead-serious about that last one.) I will not give up on you, kid. You know who you are. In class, you’re the one who is frustratingly defiant. Or starved for attention. Or sneaky, or outright lies, or behaves in a way that makes me and everyone else want to scream. You are the one who thinks you’re stupid and has given up on yourself. I want you to know, I haven’t. I won’t. And while some might frown on me telling you this at school, they can’t stop me from actually doing it: I pray for you. At home, at school, sometimes in the middle of our toughest battle. I pray that your heart will soften, that you’ll learn from your mistakes and grow. When you’ve dealt with more in your short 8 years than anyone should have to experience in a lifetime, I pray you’ll find safety and comfort at school, and that somehow you’ll see Jesus in all of it. When you’re lonely, I pray you’ll find true friend. When you’re angry and hurt, I pray you’ll find healing and Hope. When you’re insecure, I pray you’ll see your worth and that someday you’ll know that you are a child of God, made in His image. The truth is, I pray for all of you. Before you enter my class on our first day, and many times throughout the year. I pray my prayers over you are not your first, nor will they be your last. And when I sometimes wonder if I’m meant to still teach or if God has another plan for me, I will remind myself that this is where He has me now, and so I will do what I can. And that is to pray. And I’m no quitter.
#3. Sometimes, this world seems to be falling apart. Beheadings, children’s innocence being stripped away, cancer, ebola and other horrific illness, poverty, hate.
Sometimes, you have to look hard to find the good.
On 9/11, Annalise asked me why people would attack our country and try to kill people. Then she wanted to know why other people would make and sell things that are meant to harm others, because, “Money isn’t important, Mom. People are. People matter, but money doesn’t matter at all! Why would they do that?”
We had a good talk that day, about why our hearts need to be filled with Love. God commands us to love him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and then to love our neighbors as ourselves. We talked about that when our hearts are not filled with love, it leaves room inside them to be filled with something else. Greed. Selfishness. Hate. It’s because of this that I know I can’t quit #3: I will seek Your face and pray I am filled with Love for You.
There is an American man, Saeed Abedini, who has been imprisoned for 2 years because he will not renounce his love for Jesus. Beaten, malnourished, kept away from his wife and two young kids. FOR TWO YEARS. Yet, his faith and his love for Jesus has grown stronger. From his vantage point in that prison cell, I wonder if there is anything good in this world visible to him?
Looking for the good in this world isn’t enough. We have to look for the God who made this world.
Saeed sits beaten and bruised in that prison cell, and he hasn’t quit. And so I won’t quit. I can’t quit… seeking His face. Knowing his heart.
Filling my heart with His Love so there is room for nothing else.