I’ve been thinking about rainbows a lot lately.  I want to do some research on rainbow “lore”. So far, I’ve only checked my concordances to see where rainbow shows up in the Bible.  Depending on your translation, that actual word may not be in your Bible.  And, if it is, it’s only in Genesis the one time.

So, it’s amazing to me how rainbows have come to mean so much in today’s culture.  I taught Genesis 6-9 in my high school world literature class. {Yes, I was allowed to do that. . .the Bible is literature, it isn’t forbidden, and it is in the textbook.} One of the questions the textbook proposed using was “why is the rainbow an appropriate symbol for God to use for His covenant?”

I loved asking that question.  It lead to a discussion of when rainbows appear and what feelings do we associate with them.  Most often my students arrived at an answer along the lines of rainbows mean the storm is over and we survived it; it’s hopeful.  They’re clever, kids. Give them a chance.

But recently, I had a unique experience.  While driving in a storm, a rainbow appeared ahead of me.  I was surrounded by torrential rain.  It was dark where I was. But ahead, I could see there was a lightening of the sky, and there across it, through the rain, I saw a rainbow.


Image from foap.com

The storm isn’t over.

But the rainbow is still there.

God’s promise is still ahead of me.

Crotts in Nigeria

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As a teacher of twenty years, I have a unique position of witnessing former students doing amazing things.  I am humbled by the fact that I crossed paths with these outstanding individuals.

Today, I have permission to share one of their stories with you.

When Caleb was in high school his plan was to become a medical doctor.  He would have been an amazing physician.


Caleb’s senior year. He’s second row, first guy from the left. Picture from personal files.

However, God tugged his heart in a new direction and shortly before his college freshman year would have begun, he started a different journey.  One that lead to meeting his wife, Mandolyn. And now, at the tender age of 25 (I think I have my math right), they are serving God together in Nigeria.

They are teachers at Grace Garden in Jos, Nigeria.  I want the video to tell most of their story to you because it does it so well, and it shows you their hearts in a way that I could never do justice. {link at the bottom of this post}

What I do want to say is that their story burdens my heart with an urgency I’m not sure I’ve encountered before. I have no way of adding explanation to that statement.  I just know I’m supposed to do more somehow.

Crotts in Nigeria

Funny Thing Is

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I never wanted to be a teacher.

You won’t believe me in a minute. . .

little people schoolI taught all of my stuffed animals to read, write, and play Old Maid.  Also, one of my favorite toys was my Fisher Price Little People school house.  It had a magnetic roof for letters and numbers and a chalk board.  Little desks for the students and a teacher’s desk.  Oh, and the best part, a playground with a swing, slide, and merry-go-round.

But, I didn’t want to be a teacher.

I wanted to be a doctor.  It wavered periodically between being like Marie Curie and Louis Pasteur or being an obstetrician/pediatrician {though my uncle told me that wasn’t a combination I could do–I didn’t understand why–I wanted to take care of the baby in the womb and then help it grow up}

Here I am, though, getting ready to complete nineteen years in the high school English classroom.

blue curtainAnd I’m not sorry. It’s been an amazing career for me.  I love being in the classroom and helping students realize when the curtain is just blue and when it’s not.  I love getting to know my students as people and watching them mature into young adults who do incredible things. . .like become doctors, or join the Peace Corps, or shape politics, or, yep, become teachers. {This list is so short when I think about all the things my students have done.}

But, I almost didn’t do it.

When my students ask me why I became a teacher, I always tell them because of God.  When I graduated from college {with an English degree I had no idea how to use} I began working for a credit union.  I loved the job.  I met a lot of people.  However, there was something missing.  After about a year, I kept hearing this voice say, “You’re supposed to be teaching English.”

I investigated if it was even a possibility and there was a program called lateral entry, relatively new, that would allow me to begin teaching in my degree area while I completed education courses.

I made a deal with God. I told him if He wanted me to teach, then it would have to be in my home county.  I put in the application and in July received a phone call from a principal for an interview.

Funny thing is, my application hit his desk because the personnel director for the county at that time was someone with whom I went to church.

Christmas Break

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1268580_10201989747978213_1302152653_oWhen I start a blog, the screen asks me what I have on my mind.

Well, today, it’s Christmas break.

It’s only 2 days away. Woohoo!

But there are things about Christmas break that are difficult. Like students who think it started 2 days ago rather than still 2 days away. I still have things to teach them–knowledge to impart.

Another difficult aspect–there’s me who wishes Christmas break had started 2 days ago rather than having to find the energy to impart knowledge for another 2 days.

Why is it that these 2 days will take a very long time to happen but then the next week and a half will fly by at record speed?

My dad was right all those years ago–time does go faster the older you get.

Literature Life of an English Teacher

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When I created this schedule of posts, I thought the second Wednesday would be easy. How difficult would it be for me to post something about literature. . .I mean, I am an English teacher.

But it’s tough sometimes.

Especially since the school year has begun again.

I could write about what we’re studying in my sophomore English classes these days (archetypes in traditional literature–think Gilgamesh and Bible). Or I could write about the last book for Between the Covers (And the Mountains Echoed–but it taxed my brain). I guess I could write about how we’re trying to think of something more light hearted and uplifting for this next month (maybe Garden Spells).

But I’m not feeling very inspired by any of that. Which is slightly sad (how do you like that alliteration).

So the paradox is despite the fact that I’m surrounded by literature, I can think of nothing to write about for this post.  Nada.  Zilch.  I have the dreaded writer’s block.

I guess I’ll go grade some more papers.