“As for me, far be it from me
that I should sin against the Lord
by failing to pray for you.
And I will teach you what is good and right.”
1 Samuel 12:23
I grew up in a small town in central Illinois. My father, John, was a teacher and coach. My mother, Jackie, was the office manager of a local company that made dried molasses for animal feed.
As a young child, I was affected deeply by the movie, The Miracle Worker, and other biographies of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. They fanned into flame my passion and desire to be a Special Education teacher. I received a degree in Special Education from Illinois State University and taught Early Childhood Special Education for nine years.
I went back to school at the University of Illinois for my master’s degree. There I met my husband, Jim. Two years after we married we moved to the Pacific Northwest. With the arrival of our son and then our daughter, I became a full-time mom. I won’t say stay-at-home mom because a lot of those years had very little to do with staying home. Let’s just say that my willingness to serve at my children’s schools led me on an eclectic journey of service and prayer.
Since 1999, I have participated in and led Moms in Prayer groups at the school. I do not even want to imagine how I would have survived raising my children without the faithful, consistent support I found praying with other moms. Even though my children have graduated and moved on to college and beyond, I still do Moms in Prayer. I lead several prayer meetings a week with teachers, parents, students, and staff. I mentor a 6th grade Prayer Committee. I also work part time as a classroom assistant and substitute teacher.
A Reflection of My Heart
“It was a steely gray winter day. The sky was still shedding the dark of the night as the day began. I drove around the building to park and warm yellow light shone from classroom windows. I could see teachers and some early students moving about preparing for the day. It was like a Thomas Kinkaid painting come to life. For just a moment, it took my breath away. I continued around the drive, breathing a prayer of thanksgiving. In just moments, I too would plunge into the busy scene picking up my work as a classroom assistant, but for a brief moment, on the outside looking in, my heart was dazzled by the privilege of serving a noble mission.
The memory of that moment fans the flame of my passion for our mission to help our students become all God intends, rooted and built up in Christ able to accomplish all the good works He prepared in advance for them to do. 3 John 1:4 captures the essence of what I feel. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
As I observe students learning and growing, my heart is filled with thanksgiving for all God is accomplishing in their lives. Those moments fill my soul and motivate my commitment to pray and serve. Jesus said in John 15:16 “I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit —fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”
Intentionally striving to become all God intends is a life long journey full of joys and struggles. The beautiful thing is that my regularly scheduled times of prayer have not only supported my family and our school community, but has also provided the framework for the growth and maturing of my own faith.
The Lord’s grace has indeed hemmed me in before and behind.