Testifying to Paying Attention. What do You See? Sixth Grade Memories

Distractions! Distractions! Everywhere!

How do you expect me to sit there?

I look around all the time

So many interesting sights and sounds.

The papers on my desk are silent.

 

Daydreaming,

I leave reality.

Sometimes, I’m so far away

I don’t hear anything going on in the class.

Only by a start or a shout

Am I brought back to class.

Others embarrass me as they laugh.

Other places I want to be,

Than working on what’s in front of me.


Reading took forever

Each letter of every word

Each page I count.

Am I done yet?

I just wanted to play.


“Sit here till you finish.”

It didn’t matter if it was homework,

Practicing my instrument,

or finishing my dinner.

“Sit here till you’re done!”


Instruments galore

Violin in 3rd grade
A full size one
A family heirloom

That’s what I got
‘Cause that’s what we had.

Next year, clarinet
“Mr. Miller is an excellent
Music Teacher;
He’s on his second generation of students.”
Whatever that meant.

I have a vinyl record with my very own squeak on it
I remember it was during March Slav.
I was in chorus too.
Computers were such a new thing back then;
We sang a wonderfully written song about them
In the end the audience laughed.

I love making people laugh.
I love laughing.
I miss laughing.
I will laugh again.

I hear inside encouragement. “You’re doing great!
“Keep going.” That’s ABBA’s voice.
He’s been with me always and knows what I’ve been through
He understands me. He’s loving and kind.

Out the window I see a robin with a very big belly.
Such gifts Father gives me.
He knows me so well.
He knows my hell.

He’s made me whole
But my testimony can help someone else overcome
So I wipe my tears,
And shake my bells,
And remember a saying my parents used to say,
“Hell’s Bells.”

There was a day
I was older than most
When I went from reading every letter of every word
To reading a word as a whole.

That’s when reading changed.
Then the story came alive and the words weren’t black letters on a page.
Then my mind could fly to places others created.

I’ve heard it said there are some who can read whole paragraphs or pages at a time.
That’s not yet me, and that’s okay.
I can read just fine.
I comprehend what I see.

Story.
Everyone has their own.
Omnipotent God knows everyone’s story.
He wrote them before time began.
And yet, we have free will to choose.

DON’T ASK ME!
I’ve spent so much time
Searching His word
Trying to understand.
He’s infinite and we’ll never get to the end of Him
Which is really good! If we could, He wouldn’t be God.

I’ve had to resign to mystery.
There are just some things that are His and His alone.
Like when His Son Jesus is coming back to reign on His throne.

Procrastination is a bad habit of mine.
I used to be lazy but I’m not lazy now;
I fill the waiting time with necessary activities.
God’s teaching me to obey.

It wasn’t until I was a teacher
Ha! Let me correct that statement.
When God called me into the classroom,
And yes, it was a call, I made an agreement with Him,
I would be the adult facilitating the classroom, HE was the Teacher, and we were all students.

And that’s how we rolled, for 12 years.
I was in sixth grade for twelve years!

When I was in sixth grade, AS a sixth grader,
I sat in the back row of Mr. McDevitt’s class.
Beaver Brook Elementary, a long narrow building, with one classroom per grade.
Fifth and sixth grade were downstairs; worn stairs they were, wooden.
The windows were at the top of the classroom inside but at the level of the sidewalk outside.

My violin lesson was in the boiler room,
with a white haired man, who’s name and face I don’t remember.
Yes, I went back to the violin; I was bigger. It fit a little better.

My desk had an opening, no lid to lift.
I had braces that year.
I’d spend my time in class looking at my braces with a little mirror.
Mr. McDevitt would say, “Laura, (sigh) put the Tonka toys away.”
His hands and forearms would circle around in an outward motion.
Grace, I guess, a resigned sigh. I’d work on attending again.

Mr. McDevitt loved history, so he’d spend 45 minutes on it.
There was so much space between the back of the classroom to the front
That I never really heard what he said.

The boys were in the front of the room and the girls in the back
The girls were boy crazy. The boys cared less.
Hormones.

There was this one time though, I gotta tell you about it.

When he lectured, Mr. McDevitt liked to chew his fingernails and run his fingers through his hair. Sprinkle out the loose ones, brush off the dandruff.
These are what I observed which prevented me from listening or learning.
A tall man, he’d put his foot upon the desk of a front-row student, rest his elbow on his knee.
Well this one day his routine ended differently. His hair messed up, stood up like a well-built bonfire waiting for a light!
He had no idea. I had no idea. Until . . .

The girls started laughing, quietly at first.
From left to right, just like reading English,
The sound of laughter moved across the back of the room
Subtle attention getters, like a wave lapping across the room.
Several times Mr. McDevitt tried to calm us down
Straight-faced, messy-haired, Mr. McDevitt
Had no idea why we girls were laughing.
The boys weren’t laughing. But we girls were.
The crescendo of our laughter, no matter how hard we tried to stifle it, broke forth in a raucous, tear filled, guffaw.
Quite the contrast to the silver-haired drone up front; it felt good to laugh in class.

It ended when one of the boys, who had tried to calm us down too, proceeded to explain to Mr. McDevitt
Why we were laughing. I never did hear his explanation. By this point we couldn’t breath.
It wasn’t even the condition of his hair anymore. It was the comical combination of the messy hair and the straight face.
Comic relief in a world misunderstood by me, a world which never would be the same, for dad had died that year.

I think God had me in sixth grade as a teacher because that year’s experiences
Seared my mind and memory. I could relate to the sixth graders I taught.
We had fun, we were real, and we got our work done.

It was not a problem to stand in front of the class.
I’d sung, acted, entertained, both prim and proper like, and casually too.
Always I’d longed for attention and here I got it.
I loved the spotlight. I entertained.
I did the same thing three times a day.

The rules were such that I couldn’t get heckled. How great is that?!
The first class got my rough, waking up, getting- my-togethers-together presentation.
The second class got my best “school” presentation.
After lunch, the third class got my added humor, and accents, I used these to keep me sane.
I was, after all, teaching the same thing for the third time.

Sitting still was still a problem for me. Correcting papers, always the paperwork,
No job is finished until the paperwork is done, right?
If you don’t wipe your butt well, the rest of the world know it.
Everyone’s poop smells.
If you think your’s doesn’t, then check your pits for pride.

Well my study halls were when I had to do the paperwork.
My solution to help me sit still was to literally tie myself to my chair.
The rope I used was the length of the small intestines but the diameter was too large to represent it accurately
So it became my seatbelt, of sorts.

Correcting the same thing, 75 times, up to 5 subjects, consistently, for 12 years.
O v e r w h e l m e d.
Can you say, “Overwhelmed.”?
My old mindset had yet to be renewed.
I had accountability which made me do it,
Still external though, the parents, the students, the principal, the school board,
And ultimately the Lord. He helped me get through it.
He always helps me get through it.
Thank You, God, for always helping me get through it.
You’ve never left me alone.

I loved being creative, spontaneously.
One day, it was Teacher Appreciation Day, and I received flowers.
A lovely gift, but I had no vase in which to put them.
A dilemma to solve, I had.
So while lecturing, I can’t remember the subject (what else is new),
I gathered some materials from the cabinet.
A measuring bucket, straws, rubber bands, and I went to work.
Using the straws and the rubber bands I made a grid to overlay the bucket.
The inside square of the grid, now an opening small enough, held the flowers upright.
Putting the water from my drinking glass into the bucket, I now had a make-shift vase.
This activity brought me joy. The class may have even applauded. I don’t remember.

Boundaries.
I never knew what they were. I’d get yelled at for doing things wrong
But I didn’t know how to do them right.
I wasn’t taught, at least not Biblically taught.

Insects outside the window are mating. It’s Spring time.
God made them to know by instinct what to do.

God made us to know too. He gave us survival instincts, like how to float.
Or how to put our hand to our throat if we’re choking.
I choke on water a lot.
Praise God it hasn’t killed me . . .yet.

Last week I asked God to make me whole.
He’s been healing me in various ways as I’ve asked.
I was tired of the turmoil, the spiritual abuse, the
Supposed victory, no, it actually is victory.
A victory Jesus Christ provides. He’s the Great Physician,
The Wonderful Counselor, The One Who’s shoulders the Government rests upon.
I’m so glad He’s returning soon. Are you?

Boundaries help us know what is our responsibility and what isn’t ours.
As an Intercessor, praying for others became burdensome because
I kept taking on the weight, which was actually Jesus’ to carry.
His yoke is easy and His burden is light, He says.

Boundaries crossed by others and me overstepping mine;
Mentally a mess, I am letting God be God and I’m staying away from thinking I’m the Holy Spirit
God’s got a lot of healing to do
In others because of my “plank-hitting” behavior
When I pointed out others’ specks while blind to my own.

Mercy, Grace, and Love, Father loose them upon me
And upon those I’ve affected. This race against time, perpetually at my back,
Even in this He’s healing me.
The Good Shepherd leads! The task master prods.

Actions have consequences; inactions do as well.
I just killed an ant on my desk.
Spring? Murder? Heartless? Dominion?
God knows.

Some big thoughts have been ruminating in my mind.
I’ve been searching the Scriptures for answers.
Asking God to teach me and reveal what’s really going on.
When in time are we? He knows the beginning from the end.

I’m going to do my best (bugs are still mating)
To put into words what He’s shown me.
This epoch battle of good verses evil waves climatic once again.
The first wave occurred in the Garden of Eden,
God set the boundary; temptation arrived; deception occurred.
Humankind lost dominion, relationship, and fellowship.
The next teaching, in Genesis 4:7, soon disregarded and murder occurs.
Consequences overwhelm! The Lord hears Cain’s cry; God’s mercy reigns.
All throughout Scripture we see accounts recorded
They’re there to teach us. Their lessons are ours too!
Will we learn?

400 years, several are noted; one before the Exodus, the next between the Testaments,
Now in America since the Mayflower Compact in 1620 to November 11, 2020.
These three highlight our need to appeal to Heaven.
The corruption on earth gets so bad we have no other recourse.
Almighty God, the Fear of the Lord, both forgotten, except by a few.

The annihilation of mankind by wickedness threatens now more than ever before.
But Scripture says NOT YET. In Matthew 24 the personal revelation from Christ to His disciples gives us a clue.
Another is found in Revelation 18.
In Isaiah 61, has the year of the Lord’s favor come to an end? Are we upon the day of vengeance of our God? Or was that Day Calvary?
Are we now in the season of Beauty for ashes?
Leaving it to mystery, again.

Jezebel’s and Ahab’s daughter, Athaliah, wickedness her rightful name,
Is attempting to come out early
BUT GOD
He’s putting the lid over her for her time is NOT YET!
There is a great harvest in the midst of our enemies,
which is taking place right now, all across the world!

Father still calls, “Come HOME!”
Jesus, the Christ, is the gate in which we enter.
He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Him.
This Kingdom in which Father dwells is spiritual. We are called to worship Him in Spirit and Truth.

Ah, Lord Jesus, Help me to focus.
Put your hands on the keyboard, the first instruction I hear.

My People perish for lack of knowledge.
My heart is that they would know ME, My Son, My plan which is laid out in My WORD, My Holy Spirit, whom I’ve given as a Helper to you, the Believer.

The deception, occurring for centuries, none of you have known life without it, EXCEPT those I’ve made whole.
I made you whole last week, Laura. Now You’re going to teach others how to live in wholeness.

Wholeness starts at the New Birth. Others will not take as long as you took.
Jesus finished the work on the Cross. He modeled how you are to live. Selflessly, a servant, encouraging each other, waiting for the power from on High. I will endue you with that power, when you need it. Continually in the temple you are worshiping, praising, and blessing God with great joy! Well, your body is the temple. Internally at least, develop the skill of worshiping Me continually. A mature person knows when to speak and when to keep silent. Look with eyes of faith to see if the other’s eyes looking back have faith to believe, or are believers. Will they look you in the eye? The eyes are the window to the soul. Listen before you speak. What are people saying? You can discern where they are spiritually by what they say. Now you know how to PRAY for them. Eyes and ears wide open; Mouth completely shut. This is how you roll from now on.

The unseen realm used to bully you. Now that you’re grasping Christ’s Victory, your wholeness, His Authority, use the discernment I give you.
Living from Christ’s Victory the enemy impotently roars like a toothless old lion.
Let loose the Lion of Judah's ROAR as I lead you and all my faithful servants in the Lion’s Army.

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words matter; let's care

In that computer song I sang as a child, referenced in the work above, read the words below. Think about today and our current events. Do you notice any similarities?

The Computer
Once a small, little bald, little scientist, gave his computer a long long list, a list of problems 50 miles long, and then he burst into this song. With the minimum persuasion, it can solve a long equation, it can add an X to zero which will prophesy a hero, by an intricate connection, it determines an election, it can launch a guided missile while you stand around a whistle.

Another song we sang that year was Up, Up with People. You meet 'em wherever you go, their the best kind of folks we know, if more people were for people all people everywhere, there'd be a lot less people to worry about and a lot more people who care.

Our soul vaults music, the universal language.