#Caitlin

A Gifted Teacher

 

As a student, math was always my least favorite subject and I lacked the confidence to succeed in this area of my studies. That all changed my junior year of high school when I was blessed to have a teacher who finally helped me crack the code on this math mystery. Somehow, she flipped a lightbulb on in my brain, and shed light on a part of me I didn’t know existed. I actually began to enjoy math for the first time in my life. I finished that class with such a high “A” that I wasn’t even required to take the final exam. This gifted teacher played an important role in my journey to becoming a teacher. I think of her frequently when I plan my lessons and guide my students, as I hope I can reveal and encourage buried talents within my own students. I believe God has a special purpose for why I am teaching these specific students, and I can only pray and strive to inspire them the way this teacher inspired me.

by CMM

A Generous Heart

For the holiday weekend, my husband and I packed up the car and took our boys to Mammoth to enjoy God’s grandeur in nature. This was an extra special trip because it was our first visit to the new family home my father-in-law purchased this past year. He spent years researching the perfect place for our family to retreat together. The mountains called to him, as Mammoth offered a serene platform for us to reconnect with each other, make wonderful memories and rejuvenate our spirits. His joy was contagious this weekend as we spent quality time laughing with each other and marveling at the landscape. He is someone who continues to inspire me to be present in each moment, appreciate every gift from God and remember what is truly important in this life. I am grateful not just for this new space he has provided for us to come together as a family, but for the heart he has to desire that togetherness.

by CMM

Normal Worry

I’ll admit that I spend significant time worrying about whether or not my children are reaching their milestones. Is my toddler’s speech flawed? Is my baby’s weight on track? How long will this potty training really last?! This constant desire to be “normal” ironically starts to make me feel crazy. When I become overwhelmed by these concerns, I try to stop and spend some time centering myself in prayer. I envision placing my anxious heart in God’s gentle hands. I listen for God’s voice, reminding me that perfection does not exist on Earth and we have each been created to fulfill our own purposes. Comparing ourselves to others won’t help us live more intentionally. So, I will let the worries pass by like ships on the sea, and I will laugh and play with my boys while they know nothing of worry.

by CMM

 

 

 

Called By Name

Last week, I started my sixth school year as a teacher. Like my students, anxiety and excitement build as the first day arrives and I meet my new classes. Although it’s important to discuss class policies and procedures right away, I always feel a strong calling to kick off the year with something fun. I play a question game to get to know each student and I even offer a candy treat in exchange for their answers. By the end of class, I can call each student by name, which I believe sets an inviting and caring tone for the year we will spend together. In Isaiah 43, God tells us, “I have called you by name, you are mine.” I feel I am called to send this message to each one of my students so they remember they are unique, important and loved – not just by the God who formed them, but by all people who take special care to discover who they are.  I continue to pray for grace and memory muscle to carry on this first-day tradition every year!

by CMM

Play Ball

When I first met my husband, he was playing minor league baseball for the New York Yankees. His job both intimidated and intrigued me. He played a game for a living! His livelihood depended on his ability to overcome stress and focus strictly on the present. Every day, he suited up in his pinstriped uniform, ran out onto a pristinely manicured field and enjoyed God’s gifts of creation through baseball. When his dreams of playing in the major leagues ended, he decided to share his love for the game as a coach. He now mentors young men ranging from age 9 to 18, teaching them all he has learned. He joins them on the field each day, grateful that his work is actually about playing.  I will always be thankful for the game of baseball, not just because it provides our financial means to live, but also because it has shaped my husband into a man who knows how to play in life, and he inspires that in others.

by CMM

Celebrating Love

One of my closest and dearest friends married the love of her life last weekend. On such a special occasion, my husband and I dressed up and headed out for the celebration. Together, we enjoyed the company of friends, tasty food, and the palpable support for the newlyweds. As we danced cheek to cheek and laughed on the dance floor, I was transported back to my own wedding day – 7 years, 2 children, and 2 careers ago. The outpouring of love that day gave God many faces. We vowed to love each other in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, through good and bad times. We were blind to the future that has already challenged and uplifted us. I couldn’t help but hold my husband a little closer while we danced next to our newly married friends, and offer up multiple prayers of gratitude for the gift of this love and the adventure we continue to share together.

by CMM

Birthday Fun

We just celebrated my oldest son’s third birthday this past weekend. He takes delight in so many activities that it was difficult to decide exactly how we wanted to commemorate the day. Beach? Bounce house? Sea World? In the morning, after I managed to put his younger brother down for a nap, I filled buckets full of water balloons and went wild with him in our backyard – just the two of us. This wasn’t part of the grand plan for the day, but it was my favorite part. As we laughed and played together, I relished in the beautiful morning God created. But most of all, my heart filled to the brim with gratitude that God entrusted me with the life of this amazing little boy. His joyful spirit reminds me to put away the work, stress, and chores so I can simply play.

By CMM

Creating A Memory

My husband’s work brought him to Arizona’s blazing summer for three weeks this past month. Trying to avoid twenty-one straight days on my own with a toddler and an infant, we ventured out into the desert to visit him. It wasn’t the vacation my teacher-heart dreamt of when my final school weeks dragged on, but it was something. The 110-degree heat kept us inside for most of the day until my three-year old’s desperate pleas to go swimming were indulged in the early evenings. His love and pure excitement for the water filled my heart with gratitude for this opportunity, and this memory. Despite the discomfort of taking care of little ones in an unfamiliar place, I grounded myself in each moment we shared, knowing that God speaks to us in unexpected ways.

by CMM