This is a redo of a post I did in 2007. I had just been introduced to the blog world and had no followers or readers...so no one ever saw this post. I felt like the last official day of school for my students was a great day to bring it out and dust it off for old times sake. We all love to get invitations. I know I do. I love to be invited somewhere...I love to dress up....make special food for the event....anything....just to be invited. Today, I want to talk about a different kind of invitation that I was lucky enough to get when I was younger. My invitation was to learn. When I was 36 months old, Ms. Meabold invited me to learn about Jesus in Sunday School. She portrayed him as my faithful friend, a loving father, a miracle worker and I believed her. She invited me to sit at her feet and listen to wonderful Bible stories that she read to us each Sunday. I learned and I loved every minute of it. When I was 48 months old I went to Opportunity with my mom. She worked there....the only invitation I had there was not a pleasant one...they made us take naps....something I had not done since I was a baby. At 60 months I entered the world of Vedado Park Kindergarten....and again an invitation was extended for us to read, draw, create, make friends. I did just that and loved my time in the neighborhood school. At 72 months I got my first big girl invitation. It came from Joyce Freeman. She invited me to be all I could be. She opened up a whole new world for me in first grade and I loved school and I loved her. Second grade at 84 months was a different ball of string. My teacher was beautiful.....on the outside. She was not pretty on the inside. She did not get to know us....she did not invite us to learn. She was pretty busy getting ready to get married and did not have time for us. If she had...she would never have sent me home one day alone to get a signed form I had forgotten. I forgot it because my mom was in the hospital and I was staying with friends at their house. The form was at my house....but she did not know...and she did not care. I did not feel invited to grow in this classroom. Third grade brought Ms. Lohr. She was an invitation waiting for a place to happen. I would have died for her as a third grader. She wanted us all to read, write, create...and we all tried our best. Yep, 96 months was a good time for an invitation....108 months rolled around there was Mrs. Hays, 120 months brought Miss Reynolds into my life...and 132 months brought yet another teacher I loved, Mrs. Carlson. She lived down the road from me and was such a great teacher. She made everything exciting....but then she got sick and the substitute uninvited us all. It was a bleak rest of the year. When 148 months arrived I found myself in a whole new setting....we changed classes, we had more than one teacher and I was terrified. Could I cut it in Junior High? Beth Ruggles was the first teacher to invite us to expand our minds. Her English class was great....but Math and Science did not come with invitations....so the year was extremely confusing. 55 years later....753 months have passed by....There have been many invitations throughout my lifetime....in college, at work, in life....sometimes I have taken them...other times I found myself RSVPing with a "No thank you " reply. I find myself the giver of invitations now. I have been handing them out for the last 23 years. Sometimes the students will take them and we will have a wonderful adventure. Other times they turn me down and it is a hard year for both of us....the thing about an invitation is...if you don't accept it....you will never know what you might have missed. I like the words to the song Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls from the movie City of Angels...."I don't want to close my eyes....I don't want to fall asleep...." because I might miss something....and that something could change my life. I wish I could help my students understand this lesson I have learned during my 55 years of breathing. Don't not try something new or out of the ordinary....you might miss an extraordinary! So today, I invite you to open your eyes, heart, mind, and just let go and breathe life in. It may be a bumpy ride and things may not always go like you want them too....but let me tell you....it is an adventure!
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.