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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Calm (emotionally) (09/13/07)

TITLE: Meet The Teacher Night
By Carolyn Baney
09/14/07


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Driving to “Meet the Teacher Night,” darkness suddenly shrouded the daylight as luminous storm clouds rushed upon my car. Once still and quiet trees violently shook. A plastic trash bag caught up in the circular motion of the wind swirled before me. Just when it looked like the wind would release it from its repetitive circular path, the bag was thrust upward for one more taunting go around.

Boy, how I related to that trash bag tonight. Despite the warm, humid weather, summer was over. With it, my sanity shook like those trees. I’d spent the summer on an exotic journey, thrashing through long grass and weeds to embark on a brand new adventure. No, I hadn’t even left my house, but I traveled far. After reading a book titled “Practicing the Lost Art of His Presence” by James Goll, sparks of revelation ignited my imagination on fire. So I packed my Bible, asked my trusty friend, the Holy Spirit, to join me, and off we went to my bedroom. “Seek, inquire, and be still” became my new motto, and what a summer vacation I had!

Like all vacations, it came to an end. Along with the leaves changing colors so had my schedule from puffy white clouds and sweet summer breezes to black storm clouds on the horizon and gusts of wind kicking me about. Suddenly my time in His presence dwindled from hours to a 15-minute devotional and quick all-inclusive prayer for everyone in my life. No specifics. Between school, work, soccer, church, youth groups, homework, house, and meals, there simply wasn’t time.

Three years ago I decided to home school my two eldest children when they got old enough for Middle School. However, like God’s creation, no two of my four children were similar; each needed his or her own path. For example, after watching every rerun of “Scooby-Do” three times over, my daughter Shelby developed her own “hippy” style; flower power, peace signs, boots, and tie-dye were back in my house. When Shelby told me she wanted to go to Middle School, I wasn’t surprised but reacted with divided emotions. My life had become a juggling act, and all good jugglers feared that ‘one too many’ ball tossed their way. While I was relieved that particular ball hadn’t been tossed my way, fear seeped in about the worldly environment I had tossed her into.

Not quite prepared to meet her teacher, my spirit turned and shifted with turmoil like my surroundings. Battered and beaten by the wind while I ran to the school’s entrance, there was no hope of good first impressions on my part, hair sticking straight up and a bristling spirit to go with it.

Much to my surprise, warmth and vibrant colors exploded over my senses as I walked into the classroom. Mrs. Wolf approached me. “Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here. Shelby’s such a delight, and we have similar interests.” She pointed to her wardrobe letting out a delightful laugh. Mrs. Wolf donned a tie-dye dress, bangles galore, peace sign earrings, and black boots. Immediately I knew Shelby was in the hands of her loving Father.

Walking out of the school that night, I stood in the eye of the storm, stillness and peace. Psalm 46:10 slipped back into my thoughts from my summer tryst. “Let be; be still and know that I am God!” I realized that I had forgotten the most important lesson of my journey. God isn’t found in a church, on a mountaintop, or across the world; He’s found in us, the Body of Christ. His presence indwells His children wherever we go. We need only to “seek, inquire, and be still,” especially in the midst of a storm.


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Member Comments
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Joanne Sher 09/22/07
You have some amazing descriptions in here- so vivid! What an excellent lesson too. A few parts felt "out of place" to me somehow, but this was a very strong piece nonetheless. Keep writing!
dub W09/23/07
Great descriptive writing. Interesting storyline...so she is 60s teacher; no wonder your MCs daughter thought her cool - welcome to the puppy pen.