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Sun streams in through my open classroom blinds, leaving patterns of shadow across my students’ busily working profiles. A sweet feeling of God’s presence envelopes me, as I survey my 7th graders’ sleepy faces. It is first period after all, and I barely have to worry about my classroom management skills with this group. Their yearnings for bed and breakfast overwhelm their natural inclinations to talk or pass notes. Yet, I am drawn to them. Drawn to invest myself in this current mission field.

The announcements and pledges blare over the PA system. Following closely on the heels of the loudspeaker’s words, I open the morning’s lesson with prayer and Bible reading. The words from I Corinthians 2:25-31 wash over my classroom. Tuesday has begun.

The morning grows all the more sweeter as I sip from my recyclable Starbucks’ cup and enter attendance and homework grades. Student A Present. Student B Present. Sip. Present. Missing assignment. Sip. Pending. 100%. Sip. Sip. Sip.

Autumn is one of the few times that I order sweetened coffee concoctions from local coffee shops. However, I can’t seem to resist Starbuck’s newest creation: Salted Caramel Mocha. Before the sun had made its appearance over the horizon this morning, I opted to redeem my “Sweet 15” certificate, a gold-embossed free drink award for every 15 drinks purchased with my registered Starbucks gift card. The coveted certificate in hand, I ordered my favorite – Decaf, Extra-Hot Cafe Misto with Skim Milk and 1/2 the normal pumps of Mocha and Toffee Nut syrups.

Would you like the salt sprinkles and caramel drizzle with that?” the barista queried.

Oh, yes,” I replied. “Fall is not fall without the goodness of sugar and spice in the morning.”

Anyway, what girl wouldn’t want sprinkles and drizzle when they are offered? I’ll take them both with relish. Thank you, and yes please.

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