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Yesterday marked the first day of teacher in-service. As I listened to the state of Faith Christian Academy and analyzed test score averages, the situation seemed almost surreal. Are we all really doing this again?

Apparently, the answer is yes, because today is Day 2. I’m celebrating with two bowls of cereal on the side of my fried egg, flax seed, banana, and orange juice. The house is quiet, as it usually is when I wake to eat breakfast and spend time with the Lord. A grandfather clock just chimed a quarter hour, and I am reminded that I must soon shed pajamas for something slightly more professional. Just slightly.

My classroom has begun to come together. David hung my beautifully framed cork board, as well as various other items. I’ve covered one bulletin board with pretty fabric. Still so much to do

Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies pile high on a plate I have prepared to bring to school today. File folders sit neatly by my purse. A lunch to-go should soon emerge from the fridge.

But, what else am I bringing to school today?

As I listened to the various emotions floating around the teacher assembly yesterday, I witnessed nervous anticipation, excitement, dread, exhaustion, bitterness, anger…so many times many of us arrive to these required gatherings with attitudes not yet fully submitted to Christ and with hearts burdened by personal and family issues. I don’t blame a single teacher, but still I wonder what am I bringing to the table?

Do I come bearing good news? Joy? Are my feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace? Do I wear the helmet of salvation?

According to Bill Johnson in a Life of Miracles, “We were created for intimacy. From that intimacy comes our commission to rule. Keep in mind that He [Christ] views ruling differently that most of us. We rule through service. Many have made the mistake of thinking that Christians are to be the heads of all corporations, governments, and departments. As good as that may sound, it’s actually a fruit of the true goal. Christ-likeness – excellence with humility is the real goal.”

Excellence with humility . . . a worthy goal, a lofty standard. Yet, with that motto children are loved. Parents are supported. Fellow teachers are encouraged. My soul  makes it boast in the Lord, and all is well.

I am not my own. I am bought with a price. This year, that price paid for me to influence another group of His children. Two bowls of cereal aside, I am going to walk forward into Day 2, fully assured that He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it.

To read more about teacher heart preparation, click on What Could Have Been the  Makings of a Miracle.

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