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A Week of Gratefulness: Part 3

What public service or organization are you grateful for?

I have the privilege of sponsoring an organization at school called Tribe that joins together kids of all abilities to just have fun and be friends. Tribe came out of the heart of a SPED teacher who wanted her children to be included in and have the same opportunities as the regular ed kids. She also knew that if regular ed students could get to know these classes that were different from them, they would find they actually had a lot in common. So, that’s what we do. We work to change the culture within our school in an effort to have a ripple effect of change on the outside world. Now, all students look forward to our tailgate, kickball game and most importantly, our “Warriors Take A Bow” play that is the highlight for our organization. Some kiddos leave our school understanding how better to interact with those different from them while others leave knowing what it feels like to belong and have the “high school” experience.

What book(s) are you grateful for?

Picking one book that makes me grateful is like picking my favorite part of nature. How do you choose between things that feed your soul in so many different ways? But, I am extremely grateful for “Captivating” by John and Stasi Eldredge. I’m actually going to review this book at some point next year but right now I am overwhelmed by their message. It speaks to the very deep desires of a woman’s heart and exposes the way Satan has attacked us for so many years. It’s nice (and sad) to know the shame and fear is universal and that if we allow God to heal those wounds they can become our greatest strengths.

What piece of clothing or furniture are you grateful for?

While definitely not the most flattering piece of clothing I own, this top means the world to me because my grandmother made it for my mother nearly 50 years ago. My grandmother made clothes for me as a child and altered gowns for me in high school and college but this is the only piece of clothing I have now that I can wear. Also, my grandmother instilled me with her love of sewing and I spent many hours at her sewing machine watching her create. Now, I own that sewing machine and the fact that I have this garment from that very machine is pretty stinking cool!

Write about a friend that you’re grateful for.

I couldn’t pick one person out of my squad. They are my 2AM friends. I laugh with them, cry with them and enjoy “doing life” together. Whether on a road trip or handling a life crisis, they are there for me and vice versa.

Write about a teacher or mentor that you’re grateful for.

The longer I teach, the more I appreciate my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Munn. I still remember so much about her class even though it’s been nearly thirty years. As a teacher, I now realize how much work and extra effort she put into building relationships with us and making us fall in love with learning. It was the only time I didn't dread math and science class. She was fantastic and I hope to have just a tenth of her impact then I will consider my career a success.

Write about a family member that you’re grateful for.

Outside of my grandmother, the other relative that I miss spending time with is my great Aunt Naomi. She was funny, sweet and overwhelmingly loving. She had a wealth of family knowledge and functioned in many ways as the family matriarch. Now that she’s gone, I realize how many questions I wish I could still ask her and, truthfully, I wish I had known that I would be single for a “large” portion of my current life because she never married and rocked the single aunt life but I’m sure at some point she had the same questions and concerns that have plagued me in the last few years. I’d love to just sit with her and chat again. I didn’t realize how thankful I was for her until I was older.

What’s a tradition that you’re grateful for?

I L-O-V-E traditions which is why I love the holidays, homecoming week and everything Pi Omega. It’s so nice to feel connected to others through relatable experiences. This love of tradition does make it difficult to pick just one but I guess I’m grateful for a newer tradition my squad has of going on a holiday adventure INSTEAD of giving gifts to one another. Sometimes, experiences are the best gifts and we all agree that we would rather spend the sum total of what we would have spent on each other doing something memorable together. I hope this tradition continues for many years.


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