Thursday, April 10, 2014

ARE YOU APPROACHABLE?


"ARE YOU APPROACHABLE?"

---MICHAEL CHITTY
CEO, JUDAH CHRISTIAN SCHOOL



It was a simple question thrown across the interview table. The simple reply "YES" came with a quizzical look. Intuitively, I knew his desired answer was "yes."  I wondered in the realm of teaching how that answer could be anything but "yes" for a teacher. It SHOULD be "YES."  Looking back at that question, I realize my surprise in its asking and assumption at an obvious answer caused me to not really expound upon myself or my thoughts about that question. 

If I were interviewing myself, I would pose a follow-up question: "How do kids and parents know that you are approachable?"

After all, through the years with my own kids,  I have heard many teachers assert that they are approachable when students feel they are not, supporting their defense with this comment: "Kids know they can come to my room and ask me a question any time they want." 

To me both as a teacher and a parent, that comment does not project to many students the sense that a teacher is approachable. (I am not endearing myself to many teachers at this moment.)

I take my model from the source that models our behavior. 
JESUS CAME TO SEEK AND SAVE. HE WALKED AMONG US AND CALLED TO US AND TALKED TO US

He didn't wait for people to come to Him.  He didn't shelter himself in a temple room waiting for people to seek answers from him.  He walked among people, looked in their eyes and lives, and sought those He knew were troubled. 

Approachable? It is an intentional move. It is extending your heart, your words, your eyes, your time, and your actions first.  It requires walking among students and parents, creating intentional contact before they need it of you.  And then, it is fostering that relationship.

And my examples of walking among students and parents are how I would  answer my follow-up question: "How do you know that you are approachable?" 
   


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

ENOUGH GLITZ FOR ME


"And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?
(Esther 4:14)




Sitting at my counter, I was distracted by a line on the to do list: clean the house for a group of women coming Friday night.

My eye flitted to areas that needed improvement.  Yet, there was nothing in this short amount of time that I could do, short of simple cleaning, to improve the facade.  My mind's-eye scattered across the wish list: curtains, stool seat cushions, throw rugs, completed pictures frames hung, couch, throw pillows for my bed....

What had so suddenly eclipsed my soul? On the day I  invited women to my home, I was comfortable with the vulnerability of exposing the imperfect places of my home, but now as the time draws near, I pant to paint a richer picture?  The trappings of this life shine bright, distracting me and corrupting my heart desires.

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So today I learn from Esther.  Oh Esther, it was a long walk to stand and plead your heart before King Xerxes who offered you up to half his Kingdom.  You were not encumbered by that distraction of certain comfort and the beauty of his treasures were not a facade for security.  But the favor of your king was an honor that fueled your soul. And your people were a prize greater than the kingdom's gold.
 
Oh Cherie, it is a few days before cherished women share a short few hours of their lives. These moments in your home are as jewels, honoring one another with the gift of time.  May the facade of beauty fade to the background as the hearts of women compel your heart to see beyond your home's superficial identity to your real treasure: an exposed heart.

May I, like Esther, always seek the favor of  my King.  May I position my mind, heart, and soul in His royal treasure. May I choose to be adorned with the glamour of gratitude and grace which will always be enough glitz for this soul's home.