Monday, December 17, 2012

I Must Confess

I Need a Miracle!

My palms were sweating. “I’ve got to get this car to the median,” I thought, looking over my shoulder at three lanes of early morning L.A. traffic. “I need a miracle like the parting of the Red Sea.” Wait, wrong Bible story. This was December 20th. How about a miracle similar to finding a birthing manger in Bethlehem?

“Whatever—just help me get to school on time, Lord.”

It was the last day of school before Christmas vacation. My students had always been generous in past years, but I knew they’d pour on the presents today, since it was my final year teaching at the small private school my kids attended before we moved across the country.


Those Gifts Were Waiting

I must confess I wasn’t fretting over leaving my teens at home alone while I dashed my husband to the train station, or the expense of fixing whatever troubled our sick car. I was thinking of those beribboned boxes of stationery I’d regift at the next Missionary Mamas Christmas party; the “Best Teacher” mugs I’d drink from twice before giving them to Goodwill; and the matching sets of dish towels I’d put in a drawer to give my kids’ teachers next Christmas. The thought of missing all that loot made me want to cry.

As I put the car in neutral and opened the door to begin pushing, a pickup truck pulled up behind me, the driver motioning me to get back in so he could push me from behind. I was able to turn the corner and ease the car to a stop. I smiled as I waved my thanks to the kind driver, noticing the embroidered name on his blue uniform: CLARENCE. “Thanks, Lord,” I chuckled.

By the time I jogged the quarter mile home, more than my palms were sweating, but I didn’t have time to change clothes. Those gifts were waiting.

Dodging Holly Bushes

My sixteen-year-old daughter was thrilled that she got to drive us to school in her car. Her younger brother was not amused. “Mom, the last time Ruthie drove, she went the wrong way up a one-way street and nearly killed us!”

“We’ll just have to risk it, Ben. I may never have another bonanza like this again.” He sighed, and grabbed two overstuffed pillows from the couch on his way out the door. This was the dark ages, before airbags.

We made it to school in record time, with only one mishap—a scratch on the passenger side from a holly bush in a residential neighborhood. “Don’t’ worry, honey,” I crooned to Ruthie, “it’s hard to judge your speed when you’re turning corners. Those people shouldn’t have planted that bush so close to the sidewalk, anyway.”

 My Sharing Heart

As Ben staggered out of the back seat, still clutching his pillows, he moaned and slapped his forehead. “We forgot our lunches, Mom. You made us go in such a hurry; we left them on the kitchen table. I can’t make it ‘til 3:30 with nothing to eat!”

I put my arm around his shoulder as we walked into the building together. “Don’t worry, son. I’m counting on at least three boxes of See’s candy and two fruitcakes. I’ll share with you, okay?”
Although I no longer teach school, I must confess I still love to give and receive gifts. My favorite being the gift of God's Son, Jesus, who was given to us 2,000 years ago. May you experience His joy and love this Holy Season. I will be unplugged for two weeks to enjoy my kids and grandkids.
Many Blessings,


  1. What a fun story! Have a wonderful Christmas, Jeannette!

  2. Ahhh- I am a teacher myself and your descriptions resonated with me. Lovely story- Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    1. Thanks, Shelly. I knew this would relate to at least a few teachers out there!

  3. May you have a very Merry Christmas and many, many blessings as you spend time with your family.

    1. Thank you, Barb. You have been a constant source of joy to me this last year. Merry, bright Christmas!

  4. I used to love the little teacher gifts the kids gave me each year. I usually put most of it to use. I even kept those red flocked ornaments for a year or so before tossing them.

    1. Yes, I still have a couple of the ornaments, Nancy. I love the handmade ones--they made me feel so special and loved!

  5. Blessings to you, Jen. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  6. I hope you're having a wonderful time, Jeanette!

  7. LOL! I love the "Clarence" part of the story. Doesn't God have a great way of giving us His reminders. I'm a teacher, but alas, these years are lean on cash---I recieved a candy cane this year. Yes, with an uplifting quote attached to say I brought out the best in my kiddos. Yeah, and a couple of heartfelt cards. C'est tout! :-) God is Love! That's enough.

  8. Susna, Carol, Rhonda, and Rose: Thanks for your comments and well wishes. We had a lovely, zooey Christmas with our entire family here! I hope yours was meaningful and sweet.



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