Cursive writing, a clean desk with no graffiti on the surface, a seating assignment, brand new shoes, and recess.

 Those Were the Days


I am grateful that Sam tells me goodbye every morning by saying, “God bless you.”

I am grateful for my sister and her fight for justice and the compassion she shows for undocumented children who are now in the United States of America. She is a hero to me, and I am so proud of her.


I am grateful for the memory of buying a new pencil box every year when it was back-to-school time. I don’t think kids use pencil boxes anymore, do they? I loved choosing mine each summer and filling it with brand new pencils and erasers and a left-handed pair of scissors and a small Elmer’s glue.

That makes me grateful for a Big Chief tablet and a box of Crayola crayons, all brand new. It was like HEAVEN if I was allowed to get the box of 64 with a built-in sharpener!


I am grateful for two summertime pool treats that everyone should enjoy at least once: Fun Dip and a giant pixie stick. I think those will be my Bingo prizes tonight. What a delightful vision – Bingo players enjoying a giant pixie stick while they play. Probably not likely, but it is still a delightful vision.

I am grateful for the smell of a freshly sharpened pencil, ahhhhhhhhh, and the sound of a pencil being sharpened by one of those old-fashioned sharpeners that were screwed into the wall of the classroom that had to be cranked by hand. And while I’m reminiscing about smells at school…the smell of Haven Grade School when I walked through the doors; the smell wafting down the hallways at Haven Grade School and at CBA of Leona Silvers’ cinnamon rolls baking or Geri’s, Connie’s, and Chris’s beef biscuit rolls and enormous loaves of French bread; and freshly mimeographed worksheets that were still a little wet, complete with purple ink.


I am grateful for happy whistlers walking in the hallway outside the office.

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. – Sir John Lubbock



I am grateful to have seen my CASA girl at lunchtime and to now be a part of her growing support group. This girl won’t fall through the cracks with all these people who see her potential and sacrifice their time and attention just for her. What a beautiful thing to witness, and such a privilege to be invited to take part.

I am grateful for chocolate chip pancakes.

I am grateful for acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen.

And I am grateful for this exerpt from the book I am reading by Jen Hatmaker, “Interrupted,” and if you want a copy, just let me know and I will send it to you, because it will be life-changing for you, too:

Thus far, the worst school discipline we’ve faced involved my sixth grader making sarcastic comments at inappropriate moments (do not say a word, reader). There are little snafus, easily handled between me and the teacher, and my children go to the office only when pretending they are sick. (My kindergartner calling from the nurse’s office: “My elbow hurts so bad, Mom. It’s broken. And it itches.”)

That said, we are on the front edge of high school, where things could get dicey. I fully expect my kids to be perfect, never mouth off, always turn in their AP work, and salvage their teachers’ hope for the next generation. I daresay awards will be created to honor their impeccable behavior, given the extremely compliant DNA they were blessed with from model parents. However, should the bad kids negatively influence my good kids toward shenanigans (I’m planning to play that card), I have an ace up my sleeve, a little weapon I intend to use liberally and without reservation.

My mom is the high school principal.

I’m not saying she should give them preferential treatment and strategically  place them with the best teachers (that is exactly what I’m saying), but there is comfort in knowing that if something heads south, if my kids end up facing the music, Principal King is also known as Grana. They will find mercy because they are her babies, and blood runs thick.

Having Jesus as Judge, like we see in Matthew 25, is something akin to having your Grana double as your principal. No one loves me more than Jesus. No one is more on my side. No one is more obsessed with His sons and daughters. No one else laid down His life to defend me. It’s walking into court and finding out your best friend is hearing the case. If Jesus as Judge used to scare me, now it comforts me because “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). The Judge also goes by the name Friend. His justice is constructed on mercy, and I’ll never stand before a Judge more hell-bent on my liberation.





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