Focus on The Right Things
In my profession as a teacher, I am not always 100% sure of the one best lesson plan or class management procedure. As a professional organizer, I’m not entirely convinced that I have in mind the one best way to keep a space organized. In my role as a friend to others, I’m not always sure I am acting in ways that always represent my level of care and commitment. But even during these times of feeling unsure or indecisive, I feel a still, small voice telling me what is right and true even in the midst of insecurity or a bit of doubt. It may be a bit like the age-old reference to our “conscience,” I suppose, but it’s more than just that. These are the truths we carry in our hearts—things that we believe about how we are to live, work, and act. It’s so important especially now more than ever before, to truly determine what we believe–in our belief systems, our faith, and our knowledge–so that when times get a little rough, we can count on the quiet “whispers” of truth” in our lives, the “whispers of our hearts.”
Some important “whispers” in my life come through in my teaching profession. As most teachers, I get stressed and a bit overwhelmed during the weeks prior to standardized testing. During most of the year, my instruction has been purposeful and authentic. But I feel the pressure to also instruct students well on the genre that is testing in order to best prepare them. My spirit seems in conflict during those weeks. I must remember to listen for the whisper of truth about what I know about good teaching. For me in my reading instruction, it is critical to continue to proceed with essentially the same aspects of a reading-writing classroom. The true tenets of a reading-writing classroom must still remain a part of my everyday routine. I believe that:
It is in the things we dare not sacrifice that we demonstrate to our students what is most important.
Kids know this. They receive our messages through our actions. In so many ways, it is true that “actions speak louder than words.” Our students understand that what we practice in our daily instruction is what we deem important. And, oh how much I want them to love reading and writing beyond the walls of my classroom and into middle school and beyond! I need to listen to the whispers.
In friendships too, I’ve found that being a good friend is not a perfect science, by any stretch. It’s often tough to gauge how to be a good friend. As the saying goes, “If you want a friend, be a friend,” but we don’t know all the answers to the ins and outs of friendship. Most days, I try my hardest to love my friends, care for them, and serve them the best I can. I try to listen to what I know to be true about the love and care of a friend. But it’s not always easy. Sometimes I’m hesitant or unsure. But I think it’s really about learning to listen to the “whispers” of truth–those things that will always be honorable and right in the areas of communication, being genuine, honoring one another, and focusing on honesty and trust. I need to listen to the whispers.
What whispers do you hear that help shape your daily life in positive ways? What tenets do you hold true and apply in tangible, meaningful ways with your relationships? In your career? With your family?
There are many things I do not yet know in my life, but I’m growing and learning every day, somewhat by trial and error, mostly by God’s guidance, and some by the gentle whispers of truth in my heart. I want to hold true to those whispers. I believe they will guide me in life and help me to lead a life of deeper meaning. I know from experience that it isn’t about trying to live a life without mistakes, heartaches, or sorrow, but rather about traveling on the right path toward living a rich life, full of purpose, passion, and depth.
Listen to the whispers of your heart.