Just Say “No”: Unlikely thoughts before Teacher Appreciation Sunday

IMG_20130602_090628_888Get your Starbucks gift cards, painted hand print crafts, flowerpots and thank you notes ready! Teacher appreciation Sunday is coming up soon. What would we do without the adults who prepare for lessons, wrangle wiggly kids, sub at the last minute and get glitter on their church clothes? I am soooo grateful that we have been fully staffed all year.  Wow!!

I am also thankful for a group of people that does not often (ever?) get publicly recognized: those who say “no.” When I am desperate for a teacher, you say you cannot fill in. Maybe you need to go to worship to maintain your life balance. Maybe you had a rough week. Maybe you don’t like glitter. Whatever the reason, I want to say “thank you” for saying no.

Why do I say “thank you” when I still have a class with no teacher or an unchaperoned lock in? When you say “no,” I know you have considered it. You are following your call, protecting your Sabbath time and discerning how God wants you to use your spiritual gifts.  That is what we are meant to do as Christians. Saying yes without discernment leads to burnout and frustration.  Thank you for walking the walk. Our busy kids need your example.

Your “no” also makes me feel better. This may be selfish, but when you decline I know that I am not using guilt as a strong-arm tactic.  I sleep better when I haven’t coerced you into volunteering in youth ministry.  And, when you do agree to help, I don’t have to doubt.  When your no means no, your yes is a true yes. I know that you will pour your heart into the task, do the best job you can and maybe even be nurtured in the process (or at least dusted with glitter).

So, thank you to those who taught and chaperoned and brought snacks and to those who considered it. Thank you for the firm no’s and the enthusiastic yes’s.  Because with when I hear both of those answers, I am confident our children are led by the right people at the right time. People who are energized through working on the tasks they feel honored and called to do. I think this makes the Holy Spirit’s job of transformation just a little easier. Thank you. Thank you.

Looking for  a last minute teacher appreciation gift? you can check out my collection of ideas from more talented people than me on pinterest.

2 thoughts

  1. I just asked my teacher friend what was her favorite teacher appreciation gift was. She said it was having lunch with a parent. The parent extended an invitation for lunch during my teacher friend’s lunch hour.


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