This past week held two big milestones for me–my 15th wedding anniversary with my Prince Charming and my new adventure into the world of “Middle School Teacher.”
This afternoon I skipped (yes, skipped–I do that sometimes just to scare the students) down the hall to obtain a large sheet of white butcher paper so I could start my “Character Traits” poster with my classes. As I walked back to class, I started thinking (and yes, smoke did blow out of my ears), if I was the main protagonist in a book, what kind of character traits would my students, and better yet, my own family, write down for me?
I’d like to say my list would look like this: loving, joyful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, self-controlled, compassionate, forgiving, grateful, honest, helpful, well-mannered . . . or anything halfway close to my own protagonist in 18 Things. The best time to catch me displaying some of these traits are after a few cups of coffee in the morning 🙂
Reality probably looks more like this: frazzled, frustrated, angry, busy, grumbling, bi-polar, worried, brutally honest (to the point of being insensitive to others), oversensitive (when comments are directed toward me), a “yes person” (most can see that “YES” sticker plastered across my forehead from a mile away which is why I get roped into too many activities). This Jamie appears after working all day without chocolate because she’s trying to be a healthy role model for her students and is therefore now suffering massive sugar withdrawals.
Not a pretty picture, aye? I’d say that’s more of the “home” Jamie than the “Mrs. Ayres” at school. If I acted like my real self at school, I’d probably get fired! Luckily, my family hasn’t figured out a way to get rid of me yet.
It’s not like I want to be this way. So it’s funny when I opened up my book to do my bible study tonight and read the words of Paul in the book of Romans, chapter seven: “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it . . . What a wretched man I am!”
Yep. Luckily I believe in a very forgiving God who gave me a very patient husband 🙂
My faith has taken me through 15 years of marriage with two beautiful daughters and no doubt will take me through my years as middle school teacher!
At the end of my Bible study today, I had to write a description of a good role model. I simply wrote this:
Someone who always loves. Without love, actions are empty. A role model’s criterion for their actions isn’t based on what they like best, but what’s best for those around them.
While I’m on the subject of love, Ima gonna break down dat definition for ya like it’s 1990 and it’s Hammertime at my middle school dance:
Love isn’t a feeling *Gulp* I don’t think I could ever “fall out of love” with my husband. Instead, love is a decision to meet the needs of others before yourself. It’s not a natural inclination past those first days of marital bliss. Love is something we must choose to live every day.
Now, as a writer of love inspired stories and a teacher, I’m an expert on definitions, so there’s no need to confer with Webster *steps down off pedestal*
I’m taping my role model definition to my bathroom mirror as a reminder of the type of person I should be each day, not just on the days when I feel like it and not just at work. There’s a quote by Erma Bumbeck that goes, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything that you gave me.”
Or as Master Yoda puts it: “Do or do not. There is no try.” Talk is cheap. Words without action=failure. When I look back at the chapters of my life, I want my traits to resemble the characters in the books that inspire me.
What’s your definition of a good role model? (Lord help us if anyone says Justin Bieber, lol. Thankfully, I don’t think any of my middle school Language Arts students have found my blog yet! *looks around with crazy eyes*
Until next week, Live~Laugh~Love!