Monday, October 17, 2011

Love Talks: Edited to Death

"Miss Ward, can I show you my story?" a little voice said. I looked down to see one of the seventeen first graders I was working with that morning. "Sure, let's take a look!" I said enthusiastically.  "I wasn't sure how to spell this word," the girl said, pointing to one word amidst a whole slew of misspelled words. I looked at her illustrations to see if I could determine the meaning of the sentence from the pictures she had drawn. Nope. I had to ask. "What are you trying to spell?"  "Brushing," she said. We sounded it out, and, with much help, she corrected the word. "Thank you!" she said, and turned to go back to her seat. "Wait," I said, "what about the other words?"  It was a fatal mistake. I had allowed the "editor" part of me to take over, and there was no stopping it now. We painstakingly corrected "am," "teeth," and several other words on the page until, finally, the exasperated and wiggly child blurted out, "Are we done now?"

It was then that I realized, this little editing session had been no more fun for me than it had been for her. She took her work back to her seat, and I was vaguely aware that, for all my editing, I had not given her a single bit of encouragement for her drawing, her creativity, or her hard work. I had been focused completely on the negative--the stuff she had done wrong.

In the Love Chapter of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13, we are told that love "Does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth."  Sometimes, like an overzealous editor, we can get so focused on the negative in other people that we completely skip over the truth of who they are. We miss out on some of the most important things because we are too busy trying to "fix" what's wrong.

Technically, I was doing my job with that child. I was pointing out and helping her fix her mistakes so that she would become a better writer. But if I was so intent on fixing errors that I caused her to become hopeless and discouraged, I may actually have done more harm than good. The enthusiastic, creative spirit of this child could have been "edited to death" because of my preoccupation with the faults of her work instead of the good points of it.

I've learned my lesson, and I will try to use that child's story as a reminder to "rejoice with the truth" of the good in people instead of becoming "delighted" or preoccupied with the bad. Certainly, editing and correction has its place, but that place is never to kill, but rather, to build up.

Are you "editing" someone to death?  For one day, try turning off the editor and thinking of only good things about him/her. Rejoice with the truth of who that person is, and you may learn things you never knew about him or her. Remember, when God looks at those of us who have been saved, he sees only the righteousness of Christ. Maybe we should do the same. :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Jobs Well Done

Hello Friends!

I've written a blog post about the late Steve Jobs on my sister blog, Teachable Spirit.  Whether or not you like, or even know who Steve Jobs was, I think you'll enjoy and benefit from this post.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Introducing . . . Teachable Spirit!

Hi Friends!  

I'd like to introduce to you my new blog!  Now before you panic, don't worry!  I promise I won't abandon Thoughts of Joy.  However, as a project for a class at school and as a professional development tool, I've created a blog called Teachable Spirit, which you can find at

I just added a new post called "Thai'd Together" on Teachable Spirit.  It's about my class trip to Raquette Lake in the Adirondacks, and about the teachers who joined us from the Kingdom of Thailand.  It was an unforgettable experience.Visit that post here, and feel free to explore and follow my site!

I should also let you know why I've been posting so infrequently. My workload at school has had me quite bogged down lately, and as much as I don't like it, I've made the rule that school has to come before my blog. I'm doing the best I can to get ahead of my work so I can get back to the "important" things. ;)  I hope to be back to posting regularly after midterms.  We'll see what happens--it's always an adventure!  

In the meantime, I encourage you: Go see the movie, Courageous!  It's one of the best movies I've ever seen--it is full of action, drama, and unequivocal humor!  (By the way, if you're emotional at all, I definitely recommend bringing tissues!  And if you're not, you can use them to wipe the butter off your hands.) :-D

Have a wonderful day!


P.S. Here is a trailer and music video for Courageous!  Love you, bye! (Hint: You have to see the movie to get that joke!)