Lasting Fruit

bookbagsI told them to keep working . . . that I needed to take some pictures and not to pay any attention to me. After eight days of getting to know their new teacher, they are beginning to understand that I am a woman who lives for the moments.

Too many of these moments are slipping by without much fanfare – like the “on the fly” relay race I put together for our recess time yesterday. If only I’d had my camera then; if only I could have bottled the laughter readily present in that moment. I’m sure it would have been enough to at least (temporarily) put a smile on the ache of the world.

With each tick of the clock, I’m keenly aware that I will only have this baker’s dozen in my charge and keep for a short season. Eight days down; one hundred and seventy-two remaining. There is so much I want to tell them . . . give them. In most of our moments together, I feel wholly inadequate with the telling and the giving. In most of those moments, I want to sit down and cry because of the overwhelming responsibility that’s now filling up my thoughts day and night and every moment in between.

I am so very past tired. My body aches from head to toe. I crawl into bed each night with tears in my eyes because of the physical pain that is riddling my joints. But there is liquid joy in the pain, because I know that I have done something sacred with my day. I have planted good seed into God’s very good soil. Time will bear out the results. I may or may not be privy to them, but I can and am relinquishing the outcome to God.

The seeds are in my hands and issue forth from my heart. The fruit, however, belongs to God’s hands and his heart. His Spirit will break up the fallow ground beneath our feet and will superintend the harvest with holy watchfulness. God will grow what I cannot.

My job?

Releasing the seed . . . one lesson plan at a time. One conversation at a time. One correction at a time. One getting down on the floor to help a student find his/her homework at a time. One reminder to put a name on a paper at a time. One extra look up on the computer to find out more information about Leif Ericson at a time. One more phone call to a parent at a time. One more inch of me invested into this assignment from God until it is finished.

One more one more, because it’s been that clear to me from the beginning that this isn’t my doing but, rather, it is God’s:

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.” –John 15:16

Lasting fruit.

That has a holy ring to it, and one day I will know the fullness of what is being planted in these days. Until then, I’ll keep walking the fields with Jesus and watering his garden with these tears of obedience.

classroom

‘Tis a very sweet, sweet fellowship and privilege to journey alongside the King and to sow kingdom seed as we go and along the way. So . . .

Leave me, Lord Jesus, for as long as you will;
In this place of great trust – keep me quiet and still.
To wait for your timing, your words and your heart;
To give to your children the wealth that will start …

New beginnings in them that will push them along,
Forward in your kingdom – make them brave, make them strong.
Keep them safe, keep them tender, keep them willing to learn;
Keep me always at the ready, help my heart to discern.

What is best, what is right;
What is noble and true.
What is good, what is worthy;
What is holy from You.

Plant your rows, sow your seed;
Use my hands, take the lead.
One step at a time, one prayer from the heart;
This is grace, this is fruit,
This is faith, set apart.

Amen. (F. Elaine Olsen, 8-30-14. All rights reserved.)

Peace for the journey,

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11 Responses to Lasting Fruit

  1. Oh, how blessed those children! How beautiful YOUR feet, Elaine!

    I am in a season of sowing, too. And tears. And pain. My field is much smaller than yours–a field of one.

    Let us labor for the Master from the dawn ’til setting sun!

    • My faithful friend – these are good days to work alongside you, doing what we must – living what we choose. Thank you for giving me this example of love. It is a witness to the woman you are and the woman who brought you to this point of obedience. Keep to it.

  2. I’m wondering if I could enroll as one of your students? How blessed those children are to have you as their teacher! How incredibly blessed. Here is the line that resonated deep in my soul, Elaine…..’because I know that I have done something sacred with my day’. Oh, to know that at the end of each day. I adore those days when I do know that. I loved this post, and even more the poem. I hope you feel the smiling nod of God on you in this season, for I can almost see Him nodding.

    • Thanks,Leah. All soil is sacred if God is there. And wherever you go, friend, God goes with you. I pray you sense his smiling nod this week.

  3. I am privileged to have my child in this class but her story is one that places this dear teacher right in the heart of God’s will. She is an adopted child from China, had many years of neglect and was in bad shape at arrival of two. It took a long while to begin nurturing skills for she had no foundation . Then at six , her father had a TBI and again her family has made new changes. She has accepted Jesus, been baptized but so needed a teacher of faith and nurturing to bring her to self confidence . You are this mother’s answer to pray. Bless The Lord Oh My Soul!

    • She’s a gem, Jeanne. Can’t wait to see her in the morning – and thanks for the bean bag toss! It will be a great compliment to our classroom activities.

  4. Oh how I could identify with your words, including your aching body. The first year I went to work in school, my legs were so sore from bending down to be eye level with the children. Now I’m more used to it but I still ache by the time I get home. My back pillow and Bengay help. 🙂

    But you are so right. We only have a short time with each class. I want to plant seeds. Although my school isn’t Christian, I still try to shine Jesus’ light in how I act and love each child.

    I’ve been thinking of you my friend and will pray for you throughout this year.

    Love,
    Debbie

  5. I’d like to be a fly on the wall of this classroom of yours, Elaine. To see the faces as they learn from you. And to see your heart in action.

    That classroom is hallowed ground. And though you might be walking on tired and achy joints, your work is being blessed – for them and for you. I am inspired by this. Praying that the Lord will fortify you for this wonderful work that He has called you to.

    GOD BLESS!

  6. This post brought tears to my heart – tears of thanksgiving for the life you are planting as seed, yes, your own life as seed into the hearts of these precious dozen that have been entrusted into your care at this time.

    How beautiful indeed are the moments as you know not a single one of them is wasted. In Eternity’s eyes, every moment counts.

    I have no doubt that the parents of these children will sooner or later be able to tap into our heavenly Father’s heart, through you!

    Thank you for allowing us to walk with you in this new journey, Elaine!

    Love
    Lidia

  7. To have a calling, a purpose, and a filling! You are a blessed woman of God. You have been and are a faithful and obedient servant of the King! You will, in due time, hear those most precious words ~ Well done my good and faithful servant! Yes Elaine, yes you will!!!