Friday, May 22, 2009

Out of the Hearts of Babes

The end of the school year is [somehow] quickly approaching again. Honestly, I still think somewhere in my stunted brain I believe it’s March instead of May… but I can guarantee you that any school-aged child will be more than happy to set me straight.

It’s summer vacation time. Days of playing outside, taking picnics by the river or out underneath the weeping willow trees. Weekends skiing at the lake and weekdays of learning to mow the lawn and doing gymnastics in the backyard so I could someday be Mary Lou Retton.

Or at least that’s the scene that is conjured up in my memory. I’m sure Nintendo DS has changed that view for some kids, but I hope they still remember how to get dirty shirts and skinned knees.

The end of the school year also means that my class of first and second graders are moving on to new classes and other teachers as well. *sigh* I’ve really loved having those kids in my life this past year. And boy did they outdo themselves with their Easter cards for me:


At the beginning of the year, Deb [my friend; their teacher] would put prompts up on the board to help them with ideas for sentences as a part of teaching them how to write a proper letter.


But what I noticed at Easter is that all of their letters didn’t sound the same anymore. They were telling their own stories, using their own words and ideas, and showing more of their own personalities.


And they certainly didn’t shirk their decorating duties, either.


Some wrote poems, others wrote stories about past Easter memories of hunting for eggs and eating candy until they had stomach aches.



They drew beautiful pictures and obviously worked very hard on their best handwriting.


And this one even drew me a map of my Lenten journey to Jesus. :) Seriously… could that get any sweeter?

The part I wasn’t expecting is that they thought of me in more ways than one. As they learned about Lent, they talked about fasting, prayer and almsgiving. One of the students came up with the idea that for almsgiving, they could give something special to me.

[I’ll pause for you all to get a kleenex before you read this next part…]

So when Deb showed up with all of my Easter cards, she also brought a Ziploc bag filled with coins. The kids, and in some cases their families, would do things like put change in a jar when they broke their Lenten obligations. For example, Deb said one family showed up late for conferences and since their Lenten goal was to be on time for things, the dad said right away they needed to put change in the jar for me.

For me. Little kids’ hard-earned allowance. For Me.

Honestly, when Deb handed me the baggie with quarters and nickels, I really wanted her to give it back. That’s horrible of me, I know, but I just felt it was literally like taking candy from a baby or something. But then I realized how kind and generous these big hearts were inside these little people. And that this helped them see what Lent and Easter was truly all about.

So I put their donation toward paying for George so they would know they did something that helped me in my day-to-day life. Their sweet spirits can know that they not only made me happy all year, but they helped to make me safer in my home.

I wish I could say they learned something from me this year, but the truth is I learned so much more from them. Out of the hearts of babes.


  1. that is so melt-your-heart beautiful...

    Recent blog post: coffee talk: betting the farm

  2. Totally 100% precious. Loved seeing these cards.

  3. Christina J. WerdebaughMay 22, 2009 at 6:45 AM

    Awwww, that is just the sweetest thing ever, Sara!! :) I really enjoyed seeing the cards. Thanks for sharing them with us. You have so many special blessings in your life.
    Yes, it is indeed summer coming soon - my son is already turning off his brain to prepare LOL! It is getting harder and harder to do homework when it is sunny and 75 degrees outside! I'm happy to report that he DOES play outside everyday in the summer, and we reserve the XBOX for days when it's raining outside, and limit the time that he's on it (he enjoys doing puzzles, reading . . . and the infamous "I'm bored" results in cleaning the kitchen or helping me vaccuum . . oh dear, I've turned into my mother! ha ha ha). I agree it's so important for kids to play outside and be active!!
    Hope you are having a good day today! :)
    Blessings to you,
    Christina W.

  4. Oh that is so sweet. I love kids! They seem to be a great group. I hope that your group from next year will be just as kind and loving.

    Recent blog post: Learning about baby

  5. Kudos to your friend Deb! What a wonderful teacher. No doubt the seeds of kindness and compassion are being sown into those kids along with the meaning of Easter and Lent.

    Such a brilliant touch on your part to let the children know that they helped you with buying George. What a great way to send us into the weekend :*

    Recent blog post: A few of my favorite things.

  6. I didn't take you seriously when you paused so we could get a Kleenex. I should have. Not only are the children full of grace but their teacher teaches by example and they learn so much about love from her.

  7. That is such a sweet story!

    Living in a world where our kids have more than they could ever imagine, I'm determined that my little girl learns the importance of doing for others.

    Your friend obviously has the same idea. I wish more teachers were like her.

    Recent blog post: I Heart Etsy

  8. Oh, Sara, they DID learn something wonderful from you. How to give to others. When children learn to think of someone outside of their little lives, they learn to share those lives and do the good works that God prepared in advance for them!!! Those are some sweet children!

  9. This is soooooooooo sweet! Makes me tingle thinking about those adorable kids. So glad that George has been a blessing to you - and that he doesn't pee on the kitchen floor!

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  10. so cute! I have boxes and boxes of art work from all the kids. I just can't bear to part with it.

    Recent blog post: Peacocks and Peanut Butter Smooshies

  11. those cards are so sweet. that is beyond precious.

    Recent blog post: squander

  12. I do need a kleenex!!
    My babe is finishing grade one, and I am so amazed at how far she has come this year--she reads and writes so well now!
    What a wonderful friend you have--and I know those kids are DEF!! learning from you--and are becoming better children from it.

  13. How precious! Does your friend teach at a Christian school? I know my boys wouldn't be allowed to make Easter cards like that in public school:-( It is fun and amazing to watch kids progress throughout the school year. Although, I'm praying that my 3-year-old class matures a LOT over the summer before returning in September!

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  14. Awwww... love that.
    My cousins and I had a Mary Lou Retton Club back in the day. I was the President.

    Recent blog post: how we roll

  15. This was a warm your heart post for sure precious. ;)

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  16. Robynn's RavingsMay 22, 2009 at 11:39 PM

    Gitz, these were such special cards created by little loving hearts. These are the BEST gifts aren't they? And I'm so glad you took their gifts and put it toward George. And BTW, HOW did I miss the George post? I just read it and am still shaking my head. You are an amazing woman - which I KNOW you've heard so many times - but allow me to appreciate you all over again. You just bring me to tears tonight through your spirit of tenacity and love. I am so privileged to have found you, Gitz.

    Recent blog post: O Great Medicine Woman!