A smile and a warm hearty hello go a long way towards making someone's day better. Sometimes more than you know.
My school can be a pretty hard place to work at sometimes. We work with kids who carry a lot of baggage. And if you let it, it can be heartbreaking. We teach with out a lot of resources and sometimes we never see results. And if you let it, it can be disheartening. Over the last six years I have learned to look on the bright side of my job. To focus on the smiles and to be one of them. One of my favorite smiles came from Teddy Fulgham. He was the head of our security team. He walked the halls with a big booming voice and a big smile. He always spoke when he saw you whether he leisurely patrolling or quickly moving towards trouble. He was by my side when I faced some of my biggest disciplinary challenges. And he always encouraged me. When I taught two of his children He was always popping in to check on them. The kids loved him, respected him and had a healthy fear of him.
Teddy died Tuesday night before school started. And it left a big hole in my heart. I still find my self listening for his voice echoing through the halls. And I miss his warm greetings. I attended his funeral on Saturday. It was an emotional and celebratory send off for his entrance into heaven. I know this Godly man is one I will see on the other side. And I look forward to worshiping the Father with my friend.
His passing led to a heavy heated start to the school year. We also lost our band director in July to a heart defect. He was a young father of two little ones. As well as a figurative father to many of our fatherless kids. He will be missed.
We are also missing those who retired or moved on to other schools. This year we have 2 new vice principals, two new counselors, a new football coach, a new baseball coach, and close to 18 new teachers. But all of the new blood seems to be a good thing. There are many new faces, new procedures, and a new schedule. Lots of new committees to help make the school the best it can be. I think good things are happening here this year. And I am thankful for the blessing of being a part of it.
Pretty much everyday I have heard the song, Never Once by Matt Redman on the radio either on my way to school or on my way home. It has such a beautiful message. I hear You God! I know you never leave me alone! One of my favorite lines (or several lines) is growing very dear to my heart. And I hope that I grow in grace and be an amabassodor of grace at school, at home, and everywhere. I hope I can grow to exude praise even in the toughest of times.
"Scars and struggle on the way but our hearts can say..never once did we ever walk alone. Carried within your constant grace. Held within your perfect peace. Never once. No never once did we walk alone. Never did you leave us on our own. You are faithful. God you are faithful. Every step we are breathing in your grace. Evermore we will be breathing out your praise. "