Monday, December 1, 2008

When the Teacher Becomes the Student

It's often said that a teacher gets more out of her lesson than do her students.  I can't argue with that.  With the preparation, and hopefully the prayer and thought put into it, it would be nearly impossible for those listening and participating to come away with the same level of insights.

I teach Primary.  Or I did.  I was released yesterday.  I am the new ward music chairman and choir director.  But this post is about Primary.  I taught Valiant 10B, and being nearly the end of the year, all but one of the kids are already 10.  The class is split into two, but unevenly so, leaving me with anywhere from 1 to 4 students in my class on any given Sunday.  Yesterday I had one.

Our lesson was about how Moroni taught faith in Jesus Christ.  We spent most of our class time discussing stories from the Book of Mormon that have been taught all year that demonstrate the blessings that come from having faith.  They are familiar stories:  Nephi and the brass plates, Abinadi and King Noah, Alma and Amuleck, the brother of Jared, Ammon.  As I was discussing these men and their faithful examples with my pupil, I answered a question that I've had for a few months now.  And I instantly believed the answer.  

I've struggled with the ability to ask Heavenly Father for a blessing that I need.  We need our house in California to sell.  Last summer and fall, it was not so urgent.  Obnoxious, sure, but we'd be able to manage the extra payments.  Things have changed, however, and now we really need it to sell.  Yet I have had a hard time asking for that blessing straight out.  This may be because the biggest reason that I would be devastated by losing the house would be the fact that we would then lose the house we're building.  This seems greedy or materialistic to me somehow.  Plus I've seen many faithful, righteous people around me lose their homes over the years.  I start to wonder what makes me so special that I should ask to be spared that loss.  

Yesterday, I taught the principle that Christ will help his children be able to accomplish the ends that he desires of them.  I know that is true.  But I hadn't thought about my problem this way.  I know that my family needed to move to Idaho.  I don't know that it always matters to the Lord where one lives, but we felt this was being directed by him.  It was a tough pill to swallow, and as soon as we officially made the decision little problems kept popping up that made the move difficult.  Larry and I continued to know this was the right thing to do.  Since we've been here some situations have actually gotten worse.  Things in regard to our children, however, and our oldest child in particular, have gone more smoothly than I could have hoped for.  I still know we are supposed to be here, I know that fact more strongly than I did as we were driving up.  So maybe, I thought during my lesson, I do have the right to ask for a some help regarding this move.

I feel at greater ease now.  I feel more confidence. I feel so grateful that the Spirit seemed to be there in that Primary classroom with us, teaching not just a 10 year old girl, but a 34 year old girl as well.  Am I sure of the exact outcome?  Well, not really.  But I am sure that I can ask.


Tink said...

That's very touching Mina! In small and simple ways the Lord touches our hearts and enlightens our minds...even with Primary lessons! I've had that experience many times as I teach the 8 year olds in Primary. Thanks for the uplift and I hope you asked for that blessing! Like I always tell my kids "it doesn't hurt to ask" even if the answer will be no. Have a great day! ((HUGS))

Julia said...

Thanks so much for sharing this. I teach the Valiant 11, and sometimes I feel the Spirit the strongest in Primary and have had prayers answered right there in Sharing Time. I think that the Spirit is stronger when there are children around.

I live in Idaho too. I love it here.

No matter the answer you receive, it will be the right one for you and your family. Sometimes a blessing is just waiting to be given, He is just waiting for us to ask. :~)

in time out said...

beautifully written. being released always brings such meloncholy. take care. you sound like a wonderful teacher ♥

Melissa said...

What a beautiful blog you have! That was such a sweet story...thanks for sharing.

Grammy Staffy said...

Hi Mina,
I'm grammy. I just saw the name of your blog on another persons blog list and thought it would be nice to drop by and say hi to you.

I am a retired high school and college teacher. I am loving retirement but I am so busy now that I don't know how I ever had time to work. I am the personal progress leader in YM. It is a great calling. I love the girls and it keeps me busy (it is lots better than being RS pres!!!)

I am touched by your post. I hope that your prayers are answered and your CA home will sell soon. These are hard times. We thought we would make extra money in our retirement buy building homes with our son-in-law. He built a beautiful home in Utah but it did not sell so they sold their home and moved into it. We were all disappointed that it didn't sell and both families would make money on the deal. Oh well, I hope that things will pick up soon. I heard that the housing market is getting better. I hope so. Good luck to you. Have a good week.

in time out said...

Love this. thanks for sharing...

in time out said...

Thanks for reading my blog. I enjoy yours. I have a valentine for you on my blog. Happy Valentines Day. Thanks for being my bloggie friend. ♥

Becoming LDS said...

I just came across your blog and wanted to tell you that I think you are doing a great job here. I love your everyday life applications to the gospel.