This past week, I had the opportunity to speak to two college classes at one of our local universities. These classes were for potential K-6 teachers, as well as those wanting to be special-ed teachers.
I was kind of nervous. Although I've done this type of thing before, it had been a while. I never know if I'm gonna be in a room of 10 students...or in a room of 80 students.
First of all, it was a gloomy, rainy day. I tried to think of what to wear. I'm all about being cozy and comfy, so I was trying to think of how I could incorporate my Blardigan (part-blanket, part-cardigan...coined by Sheaffer-told-me-to) with my outfit.
But, I could hear my mother's words rattling around in my head.
One day, I was telling her a story...and I remember saying, "I was going to wear [such-and-such outfit], but it was raining, so I wore something else." She said, "oh, I never do that." I asked, "what do you mean?" She said, "I never change what I want to wear...because of the weather. Don't wear your gloomy clothes on a gloomy day. Wear cheerful clothes that will make a gloomy day feel better."
This would explain why, years ago, after an 8 hour car trip to come visit me at college, she stepped out of the car looking like a movie star: lavender floral dress, lavender sandals, lavender hair-thing in her hair.
When I travel for 8 hours, you best believe I've got on leggings...or sweats. And my Blardigan.
NO, I don't wear it while I lounge around in my underwear, like the picture might suggest.
And, YES, I WEAR IT IN PUBLIC.
With leggings or sweats or jeans.
I also may or may not have worn it over my pajammies during an early Saturday morning Chick-Fil-A run.
Don't be a hater.
So, this particular morning, I put on jeans, a lemon yellow cardigan...and my brightly colored Lilly Pulitzer scarf. You know, basically like I was going to my old ladies Bible Study...instead of to a class full of young, fresh-faced college students. Jim took one look at me and said, "well, you're just a float away from an Easter parade, aren't you?"
And that's how Jim died. PUNCH.
I also wore my mint-green, monogrammed rain jacket...because I apparently didn't have enough color on me.
Yeah. You could pretty much see me coming...from space.
BUT, when I got into the class, I saw the "sorority girls" sitting together in a group...all with their monogrammed rain jackets. I wanted to give them all a fist-bump of solidarity, because I was just SURE that, after seeing me in my cool rain jacket, they regarded me as more of an equal with them...instead of some old lady they had to listen to for an hour.
Monograms FOR THE WIN.
In the days prior to my talk, I wrote down some talking points on little index cards. I basically just tell my story, as a parent of a child who has special needs...and talk about Joshua's educational experiences in the public schools he attended. But there were several things that I wanted to be sure to mention, and those are the things I wrote down on the cards.
So, of COURSE, the very first thing I did when I very first started talking...was to drop all of the index cards on the floor. UGH. Annnnd...the instructor was TAPING ME for her night class to see. Can you say, "BLOOPER REEL?" I kinda wanted the floor to swallow me right then and there.
I picked all the cards up quickly, but they were all out-of-order and/or upside-down. I just decided to "wing it" for the first class, and it went FINE...so I didn't even use them for the 2nd class.
I think God was trying to tell me to LET GO of my plans, and TRUST HIM for the words to say.
By the way, this philosophy works for every area of life.
I saved some time at the end of my talk for questions. I was impressed with the attentiveness of the students, as evidenced by the questions they asked.
I hope I encouraged some of them. I hope I provided a different point of view. I was really thankful for this opportunity.
"And I have put My in your mouth and hidden you safely in My hand." Isaiah 51:6