Thank You In Advance

March 28, 2012

It happens all the time. I get everything together for a nice dinner at home. I’m sure I have everything, so I finally sit down, relax, and get ready to eat. It is when I am finally sitting and feeling peaceful that I realize something I forgot.

The above scene played out again today. I finally sat down to enjoy the barbecue meal I cooked, and took the first bite. It was when some mustard squirted on my face that I knew I forgot the napkins. I didn’t want to get up. After all, I was sitting for the first time all day. My daughter was the only one that was near the napkins. I didn’t specifically ask for napkins, but instead said…”thank you so much. I can’t believe you were so thoughtful to do that”. She didn’t say anything either. However, she knows me all too well, and without a word brought napkins not only to me, but to her sisters as well.

Her sisters looked and wondered what had just happened. At first they wondered why I was thankful for nothing that had happened. Then they thought..”how did she know”? What just happened here? My explanation consisted of two things. One was a play on psychology, and the other was what I will explain here.

I have heard of people who are thankful for many things in their life, including things that haven’t even happened yet. They thank God for past victories and future blessings. I was so amazed at the display of faith of advanced thanks that I began to do that on my own. I often thank God for things I prayed for even before they happen. When I do this, several things happen. One is that my faith grows. I have a stronger belief that what I am praying for and seeking to accomplish is more likely to come about. Two, is that I am more focused on God and the goal instead of hurdles that can get in the way. Three is that I feel an accountability. I have already thanked God and my faith is stronger, so the result I am seeking must come about. At least that’s how I feel. As a result, I am more likely to act and do my part to bring the results to pass. The more the mind believes something will happen, the more likely the desired result will come about.

One thing to add, is that I find it very helpful to be thankful for ANY result. We don’t always get what we want, and that’s a good thing. We don’t have all the answers, and an alternate result can be protecting us from something we didn’t forsee or bringing us something better, or both.

I find it very peaceful and beneficial to say thank you in advance. If it’s to a person, I feel like they will go out of their way for my best interests. If it’s to God, He will happily bring blessings my way. All this besides getting delivered a napkin to wipe the mustard off my face : )

Have an excellent day!

Positive Observations

February 5, 2012

There is a great deal of talk in the educational world these days about the accountability of teachers. One of the ways teacher performance is rated is a classroom observation by a school administrator.

I am a teacher. Although I understand the need for accountability, it makes me uncomfortable that my entire year’s performance can be judged in a 45 minute snapshot. In the correct manner, an observation is used to find some strengths, and help teachers find ways to improve their performance and student learning. At my school, it is taken a bit more seriously, and it does not make me comfortable that jobs are maintained or lost based on a single observation. Last year, even though my students are performing very well, I had received good reports in the past, and have a positive reputation in the school community, criticism from an adminstrator’s single observation almost cost me my job. It was another single good observation later in the year that saved me. Hence the reason for my lack of faith in our school’s system.

I use this information to illustrate an important concept. It was recently observation time for me again. As I prayed about it, I felt God telling me I had two options. I could focus on my distrust, negative thoughts, and feelings of inadequacy, or I could focus on His strength, positive thoughts, and feelings of success.  I quickly decided my chances were much better if I chose the latter.

Before the observation, I did two things. One is that I prayed for success. The second is an excellent enhancer to any prayer. I played out a successful teaching experience over and over in my mind. I saw the positive response of the students and my observer. I heard my positive, confident voice. I felt the satisfaction of student achievement as well as my own.

As I focused on these two things, there was no doubt that this would be a positive experience. As it turned out, my report came back positive and ideal. I learned of several positives that added to the positive classroom experience. I also learned some helpful information that could enhance those positives. Just as an observation should be!

I cannot stress enough the importance of experiencing positive observations in our minds. For any situation, when we see and experience success in our minds first, it plays out in our world, usually sooner than later. Success becomes natural because we’ve already “experienced” it many times. As I’ve said before, our subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between a real and imagined event. If it sees success, real or not, it will lead us there for more.

God has been kind enough to give us an imagination. Let us use it for our good and His by seeing and experiencing the events we wish to live out for real. Before long, it will no longer be a part of the imagination. Instead it will be our real, normal life experience. Enjoy the blessing : )