To say I am not a fan of winter is an understatement. The only thing I enjoy about winter is that warm and cozy feeling I get when I am in my pajamas, under the blankets, enjoying a steaming cup of coffee, with no particular place to go or be. That does not happen too often, yet last Monday we actually had a day like that. They even closed the schools due to the winter storm which is virtually unheard of in this area. It was an unexpected pleasure to be safely tucked away with my family without the pressure of braving the winter storm and icy roads. Although the cold weather is a nuisance, surprisingly there are many people who actually enjoy this season or at the very least tolerate it much better than I do. I have an amazing group of coworkers and I am so blessed and grateful for having them for many reasons. Two of my teacher partners this week took their classes out to build snowmen as they are doing a procedural writing unit. After the kids experienced the fun and excitement of building a snowman together, they got to write about their experience as a set of directions called “How to Build a Snowman.” It was so cute to see the cheery snowmen all lined up in their snowy glory like an icy and friendly welcoming committee, as we arrived to school each day. Then there is that teacher in room 19 (me). Room 19 did not participate in this fun activity due to my disdain of winter. In my defense though we did sing the song “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?” several times this week as it was one of our poems of the week. True to the movie, the song does not get Anna anywhere in the “snowman building department,” so at least I provided them with an authentic experience! In addition we also had a Pajama Day complete with stuffed animals and cozy blankets. My students seemed totally fine with enjoying the cozy feeling of being warm inside in the winter, instead of being cold outside!
Perspective, personalities and talents are wonderful things. What one person enjoys, another does not. What one person struggles with, is the thing that will invigorate another person. One person’s challenge is another’s passion. This is what I find so fascinating about people in general. It is so amazing how we can be so similar, yet so different as well. On my door I have a poster that says “Celebrate Your Uniqueness!” This is a message that I have always tried to instill in my clients and students. The fact that we are all different is very incredible and so interesting. There is room for everyone and we definitely are all on the same team.
Clearly, we all bring our own unique talents and gifts to the table. A year ago I published my first book, Magic Kisses. Prior to that I was unsure of how to really bring my characters to life. My desire was to powerfully capture what I had written and convey the emotions of the characters clearly for the reader. It was a serious children’s book so cartoons in my opinion were not an option. Through a wonderful and dear photographer friend named Joan Omstead, the characters of Molly and Madison sprang to life in a beautiful and believable fashion. With every snap of her camera, in her gentle and compassionate manner she captured in one evening the vision of my heart for everything and more that I saw the book to be. I will never forget when she presented the photos to me for the first time. Carefully she had placed them in order according to the book’s plot and set them to a music in a breath taking and beautiful slideshow. As I viewed them I was literally speechless and immediately moved to tears. What a gift she had given me. Photography is clearly one of her greatest talents and we certainly celebrate that. Her active engagement in my project and thoughtful consideration of every photo she took, became the finishing touches to a book I so much wanted to bring to reality, and I am forever grateful to her.
Many projects or tasks that are important to us involve a team of people to make it move from idea to reality. Our church each year is involved with big community outreach projects where we provide special events and activities free of charge to our town. We have hosted public skating, spa days for single mothers, oil changes, photography services, gift baskets for new moms and babies and birthday parties for the elderly in nursing homes just to name a few. Church members are invited to select what interested them and it was amazing to see what a whole team could accomplish for our small town. Each person generally gravitated to what his or her interest or talent was and this was one of the reasons why the day was so successful. I was involved with delivering the gifts baskets to new moms and babies. The thrill for me was when I asked each new precious family if I could pray for them, and everyone said yes! What an opportunity to share God’s love in a special way! I thought that maybe this might be the first time anyone had prayed with these families. The person I was delivering the packages with was not comfortable with praying out loud with the families, but for me I was eager to do this. Another example of everyone being different, yet working together to be a blessing to others.
The word team has been said to mean “together everyone accomplishes more.” I truly believe that. The song from High School Musical comes to mind entitled “We’re All in This Together,” comes to mind. We were created as social individuals who were never meant to make a go in this world alone. We need each other and that is the way it should be. When we function together as a team, operating in the gifts that God has blessed us with we are truly successful. It is amazing what a team of dedicated people can accomplish who work together for a common goal. Look around you and see who you interact with each day? What can you offer to make their lives or their corner of the world a little brighter? Believe me it will come back to you because that is what true teamwork does. Remember we are all unique and different for a reason and what a true blessing that is when we really learn to celebrate that!
Until next time
1 Peter 4:10 ~ Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
Little Lesson Learned: You are not me and I am not you. Isn’t that awesome? Celebrate that!
Copyright: littlelessonslearnedbydana, 2015
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