Thursday, September 3, 2015

Spritiual Journey Thursday - Paying Attention

     I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly theme topic.  It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together.  We welcome anyone who would like to join us!
This week, we are writing about an idea that Margaret Simon suggested: PAYING ATTENTION
     What do you SEE?  What do you LOOK at?  What do you PAY ATTENTION to?  Margaret's idea for a topic is perfect because I can relate it to the sermon series going on at our church right now about How Jesus Sees...(People, Worship, the World, You, Women, and Religion).  It's challenging and convicting because I know I fail to look at things the same way Jesus does.  It's comforting, though, to know that He sees us all through the lens of love, grace, and mercy.  My One Little Word this year is FOCUS, so that's another reason PAYING ATTENTION is a perfect topic for a post.  Our focus needs to be on things that are important.
     Our pastor's first sermon in the series was about how we tend to see only the surface of people.  We label and judge, skim the surface, and miss the heart.  We see the crowd and overlook.  Jesus sees the individual.  He knows each story.  He cares about the one.  He comes alongside, invites us in, and communes with us. 
     This brings me to the classroom.  It's so easy to look over the heads of the students in our room, seeing them as a crowd, a class, 5th graders, 6th graders, 1st period, 4th bell, etc. Do we immediately label them?  Judge them? The troublemaker, the autistic boy, the nice one, the quiet one, etc.  Do we know their stories?  Do we value each one or just the ones who are easy to like?  Are we paying attention to their hearts?  Do we see each student like Jesus sees each one? Do we accept them unconditionally?  Do we include all kids in our circle?  Are we looking for the good or the bad?  Are we easily irritated, critical, or closed off?  Are we focusing on the important stuff and staying child-centered?  In a previous blog post, I wrote about a video clip of Oprah talking to Toni Morrison.  Take a look:

Do our eyes light up when our students walk into the room?  Do we even look up when they walk into the room?!  Are we paying attention?!  It's so easy to get so busy that we don't.  I'm guilty of that.  But I'm going to be thinking of looking through God's eyes.  My eyes can be hard, near-sighted, and even closed.  I need to OPEN them, look outside myself, and SEE.  FOCUS!  Have you seen this blog post yet?  I thought it went perfectly with SEEING.



  1. Hi Holly,
    Thank you for hosting this. Margaret suggested I link my Tuesday post here, which I have done. I love your candidness about interacting with students. I think we all need to pay attention to how we pay attention to the everyday people with whom we do life. Such a good reminder!

  2. You could tell when growing up which teacher's paid attention. You knew they cared from day one. They listened and took time with you. I don't know if I was that type of educator. I don't think my students always got my best. I tried though. :)

  3. Holly, paying attention is so critical if we want to build solid relationships. Both of the videos you presented are relevant and meaningful. When I have a moment I will post a response.