Archive | June 2016

Leaf Blower Christians 

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4, ESV



Hubby and I were watching the news last winter. A big snowstorm had blanketed part of the country and many photos flashed across the screen, including one of a man using a snow blower to blast snow off of his property. This started a conversation of how much we hate leaf and snow blowers when they just move it to the street or to their neighbor’s yard. (We get it if you’re making a pile in YOUR yard. We have seen some people, however, just cleaning up their property while creating problems for others to deal with. Not cool.)  And then it occurred to me I had spent quite a bit of my adult life being a leaf blower Christian.  I was selfish. My prayers were mostly about me. I’d made sure my stuff was finished and looked good, not caring too much about anything or anyone else around me…not caring if, in the process of taking care of my needs, I blew leaves and debris on other people’s property. I was consumed by my wants, needs, and tasks. And I didn’t reach out to others if it wasn’t convenient. Grimace. 

One of the things I love about our God is how He deals with us…with me. He is so kind, gentle, and persistent until I finally (finally!!) get it. People matter more than my to do list. I literally said this to myself when confronted with an opportunity to help someone in the middle of my endless to do lists. I STILL mutter it to myself at times.  I’m very task oriented and He had to slow me down and show me this.  You can read more about my learning process in an older post.

I was a leaf blower Christian. Sometimes, I’m still a leaf blower Christian. But I’m learning and growing. 

Here’s to choosing people over tasks. As always, I wish you MUCH joy. 

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Is Reading Important? 

“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.” 

― Frank Serafini

I love to read.  As a child, I went with my mom ( a voracious reader) to the library every week. We would walk out with bags full of books. Imagine my dismay when I started teaching and discovered many of my children didn’t enjoy the written word. Cue the scream of horror. 

Fast forward 26 years.  I still have children who don’t like reading when I meet them, but I’m proud to say they rarely leave my room the same way. As I’m molding these lifelong learners, I’m helping my kiddos learn to think while they read, share their insights, questions, and aha moments, record their thinking, and fall in love with authors, book series, and genres. It’s a wonderful, wonderful thing. 

After 2+ decades of teaching all subjects to my 22 little scholars I am trying something new. Yikes! I’ll start my 27th year (Where did the years go?!?!) teaching reading to ALL second graders. Scary? Yes! Exciting? Absolutely! And how lucky am I?! I’m sharing my favorite subject-my passion-with almost 100 seven and eight year olds!! 

Naturally, a new-ish job requires extra expense. Hubby’s already balked a bit at my spending. Fortunately, a sweet coworker introduced me to Donors Choose. I’ve explained it to my family as a GoFundMe for educators. 

Would you consider donating to my precious second grade scholars? If so, please use the code LIFTOFF to have your gift matched. If that’s not possible at this time, would you consider sharing this blog post? 

Thank you for reading (and tolerating my infomercial). As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

Wow! Fully funded in about 26 hours. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 




Got TWITTER? Tweet with me! @julielclarke

Enjoy INSTAGRAM? Me too! @julielclarke

Love PINTEREST? Who doesn’t? Find me! @jlbclarke

Use Facebook? Check out my page.