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The Lovers of Pocahontas, Etc…

September 25, 2008

“There are those who will wish you good morning. If it is a good morning, which I doubt.”


Today I seriously questioned my ability to work anymore.

I love teaching more than I thought possible – my students are all brilliant (I really believe this) and – best of all – they think I am funny and strict all at once.

Last night I got a migraine and stayed up until midnight grading papers on Pocahontas. One of my students (from a super conservative family…one of the sweetest boys in the school) wrote about “The Many Lovers of Pocahontas”. I don’t think that he knows what a lover is – but he wrote two pages on it.

This morning I woke up tired, having taken my migraine pill. I left late, got lost, yelled at Lucy, spilled my coffee, and hung up on Hugh – all within the first ten minutes of leaving my house. When I arrived at school, I dragged a screaming Lucy to her cheerful classroom past my boss, past a parent of a student in my class, and by three other co-workers. She sobbed and held me – “don’t GO, Mommy!” – while I started crying in the preschool room. In front of Lucy’s teacher and several other teachers.

I went to my classroom and began to greet my Junior High students as they milled around their lockers.

“Mrs. Hopper? You know, your van…well, it kind of smells bad.” said one student who had taken my guitar out to my van yesterday.

Hm. I wondered if I would be able to stop from breaking down in front of this twelve-year old girl, as she stood in front of me in her clean uniform holding her latest literature novel.

I walked over to my desk and sat down. I grabbed my Bible and tried to focus on some kind of scripture or verse to help me gain control before class started.


Then I looked at my bowl.

Before I started school, Hugh got me a small wooden bowl to keep on my desk. I don’t keep anything in it. It is always empty. My bowl reminds me to empty myself before God and ask Him to fill me up to do the things He is asking me to do. Only He can fill the bowl as I daily offer up an empty, late, and crying woman driving a smelling van.

I keep expecting to not need Him so desperately, but He won’t allow me to be in situations in life where I could learn independence.

He keeps me in a place where I am forced to empty myself and come weary and tired, only able to whisper, “Father, fill me.”

So I sat at my desk and I told Him I was ready to fall apart. I was about to start crying in my classroom, get in my stinky vehicle, and drive away.

As I looked at my bowl and prayed silently, He began to fill me. Not in a huge rush of His Presence, not with a glorious angel choir or vision – but with a one drop of Himself. Just one small breath of Jesus that let me know He was with me and that He would sustain me.

I got up from my desk and did my day.

And that’s why I wrote this. To remind myself on the days when I’m tired, when I’ve had a migraine, or when I have had a hundred things go wrong…

He’ll be there. He’s faithful. He’ll fill my empty bowl every time.

God, I just really love you. I love that you’re there for me. I love how you love me in the middle of every possible kind of morning. Thank you for filling me with your Presence – I remember now that you are all I really need. In the name of your Son, Amen.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 25, 2008 11:22 pm

    Oh, you’d better believe I’m going to be putting an empty bowl on my desk on Sunday.

  2. September 25, 2008 11:30 pm

    I so love this empty bowl idea and I really needed to hear your testimony today…thank you friend…you bless!

  3. Joy F. permalink
    September 28, 2008 8:54 pm

    Just catching up on your blog tonight. What a blessing. I love how you love God. Thanks for the encouragement, and the great reminder of needing to allow Him to fill us. I needed to remember. P.S. I LOVE the new design. Very Charlotte Mason. 🙂

  4. September 28, 2008 9:38 pm

    I came by here yesterday, but on the run and didn’t get to comment. I have not stopped thinking about the empty bowl! What a fantastic idea! We ALL need to be emptied!

    I am sorry that things have been so tough with your start back to work, but then I guess I shouldn’t be completely sorry. As much as I hate to hear of you hurting, I know that you are thankful for how God is showing Himself so faithful, so worthy to be trusted, so able to handle everything in your life. I know that what the enemy means to harm you, God wants to use for your good.

    Keep hanging on, keep pressing in, and keep posting. 🙂 You are a blessing!
    Oh, and if some kid told me my van smelled, I for SURE would have cried…so way to hold it together, Jess! 🙂

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