Grace of YES Day

grace of yes day header
Good morning, class! Today is Tuesday, November 18, 2014.

It’s Grace of YES Day.

grace of yes day classroom photo

A few weeks ago, I said “YES” to a long-term substitute-teaching assignment. I’ll be there through Christmas. I’ve gone into more detail on the subject here, but a “YES” to any teaching job is a “YES” to a gratifying, frustrating, entertaining, saddening experience. It’s not just a job; it’s a ministry.

The students and I keep their Regular Teacher in our prayers each day. She is dearly missed and we all hope she will return to good health, and her classroom, as soon as she can.

I pray for my foster-second-graders as I

  • hand out birthday pencils
  • give spelling tests
  • grade spelling tests
  • read chapters from Ramona the Pest
  • encourage reverence during Grace Before Snack
  • redirect children who use the wrong hand to salute the flag
  • line up the class for the bathroom. Again.
  • conduct science experiments involving rocks, water and flimsy plastic containers
  • enforce the “no sharing snacks” rule (we have allergies)
  • invent the “no shaking down other kids for snacks” rule
  • make sure the two Imaginary Students are not disrupting the class

This job saps my energy, creativity, and voice like no other.

And I love it. Even when I have outside lunch duty on 35-degree days and my hair is up because there’s a Head Lice Epidemic on the first floor and, well, I’m not willing to make that sacrifice for the kids…

Little Brother leaves notes on the board for my class before they arrive in the morning and visits us on his way to the nurse for his pre-snack insulin at midmorning. This “YES” has been good for him. I think he likes having me around his school. (He even hugs me in front of my class. Don’t tell him I told you this.)

It’s grace, pure and simple, that is getting me through these challenging days and weeks.

What’s your “YES” and how is grace making it possible? Share on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #graceofyesday

Want to learn more about the Grace of Yes? Read my review of the book here and join the discussion at CatholicMom.com!

Book Review: The Grace of Yes by Lisa Hendey

Lisa Hendey is the driving force behind one of my favorite websites, CatholicMom.com. But her latest inspirational book, The Grace of Yes, is geared toward a wider audience.

grace of yesYou don’t have to be a mom to appreciate the wisdom in this book. For that matter, you don’t even have to be a parent. With The Grace of Yes, Lisa Hendey has broadened her focus even as she bares her soul and tells the story of her own struggles and joys as she lives out God’s plan in her life. It’s not a big book, but there’s a lot of food for thought in those 160 pages.

I’m glad I said “yes” to reading Lisa Hendey’s latest book. It’s a combination memoir and pep talk with prayer, Scripture and inspiring quotes to tie the whole thing together. This book touches on the many ways saying “yes” can be an opportunity for grace for ourselves and others–and why sometimes saying “no” is also necessary to allow grace to work within us.

Whether you’re overwhelmed, exhausted, looking for a new direction or just starting on your path, you’ll find help, encouragement and Lisa’s kindred (and kind) spirit within these pages.

I read a preview edition of this book on my e-reader and am eagerly awaiting delivery of my print copy (Amazon promises to have it here by November 10). I already know that I want to go through this book again, highlighter in hand.

GOY-Book-Club-sq-400x400To accompany the launch of this book, CatholicMom.com is hosting a Grace of Yes Book Club. Coordinated by the impossibly-energetic Sarah Reinhard, the Book Club will feature a reflection each Saturday. You can read along and add comments to each Saturday’s Book Club post. Here’s a list of the scheduled topics:

  • November 1 – Interview with author Lisa Hendey
  • November 8 – Chapter 1: The Grace of Belief
  • November 15 – Chapter 2: The Grace of Generativity
  • November 22 – Chapter 3: The Grace of Creativity
  • November 29 – Chapter 4: The Grace of Integrity
  • December 6 – Chapter 5: The Grace of Humility
  • December 13 – Chapter 6: The Grace of Vulnerability
  • December 20 – Chapter 7: The Grace of No
  • December 27 – Chapter 8: The Grace of Rebirth

I was humbled to be asked to write one of these reflections; my chapter is Chapter 3:  The Grace of Creativity and is scheduled for November 22.

Friends-of-Fiat-400x400Finally, take a look at that cute little fish on the cover, and read the story of how the fish got a name! I may or may not have stuffed the ballot box, voted early and often, and spammed my Facebook and Twitter feeds to help push my favorite fish name to the top of the charts. But it’s all good:  there was a donation to charity at stake. My chosen charity is the local crisis pregnancy center, First Way of Burlington County, NJ, and they are in great need of assistance at this time. In your kindness, remember their good work in your prayers, and please donate to your local crisis pregnancy center. They do amazing work!

The fine print: This review is based on a preview copy of the book, courtesy of Netgalley.