I have taught in the public school system for many years, in various places, both by myself in the classroom and as a co-teacher, where there were two of us in the classroom working together to teach all the students we were given. It seemed like regardless of which grade I was in, I was always touching on handwriting. Not that it was a major issue for most of the students; it was a “little thing” that could make a big difference in a student’s perception of themselves. Handwriting made a difference in having high / low self esteem to making a difference in the grades that a student received. If the teacher could read their handwriting then a student was literally half way there for their grades, because if you couldn’t read it, how could you grade it? The teacher appreciated their good handwriting, and told them so through praises and indirectly through grades, so their self esteem didn’t get battered.
But for those who struggled with handwriting, it became a great burden, and could lead to a hate of writing, even if it was just writing short answers or numbers for math. It wasn’t their favorite thing to do, because of the criticism they often received, not just from teachers, but from peers or significant others. These were often times the children that I taught, the ones who struggled with writing or other skill areas. Writing for some is such a “little thing”, but for those who didn’t have that skill due to visual perception difficulties, low fine motor / muscle skills, attention, impulsivity, etc., it made a huge difference if their handwriting could be read or not. Some teachers would give a paper back to the student over and over, until it was readable. For some students, that didn’t happen. We would find out later that they threw their papers away, rather than even hand them in, for fear of having to do it over again, so that their self-esteem got hit again, as they then had to explain to their parent/s why their grades were lacking, when they seemed to have it upstairs / mentally. It just didn’t come out on the paper that way.
One of the strategies that I learned to use with some of the students was “skywriting”. You might ask what that is? Well, let me explain. So that students could practice writing and spelling without having to erase it over and over on their papers, we would together stand, and put our hand in the air, like we were holding a pencil. Then using our whole arm and oftentimes body, we would practice writing one word at a time in very large letters. Corrections were easily made without erasers on paper, and formations of letters became easier for the student. Self-esteem was often raised, as they giggled their way through it, making it fun for them to write, rather than a battle. I could still check for basic letter formation and when we had to go back to writing it on paper, it wasn’t such a daunting challenge and even improved their perception of writing.
For me, as a teacher, it became very important to learn strategies to overcome the things that were in the way of the student in keeping them from attaining their best work. It is that same mindset that has helped me in intercession to achieve what God’s purpose was in giving me the assignment that I was trying to overcome with His help. Because it is His help that we all need to overcome what is before us daily, it is Him that I’ve learned to go to in the beginning, before the going gets tough.
Strategies are important in life. Using the right strategy can be the difference between life and death, many times. BUT, we don’t always recognize it, because of what we are going through, or what is going on around us. We don’t move ahead without using strategies to do what is before us, whether we realize it or not. Many of the strategies we use, we have learned through experience, through someone telling us what to do, reading about or seeing it happen before us.
Strategies are important in intercession as well. We can go to the Bible to learn strategies for prayer, or ask the Lord, but it is often the little things in our strategies that make the difference in how fast we overcome or if we overcome at all. Oftentimes it is only after I have gone back to the Lord to ask for His strategy, that I finally overcame what had been put before me. It is so important to be willing to wait for His response before we move ahead, that it can make or break a situation. So an important strategy became going to Him to ask what to do, because it wasn’t about me, it was about Him, and me, being willing to wait for Him and follow His instructions, without me inserting things I thought might be important. I learned that if it wasn’t important for Him to include it as part of the directions, then He probably already had it taken care of it, or it wasn’t time for it yet. Just take it one step at a time, don’t rush, unless God is leading the way!
Praise is one of the strategies that we often use in life to lead the way. The Israelites used praise to lead the way, as they marched around Jericho, as the walls came tumbling down. The praise / worship music played by David helped to silence the demons / spirits within Saul, so that he became cooperative to work with, even in difficult times. When we have something difficult to share with someone, if we open our conversation with praise regarding the other person in any way, it helps to open the door to move into the more difficult part of the conversation. We all love being praised, and we think that it is because we are human. But, in many ways, we are just like the Lord, in that He loves to hear us praising Him, worshiping Him and thanking Him, even for the little things in life.
I was reminded of this recently when I was re-watching a movie, called The Ultimate Life. In the movie the main character, Red Stevens hops on a train that is leaving Louisiana for Texas. It is Hobo Joe that helps him into the train car and teaches him a valuable lesson on gratitude. It is when Red wakes in the morning that he sees Hobo Joe skywriting. Red has this puzzled look on his face, like what is this man doing? Hobo Joe turns to explain that he is making his “Golden List”. Red doesn’t understand and Joe goes on to explain that it is something his mother taught him. Every morning he was to write his “Golden List” for the Lord and thank Him for at least 10 things he was grateful for. Red responds that he is poor and doesn’t have anything to be grateful for. But Joe is quick to say that Red has his health, and that God loves it when we are grateful for even the “little things”, because if we aren’t grateful for the little things, we aren’t grateful for anything.
Often times we take God for granted in our day to day life, without thinking of all the things that we truly should be grateful for. I remember, when He took me back through my life and showed me the many times He has literally saved my life, due to a poor choice that I made or through something the enemy was trying to get back at me for generationally or because of something I’d done that pleased the Lord. God showed me the many times that He has provided for me and protected me, in all ways, mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially and kept me from ruin in every way.
I went back to finish college later in life, as a divorced single parent. It wasn’t easy raising a child, going to school where I drove 1.5 hours one way for classes and back again another 1.5 hours, and also worked a part-time job. BUT GOD, always put people around me, who would help, when my car needed to be fixed, I needed tires, or a tow. GOD SHOWED UP through people when I needed extra groceries; to pay the electric bill or I needed extra help to study for a test. GOD HELPED through people, when I needed a place to stay overnight, and someone to babysit for my son at home, because I got snowed in and couldn’t travel back over the mountain to go home. GOD HELPED when I would get depressed over the summer, when my son went to go stay with his father, out of state for eight weeks, and I couldn’t be in contact with him every day. Talk about separation anxiety, fear, and worry, I had it. GOD PROVIDED positive male role models for my son, through neighbors, coaches, or other activities, because my family was 23 hours away. I’m sharing this because at that time, I was very poor financially and didn’t have the relationship with the Lord that I now have. If it hadn’t been for the Lord putting people in my path to help me and my son, I wouldn’t be where I am now, nor would he.
Often times when we are going through life, we don’t recognize the things that God is doing for us or in us, to help us live and to point us towards Him. We can become traumatized and literally blinded by all the “things” happening around us that we fail to give Him the honor that He is due. Even when things are bad, God is still with us and He is still good. He will not forsake us, nor leave us behind. He is always our friend, even when we are not always His.
One of the strategies that He has taught me is to not only praise Him during the day, when “stuff” or just the normal things in life are going on, but I thank Him or pull out my “Golden List” every night before I go to sleep. We aren’t promised tomorrow, so I want to make sure that He knows I am grateful to Him, for all He has done for me. I try to make sure to thank Him for the “little things” as well, especially the things we take for granted, like life, food, water, shelter, transportation, jobs, rain, sunlight, wind, snow, health, healing, family, friends, prayer partners, God, His protection, His Word, Jesus, Holy Spirit, that God’s in control, even those people who pray Godly prayers for me, that I know nothing about because God put me on their heart to pray for, and many other areas, because when you look at it through His eyes, He is the one responsible for it all. He is the One that has given it all to us. We are the ones generally lacking in giving Him the praise, honor, thanksgiving, and glory for all that He has done for us.
There are times when I see Him, with tears streaming down His cheeks as He is looking over an area, people group, a person who doesn’t appreciate Him, or show Him love, that He so freely gives to us. But when one person, raises their voice to Him in thanksgiving it makes a difference. So imagine what happens when many lift their voices in praise, honor, thanksgiving and worship to Him! He takes great delight in our praises and even for those who don’t think they can sing, He doesn’t care, because He is hearing through His ears, and you are singing the most beautiful song ever to Him, so don’t worry about it!
But it isn’t just at night before bed that we need to praise Him; it is as a beginning to any of our prayers. Often times we jump into a prayer with our needs, before thanking Him for what He has already done for us. We forget about His needs, and put ourselves in the forefront, which is wrong. The Lord is always to be first, in all things.
Just as we love praise, and being honored, so does the Lord. We feel lacking, and sad when we don’t get the recognition or attention that we need and often seek, Imagine how it grieves the Lord when we don’t give Him praise, honor, thank and worship Him as is His due. We are each just one person, but increase that by multitudes and think about how it makes the Lord feel when He hears or sees us praising Him! What might be a “little thing” to us, can move mountains through Him.
Father, thank you for allowing me to share what was on Your heart. May all those reading this always thank You for all the little things and the big things You do on their behalf. May you seek His face before His hands that you will honor and serve Him all the days of your life, and every generation after you. Lord, Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven, in Jesus Name. Amen.
~ Beverly Juelsgaard-Fischer
God has allowed Beverly to minister all over the world through the internet, and in person through conferences, church services, and small groups. Beverly’s heart is to see the Body of Christ walk in the freedom that God means for them, so they can develop a deep intimacy with Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit. She ministers to others through prophetic words, and other gifts, bringing breakthrough and calling people into a constant pursuit of His Heart to actively hear His voice for themselves and others. Beverly lives near Danville, VA