God Really Does Know Your Name

A beautiful sunrise was filling the eastern sky so I decided to go out on the front porch to enjoy my coffee, my Bible, and my quiet time. I was listening to the birds and savoring each sip of my coffee when this thought came to mind.  Somewhere I had read or heard in a sermon perhaps, that God enjoyed hearing his Holy Word read back to him.

So I opened up to Psalms and began with the 46th.  I stood there reading to him and tears began to run down my cheeks. I went on with the 47th Psalm and the tears kept coming. There was something so special about reading to God.  It just filled my soul in a way I’d not experienced before.

I stopped reading after that and continue offering  Him my praise and thanksgiving for such an awesome time together. As I was looking up in the sky and relishing the moment, I saw something amazing.  There at the bottom edge of the clouds, just where the sky comes up to the clouds, there it was, my name.     Patti, clear as it could be and spelled the way I spell my name… Patti, with an i.  There were no jets in the sky leaving a trail.  There were very few clouds that day and they were huge.  This was not a time of staring at a cloud long enough to imagine it looking like an elephant or something.

God had written my name in the sky, right there where I could see it.

Of course I didn’t have my phone to snap a picture and I knew if I left it would be gone by the time I returned.  So, I just stared in wonder, in thanksgiving, in awe.

Since that time whenever I start to doubt Him or doubt that He knows that I exist, I remember.  I remember that He indeed, knows where I am.  Matthew 10:30 says that even the hairs on my head are numbered.  He knows who I am.   This is an awesome Scripture from Psalm 139 in the Message:

  1-6 God, investigate my life;
    get all the facts firsthand.
I’m an open book to you;
    even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
    I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
    before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
    then up ahead and you’re there, too—
    your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
    I can’t take it all in!

Such an amazing God that He would care enough about me, care about each one of us to know  every detail of who we are.  We never need to wonder if He knows us.

He even knows the way I spell my name.  Patti, with an i


We’ve come to the end of another school year.  This one seems to have gone by much faster than some in the past.  I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we had such a great 8th grade class, it was a pleasure teaching them.  But even when the group of students is well-behaved, for the most part, there is much more that goes into having a successful year at work.  

I am blessed to work with a wonderful group of teachers. They are kind and helpful, and they love the Lord.   Many times during the year when I would get frustrated with a deadline, or a student, or my own self doubt in teaching, one of them would just happen to walk in my room at just the right time and offer just the right words to turn it around for me and cheer me on.  And they tell me I was able to do that for them as well.

There are all types of cheerleaders in middle school!  In Hebrews 10 verse 24, the Word says we are to ‘consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds’.  It seems to me that we cheer each other on to continue the ‘good deed’ of teaching our students. Some days that requires a good deal of cheering.  

We may not notice each time one of us is struggling,  but I do I believe that God does work through each of us to provide the encouragement the other needs, at the right moment.  He knows what we need before we even ask (Romans 8:26) and He provides the answers sometimes in ways we don’t expect. To me, that is one of the kindest things God does for us, is provide His love through those around us when we need it most.

I’m looking forward to our summer break but I’m also looking forward to the next school year, working with some of God’s best cheerleaders,who also happen to be school teachers.

Who are the ones who cheer you on?  Look around, is there someone you need to cheer on?




Unexpected Gifts

For my birthday this year, we went camping at South Llano River State Park which is one of the best birding parks in Texas and one that I’ve wanted to visit for quite a while.  It turned out to be even more of a get-away than we’d planned,  for there was no cell service nor  internet connection.  We usually try to unplug during our camping trips but this time we had no choice, and it was actually quite nice.  My husband, Patrick and I talked more than usual and we weren’t concerned with anything at home.

As I was walking to the bird blind to watch and  wait for birds to come in for water and seed, I whispered a little prayer that God would send some birds I hadn’t seen before.  I remembered a Beth Moore Bible study I’d taken years ago where she had prayed that God would thrill her during her morning walk and prayer time.  He let her see a bear!  I prayed that God would thrill me this morning but I really didn’t want to see a bear….. just a bird or two.  (Now, if you are not a birder, bear with me. I’ve just grown to think it’s one of the best things ever!)

Within the first fifteen minutes of watching, in flew a Bell’s Vireo and several more followed him.   I’d never seen one before and I was also able to get a couple of pretty good shots of him as well.  Thrill!

Later in the day, I walked over to another bird blind, set up my camera and waited.  This time I was blessed to meet and visit with two sisters from Arizona and California who had come to Texas to bird.  While we watched and photographed the birds I noticed that they too were thanking God for the birds we were seeing just as I was.  That started a whole different conversation about the Lord and His blessings.   Thrill!

While at that blind, with my new friends, we were granted yet another thrill by seeing the Black-Capped Vireo.  This one is on the Endangered Species List and one I was really hoping to see.  Plus, as an added bonus, I was able to get four really good shots of him.  I was giddy.

I know…. I know, they’re just birds and people I will never see again.  But, ‘Every good and perfect gift is from above…’, Scripture says in James 1:17.  Saturday was my birthday and God gave me fabulous gifts all day long.

At this point in my life, I really don’t need anything.  My hubby continues to spoil me with lovely gifts that are wonderful.  God also spoils me with his good and perfect gifts of bird sightings and new friends.

Next time you are out walking and praying or maybe driving and praying, ask God to thrill you!  You just never know what He’ll send your way as the perfect thrill.







Singing Art Class

Teaching 5th and 6th graders first class of the day is sometimes a challenge. They come in full of life and very full of voice! It is art class granted, not your typical warm up exercises to get ready for an academic class, but it is still a class. This day was like most other days, kids came in still using their playground voices, aka, as loud as possible.

We were working on sketching their pet so I got them started as soon as possible but the loud talking continued. I decided to put some music on to hopefully calm down the chatter. I chose some praise music that was a bit on the mellow side.

The first song on the playlist was, “Ten Thousand Reasons”. Then the most amazing thing happened. The talking stopped and I do mean all, and all 20 of my students started singing along.

Honestly, I was startled at first but I didn’t say a word as I thought they might stop, so I simply listened. I did, however, whisper, “Lord, are You hearing this? Are You just loving this precious praise coming up to You?” I knew Jesus was happy.

After the third straight song of them singing all the while sketching, some of the kids sitting closest to me noticed the tears in my eyes and I couldn’t stay silent any longer.

“You just blessed me more than you all can imagine! And I want you to know something. I know Jesus, I mean I know Him personally and I think I can say for sure that you all just made Him so happy. I think He is up there in heaven with a big ‘ol smile on His face because of your singing!” There were a few surprised faces in the group but most had the look of sweet content.

Sometimes in my crazy, loud days, I just have to stop the chatter, stop the loud talking and start praising the Lord. I need to refocus my attention on what is important and the calm of Jesus will come over me and all is well. Maybe it’s the same with you. Turn on some music and let the praise begin!

Psalm 105:2. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.

Psalm 95:1. Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.