Back in January I was doing a little “computer work”, as my sister likes to call it, basically passing time, when I came upon a posting on one of the storytelling websites I follow. It was from Kevin Cordi seeking teachers who were interested in participating in a project he had developed called the “Poetry Box Project”. Twenty-five children’s authors have written the beginnings of poems that the students in the project will finish, add to the box, and send on as it travels across the country and maybe even world. He specifically asked for West Virginia teachers who might be willing to take part. Without really thinking about it, I wrote to Kevin right away to express my interest in receiving the Poetry Box for my school and the state of West Virginia. Now, I have to be honest with you, I NEVER expected to be chosen. After all, I teach in a very small, rural school and I am not an award winning, paper publishing, extraordinary teacher. Why would he choose me? Well, you can imagine my surprise when I received an email from Kevin to let me know that I HAD been chosen as an Ambassador for the Poetry Box! It is on its way from Illinois as I type and our school will have it for the month of April. Needless to say, I am still a little shocked but very excited! Blogging about this experience is part of the project and the motivation behind my starting “My Sea of Thought.”
To help begin building curiosity and anticipation for the Poetry Box I have left a message on the wall of our cafeteria for the students to find on Monday morning. It says, “NFES: We have been chosen!” This picture shows the sign hanging above a table I set up that has books on it written by the authors of the poem beginnings. I have a few more messages planned for the kids before the unveiling of the box.
I have been thinking about “being chosen” a lot lately. I don’t know about you, but there have been many times in my life when I haven’t felt good enough or qualified enough to do something. It is human nature I think, to stay in that safe spot where we know what we are doing and feel successful doing it. It is when we are asked to step outside that comfort zone (a place I do NOT like to leave) that we begin to convince ourselves we don’t have what it takes, there’s someone better for the job, and even I’m too old to learn something new. (Can you guess who has said that recently……) What I am learning though, is that when we sell ourselves short out of fear and insecurity, we miss out on opportunities and experiences that will enhance our lives. God designed each of us with special gifts and talents and He has chosen you and me to do great things! Is it always easy? NO! Is it sometimes scary? YES! But in the end, whether it be for the Poetry Box, a new job, helping someone, or you add your own, being chosen is a gift we’ve been given that will bring joys untold to our lives and those around us if we just have faith and leap (or tiptoe) onto the new paths put in front of us.