"Let Jesus be your song and He alone is your salvation" by: Betsy Monico

   I recently began teaching my early morning group at school about “seasoning” their writing and how to notice when an author “seasons” their words and eloquently transforms plain text into something special. 
   I stole the idea of “seasoning” from my son’s 4th grade teacher. She impacted him. Duh, she equated school to food. 
   He took the analogy to heart and connected it to his stomach! My kids appreciate good food. 
   They learned to cook and grill from their Dad and bake from me. 
   Following her plan, I explained to my small group last week that hamburger patties without any seasoning are pretty blah. Likewise, ground meat without the addition of taco seasoning from a packet or spices in the pantry, will not taste like taco meat. It will simply be ground beef. 
   True, seasoning when cooking is not absolutely essential. Food is edible without any extras, but when you add some spices into any dish, the palate is more pleased. 
   It dawned on me when searching for examples of “seasoning” in the novel Hatchet that encouragement in life is a lot like this powerful “seasoning” strategy. 
   We can make it without reassurance; however, when someone gives us a genuine compliment, we suddenly find a “pep in our step” and hold our heads up a bit higher. 
   The immediate task at hand, whether it be practicing a sport, completing a project at work, or tidying up at home, seems like less of a chore. 
   One of my students really encouraged me last week. He casually passed me a handwritten paper with a string attached to it. 
   It said, “I love Mrs. Monico.” He thought I would hang it up in my room, but I immediately put it on like a necklace. (I still have a Cheerio one from Blaise hanging with my best jewelry, but do not wear my Rolex…my story, my song!) 
   He gave it to me right before the phone rang in my classroom, informing me that our second Monico kiddo was going home on a 14-day quarantine.  
   I needed his simple boost bigtime! My two high school students love school and their extracurricular activities. 
   They have survived their home “sentence” okay, but will excitedly return to school soon. 
   Back to my necklace – I got Covid sidetracked – something we seem to do these days. 
   I met Yubal years ago when he was at the elementary. 
   Moving to fifth grade has challenged me somewhat, but knowing the majority of my students saved me from building relationships from scratch.
They walked in and knew what to expect of their teacher and that I loved them all. 
   I thought I knew what to anticipate of them as well, but was pleasantly surprised over their maturity and massive educational gains.  
   Theodore Roosevelt once said “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” 
   That sums up my teaching philosophy in a nutshell. Yubal was quite confident to encourage me because we know each other. 
   We get each other. As life challenges us all and more than ever in 2020, we must lean on our beloved relationships continuously and encourage each other. 
   Psalms 118:14 also says this: “The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” 
   “Season” your life this week with all that you do. 
   Encourage others and remember where your strength comes from. Let Jesus be your song; and that He alone is your salvation.

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