Give It a Second Try!

” You should give blood with me, ” a friend invited, ” Red Cross is doing a blood drive in Austin on Tuesday. You should really come!”

Uh, me give blood?! That would mean having a needle stuck in my arm and loosing a whole pint of my blood! That doesn’t sound like something I’d be excited about.

” I don’t know…. I’ll think about it. ” I told her , still unsure of the idea.

Tuesday rolled around and at 3 pm 2 of my friends and I bravely walked through the doors of the blood drive center. A glance at the rows of cots, nurses, and bags of blood nearly made me question my decision but I was here with an appointment and couldn’t back out now.

As the gal was prepping my arm for the donation , I was curious and began asking numerous questions and learned new things. 1. There’s a gallon of blood in your body and  with every one pint at  donation  you loose 1/8th of your blood supply. 2. It takes your body 56 days to replenish that pint. 3. Three lives can be saved with one pint of your blood. ( how cool is that?!)

I soon stopped asking questions and began focusing on maintaining my consciousness  because by now the needle was imbedded in my right arm and  blood was flowing through a small tube into the bag and I suddenly felt weak, cold and hot at the same time, sweaty, and pale. I was that way through the whole procedure and even afterwards I had to rest on the cot for a while until I was feeling well enough to walk.

The experience kinda freaked me out and I wasn’t sure if I’d do it again; however, 8 weeks later I went back to donate again,  this time accompanied by my mother. Sometimes it’s that second try after a previously ‘bad’ experience that takes more courage than the initial one  so I decided to give it another try hoping it would be better than the first time.

I was quite  impressed at how well my body was  handling it this time. I wasn’t feeling faint and I could enjoy an interesting conversation with the nurse. As I hopped off the cot soon after they removed the needle and had me bandaged up I thought happily to myself,” That wasn’t bad! Maybe feeling faint is just for the first timers.!”

I sat at the table eating  fruit snacks and drinking my water while waiting for mom to  finish. Suddenly my heart began racing, I got cool , very sweaty,weak, and dizzy. “Oh no!” I groaned to myself,” I guess I didn’t escape this after all.”

The nurse soon had me lying  on a cot again with a fan blowing on me and a bottle of water by my side. It wasn’t long until I was revived enough to sit back at the table to resume my wait. Lesson learned. Don’t get up so fast after a donation even if the nurses don’t tell you to wait a little.

I’m not trying to be overly dramatic here. I’m just sharing my account to encourage you to find the nearest blood drive near you, make an appointment , and save three lives! And, if the first time doesn’t go so well for you, do it again and (hopefully )enjoy a better experience the second time around not to mention save 3 more lives!

I have been back in my tiny classroom at Smithson School for the past two weeks now and am really enjoying my responsibility as a teacher. I teach 2 adorable first graders and 4 maturing (and cute) 2nd graders and we are all on board for a new, exciting adventure of another school term of learning together ! These dear children’s bright smiles, energy , enthusiasm ( and coffee)  keep me going ,literally.

Here are my first graders ,Caleb and Lexis , posing with their fingerpainted masterpieces!


And here are my studious second graders! Hopefully sometime I can get a more formal picture of the whole class.

A year ago I was  in the thick of a rough beginning to the school year feeling lost, totally clueless , and inexperienced. I was so unprepared and didn’t know what to expect and went home many evenings feeling frustrated and discouraged.  I consented to teach again for a second term because I was told the second is  better than the first and to give it a fair trial you need to teach at least 2 years. Two weeks in and I’m so glad I decided to do it another year. It’s amazing how experience ( as little as one term) and familiarity can change the situation so dramatically for the better. I’m excited to see what God has for me this term and how He will use me here.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are afraid to try again or are content to just leave good enough alone, listen up. I want you to try one more time! Don’t give up! There’s a new opportunity , a second chance, for you to apply what you have learned from the first experience and make the second time even better!

God never gives up on us no matter how often we’ve failed. Can we embrace that and follow God willingly even when he brings us back to where we thought we’ve failed and give it a second, third, or fourth try? With every seemingly failed attempt, God is teaching us invaluable lessons and is shaping us in ways only failure -turned to growth- can.

Today is a new day! Yesterday is history. Take a deep , refreshing breath , hand your problems to God, and start with fresh courage. God is not about to give up on you  so don’t give up on yourself.  Don’t focus on the failures of yesterday but view today as a second chance,  a clean slate ,to make the change in whatever it may be.

Do what’s scary and discover God is already there turning the dust to glitter. You have NO reason to give up when God is in the center of your life extending grace and offering you second chances.

God specializes in the broken and can turn any situation into something for His glory.