Monthly Archives: September 2020

“Love Has a Name” Book Talk

Love Has a Name by Adam Weber

I am an educator.

An effective educator has many traits, and one of them is learning their students’ names as soon as possible.

Before school even started, I knew most of my students’ names. I wrote them on the name tags for their desks, on the name tags for their lockers, on the name tags for their mailboxes, on the squirrels for the bulletin board that said “We are NUTS about School.” 😊🐿

My goal was to know all 30 of my students’ names by the end of the first day (yes, I had 30 third graders my first year of teaching). For the most part, I succeeded.

When I was an elementary principal, I would go to the lunch room every day and say the names of the students who were sitting in their grade levels at their assigned lunch table. The students enjoyed this because they liked testing me. This took a lot longer than one day to learn all the names of the students, but I would generally succeed.

Now as a college professor, I still know it is vital to learn the names of all my students. I find it more difficult when I only see my students once or twice a week. I give it my best effort and yet still make mistakes (sorry Rebecca for calling you Rachel 😏).

Names…they are so important.

Did you know that God knows YOUR name? Isaiah 43:1 tells us it is true “…I have redeemed you; I have called you by name…”

Did you know that God loves you? Jeremiah 31:1 says it perfectly “…I have loved you with an everlasting love…”

I don’t know about you, but I find comfort in these verses. God knows my name and He loves me. My name…Wendy…is important to Him. Your name, ______, is important to him. Wow! Let that sink in for a bit.   

In the book Love Has a Name, author Adam Weber, founder and lead pastor of Embrace Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, shares stories about people who have loved him and who he has learned to love.

Pastor Adam begins by retelling the story of Zacchaeus. Remember him? 🎵 Zacchaeus was a wee little man; a wee little man was he.🎵 Jesus knew his name, and loved Zacchaeus before He even met him.

The first name story in this book to resonate with me was about Brett. Brett is one who taught Pastor Weber that love heals through unlikely people. Brett’s story gave me such joy because I am a professor at SMSU and he graduated from there (which I discovered because I read ALL footnotes in the back of the book while I was reading the book. It’s a must. You will be happy you did). We are Mustangs for Life, right Brett? 🐴

Chapter 10 is titled Becky|Love Washes Feet which if you remember, Jesus washed the feet of all His disciples…even the one who betrayed him. And the most amazing thing about that is Jesus knew this disciple would betray him. That takes some serious love to do that.

When I thought about washing feet, Sara came to my mind. She is the one who gives me my pedicure. She pampers me by washing and massaging my feet then painting my toes. All I can say is THANK YOU, Sara!!! Not sure I could do that for others. Could any of you? Pastor Weber will give suggestions on how you CAN do this for others. Read the book.

The stories of those names Pastor Weber has learned to love were astounding. Tony, Mark, Captain, F-Man (yup, that F stands for what you are thinking it stands for), A.C. Kidd (read this story to find out what those initials stand for), and Jillian, the Angel Wings lady (thank you for the beautiful artwork). All are remarkable stories. 

The story that hit my heart the most in this section was the story about Mark. Mark…the know it all. Mark…the one who thinks he’s right about everything. Mark…the one who starts false rumors about us. Mark…the two-faced brat. Mark…the one who makes us angry and frustrated and confused. And, as Pastor Adam says in his book, Mark…the one who we want to body slam!

What do we do about all those people in our lives named “Mark?” (Nothing personal if your name is Mark). Well, Pastor Weber has some great thoughts on this issue. Sorry…my lips are zipped. You will have to read the book if you want to know what his great thoughts are. 🤐

I do have to give away one part though. In Chapter 20, Pastor Adam shares about the mural that was created in the alley by his house. Jillian is an artist who painted angel wings on this backdrop. This beautiful artwork made the news and now people come from near and far to take their picture by the wings.

Because I live within 50 minutes of Sioux Falls, SD, I decided to take my daughter and her family on an angel wing hunt last week, and guess what? We found some. What a treasure. The pictures speak for themselves. Thank you, Jillian. 👼

Each story in this book is beautiful. And so is yours! And so is mine! We need to tell our stories. Who knows who we may help. Love has a name and it is all of ours. YOU, me, ALL of us. Jesus loves us and knows our name. That is a real treasure. So is this book. I highly recommend you read Love Has a Name by Adam Weber.

Angel Wing Hunt

Stay Calm & Share YOUR Story!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

Procrastination Doesn’t Stop the Seasons of Change

P-R-O-C-R-A-S-T-I-N-A-T-I-O-N. Procrastination can be defined as the action or delaying or postponing something. Often times, procrastination carries a negative connotation. We’re told not to procrastinate many times in life – especially when we are considering homework. We often “put off” what we don’t want to do. However, procrastination can actually be a gift. It can allow us the time we need to process whatever it is our mind is working on in the background. 

Procrastination is real – and as we experience the change of seasons and return to school (however that may look for each of us this fall), we face opportunities for procrastination all around us. Now, I simply love the change of season from summer to fall as we turn to “sweater weather” and new school supplies. I could argue my love for each season, but that would delay my intent – and no more procrastinating here! 

I have been procrastinating. My mind has been working on this blog in the background for the past month. My eldest son, who turned 18 and graduated this past May, is now “off to college” right here in my backyard (across town) and across campus from my office. I have written this blog over and over in many different ways in my mind since he moved into the dorms a month ago. I wasn’t ready to write it with all that was going on and the busyness of another new academic year commencing. In truth, I just plain wasn’t ready to write it – so I didn’t type it. It was going to make it too real. I was enjoying the idea that my son “had gone off to camp” and nothing had really changed. It’s not like he moved across the state or country, right? So why couldn’t I write it? I was trying to avoid the seasons of change – as much as I do love autumn, I wasn’t ready for “sweater weather.” Moving him in to his dorm was not hard – just hot outside (and inside with no air conditioning). What made it hard – walking by his bedroom at home to see it “empty” without him AND his bed was made.


You see – I have preached the importance of bed-making for years. I am avid bed-maker. It is one thing to be accomplished at the start of the day – and crawling into a “made” bed at the end of a long day is heavenly. I have been making my bed since I was 10 years old – or at least that was the moment I remember thinking, “I like this and will do this always.” I am apparently the only one of my siblings to have this thought. 😉 Fast-forward… I have harped on my sons to make their beds for years… and slowly started to get tired of the fight or maybe just realized it is not a fight that needs to be fought or as important as I once had thought. I do continue to send them small messages from time to time to remind them of the importance of bed-making, which they politely ignore. This is just one of the many delicate hints that I have shared with my boys –

Going back to see that empty bedroom with the bed made, caused me to pause and realize I was parenting an adult child now. He had grown up and learned many valuable lessons – some from me and some from others. Maybe I had “done okay” with parenting… or maybe not? I think that is the struggle and what makes this so hard. Parenting may not end, but it definitely changes, and we have moved to a new season of parenting. Like moving from the freedom of summer to the routine of fall, I have moved from parenting my child to mentoring my child in a whole new, unknown way. Did I do a good enough job in the last season? Will I do an okay job in the next season? Only time will tell. This makes me sad and reminiscent – and makes me happy and hopeful at the same time. 

Sappy stuff aside and funny part of the story now… it turns out that his Dad/my husband made my son’s bed – and not my son after all. So as seasons change, somethings don’t. Cheers to a great semester and year, son! May you make your bed and not procrastinate. Always remember that I’m here for you whether you do or don’t make your bed. 🙂

Sharing just for good measure… may this habit will catch on with someone somewhere eventually.


May everyone have a great academic year full of challenges to be accomplished and beds to be made!

Sharing in case you are procrastinating right now…

Well, it’s been a month into the making (writing and rewriting)… so I had better “just send it” because it doesn’t stop the seasons of change from happening.

Stay Calm & Embrace the Seasons of Change! 
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm to  you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

Let the Children Go to the Bathroom

A curly blonde-haired, green-eyed first grader raised her hand with her pointing finger sticking straight up high in the air obeying the rule to indicate #1 or #2. The teacher gave her a glance and shook her head NO. With tears stinging in the little girl’s eyes, she grimaced, she shifted in her seat, and she just couldn’t hold on any longer.

Overflowing the wooden chair seat, the urine dripped onto the floor leaving an obvious puddle for the whole class to see. Total humiliation.

That little girl was me. And that incident was over 50 years ago.  

I remember that “accident” like it was yesterday. In my memory, I see myself sitting quietly in my cute blue polka-dotted dress with lacy bobby socks and white tennis shoes in the second desk of the row that was closest to the room closet; row one on the west side of the classroom which was directly across the hall from the bathrooms.

A fifth grade boy asked to use the bathroom right before getting on the bus at the end of the day. He was told no. Bus rides aren’t short. He didn’t make it. Everyone knew because of the smell on the bus. Rightfully so, the parents of this boy were extremely upset and paid a visit to the principal.

A third grade girl sat in her desk during a test all while squirming frantically and crossing her legs trying her hardest to ‘hold it.’ She didn’t succeed. The expectation was students were not allowed to ask permission to go to the bathroom during a test and because she was a rule follower, she didn’t ask. Public embarrassment.

A second grade boy asked to use the bathroom and was told no. He lost control but thankfully his jeans soaked it up. He also had on a long t-shirt which covered his saturated blue jeans so none of his classmates knew what had happened. Whew!

A first grade girl asked to use the bathroom and was told no – she was to wait until after the spelling test and go before recess. She didn’t make it out to recess. The new teacher graciously asked her if the plant had spilled on her – as that sometimes happens. Oh dear. My first grade self knew better, but the teacher who didn’t let her go to the bathroom helped her recover in front of her peers.

A preschooler asked to use the bathroom while lining up from recess. He was told no. This little boy was fortunate as he told his mommy “I squeezed my cheeks together and I tried to hold it in.” He was fortunate and didn’t have an accident in front of all his peers, which could have led to teasing and bullying.

Schools are the only place I know that don’t allow a person to use the bathroom when needed. I was an elementary teacher. I get it. We don’t want our students to miss any of our important teaching.

When I first began teaching third graders, I had cute wooden spoons with cute little faces painted on them. These were my ‘Bathroom Passes.’ If a student needed to use the bathroom, and that spoon was hanging up, they could grab the spoon and take it with them into the bathroom then return it when finished.

Yeah, that didn’t go so well. The spoons were left in the bathrooms most times and when you think about it, the spoons were probably full of germs. Yuck!

My second year of teaching third graders, I had an epiphany. A family requested that if their son asked to use the bathroom, to please let him go. I am so grateful to that family because it changed my approach to using the bathroom. And it was only my second year. From that year on, if a child asked me permission to use the bathroom, I would simply ask, “Can it wait? If not, go now. Only you know!”

I understand we teachers like to have our students present during instruction. However, we ALL know there are times when needing a restroom is immediate! So, please…trust your students, and let the children go to the bathroom.

Please share in the comments below any successful bathroom classroom management technique(s) you have used in your classroom.

Stay Calm & Let Them GO!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

(Pics linked to resources).