Tag Archives: #jesus

Who is You?

Are you having a rough day? Go hang out in a classroom filled with kindergartners for a little while, and I guarantee it will cheer you up exponentially! Those little ones are full of awe and wonder and innocence and unconditional love…most of the time.

My daughter is a SPED Professor and she teaches college students how to become effective SPED teachers. One of the highlights of being a professor of educators is being able to go observe them when they are at the end of their prep program and are finally student teaching in a real classroom. This is their time to shine!

My daughter walked into the Kindergarten classroom and took a seat to begin her observation of her student teacher. A sweet little blonde-haired boy who was sitting close to her turned and looked her square in the eyes and asked very seriously, “Who is you?”

She whispered to him, “I am Professor Juhl, who are you?” He politely answered her and when he was done, she asked him to please turn and listen to what the teacher was going to share. He obeyed.

Who is you? This is a fantastic question to ponder. How do you think most of us would answer if asked that question? I am guessing we would give our common view of who we are and not get too personal.

Who is you?  

I am Wendy.

Dean’s wife.

Kyle and Jamie’s mom. 

Warren, Sibyl, Tyus, and Lucy’s grandma.

Education professor at SMSU.

I am ________________ (how would you fill in the blank?).

I wonder what the little boy would have said if my daughter would have answered his question with a question.

Little boy: Who is you?

Professor Juhl: Who do you say I am?

Okay, that question reversal would most likely confuse a kindergartner. Or…maybe not. Those little 5-year old children are creative creatures. Answering a question with a question might launch the conversation on a completely different trajectory. I guess we will never know unless we give it a try.  

In the bible, we find Jesus asking his disciples a similar question. He asks them, “Who do people say I am?” (Matthew 16:13).

The disciples answer Jesus’ question with the common view answer just as we might. They say John the Baptist. Elijah. Jeremiah. Some prophet. (Matthew 16:14).

Then, Jesus turns the question back to his disciples. “What about you?” he asked them. “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15). Simon Peter does not give the common view answer to Jesus. Read what he says in Matthew 16:16…Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, The Son of the living God.” He acknowledged that Jesus is divine and is the long-awaited Messiah. Simon Peter gets a little more personal about who Jesus is. 

I wonder how I would answer if Jesus were to ask me, “Who do you say I am?”  I believe I would lovingly tell Him, “I believe you are my Lord and Savior who chose the cross. You chose that cross to give me and others the gift of eternal life in Heaven! You chose to sacrifice your life on that cross, Lord. You chose to suffer for me and for all others because you love us that much.”

Mind-blowing!

How about you? How would you answer Him if He asked you “Who do you say I am?”

What if we asked Jesus that same question? “Lord, who do You say I am?” Without a doubt, I know the answer to that question. How about you? If you aren’t sure, open up your bible and read the book of Ephesians. It clearly states who we are, who we is.   

Back to the student teacher in the kindergarten classroom. When Professor Juhl had a follow-up conversation with the young teacher-to-be, she mentioned how cute the little boy who asked her the question was. This future teacher agreed and said she really loves that little boy. Then she reminded Professor Juhl about the boy who had punched her in the face the week before. This cute little boy who had asked my daughter “who is you” was him, the same kid, the one who smacked the student teacher. BUT…it did not matter! It did not matter because the student teacher just loves that little boy so much.

That is how it is with Jesus. Who is you? Who do you say I am? Jesus is love. We mess up all the time. ALL.THE.TIME. But, it does not matter because Jesus just loves us so much. We are who He says we are. We are loved. We are forgiven. We are redeemed. We are set free. That is who we is!

Stay Calm & Know Who You (Is) Are!
Profs Dr. Wendy Dr. V.   

Hello…I am a Child of Alzheimer’s

Hello. My name is Wendy and I am a child of Alzheimer’s. Yes, I am a daughter of parents who both suffered from cognitive decline. My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and my mom was diagnosed with dementia and they lost their battles with this memory thief. Quite frankly, cognitive decline scares me way more than the virus being dealt with these days.

I had a moment of confusion the other day, and it caused a little bit of a panic in me. I was in a new school building reading to PreK children. A friend had also joined me. When we finished with the PreK students, this friend wanted to head to the first grade classrooms we had read to a few weeks prior so she could share a gift with them. As we began to venture to those classrooms, my memory failed me as I thought those classrooms were on the next floor up. She reminded me they were on the same floor just over on the other side. While we were chatting and walking to the other side, I got a little discombobulated on which way to go.  

When I returned home, I fretted about this confusion for a little while. I’m sure you can imagine the negative rabbit hole my thoughts jumped down. “What if I have early onset of cognitive decline? What if I end up in a nursing home like my parents did? What if, what if…”

I am not a fan of the words what if… As Matthew West sings in his song, “Is my story gonna have the same two words in every chapter? What if, what if? What I’m trying to say is I don’t wanna say these words again, What if, what if!”

I decided to call my daughter to talk it through with her. She is good at speaking words of reassurance to her mom.

She gently reminded me: “Mom, you know you get disoriented easily. That is not unusual for you. Don’t let satan do that to you! You are just fine. It’s a brand new building and you were in a different classroom!” After we hung up, I didn’t even try to fight the tears. I just let them fall because tears of relief have a cleansing effect.

I love Jesus and I believe in scripture! So, WHY on Earth do I allow these fears to become a stronghold in my mind and heart? I know I am to “fear not” (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV), to “not worry about anything” (Philippians 4:6 NLT), and that “worry does not add any single hour to my life” (Matthew 6:27 NIV)! Yet, these fears sneak in and try shoving me into a deep dark hole. Grrr…

Well, after the encouraging words from my daughter and after my tears finally stopped flowing, I lifted up a prayer and boldly asked Jesus, again, to protect my mind and my heart and to help me replace the lies of the enemy with truths from God’s Word.   

So, here is the truth…

Hello. My name is Wendy and I am a child of the one true king, daughter of my Savior and best friend, Jesus, who loves me unconditionally. I know “His goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6 ASV) no matter what life challenges come my way. Furthermore, as Priscilla Shirer has preached: “Jesus is our savior, our guide, our peace, our joy, our comfort, our Lord, and…He reigns to bring us peace.”

Those are the truths I want to focus on! Those are the truths I need to replace the lies!

Will I never fear again? Oh, heavens no. Every single day I need to intentionally capture my thoughts, and give my absolute best to change my mindset to thinking positive thoughts and quote the Truth instead of focusing on lies!

Here is our challenge…to think about such things such as “whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8 NIV).  To start speaking life over ourselves and others (like my daughter did with me when I called her) rather than speaking death. To delete all our “what ifs.” And finally, let us defeat all lies that torment us, and replace them with Truth! God’s Truth!

Stay Calm & Speak Life!
Profs Dr. Wendy Dr. V.