Monday, August 9, 2010

Spending My Time

This, dear bloggers, is my 100th post. I've thought a good bit about how I wanted to spend this post...did I want to talk about blogging or the fact that this was my first REAL week at home as a stay-at-home mom? Did I want to talk about my babies and the fact that Hollyn will crawl any minute now? And then it hit me: I want to use this post to talk about how I spend my time. I don't mean my day-to-day living time, I mean how I'm trying to make a difference and do something lasting and real;  I'm trying to be someone to somebody.

Here's something you probably don't know about me:

In 2006, on Libby's second birthday, I almost died. 
In that I don't mean I ALMOST had a wreck or ALMOST drowned
or ALMOST got bitten by a big, nasty spider;
I mean I went into cardiac arrest and had E-coli in all my major organs kind of almost died.
I was super sick, thankfully the sickest I've been to date and hopefully the sickest I'll ever be.
And coming that close to dying really made me think-- I want to make a difference. I want to do something lasting. I want to be the kind of girl someone can look up to and admire one day.
So, I got my priorities in check and started what I consider to be my very own version of a ministry: my kids. I'm not referring to my birth kids, although I do try to be as good to them as absolutely possible. I'm referring to my students, whom I've come to consider as my very own. If you're a regular reader, you've heard me talk about them before here, here, here, here, here,  and here.

At the time I was teaching gifted English in a town not too terribly far from where I live now. I was teaching THE MOST AMAZING group of kids that I think I'll ever be blessed to teach. I used this situation as a way to be the person I was trying to be. I tried to set an example in words, thoughts, and actions. I went out of my way to invest in them- like REALLY invest in them. I supported them, I prayed for them, I held them accountable, and I challenged them to be better people. I fell in love with their families and went out of my way for them every chance I got.
And it worked.

When I was in high school, I didn't have a teacher like this. I had some great teachers, but not a one of them ever went above and beyond to push me to meet my potential or hold me accountable or help me to see clearly when high school and all its drama blurred my vision, so to speak. I believe this could have made a difference- to have someone I respect, in addition to my mom,  helping me to see that there is a great big life full of possibilities waiting for me and all I have to do is try my best to live an honorable, focused life and it's mine for the taking. Heck yes, this could have helped. And THIS is the person I try to be for the ones I call mine.

A year later I moved, and things only got better. Now I was no longer their teacher in a literal sense, and that opened the door for me to be more involved in their lives without the fear of crossing a 'teacher line'. I was then able to support them and get to know them in a way that didn't involve turning around and having to issue grades to them. I've cried with them and fussed at them, given them advice and counseled them, loved them unconditionally and supported them indefinitely. And I am nothing special. I have not done ANYTHING that ANYONE else could not have done, given a phone card, a couple tanks of gas, some stamps, a facebook account, and a little time out of every day.

It's been four years since I got sick, and all I can say is thank you. Getting sick encouraged me to do better, to try harder, and to love deeper. I have come to truly LOVE this group of kids. And investing in them and serving them has brought me one of the greatest blessings I have ever known.

 Since then, they have become some of my favorite people on this planet and have poured blessings on me in big, giant bucketfuls. They're mostly in college now, and to sit back and watch them excel--- well, that's like the cherry on top. All the visits and phone calls, facebook chats and letters, trips to the ER and dorm room decorating, adventures and nights spent doing nothing, serious conversations and tears, laughing hysterically and giggling non-stop-- it has so been worth it.  I've opened my home and my heart to them, and  I have made a difference. They remind me with every thank you, acknowledgement, phone call, visit, and praise.  And they're in on my secret-- many of them are now going out of their way to serve others and make a difference, each in his or her own little way, and I PROMISE I could not be more proud or more humbled by this if they actually were my very own children.
I have done something great; they are the living proof.

And you know what I've discovered through this little mission of mine?
 Doing for others is like a drug, only a good kind. It's highly addictive and leaves you longing for more, more, and more. After bonding with these kids, I found myself being not only a better person but a better teacher. Have I ever mentioned that I never wanted to be a teacher in the first place? I wasn't that girl who grew up saying, "I just love kids. What can I do with that? Oh, I think I'll teach." Nope. Not me. I was more like, "I love English but am not sure I want to go to law school. What can I do in the meantime? Teach? Oh, I don't know about that. I guess I can try it until something better comes along.....".  I'm still honestly not sure I want to be a teacher forever, at least not in the literal sense. But none of that changes the fact that these kids have TAUGHT ME what I think living is all about: helping others.

After investing in this special group of kids, I've found myself investing in others more often. It's become the very core of who I am. And now that I've once again left my last teaching job, I sit and hope that I can serve these former students the way I served my others.

Ok, so you might be wondering what exactly is my point in sharing all this with you. Well, first, I hope you heard me earlier when I said that I am nothing special. I meant that. I make mistakes every single day, sometimes I totally drop the ball, and I've been known to insert foot into mouth on a regular basis. But I wanted to share this with you to let you in on a little secret I've discovered. Other than being a mom, doing for others has brought me the greatest joy in my life.  I believe that there's a special kind of happy reserved for the way you feel when you've truly sacrificed and given 100% of yourself to serve someone else.  I think this is part of the reason so many women are so blessed by motherhood. My way of serving happens to be these kids, as well as my own. I do my best to help them meander through this mess we sometimes call life while still keeping their little heads above water and being the best people they can be. But I wanted to make sure you know that whether you have a group of kids to serve at your disposal or not, you can still make a difference.


I'm a very firm believer in the notion that God gives us each gifts, and when you use whatever gifts you've been given to serve others, the rewards will be great.  I believe one of my gifts is that of an encourager.  

And I confess:

Hi, my name is McCall, and I'm addicted to doing for others.

The only catch is.....I have no plans of stopping.

So, for my 100th post, I'd like to encourage you to serve. You can start small with just one person, you can serve your family or a total stranger, you can give via money or via time and effort. You can serve from the background or end up in the spotlight, but I encourage you to try. Please don't make it take a near death experience for you to enjoy what life is all about. They don't call it the 'Golden Rule' for nothing, you know.

So, go ahead........big blessings are waiting.


  1. Sweet post McCall...I am so glad I get to know you better through your blog. I had no idea how scary 4 years ago was for you. SO GLAD you are here and doing good for others. I just hope others are doing good for you too. you are so you.

  2. Thanks so much for the encouragement to serve. What a wonderful post- I really enjoyed getting to "know" you a little bit more! I'm so glad God continues to work in our lives!!

  3. What a great challenge! I know I help others (or try to) at my job everyday, but now I'm on the lookout for another way to help. This was a very inspiring entry. I didn't know about your health scare...I can't imagine going through something like that, but I'm glad to see that you did something wonderful with it. Those kids are lucky to have somone like you in their lives!

  4. Reading your post really doesn't surprise me about you at all. I remember being on Jones Hall one day and you being really concerned/caring about something that was going on with me. Now, I cannot remember what was going on with me then, but I do remember that moment with you. You've always been that caring/giving person. I had no idea about your huge scare 4 years glad that is over and you are well!

  5. Love you and all you do for all of these kids (especially mine!!) Trudy

  6. That.. was inspiring. You are so great! You have made an awesome impact on all of our lives.

    Thanks for all you do, McCall.

  7. Hi, I'm your newest Friday Follower!

    Come visit me at


  8. HEYA! I love this post. I LOVE everything about it. This is perfect for Impact Week. I would LOVE to have you share. Pretty please!

    I am so excited you are going to guest post for Impact Week! YAY!

    This reason I am doing this is because a couple of weeks ago some awesome kids from a local chruch knocked on my door and said that their chruch was having "Impact Week". They wanted to know if they could do any service or at least pray for me. I told them they could mow my lawn, then I jokingly said they could chop down my big 40 tree in the front yard that has been needing to go.

    Anyway, long story short (I'll spare you the details since I was going to blog about it to kick off the "Impact Week") they got a professional tree trimmer and he cut it down for us. AMAZING! We had gotten several estimates to have someone come do it, and it was anywhere from $800-$1200!

    So this is my way of paying it forward, by having my own "Impact Week."

    Please write a post about how God has made an impact in your life and email it to me by October first!
    I know that's kind of vague, but I'm trying not to sway your thoughts.
    If you want more info let me know!

    Love you so much!
    jackie.wins at gmail dot com


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