She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. (Proverbs 31:26)
One of my regrets in this life of mine is that years ago I did not offer up a hearty and well-deserved THANK YOU to a great woman named Teri Feller. She remains to this day a gal to whom I feel genuine indebtedness for the exceptional work she did with my oldest son, his classmates and scores of others. I’ve decided it’s never too late for gratefulness, and why not rectify the oversight today?
Teri is the mother of 3 grown children and the wife to Jay, a CPA who happens to work with my husband. That’s not how I know Teri, though. She spent many years as a teacher at St. Louis de Montfort School and she was, in my opinion, one of the finest educators to ever inhabit a classroom in that building. While she taught many things well, the Lord used her as His instrument as she taught the students religion. It warmed my heart so very much as a mother to send my son to her classroom each day.
The secret sauce for Teri is that she shared with the children her passion for her faith. She knew how much God loves each of us, and her sunshine showed. Much of what so many young adults know now about the beauty of the mass, for example, was gleaned in her classroom. They felt her love of the Lord and it was life-giving. Teri had command of a group of kids by the genuine and holy way she worked.
I remember laughing as her teaching partner (my dear friend Janet Andriole) spoke to the Lord with the entire combined group of kiddos one afternoon by opening, “Lord, it’s clear to us all that I am not as smooth at this leading a prayer thing as Mrs. Feller, but I am sure you understand my heart is in the right place as I stumble a little here…” It made me giggle as I stood nearby as a classroom helper that day because I had been thinking the entire time, PLEASE do not ask me to lead this group in prayer, Jesus. These children had already gotten used to Mrs. Holiness, you see, and the rest of us pretty much felt like freshmen on the first day of school standing next to her. It was a relief to hear the very articulate Janet express what I had been thinking!
Teri was and is a beautiful person. She’s funny, bright, and soft-spoken. She exudes graciousness and kindness in every interaction I have ever had with her. Teri, THANK YOU for the stunning witness of faithfulness you shared all those years ago with the kids, and for always reminding me each time I see you what goodness looks like. The world sure would be a lot better off with a whole slew of women half as fantastic as you!