Now I have an empty purse

How’s that for an attention grabber?

I wish it was not true and I wrote that just for fun, but on Wed I was robbed.

“It’s the end of the school year and a ring of thieves hits schools searching for stressed out teachers, who go to dismissal without locking their doors.  They found you. We are sorry” That is what my admin and the police told me.

Among the many things they took, they took the feeling of protection in the womb of my classroom. I could not bear to be in there the day after because it felt gross.  We spent the entire ensuing day out of the room. It worked out nicely that we had other places to be: doing day 2 of the class play, watching a movie with our 3rd grade cast mates, and then learning to play kickball.

The thieves took my wallet and two months of spending money. They took the ipad a parent had gifted my class. They took all of my credit cards/ID/ teaching receipts for taxes…. It’s so annoying because I am so thrifty with my spending money... Can you imagine all the clip art I could have purchased ???? The skirts I could have bought? The School Girl Style Polka Dots Collection and new School Girl Style Decorating book I could have bought. Imagine all the hanging pom poms I am too cheap to buy…. Boo-Hoo!

Within minutes of dismissal they began using all my credit cards, hitting every Target within 20 miles. Thousands of dollars and 90 minutes later, they ended their spending spree with a victory dinner at a drive through.
But I have to tell you I have had some growth moments in all this…

Number 1 : Don’t get so busy that you put yourself in harm’s way. It does not matter if you are busy ending a school year or Christmas shopping, stay aware. Being safe and calm is good for you, your kids, your life.  I was not calm the day I was robbed, if I had been I would have hidden my purse like I always do and locked my door like I always do. But I couldn’t find my keys where I usually put them because I tossed them onto a messy desk and was too harried to find them at dismissal.  I needed to calm myself down and take 10 seconds to breathe and look around. Breathing and looking around is important. You might notice those people that look out of place. In breathing you might hear that still small voice offering warning. 

Number 2: Don’t allow dumb stuff to break the routine that is good for you. End of the year craziness begins and I stop exercising, eating right, spending time in prayer, and it’s horrible until the moment it is over.  Maybe these are the times to spend 5 more minutes in a calming yoga pose, chewing a little slower, and praying for some discernment on priorities.

Number 3: Take on a little Perspective. You know I am faithful believer. But, in a moment of anger I thought, “I hope there is a special place in hell for people who steal from or hurt children and teachers.”
Then my VERY next thought was, “There probably is a special place in hell, and I hope they DONT go there.” I hope that God gets a hold of them and saves them. I hope that someday they have this amazing testimony about how their soul was dead, so dead they could steal without remorse. . . But then one day after a "job" they pulled at a school they just could not take it anymore.... They don't know what happened but something changed in them. Every time they swiped those credit cards, it pained them. When they ate that food they purchased with the stolen credit cards it burned their throats and stomachs, it sat like a rock, and they knew they could never do this again.

That would be a great end to this story. That's what I am praying for. That's what I think about every time I want to curse them. That’s my new perspective. I have a mighty God and His hope is to reconcile all of us back to Him. (That none shall perish but have ever lasting life) Now if I look up “none’ in the dictionary it means none… so even robbers have hope in His mercy.

I also understand that this event in my life is such a 1st world problem. There is nothing that I can't turn around and replace. I don't want to spend $1,000 to replace an ipad, wallet, and my spending money.... but it is not an impossibility. There are people out there with really sad stories, 3rd world stories, so I have to take on some perspective here. I have to put this in God’s hands and say, “I surrender this event to You.  I ask that You make my family whole and work in my life through this. I thank you God that it was just my “stuff” and not my “people”. Please let me somehow honor and glorify you in this time.”

I have to tell you parts of this prayer might just become a mantra, because things/ events happen all the time that wind me up, work me up, or break my heart BUT in all things He is with me. He will make me whole and He will be glorified. Part of that happening though is stopping and asking for it… I asked " God help us fix this. Help me forgive. Help me feel safe at school." It was SUPER hard not to over react. I hope I did not. Moving forward and forgiving is the first step, Saying the prayer that welcomes Him in to heal, protect, and be with us is all He needs to hear. The video below is pretty powerful! Or click {here}.

He offers the same thing to each and every one of us. Ask and you shall receive…


  1. Oh man! That's horrible! I'm so sorry :( Good for you that you have such a positive outlook and can turn a bleak situation around. Hang in there!

  2. I am SO SORRY this happened to you!!! But kudos to you for having such a GREAT outlook on it all! All will be OK as long as God is with you! Keep your chin up!

  3. I am so very very sorry. How awful. My first year teaching, I had a parent steal my check card. I felt so violated, and bitter..but like you said, God is definitely with all of us, and I had to be reminded that maybe that person needed it more than me. It certainly wasn't easy, but you have an incredible outlook. Thinking of you...


  4. I absolutely hate that this happened to you! It's so awful that it happened in what should be one of the safest places in your life: your classroom. Boo on those thieves :( I will be thinking of you!!
    Fun in Room 4B

  5. I can't even fathom the kind of person who thinks, "Hey, let's go steal from teachers and from kids." I am so sorry that you had to go through any of this. I must say, though, that God is using you as such an amazing and inspirational example as to how a Christian should react in such a situation. Not many people could handle this with such grace and forgiveness.

    First Grade Magic

    1. Oh my sweet girls, you all encourage me so much! Thank you!

  6. Aw Katie I am so sorry that happened! But you are right, it is a first world problem and wow, what a great outlook you have! I don't know that I could feel that way that fast. :-/
    ideas by jivey
    Follow Me On Facebook! :)

  7. So sorry this happened to you. I was reading my devotion today and I thought I would share something from that with you today. :)
    "I think Jesus made it clear that He didn’t want a bunch of vigilante Christians running around trying to give our enemies a dose of their own wickedness. When I say “enemy,” I’m not just talking about the guy who used your stolen credit card to buy Cubs tickets. Enemies can be our bosses, parents, spouses, or even our own children, and sometimes, they are the hardest to love.
    Jesus’ calls us to be really different—to return grace for hurt, mercy in the face of malignancy, and kindness for cruelty. And this requires absolute faith in God’s promise found in Romans 12:19: “For it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” In essence, we have to “chill out” because the Lord is saying, “Don’t worry; I’ve got your back.”" - Joe Stowell
    Have a blessed day!

    1. Beki this is really powerful. Thank you for sharing this with me! He does have our backs... very much so! Thank you for taking the time to type this for me.

  8. As I clicked the link of you being robbed and read your story, I think you were blessed! You shared your love of the Father and others read it. Sometimes things happen and we grow from them. Thanks for opening my eyes and remembering God love me and the wrongdoer. Blessing will come to those who believe and share the word of God!

  9. I am so sorry to hear that you were robbed, such an awful experience. Thank you for your honesty in your thoughts and feelings. I know as a believer I can find myself going down that negative road when things happen, and it is a choice to turn it around. Praying for you as you continue to work though this situation!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  10. I am so incredibly sorry to hear this. I cannot believe that you had to go through this. What an awful experience. I am so so sorry. You have taken an amazing outlook on this. Praying for you!


  11. I'm so sorry!! I loved that you went on and shared your thoughts. We serve an awesome God and you definitely did not loose sight of that!

  12. Of all the places we want to feel safe....our classroom is at the top of my list. I feel so bad for you. If you have to lock your door every minute you don't feel safe either. I hope you can find your classroom is a happy place again when school starts up in the fall.

    Terri Izatt

  13. Oh, that is terrible! I'm so sorry you experienced that. Did any other teachers get robbed? From experience I can tell you that there will be some ups and downs, but keep your attitude positive and you'll come out of it fine. Do you not have a special place to lock your purse in your classroom? Aside from the classroom being locked that is. We are required to have lockable spots in our classrooms to keep our valuables in.

  14. Sorry to hear about this. My first thought was, "How did the thieves get in?" With all of the scary things going on in schools, our school is locked up super tight from the outside and you can't even get into the building without signing in at the office.

    You definitely have a much better outlook on it than I would have!

    Sweet Rhyme – Pure Reason

  15. Oh my gosh, I am SO sorry, Katie! I think you've walked away with awesome {and incredibly mature} perspective on this terrible incident. What must be going on in those people's lives that they feel the need to take from others? Thanks for opening my eyes to "First World Problems" too - I think it's so easy for us to forget that some children don't have pencils to write with, so the fact that my iPad stylus broke really isn't that big of a deal!

    Lucky to Be in First

  16. Thanks for sharing your testimony in this public forum!! God is good - even in the hard times. I really believe that, & I'm glad you reminded all of us. I don't even know you, but I am a sister in Christ. I prayed for you tonight!!

  17. HUGS!! We have Saturday School in my building and I use that time to work in my room. I've never thought of locking things up because no one but teacher and students are to be in the building. So my son and I worked (cleaned) with my wallet on the table, cell beside it. Not a fear in the world.... until a strange man walked in. The last thing on my mind was wallet. I was actually scared for my son. This guy looked like he was coming down off something. I quickly figured out a way to get my son out of the room and to get some help without this guy figuring out my call for help. But in that instant I had to turn my back to him and he took my wallet. It TOTALLY stinks! I wish that people understood that they are only hurting themselves. I never got the wallet back, but I have learned to NEVER leave anything out. Another thing I figured out is that during the school day the only reason that I would need in my purse is for money. I now keep a little bowl of change(I think it was for paper clips) in one of my supply drawers. Prayers to you...

    1. What a great idea, just keep a little stash of cash (less than 10 on a safe spot) Then I can lock up my purse each morning until I leave! SMART!

    2. I am so glad that you and your son are safe! I realized that that I was out of my room such a short amount of time I could have walked in on them! What you went through was very scary!

  18. I'm so sorry to hear about your unfortunate event! That is horrible! Sending prayers to your way. Thank you for sharing your story, it was very brave of your because I bet you are going through a lot of emotions still. This is my worst fear this year that the same thing will happen to me (I'm moving to China to teach Kinder at an international school). I feel like I will be robbed because I will be in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people.

    Will be thinking a lot about you tonight!
    Cheers To School

  19. I am sorry for what you went through, but I love that you found a new perspective in which to view it. I recently had an experience where I parted with some things that I was sorry to lose. You reminded me that things can always be replaced, it's people that are really important.

  20. Oh, Katie, I am so sorry that you had to go through this. I am so impressed with your perspective, though. You are right, and I too, hope that this experience was a turning point for these thieves. That they will someday be shown the light of God.
    Sending a little prayer for you today.

    First Grade Follies

  21. A few years ago, during teacher planning before the school year started, the second floor teachers were robbed----by the 25 year old daughter of our union rep! They saw her on the cameras going from room to room. I think a deal was struck behind closed doors because nothing ever came of it even though the police interviewed every teacher and many agreed to prosecute. Now we live with locked doors every day all day. It took awhile for the feeling of being in myhome away from home to come back, but it did.

  22. Boo and hiss on this situation! PS- did you know you are wanted in the Wallies... RIGHT NOW?!

    *Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge*

  23. LOVE your outlook, Katie! Still so sorry this happened. But, we've all got your back :)

    Miss V's Busy Bees

  24. Katie,
    I love you. Your strength, attitude, perspective, faith and friendship inspire me all the time. So blessed to have you in my life.


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