ROCKWALL, TX (July 27, 2022) During this morning’s Teacher Prayer Breakfast hosted by the JER Chilton YMCA at Rockwall, Rockwall ISD Behavior Specialist Lauren Atkins Bovie addressed some of the challenges educators face and offered tips for teachers to help preserve their mental health. By sharing her personal struggles and faith in God, she emphasized the importance of self-care, of ‘finding your tribe,’ and ‘looking to The Word’ for helpful reminders.
All educators from Rockwall area schools were invited to attend the free breakfast program that not only included Bovie’s keynote address, but also a time of encouragement and prayer, door prizes, and an opportunity for teachers to leave with donated school supplies. Harold Young, YMCA District Executive Director, welcomed over 130 guests, and Paul Byrom of First Baptist Church gave the invocation.
Rockwall Fire Chief Kenneth Cullins, a member of the YMCA Board of Managers who serves on the event’s Christian Emphasis Committee, presented numerous door prizes – which featured dinner for two at Dodie’s at The Harbor combined with a luxurious stay at Rockwall’s Springhill Suites. Prayer Leaders joined each table of educators for fellowship and prayerful reflections.
Bovie, whose family worked for the Y for four generations, told the audience that as a child, she participated in nearly every program the Y had to offer. When she was old enough, she went to work for the Y as a Child Watch attendant, Camp Counselor, and Camp Director. She eventually became the Director of the Rockwall Y’s Angel Camp, a day camp program for youth with special needs.
“Angel Camp was God preparing me for a job with the Rockwall ISD,” she said.
But feeling like she had something to prove, she explained that she went “all out”, trying to handle everything by herself – and she “took off the armour of God.” She stayed at school all hours of the night, developed elaborate projects, came to work sick, and wouldn’t let anyone help her.
“Why do I feel like my cup is half empty?” she asked herself. But her cup wasn’t empty; it was full. FULL of things she had put in it: “bulletin boards, Christmas parties, field trips, late nights, caffeine, antibiotics, and sleepless nights…”
She explained that she worked so hard not to fail, that it brought her to the edge of her mental and physical health. It was so damaging she ended up in ICU for a week. She had to find ways to better draw on Christ.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
~ Philippians 4:13
Bovie then shared several key ways to “empty out your cup.”
“Remember WHO you are, and WHOSE you are,” she said.
In closing, Bovie added, “Educators have been through a lot in the past few years…While there will be so many battles won and so many lightbulb moments, there will also be moments where it feels hard to keep going. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. But If you want Him to intercede and protect, guide and bless you, you need to free up space in your cup to receive his love.”
As a Behavior Specialist with Rockwall ISD, Bovie teams up with teachers to support the diverse behavioral and emotional needs of students. Her husband, Keanan, is months away from graduating with a Masters in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling. They have two fur babies, and Bovie spends her free time singing every Sunday at First United Methodist Church of Rockwall.
Rockwall County Justice of the Peace Mark Russo closed the program with a prayer.
The following local businesses provided door prizes:
Alma Pope Har
Anodyne-Pain & Wellness Solutions
Dodie’s at The Harbor
Hair by Rebecca
Olive and Shea Beauty
Rockwall Medical Massage
Rockwall Salon and Spa
By Dawn Redig, Blue Ribbon News. Photos by BRN Media.
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