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Posts Tagged ‘#firstdayofschool’

Today is the start of the school year, in my neck of the woods.

The slate of last year is wiped clean and the opportunity for a fresh start is available to all … the students, parents, guardians, school staff.

I love this fresh start aspect of working in a school. I love it for me, but I also love it for the students who need a fresh opportunity to show who they really are and what they are capable of accomplishing.

Isaiah 42:18 is a great verse for the start of a new school year:

do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!

Ah, the past. There can be tough stuff in our pasts. Stuff like failures, bad attitudes, not doing our best … and those are just some of the things in my past school year, as a staff member.

But, this verse encourages to not dwell on the past.

This is a new school year and God is doing a new thing. It is fresh, like that new lined notebook page … just like our friend Anne of Green Gables says, “it’s a new day, with no mistakes in it” (yet … but let’s not focus on the ‘yet’).

Don’t you wonder what that new thing that God might be doing? Doesn’t it encourage us to have a sense of anticipation, of waiting? It is as though we need to pause before moving ahead, because God is doing a new thing, and we need to allow him lead the way into this new year.

May this school year be blessed with an focus on new things. May we take our first steps into it, following the one who is leading the way into this new thing.

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This is the final first day of school, for our son, for our family.

Nineteen years ago, our oldest daughter entered kindergarten. Today, as with each first day, teeth and hair will be brushed, new (or at least clean) clothes donned, and a rushed photo was taken at the door, before loading the vehicle with bodies and new school supplies, to make the short journey to their place of higher learning.

It was only this weekend that this reality sent me back through the years of schooling. There were the friendships, the teachers, the school photos, the field trips, the science fairs, the works of art, the sports, plays and musical activities. There have been enough smiles to light up a city, enough tears to fill a bathtub.

Through all the reminiscing, my mind kept bringing me back to one thing which involved each of our three children in their elementary years, but the message of which has become a lifetime challenge, particularly for our son, for whom this is the final first day of school.

When our three attended elementary school, they would return home on the first day of school with a letter that struck fear and nightmares into my momma heart. It was the annual note about the need for an earthquake kit. 

Having grown up on the East Coast of North America, earthquakes were something that happened someplace else. Even now, when I cross a bridge, I recognize that the ‘big one’ might happen before I return to terra firma.

Within that letter about earthquake preparedness would be a list of needed items … granola bars, fruit leathers, juice box, a large plastic garbage bag, a family picture, a letter to comfort your child until you reunite … IF you don’t reunite.

And so, that evening, I would sit, with paper and pen, ready to write.

And I would sob, because what momma wants to write what might be their final communication, to their child?

Eventually, I would take a big girl breath, and write the same message that I wrote the year before, and the one before that. It’s the only message that matters, and it matters whether I am dead or alive.

My child,

I love you more than words could ever describe,

But,

God loves you more,

And he will never leave you.

Whenever I would tell my son this message, that God loves him more, he would place his hands on my cheeks and shake his head saying, “no mommy, you love me more.” And I would reply, “but God loves you most. He gave up his son for you, and I could never give up my son. God loves you more.”

I hope that whether my children are starting at a new school, moving to a new city, starting their own families, struggling with relationships, experiencing failing health, or survived an earthquake they will always remember that they are not alone, but they are surrounded by one who loves them, even more than me.

God loves you more, from the first day to the last, from beginning to end.

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Karla Sullivan

Progressive old soul wordsmith

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