Trust In You

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Trust In You by Lauren Daigle

Another song is lingering on my heart this week that I really feel lead to share.  This one speaks deeply to me, and I realize that what I want and wish for in my life is not what God may want for my life.  I sometimes feel I am drowning.  Life is both good and conflicting all at the same time.  I try to stop and listen to God but I am unsure what He is saying to me these days.  Each day is a different message, but I know somewhere in there is my own confusion, distracting me from God’s will.

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wondering
Never changes what You see

I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty Warrior King of the fight
No matter what I face You’re by my side

Then I heard this song.  The words speak to me as we enter this holiday season and the end of another year.  I know that I must lay my life and dreams at His feet.  I am weary from life and I need Him by my side as I continue the fight!  I am David before Goliath.  May my faith in God be strong as I use God’s strength to push forward.  “Then David said to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel…” 1 Samuel 17:45.

Truth is You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less

I rest in the arms of the Lord and the knowledge that he has counted my days before my days even existed.  “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139: 16.  I place my trust in him that I can conquer all that he has planned and that his dreams become mine and I will walk in his grace and strength just as Ephesians 6:10 promises, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”

(chorus)
When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust
I will trust in You
I will trust in You

I sing these words and I know that I must trust as Jeremiah 17:7 reads, ““Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.”  I will find my blessings by walking and trusting in the Lord.  The God I know can move mountains from Matthew 17:20, “He said to them, Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”  He may choose not to move the mountain or part the sea I want moved or parted.  This realization is sometimes hard to understand but walking his path I know I will find His blessings.

(bridge)
You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation
The Rock on which I stand
Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go
You’ve not already stood

On this Thanksgiving morning as I write and realize how thankful I am for all that God has provided and blessed my life with – may I remember that He is my Rock.  Psalms 95:1 says, “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!”  May I remember to sing and rejoice in this song that God is my Rock each and everyday.  I find my strength from my Rock and “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”, Philippians 4:13.

Closing Verse: “The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”  Exodus 15:2

Challenge:    During this holiday season may we find our path and strength from our Rock and sing a song of praise for all God has done.

Publishing: © 2014 CentricSongs (SESAC) / Sony/ATV Timber Publishing (SESAC) / Word Music & Pocket Full of Rocks Publishing (ASCAP)

Writer(s): Words and Music by Lauren Daigle, Paul Mabury and Michael Farren

 

 

Even If…

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Sometimes God really amazes me.  This week it was through music.  Driving to work I heard the song, Even If by MercyMe.  It was a  moment in my week that struck a chord with where I was at that moment in my life.  I needed God.  He might not give me what I thought I wanted, but I knew he would give me what he purposed for me.  Jeremiah 29:11 is this reminder, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Even If

Hey say sometimes you win some
Sometimes you lose some
And right now
Right now I’m losing bad

I realized that I am losing control of my life.  I feel it spiraling out of control.  Sometimes I feel like I just can not stop it.  Luke 1:37 reveals, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” The brakes are broken and it is all moving too fast.  Then I stop and pray because that is the only way I can find the brakes because nothing is impossible with God.

I’ve stood on this stage
Night after night
Reminding the broken
It’ll be alright
But right now
Oh right now I just can’t

It’s easy to sing
When there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I’m held to the flame
Like I am right now

Sometimes the flames feel like they are swallowing me up.  Sometimes I feel lost in the fire.  Romans 3:23 reads, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”  and the flames of life remind me of my sins and I fall on my knees to beg for forgiveness to find relief and love from the flames in God’s arms.

I know You’re able
And I know You can
Save through the fire
With Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

The flames of life are sometimes hard to bear.  I pray for God to move in my life and quench the flames, and I must accept how He choses to move in my life.  My hope is in the Lord.  Psalm 31:24, “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!”

They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Good thing
A little faith is all I have right now

But God when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Give me the strength
To be able to sing                                                                                                                                  It is well with my soul

I strive to be strong and find peace even in the flames.  I know that I love a God who can perform any miracle.  Yes, he can move mountains – “He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 – or he may not.  Either way I will take my little faith and in him find the faith I need to walk through the flames. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1

I know the sorrow
I know the hurt
Would all go away
If You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12.  I will live by faith, rejoice in hope, patiently walk through the flames, and bend my knees to pray that may God’s Will be done.

You’ve been faithful
You’ve been good
All of my days
Jesus, I will cling to You
Come what may
‘Cause I know You’re able
I know You can

It is well with my soul

I will cling to the cross as 1 Corinthians 1:18 reveals, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  I will be faithful in my walk no matter the outcomes.  I will seek peace in my soul. “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3.

Closing Verse:  “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22

Challenge:  When you walk through the valley of flames find your faith and hope through prayer and know that God is preparing your future in his own time.

Living in the Fog

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The Fog

Do you ever feel like you are walking through a fog in life?  You just are not living clearly day to day and things just seem blurry.  This has been the week that I have just walked through.  After the the struggles over the past two weeks, this week was to be the beginning of normal again, but then again that is not always how God works in our lives.  One moment of happiness and a sigh of relief and in the next moment chaos and the unknown.  Yet, God was there.

Blessed Struggles

Working through the good and the bad and finding the moments to stop and cherish have been important over the past few weeks in my life.  Although, God knows my struggles he continues to bless me because I know that others are struggling with more than I could bare at this moment and for that I thankful for his grace and mercy.

Searching for Answers

As I walk through the fog, I stop to wonder what I am to learn from this moment from God.  What is he teaching me in this moment?  So I search scripture for answers and once again I am driven back to a favorite reliable verse.  Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”  God is in the fog, knows the fog, and will use the fog for good.  Now, I feel the fog lifting and know that God is here and working through all the struggles.

Closing Verse:  Romans 12:9  “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.”

Challenge:  Seek His Word when you find yourself in the Fog.

DARE

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“Dare to live without answers because God gives His hand.” – Author Unknown

I ran across this quote in our camper the other day.  A magnet that I am not sure I had really noticed or read closely before.  Honestly, I am not even sure where it came from, but sudden there it was before me with all its impact and strength.

Faith

Although I try to live by Faith as I shared in my last post,  something moved me when I read this quote.  Something about the word DARE.  Do I DARE to live without answers yet as God would have me live. 2 Corinthians 5:7 reads, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.’  Is my life an example to others around me?  Do others seek what they see in me that is different?  “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” reads   1 Timothy 4:12.    So many questions come to mind when I read this and so many verse prick my heart and cause me to stop and evaluate who I am and what my life and heart says to others.

Prayer

Where do I turn first, to prayer.  God has always called us into relationship with him through prayer. I pray for his guidance in my life, I pray for his hand in my life, and I pray that he shows me the path and life he has prepared for me.  I pray that evil does not interfere with that plan.  Matthew 21:22 reminds me to pray, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith”.  I must dare to pray and have faith in God’s love for me to answer prayer by his will and not mine.

God’s Will

Living by God’s will and not my own is even harder,  Do I live for God or myself?  Do others see God or do I just show work for my own glory?  I know that I must seek God and His plan.  I know that only God can shine if I push myself back away and let His glory be what others see.  I know that I have to live by faith in order to live out his plan for my life.  Hebrews 11:6 promises this to me, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

God’s Likeness

I go and seek God and pray for his hand to direct my life in his will.  I pray that he will show me how to live my life to glorify him and not myself before others.  I pray for him to teach me to serve and not boast.  I pray for him to guard my tongue so it guides others and does not gossip about them. I pray to live for God and live by Christ’s example to me.  1 Peter 2:21, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.”

Closing Verse:  Ephesians 4:24 “And to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Challenge:  Dare to live by God’s Will through Faith and not your own.

 

When God is Quiet

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Why is He Quiet?

Walking through this week, I God has been quiet.  I have struggled to listen for him, hear him, but he has remained silent.  I pray Psalm 37:7, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!”  I know that he is near, but just now speaking to me right now.  I stop to pray and ask for his guidance, his blessing, for him to be near my family and I know that he is, but yet the question still remains – Why is he quiet?

Scripture Says…

Searching scripture not just for the Why but hear what he trying to tell me this week has left me curious and wondering.  Many times when God has been silent in scripture, he is allowing those he love to wallow in their sin of not putting him first.  Just as Isaiah 57: 11 reads, “Of whom were you worried and fearful When you lied, and did not remember Me Nor give Me a thought? Was I not silent even for a long time So you do not fear Me?”  Should I be concerned?  Maybe he is just silently holding me through this week.  Quietly showing me the way to walk this week.  Allowing me to find him in the “little things” where it has seemed so much pain might actually be.  Maybe he is loving me a different way this week.

Feeling His Quiet Love

That must be it!  In the midst of pain and darkness came a small victory.  Even though, I was seeking him – I know now that he was near.  He was allowing me to feel the pain, but preparing me for the small victories.  The little things that brought tears with more joy than sadness.   Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” is a verse that I celebrate this week.  I know his love was quiet but his quietness has brought rejoicing to my life.  

Closing Verse:  ” O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God!” Psalm 83:1

Challenge:  God we know that you will sometimes be quiet, but may we constantly seek you to know even at those times you are working in our lives.  My prayer is that God is not silent or still in your life.  

 

Devastation

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God is your float

Peace in the Ripples

Not long ago, I shared about finding Peace in the Ripples of Water.  My post shared how water was a peaceful and serene place that I long for in my life.  The slower life that one finds around the ripples of water. Bodies of water are full of beauty and a peaceful stillness that brings the message that God is real and our creator.  Isaiah 12:3, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”shares that water is a symbol of our salvation.  Water is a beautiful thing…. most of the time.

Devastation of Harvey

Over the last week, everyone around the country has watched the horrors of water in Texas.  This is not the peaceful stillness, but the water that left devastation and loss of life behind.  My eyes fill with tears, my heart aches for the people impacted, and I pray for God’s guidance in helping those who are hurting from this disaster from water.   Watching Texas rally together and fold their arms around each other for survival has been the good God has given from this devastation.  Ephesians 4:32 reads, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  Texans have proven this verse true.  They have treated each other tenderhearted and God will save.  

Irma’s Fear

As Texas continues to rally and the country supports their efforts all eyes turn to the Atlantic and the biggest storm on record as it roars toward Florida.  Once again we are watching people prepare, flee, and with fear in their eyes and tears on their cheek prepare for one of the possible worst events in Florida’s history.  My heart is hurting as I watch that storm move across the Caribbean and devastate these beautiful islands.  I pray for God to tame the storm and wind as I know he can, but I also know he may choose not calm the storm.  I know that either way he will walk through the pain and heal the wounds as Psalm 147: 3 promises, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”  

God’s Promise

God made a promise to Noah a long time ago that he would never destroy the way he did in the Great Flood.  This is the peace that I take into the storm even as it may approach my home so many miles away from the coast. Genesis 8:20-22 shares this promise, “Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” 

This promise will comfort me through the next week as Irma makes landfall and brings her wrath on Florida and beyond.  I will look to Jeremiah 33:6 as we move past all this devastation and the angry waters recede where it reads, “Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security.”  God will heal and provide abundance this is the comfort I have in knowing that God is in control.

Closing Verse:  Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Challenge:  Pray for God’s control as Irma comes on shore.  Pray for God’s healing and provision.  Pray for God’s blessings amidst the turmoil, devastation, and pain.  Above all Pray.

Out of the Box

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Smiling Faces

This past week students came back to school.  Seeing their smiling faces and the attitude of a new year gets me excited about not just what the year holds but their future.  I have been in education long enough to know that many are coming to school seeking a safe haven.  I have always felt blessed that God called me to love all children, and there is nothing like building relationships with young people that last a life time.  I pray that God gives me the wisdom each year to plant seeds that will grow and flourish in the young students that he has brought across my path.   As I meet and greet all these smiling faces I am reminded of the verse in Mark 10:16, “And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.”

Out of the Box

This week also gives me pause when I think of all the teachers who have opened their classroom doors across this country to love all of  God’s children.  I am always amazed when I meet teachers across this country at the passion they have for their students.  It is contagious. Teaching is truly a calling for so many who want to love, inspire, and challenge our children to find the best inside of each of them.  These are the innovators thinking outside of the box to challenge our students to reach deep inside themselves and dream big.  Educators across the country are opening their arms and hearts to these children.  Watching educators love children is an example of Christ calling the children to him in Mark 10:14, “But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”

God’s Blessings

Beginning a new year is exciting and like a rebirth.  The innocence of children and the exciting of a change to start over is a perk to educating children.  2 Corinthians 5:17 reads, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  The old has passed and the new school year has come and may God bring blessings to those passionately educating our future and the children who walk through their doors each and every day.  Jesus spoke in Matthew 18: 1-5, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me,” to remind us that we should also be like children as we search for the kingdom of heaven.  Watch a child learn, Have you Forgotten?

Closing Verse:  Psalm 127:3, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”

Challenge:  Thank an Educator that has blessed your life or your child’s life.

Stopping to Rewind

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Overcoming Hurt

I need to push rewind again, Lord.  One of my first blog post was about how people hurt each other, and I wrote that if we could push rewind and hear what we had said, how would we feel about the words we spoke.  No matter how many times I pray for guidance with my tongue it is for naught when I open my mouth and speak without thinking about those who are impacted by my words.   Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” is beating through me right now.  I am eating the fruits of my tongue.  I did not stop before I allowed my tongue to bear it’s sour fruit, so now I must partake of the fruit.  Yet, even in this moment when I know that God is the only one who can control my tongue.  James 3:8, “But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” These words are a reminder that I alone can not tame my tongue.

God’s Guidance and Healing

As I pray for God’s guidance for reconciliation for the words I have uttered, I find myself seeking God’s guidance from Proverbs.  Reading these words, I see that God is showing me both my wrongs and bringing peace to my heart.  I know that I can not heal the wounds that I have opened, but I pray that God will, as I learn from His words and seek his guidance.  My heart remembers God’s promise in Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”  This verse gives me hope that God will heal and bring good from my tongue.

Proverb’s Lessons

Proverbs is full of painful verses at this time for me, but lessons that I need at this time. God’s word is special that way in knowing just what you need to read or hear whether for comfort or to teach.  Here are my lessons:

Proverbs 12:18, “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

Proverbs 13:3, “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.”

Proverbs 17:27, “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.”

Proverbs 21:23, “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.”

I pray God is speaking before you speak.

Closing Verse: Ecclesiastes 3:7, “A time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;”

Challenge:  May God give you more wisdom when using your tongue so it brings knowledge and understanding instead of poison that stabs at those you love.

 

Loving An Introvert Part 2: Extrovert’s Perspective

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This post is written by Derwin Long, my husband and friend for 28 years.

How Extroverts Love Introverts?  

My wife asked me to write a follow up to her blog last week and immediately I said yes, but then I had second thoughts. Primarily because I got to thinking how can I write this and not come off as being condescending or sounding like introverts are somehow lacking in some important traits. However in the end I obviously decided to write this as I do feel it is important. So with that disclaimer I will attempt to share my experiences and thoughts.

Have you ever been in a social setting (my definition is more than 4 individuals) with mostly couples and notice someone who seems to be totally out of place? They aren’t talking, maybe not even smiling and possibly even separating themselves from everyone. Or maybe they are there and laugh with all the conversations but never say a word (this was my wife). What used to come to my mind at first was that this person was upset, unhappy or just doesn’t like being there or maybe doesn’t like someone that is there? Some of us are the one who is at ease in social settings and in fact enjoy them, but have to answer difficult questions about our introvert spouse? It can be very frustrating getting asked all the questions from your friends, like mentioned above, but ultimately the question is “What’s wrong with him/her?” Personally, I would just play it off with friends and say she is just quiet. At home the conversation was different and at times turned into an argument. Ultimately I had good intentions and just wanted everyone to love the person I knew, but I wasn’t very good at conveying that or understanding what it was like for her.

Coming Together as One

Here is where you might expect to get some great words of wisdom or a recipe for fixing what seems to be broke, but what we found out is that it is pretty simple. We never quit or gave up on each other. We are one, so what one feels the other feels or tries to understand. We are better together because we are different and bring a balance to each other’s life.

Mark 10:8, And the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one.

Proverbs 27:17, As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

What does this look like in practice for us? Well there are two sides to this, one is how do I help my wife in social settings? There are many examples that show us Jesus was very social and enjoyed weddings (who wouldn’t like to taste his wine), feast and parties.

  • Initially, I would never leave her side at social setting, why would I leave her when I know she needs me to support her. Seems obvious but we have witnessed someone we know that is an introvert get left to fend for herself. This doesn’t work for several reasons: one is that as your spouse is possibly your only source of safety and comfort. Two is that it puts a huge amount of responsibility to entertain and include someone when their sensory system is on overload and looking for someone who really wants to take the time to have a deeper conversation, than the typical social banter is unrealistic in many social settings.
  • After getting more comfortable being in these settings, I would give openings for her to step in to the conversation, which can be difficult when in a group of extroverts. (We had discussed and talked about this before going). I might say “Oh my wife has a story to go along with that, why don’t you tell them” or when opportunity is right share a talent or personality trait that at that time she would never share about herself like. “Do you know she can crochet?” Or “Do you know she can speak whale?” (Finding Nemo). Doing this gives others insight into her and her personality and in a way that gives others a chance to ask questions.
  • Which is another important thing an introvert can do when at a loss for what to say. Have a thought out series of questions that you know and have memorized. After all what is one of the best ways to show sincere interest? Now you may say how is it sincere when you have preplanned these questions? Because you practice what you aren’t comfortable with doesn’t mean you aren’t sincere, it means you want to get better.

Two is how does she help me learn more about myself? There are many examples where Jesus withdrew from everyone and spent time alone with his thoughts and in prayer.

  • Being an Extrovert I can seem somewhat superficial, never taking anything serious, always joking especially in social setting. Some of it is an intentional desire to be liked and be the life of the party, some of it is just a way to disconnect and have fun. My wife has taught me even in social settings to be comfortable going deeper with friends and building stronger relationships. We used to have zero couples that we considered close friends but now we are blessed to have at least 4 or more that we share life with. Ecclesiastes 4:10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
  • She has also taught me that I need time to just do nothing, listen to music, maybe read a book, Bible or just be alone with my own thoughts. There was a time when I couldn’t be still always thinking about what needed to be done or what I wanted to do, but now our favorite place to enjoy downtime is on a beach with several umbrellas and no place to be other than there. These times have been some of my favorite.
  • She has also taught me that not every moment has to be filled with talking whether in social setting or just me and her. That just because no one it talking doesn’t mean anyone is upset and in a social setting just because I think it, doesn’t mean it should be said.

Closing

Ecclesiastes 3:1, To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

Final thoughts: Ultimately I think we all want close relationships with our spouses, children, friends, and in business. Being an introvert or extrovert can be helpful or it can get in the way. I challenge you to get out of your comfort zone whatever that is and experience life from a different perspective.

 

A Time to Love God’s Children

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The past two weeks at school, students have been struggling through their state test.  This is such a difficult time for the students that I love so much.  It is also difficult for teachers, parents, and the entire school community, just read the post by parents and teachers on social media.  The state places a whole years worth of work on a few hours each May.  If a child is sick, had a bad night, didn’t get breakfast, etc. then their score is effected which determines their placement for the next school year.  I know both good and bad can result from testing because I have witnessed both over the years, but it does not make these 4 days any easier for the school community.

All I do is pray that God will show me how to love and care for our students through this time and beyond.  Educators stand in the gap for them and guide them through each spring.  Philippians 2:4 reads, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interest of others.”  This verse is a constant reminder each day and especially during this testing period to love my neighbor.   I try to understand how we got to the place that a few hours determine a child’s ability going forward that a teacher could not determine after building relationships for 10 months.  I just struggle with the whole child being cared for because so many students need so much more than to be successful on a test.  Of course, test like these provide data but should not be all that defines our students.

A quote by Woody Allen reads, “If you don’t fail now and again, it’s a sign you’re playing it safe.”  This quote reminds me that in order to be successful in life we all need some failure.  As I watch students test this week, I wonder if we are teaching students this valuable tool.  Are we teaching students how to fail?  Are we teaching students how to learn and grow from failure?  Or are we burdening them with the what will happen if they fail.  I have heard teachers over the past month give passionate encouraging speeches, but what will be the speech for the child that had the bad day.  How will we leave them after we give them a score.  I pray that students feel loved and encouraged as  Thessalonians 5:11 expresses, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

As we close out this year and testing completes for students, I grasp for the verse found in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  It is time for students to just rest, have fun, and prepare for a new school year to build on both their successes and failures.  I find myself digging deeper in how I can show students how to grow?  How to believe in themselves in the midst of failure for some and success for others?  How not to be defeated but to find their inner passion?  How do I show them the love they need during this time of their life when they are learning and growing?  How do I love these students (my neighbors)?  Failure is important for us all.  The struggle for some will be too much failure.  These are the students I am praying for moving forward.

As I sit in the silence as students test, I pray for God’s guidance in their lives.  I pray for success from failure.  I pray for a time of rest and renewal.  As I watch students during these testing settings, I am  reminded that this too shall pass.  There is a time to test and a time not to test.  There is a time for everything as Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 reads,

1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Always time to love God’s children.

Closing Verse:  Matthew 19:14  ‘but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”‘

Challenge:  Are you loving all God’s children as Christ loves you?

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