In my last post for the Prize31 Blog, I shared that I traveled back to Washington State in late spring to visit with family and friends. And while there, a reunion with teaching colleagues stirred my heart with deep concern for today’s children. Well, that stirring has not been fruitless. This week I am busy dusting off my pedagogy and creativity as I prepare to return to the classroom to teach twelve kindergarten children for the new school year this September.
The school’s theme for the year is “Jesus Loves Me” and I am beyond excited to bring my heart for Jesus and children together in this journey. This work is a huge component of my identity as a daughter of God and being a witness for the powerful transformation knowing the love of Jesus makes in living out our days.
I know each day of the school year will require lots of energy, love, and encouragement. I am confident that because I feel called to this, that God will supply the physical, emotional, and spiritual strength that will be needed. I was encouraged by words Lisa Terkeurst shared recently that Scripture says, “God’s calling on your life is irrevocable.” So, with an irrevocable call, I am ready to embark on a fresh journey with Jesus and twelve precious five-year-olds.
I think what excites me most about this new journey is that even with over 30 years of experience working with children and schools, I now have a deeper realization of how intense the need for love and hope is today. My experiences affirm my conviction, that the earlier hope and love are grounded in the being of a person, the stronger and more competent they will be as they navigate their journey ahead.
I have written out a quote to put in the front of my planning book for the school year. I want these words to inspire why I prepare for each day with the children.
“Those foundational years in the life of a child – those same years when we sometimes think we are accomplishing nothing – have a lasting effect on almost every aspect of the rest of that child’s life.” Sally Clarkson
I want Jesus to work through me, as I make this journey. I want to carry out His commandment to be salt and light in this world. I want to be the daughter of God Elizabeth Spenner describes, “. . . she has great purpose in this world, but she is the daughter of God who realizes her greatest purpose of all is to simply let the light of her faith shine directly through her in everything she does, illuminating a path straight back to her Heavenly Father Above.”
Pray with me that this journey with Jesus will foster new disciples with a growing love and hope that only He can supply. We all need to be reminded – “Jesus loves me, this I know . . .”!