Bethany and I have enjoyed seeing all of your BTS classroom picture posts. You guys are so creative! We know your students will LOOOOOVVVVVEEEE learning in these rooms. If you are anything like us, this is the cleanest and most organized your classroom will be ALL YEAR. However, this school year started a bit different for us…
Let us explain.
I, Bonnie, have had a hectic and busy beginning of the school year. Honestly, I felt like I couldn’t get anything accomplished. I felt like I started 15 different projects and NONE of them were finished. I am thinking of a specific project right now that requires me to print off pictures of my students and attach them to nameplates for name writing practice. Is that project finished? Nope. Nada. No Way. I had the goal of getting morning tubs ready for my kids to start day 3 of school. Did that happen? Heck-to-the-no! I felt like I was #failing this school year. Before you say, “Bonnie that is just two projects!” UMMM nope…those are just TWO examples. I could start an endless list. My room was a mess. Things needed to be copied. I missed sending stuff home to parents. Literally, I stayed at school until almost 9:00 one night.
Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer…
I felt like I was sinking and being covered up with a MOUND of things that needed to get done. Honestly, my first reaction in those situations is to freeze. I freeze. I don’t move. I don’t do anything, and my MOUND gets bigger. My saving grace is the fact that I have created a new prayer closet in my home because I have been reading Fervent. The time in the closet spent with God is sweet. The days I am in my prayer closet, I feel at rest and have peace. The days that I sleep in and decide to ride the #strugglebus are the days that I fret, worry, and feel like the mountain is going to cave.
…from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.…
One morning, I felt like the Lord whispered to me, “Grace, Bonnie.” Yep! Those words we taught all summer. Give Grace. I was giving grace to my new kinder babies. I was even giving grace to my family. However, I was not giving grace to myself. At the beginning of the school year, I added 3 new students to my roster. So yeah…things have been a bit crazy. They were not my norm, but that is OKAY.
…Lead me to the rock that is higher than I…
I, Bethany, have had a #strugglebus beginning to my year as well. Bonnie and I knew that whatever we chose to teach on this past summer would be precisely what we would be tested on this school year, but we truly had no idea. Y’all…it’s been insane. In the 14 years of teaching that I’ve had, never…NEVER…has a year started like this one. I mean when Day 1 ends with a parent email already, you know something is up. Let me tell you what’s up…Satan wants to knock us down before we’ve barely had time to stand up.
…for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy…
Not only did I have an opportunity right off the bat to offer grace to parents, some of my kiddos needed grace, too. Grace to grow. Grace to reach higher than they’ve ever reached before. Grace – where someone believed in them when perhaps no one had before. Y’all grace is hard. The enemy wanted me to know very well right at the beginning – Day 1 – that he wasn’t playing this year, but you know what? I wasn’t playing either. My God is real, and He’s big…MUCH bigger than the one who is my greatest enemy!
…Let me dwell in your tent forever!…
Bonnie created a prayer closet…to be honest, I just needed to be sure I was covering myself, my babies (aka my students), my year, and my coworkers in prayer. I needed to make sure I wasn’t just VISITING prayer and VISITING my Father, but rather DWELLING in prayer and DWELLING with my Father. Any moments away from His tent would be miserable indeed. If we’re being honest, like Bonnie said, one day…just one, away from my prayer time and my time with my sweet Jesus is one day too many. The #strugglebus needs no more riders.
Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! (Psalm 61:1-4)
We don’t know where this email finds you right now, but perhaps you’re like us. Perhaps this year has already proved to be a struggle for you – one different than any other you’ve ever experienced before. Maybe you’re still jobless. Maybe you’re clinging to a job you really don’t want but know you need. Maybe your family is in shambles. Maybe you’re one – or know of one – who is being affected by Harvey. Maybe you feel like you’re drowning…
Literally, there are parts of our country right now that are under water. What we are experiencing right now as normal beginning of the year teacher struggles pale in comparison to what Texans are experiencing. However, the same God who rescues us out of our momentary troubles is the very same God who has the power to rescue and restore the devastation, destruction, and life altering experience of Hurricane Harvey. “His grace abounds in deepest waters” as the popular song, Oceans, reminds us. He is the Person in whom we can take shelter. He is our refuge. We can dwell in His tent forever. He is our Strong Tower. He is our Rock. He is the One we can call upon when our hearts are faint. He is the One who hears our prayers and listens to our desperate cries.
So take heart…be encouraged. When He “calls you out beyond the shores into the waves”…BE BRAVE. Remind yourself of these truths as you listen to this song:
This month, we are challenging you to jump off the #strugglebus and refuse to ride it like we are trying to do. We want you to devote 5 days – 1 school week – to daily prayer BEFORE you see your kiddos for the day. At the end of each of those 5 days, journal what happened in your day and what was different about your day because of prayer. The next morning, pray about the struggles you noted from the previous day.
Find a way that works for you to push you to be consistent in prayer. Maybe you have a journal where you want to write bullet point requests. Maybe you have a white board around your home or classroom where you list requests. Maybe you enjoy writing out your prayers each day. Whatever your way, just pray.
We know that you like to color. So, enjoy these free coloring pages for the month of September.
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