Devotion today (First 5 App): We can choose to focus on what God asks us to give up. Or we can focus on What, or rather Who, we gain. The choice is ours.

In Joshua 24, the people were not new to failure. But God’s grace allows us to begin again, over and over if we have to, God does not put a limit on fresh starts.

I haven’t written about the classroom in a while. It never ceases to amaze me.  The classroom quote today reminds me of the very thing this devotion is saying.

No matter what the circumstance(s), no matter what has shaped us thus far or what lies on the pages turned, it is not the complete story. We might have to say goodbye to some things but God has so much more to offer, we just have to listen. Believe in the pages ahead.

Oh how many of these truths I have gained when I finally listen. These kids themselves as a matter of fact, somehow I’m meant to impact in some way. Kids who are loved come to school to learn but some come to school to be loved. This is so incredibly true.

I wish I could drown out all the negative messages from their minds. The ones that shape fear, the ones that shape judgement, the ones that shape divide. In some ways school combats them (quotes like these) and in other ways it breeds these minds. To the kid who gets laughed at or made fun of when the teacher doesn’t hear, that isn’t your story. It is merely a sentence another is choosing to interject. To the kid who gets kicked when nobody is looking, that isn’t your story. It is an exclamation mark another is choosing to pen at you. To the kid with a label that people speak of behind your back, that isn’t your story.  It is a category in a building and your book is so much bigger than a category. To the kid passing sticky notes with the words you suck. That isn’t their story, taste your words before you spit them on the page.

Trust me, teachers hear it, they are shaping the future against incredible odds. It is their small acts of kindness out on the front lines every single day.  Even if it is just a simple quote. You never know who needs it most. Children don’t always get to choose how the world defines them. Too often the children get defeated against these odds. If you can’t beat them join them. Just easier to join the crowd. How much uniqueness is the cost?

Don’t be part of the problem, be part of the solution. We already have plenty of adults with battering that has made their marks. More belittling is not the answer. Any one of us could easily pull up an example of belittling, it is all over social media. You know, laughing, making fun of, labeling, assuming, blaming, the list goes on. But that doesn’t make it right. Children hear it, see it and imitate it. Which will we be for them? The answer can be seen simply observing a school hallway.

I’m not saying any of us are perfect. That is why we need grace. But us adults can collectively do a better job.

No limits, kindness is free.

Loved By Grace,