Thought for the Day
As we prepared for school closure I was asked by a parent to ensure that we supported children and parents by giving some spiritual words of encouragement. This is my response. I'm not sure how long or how often this will get updated but here goes..........
Thought for the day Friday 27th March, 2020
Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Extraordinary, unprecedented, crazy - all words we are using to describe the times we are living in. Everything is changing every day, yet life goes on; babies are being born, people fall in love, we eat, sleep and work. Today we can walk on the street – tomorrow who knows? When we find the world unsettling and everyone is living with fear, we need to start each new day afresh, recognizing not only our own vulnerability but the vulnerability of others. Each day is new, things will change; it has always been so, but God's love never changes. It is steadfast.
These are not normal times, but for our children, we need to make them as normal as possible. Yesterday at Adventurers club we read the story of how children were brought to Jesus; the grown-ups who had troubles of their own shooed them away - of course, they thought they were far more important than little children. Jesus had a different message. He said, “Let the children come to me and do not stop them; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Children listen to our worries and concerns; they feel the vibes and they listen to the radio and TV. They don’t always have the vocabulary to describe their feelings. Spend time with your children, listen to them and help them to feel reassured. Take time to re-set with them each new day.Thought for the Day Thursday 26th March
Isaiah 40:31 Living Bible (TLB)
'But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
They shall rise up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint'
Yesterday morning we took advantage of Mrs. Cory-Wright being in school to practice mindfulness; the short time we took out to relax and let our minds wander was for teachers and children alike a refreshing start to the day. Scarlet prayed the most amazing prayer, thanking God for her family, for the teachers who are looking after her and for her friends and for the wonderful world we live in. The children moved on to their daily tasks with fresh enthusiasm.
In the last few days, I've heard of children taking up new hobbies, learning to knit, learn sign language, do science experiments or just spend a couple of hours quietly painting. These are helpful ways to make the most of this extra time gifted to us. It would be all too easy to feel overwhelmed, anxious and frustrated.
The bible says those who wait, stop and contemplate will renew their strength. Just a few moments in quiet reflection, enjoying the sunshine or listening to relaxing music can make a huge difference. Time to reflect means that we can rise above the mundane and the unthinkable.
I've only once seen a golden eagle in Scotland and it was a magnificent sight as it rose above the clouds with natural ease and grace yet enormous power. Try waiting on God, practicing mindfulness, reflecting on the peace and beauty in nature, living in faith and this will bring elation to your run, dance to your day and new energy to try new things, get things done and stay positive.Thought for the Day. Wednesday, March 25th, 2020Yesterday I read the book 'Wonderful Earth' by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen, to the children during our 'Adventurers' reflection time. I first read it to my own children 30 years ago and the message is just as strong, if not more so today. This week with the sun shining and clear blue skies, we have been reminded of the beauty of our countryside in spring and why we should be concerned about climate change, pollution and sustainability. God has given us a wonderful earth to care for; so far we haven't done the best job in looking after it, but there is still hope, there is always hope if we work together.When I hear the prayers of children in our school I know that their generation brings the hope we all need. We have amazing scientists seeking life-saving cures for diseases, we have others combating pollution and the preservation of species. This morning I’ve been reading about measures being taken to protect the great apes in the national parks in Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC from coronavirus. There is a real coming together of nations to find ways to combat this deadly virus, with scientists and doctors across the world learning from each other.Our children will go on to be the problem-solvers that our wonderful earth needs. It's up to us to encourage and nurture them, to teach them the importance of compassion and responsibility.Right now we need to stop and take advantage of this precious time we have, to reflect on what is really important for our children, our communities, our planet.If you can get hold of a copy, do read the book to your child (or you can find it being read on YouTube). You might even discover some new creatures you've never heard of before like the dugong or the bananaquit!Psalm 104Thought for the day Tuesday March 24th, 2020
13 He sends rain upon the mountains and fills the earth with fruit. 14 The tender grass grows up at his command to feed the cattle, and there are fruit trees, vegetables, and grain for man to cultivate, 15 and wine to make him glad, and olive oil as a lotion for his skin, and bread to give him strength. 16 The Lord planted the cedars of Lebanon. They are tall and flourishing. 17 There the birds make their nests, the storks in the firs. 18 High in the mountains are pastures for the wild goats, and rock badgers burrow in among the rocks and find protection there.
19 He assigned the moon to mark the months and the sun to mark the days. 20 He sends the night and darkness when all the forest folk come out. 21 Then the young lions roar for their food, but they are dependent on the Lord. 22 At dawn they slink back into their dens to rest, 23 and men go off to work until the evening shadows fall again. 24 O Lord, what a variety you have made! And in wisdom, you have made them all! The earth is full of your riches.I’d love to put some of your child’s drawings or poetry on the theme of creation on our website. Over the coming weeks please send me a photo of any great artwork or poems they create.Wise words from my 7 year old granddaughter“Everything’s cancelled, but I know one thing that can’t be cancelled - LOVE”Today the government is asking us to take further measures to protect the lives of others. Think carefully if you need to send your child to school, avoid socialising with friends, except online. Leave your home only to shop, go to work or exercise. Try not to use public transport.This week even my not very tech-savvy Italian conversation group will attempt to meet virtually. Our WhatsApp name is called “Niente speciale” which, although our usual get-out clause in classes, pretty much sums up our lives right now.It may feel like we are doing nothing special whilst cooped up indoors but if we hold on to what is the most important thing LOVE, then our lives will be worthwhile and very special. Love first and your children will remember 2020 positively.'My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.' John 15 v12 (NIV)
Thought for the Day Friday, March 20th, 2020
Song of Solomon 2:11-13 (ASV)
“11 For, lo, the winter is past; The rain is over and gone;
12 The flowers appear on the earth; The time of the singing of birds has come, and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land;
13 The fig-tree ripens her green figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth their fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
Today is the first day of Spring and the last day of school for the time being. We are called to ‘come away’ to protect the lives of others - God calls us to walk with Him, by faith down unknown paths. We hope that by the summer we can all be back in school but who knows! That’s what faith is about; walking into the unknown.
Today in assembly we will say our goodbyes and look forward to the time when we will be together again. If we don’t come back before September we promise to Year 6, come what may, to give them a special celebration day. We will steal you away from your secondary schools if necessary.
Now is a time for you to treasure your families, to make the most of all the quality time you have. Play games, cook, paint, take up gardening, put the world to rights, get to know each other, but above all be kind to yourselves. Show your children how to be resilient in challenging times. There will be moments of high emotion; this afternoon may well be so for teachers and children. We all need those moments to help us become resilient; cry together, laugh together.
Look up, look out, look forward and make the most of every moment.
Here’s a beautiful piece of music to lift your spirits.
And the Celtic parting prayer that we will say in assembly today.
‘May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.’
Thought for the day Thursday, March 19th, 2020
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings, you will find refuge.
The words of Psalm 91 are often invoked in times of crisis, and certainly what we are experiencing now is an unprecedented international crisis.
Yesterday we saw the most incredible teamwork in school as everyone got ready for what I knew would be an imminent closure, At the end of the day, we had a wacky staff meeting exploring the challenges of distance learning and Google hangouts. Teachers hate seeing themselves on screen. Twelve of us, all trying to do it at the same time, was hilarious or maybe hysterical is a better word. At the end of the meeting, having watched the latest news live on the interactive whiteboard, we had a poignant moment as we knew that in the coming months we may only be meeting virtually.
Children, parents, and teachers will soon be traveling on unknown paths, but we will be doing it together. I think I know who will love it the most. The children will embrace the adventure If we (the grown-ups) can stay positive.
There will be challenges but our strong community will pull us through. There will be times of darkness but in those times our faith will be important, our faith in each other and our faith in God, knowing that we can find rest, strength and safety under the shadow of His wings. There is room for everyone there and food to share.
Thought for the day Wednesday, March 18th, 2020
Isaiah 55 v12
“For you shall go out in joy,
and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall burst into song,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
There’s a feeling of spring in the air. This morning I woke to the sound of birdsong and It has been wonderful to see the spring flowers appearing.
Whatever else is happening, nature continues its amazing cycle. It’s a reminder that we are part of a much bigger universe with a Heavenly Father who cares for each one of us.
Yesterday I stopped mid-sentence as I saw a bird of prey circle over the school. Take time today for moments of awe and wonder and encourage your children to do that too.
Thought for the Day Tuesday, March 17th, 2020
7 Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.
8 They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream.
It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green;
in the year of drought, it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.
When I interviewed for the Headship nearly 10 years ago I spoke to the governors about my vision for the school community is like a tree, rooted in the love of God and spreading its branches out into the wider community. If there was ever a time when the school needs to be just that, it is now.
In assembly this morning Mrs. Fuller spoke to the children about how St Patrick was brave and kind, and how when we feel uncertain or worried about what is going on around us we can pray to God who will help us to be brave and think of others.
Please do open your hearts to those around you who are finding the current situation very challenging and help them however you can; a kind word or message, a phone call or an offer to help with shopping, a little act of kindness can mean a lot.