A first-day-of-school reminder to students of God’s love for them
By Sheri Wohlfert
It’s a little mind boggling to consider the number of things a teacher needs to remember in a day. I am grateful for gentle reminders, and my desk and planner often play host to several brightly colored post-it notes on any given day. I discovered not so long ago that Our Father had a reminder that was so very important he mentioned it more than 100 times in Scripture.
Can you imagine having to be reminded more than a hundred times about the same thing?
That reminder found so many times sprinkled throughout Scripture is that we are called God’s BELOVED! We are his; we are loved. We are not just liked or enjoyed or OK: We are his BELOVED! I know I have a hard time wrapping my mind around that truth, so I decided it was a truth my students probably needed to sink their teeth into as well. In Adoration one afternoon shortly before the beginning of a new school year, the Holy Spirit inspired an idea that would both solve a problem and offer a truth to the middle lovelies that would fill the seats in my classroom.
The problem was the name tags on the desks that I could never seem to figure out how to fasten down in a manner that would last more than a couple of weeks. Thanks to the wonders of Pinterest, I was inspired to write the names directly on the desks in Sharpie, a brilliant solution to the problem. The Holy Spirit had me ramp it up a wee bit. As was my tradition, I sat at each student’s desk and blessed it with holy water, praying for that child and the year we would have together. After prayer, I grabbed my Sharpies and in my best cursive, I wrote the words “God’s Beloved” and below those words I wrote the name of the student who would occupy that space in the upcoming year.
As the weeks passed by and the Sharpie faded, the students would re-do their name in a color and style to match their personality — but not one of them changed the words “God’s Beloved.” They carefully re-traced those words as if they truly appreciated, understood, and perhaps needed to see them each day. That was also the year I offered bonus points when papers were turned in with a heading that read “God’s Beloved” before the name. In a world that screams, “You’re good enough if you ____!” it was important to remind them that the Father says we are beloved just because we’re his.
Sheri Wohlfert is a Catholic wife, mom, speaker, and teacher who writes from Michigan. She uses her sense of humor and her deep faith to help others discover the joy of being a child of God. Sheri also writes at JoyfulWords.org.
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