New Beginnings....

As an educator, the end of July signifies the start of a new school year. New students, new staff, new lessons, new menus in the cafe, new games on the playground, new stories, and new possibilities! So many exciting and wonderful opportunities for learning, growth, and connections.

In the Bible, we meet many folks who also faced new beginnings. Moses, after meeting face to face with God, met his new opportunity to lead the Israelites to freedom. David, a former shepherd, was chosen to embrace a new royal life. Mary and Joseph were visited by angels and introduced to their new life as parents of Jesus. Esther was chosen for her new role as queen and to save the Jewish people from certain death. And so many more. These heroes were presented with possibilities to grow into more than the person they were and to serve God's people in ways they couldn't have previously imagined.

New beginnings can be challenging - even scary. Moses had to face Pharaoh, David confronted Goliath, Mary and Joseph were forced to give birth in a stable and later had to parent a Jesus who was growing away from them, and Esther confronted Haman and found the strength - in spite of her fear - to reveal his true intentions to the king.

My previous school babies also have their mountains to climb. Many of my students do not have enough food to eat at home, no bed to sleep in, unsure adults at home keeping them safe, not enough clothes to wear, and few to no toys and books with which to occupy their time and help them to grow! Many do not have access to reliable health care. And then we expect them to come to school to learn. Talk about challenging!!! But so many of them overcome these hardships and come to school with a smile on their precious faces and do their very best.

We all face New Beginnings. New move, new job, new pastor, new political leaders, new laws, and new expectations are among the many new challenges we have to face. May we look to our own heroes...or even the real life everyday people and children around inspire us to also face these new opportunities with a smile on our face and the determination to also do our very best.

In Peace,

~Dawn Schoen