The Big Three

Renee Ann Smith —  September 14, 2015 — 10 Comments

I love the start of a new school year and all that comes with it!

A shopping cart filled with notebooks, book covers, and sharpies.

The smell of new books.

Lesson plans and imagining how my class will react to the new movie or book or project I discovered.

The first sight of my students faces when they walk through my classroom door.

The sounds of soccer practice drifting through my windows while I work at my desk.

The picnic tables under our tall trees filled with kids doing homework and shouting good-bye as I walk to my car at the end of the day.

In August, our building is strangely empty and lifeless. I avoid it and mostly prepare for the school year from home.

Then September comes and with it our students.

They pour through the doors, crowd the hallways, mess up our carefully organized classrooms, frustrate us, delight us, teach us. 

Our building hums with drama, laughter, life.

And even as I lament the too-short, flew-by-too-quickly summer, I know that the school year will pass in much the same way. 

And once again our building will be empty . . .

Last week in British literature, I shared with my class an excerpt from The Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede. In our reading, the king’s counselor describes life this way.

“The present life of man upon earth, O king, seems to me . . . like to the swift flight of a sparrow through the house wherein you sit at supper in winter, while the fire blazes in the midst, and the hall is warmed, but the wintry storms of rain or snow are raging abroad.

The sparrow . . . is safe from the wintry tempest; but after a short space of fair weather, he immediately vanishes out of your sight, passing from winter into winter again.

So this life of man appears for a little while, but of what is to follow or what went before we know nothing at all.”

He’s saying that to him, life is like a bird taking refuge from a storm.

The bird comes out of nowhere, somehow managing to escape the storm. For a time, he is warm and protected in the shelter. All too soon, he leaves and returns to the dangers of the tempest. 

Under His Wings(Feel free to share this graphic I made for my author friend!)

It’s a great metaphor, and one that touches on the Three Big Questions:

  • Where do we come from?
  • Why are we here?
  • Where are we going?

Finding the answers to those questions is the stuff life is made of. 

But every time I read that metaphor, I think of my students—pouring into our building in the fall, spending a few short months under our tutelage, and flying off again at the end of the year.

Their conditions vary. They may be wounded and disheartened or open and searching or on the verge of blossoming into full bloom. But all find their way to my classroom by the same Hand.

Why are they here? Because God’s purpose for my life is to be used in their lives . . . 

To turn their eyes to the One who made them,

To teach and bind up, 

To lead them in the way everlasting, 

And all to the praise of His Glory.

God has brought you your little flock—whether it be your own children, the women or girls you are mentoring, your co-workers, your Sunday school class, your youth group, your grown up family, or your class—for the same reason. 

After they have spent their appointed span with you and fly away, will they have been blessed by your time together? Will they look more like their Savoir? Will they be closer to His heart? Will they be headed down whatever path God has called them to? 

All that and more is what I pray for my students. May it be so for all those who take shelter with us!

Let’s look for glimpses of glory today. Blessings, friends!

Wings like Eagles (Fee free to share this graphic I made for my author friend!)

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This week I might be linking up with  Motivation Monday, Reflect, Motivate & Rejuvenate, Small Wonder Link-Up, Playdates with God, Book Musing Monday, The Art of Homemaking Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Sharing His Beauty, Mommmy Monday Blog Hop,Monday Musings,Modest Mondays,  Make Your Home Sing Monday, Busy Monday, Good Morning Monday, Ra Ra Link-Up, Soul Survival, Turn It Up Tuesday,Titus 2 Tuesdays, Testimony Tuesday, Intentional Tuesday, Enchanting Rose, Raising Homemakers, Woman to Woman, Hope In Every Season, A Little R&R, Wake Up Wednesday, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays,Wise Woman Wednesday, Words with Winter, Three Word Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, World-filled Wednesday, Pin Worthy Wednesday, Coffee for Your Heart, Mom’s Morning Coffee,Thursday Favorite Things, Thriving Thursday, Beloved Brews, Booknificent Thursday, Tell His Story, Live Free Thursday, Thought Provoking Thursday, From House to Home Link Party,Grace at Home, Christian Fellowship Friday, Faith-filled Friday Faith & Fellowship Friday,Friendship Friday, Equipping Godly Women, Freedom Friday Friday Features Link Party, Fridays Unfolded, Everyday Jesus, Grace and Truth, Dance with Jesus, Paula’s No Rules Weekend Hop, Saturday Sharefest, Saturday Soiree, Saturday Situation, Still SaturdayFresh-brewed Sundays, What I Learned This Month, Sunday Features, and The Sunday Community.

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

10 responses to The Big Three

  1. Loved the way your students mess up carefully organized classrooms and yet how much you enjoy them. Loved your graphics with their encouraging quotes too.

  2. Renee, these words are so sweet and take me right back to English Lit in high school (a good thing!!) Your students are blessed! Such wisdom here. Thank you! Blessings!

  3. I’ll be keeping these words in mind as people pass in and out of our lives. What a lovely thought. May we represents God’s sanctuary to them!

  4. This is so very inspiring for the new year to this homeschooling mother! Thank you for sharing your wonderful encouragement with us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! 🙂

  5. Where did I come from?
    The mind of God
    Why am I here?
    To glorify God and ENJOY HIM FOREVER!
    Where am I going?
    Now, wherever he sends me
    Later, to the home he has prepared for me.

    What’s my job?
    To get everyone I can to understand that they are more precious than they can even imagine; loved with a depth that overwhelms by their Father who has the very best plans for them!

  6. Loved your thoughts and beautiful graphics; thanks for sharing them. Hugs~

  7. Renee, your words were poetry to my heart today! Yes, I have asked the Big 3 questions. I love your take on them! Beautifully said. I’m your neighbor today at #TellHisStory

  8. Love the picture you pained of what it looks like and feels like when the students return! Oh how beautiful! I was right there with you!

  9. You brought me back to those days of school start. Smell of new books, bags, the feel of the new uniform, shoes, etc.

    I hope this school year will be fun, productive and will go smoothly.

  10. Beautifully said, dear Renee! I would have to agree with Ellen….your words were poetry to the heart 🙂 Thank you for sharing this with Roses of Inspiration. I hope you’re able to join us again this week. Hugs and blessings!

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