Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.” Psalm 100:1

Psalms 100 is our current Bible memory selection. It has left me pondering about making a joyful noise. How do we make a joyful noise unto the Lord? Some of my first graders have interpreted it to mean that they should raise the volume of their voices tenfold when reciting those words. They pour their heart into the words and it does create a joyful noise. But doesn’t making a joyful noise also mean proclaiming the Lord’s goodness, mercy that is everlasting, and the truth that endures forever?

During this season of the year gratefulness becomes a focus for many. While we should live gratefully all year it is not wrong to take time to intentionally reflect on God’s goodness. With that thought in mind I offer a few areas of gratitude in relation to our school year.

  • I am grateful we can go to school in person. I am grateful for parents who support the school’s COVID requirements with little negative comment. I am grateful that we have gotten this far into the year with no COVID outbreaks or major disruptions.
  • I am grateful for a school board and administration who have spent much time creating a workable plan and seeing it put into place, especially when they would prefer stepping back from the spotlight and staying away from controversy.
  • I am grateful that my first graders are mostly innocent of the swirling controversies in the surrounding world. Elections, mask pros and cons, or coronavirus arguments seldom enter our classroom. They are more concerned about the hawk that killed their pet chicken, the beloved puppy that ran in front of their brother’s truck, the calves they feed every morning, and hunting in the farm fields with Daddy.
  • I am grateful for the privilege of teaching in a Christian school where parents do want the best for their children, even though we may not all agree on what the best consists of. I am grateful we can work together with respect for each other.
  • I am grateful for the connections with the broader community that school brings. Especially in this time of limited contact with others, the school connection is much more important.
  • I am grateful for the good relationships among the staff. We have differing circumstances, personalities, and even come from different generations; but we can enjoy spending time with each other. School is our common ground but I am grateful that by learning to know each other beyond school we can appreciate one another for who we are and not just what we bring to the school.
  • I am grateful for good relationships with the parents. And I am grateful for parents who step in when there is a problem, who realize their child is struggling in an area and are willing to work to help correct the problem whether it is academic or a personal relationship.
  • I am grateful for the days when all goes according to plan, but I am also grateful for the days that are hard, the days that leave me wondering what the best steps are to take, the days when there are little girl conflicts to mediate or boisterous boys to calm down. These days remind me that I’m not the self-sufficient one with all the answers but I have a God who gives wisdom liberally if He is asked.
  • Most of all, I am grateful that we have a God who holds all things in His hand. He knows the future but only gives it to us one day at a time. I am grateful that I have only the ability to look backwards and not the ability to see into the future. “…sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matt. 6:34b
“For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100:5

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