Today's Self-Care Sunday feature is brought to you by Tori W, an elementary school music teacher in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She has a special passion for Title I and teaching ESOL populations. Tori is also the author of the blog Glitz, Gusto, and Grace, where this post was originally published. We are sharing it with our readers today with her permission.
The point is… A new school year is right around the corner.
We all know how to plan daily lessons, weekly activities, month-long units, and long-range plans for the year. But as I think and pray each year for my students and my impact and the year ahead of me, it always seems God gives me a spiritual long-range-plan, if you will. I dwell on it as my mind prepares for the year ahead, but it serves as a reminder of my true purpose and my true strength in those moments when it seems like my efforts are falling flat.
A couple years ago my inspiration came in the form of a quote from a song:
"Boys will become Kings, girls will be Queens,
wrapped in Your majesty,
when we love, when we love the least of these
— “Kings and Queens” by Audio Adrenaline
“Love, fill up all of my space and Love, stand right here in my place. Love, take me over.
This year, God has laid on my heart a scripture that completely sums up the purpose of my ministry as a teacher and hopefully yours, too:
Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.
Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
Then you will be known as a re-builder of walls and a restorer of homes.
— Isaiah 58:10-12
When I feed their bellies, their imaginations, and their thirst for learning and love, my classroom becomes a lighthouse!
He promises to guide me continually and restore my strength when I am weak!
My classroom will be like a garden with blooms and buds and growth and roots in good soil!
And when I love and teach these precious souls, I am rebuilding the ruins of my city. I am rebuilding walls of strength and safety and trust and wisdom in these lives. And I am restoring homes with hope and love! What a promise!
So, I write this to encourage you with my own long-range spiritual plan for this school year, but I also would encourage you to seek your own. Seek and pray and worship and intercede for those faces you may not even know yet. Find wisdom and strength to carry you through. Maybe it’s a song, a poem, a scripture, or a sermon. But find the inspiration that God can use to tap into your soul on your weakest and most difficult days.