Ecclesiastes 3:1a, “To everything there is a season…” Well, our baby girl is graduating 8th grade this year. We will officially be parents of two high schoolers and I can honestly say I have loved every stage of this thing called parenting. I can’t say I’ve gotten everything right, because we all know that would be far from the truth, but I can say that God has blessed me beyond measure in allowing me to be Mac and Gwenn’s momma. The other night, Gwenn was working on homework and I asked her what exactly she was working on while crossing my fingers and holding my breath that she didn’t say anything math related because I don’t math. I breathed a sigh of relief when she told me she was working on her 8th-grade class letter. Each student writes a letter to their fellow classmates and they read them in class. I asked her if I could read her letter and she slid the computer over for me to read.
As I began to read her letter, I couldn’t help but remember when I was in 8th grade and looking forward to my high school years – excited to see what the future held, and feeling like the world was at my fingertips. As I continued to read her letter, I couldn’t help but have this bittersweet feeling that life is constantly changing, and how with those changes comes endings before new beginnings can well, begin. I wasn’t surprised to see that Gwenn was cognizant of the fact that life is about to change as she shared her feelings of gratefulness for her time spent at Northville Christian School and her excitement for what the future holds for all of them. Deuteronomy 32:2-3, “May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb. For I will proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness to our God!” I too am thankful for her time spent at NCS, for the teachers and administrators who have poured over and into her, and for each student she has encountered along the way, because each one has taught her something about herself, her faith, her God, and this world.
Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” Gwenn would be what I call an ideal student, she loves to learn, tries her best, stays out of trouble, and isn’t afraid of a challenge. The only thing hard about having a Gwenn is that she is a bit of a perfectionist and is super independent, so she finds asking for help a bit difficult sometimes. Imagine being a little more of an imperfectionist parent, and finding out that because you forgot to sign her “I Can” science sheet that her sheet that would have been an “A” went down to a “B.” Oops. Poor kid. Listen, I’m sure it helped build some character in some way, and I didn’t forget every time, especially because she ended up just standing by my side with the paper until I signed it! As she enters her high school years, my prayer for her is that she continues to grow in her faith, shine her light for Jesus, remain kind, and never lose her desire to learn. We are excited to watch you walk across that stage. My vision might be a little blurry, but it’s allergy season and sometimes mom struggles with endings even when she knows the new chapter is going to be even better than the last. Congratulations baby girl. Dad and Mom are so proud of you.
Dear NCS Class of 2023,
Yay! We finally made it! I am so thankful for my time here and everything I’ve learned. Our class has always been a small class and we were even just one class for a long time. While our class may have been small, it was a good thing, because we all got to become very close. I remember how Mrs. McInerney always told us our class was together for a reason and we were like a family. And we’ve made memories like a family for sure! We have had so many good memories together. We’ve been through it all, from our mountain-top moments to our not-so-pretty and somewhat foolish moments. We’ve laughed, argued, smiled, and cried together but isn’t that what family is? We have been through a lot together as a class and have always helped one another out. My classmates have taught me many things, like it’s ok to ask for help and that one kind word can change someone’s whole day. A favorite memory of mine was in 7th grade when we were all looking through old yearbooks. We prayed together, teased each other, and laughed together. I will always remember singing songs and playing spoons during study hall. All of our waffle breakfasts and our combined Bible classes. And also decorating classrooms for special events and how us girls referred to each other as “bestie.” Like I said, most of us have known each other for a long time and have grown up together and for those of us who came later, it was like having your cool cousin come in from out of town and get to stay forever! I’ll be the first to admit we have had our moments and have gotten irritated with one another, but at the end of the day, we all made up. I have been very fortunate to learn and grow with all of you. I am so thankful to my parents, who have sacrificed so much for me and for sending me to NCS. I also am very thankful to my older brother, Mac, for being a good example and always encouraging me. I would like to thank my teachers, especially Mrs. Zehnder, my first NCS teacher. She’s always so kind and welcoming. I would also like to thank Mrs. McInerney for teaching me so many good lessons and helping me out. I know all of my teachers really do care about our class, challenge us to do and be our best, and most importantly, they pray for us. I have grown so much and my faith-walk with God has definitely become stronger. I would not be the person I am today without all of my friends and family. I’m grateful for the time I’ve spent here and the friendships I have made. As we get ready to head into our high school years I wanted to remind all of us that we live in a world that tries to make us feel like we don’t matter, but God says we do. This world will also try and tell us that we are alone, but God says that we are never alone. Psalms 139:17-18 says, “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” We may have been a small class, but when I look around at each of you, I see more than my friends but my family. So here we go fam, let’s shine our lights and change this world for the better!
Read: Proverbs 13:16
Consider: Proverbs 18:15, “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” So often we make decisions, assumptions, take actions, and pass judgment on various situations and even other people, without knowing the whole story. It can be especially difficult to come to a correct conclusion when only one side of a story is being told and information is being presented selectively and with ulterior motives.
Throughout the Bible, we see the importance of increasing knowledge. Luke 2:52, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” It is important to know and remember that wisdom comes from the Lord. Proverbs 2:6, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
For me, I sometimes fall into complacency or the trap of taking everything at face value. Meaning if someone says something then they must be telling the truth and they must mean what they are saying. In reality, I should be engaging active listening skills to hear what isn’t being said, so I can develop a better understanding of what is actually being said! Words that are left unspoken often mean just as much as those that are being spoken. I need to practice using discernment. I was reminded the other day that it is good to question things, dig deeper, and strive to develop a broader understanding from multiple perspectives. Acts 17:11, “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”
While studying many of the verses on knowledge, I was also reminded that lack of knowledge can lead to making wrong choices, or making decisions that would not have been made if more information had been gathered. Hosea 4:6a, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge.” This verse also encourages me to not reject truth, even when it goes against what I passionately want to believe is truth.
Lastly, we live in a fallible, imperfect world. However, we are not left without access to the Truth. Psalm 25:5, “Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you, I wait all the day long.” Digging deeper into the Word of God, asking Him for wisdom and discernment, and trusting that His ways are best and He is able to reveal truth to us is important when seeking to grow in knowledge in the academic realm and the spiritual realm. John 16:13, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”
To do: How do you seek knowledge and how do you apply that knowledge to your daily walk with Christ?