Core scripture: “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
Message: Rolling out of bed last Thursday morning for my first day back from Christmas break was anything but easy. My back felt like a twisted pretzel. The covers were so warm, and when I whipped the sheets back, the chill of the air shocked me until goosebumps prickled up on my spine. I stumbled over to my dresser to throw on my comfy PJ pants and Chiefs sweatshirt. It was not until I held my coffee in my hands and fell into the comfort of my black leather chair downstairs that I felt somewhat at peace.
My frame was beginning to be set for the day. I had a choice. I could wallow in my own self-pity and complain about going back to work, or I could see the potential of the new day. Much thanks to our speaker that morning, Tom Cody, I chose the latter. Tom taught us the importance of what he calls “The Frame.” It works like this … What you see in your day becomes what you get out of it. In turn, this produces what you will end up doing and greatly influences how you feel. Tom spoke so passionately about The Frame that I went home and created my own frame to share with my students.
Let’s look at an example. My 5th hour class begins to filter in the first day back from break. I see potential in them and make my way around the room, encouraging each child in his or her strength, building relationships. I gain connections with them, and they get excited about the day. Their excitement spills into their work as they eagerly write about their Christmas breaks on their bell work sheets. This entire scene produces a feeling of camaraderie and closeness among everyone, especially after we take a few minutes to share out fun stories from Christmas. We are officially ready to tackle the day!
Paul was always one to have the right frame. He could have felt sorry for himself for all the calamities that rocked him, but he chose not to. Shipwrecks. Prison. Persecution. None of that phased him! Paul chose to focus on the good. He reminds us passionately in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Paul is flipping the switch. He knows that your perspective can make or break your day. Why not make today a good one?
Where is your frame right now? Do you have the right mindset going into 2019? We cannot do this alone. This is certainly a God thing. Pray passionately that the Holy Spirit will allow you to see the good in each day. Wipe the negativity away. Think positive. Stop complaining. Focus your heart on the good, and you will begin to see the blessings God has in store for you. It is never too late to shift your frame to a higher calling.
Challenge: Get an old, unused frame and create a frame to teach your students. Model that positivity in your lessons throughout the week, and encourage your students to do the same.
Journal: One of the best ways to make a change in your life is to journal about it and write it down. Hold yourself accountable to where you want to go and what you want to become. Take time this week to journal about a word you want to focus the new year on. My word for the year is perseverance. It was empowering to write about perseverance in my journal Saturday morning and to reflect on it in James 1:12.
Video application: Gerry Brooks has been known for his hilarious takes on education for some time now. You are sure to find a laugh or two from his New Year’s resolutions video below.
Song application: “Confidence” by Sanctus Real
I’m not a warrior
I’m too afraid to lose
I feel unqualified for what you’re calling me to do
But Lord with your strength
I’ve got no excuse
‘Cause broken people are exactly who you use
So give me faith like Daniel in the lion’s den
Give me hope like Moses in the wilderness
Give me a heart like David, Lord be my defense
So I can face my giants with confidence
Prayer: Father, may 2019 be a year when I grow with You in numerous ways. Amen.