IN HIS HANDS
Bringing your dreams for your child to God
How can we encourage our children to be all God wants them to be in a world that frequently defines success by the car we drive, how much we earn … and our school grades? Deputy Principal Curriculum, Sophia de Lange, who raised two boys with dyslexia, shared a story from the heart when she spoke at the Early Learning Years Presentation this week.
Love. Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and inspire us, on occasion, to greatness.
We know it as the fruit of the Spirit as mentioned in Galatians 5.
What does the Bible say about our likeness to our creator?
Genesis 1:26-28 states that we are God’s special creation.
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
The story of creation in Genesis declares that human beings were made in the image of God.
One of the oldest approaches to the biblical text has been to start from the assumption that there is some significance to the use of two different terms for the similarity which is to exist between God and humanity.
We distinguish between a natural likeness to God and a supernatural likeness.
So, for example, Martin Luther, following Augustine, wrote that “the image of God is the powers of the soul: memory, mind or intellect, and will”, while “the similarity lies in the gifts of grace”.
Ephesians 8:2-9 tells us that it is by grace we have been saved and not by works, so that none of us can boast about how good we are.
Our gifts and talents are a gift from God.
Today we celebrate the gifts and talents of our students.
- We celebrate hard work and perseverance.
- We celebrate courage.
- We celebrate that we have overcome setbacks in different areas
- We celebrate creativity
- We celebrate being human created in God’s image
- We celebrate diversity
- We celebrate that God loved us so much that he has sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins
All of us are created in God’s image and we all play a special part in God’s bigger narrative. God has a plan and a purpose for every student here today. Does it then mean that some of us are better than others if we receive an award?
Absolutely not! Society will try to categorise, value and place our children in a little box as part of an economic rationalist agenda to prosper according to the standards of a secular world. Success is measured by how much money we earn, what car we drive, the neighbourhood we live in, the grades on a report card … Schools especially can label students and place them in categories if we are not careful. In 10 years’ time, the grade your child received on their report this year will be forgotten and no one will care. What your child will remember is your reaction; will they feel good enough or will they feel they have failed you?
“Our children’s worth is not defined by a letter grade on a report, or how many awards they receive. Their worth is defined by a loving God who created each child in His image, according to his plan and purpose”
Our children’s worth is not defined by a letter grade on a report, or how many awards they receive. Their worth is defined by a loving God who created each child in His image according to his plan and purpose.
Their value is demonstrated by Jesus on the cross.
What really matters is that we teach our children to have joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
As parents we want the very best for our children. COVID-19 forced us to re-evaluate our priorities.
What are our priorities? What do we value most in life? What and who do we want our children to be as grown-ups? Do we want them to have courage, character, humility, honesty, long-lasting friendships and to treat others with respect? A good education where they learn to overcome setbacks and persevere with challenges? To take responsibility and to be accountable to do every task to the best of their ability? To love people regardless of who they are…and to serve others in God’s Kingdom?
We live in an era of instant gratification, where every need is expected to be met immediately without the thought of others around us or the consequences our decisions might have. Not that long ago I was a parent with children your age and I made many mistakes along the way. There is no manual except for God’s word and guidance by the Holy Spirit.
My children are grown up now. If I could turn the clock back, I would have spent less time on academic achievement at this young age. I would have spent more time on what is more important, encouraging my boys to understand who they are in Christ, who God intends them to be and to equip them to serve others.
Both my sons have dyslexia and that brought so many challenges for us as a family. I focussed so much on academic achievement in their younger years because I wanted them to excel in life. God’s plans for them were different from my plans. Isn’t it sad that we sometimes spend so much time on what we want for our children, that what really matters — relationships and their self-worth — suffers. The enemy will use those little seeds we sow from our mouth and actions to condemn our children, making them believe that they are never good enough.
By God’s grace I realised that God has our children in his hands. He is in control of their destiny. Today my eldest son is a qualified electrician and my youngest is a third-year heavy diesel mechanic apprentice. They love what they do and excel in it. They make a difference where they are. As a parent I can pray for them and I trust that God has got them. I still make mistakes … parenthood is not easy.
The good news is that God does not limit us, he does not define us by the standard of the world. Let us encourage our children to be the best person they can be through hard work, taking responsibility and by celebrating who they are. Let us correct and teach our children when they need it. Let us celebrate every milestone with our children without judgement.
Children are God’s gift to us, a precious gift. Time goes by quickly and they will always be our children, however they will become adults and go their own way, just as God intended it to be.
Cherish every moment with your children, encourage them. Celebrate their success and failures. Failure teaches perseverance and builds character. Let us grab those opportunities to equip our children for the future. Spend quality time with them, but above all, celebrate who God predestined them to be and love them unconditionally.
May God bless you and keep you, may he make his face shine upon you. May he be gracious to you and your family in the festive season and give you peace.
~ Mrs Sophia de Lange, Deputy Principal Curriculum
Year 8 Service Experience
Our Year 8 students participated in a 3 day Service Experience from the 25-27 November 2020. The purpose is for students to reflect on the importance of serving those who are in need around us. As 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
The students helped to clean up the environment along Dongara’s foreshore; they did some gardening at Dongara Anglican and Uniting Church; they potted some plants and lent a hand to the garden volunteers of Suncity Church here in Geraldton and finally they spread some mulch and decorated the Salvation Army Corps in Geraldton with Christmas decorations. Furthermore, they completed a HOMELESS workshop presented by the Salvation Army that gave them some statistics on how many people in Australia are struggling and strategies on how we can support them.
Students also spent one night camping at the College as part of their Service Experience. They were blessed to have the YWAM Island Breeze Team come and perform and share testimonies.
The students were amazing throughout the service experience. They extended a hand to those in need and reflected on various ways that they can serve, just like Jesus served us.
~ Mrs Lizette Labuschagne, Year Group Coordinator
Bikeathon Bike Winner
Thank you to all the Primary students who rode in the Bike-a-thon this year and raised funds to go towards upgrading the primary playground with nature play equipment.
Mr Ian Blayney, MLA, donates a bike every year, and we draw the name out of a hat from all of the students who fundraised.
Mr Steve Fletcher, Deputy Principal Student Welfare, presented the bike to the lucky winner for 2020 today at the Christmas Assembly – LEON SOLMAN from Year 3.
Year 6 Design Technology
This week the Year 6 Design Technology class planted their own terrariums. The students enjoyed choosing succulent cuttings and arranging them amongst stones in their ‘pot’.
A big thank you to Midwest Disaster Relief for donating all of the jars, bottles, vases and jugs!”
~ Miss Kate Wheat, Wholistic Land Management Coordinator
Mrs Visser advises that the Canteen WILL be open next Wednesday – the last day of school.
Monday 7 December, 6.30pm, Primary (Yr 3-6) Presentation Event (RSVPs now closed)
Tuesday 8 December, 6.30pm, Secondary (Yr 7-11) Presentation Event (RSVPs close Sunday 3pm, link has been emailed to families)
Wednesday 9 December – LAST DAY OF SCHOOL FOR 2020 for Pre-Primary to Year 10 students