The School Supply List

Philippians 2:2-4

Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.  Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Thought for the Day:   Show empathy to others

Last evening, I took the school supply lists of my children and headed to Walmart to make the purchases.  I walked down each aisle, watching mothers, fathers, and children search for their items.  The parents worked hard to keep the children focused on their search, but almost all ended up frustrated as they were brought many different items that were not on their lists.  A few times, I walked away from the area to regroup my thoughts and then I “headed back in.”  I was glad my husband had taken care of our children at home where I could do that shopping on my own.  As I walked away, I found peace and felt regrouped as I searched for their items.  Toward the end of my quest to find the items, I did realize that I needed to make an apology to all the parents of students I have taught in the past.  “I apologize for ever asking for supplies that included specific colors, sizes, and shapes in my specifications.”  “I apologize for being picky about items brought in.”  “I am thankful to Crosswind Elementary School for offering the availability of supply boxes to be purchased containing all the supplies on the list!”  Last evening, I had a reminder of the difficulty and challenge that comes to parents at the beginning of a school year.  Even though I am a parent, the beginning of the school year for so many years has come from the position of a teacher.  Last night I found a new empathy for parents as I watched families shopping for supplies and as I myself tried to decipher the exact items the lists were calling for.

Today’s “Upper Room” devotion shared a story of empathy.  The parent in the story had a child who was in a lot of pain and the doctors couldn’t find the cause.  The mother couldn’t understand the child and what to do for that child.  Then, the mother was later diagnosed with a disease that caused times of pain.  At that point, she was able to go to that child and apologize for not understanding.  I realized that my story is nothing like having pain from a health issue, but I do now feel empathy for parents trying to prepare their children for the beginning of a school year.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, forgive us for not having empathy for others as we should.  Help us look at each person’s circumstances and place ourselves enough in their shoes that we can have understanding.  Thank you for teaching us empathy and how to understand others. Amen

Prayer Focus:  Parents at the beginning of a school year


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