It is a joy knowing that He brings joy. The joy of the Lord is my strength.

Recently my son’s teachers sent home a school portrait of my son and his classmates. He was put in the center of his 2nd grade peers, whom he spends time with a few hours each school day.

John participates in inclusion at his school. I have been so moved this year by his teachers and his peers.

One day a small poster came home from John’s 2nd grade class peers. At the top it read “We Love You John”. Underneath it had all of these signatures, full of personality. I also noticed his 2nd grade teacher’s signature.

I saw his teacher later that day, out in the community. Ironically, it was the first time we had seen each other outside of school. I told her we had received the poster.

She explained to me that the students had received the news that they could not go outside and play for recess, and they would be indoors. Then one of the students said, “Let’s make a card for John.” That was how it started.

I was so moved. Whenever I think of this, I cry and smile….and then cry and smile again.

Thank you God for that young child who encouraged and for the teacher who encouraged too. Thank you for all the students who took time to sign.

How exciting that children could decide that instead of being bummed about not going out for recess, they could find joy in encouraging someone else!

They look like Jesus to me. Thinking of someone else and not themselves. And I feel the love of God.

“He has brought me to his banquet hall, and his banner over me is love.” Song of Solomon 2:47

“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,” 1 Peter 1:8

“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.” Philemon 1:7
Thank you Lord that you have a plan. Thank you that you involve us in your purposes. Thank you for your love that goes deep and strong. Thank you for caring so much. Thank you for your people that you delight in. Thank you for your encouraging ways. You are everything to me, Jesus.