December 1 2016

Principal’s Message November 30, 2016

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.—Philippians 4:6

Thanksgiving is a special time for families and friends to gather together to appreciate and reflect on all the wonderful things they have been blessed with. Although Hong Kong does not set a specific day for this like other countries, being thankful and reflective is something that we can do any day during the year.

I remember a while back, I saw some of my friends were challenged on Facebook to share something they were thankful for each day over a period of days. There were also other challenges where it was more specific like being thankful for their spouse. I enjoyed reading these because the things they were thankful for on a daily basis were not big things that happened that day, but in the little things that happened. It really makes one think to not take things for granted. A simple opportunity to enjoy a brief lunch with friends during a busy day is a blessing. Having your child give you a hug when you come home after a long and tiring day at work is a blessing. I am thankful for my parents and in-laws who are currently visiting. We may have less privacy, but when they came home late last night, it made me realise how much I enjoyed having them here. Their love and support shows through every time we get off work. We have good conversations about the day, there is laughter and then we eat dinner and watch television together.

I read in a book that one family had a tradition of having everyone write something they were thankful for during Thanksgiving and would string up the card at home. Over the years, the string would get longer and longer. The children could read it as they got older and it became part of their family’s story. Help children to be reflective and have a thankful heart.

But what happens when there are things that plague us and tug at our heart strings? Being thankful seems like the last thing we want to do. This is the reality for children as well. The Bible tells us that giving thanks when undergoing suffering is very difficult, but it is meant to strengthen our faith—”For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 17-18. God knows all that is happening. He is purposeful and not a random God.

Helping children to acknowledge those negative feelings and issues are important because they will always encounter ups and downs in life. Help them work through their feelings so that regardless of the outcome of the situation, the children become more thoughtful in difficult situations and can handle it better.

I encourage families to take up the ‘Thankfulness Challenge’ and do it for one week. Ten minutes of family time each day for one week to go around telling each other what they are thankful for and why. It is a wonderful way to start your evening together or right before bed, and then pray and praise God for those things.