School supplies excite me. When I was in grade school I remember once when my mom and dad returned from a trip and brought back a grab bag of gifts. I can still see the big teal blue JC Penney bag as I reached in and pulled out a 3-ring binder. I was thrilled.
Whether I’m at CVS, Staples, or even the Marble supply room, I can get an adrenalin rush when I see the notebooks, pencils, and post-its. And each time I see a Sharpie, that rush feeds a silly little dream to have shelves of Mason jars filled with every color of Sharpie in my office.
When I’m working the Marble reception desk during the Back-to-School Drive, my enthusiasm is doubled when I’m handed bags and bags of supplies for homeless and at-risk children. It’s always fun to see the selections and to imagine the joyful faces of the kids. Your generosity touches me! There is definitely something special about new supplies, but there is also a connection to the expectancy the start of a school year brings. I haven’t been in school for decades, and even though the new church year begins in September, what does that excitement really represent?
I believe it’s mainly the fresh start a new school/church year brings. The air is filled with promise which is fueled by reconnecting with friends who have been away for the summer. I’d make an educated guess that I’ve followed through on more resolutions in September than I have in January.
God gives us fresh starts every day. I think I’ve been better at living that especially in the last few years, and yet it’s still so easy for me to forget. The perfectionist in me struggles – the joy I get from a new notebook has the flip side of varying degrees of fear of messing up that notebook if I start to use it.
It helps when Sr. Carol has reminded me that “be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect”
(Matt. 5:48) really means “be whole/complete” – be the best Karla I can be. The way to do that is one small fresh start at a time. A pencil hasn’t done something imperfectly because it needs to be sharpened over and over. Each visit to the pencil sharpener is a gift of beginning again.
Having time to step back, look at the bigger picture, re-set goals and get on a new schedule is
also a gift. September is one of those times.
How will you prepare for the fresh start this new church/school year will bring to you? What life supplies will help you move closer to the you God created you to be?
I think I might do a Sharpie meditation to help me be more mindful that the only way to write is one stroke, one letter, at a time. And the only way to move closer to the best me I can be, is claiming all the fresh starts I’ve been given.
Sharpen your pencils. I’ve got a new Sharpie ready.