Angela Duckworth, a former math teacher, has dedicated her life to trying to figure out what makes someone successful. When she was in the classroom, she found herself wondering why a student who was really smart didn’t do as well as someone with average intelligence. She set out to figure out why some people make it through college or military training and others don’t. Guess what she found was the biggest difference? GRIT!

So what is grit? Ms. Duckworth defines it as “the ability to PERSEVERE in pursuing a future goal over a long period of time and NOT GIVING UP…It is having STAMINA. It’s sticking with your future, day-in and day-out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years and WORKING REALLY HARD to make that future a reality.” Simply put, it is PERSEVERANCE and PASSION all rolled into one.

This year we will encourage our students to look at their long-term goals and help them to not get stuck and give up along the way. We will focus on teaching our students that instead of looking at failure as a bad thing, they should choose to learn from their mistakes. Just because a student doesn’t do well on one assignment does not mean that he or she cannot do well on the next. We will ask our students to set goals for themselves and then keep pursuing those goals without giving up.

There are many examples in the Bible of people who had grit. God told Noah to build an ark even though he had never seen it rain on the earth. Noah was obedient and spent decades building this huge ship. Now that’s grit. Moses wandered around for 40 years in the wilderness as he waited for the fulfillment of God’s promises. Again, grit.

It is not easy to persevere when things are difficult. Even the Apostle Paul struggled, asking God to remove from him the “thorn in the flesh.” People have different theories about what this might have been, but what we do know is that Paul pleaded with God to take it from him. God’s response is contained in our verse for the year. God told Paul that His grace was all that Paul needed to persevere. He also told him that God’s power is perfected in weakness. It is God’s power that allows us to persevere in times of difficulty. God promises us that when we are weak, He is strong.

The famous Christian pastor and writer, Chuck Swindoll, explains it this way. When the Apostle Paul was being beaten and threatened with death, when he could barely handle the circumstances he found himself in, Paul focused on God’s ability to handle the problems. He found supernatural strength by looking up and admitting that he wasn’t able to make it on his own. He knew that he had to rely on God alone. The secret to Paul’s endurance was his divine perspective.

Ms. Fitcher showed a short video to the elementary students that explains grit. Perhaps you would like to look at it and see this simple explanation.

In 2018-2019, we would like to ask you to help us show our students what it means to GROW IN GRIT AND GRACE.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Director

Welcome Back!

We have missed you this summer and are excited for the 2018-2019 school year to begin! We hope you are enjoying the bright and clean campus, with new paint and pictures throughout the building. Our facilities crew has worked hard to get things ready for you. Be sure to thank them.

Our theme for the year is “Grow in Grit and Grace.” You will see a new banner in the reception area with different phrases explaining these two concepts. Today I’d like to explain “grow in grace.” Grace can be defined as the unmerited favor of God. Basically, it is getting what we don’t deserve. It’s unconditional love toward someone who does not deserve it. Grace is a concept that we struggle to understand and to accept because we are a society that is built around merit. Shouldn’t we get what we deserve. That only seems fair, doesn’t it?

But God does not relate to us that way. He knew that there was nothing that we could do to bridge the huge gap between Himself and us. We couldn’t earn His approval because God is perfect. And so He sent His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sins. By accepting this free gift of grace, we no longer get what we deserve, which is death. God reached down and while we were still His enemies, Jesus died for us. This was the ultimate example of grace.

So how can we show grace to ourselves and to others this year? To ourselves? Yes. We are sometimes deceived into thinking that we are not good enough or that because we can’t forget the mistakes that we have made that God keeps count. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Psalm 103:12 reminds us that the sins that we cannot forget, God cannot remember. Once our sins are forgiven, they are remembered no more.

As we begin to grow in our understanding and acceptance of grace, we can show this same undeserved favor to others. We can love others unconditionally. This year, let’s demonstrate what it means to be forgiven and free. Let’s extend this same grace that was given to us to others. Ms. Fitcher, our elementary principal, showed a great short video that explains grace during an elementary assembly. It’s linked here in case you’d like to watch it with your kids.

I am excited to see how God works in and through us during this coming year. Stayed tuned for next week’s article where I will explain what I mean by GRIT. Have a blessed weekend.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon C. Brobst, Ed.D.