Kids, ‘BRACE for the future!’

IN this week’s edition of Women & Faith, I am pleased to share excerpts of my talk with kids from Great Start Academy in St Elizabeth in celebration of Child Month.

Hello boys and girls, teachers, parents and well wishers! The theme for Child Month is ‘Children’s Care and Protection: A Fi WI Mission!’ and so I want to start by telling you a story.

Picture it, Christmas 2022, I was driving with my four daughters on the North Coast highway and guess what happened? One of my tires literally exploded! I felt the explosion and the car lose control and start to skid down the highway. Lots of drivers don’t make it when things like these happen. But after losing control of the car, I felt like I regained control and was able to steer the car calmly to the side of the road. It was very unusual and miraculous if you ask me. I know it was God’s protection. And that is the first point I want to make to today – that we must give our lives to God so that whatever we are going through, we can trust Him to take care of us. It is in Him that we can all find love and protection. And you are not too young to start to trust God today.

The next point I want to make today is that love is what makes life beautiful.

Have you ever the Bible passage about love in 1 Corinthians 13?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Shelly-Ann Mair-Harris

Can I ask you a question? Who are the people in your life that make you feel loved?

It may be your mom, or dad, your aunty or uncle, your grandma or grandpa or a special cousin…

It may be your teacher, the person who serves food in the canteen, or maybe your friends.

I actually feel most loved by my mom because all my life even up to now she has been kind, she supports me, she helps me and encourages me. It feels like her love has never failed me.

Children need that too and I know that love is what drives the principal and teachers at Great Start Academy, which is why you are having this occasion today. I hope you showed them some love yesterday for teachers’ day as well.

Now before I go I want to leave you with a few nuggets using the acronym BRACE.

B – Believe in your self and believe in God. God has made each of you special with many talents and has a plan for your life. Whether your family is rich or poor, you can go on to do great things.

R – Respect your teachers, your parents and your classmates. As I often say to my daughters, say your piece but be respectful …which means say what you have to say but say it with respect.

A – Abuse from anyone is not okay. If you or a child you know are being abused tell someone you trust like a teacher or if needs be reach out to the Office of the Children’s Advocate.

C – Consistency always wins the game. One of my daughters has been consistent in studying and doing her homework for many years and that resulted in her being salutatorian in prep school and valedictorian in high school so be consistent!

And finally for E...

E – Everyone matters! As you grow up and go through life treat everyone with love and kindness no matter what they look like or where they come from.

Alright that’s all we have time for today. So be sure to BRACE for the future!

And remember your care and protection: A Fi WI Mission!

Passionate about faith and women empowerment, Shelly-Ann Mair-Harris is the author of several publications including God’s Woman and The Goodies on Her Tray. A woman of faith for several years, Shelly-Ann is the creator of Family and Faith Magazine and Women & Faith. She is also a podcaster, an award-winning playwright and poet as well as a trained and experienced media, marketing, employee engagement, change management and strategic communications professional.

Shelly-Ann Mair-Harris

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