First Day of School Prayer

11:32 AMHeather

Y'all--do you hear that?  Yes.  That deafening silence here in my empty house.  But also that crack of my heart breaking.  Because parenting is brutal work.  I just survived 12 weeks of trying to keep my kids occupied but not just with screen time while trying to encourage them to get along and convince them how much we all love each other.  Occasionally, I was successful.  Mostly, I was striving.  Because mothering is a lot of work, y'all.  I spend the summer battling the "I'm boreds."  I spend the school year surviving the crazy activity.  Grass is always greener, yet I oh-so-badly want to live in the moment and glean every ounce of joy there is to be had.

So, knowing the downward spiral of these last 10 days when my kids just need their routine... one of my kids couldn't understand why I was saying today was so hard.  "But, hey, Mom--we'll be gone.  You'll have peace and quiet." 

Need I remind you, dear child, of THIS?

Yes, THAT is my first day of public school as a mom.  EVER.  I can remember that day so vividly.  I had a 3 week old, a 3 year old, and THIS darling kindergartner.  I thought my heart would break sending my oldest off to the wolves of kindergarten.  But, the newborn screamed all night long the night before.  Which made the drop off MUCH easier that first morning. "GO.  Have fun.  See you later," I growled through my sleep deprivation.  But, at lunch time--since the first day was a half-day--it was all I could do to pepper this guy with questions.  I wanted DETAILS on every moment he was away from me.  My husband reminded me that with two boys, I better get used to one word answers.  

Guys.  That backpack was bigger than him, with his darling little bowl haircut.  
Look at him today.

Why is today hard?  Because I blinked and that kinder cutie is going into high school.  HIGH SCHOOL, bloggy friends.  As in High School Musical.  As in I can remember my own high school years.  As in, he's practically out of the nest, and I'll have to figure out how to convert his room to an office, and I'll have college tuition to pay, and I'll bribe him to come home by offering to bake cookies and do laundry.

High school.  Hmpft.  This mothering thing is so brutal and wonderful and hard and challenging and rewarding.  And ugh.  Why didn't anyone WARN me?

So, today, for my darlings--and yours--I offer my First Day of School Prayer:

Dearest precious child of mine-- Never forget whose child you are.  Yes, mine and your Dad's, and we love and adore you.  But the God of all creation, God Almighty, is your Abba Father.  So, when you step away from our presence to walk the halls of your school, remember whose you are.  Remember you are never alone.  Remember that you are loved and cherished and accepted and never rejected.  Remember that you need only cry out--probably silently so as to not disrupt class--when you need Him.

Remember that we care more about your work ethic than your number grade.  Work heartily, as for the Lord, rather than for men.  As long as you do that, we won't sweat the number.  Remember that we care way more about your character than your trophies.  Remember that character counts, and attitude is everything.  Lord--help my darlings remember that!  Bring it to mind when they start to wander.

Remember that being the kind of friend that you want to have is of the utmost importance.  We love your good choices of friends--those who are iron sharpening iron, encouraging your faith walk.  But, we also love it when you reach out to those making poor choices, just to remind them they aren't alone.  And they are more than the mistakes they make.  

Remember respect.  Give it.  To everyone.  To the authorities God has placed over you in our absence.  You may not always like them.  And they may not always get you.  But, give them respect because God saw fit to put them over you.  And be worthy of the respect of others.

Remember that these school years--both the highlights and the challenges--are but a moment in eternity.  Make memories.  Dance often.  Laugh and smile and enjoy.  Be a kid!  There's time for grown up stuff later.  When the going gets hard, remember we are the presidents of your fan club.  And we will always cheer you on and get your back.  No one is more "for you" than we are--except, oh yeah--your Lord and Savior.  He is so for you!  1000%.

Remember, dearest child of mine, that you are made for a purpose.  Every day of your life.  God wants to use you for His glory.  His plans far outdo your biggest, wildest dream.  So let Him lead.  Trust his goodness.  Rest in His love.

And, please, as you rush out that door, remember to stop and let me dote on you with a kiss and a hug and a weepy little face.  Because it's what moms do.  Someday, you'll get it.  For now, just let me take the picture so I can treasure this milestone.  They pass us by so quickly.

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