August 23, 2018

Back to School Thoughts and a Prayer

Are you like me as the first day of school draws near? A myriad of emotions overwhelm me each and every time. First it was elementary school. Then middle school. Then high school. Now it’s college.

Part of me is ready for my kids to head back to school … to have a routine again … to have time to myself again. But, the other part of me misses the lazy days, trips to the beach, movies in the middle of the day, lounging by the pool, staying up late playing games, and just plain being together.

Yesterday, my youngest, Bo (almost 21), started his junior in college. My oldest, Lauren (almost 25), works full time in Atlanta and just got engaged! I can’t believe I’m the mother of a bride, ya’ll. Really, girls, I don’t feel that old!!

Time has gone by so quickly. It seems only yesterday, I was pushing them around Target in the shopping cart … Lauren in her princess gown and sparkly shoes and Bo donning his Bob the Builder tools.

As September presses in, my heart finds itself divided again. Joy filling one half for the good things that lie ahead for both my babies this year. The other half aching for that which will never be again.

But, over the years, I’ve learned to trust God’s ways. Mama’s sending their babies off  is the way it’s supposed to be. God loans them to us for a time, and then they’re His.

It’s a never-ending cycle for us mamas. Whether it’s kindergarten, middle school, high school, college, weddings or grandbabies.

What brings me peace is knowing our children will never be alone. Our heavenly Father promises He will never leave them or forsake them. He promises He will be with them every minute of every day…

He knows when they sit and when they rise
He perceives their thoughts from afar 
He discerns their going out and their lying down
He is familiar with all their ways.
Before a word is on their tongue He knows it completely…

Where can they go from His Spirit
Where can they flee from His Presence? (Psalm 139)

He is with them.

I read further…

All the days ordained for them were written in His book before one of them came to be!

God is in control. Our God, the Author of Life, the Blessed Controller of All Things, the Sovereign God of the Universe, is in complete control of our babies. Hallelujah!

Below, please find a prayer I wrote and shared on my blog many years ago. I thought I’d share it again. Please personalize it for you and your family and make it your own.

Heavenly Father, I praise You as the Creator of every good and perfect gift … the greatest of those gifts is my children. Thank You for Your promises in Psalm 139. Will You keep my mind fixed on those promises as I send my precious ones, Lauren and Bo, to school tomorrow. Father, please hide Your Word in their hearts so that when they need to recall a Truth, it will be there. Will You make it their greatest desire to please and obey you in all they say and do? Father, will You teach them in the midst of pressures at school and with peers to trust in You with all their hearts and lean NOT on their own understanding and to acknowledge You in all their ways. Keep Lauren and Bo pure by leading them to live according to Your Word. Give them thankful hearts. Clothe them in humility and teach them to put others first. Father, will You grow them in wisdom, and stature, and favor with You and with man? Teach them to say, “This is the day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it,” no matter what their days may hold. I ask this all in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. AMEN.

I pray this prayer for all of our children!

As tears fall from my cheeks, I’m so thankful for you, my friend! I know that I’m not alone. If you have kids going back to school, I’d love to hear your thoughts and prayers. Leave a verse that brings you comfort or a prayer you pray.

Comments

  1. Oh Wendy, yesterday I had tears as I realized J.D. my 1st born has three 1st days of school left. Time does go quickly. His classes at the public school start today. 🙁

    As a homeschooling mom to 5, my thoughts about the school year can become anxious…there’s much on my plate and my time alone seems to disappear. Worry tries to creep in as I wonder if I can teach them all I need to. Last week God brought two verses to mind as I wrestled with this –

    Psalm 34:11 – Come, o children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

    3 John 1:4 – I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the Truth.

    Clearly, moms can teach the ways of the Lord without homeschooling, but as we embark on this journey once again God gave me focus.

    Thanks for your prayer, encouragement and wisdom.

    • Jill, I remember thinking like that all those years ago. This is the last of the firsts is what overwhelmed me their senior years of high school. And now I do it in college for Bo. Thank you for sharing your verses with us. Great words to pray for our babies.

      Wendy

  2. Thank you for this post Wendy! It’s really painful when they have to go back to college at 17 y and away from you. I’m a Brazilian mom living here in the USA For 14 years and the only thing that is really hard to get used to is this time of the year, bc in Brazil kids only get out of the house after they are done with college or for marriage. My only hope is the knowledge that God is in control and He loves us. God bless you!!

    • Thank you for sharing a bit of your story. That fascinates me about Brazil. I need to move there so I can have more time with my kids. 🙂

      We stand with you in trusting God with our babies as they leave the house and make their way in the world. They are not alone. Our Abba Father is always with them. I take great comfort in that. He loves us, and He loves them even more than we do. So, He will take good care of them … even on the hard days and in the bad choices. He will be working and moving to shape them into the godly young women and men He created them to be.

      Wendy

  3. Heather Bleier says:

    Daniel and I took Stacy to her first day of school last week. She is so stoked to learn and I was totally cool watching her settle in. Daddy on the other hand, poor dude. That’s his baby girl!! He’s still a bit beside himself that she’s already in school.

    After working from home and having our littlest one for the last 8 months, I’m excited to have more bandwith for work and myself. To those who are stay-at-home parents, more power to you! I am not built for that life 😆. My kids are amazing, I love them beyond their imagination, and I am cherishing these moments with them because I know it’ll fly by, but I am stoked to be able to refocus on work.

    Having gone to Christian preschools and daycare, she’s already seen a difference being in a public school. Mostly on the topic of praying before lunch. Stacy gets to be His light and it’s opening the doors to more conversations that wouldn’t happen if she was still at home. This is the little girl who already wants to be a missionary in countries where you’re not allowed to talk about Jesus. Or become the next Kid’s Baking Champion on Food Network. She’s 5, so it could go both ways right now 😉.

    Blessings to everyone who is sending off their little one, even if that little one is 20-something.

    • Heather, I can’t believe it’s time for your little girl to start school. I remember sitting with her at the hotel amazed at how intelligent and animated she was. She will light up every classroom she walks in.

      Thank you for sharing your working mom’s perspective. I love it!!

      Yes, my 6’7 boy will always be my “little Bo.” 🙂

      love you

  4. I feel exactly how you feel. I get so sad on the first day back. I’m just wanting time to slow down. It’s especially tough this year because my daughter is a senior. Thank goodness, my son is 6th grade! Thanks for helping me feel better; it’s comforting to know others feel the same way. I love the prayer! Thank you so much for your encouragement🙏🙏🙏I pray school and the wedding plans go well for your children this year🙏🙏🙏

    • Thank you, Martha! Senior year is special. The first of many lasts. May God be so very present and help you ENJOY the time and not mourn what is ending. There is a BIG difference. Remember to ENJOY!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  5. Oh how I love this post! I have always treasured your prayers over us, Wendy! I was JUST re-reading your prayers over my daughter. On her first day of her sophomore year, God impressed this unexpected verse on my heart, “Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.” (Deuteronomy 15:10).
    My daughter is indeed generous. And although some of her actions at school create new gray hairs on my Walmart-dyed hair… I am praying God’s word back to Him. Believing and knowing He will bless her in everything she does. Even in high school! And maybe… just maybe… that will translate to my black hair!
    I love you, dear friend. Thank you for YOU!

    • LOVE YOU BACK. I love that God gave us to each other to pray for each other and our families. I have seen work some incredible miracles through our prayers. Your girl is AMAZING! God is going to great things through her. AND, thank you for making me laugh … as always.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  6. I have three children, two of whom are beyond school years but need prayers none the less – just different types. For my oldest (29) I pray he lets his latest financial set-back be a catalyst/springboard to making some hard life changes. For my middle (26) I pray for success in his job and any new opportunities that may come to fruition. For my youngest I pray her senior year of high school is full of as much fun as hard work as she looks forward to college next year, and that as college acceptance letters come in she picks the best one for her and her life goals.

    • Nancy, praying now for your grown kids! They need our prayers just as much as the ones that live at home. And ENJOY your daughter’s senior year. Savor every moment. It’s a special year.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

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