Back to School! Do your children have what they need?

Back to School! Do Your Children Have What they Need?  Wow!  Can you believe it is that time again already?  It is time for school to start.  Some of you may be a little overwhelmed.  You are sad that the years have passed so quickly.  You can’t help but cry over your sweet babies going back to school. You stand and watch them walk into that BIG ole school with salty tears rolling down your cheeks.  You are tempted to sit in your car all day, remaining close by, just in case they need you.  I too, felt that way when my children started school.  I also felt that way when I dropped each of them off at college.  They will always be our babies. But then there are others of you who have grown accustomed to your children being school aged.  You enjoy the structure that comes when the school year begins. You live for a few hours of peace and quiet.  Cry when you drop them off…um…not so much?!  You may act sad, but we know you are secretly doing the happy dance in your kitchen right now!  Shhh! This is not to leave this page – but when my kids were school aged I would pull on gym shorts and a t-shirt; put my hair in a clippie; put on a big pair of sunglasses and a fabulous pair of earrings.  As I drove past other moms and waved, everyone assumed I was fully dressed for the day.  No way! There were days (I’ll never tell how many.) when I would come back home and crawl right back into the bed for an hour (o.k., o.k. - sometimes 2).  Oh, those were sweet times!

Oh how I remember those days. My children were the cutest kids in the whole school. Is it okay that I believed that?  Still do, actually! If, like me, you are past that time and your children are grown, I bet you can remember those days clearly.  Remember the never ending list of school supplies; searching for the perfect backpack; deciding whether to take or buy lunch; book fees and library cards and the never ending stacks of papers that needed to be signed?  Can you remember taking pictures in the driveway before nervously heading off to school? (Have you been on Facebook or Instagram this morning?  First day of school pics are everywhere!  Oh, how we love our children and desire the BEST for them!

Yes, backpacks and lunchboxes are of major concern.  Cute school clothes seem to be a priority.  Dorm rooms need to be furnished.  And somehow you have to figure out how to afford all of this.  But, have we left anything off the list of items our children need for school?  Did you send them off with a sense of security?  Did you remember to pack them full of truth?  Did you cover them with prayer?  Whether your children are off to first grade, high school, college or the work force; whether they are 5, 15, 25 or 50; whether they are average, gifted or a total mess…believe me, they need you to help them gather these items.

How can we be sure our children have a Sense of Security?  Well, the truth is the only way to truly be secure is through a relationship with the only One who is true and constant and good.  You will fail your children; teachers may disappoint; friends will surely hurt them – Jesus is the only One who promises (in Matthew 28:20) “I am with you always”.  Teaching your children to trust in Him will give them the sense of security they need.  Have you ever stopped to think – it is hard to give them something you don’t have?  They will learn to love Jesus when someone in their life models that for them.  They will grasp a sense of security when someone shows them what that looks like.  They will believe that Jesus is with them and that they are never alone if WE believe that.  They will lay down their insecurities when we learn to lay down ours.  I wish I had understood this when my children were small - the way I understand it now.  Mother to Mother I promise, you will never regret learning to passionately seek Jesus and passing that to your children.  But…you just might regret it- if you don’t.  So, let’s learn to build the foundation of our parenting and even grand-parenting, our home and our entire life on the Lord.  The Bible says He is our rock and our shield. (Our children need that at school.)  Read what Deuteronomy 6:5-9 says,

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

Did you pack them full of truth?  What truth?  The truth about who they are.  The Bible says in Psalm 127:3 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord.”  That means that they are a gift from the Lord. The Bible also teaches that they are fearfully and wonderfully made.  They are created in God’s image.  They have been given talents, strengths and gifts.  They have a purpose.  Did you tell them that God doesn’t care about what they wear or where they sit – He is only concerned with whom they are becoming?  Ugh.  I failed here.  You see, as a young mom I was chasing perfection.  I cared about how they looked and what people thought. I expected them to excel in EVERY subject. Oh, I loved them and I taught them about Jesus – but my quest for perfection left the scars of insecurity.  How could it not? There is no way perfection could be obtained. I have heard Beth Moore say, “Perfectionism is really insecurity in its art form”.  Ouch!  So are we letting our insecurities rob our children of the truth and of their sense of security?  We chase perfection and we compare.  If our children hear us say, “She is a better mom than me.” “She is skinnier.” “She is more successful.” “Her kids dress cuter.” “She is never late.” “Her cupcakes look better than mine.”  Then we just might hear them say, “Suzy’s backpack is better than mine.” “Johnny’s mom lets him have 4 cookies.” “She is smarter than me.” “They live in a bigger house than ours.”  “She has more friends than I do.”  What if they went off to school knowing this truth?  I love Jeremiah 17:7-8…

“Blessed is the man (mom, dad or child) who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.”

And lasting, let’s cover our children in prayer.  What does that mean?  It means pray diligently for your children.  What should you pray? Here are a few suggestions – I love to pray scripture.  “Lord, I pray that my children will grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:18)  I pray that they will walk in love (Eph 5:2), live in the Spirit and walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25). I pray they will trust in the Lord with all their heart. I pray they will not depend on their own understanding of things but instead will seek you and allow YOU to direct their paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6) I pray they will be strong and courageous; they will not be terrified or discouraged. Because they know You are with them everywhere they go.” Joshua 1:9

There are many, many scriptures to pray for your children and with your children. Pray your favorites.  God’s word is full of incredible promises and so much hope.  But, it is fine to just spend quiet time with Jesus before your children awake asking His provision and protection.  Also, pray with them before they get out of the car. Send them through those big double doors with Jesus by their side.

Parenting is a hard job.  It is a major responsibility.  We all mess up and we all fail.  But God is good. He gives us grace and forgives our shortcomings. Every day is a new opportunity to pour a sense of security, words of truth and loads of prayer into our greatest gifts God has so graciously bestowed upon us.

Today’s post is dedicated to my beautiful granddaughter, Macie Joy!  Happy first day of First Grade!  MeMe is praying for you today and every day!  You bring so much Joy into my life and I am more than thankful that God chose me to be your MeMe!