’twas the night before back to school

It’s the eve before the whole back to school deal and I’m always left feeling so torn. I love having my kids home so stinkin’ much. I love calmer mornings and eating food that doesn’t have to be packed in a bag. I love my people near. Though I admit, a few times this summer they all got a bit too near and mama needed some space!

But we’ve chosen public school for our kids for our own reasons and I know you choose the type of school your kids do for yours. We all know our kids best and what their lives need and I won’t question your choice for a second and I know you won’t raise an eyebrow at mine either. Cause you guys are the coolest.

But here we are, backpacks packed and P.E. wear ready. Hearts challenged and minds made up and we’re kinda sorta ready to do this thing.

I’m sure no matter what type of school your kids do there are challenges. We simply know the ones of public school and they can be vast. So tonight weights my heart just a little and tomorrow morning when they all head back I have a little ritual that I do.

I wrote about it a few years ago on my hardest year sending my kids back.

I wanted to touch on it again because it’s become a beautiful gift to me and my kids all through the year.

On the first day of school I block off an hour to pray. I drop everyone off in their proper places and then I choose a spot near to the school (often walking the track or around the school neighbourhood) and I pray specifically for each boy and the year they will have.

I pray for the relationships that will be deepened or newly formed. I pray for their teachers and their coaches and their principals. I pray for safety in that place for every student and I pray for wisdom for my boys. I pray that they’ll hold fast to the things we’ve taught them in terms of drugs and parties and alcohol and driving and all of the potential dangers that may be offered them. I pray for relationships with girls that may form and that they would be honouring and right in the eyes of God, that my boys actions and words would only be respectable and good. I pray that in that place, the halls, the gym, the change rooms, the classes, sitting around the art tables or walking around outside that they would be challenged, that they would be strong and courageous, that they would stand – always – for what they believe.

This time sets us up for the entire year. Because when hard things come along, I talk about how I prayed that they would be challenged and how we also prayed for wisdom and maybe this is just that moment. When new friendships are formed I remind them that we prayed for that and we give the thanks to Jesus for all of them. When conflicts arise with teachers or hard moments and choices come when they’re with their team, they can remember that they have a mom (and dad!) who have prayed for these very moments.

It’s simply a way to start the year with Christ as the centre. Of course, we pray for them all through the year, but I want them to know that on these big days, we’re setting aside even more time. When events in their life are happening we want them to do the same and learning by example is the best tool we can offer.

I’m sure you have your own things that you do, but if you don’t – start one! I know you’ll be so glad that you did. It doesn’t have to be like mine – though feel free to use it – but you can also make it yours. Year to year I look forward to this time and the tradition of it and committing the school year to God in my own little way.

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