It’s that time of year. I keep finding myself singing, “Gotta go back [guitar riff], back, back to school again.” from Grease 2. Please don’t close your browser over my bad taste in movies. Over-the-top musical numbers aside, I do have a point. Despite the miasma that is Texas in August (really, we are melting down here), it’s book hitting and bus riding time.
Watch the school zones, pack the lunch boxes and hold onto your graphing calculators.
As we gather supplies and get our schedules in order I’ve been thinking a lot about my girls and all those they will encounter this school year. I’m particularly cognizant of my little one. At 5’9″ she’s not so little anymore. High school and friends and new challenges beckon; much louder than I will in these next several years. I know I haven’t always spoken kindly of my strong, stubborn girl. Since my oldest is developmentally delayed, I’m in virginal territory parenting a typical teen girl. And although some days it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do (at the start of summer I wasn’t sure we would both survive to this date), I now find I’m a little sad to think about being home without her in the middle of the day. Well, with two part-time jobs I’m not home a lot in the middle of the day, but it was nice to catch up with her or sneak in an episode of 90210 together when I was. I miss her already.
But it’s once again time for both my girls to shine their lights in bigger spaces. And as preparation, God drew me back to a passage I prayed often over my bonus son during his formative years. Philippians 1:9-11 NASB “9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may [d]approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless [e]until the day of Christ;11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” It’s always a little scary to send them out, but I have a promise from God that what He started in my girls, He will complete. His purpose for them will be accomplished. Look back at the same scripture passage linked above. It’s all there.
As we turn our thoughts toward academics and extracurriculars, I pray that I will keep first things first. As important as classes and clubs and activities are, the most important growth and knowledge is spiritual in nature. What my kids believe about God and their place in His plan supercedes all else.
I’m praying and planning all the things. Praying for positive friend experiences, praying for opportunities to share the gospel, planning to be the biggest fan and cheerleader, and praying above all to extend love and grace to my girls in the same way God lavishes me. Praying for the Holy Spirit to remind me that God is patient with me so withholding patience from my girls is not an option. This is another year for maturation, not perfection. Martin Luther described this better than I ever could:
This life, therefore, is not righteousness but growth in righteousness, not health but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it; the process is not yet finished but it is going on; this is not the end but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory but all is being purified.
Whether you are a student, have a student or love a student, I pray you THRIVE in Him.
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