It's late summer, which means it's already time for our kiddos to go back to school. This month, we will meet our teachers, hug necks of fellow classmates, and say goodbye as we drop them off in their classrooms on the first day of school. There is so much anticipation, excitement, and nervousness wrapped up in going back to school, no? We've said goodbye to summer's last days and are ready for routine, but our souls realize that are babies are getting bigger. Something inside of us just wants to turn the car around and swaddle them like they are newborns once again.

But we don't.

We dress them in their first day of school clothes and walk them into their classrooms. We smile bravely as we tell them goodbye. We get in our cars and we drive away, knowing in our hearts that leaving is the right thing to do. Ready or not, we face the first day of school and begin a new academic year.

Each school year brings its own worries and challenges, anticipation and growth. I can remember when we made the decision for our girls to repeat kindergarten, how difficult it was for me as their mom not to have mommy guilt. It was easy to blame myself once again for their premature birth which has led to so many tiny developmental delays the past six years. However, as Raleigh and I went home to pray about our girls' education, we landed in a place of such peace and hope for our girls' futures. We weighed the pro's and con's and ultimately decided that another year of preparation would better them not only academically, but socially in the years to come. It was one of the hardest decisions we've had to make for our children, but praying about it brought us so much peace.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

Prayer helps us to be less anxious and more peaceful.

Praying for our kids helps us to be at peace with starting a new school year, but also for the decisions we have to make as their parents. My friend Julie understands how prayer helps our children and has created a wonderful resource called The ABCs of Praying for Students. Julie and I write together for The M.O.M. Initiative and I love every chance I get to see her in person. She is one of the most calming people that I have ever met, and I always enjoy hearing her stories from the mission field, motherhood, and being an educator. So, when she asked me to partner with her on making The ABCs of Praying for Students available as a physical copy, I immediately said yes! 

The ABC's of Praying for Students is twenty six day devotional that helps you focus on what matters most this school year. The most powerful thing we can do for our student will never be found on a school supply list. The ABC’s of Praying for Students will help you engage what your child’s education needs most. The great power of a parent’s prayers at work.

We have had churches purchase The ABCs of Praying for Students to use for their Blessing of Backpacks, and its also being used by educators, women's ministries, homeschooling communities, friends, and husbands of teachers.

I've really enjoyed picking one letter from the alphabet each day and focusing on that Bible verse. For instance, "B" is for boldness. On that day, I prayed Psalm 27:1, "The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear?" What an amazing prayer! If God is the stronghold of our lives, what do we have to be afraid of? Prayer helps to calm my nerves instead of being afraid of a new school year. I pray that my children are not only bold, but have good attitudes and are confident in themselves. The ABCs of Praying for Students is a rich devotional that makes a powerful impact on our family. 

Wednesday, August 17th 2016 - First Day of Kindergarten and Two's! (Maralee, Ridley, Adeline)

Wednesday, August 17th 2016 - First Day of Kindergarten and Two's! (Maralee, Ridley, Adeline)

 As mothers, we work hard at preparing our kids for school. We buy school supplies, new uniforms, and teacher gifts. We pack lunches and schedule carpool. We attend orientation meetings and read e-mails from our kids' teachers. Prayer is not one more thing on our already long back-to-school to-do list. No, prayer helps us have peace with going back to school. Let us prepare our kids for school with prayer. 

Celebrating you,

Christen

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