It's back to school time! For many of us, a new school year means a change in schedule and routine. Today, I wanted to share three encouragements for moms, students, and teachers as you begin this academic year.
Enjoy the stage you are in right now
There is a wide range of emotion involving the beginning of each new school year. There is a bit of melancholy as you send your baby off to Pre-K for the first time, or off to High School for the last time, or out in the world without you by their side. Whether it's 2nd grade or Senior year, it marks a new beginning and the passing of time. It means you are a year closer to whatever is next. And there it is! We sometimes either fear, dread or look forward to the “what is next” part so much that we fail to really live in the “we are here now” part.
God has given you this day. Yes, your little angel is growing up. But what a blessing that is. Yes, you wish you could go back in time. Or maybe you are a student or a teacher who really wants to jump forward in time. I encourage you to stop, look around, and tap into the joy of whatever stage you are in. Mom, enjoy every moment of the homework (or schoolwork) because it's time you have been given to connect with your child. Teacher, enjoy every moment of the chaos in your classroom because it's an opportunity to show the grace of God to impressionable children. Enjoy the moments you don't usually enjoy because they are a gift from God. And soon they will be gone.
Pray for teachers during throughout this new school year
Whether you have one “Ms. Sally” who watches your baby in Mother's Morning Out 2 times a week, or you have seven different teachers trying to make it through each day in the high school hallways, they need your prayer. If your child is in college, his professors need your prayer. If you or your kids are in public school, private school, Christian school, or homeschool, the men and women speaking into their lives several hours of every weekday need your prayer.
Here's my encouragement. At the beginning of the school year, write down every teacher, caregiver, administrator or coach who touches the lives of your children. Include the lunch lady, the school nurse, the after school/aftercare teachers, the secretaries and the teachers' assistants (you get the idea). And visit that list frequently. It doesn't take long to speak a quick prayer over them and believe me, it will bless you. Every once in a while, let them know you are praying for them. This is something I've admittedly failed at in the past, but I really want to be better at this year. What an encouragement to them!
P.S. if you homeschool your kids, you are not off the hook! Grab an accountability partner who is also homeschooling and make a commitment to pray for each other.
Adjust your schedule to reflect the new school year
Yes, yes, I know this happens automatically. Life just changes once school starts. Right? But, this encouragement is to take a hard look at your daily plans and schedule in Bible Study time. This may be easier now that the kids are out of the house. But it may be more difficult because you teach or you continue to work outside the home and now have the extra pressure of homework, sports or classroom volunteer activities. I get it. Trust me, I get it.
But finding that time to get into God's Word daily is important for your soul. Take that pretty new academic year planner that you have (or get one) and add in dedicated time for God. Beyond that, make Him central to everything that you do. Include Him in your morning routine as you are herding cats to get them out the door. Make Him the middle of your nighttime routine as you are fighting with tired, whiny kids to get that homework done and get to bed. He won't ever leave you. Don't let Him feel distant. Keep Him close to your heart and mind. Set aside time to read His Word and pray.
And don't forget to make that time fun. Create something, use your journal, learn to hand letter or art journal. Get creative with your quiet time and listen to what God will speak to you through it.
It's Back to School time! Make the most of it.