Oh, how I love the first day of school. I love how excited the kids are to get out of bed. I love how they eat breakfast without any complaining. I love how they grab backpacks and get in the car before I have my teeth brushed.
This happens once every year, and I relish each moment. Then everything falls apart and we have Apocalypse Mornings from here on out: weeping, yelling, crying, and begging for mercy from 6:45 from 7:52, Monday-Friday.
We’re nothing if not consistent in this house, I tell you.
At any rate, I took advantage of the calm and tried something new this morning. We prayed at breakfast. I can’t really explain why this is, but Eric tends to be the parent who prays with the kids at night and I tend to be the one who reads the Bible with them at breakfast. I know we should both do both with both of them, but there are only so many hours in the day. We’ve got to divide and conquer where we can (parents of more than two children may roll their eyes at me here), and apparently this theory works its way into our biblical instruction.
But. This morning was Audrey’s first morning of middle school, so I felt that we needed an extra layer of prayer for the day. Now here’s the thing: I wanted Audrey to leave the house feeling loved, confident, and excited. I did not want her leaving the house in a state of panic and fright like I was feeling. So I prayed some things out loud, and a lot of other things in my head. Quietly. Shhhhh.
Here’s the prayer. (And the stuff in parenthesis are the things I didn’t actually say out loud.)
Thank you for this first day of school. Please help Caleb as he starts third grade today. Please help him to listen. Please help him to be a good friend.
Please help Audrey as she starts middle school today, Lord. (MIDDLE SCHOOL!! Dear Jesus, what just happened to our lives?!?!)
May both kids be safe. (And please don’t let any of those bigger middle schoolers come anywhere near my precious baby girl.) ((And if an older BOY comes anywhere near my daughter, may he be rendered mute, mentally dull, and also blind.)) (((And if these safety features fail and he does come somewhat near her, may you give her the strength to kick his manly bits so hard that he is rendered unconscious until Thursday afternoon.)))
Please be with the teachers, Lord. (Please help them to watch carefully for any druggies, pimps, or rednecks who may inflict damage on my sweet girl.) May they teach well.
Please help Audrey to get her locker open. (Because you know we all tried getting it open at Orientation last week and that thing isn’t going to open without a crowbar and the only people who have those at school are the kids who make bombs in their basement. Oh Lord, maybe I’ve gone too far now.)
In Jesus’ name,
And then we all hopped in the car and were at school on time in good moods, for the first and last time of the year. Yay for us! And then I prayed at the school. And then I prayed on the way home from school…
Seriously, readers. This is important stuff. The educational system needs us to intercede for them. The teachers, the kids, and the administration need our prayers. The world is a dark place; our prayers help to get God’s presence and light into that darkness. Even if you don’t have kids in the school, please remember to pray for them. Stop over this evening and walk around for a few minutes. Pray while you’re there. Repeat throughout the year.
Our children’s futures depend on it.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes fur us with groans that words cannot express. (Romans 8:26)