Our family has had many different “flavors” of summer over the years, and I have to say this may be my favorite yet. I think it has a lot to do with my availability to the kids. Since I’ve worked full time in most previous years, it was really special for me to have the time and energy to really get the most out of this summer. And the baby is pushing 3, which means we can forego a nap some days, and that feels like an unbelievable amount of freedom! Typically, come August, I tend to be ready for school to start – I crave a schedule, predictability, and a little more “me” time. Perhaps the sibling tensions that seem to take over my children this time of year has something to do with it too. But here we are – in August, and I’m not really ready. While I’m trying to enjoy every day we have left, I am also trying to prep myself and my kids for the school year that will be here before we know it.
I will have 3 kids at the same school this year. It is a familiar place where we are surrounded by (mostly) amazing families, a (mostly) wonderful staff, and (mostly) great kids. I always try to keep my mind and heart open to whatever the year holds. I feel like posturing myself early helps me to roll with the punches better. And I try to model this for my kids. We try to remember throughout the year that God ordains our steps. That even in the tough moments, we trust that He is going to shape us and teach us something. Inevitably, something is going to come up that I am not happy about – something I wish didn’t happen, or that I wished had been handled a different way. But I have to remember that we are walking a path that is not promised to be easy or smooth. But rather, my family is learning how to be in the world and not of it. We are learning how to love those who are unkind, and who mistreat us. We are learning what to do with gossip. We are learning to accept people who are different. We are learning to be faithful friends. We are learning how to prioritize and be who we are, regardless of what other people are doing. I have had countless opportunities to teach and shape and form my girls through their school experience. And this year, with older grades and more points of contact – I expect more of the same. I need to be on my knees faithfully, as that is the thing we need most. Being led by the Spirit is my brightest hope for this year. Without Him, fear can creep in and that is not a characteristic of the life we are called to live.
My prayer for them and about them has looked something like this:
Lord Jesus, I thank you for always going before us. Thank you for our school, thank you for the safety we have found there. I pray this year that you would give each of the girls the best teacher for them. I pray for enthusiasm and excitement for the year ahead. I pray for classmates that are kind and respectful. I pray that the girls would remember that each day we are called to be lights there, for your glory. Help us as a family to carry that in practical ways. Please help us to seek out opportunities to bring you into our relationships there. Show us how to support our teachers. Show us how to love those that we come in contact with, whether or not they seem lovable. I pray for friendships that bless my girls – families that know you and love you and have the same standards as we do. I pray for the days of transition, of getting into our new routine. Please give us grace and peace. I pray that the girls would be able to remember that you are there with them – active and available to them at any moment. Please protect them from hearing or seeing anything that would harm them. And help us to stand firm in who we are in you. Help us not to compromise or waiver in standing for truth and holiness. Show us what you have for us this year, and help us to be quick to hear and quick to obey.
Before we know it, it will be time to get out the crock pot, reset the alarm clocks, and put the flip flops away. I want to believe that this school year can be a wonderful one, full of His promises and His provision. We serve a generous and good God and I want to embrace the partnership we get to have with Him. Whatever your school year looks like – be encouraged that He has gone before us and that He remains with us.
From our family to yours, the Ludwigs
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16