I have a love–hate relationship with the beginning of a new school year. I hate saying goodbye to the lazy days of summer, learning new curricula and schedules, the rampageous tax free weekend back-to-school shopping and trying to determine how everything is going to get squeezed into the day.
At the same time, I love that our days are more routine, new packs of vibrantly colored crayons, little ones climbing in my lap to read books and I especially love how the beginning of a school year is a natural time to reflect back on the previous year.
Before we dive head first into a new school year, as their teacher, I set aside some time to think about each of our school aged boys. I ask God to show me areas of strength and maturity each child has displayed in the previous school year and then I thank Him for developing those traits in each of them.
I then spend time praying for God to show me areas that may be lacking or need further development. I choose one specific word that embodies what I’m asking Him to do in that particular child’s life and I make that their “prayer word” for the year. I usually choose a verse of Scripture to accompany each child’s word which makes it easy for me to pray that Scripture over them.
He shall remain nameless but I’m guessing if you’ve spent any time with our family you know who got the word “self-control.” I’m praying Proverbs 25:28 over him and he’s working diligently to memorize it. “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self control.”
I found a cute little Etsy shop that makes adorable wooden signs. I had a personalized wooden sign made for each child to put on their desk and also to remind me to pray for them often.
As a mom it’s so easy for me to get frustrated with characteristics (or the lack there of) in my children. Choosing a prayer word for the year allows me to temporarily step out of my role as mom and look at things from the perspective of a teacher. My hope is that when I’m wanting to bang my head against a wall because the b’s look like d’s, the paintbrush got sharpened in the pencil sharpener and the five year old is still reading “bed” as “bad” I can exhale and be reminded of the eternal value that can be accomplished with one heartfelt prayer to a Good, Good Heavenly Father.