"What in the world is wrong with you? You've been dropping kids off for their first day of school for 12 years now. They will be fine. Every year they are fine. And grow. And learn. And mature. And still love you through it all. Don't be a baby."
Of course, my straight forward pep talk to myself did not stop the tears. Within five minutes I was praying and daydreaming about each child in college trying to figure out how to buy groceries for themselves or not getting lost on the way to class because the university they attend will probably be humungous or wondering what their own unique way of expressing themselves in the world will look like or how many of their friends will I get to meet and cook for if they end up going to U of A?
All because school started again. Every year I have the same thoughts. Every year I pray the same prayers.
God, direct their hearts towards you.
Teach them to seek your glory and not their own.
Help them to be path-makers and not path-takers.
When difficulties come this year (and they always do), help them to look for you and what you want to teach them. Refine them. Give me grace and patience as you refine me by watching how you refine them.
Make their faith in you their own, apart from Chad and me, but also because of what we've taught them.
Teach them to ask questions and to know that you are not afraid or intimidated by any question they may have.
During the summer my heart sometimes grows heavy with worry, over-active questions, concern for the hard worker I desire to be in my family and in my church. For years I've been somewhere between stay at home mom and working mom. My employment and ministry affords me the opportunity to be flexible and present in almost all of my kids' daily lives. Sometimes I feel exhausted, confused, and guilt-ridden.
Am I home enough with them? Did I leave them too long to meet with those women? Are they resentful of the work I do with the church? Are they able to be motivated when I'm not around to do something other than watch TV and bicker?
The same type of questions echo in my mind about my work. Do people understand that my family is my main priority? Am I giving enough time to meet and listen with women God has placed in my life? Why haven't I read more, written more, spoken more?
But then Jesus guides my heart to grow heavy with repentance, love, anticipation, thankfulness, and awe of the roles He has given me in this crazy life.
Whatever you do work at it with all your heart as if working for the Lord and not for men.
The first day of school every year reminds me to surrender my selfish desires for my kids and to trust that he entrusted them to Chad and me to parent, to love, to guide, to teach. He asks me to believe that just as I claim Christ to be enough in my life, He is more than enough in theirs. He wants me to know His plans for each of their futures far exceeds my own limited ability to hope and dream for them. He knows how to give good gifts.
And now I'm crying again.