First Days

Everyone is posting "back to school" pictures...

I've got mine too...

I'm reflective today however...

This year I have all 3 girls in 3 different school buildings...




My youngest is nervous because there was a last minute switch up in her teacher assignment and she's worried because she doesn't have anyone in her classroom from her previous years. Last night before bed, we talked about being brave...About how being brave doesn't mean you aren't scared or nervous or anxious..it just means that even though you FEEL scared, you still do the next right thing.

She got baptized on Sunday in front of our entire church congregation.  She was petrified of speaking her testimony into the microphone for all to hear...and yet, she put her chin up and did it...She may have had a few tears, she may have been shaking, but she didn't back down, she didn't give up...that is courage, that is strength...

I reminded her that her all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present God lives in her and she's already proven that she can be brave and do what is right even when she's scared.

**************

My middle is in a school without a sibling for the first time...EVER.

She's my thinker, my introspective child...

Others boast about their grades, their accomplishments...they push to be first, to be on top...to prove to the world that they are the best...and my quiet, behind the scenes daughter keeps plugging along.  It's not that she's not intelligent...and to be quite honest and a tad of a "braggin' momma", she's actually incredibly bright and a deep thinker...the thing is, she's not out for the glory for herself...

Good lord, she shames me...and amazes me at the same time...she must have a lot of her daddy in her...

She is not one to boast, or share with the lunch table all her accomplishments...it's not that she's not proud...it's just that she's incredibly aware of the feelings of others and quite frankly, she's content to not be in the limelight.

It doesn't mean that everyone else's boasting and comparison doesn't hurt her...it sometimes cuts her deeply...

We prayed for confidence last night...for a knowing that she is ENOUGH even when it seems others are trying to prove otherwise.

**************

My oldest begins high school.

Let me say that again...my oldest begins HIGH SCHOOL...

I only have 4 more years with her...4 years to guide, protect, encourage, let her fail in a safe place...

I told her that these next 4 years are most definitely NOT the best years of her life...no way...
This is training ground...these are the years where character is built...where you start to discover whether you will choose to be a person of integrity or if you'll follow the crowd...

The "best years"...

those "best years" come in the future and only if you take the time NOW to prepare for WHO you are going to become...not settling for petty trash talk around peers, choosing honesty over popularity, setting boundaries & safe guards when others want to "live it up"...

I prayed with her about choices, about being aware of her words because they can't be taken back, about forgiveness & acceptance and giving grace during this "training period".

**************

I don't feel qualified to be a mom to these girls...they are all so different...and the reality is that I mess up all the time...We can all talk a big talk when our kids' behavior and performance is top notch...however, I'm not naive to think that my kids won't fail sometimes...and I hope I can walk the walk when those mistakes feel overwhelming...I hope I can journey along with them, and let them each know that they are MORE than what others say they are, they are MORE than their mistakes, they are LOVED beyond what is fathomable...and they are ENOUGH :)

The countdown began the moment they were born...this slow letting go...

These "first days" are just a gentle reminder...


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