As a mom, you always face the build up toward certain events. With your baby, you prepare to start solid foods. Then you prepare your house for a crawler and then a walker. There is always excitement for the beginning of those things.
When your children get older, you face the inevitable start of school. For me, preschool was not that big a deal. My two oldest children went two days their first year and then three days their second year. They were only gone from my presence for 2 1/2 hours. In reality, that's just a nice little break for mom!
Then comes the big event. Real school. Kindergarten. I was actually just a little sad when my oldest started kindergarten next year. He was so ready and excited that I did not want to damper his spirits. I did get a little emotional, but that only lasted for an hour or so.
As the school year came to a close, I discovered something new. The end of things is way more emotional than the beginning! This was a big surprise to me!
Here I was, preparing for summer vacation. My son's kindergarten teacher sent home the cutest memory book on the last day of school, complete with a picture of him in a cap and gown holding a sign that said, "Class of 2029." Why don't you just rip out my heart, Mrs. K?
I looked through that memory book and saw all of the fun things he had participated in. I remembered how he acted and how much he knew when he started. Compared to where he is now, it is quite evident that my son is ready for first grade! His life is flashing before my eyes!
I spent a couple of days looking at this book with melancholy and nostalgia, tears welling up every time. The evidence of how much he had grown was right there before my eyes. It was just a reminder of how little time we really have with our kids.
And when we send them off to school, we lose some of our control over them and what happens to them. This is an illusion anyway. God is in control of it all. It's only our sense of holding it together that we feel we are losing.
This makes the time we do have with them so precious. Precious. This is a word I have found myself using more than I ever thought I would. It always sounded a little too feminine and girly to me. I don't know why, just my own connotation, I guess. Like, "Oh that precious little poodle pup, Fifi!"
But really. How precious are a mama's kids? I think you have to be a parent to really understand the word precious. And when our kids head off to school, and we see them growing up before our eyes, it becomes clear that we have got to be intentional about how we shape them.
Not only do we shape them by our own example, but one of the other, and probably most powerful ways we shape them are by our prayers. We can be prophets in our kids lives.
And what better prayers can we pray than to speak the Word of God over our children? Moms, Dads, if we are not praying for our children, who is? It is so important, and I'm learning it more and more every day.
So parents: I challenge you to find your verses that will help shape your children. Pray them over them, silently and out loud. What a confidence builder to your child to hear you pray scripture over them! The word of God is power!
Here are some of my verses.
Verses I pray for all of my kids:
"I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called--his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance" (Ephesians 1:18, emphasis added. )
"Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth" (John 17:17)
For Myles: "May he grow in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man" (Luke 2:52).
For Madelyn: "May she be clothed in strength and dignity, and be able to laugh with no fear of the future" (Proverbs 31:25)
For Maxwell: "But you, Maxwell, are a man of God, so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a Godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11).
Pray, parents, pray! We have precious little time with our kids.