Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First Day of School

(from my post in "For Such A Time As This")

Today is the first day of 2nd grade for Joshua.  How did 7 years fly by in what seemed like a blink of an eye?  I must admit, I get as nervous and anxious as Joshua does!  With the start of each year comes a blank slate.  What will this year hold?  What will he learn?  Who will his best friend at school be?  What will be his favorite subject (it thrilled me to no end that he said that his favorite thing to do in school is writing...and not recess!!  He even bought a journal!)?

With the start of each year also comes lots of prayers.  I pray especially for the teachers, his classmates, and for protection over the school.  Prayer is the only thing that keeps me sane while Joshua is away from me.  Prayer is an acknowledgment that God is greater, that God is in control, and that God is watching over my Joshua and is with him when I can't (He's the omnipresent babysitter!).  Last year, I invited a couple of moms from Joshua's class over to our home for some fellowship and to spend some time praying for our children.  I believe that there is a great battle going on over the hearts, souls, and minds of our children.  We need to be warrior moms who will go into battle for our kids.  God has equipped us with the gift of prayer as our weapon.  And nobody wants to mess with a group of moms who have donned their armor and are wielding their swords of faith, right?  So, I'm looking forward to our battle prayer time with the other moms from school.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people." (Ephesians 6:13-18)

Joshua didn't want to get out of bed this morning, even though we started getting him up early last week so that he'd get used to it (he's such a teenager-wannabe!).  Eventually, he did after much coaxing and threats!  We finished breakfast, got dressed, and took the traditional first day of school pics.  As we walked to school, I wondered...will he still hold my hand??  And he did!  And that just made my day!  I remember telling Jared that this may be the last year that he'll hold my hand before he thinks it's uncool!

Anyway, I sent my first-born off to 2nd grade this morning, and I'll have a couple of weeks for my mommy heart to recover before sending Jenna off to preschool.  I thought that with each passing year, the first day of school will get easier.  Well, it isn't for me.  It's not just a rite of passage for the children, but for the parents too.

In honor of the first day of school, below is a blog post I wrote for Joshua when he started kindergarten!  It still brings a tear to my eye...


The night before the first day of Kindergarten...

We picked out your wanted to wear your new football t-shirt.

We packed your backpack, and placed it by the door...I'm so proud of you for not complaining about not having a new bag, and you are perfectly happy with the Toy Story backpack from last year.

We snuggled into your bed, and read a new book about the night before were so excited about all the new things that you would learn this year!

And we prayed together...for a good night's sleep and thanked God for the many blessings in our lives, especially for Kindergarten and that it's finally here.

I kissed you good-night as I always do, and as I turned off your light, you said to me "Mommy, I'm growing up! I can't wait to go to Kindergarten tomorrow!"

"Yes, baby! You're going to Kindergarten! And I'm so proud of you!" But as I said those words, I fought back tears, and I felt something squeezing my heart. For I never thought this day would come. Okay, I know it's just Kindergarten...but time is zooming by like the speed of light, and I can barely catch my breath before the next milestone appears. So, on this night before yet another milestone, I want to capture the moment and store it in my heart forever. I feel like this is the first step of me letting go, as if my pinky finger is being pryed open...slowly, but surely, I have to let you go.

But as I let you go, I know that you are not going alone. I pray that you will know that God is with you...and my heart goes with you, too.

So, on the morning of the first day of school, this is what I saw...

But my heart saw this...

And when you sat in the car, I turned and saw this...

But really, this is what I saw...

And when I hugged you goodbye and wished a great first day for you, Daddy took this picture...

But these are the pictures that are etched in my heart...

I love you, Joshua!

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