I just dropped my girls off for the first day of school. This is the first year that my oldest wouldn't let me walk her to her class. I got the "Mooommm" outcry when I asked. My second-grader started to tell me I had to drop her at the door, too, and I told her she didn't get a choice, mom was walking her in.
As they stood at the door to the school, I was hit with the realization that another year has gone by. My girls are bigger, older, stronger, and (hopefully) more mature. They have grown in so many ways since I dropped them off at the school doors last year. We've embarked on the adventure of being a two-sport family. We've seen them make great strides in how they think about putting others first (unless, of course, it's your sister; then it's "me first") and thinking about how they can make a difference in the world. We've seen a little bit more of the world and broadened our perspectives about what it means to be "rich."
When I looked at those girls as they passed through the doors of the school this morning, I wondered what this year will hold for them. I prayed that God would protect them and let them enjoy these fleeting moments of childhood. I prayed that they would have fun and that their friendships would grow. And, mostly I prayed that God would help them make wise decisions. While my influence as a parent is still great in their lives, every year that I send them through those school doors I'm aware that my influence is tempered by that of their friends and their teachers. My prayer is that God's influence is greater than all of those, and that it's His counsel that they seek when faced with a tough decision.
With that in mind, we started a new tradition this morning. This school year, I'm committed to not just praying for my children but praying with them before their day starts. First thing, every morning, I plan to pray with each of my girls, individually. This morning, I did it when I woke them up. I asked them what they wanted me to pray for today, and then I prayed for them. I've tried to do something similar in past years, but somehow we always run out of time. This year, I've been convicted that this is the most important thing I can do to prepare my girls for the day. We're going to make it part of our morning routine, so they leave this house knowing that they have been covered in prayer.
I urger you to consider doing the same with your kids. The rewards are numerous. You get to share a time of prayer with each child, and your children will begin to open up to you about the things that are bothering them when they know you're going to pray about it with them. Plus, you get into the practice of each morning placing your children into God's powerful hands. There's no better place for them to be.