Trying to get kids out the door on time while wearing appropriate clothing should be an Olympic sport. Every morning I clutch my coffee mug in desperation as I battle every unforeseen challenge that comes my way.
No matter how prepared I am, something will without a doubt go wrong.
One kid will have wet tennis shoes (and, of course, they have PE that day) from running through the neighbor’s lawn sprinkler the night before. Another kid will ask where their homework is that you didn't even know about, but you know without a doubt that it's at the bottom of the kitchen trash can.
No matter how busy or chaotic the morning is there is one thing I do before they walk out the door. Pray.
I pray for safety and protection.
I pray that they will be a light.
I pray that they will make good choices.
I do this before they walk out the door because it may be their last peaceful moment before they hop off the bus at the end of a long school day.
My mom did this for me growing up. I’d be running out the door, late as usual, but she’d still take the time to pray over me. What an impact prayer, before anything else, had on my life.
A Child's Mission Field
My kids attend a public elementary school. They are surrounded by a dynamic group of kids, which I love. We know that Jesus made each and every single one of the children that walk those hallways precious in His sight.
There are kids that come from homes with parents who love and support them while being taught similar values to our kids. There are also kids in desperate need of love and attention. A few kids have without a doubt experienced trauma in their short lifetime.
School is a mission field and I know that the best way I can prepare my kids to walk those hallways every day is to start their day with prayer.
This past Sunday, as I sat by my son during church, I let the tears roll down my cheeks as he cheered (I mean jumping up and down on the seat cheering) for his friends getting baptized, sang worship songs at the top of his lungs, and raised his hand to worship during one of the songs.
As a mom, I was undone. I can’t seem to ever sit by my kids in church without ugly crying. It’s an embarrassment that I’ve learned to embrace. Criers are always welcome in my section.
This same kid that was jumping on the seat is walking the hallways of a school, even as I type this, where he claims that “not all the kids make good choices.” I want to shelter him sometimes, but I’m drawn back to a thought that I’ve had over the past year.
I don’t want to run from hard situations or people and that takes straight up prayer.
Don't Run. Pray.
I don’t want anyone in our family to run from hard people or situations.
My prayer is that my kids show up.
My kids might plant a seed that will grow in the years to come. They may be the only example of Jesus that another kid ever sees.
I don’t expect my kids to never make mistakes nor do I pressure them with the weight of the opportunity right in front of them every single day. I know that Jesus can shine through their failures and that they already feel the weight of it all in their own innocent way without me saying a word.
I also know that each one of my kids absolutely loves Jesus and has a childlike desire to live for Him.
I love what Jill Briscoe says,
"You go where you’re sent,
and you stay where you’re put
and you give what you got
until you’re done.”
My kids are sent to be little lights for Jesus in their places. Right now, school is their place. I realize the mighty impact my children can have on the Kingdom.
So, I cheer them on and worship right beside them (even if I’m bawling my eyes out). Then, I do the one thing I should always do before they walk out the door to live for Jesus in their place every morning.