There they go again, or for the first time, or for the last. Maybe it gets easier but I’m 15 years in since my first son went to pre-school, and I still find it awkward that they go off and leave me here to my silence.

Don’t get me wrong…it’s nice. I can work, again, and people who work from home know: come August, we need the house to be quiet so we can get some blessed things done.

I have felt the euphoria of school starting back and felt the pain of it, too, because of the dumb growing up thing. I’ve sent the bedhead boy to kindergarten with the shirt tucked neatly into the crisp khakis because I dressed him…and sent him to college in boxes without a first day picture because I wasn’t there to take it, or else I still would.

I watch my friends go to the lake and jump in and post pictures to celebrate that first day of kids going off to school so they have their me-time back and hear others lament that their babies are gone so please somebody pass the tissues.

It’s all awesome and hard and weird and natural and the usual parenting drill we know full well but will never fully become used to.

All of us want to parent well. None of us are ever convinced we do. Maybe that’s why those precious few moments we actually feel we’ve done it right we want to document on Instagram because, yeah, it feels good to be proud of a few things now and again.

So for my parents who are sending the kid(s) off for the first time (including my homeschooling warriors who do it all from home)…and the ones who this is your last…and the ones who are at the there they go, again, stage of somewhere in between…I feel you all and offer this 5 word prayer for us:

God, help us parent well.

…when the days feel long and we want to hide or pull our hair out or react poorly in a way that will require a huge I’m sorry later.

…when the days are short and we are extra clingy to a child who shouldn’t have a job of nurturing us when that is a job You ask us to turn to You to do.

…when the grades don’t rise to our expectation, our child gets cut from the team or comes home from school with tears and asks us to tell them something to ease their heart when a mean kid has said something cruel.

…when we want to give up and throw in the towel…when we are frustrated and spent, ourselves…when we face the unknowns that are ahead that only You know right now that we will desperately need Your strength to endure.

…when the world preaches and shoves and tries to sway and we must fight with everything we have to raise warriors grounded in the Word of God.

…when we don’t know how to parent at all. We need you, God. Parent us so we can parent them.

Help me parent well as the kids go back to school this year, Father. I will need it this year.

And help my friends parent well, too.

We trust You. We love You. This school year is Yours.

Amen.

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So. I have something SUPER EXCITING to tell you. I’ve been wanting to talk to you about it for awhile but it hasn’t been the right time. But THIS FRIDAY, September 1, I will be talking about it in a personal email and on all my social media sites. So make sure you are signed up for my email updates HERE or connected with me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

If you loved this simple, yet meaningful 5 word prayer, today…and if, like me, life often leaves you speechless and you don’t always know what to say to start a dialogue with God…it is something you won’t want to miss.

p.s. I love you. I love Jesus most. See you Friday.