I dropped my daughter off at kindergarten this morning. We woke up early. I wrapped her hair into pigtailed buns. We ate eggs, sunny side up. And we walked to school—Mom, Dad, London and Eve—holding hands.
We blessed her on the front lawn of Berkman Elementary School. Her sister said, “The Lord ba-wess you and keep you…”
We dropped her off at her desk and took a probably embarrassing family picture and left. I peaked through the window on the door as she sat in her chair on her knees and I thought, “First she’ll need to learn how to sit.”
We walked home. The breeze blew and the sun shined. And Eve rode on her strong daddy’s shoulders. And all was good with the world.
I didn’t even cry.
I smiled at my husband and said quietly, "Suckaaahs."
Now, I’m sitting at home. Eve’s watching Leap Frog, and I feel like praying—I thought you might pray with me—for our children as they start a new year of school…
Dear God, Father of heavenly lights, Giver of perfect gifts,
This morning, feeling nervous and a little unsure and altogether thankful, I pray for my child on her first day of school. God, I give her to You. And I ask that this school year you would use every person and every experience and every lesson to shape her into Your image, to grow in her the fruit of Your Spirit.
God, grow in her heart…
Love. Teach her to sacrifice like You did, giving up what she values for the good of others. Empower her to sacrifice her own comfort to love an unlovable kid, to give a favorite pink pencil to a classmate without, to sacrifice the approval of peers to stand up for the bullied.
Joy. Let her be a light in darkness, filling her classroom with laughter and thick, contagious contentment. Show her the good in every circumstance and use her to point it out to others.
Peace. Make her a diffuser, the kind of kid who resolves conflict and relieves tension. Let her be a source of peace for her teacher and a calming voice in her class.
Patience. Lord, teach her to be patient with other kids, to be patient with her teacher, and to be patient with herself, to remember that no one is perfect. Fill her with life-giving deep breaths and empower her to quietly push past the frustrations that will inevitably and frequently well up in her heart.
Kindness. God, show her the way of love in action. Give her a heart that longs to serve others in Your name. Give her opportunities for kindness and give her the courage to step into those opportunities with open hands and ready feet.
Goodness. Teach her to live as Your child, according to Your expectations. Help her make right choices, protecting her from the evil one. Keep her pure and unpolluted.
Faithfulness. Father, fill her heart with faith until it overflows and spills onto everyone she meets. When she seeks You, open her eyes to see You so that her belief and trust in You grow. Help her to be loyal to you even when it’s hard.
Gentleness. Empower her to handle others with care, to consider their feelings before speaking. To protect their breakable hearts.
Self Control. God, teach her to sit in her seat and raise her hand and walk in a line, all the while learning to control herself. Give her restraint. May she be able to say “No” even when she wants to say “Yes.”
Father, use my child’s days at school to form her into the woman you want her to be. Help her to be herself, her very best self.
I love You. I love her. Thank you for my child.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.