Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Blessings For The New School Year .... By Nina Keegan

It's that time of year again, it is time to close the curtain on the long, hot, lazy, days of summer and usher in the new and highly anticipated school year. The TV commercials are in full swing, bombarding us with a bevy of creative advertising showcasing all the latest and greatest "must haves" for the fall.

When my kids were young, I loved taking them to pick out their new backpacks, clothes and school shoes. We would spend the day knocking it all out at once as we store hopped on a determined buying mission. The boys would aimlessly pick out all of their new supplies from the school's continual list. We would check it all off as we braved the trenches of school supply aisles in the local Department store. The cart would quickly get heaped full of notebooks, folders, markers, glue sticks, #2 pencils, boxes of kleenex and of course, my favorite, brand new crayons. We would be perpetually armed and ready for whatever the new school year would bring.

This time of year is sometimes kind of bitter sweet for me and probably many other parents. I would get kind of melancholy as I was giving up my kids once again and handing them over to this year's teacher. I would miss our days just hanging out together! School meant no more lazy summer days of sleeping in, swimming all day, late movie nights complete with popcorn and trips to the Tastee Freeze for cool summer treats.

I remember feeling quite anxious about their impending new school days. Would they like their new teachers? Would they get to be in the same classroom as their best buddies? We would all have to get into a new routine, back to making those bagged lunches, after school snacks, rides to practices, and helping the kids with their piles of homework. Of course there would always be a few extra trips to the school to schlep the carelessly forgotten gear, lunches, and assignments.

These days the school supplies in my family have been replaced with apartment furnishings, car insurance and text books. My last one is heading off to his new college and a new school year far away from Home.
There are many times I wish I could go back to the days of making those early morning waffles floating in maple syrup before school. Those days that seemed so rushed, stressed and hurried now are just cherished memories of a time I wish I could have back again. It has flown by so quickly and without my permission. They are suddenly grown and gone.

I realized that as we are reluctantly handing our kids over to new teachers, dorms, coaches and even their own apartments, we can simultaneously hand them over to the complete, unchanging, infinite, protection of God!
He can and will be there to pick up the slack for us weary, anxious, parents. We can trust Him to always be there when we cannot. Whether our kids are coloring at the first grade art table or they are 500 miles away from us on a college campus, We can trust that our almighty God has them covered and He will never leave them or forsake them. As the saying goes; "We need to let go and let God!"

We can pray a blessing over our kids that seals them into the impenetrable safety net that the word of the Lord promises we can have. The Bible says we can pray a hedge of protection over our children, we see this in the story of Job. A hedge was placed around Job, his home, his children and all that belonged to him. This was a strong barrier that encompassed Job and protected him from all harm.

When Job experienced this protection, Satan complained about its effectiveness against him: “Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side?” (Job 1:10).

The Bible is full of blessings we can pray over the protection of our kids.
I like to start my mornings, coffee and Bible in hand, sitting on my back patio with my dog curled up next to me. It's my meeting place, it is where I have my morning prayer time with God. It sets the precedence for my entire day. It is where I hand it all over, my concerns, fears and worries and ask Him to amazingly bless the days of my children. I ask for His ultimate protection over them. I visualize them covered in the full, securing, armour of God. I pray that His perfect will be done in their lives, and that they would make wise choices according to His word. I ask for His unceasing favor and noble grace to be upon them. I ask for Him to send a legion of His heavenly angels to surround my children continuously and to pluck them out of harms way. I pray for wonderful Christian friends to surround them. I visualize the mighty hand of God holding them up, so safe and protected, so strong, changeless and unfailing. Then as I continue on in my day, I know that my words will not return to me void, (Isaiah55:11). I know God has heard me and if it is His will, He will honor my fervent requests.

There is a peace in knowing that God is completely in charge. He is still on the throne !! He is still at the helm of our lives and He will perfect that which concerns us (Psalm 138:8).

God has a spectacular plan for each of our kids, a uniquely different, highly individualized plan that only He knows. Since He wrote the script, He has the final word. He will then see to it that His plans for our children, for us all for that matter, will be astoundingly successful.

(Jeremiah 29:11)'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'

So as we begin this and all new school years and as we are diligently packing up the school gear, waking the kids up early, and sending them out the door, let's send them out wrapped in blessings, with abundant favor heaped upon them, dressed in their new shoes and of course in the full armour of God!!

Heavenly Father, we pray a blessing of protection over all of our kids as they begin a new school year, guide them on their paths, help them to make wise choices and to be blessed with knowledge, wisdom and ability. Help us as parents to let them fly and to trust them to your protection. In Jesus name!
Amen

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