Last First Day

Well it’s back to school time, and I packed my crew off to their first day of school today.

We have a first day of school tradition. I always make the kids stand still long enough to snap a first day of school picture. I can’t say it’s their favorite thing, but they humor me. I love to go back through them, and see how much the kids change from year to year as they scurry off to school. Truth told, so do they. It truly is amazing how much they change from year to year.

It’s what happens when you feed kids. They grow.

I have to just about force feed my youngest kid. He’s not a big eater. I call him my pseudo vegetarian. He’s not a real fan of protein. He’ll eat his weight in rice, but who wants to fix rice every day? The others have their own food likes and dislikes. My kids are taking their lunches to school this year, and deciding what to pack in each lunchbox has been taxing.

My kids aren’t huge sandwich lovers, and none of them want to eat the same things. I decided to let them all pack their own lunches for school. We had a dry run last night. It was quite an event with the four of them in the kitchen together.

After that, we all sat down in the den to talk about the morning rush that would be coming at sunrise- who should get up first, who would need to leave first, and so on. All four kids share a bathroom, so school mornings can be tricky.

That done, we got down to talking about the year. We discussed how important grades would be, how our focus had to change from the lazy days of summer back to their studies. It was thrilling. The excitement in the room was electric. Not really.

All that done, we ended our little back to school party by asking God to bless us all this school year. I had each of the kids pray, and as they each talked to God about their year it was nice to hear the things they were trusting God for.

Remember, if you feed kids, they will grow. This is true of spiritual things as well.

As they prayed, I heard them trusting God for great friendships, good teachers, commitment to their studies, and good focus.

Then it was my turn to pray. It was at that moment I realized this would be my oldest son’s last back to school party. He is a high school senior. The next day would be his Last First Day of school. It would be a whole year of lasts. This is going to be quite a year for him.

I lost it there for a minute or two.

Once I could speak again, my prayers for my kids included all that they trusted God for and more. More than just what God can do for them, I want God to use them this school year. It is my prayer that other students and teachers will see Jesus in them, and that my kids will have opportunities to share His love with someone.

That they will grow not only physically this year, but spiritually in their relationships with God. That they find their purpose wrapped up in His purpose for him. It’s a tall order for four kids… but God’s pretty tall, I think.

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