Real Life Mama: a prayer before the start of the school year

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My God,

Really, I can’t believe it’s already time to send my babies back to school. It’s like every summer of their lives has gone by faster and faster. Part of me wants to pray to slow it down, while the other part wants to thank you for all the time we’ve had together and all the new adventures these ages have brought.

As we enter a new school year, God, please keep my babies safe. Please watch over their every step, every encounter, every opportunity and every mountain they encounter. Sometimes this world scares me, Lord, and sending my children into the unknown is absolutely scary as a mother these days. But I also know that you are bigger than this world and I trust you. Please just watch over my babies.

Dear Lord, as my babies get older, I realize that not only other people’s opinions are so hard to understand, but also their opinions of themselves. Please help my children recognize their true worth as your daughters and not put too much pressure on themselves to fit into this world.

Please Lord help me be the best mom I can be as we begin to navigate the changes of growing up and dealing with big emotions. As a mom, I pray to always be a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, and that voice in their head (along with yours) that reminds them that they are more than enough. Lord, sanity is a real thing and has started playing with our babies earlier and earlier. I pray that you can give me the tools I need to support my daughters through all the ups and downs they encounter.

And my God, please help my babies be a solid rock to their friends – help them notice kids around who need to talk or play with someone or just sit and to be. More than anything, I ask You to guide my children to become little disciples of You – pouring out Your love and grace to all with whom they come in contact. Help them to be more and more like You.

As my children learn and grow throughout the year, remind them that a test score doesn’t define them, their grades don’t determine their worth, and their future is bright regardless. As a mom, please help me remind my babies that all I can ask for is their best – and that I love them no matter what. And when I’m not around, please intercede in their minds and remind them that as well as I know (because they’re like their mom) how much they yearn to be successful. Help them remember that success comes in many forms and that mistakes are the keys that unlock growth and opportunities for the future.

God, I’m asking you to get hold of all the teachers, professors and staff who care for all the babies. Please Lord keep them all safe and guide them in the best way to teach and love our children. Although we know I will never be able to do this, there are many special people with the patience, knowledge and desire to pour out on our babies – please direct them along the way. Remind them when the days get long and hard that what they do matters – they are literally shaping the minds of our future.

Finally, Lord, I pray that my children will know how completely and utterly loved they are – not just unconditionally by you – but also unconditionally by me. I pray that they will always know how proud I am of all that they have already achieved and all that I know they will achieve in the future.

Please continue to shape our relationships – and the trust established between us as mothers and daughters – so that we can always share our daily ups and downs and work together. I just pray, Lord, that they always know that they can bring me something and that nothing they ever do will make me love them less.

Thank you, Father God, for all the summer adventures, for the moments and memories created, and for another school year to go. Please protect and guide my babies and I as we learn and grow together this school year. In advance, thank you, Lord. I like you.

In your name I pray, Amen.

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is Catholic from Lima Central and graduated from Tiffin University. Sarah is a full-time working mom who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy and always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her daughters and writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.

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