New clothes, new shoes, fresh haircuts; it’s the components of a back-to-school routine. Then there’s a most dreadful task---school supply shopping. The back packs and lunch boxes are fun essentials, but that list of Crayola boxes, Ticonderoga pencils, glue sticks, pink erasers and 4x6 lined note cards, to name a few, are enough to do a someone in. This year was consistent with the priors. We filed into Wal-Mart with our supply lists in hand and we went to town, making piles in the cart for each child’s must haves. If only every item were available in one location of the store, or even better… in one stop; but as much as I dread the process, I look back to my first school-supply shopping spree with all four children in tote and no others are quite as bad.
Gavin was fresh out of the NICU, monitor and all. I lugged him in his carrier along with his monitor and the other three kiddos into the store for the annual event. We searched high and low, to and fro, obtaining the items one-by-one off the list. We toddled into the consistently long check out line, got up to the register, rang up and bagged the items, only for me to discover that my wallet was not in the diaper bag as I had thought! Talk about despair! I nearly had a meltdown right there with the cashier. To bring closure to the event, I have to tell you, I did have my wallet in the car, and I did spot someone in my church family to stand with the kids while I ran out to get it. All ended well, but nonetheless, did not go as planned.
Each year, we tend to get a little more, especially since all four of them are all in school now. It is certainly a tedious task, but in the process of checking off our back-to-school essentials, we felt it was essential to supply the kids some pointers for a successful year. Each day I posted a scripture on the fridge and we spent some time reading and discussing it with each child as we tucked them in bed, yes, even the fourteen year-old. One-on-one time allowed each child to share their thoughts regarding the passage relevant to their own age and stage. Here’s some of what we’ve been taking into our hearts and minds the last week and a half.
- Be a hard worker. Be your best and do your best— not for your teachers, not for your parents, do it for God. Colossians 3:23 NLT ~ Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
- Sometimes we don’t feel very confident or sure of ourselves, but don’t give up, God is with you, so be strong and have courage. Joshua 1:9 NLT~ This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
- Cover yourself in God’s armor to fight what is wrong and do what is right. Stand strong. You are equipped for any battle that comes against you. Ephesians 6:13-17 NLT ~ Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
- Life is a balance of pulling away and gravitating toward. Identify people you should keep a distance with. Always be friendly, but not close. II Timothy 3:1-5 NLT ~ You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
- You have power inside of you because of Jesus! Remember when it is time to do something difficult that the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you! Romans 8:11 NLT ~ The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
- When you feel like you’re all alone and everyone is against you, remember God is on your side. He’s in your fan club and is cheering for you! Romans 8:31 NLT ~ What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?
- Don’t worry about schoolwork or people or making things perfect. Talk to God. Be thankful even when it’s hard to find something to be thankful for. Ask for God’s peace to protect your thoughts and your heart, your motives and what you want. Philippians 4:6-7 NLT ~ Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
- You can do anything! Don’t question or doubt yourself. He gives you strength to do what you need to do. Philippians 4:13 NLT ~ For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
- You are taken care of and you have everything you need. God supplies out of His riches, a never-ending supply. You can count on Him. Philippians 4:19 NLT ~ And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
- Do good and be an example to those who do not know Jesus. 3 John 1:11 NLT ~ Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
*** Blessings to you for a strong 2015-2016 school year! ***
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