Welcome Our daughter made a big transition recently. She is now a middle school student! She had previously attended kindergarten through fifth grade at the elementary school only three blocks from our house. She loved it there…her teachers, her friends, the activities, everything really. So when fifth grade recognition came in the spring, we had a very upset little girl, and frankly, an upset momma, too.
Just try to remember back to your own middle school or junior high experiences, especially the transition part. In most places you have to at least change buildings, if not completely across town. In rural areas, you might even have to change towns! New places, new faces, new rules and expectations. And I don’t think many adults would argue that change can be hard, even scary. But adults would also agree that change is a necessary part of life. As in the case of our daughter transitioning to middle school, it is a sign of growth, maturity, and independence, all things she needs to experience as she grows toward adulthood.
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Food For Thought In May, on that last day of fifth grade, as we cried and hugged and reminisced, I vowed in my mind that I would be praying for my daughter’s middle school transition every day through the summer. I did, too, simple and generic at first, but as the start of the school year came closer, I prayed more fervently and specifically (remember our prayers from Whatever it Takes yesterday?) And in the blink of an eye, August came and a new stage in her life began.
Here, the middle schools have a “transition” day where the incoming sixth graders can have a half-day experience before school actually starts. They spend the morning practicing their lockers, understanding their schedules, meeting their “team” and getting acquainted with the layout of the building and their classes. The morning I dropped her off for transition, I cried more than I did when I dropped her off for kindergarten, if you can believe that! She had a look of nervousness, but she also had a beautiful positive attitude and the excitement of curiosity. These are wonderful traits my daughter carries with her most days. And once I picked her up from that transition day, I was reassured that everything was going to be alright. She has bubbled with excitement, enthusiasm, pure joy, really, ever since she started the school year. Yes, we have a few grumbles over math homework and I was informed last night that researching ancient Egypt is boring, but she loves school and is eager to tell anyone who will listen! And for this we are deeply grateful!
You see, my prayers did not stop when she started school that first week. I have continued to pray for her, her school, and her teachers every day since. I even submitted her school to a local Christian radio station as “school of the day.” But here’s the thing, I haven’t prayed for my daughter to make straight A’s or honor roll. I haven’t prayed for her to suddenly become popular and the “it” girl. I haven’t prayed for her to suddenly have athletic talent. I haven’t even prayed that her path will be easy. I pray each day for my daughter to have a day filled with friends and learning. I pray for her to be healthy and safe. I pray for her to be able to focus and work on the tasks at hand with minimal distraction. I pray that she will show kindness to all, even when they may not deserve it, and that others will show kindness to her. I pray that she will remember the lessons she has been taught when it comes to right and wrong. I pray that she will experience positive interactions with peers and adults. I pray for her continued joy in learning and that she will strengthen her talents and skills. I ask God to help guide her steps and her choices.
The best times in life are when you get to see your prayers working right in front of your eyes. It is a true blessing when you can see God’s hand working directly in a situation. This is what we have seen with our daughter’s school year. We attended parent conferences last week. We had ten teachers to see, four core subject and six elective teachers, taking over 90 minutes in all. But it was so worth it! Starting with the core subject teachers we were able to hear about our daughter’s work ethic, punctuality, responsibility, and kindness. But it didn’t stop there. Meeting after meeting was nothing but positive conversation about how well she is doing. It made this momma’s heart melt and eyes a little bit watery.
It’s not that she hasn’t always tried her best or been caring. She is all of these things, but sometimes transitions can bring out the wrong kind of independence or maybe there’s a negative influence involved. But no worries, here. I won’t share all the comments, because I know it can be a bit much hearing a parent “brag” on their kid. But I am sharing this because I want to give God ALL THE GLORY! We are her earthly parents, blessed beyond measure with that privilege, but God is guiding us, per request. God is blessing her, per request. God is protecting her, per request. He hears our heartfelt prayers and He answers!
Sometimes I say I’m so lucky to have such a good kid, but it’s not luck, it’s a blessing, a blessing from God. If there is one thing I want you to take away from this story today, it’s pray for your children because IT MATTERS!
Today’s Scriptures Praying for blessing on our children is not a new concept. In fact, it is seen even in the Old Testament. God directed Moses in a blessing for Aaron and his sons, who in turn would bless the children (people) of Israel. These words make a useful guide when asking for blessings on your own children.
Numbers 6:22-27 (ESV) “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel; you shall say to them:
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
“So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”
God will do this for our children, too. We simply need to ask in faith. I want the Lord to bless and keep my child, being gracious and giving peace. Pray these things for your child, today.
Today’s Bible Journal Page For today’s page, I used a combination of stickers, washi-tape, and markers.
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