Friday, July 11, 2014

How to Exchange Your Worry for Peace When Your Kids Go Off to School

One Thing I'll Never Regret About Raising My Kids

I was heading through our busy suburban streets around the time many kids are going to school in the morning. I was going to be late for my appointment if the traffic didn’t start to move a little faster. Frustration grew as I hemmed and hawed and maybe followed a little too closely behind the car in front of me.

What was the hold-up? Why on this day was the traffic moving sooooo slowly?

Eventually, the cars in front of me made their left and right turns off the main road, and I found myself right behind the big yellow school bus that was causing the delay. I tap-tap-tapped on my steering wheel. Time was ticking and I needed to get somewhere fast…

Then without warning, I felt a lump in my throat and the tears started streaming. I glanced at the oh-so-familiar scene that now seems so very far away. Proud moms and dads hugged, kissed, and hurried their little ones onto that big bus. Little hands clutched lunch bags and boxes, poster boards, and I think I even saw a couple of shoebox dioramas. It was one of the last days of school. One of the last days of Kindergarten for Christina…One of the last days of 1st grade for Justin…One of the last days that mom or dad would wave goodbye to their child on that particular bus.

The passing of time seized me. I almost had to pull over as the tears clouded my vision.

Why do I cry like this as the bus rumbles onward?
  • Because my time of packing lunches, daily walks to the bus, and co-crafting dioramas is over and I’m not sure what the next big thing could be? This was what I looked forward to since I can remember.
  • Because I miss the hustle and bustle of my growing family—loud, fighting, laughing, crying, dancing, learning, trying, discovering, developing, doing well, and making mistakes. I’m on the outside of my adult children’s lives looking in. They are generous in their sharing, but they are living their own lives, as they should be.
  • Because I’m so much older than I ever imagined. Does that make sense? I pictured myself older, when I was younger, but I think my imagination only went as far as my 30s. I never ventured into the 50s in my mind.
  • Because I am over the hill, which means in all likelihood, I have reached beyond the halfway mark of my life. Oh that doesn’t mean I don’t have new dreams, desires, and the incredible blessing of my wonderful beloved husband, plus family and friends. It’s just that my mortality is a little more real than ever before.
  • And because I do have some regrets. I know it’s not popular to admit…and many would try to talk me out of this. I’m not punishing myself over this truth. And I know I wouldn’t be here, where I am today or who I am today, without the stumbles. But yes, I wish I hadn’t screamed as much. I wish I had more patience. I wish I had been a little stricter in some areas and a little looser in others.

On the other hand, as I watch that bus turn the corner, almost out of my line of vision now, there is one thing I absolutely do not regret. And that is that I found Moms in Prayer when my firstborn was just starting to travel on that big yellow bus. She had been hurtled out of my sphere of influence, out of my sight, out of my arms, and into school, a world I couldn’t control. A world, thankfully, that was mostly full of excellent teachers and fine schools, but laced with beliefs contrary to my own and the dangers that are part of our world.

I smile as now my tears fill with gratitude.

I will never regret the many hours I spent in my Moms in Prayer groups, sometimes three groups each week. It was time well-invested into the very lives of my children, not just by me but by my fellow praying moms. What would I have done without them? We carried each other through so many hurdles and trials, so many joys and triumphs. Our children's boyfriends, girlfriends, successes and failures, soaring and broken hearts, yes, sex, drugs, and alcohol, too.

Now I pray in a College and Career Moms in Prayer group. And though my professional life has gotten much busier, I am so thankful for the prayer warriors who continue to gather faithfully, week in and week out.

No, I will never regret the countless hours I toiled in my Moms in Prayer groups…and I look forward to many more hours, especially now that there’s my beautiful granddaughter Ema.

Grandmothers in Prayer, here I come!

Sisters, I know for some of you, it’s hard to imagine finding one more hour in your week to pray for your children and schools. But I promise you, this is time spent you will never regret. Don't delay. Join a group today!

(First appeared at

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