So that means that Gabbi is on her way to her first day of full day school, by herself. Actually, by this time she has already started school, is probably sitting at her desk right now, has most likely made a new friend and I just hope she isn’t talking too much! Oh, how I wish I could morph into a little fly just for today so I could go and spy on her!
She was a little nervous this morning, but mostly excited and it was so fun to watch her get ready. I was up a little before 6, because I wanted the morning to be perfect. I didn’t want any part of it to be stressful because we forgot something, or because we didn’t leave ourselves enough time. I made breakfast last night, because Gabbi wanted pancakes today, so they were in the fridge waiting. I came downstairs, made some coffee and got to work making her lunch. I know that as kids get older, buying lunch at school can be fun, but it can also be overwhelming. We have decided that for the time being, Gabbi will bring her lunch everyday and then little by little we will let her pick some days where she can buy lunch at school. I know that they have made strides in improving the over all health of school lunches, but no one can really be healthy eating frozen food everyday, so as often as I can, I will make her lunch. I still wanted her lunch to be fun, as lunch time is a big deal, so I finally made those little butterfly snack bags! I hope she is excited when she opens her lunch box and sees this:
Its okay to get notes from your mom in first grade right? Hopefully it doesn’t embarrass her!
Her lunch is packed with goodies:
Peanut Butter and Jelly, yogurt, carrots and an angel food cake cupcake with frozen raspberries for dessert!
The other butterfly is some home made trail mix for snack time that she loves.
After making lunch, I decided to hang some streamers from her bedroom door. I wanted her to wake up feeling like today was a celebration, and nothing to be worried about. The first day of school is a huge milestone, and I wanted her to be excited! Jill Savage, the founder of Hearts at Home, writes in her book My Hearts at Home about celebrating the ordinary. At certain points in a child’s life, home should be like a pep rally, with a built in cheering squad cheering you on for your next big adventure! That was our house this morning! Streamers, special breakfast, fun music and lots of pictures!
Before we ate, we took some time to introduce a new devotional book that we purchased for the new school year. Matt and I have been reading the adult version of Jesus Calling and find that it has been great on days when we don’t have a lot of time to spend in the word. This kids version is fun, written as though Jesus is talking directly to you, and only takes a few moments. Today’s devotional was fitting, and talked about Jesus always being with you, wherever you go, and being a light through you to others. The Lord always knows what we need to hear, when we need to hear it – more on that in a minute. Here is a picture of the devotional though:
“You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me with songs and shouts of deliverance. I [the Lord] will instruct and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” Psalm 32:7-8
This was an awesome reminder for her this morning, and sparked some wonderful conversation about the ability to pray to and talk with the Lord if she is nervous today at school. We talked about where, how and even what she could pray about. I hope that it was as settling for her as it was for me.
After breakfast, it was on to the mini photo shoot of the first day of school outfit. I am pretty sure this was her favorite part of the morning, as she kept exclaiming “I should be a model” and striking some different poses…
This girl loves the camera…and Hello Kitty as you can see….wait until she gets the cool new Hello Kitty back pack the Papa said he would bring home from Beijing! This pink one is actually going to be her dance bag, but she doesn’t know it yet!….
Apparently I was a little too prepared with a time schedule this morning, because after all of this, we still had about 25 minutes until the bus came!! So we played Candy Land!
And then we went out to wait for the bus….with 10 minutes or so still to go….
It seemed like such a long time to her! Around this time, her dad and Tiffany and Leah showed up and I don’t have any pictures of that, but it was nice having everyone here to watch her get on the bus. The moment came that I was equally excited for and dreading all at the same time….we heard the bus coming from around the corner and she got ready to get on. It stopped, she hopped on and off it went, just like that. It happened so quickly…
She was off to school. It only took until the bus went around the bend for me to start crying. I honestly thought that I would be okay, all morning I was truly excited, but once she was gone it hit me that she will be leaving every week day for most of the day and I just started sobbing. It lasted for about 15 minutes inside, and Matt began to talk to me down. I received a very nice phone call from Tiffany to check on how I was doing and then I sat down to feed Scarlet. I began to think about how we came to the decision to send her to school this year, how much discussion and prayer went into it. I began to wonder if it was the right thing, or if I had allowed the wrong decision to be made. I began to feel reassured that this was the right choice, right now. This is where we are at, this is the path that the Lord is bringing us down and I began to feel at peace with it. Its 20 minutes after 10 and I am okay with it all. The Lord promises that every where He leads us is all a part of His plan for us. As I contemplated this I began to weigh His plan for me against the plans He has individually for each of my children. While raising them is a part of His plan for me, they are His, and they each have plans and paths of their own. Those plans will bring fruit to their lives, and they will all be different from one another. Parenting is a rough road, with every decision we make weighing so heavily on the future of our children. But I have come to a realization today, one that I will have to come to again and again over my years of parenting, that it doesn’t have to be so heavy, because there is a God who wants to bear our burdens for us. He wants to take the weight of our decisions off our shoulders, and instead instill in us the balm, peace and calm of Jesus. When our decisions are made in line with those that we feel God is calling us to, then we should have the peace of knowing that this is what He has called us to do. Will we struggle with those decisions? Of course! We might even cry! But in the end, we are reminded that everything works together for the good of those who love God. Everything, even sending our children off to school on the bus, when our heart aches for them to be at home.
“And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.” Philippians 1:6
“For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].” Ephesians 2:10
These were the verses that the Lord brought to me today. This is what I mentioned before about the Lord knowing when we will need to be reminded of something. See, I have been doing a devotional on my own, separate from the one I do with my husband. In this past week I have, admittedly, missed a few days in the whirlwind of getting ready for school. Today on my tablet, there was a reminder notification which popped up asking me if I would like to read my devotional now. I clicked on it, and this is what the Lord brought me to, these two verses. These two verses brought me out of wallowing about Gabbi heading off to school and back into the peace of the Lord. When I apply these verses to my life, I am happy and content, but when I apply them to lives of my children, I am that much more excited for the work the Lord is doing in their lives!
I hope all of you moms out there are having a good time getting your kids ready and off to school this week!!